Month: May 2017

Menaphos ~ Runescape’s Much-Needed Golden Update?

Abstract​: Menaphos is an expansion that will bridge the experience gap between

low-level and high-level players, thereby ensuring that Jagex keeps a steady player

base and allowing for an influx of higher-leveled players.

 

 

It’s no secret that plenty of Runescape 3’s player base is composed of higher-leveled,

committed members of the community. Runescape’s greatest strength is its ability to

draw players in and keep them coming, even after long breaks. The MMO is simply one

of the easiest games to access and get back into, seeing as there is little downloading

to sit through and plenty of content to see every time one logs back in. Jagex has

placed itself in a comfy spot when it comes to ensuring that, whoever they have hooked

into the game, stays hooked. With plenty of skills, quests, and content, it’s hard to find

yourself bored…

 

 

Unless you have done most of the content already.

The biggest problem with the consistent player base being mostly high-leveled is that

Jagex needs to keep that player base interested with high-level content. Priffddinas was

the first major swing the company made to keep the more experienced players

interested, and it worked fairly well, so they continued to make very tough content; big

bosses, grand quests, the high requirement Arc/Ports section of the game… While all of

this has served to keep high-level players interested, it has failed to “hook in” the lower

levels.

 

 

Runescape 3 has suffered from a lack of newer players sticking to the game and

reaching those high levels. It takes an enormous amount of time for a player to start in

Burthrope/Taverly and then make their way to the grand city of Priffdinas. Two years

ago, when I made my account, I became obsessed with the idea of reaching that

beautiful, high-level city… And I only completed that goal about eight months ago. The

amount of time that it takes, even with dedication and knowledge, to get to the

high-level content is just insane. Granted, many players argue that this is part of the

appeal of the game, giving us players such a grand and time-consuming challenge to

overcome!… But that mindset doesn’t help the issue of getting new players into the

game, and getting them to stay.

 

 

New players see the huge questline and 75’s set before them in their quest to

Priffddinas, and many will give up part-way through. Even with such a wonderful,

tantalizing reward at the end, players that only have level 50 skills and don’t have an

interest in siting in their chairs, mindlessly clicking those ore rocks for experience gains,

will ultimately fail to reach the end of the rainbow. I am by no means saying that the

requirements for Priff or any other high-level content are too high; but I am saying that

the time required to get to great new content for new players is too long, and that

without content for the lower levels, Runescape 3’s community won’t be able to grow.

 

Luckily, Jagex has a solution: Menaphos.

 

A player starts in free to play, with level 1 skills and little knowledge of what they’re

doing. They learn how to train their skills, grow stronger, make their own equipment,

and make a name for themselves in quests… But then they hear mumblings of higher

content. Lots of bosses and quests and locales for much higher levels are mentioned by

the people sitting around the Grand Exchange with this new player. The new player

finds interest, but without a checkpoint, a place where they can assess their abilities and

feel as though they have truly accomplished something before reaching their higher

goals, they run the risk of losing interest.

 

 

Menaphos is that ‘checkpoint’. Advertized as a mid-level city with a Grand Exchange,

level 50 skilling spots, and plenty to do, Menaphos is the absolute perfect idea to tide

new players over so that they will reach the higher, more interesting content of the

game. The fact that it has such a low barrier of entry (two beginner’s quests) is even

better, as it can tempt free-to-play players into getting a membership and “testing the

waters” after giving the game a shot and perhaps getting one of their favorite skills near

level 50. Menaphos could even become the ‘new Priffddinas’ for low-level players,

looking forward to the time where they can quest around the Golden City and use its

skilling spots like one of the cooler, higher-level players.

 

 

If Jagex has designed the city as beautifully as the trailers suggest, I believe

they’ve already knocked their goals out of the park from a design perspective. For me,

getting to Priffddinas wasn’t just about the skilling plots and convenient GE/Banking

system; it was also about the beauty. I could constantly travel around a beautiful crystal

city, full of lore! I could see beautiful sights, discover tirelessly-detailed skilling hubs, and

talk to a wealth of NPCs! When people talked about Priff, I did my research, and my

research revealed stunning pictures of crystal and sunshine, ones that only furthered

my desire to reach the Elven City.

 

 

I believe that this same effect will overwhelm the free-to-plays and the newer players of

the game, giving them further incentive to buy membership or to train further so that

they may access the many things the Golden City has to offer. Afterwards, Priffddinas

will stoke their flames of gaming passion once more, causing them to reach higher and

higher levels, making them more invested in this MMO… And there you have it. The

low-level players are led into our happy (sometimes), honest (sometimes), and

respectable (rarely) community!

 

 

All and all, as a mid-to-high-leveled player myself, I am incredibly excited for Menaphos.

Even if it doesn’t end up being for me, I know it will help bring in new members and, with

a bit of work on Jagex’s part, I’m sure it will also help nurture mid-level players into

becoming higher-level players that can play active parts in our community.

Thank you for reading,

 

 

NickIceward.