Fresh Start Worlds – Your Feedback
Thank you so much for all your feedback on Fresh Start Worlds since last week’s announcement. We really appreciate your insight as we embark on a new concept for RuneScape! Today we want to give you an update on where we’re at with development, and some of the changes we’re making. We’ve heard your comments and will be using them to shape Fresh Start Worlds as we work towards the release. RuneScape: Fresh Start Worlds is now launching on September 26th 2022.
Why Fresh Start Worlds?
For new players, joining a game that has been running for over two decades can be a daunting prospect. We also know that returning players can feel overwhelmed by the speed at which RuneScape has grown in their absence because it has such a passionate and innovative community. Speaking to both these groups, they have expressed significant interest in playing on a Fresh Start World – an environment where everyone is on equal terms, rediscovery can happen alongside other players, and where they don’t feel 21 years behind the curve!
We want to bring new and returning players together in one focused moment to reignite that magical feeling of starting out on a new adventure as a community. We also want them to have a fun and rewarding experience as they work towards rejoining the current game. That’s why we’re including XP bonuses, Boons and rewards to make an experience that stands out and rewards players in equal measure.
Most importantly, when those new and returning players are done with FSW, they can seamlessly continue their adventures with the rest of us in the main game, keeping their character's progress and rewards. If we want those players to stay in Gielinor for the long haul, saving their progress in this game mode is integral to that, and this aspect has been a core foundation of our design from the get-go.
While Fresh Start Worlds is mostly focused on attracting returning players, we knew there would be current adventurers who would be interested in firing up a new character too – whether to race, make a new alt or simply to nab some great rewards.
For this reason, your feedback as active players is an important part of the process. Ultimately we want you to decide whether you want to play or not based on whether it’s a valuable experience for you, rather than feeling compelled to participate.
Over the past week, you've given us some really constructive feedback to work into our existing event design. Here’s how we’re taking on board your comments to guide improvements to FSW.
New Membership Passcode via Bonds
- We are developing a way to allow RuneScape Bonds to be redeemed for a new 14-day Membership Passcode, ready for launch on September 26th, so that existing players can use their Bonds to get Membership on a new FSW account. We will share more information on this in the coming weeks.
As the FSW game mode was built on permanent fully-fledged RuneScape accounts, we had no way to share an existing Membership with FSW characters (just like the situation would be if you made an alt or an Ironman today). However, after hearing your feedback, we wanted to see if there was a way for current active players to have a path to FSW Membership through gameplay – just as they do with our existing Membership in the main game.
Where we’ve landed is a bit of an out-of-the-box technical solution, but we're excited to confirm we've found a way to convert Bonds into Membership you can use on another account. This provides a path to sub up purely through gameplay, and while there will be some manual steps involved (we can’t link accounts as mentioned), we’re looking to make it as simple as possible.
It’s very early in development and we will keep you updated as soon as we have more info to share.
Concerns About Game Integrity
- We are re-balancing the week-to-week XP multiplier and reducing the peak XP multiplier.
- We have removed the Boons of Experience, which provided an instant level for any skill under Level 99.
- We have removed the Boon of Skill Pets, which provided a +100% chance for Skill Pet drops.
- We are reviewing weekly effects and will keep you updated if any changes are to be made.
It's clear there was some real concern in the community on the impact FSW could have on the value of your accomplishments and on the economy, due to the XP and Boons.
Based on the extensive gameplay data available to us, we are confident that our original XP and Boon balancing was well tuned for how the vast majority will play. We're also certain the mode cannot be abused to create disproportionate amounts of resources in the main game, especially considering the challenges of a reset economy.
However, this is an experiment for all of us, and part of that is properly considering your feedback as existing ‘Scapers. Based on those concerns, we’ve toned down some areas we feel can be changed without compromising the appeal of the mode for most returning players.
- We're committed to ensuring the majority of items from Fresh Start Worlds are available again in the future.
- Ironman accounts in the main game will be able to receive rewards from Fresh Start Worlds.
In our rush to create some great rewards, we inadvertently turned the Fresh Start Worlds experience from a 'take part if it appeals to you' alternative game mode into 'I feel compelled to play this' situation for some active players. To put you at ease, we want to state clearly that this will not be your only opportunity to acquire these rewards. While we don't have specifics today, we hope this removes the pressure to take part if you decide the experience itself isn't for you.
Additionally, we want to confirm that main game Ironman accounts will be able to receive any earned Fresh Start Worlds in trades from their alt, should they choose to participate.
Limiting Bonds in the Competitive Period
- Each account can only buy or sell a maximum of ONE Bond per weekly reset in the Competitive Period (Weeks 1-8)
Bonds hold a special place in our hearts as a means to get everything you could buy for real life money through your gameplay. This is something we really feel is important to preserve for the Fresh Start Worlds experience.
However, we have heard your concerns raised about potential Pay to Win scenarios that could emerge from players selling Bonds in the the race for World First, and it's also important to us that the competition itself as fair as possible. To make sure we balance both perspectives, we’ve decided to limit accounts to one Bond purchase or sale per week. This prevents players from buying meaningful advantage during the competition, but still allows for players to acquire Bonds to fund their Membership via gameplay.
Release Date Changes
With all of today's announced changes, we need to push back our release date by a couple of weeks. We want to take the time to make these improvements, implement them and test them properly. As such, Fresh Start Worlds will now begin on September 26th 2022.
We hope that today's changes ensure we're landing in a great place for Fresh Start Worlds. We're really excited about the potential this has to grow RuneScape's player base and help players rediscover the amazing game we all love – and we hope you are too. Whether you're planning on trying it out, encouraging your friends to get involved, or simply going to continue playing on your main while this all goes on, thank you for being part of the adventure.
For more details we've put together this FAQ.