2021 in review: Ruminating on 15 years of RuneScape – Eurogamer.net

A look back at my personal history playing RuneScape. Hello! We’re still catching up with our memories and moments of 2021. Here’s Lottie considering a long career in Runescape.I like to joke about how, for me, …

A look back at my personal history playing RuneScape.
Hello! We’re still catching up with our memories and moments of 2021. Here’s Lottie considering a long career in Runescape.
I like to joke about how, for me, RuneScape is less of a game and more of a lifestyle choice; though, after 15 years, I should probably admit to myself that this joke is bordering on the realm of fact.
Thanks to my 2006 diary, I can reliably say I walked my first steps in Gielinor – RuneScape’s setting – on April 29th that year. Younger Lottie wrote about how RuneScape ‘seemed pretty good with its cool map,’ before going on a tirade about how she couldn’t find the last episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion on what I assume was a perfectly legal website. I wonder what she would have written if she knew RuneScape would become a mainstay in her gaming library.
Flicking through those old diaries was an exploration into my personal RuneScape history; I recorded level achievements, new discoveries and misadventures, like my first visit to Varrock. Aware of my low combat level, and afraid of dying at the hands of monsters far more powerful than myself, I decided to stick to the paths – surely this would keep me safe from the beasts lurking in the unknown lands.
It was, in reality, a decision which backfired as I approached the city’s southern gate and encountered the dark wizards who linger nearby. (Really makes you wonder how much those Varrock guards are being paid…) Once I had my fill of Varrock, I carefully plotted my departure with the hope of avoiding another murdery surprise, only to suffer a near death experience at the hands of a highwayman near Port Sarim.
Delving deeper I found Pest Control strategies and how I learned about RuneScape’s infamous glitch, The Falador Massacre. It was June 5th 2006 and Cursed You was celebrating becoming the first player to reach Level 99 Construction with a party in his player-owned house. Lag, however, forced him to boot everyone out and, upon leaving, the players who had been inside the combat ring discovered they could, thanks to an unknown error in the Construction skill coding, attack anyone despite being outside of the dedicated PvP area. Since their victims couldn’t retaliate, the near hour long carnage went down in RuneScape history.
There were even notes on my bow string running money making plans stapled to a page. To summarise, I spent months running between the flax field, spinning wheel and bank of Seers’ Village far monotony, then continuing until I had successfully rewired my brain into having fun. The end result was a summer spent training my Construction skill – worth it.
It’s interesting to see the different playstyles I’ve indulged in over the years; from tearing through boss runs to running a roleplaying clan to hours of skills, so I could complete a specific achievement. Now I prefer to play slowly, rarely using anything which might increase my base XP yield, so I can enjoy the long journey to levelling up. I often read while doing so – it’s oddly relaxing to have the clink of my pickaxe or mattock as background noise.
What keeps me coming back to RuneScape is how it feels like a living organism; constantly evolving with new challenges and locations. There are the skills, the interwoven tapestries which tie the different gameplay aspects together, which let me jump from crafting runestones to hunting dinosaurs. My personal favourite is Archaeology, because of how it marries lore exploration with excellent skill progression.
On the subject of RuneScape lore – never forget the questlines. Here I’ve experienced gothic horror, epic fantasy and one man’s desire to bake a cake. I’ll never forget the hours I spent in the Temple of Light, even if I sometimes wish I could. Then there’s Old School RuneScape through which I can time travel back to the original game I fell in love with.
I’ve taken breaks, often when I’m absorbed in a new game, from RuneScape over the years. The longest occurred when the Evolution of Combat (also known as EoC) was released – the abilities and action bars were at war with the RuneScape section of my brain. RuneScape, however, always finds a way to snare me and this time it was the Legacy Combat Mode, which revived the tick-based combat of old. EoC and I still have a rather turbulent relationship; mostly due to reluctance on my part, but I’m trying. Rarely.
My diaries still contain records about my latest RuneScape achievements, especially when I earn a new skilling pet, but it has to share the space with little meditations on the Indie games I’ve played and rants concerning my lack of Log Stool DIY recipes in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I’m currently creating a list of what I’d like to do in RuneScape in the coming year, like train my Dungeoneering skill (unlikely) and rework my money pit of a house. I might even finally get around to doing the Salt in the Wound quest; once upon a time I longed for this quest, until a friend told me about a certain pillar – if you know, you know. Since that day I’ve never worked up the energy to tackle it, but maybe 2022 is the year.
When you play an MMORPG for a long time – say 15 years – it truly becomes part of your life; whether you prefer to play solo or become an active member of the community. RuneScape celebrated its 20th anniversary this year and while there were highlights – the Elder God Wars dungeon and Azzanadra’s Quest – there were also lows, such as the Login Lockout. Still, I believe RuneScape has the strength to reach its 30th anniversary considering how the mobile and Steam version have brought it to a new audience. I’ll certainly be around for the new adventures, especially if they involve penguins or a Construction skill rework, and, if I need a rest, I can always visit Old School RuneScape.
Will you support Eurogamer?
We want to make Eurogamer better, and that means better for our readers – not for algorithms. You can help! Become a supporter of Eurogamer and you can view the site completely ad-free, as well as gaining exclusive access to articles, podcasts and conversations that will bring you closer to the team, the stories, and the games we all love. Subscriptions start at £3.99 / $4.99 per month.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our policy.
Jump to comments (0)
More about RuneScape
About the author
Lottie Lynn
Guides Writer  |  Stormscribe
Lottie Lynn is Eurogamer’s guides writer. She likes exploring new games and still has nightmares about the moon from Majora’s Mask.
Feature | Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker is a storytelling masterpiece
A fitting climax, and a promising foundation for what’s to come.
Final Fantasy 14 sets new record for concurrent players
UPDATE: a million new players in the last month.
A Harry Potter MMO was "killed" by EA for lack of belief in the IP
Final Fantasy 14 is so popular it’s been pulled from sale
Temporarily suspended for new players.
Congestion issues continue in Final Fantasy 14
Yoshida apologises once again for the inconvenience.
You may also enjoy…
Final Fantasy 14 director blames "my own selfishness" for Endwalker expansion’s two-week delay
"I am truly sorry."
Amazon faces backlash after New World region transfer U-turn
"I wasted 80 hours…"
Yoshida "positive" about Final Fantasy 14 coming to Xbox
"We are still in discussions with Microsoft."
World of Warcraft players stage sit-in protest following Blizzard allegations
Calls for NPC based on former dev to be kicked out of Stormwind.
New World is Amazon’s first video game hit with half a million concurrent players on Steam
Fifth-highest ever.
Supporters only
Premium only | The Eurogamer Podcast: a final sit-down with departing Editor Oli Welsh
Premium only | Off Topic: An end-of-the-year miracle!
More Marlow.
Premium only | Off Topic: The weird history of handwriting
From cuneiform to Coca-Cola.
Supporters only | Letter from the Editor: The trouble with game awards
Games have never been more diverse, but that’s seldom reflected in games of the year lists. Why?
Premium only | Off Topic: The many joys of BritBox, the intensely British streaming service
Some libraries do ‘ave ’em.
Comments (0)
Buy things with globes on them
And other lovely Eurogamer merch in our official store!
Subscribe to The Eurogamer.net Daily
The 10 most popular stories of the day, delivered at 5pm UK time. Never miss a thing.
Bad puns and video games since 1999.
This site © 2021 Gamer Network Limited, a ReedPop company. All Rights Reserved. No part of this site or its content may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright holder.
Helpful links
Across Europe
Sign in
Connect with Facebook
New in town?