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What is RuneScape Classic

Apr-18-2019 PST

What is RuneScape Classic?

RuneScape Classic is the original version of RuneScape. RuneScape Classic is also known as ‘RS1’ and released under beta on the 4th of January 2001. RuneScape 2 (RS2), now known as Old School RuneScape, was released on the 29th March 2004 which added 3D graphics, an overhauled combat system, music and many other features.

When was it available?

RuneScape Classic has been available many times in the past two decades. It has been reopened and closed continuously. A lot of cheating had occurred as there was basically no effective anti-cheat.  With this cheating, people traded gold between the classic version of the game and RS2, also known as “swapping”. Because of widespread cheating, on the 12th of January 2006, Jagex banned over 5,000 accounts due to cheating. The problem was so bad they also limited players’ ability to play the classic version of their favourite game to those who still had accounts that logged into the rebooted RuneScape Classic at least once from 3rd of August 2005 and 12th January 2006. This was to prevent people from simply making new accounts and continuing their cheating journey with hardly any bumps in the road.

RuneScape Classic closed and reopened many different times, in 2009, 2010 and 2011. There have historically been many problems with classic, but it has only been restored at the will of the players, who wanted the ability to play the classic (no pun intended) from their childhood the way they cherish it and, in my cases, prefer it.

How does it differ to RuneScape 3 or Old School RuneScape?

One of the main differences that highlight its age is there were no dialogue boxes. All text was over the character’s head. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? However, there were also no right-click options for shopkeepers or bankers to quickly open interfaces. What’s more, is a non-playable character (NPC) could only talk to one player at a time! This means when a new quest or shop was released, there was a huge queue of people waiting to talk to an NPC, and you’d have to wait 20 minutes.

RuneScape Classic had only a few skills. Woodcutting, firemaking, mining, smithing, prayer, magic (good and evil magic), ranged, attack, defence and strength. That’s 10 skills, in comparison to 23 in Old School and 27 in RuneScape 3.

You were also able to fight anyone, literally anywhere on the map. You simply had to right-click another player, choose “duel” and if the other player accepted, you’d fight. In the wilderness, because there was no ability to run in RuneScape Classic, you’d have to get good at ‘catching people’. Once you managed to land an attack on someone by being close enough, neither you or they were able to eat in combat. Additionally, you couldn’t escape in the first 3 hits, so this is why pures were created, make the most use of those 3 hits and kill your opponent.

There were many other differences, such as there only being 50 quests (the final: Legends Quest), but these are the main differences.

The closure of RuneScape Classic story

Unfortunately, due to “constantly accumulating bugs and a game engine that has become incompatible with modern support tools of the company”, Jagex closed RuneScape Classic servers on the 6th of August 2008, on a permanent basis. In reality, the same old problems were occurring, such as cheaters who needed to be manually banned by Jagex after being manually reported by other players. Bots were stated to have been running weeks on end without stopping, doing skills like agility 24/7, which is obviously not possible for any human or they’d have a Guinness World Record!

A common argument amongst players is that Jagex saw zero profit from RuneScape Classic. At times, there were very few players actually logged into RuneScape Classic, fewer than 100. If nobody was playing, nobody was paying membership fees just for RuneScape Classic. While it was nostalgic, RuneScape Classic had shown its age and was not inherently better or more fun than OSRS (Old School RuneScape) or RS3 (the current version of RuneScape). Bear in mind, it still will have been absolutely amazing and revolutionising given it was released in 2001.

Whilst RuneScape Classic is in fact closed, private servers exist that have varying policy. Some even carry out polled updates and continue further development themselves, keeping the spirit of the game intact. Many also decide to continue being an activist for the game, by writing to Jagex and informing them they want RuneScape Classic back and start community petitions/polls.

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