250 MILLION ADVENTURERS’ ACCOUNTS AND MASSIVE RUNESCAPE EXPANSIONS COMING 2017 – THE BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM RUNEFEST
Thousands of players watched online and descended on London to take part in the 15th anniversary celebrations, as a treasure trove of content is announced at the annual RuneScape fan convention.
RuneScape fans from around the world descended on London on Saturday to attend RuneFest 2016, the biggest celebration of the iconic MMORPG to date, and the RuneScape team dropped major announcement riches:
- The 250 millionth adventurer welcomed into RuneScape’s world:
In its 15th anniversary year, this month RuneScape hit a new and massively impressive milestone with its 250 millionth account created. Over its lifetime, RuneScape has seen real-life player weddings, united families that are spread across the world, and been an escape for discovery seekers. The 250 millionth account joins the ever-growing band of adventurers in Gielinor, which means it must be time to expand the game world significantly…
- All-new RuneScape Expansions coming 2017:
RuneScape announced one of the biggest changes to the way the game will evolve – RuneScape Expansions, a series of major extensions to the game world that will bring big, impactful content to the game at no additional cost. Beginning in June 2017 and coming every three months, each RuneScape Expansion is an all-new area or region – a new substantial part of the world map – that will be released on a single day. Within each area are towering pieces of content with the emphasis on discovery and exploration.
The first RuneScape Expansion will see the gates open to the Golden City of Menaphos, a city that has been hiding in the game for the past 10 years. In this RuneScape Expansion, players will explore the city for the first time. Menaphos is a vast, sandbox of an open city, that is full of hanging gardens, streams and buildings trimmed with gold. A huge pyramid, a mastaba, looms over the city. The people of Menaphos are uniformly wealthy but eye new arrivals with suspicion. However, underneath their arrogance is fear. Their ruler, the Pharaoh, is a puppet for Amascut, the devourer god and he makes cruel demands of them… All will be revealed in June 2017.
“Like so much of our game content, the concept of regular RuneScape Expansions came from player feedback. They told us they were overwhelmingly interested in bigger, more significant updates that would make massive additions to the game. Other games may offer these once per year or less, but RuneScape has always done things differently,” explained David Osborne, lead designer, RuneScape. “RuneScape Expansions will deliver a new sense of discovery and exploration more frequently with each expansion as big as 2014’s Lost City of the Elves, arriving on a single day, four times a year. It’s like Christmas coming every three months and it begins in June 2017 as the city gates of Menaphos are finally opened.”
- Weather coming to RuneScape in 2017, raids coming to Old School, Campaign mode for Chronicle
In addition to revealing the new expansions heading to RuneScape during the next 12 months, dynamic, gameplay-affecting weather will be sweeping across the game’s world of Gielinor in 2017, while major storylines will be coming to a head before the end of this year – along with the release of the second part of the Eastern Lands archipelago.
Old School RuneScape announced that raids would be coming to the retro version of the MMORPG, while Chronicle: RuneScape Legends teased the upcoming Campaign mode coming to the game before the end of this month. Hyper Hippo gave RuneFesters a world-exclusive hands-on opportunity with RuneScape: Idle Adventures on mobile; the game is currently in Early Access for PC on Steam.
- SpecialEffect award the entire RuneScape player base a Golden Gnome for raising £200,000
RuneFest also hosted the Golden Gnome awards, which are awarded to members of the community for outstanding achievements. This year saw SpecialEffect award the entire RuneScape player base a Golden Gnome for helping to raise around £200,000 for the charity since 2014. A virtual Gnome has been launched in-game as a statue for every player to see.
“RuneFest is the most important date in the RuneScape calendar, and even more so in this celebratory year for our game. We have had a fantastic 2016 so far, we’re looking forward to delivering some exciting quests before the end of year, and we can’t wait to get stuck into 2017 with our new expansions and experiences,” said Mark Ogilvie, design director, RuneScape. “To break through the 250,000,000 player account milestone is also an incredible achievement that we were thrilled to share with our wonderful and irreplaceable community at RuneFest.”
As well as taking in the wealth of announcements, players at the convention – which was themed as one of the tropical Eastern Lands launched in RuneScape this summer – took part in quests to collect event-exclusive skilling chips, met and chatted with developers, levelled up their characters in RuneScape, took part in a cosplay parade, and danced into the night at the RuneFest After Party.