What did handle that (I begrudgingly admit) was that the amount and quality of quests to be performed in RuneScape. They also come in all shapes and sizes, from shearing sheep and running errands to slaying dragons or planting your prison escape. There is even a pursuit where you take charge of a seagull and use it to bomb zombie pirates with bird poo.
RuneScape gold's tone is joyously light, and with fewer degree cap hurdles to leap over you're free to embrace and explore it without submitting to the mill. That is great, because Runescape's quests haven't actually required one to use skills aside from combat, and have generally incorporated puzzles or interactive components that have more in common with old school point-and-click adventure games than fantasy questing.
Places that used to be vacant are now brimming with NPCs, quests and tales. Each inch of the world was filled in, or sometimes expanded, in order to incorporate all the characters, enemies and features that Jagex have been busy stuffing into the match for the past decade. The simple fact that Runescape is an online game is now a bonus rather than its primary attraction. Jagex may take their game entirely offline and it might still be worth playingwith.
But that's the biggest difference between Runescape and its still running Old School Runescape counterpart. Both share roughly the same amount of concurrent players, but the way that players interact in every is quite different.
Old School Runescape may just have about 25,000 players at any given moment - barely a scratch on the amounts it used to reach in 2006 - but its players have understood the game for years. They've decade-old friendships there, they know where to hang out, how to interact and virtually every talking point the match and its storied history has ever produced. They ramble past each other without laughing, don't all converge in the same spots for no reason or attend feign parties in empty attics... they just get on with playing the game.
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