After our first opinion column about Runescape, here is a quick rundown of exactly what makes Runescape so popular that it has been called the number one MMORPG in the world.
Ease of Access – one thing that affects the popularity of a game is how easy it is to access. Before people can even begin to find out if they like a particular MMO or not they are faced with various barriers such as having to buy the game, downloading it, installing it, customizing the settings, and so forth. Runescape makes it very easy for people to play because all they have to do is go to runescape.com, create an account and then they can start playing right away. No purchase necessary, no download needed, no installation required!
Free to Play or Freemium Business Model – another feature that has proven to be very successful for MMORPGs is the free-to-play (f2p) or freemium business model that RS uses. While most f2p titles use a cash shop to generate revenue, RS does it differently. Players can either play it completely for free or opt to pay for membership. Plus, membership is pretty cheap compared to other MMOs at $7.95 a month.
Huge Virtual World with Lots to Do – RS has tons of content. The game world is so enormous that players can easily get lost when they play. There are plenty of skills to master, quests to complete, items to collect, monsters to kill, etc.
Player-Controlled Economy – from its earliest beginnings, RS has always had a player-controlled economy. Raw materials are mined, fished and gathered by players and sold on the open market called The Grand Exchange (GE for short). Fortunes can be made and lost daily on the GE which adds another layer of complexity to the gameplay.
Open-World PvP – player vs player, more commonly called player killing or pking in RS, is the old-fashioned kill and loot kind that many modern MMOs no longer support. However, it is exactly this hardcore pvp content that attracts many players to the game.
Non-Combat Skills – did you know that many players like to do non-combat skills like fishing, cooking, mining, herblore, woodcutting, etc.? It’s true that more recent MMORPG releases prefer to focus more on quest and combat mechanics but Runescape sets itself apart from the other top browser MMO games by offering players an extensive crafting system in-game.
So basically, the reason why RS is one of the top MMOs in the world is because free, cheap, easy to play and it has a lot of features that make it fun.