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Just The Facts
- Runescape can be separated into the words Run Escape. This is not a coincidence.
- Like low-quality acid, Runescape can destroy your life, warp your mind, and make you see elves.
- Runescape is highly addictive and under no circumstances should it be experimented with.
- There are currently four confirmed females who play Runescape.
Runescape is a MMORPG, or for those of you whose shirts are not stained with Mountain Dew and Cheeto dust, an online game in which you assume the life and adventures of someone impossibly cooler than you, complete with swords, dragons, and the male: female ratio of the Billionaire Boys Club. The game was invented in 2001 by uber-nerd and alleged alien, Andrew Gower.
Not pictured: Tentacles, scales, not-lesbian haircut.
The original game, since relabeled Runescape Classic, was admittedly around par for the course in 2001 internet gaming terms. However, that does not help obscure the fact that the entire game looked like paper cutouts hacking at each other with pixel-wands and dealing damage in the form of multi-colored splatters. So, yes, like Southpark for nerds. And with less actual paper-blood.
In all seriousness, this was ranging.
But, and this was the source of the Gower's amusement, there is a catch. Playing the HD version of Runescape on anything less than HAL 9000 results in immediate and fatal lagification, and playing Runescape on HAL 9000 raises the problem of a glowing robotic eye trying to kill the shit out of you, for reasons not entirely explained. So, once again, Runescape kicked you in the balls while screwing your girlfriend. Kinda. For those of us with computers that were still three-dimensional, this new version was more off limits than making Yo-Mama jokes to Van Damme.
He would bludgeon you to death with it.
One good aspect of this early game stage was that the entire map was a combat arena, aside from the L33T N00B capital that was, and remains, Lumbridge, but more one that later. Realizing that he had created something that might be construed as slightly cool, Mr. Gower promptly neutered his game, reducing the player-killing zone to the ominously named and themed "Wilderness", which looks like the illegitimate love child of post-nuclear Hiroshima and Krakatau. If this weren't enough to tell player that this was a dangerous area, he also set his warning-machine to full power, and quite literally and liberally sprayed warnings of even the slightest danger around the entire map, thus removing any possibility of hilarious dragon-related mishaps.
Having grown tired of offending God with the original, and by now, rather dated Runescape, Gower released the new version, called Runescape 2, as a beta in 2003. This version was also run on Java, much like the target audience, but instead programmed at a time when Y2K wasn't threatening to detonate your Powerbook. The improvement:
And can any of them end my blocky, pixelated life?
The new version of Runescape was open to both free and paying players, featured a greatly expanded map, more quests, more skills, and the option to suck hours away from your life with even less effort than before. Ending the cavalcade of horror that was Runesscape graphical development, in 2008, as Gower sat cackling upon his bone-and-baby throne, Runescape HD was released, tempting thousands of users with the promise of an eternity of gaming without their eyes desperately trying to strangle their brain.
This... Is not bad. But it does summon level 100 Laggarts to attack your computer.
The actual game is pretty much copy-paste MMORPG playing. You are given command of a avatar, allowed to customize it within a certain range (This means no walking dicks), and equip it with all sorts of armor and swords and stuff. The object of this and every MMORPG is to get shinier weapons/armors, which will allow you to kill the Demon Priest of Destinatious Ultimality. This mainly-logical system of more powerful weapons and armour being worth more than less powerful weapons and armour, however, is completely undermined by the exorbitantly expensive trade in ridiculously overpriced novelty items. In all seriousness, the most expensive item in the game is a blue paper hat. More about that later. Aside from "straight" combat (see what I did there?), players can also increase various other skill levels unrelated to combat, which either involves clicking two different spots on your screen for hours at a time, fighting specific monsters over and over again for hours at a time, or building a house. This is sort of cool.
There are also quests, which are either ridiculously easy and just involve walking around the map and collecting items, or ridiculously hard, and involve walking around the map to get items AND slaying dragons and shit in your fucking underwear. Seriously. The longer quests can take days to complete and are composed pretty much entirely of find-and-retrieve elements, which are followed by find-this-random-guy-and-talk-to-him elements, which are invariably followed by fighting overpowered pixel conglomerations in said state of dress. These quests reward you with items, experience, or access to new ares, all of which further degrade your chances of ever procreating. Congrats.
This is the height of achievement. At this point, any and all sperm/eggs in the body will self-destruct.
The true idiocy of Runescapers becomes evident when the rares market is considered. The most ridiculously expensive armour in the game is worth 200 million dollars, and offers massive bonuses to all areas of defence. There is a blue paper party hat. It is worth 360 million gold pieces. It offers absolutely, one-hundred percent ZERO bonuses. Possession of this hat renders you instantly sterile and causes you to emit a hormone that makes females physically unable to come withing ten yards of your sweating, pallid frame as you twitch and spasm, thinking of your blue paper hat. The only way to afford this hat actually involves traveling to Andrew Gowers house and prostrating yourself before him wearing only a paper-Mache speedo and ritually soaking yourself in the tub of Dorito-Mountain Dew slurry that he keeps around for precisely that reason. These so called "rares" are relics from the first two years of Runescape 2, during which time holiday events dropped these items all across the map, in the spirit of fun. These items were only made available on that one day, an were tradeable, and so rapidly mega-ultra-hyper skyrocketed in value, becoming the subject of the wet dreams of those creepy people that camp out in cyber-cafes and growl at you as you walk past.
That old man is wearing an Asian goldfarmer's yearly salary on his head. And working it.
Runescape is populated by pretty much the same folks that haunt Xbox Live, except there are hypervigilant censorship programs in place to protect the 10 year olds that aren't even supposed to be playing. (Minimum age is theoretically 18). This creates a wonderful, clean environment with the air so thick with clumsily hidden swearing that the atmospheric pressure is thrice that of Jupiters.