RuneScape 3: The Sixth Age leaves its future up to its players – Edge

http://www.edge-online.com/features/runescape-3-the-sixth-age-leaves-its-future-up-to-its-players/

A short article about some of the upcoming changes taking place in Runescape. Of particular note to me is the way Jegex are listening to their players in a much more proactive way after a huge clash with their player base in 2007 over changes to the ‘wilderness’. In listening to the views of their players and taking tose views on board (through a democratic voting system), Jagex are seeking to build affect with their player base and build value in a co-creative way reminiscent of many successful platforms across the Internet.

‘Still, RuneScape 3’s most exciting changes are idealistic rather than material. Jagex has aspired to democracy since day one, but it was only when the team implemented sweeping changes to the Wilderness region in 2007 – removing player killing in an attempt to curb traders – that it learned the folly of working against its fan base instead of alongside it.

The in-game protests that ensued created a divide between fans and studio, but Jagex used what it had learned to repair the fracture, allowing players to vote on rule changes and striving for transparency in its policies. That player-first ethos has continued; for instance, September saw the opening of Botany Bay, an island where players can vote on punishments for accounts suspected of being bots.’

This player first ethos is an extremely timely and platformed way to think about the relationship between players and developers. In reducing the distance between developer and player successful platforms are seeking to align their motives and create more value.

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The article goes onto state that Runescape is allowing players to become ‘legends’ (reminiscent of pro / celebrity players on other MMO’s?) again sowing how Jagex are seeking to create more types of value for players.

‘RuneScape 3’s cataclysmic tale takes player involvement to a new levels, while also providing a lasting focus in a world that, due to its episodic method of delivery, has become overrun with disparate storylines. It provides the framework for players to etch their names in the annuls of their server’s history as well, giving rise to legends that will be passed down to the RuneScapes to come. And, at heart, community is what RuneScape is really about – not lengthy draw distances or triple-A visuals.’

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