Since the launch of RuneScape 3, there has been a heated debate about which version of the game is better. While RuneScape 3 remained a popular game, the many private servers of older versions of RuneScape suggested that a big part of RuneScape’s player base preferred the old school experience. Camps on both sides have their arguments and we will delve into them.
RuneScape 3, without the obvious updated graphics, contains many other differences. The most notable one being the introduction of microtransactions, which allow to spend real world currency, in addition to already paying for a membership, to get a leg up in game. There are various rewards, including experience lamps. This is one of the reasons why RS3 gold is so inflated.
The newest version also has a different approach to progression. There are more minigames, more dungeons and many more activities altogether. Even without experience lamps, players can level up their skills faster in RS3 than they can in Old School RuneScape. This means that the game is friendlier to casual players who, for any reason, are not able to spend as much time playing the game.
RS3 is also known by the acronym EoC which stands for Evolution of Combat. This alias is the name of the new combat system which moved the game from the simplistic click-based combat to a more intense and varied skill-based combat system. EoC brought a variety of spells and skills for the three combat styles which allow for near limitless customization and more dynamic combat interactions. While it was viewed as heresy by some of the community’s veterans, others embraced the change as refreshing. There is an option to switch to the classic combat system at will in RS3 to accommodate both types of players.
Old School RuneScape
A huge part of scapers were longing for the old version of the game for some years. The popularity of private servers only proved that there is a demand for the older version and that demand was big. OSRS a.k.a RuneScape07 is the version of the game as it was on 10 August, 2007. This particular version of the older game was chosen randomly. Jagex team stumbled upon an old save, booted it up and, to everyone’s joy it worked!
At first OSRS was only accessible to members and was meant to be only maintained by a small team and not developed at all. However, with growing popularity poll booths were introduced. Then updates. Then the game was opened to free-to-play players. Then small updates evolved into bigger ones, until OSRS became a separate game in its own right.
One could say that currently OSRS is not so “old school” per say, because it has received a lot of new content. However, it retained the essence of the old game. Skilling is still the same grind, there are no convenient teleports available at the start of the game or any way to level up faster by just acquiring experience lamps. It is true that now there are alternative ways to level up skills, some of which require an infusion of RuneScape gold, but it takes the same amount of time to level up a skill to 99 then it did back in the day. OSRS community was strongly opposed to double XP weekends being brought into the game as they were introduced into RS3 and it looks like Jagex is sticking with it.
The argument about which game is better is an invalid one. The games are different enough to appeal to different audiences and thus it cannot be simply stated that RS3 is better than OSRS and vice versa. RS3 has a lot of quality of life changes: things take up less time, crafting is more convenient, a lot of tedious processes can be done while semi AFKing. There is a bigger team working on RS3, it receives a lot of updates, and big ones at that and there are regular events being held.
OSRS on the other hand, is closer to the old RPG games, where players had to earn everything. And earn they do, because OSRS lacks the conveniece of its younger brother. This sense of achievement is definitely appealing to some players. The simplistic gameplay has its own charm and cannot be viewed as just being “worse”. High number of players online is a clear proof of that.
In the end, it is all subjective and the game you like more will be better for you. RS3 is less demanding timewise and is overall not as harsh: forgetting a single item in the bank is a casual “whoops”, instead of another 10 minute run. OSRS is more demanding in terms of time and retains the spirit of old MMORPG’s; investing more time feels more rewarding once you achieve your goals. And if you can’t