Year Ahead: A message from Mod Warden

Hello everyone! How goes the road to 120 Farming and Herblore?

Since I last spoke to you in October, I’ve continued to get to know the team, to learn about the work they do and their capabilities, and to understand what motivates you, our RuneScape players. All of this is important as it will shape our direction and plans for 2020 – I want the 12 months ahead to be better than the 12 months that is behind us. Our developers have worked incredibly hard to get out content such as The Ranch Out of Time, Farming and Herblore 120, RS Mobile, Smooth Movement and Yak Track into your hands. We’ve also taken the first steps on mapping our Duty of Care blueprint and to reduce our reliance on Treasure Hunter and retired our Java client.

And these transformational efforts continue.

Right now, we’re on the cusp of a brand-new era for RuneScape. This evolution will take a few years to unfold, and how this looks becomes clearer to me every day. But the plan isn’t finalised yet. I’ve still got plenty of work to do ensuring that our strategy is consistent and properly supported across our development teams. I need to be absolutely certain that we’re working toward a great selection of regular content, and that this content that will set a new golden standard for RuneScape. We need to be driving quality of life improvements, removing friction and reducing bugs - both prior to and after release. Our core experience needs to be great, our NXT client needs to be modernised, and ultimately the game needs to be worth your time.

To get this right, I need to know we’re prioritising the right things. What content do you all engage with the most? And what are you telling us you want? Just as importantly, I need to understand what our strengths and weaknesses are as a team and studio. When have we succeeded? And where have we underdelivered?

With this in mind, I need to develop a RuneScape leadership team that is working together to create an inspiring vision for our future. To deliver this we’ll require new development standards, new production process and production plans, new tools and pipeline optimisations. The RuneScape team is growing, and these teams must be effectively and speedily working together on common goals. I am even looking at how we can build more creativity and fun into our day-to-day work environment. All of which should translate into a better product, meaning happier players, and developers who are proud of their work.

However, this means we’re not yet in the position to present you with our usual Year Ahead video.

I want to come to you with a plan that takes RuneScape in the direction players want and deserve. I want to get to a place where the flow of content is no longer a concern. I want you to be genuinely excited about all the new adventures coming your way. And I want you to know these things are arriving regularly and predictably.

We’ll be bringing this roadmap to you some time in the early New Year.

What I can confirm right now is that Archaeology will be arriving a little later than we said at RuneFest. The update is so close to being where we would like it. In truth we could release it next month and it would deliver on much of your expectations (we’re thrilled with the gameplay!) but I feel that with some more QA time and polish we can deliver a better release at a higher visual standard.

Archaeology has been a significant development effort (we’ve been working on it for over a year) and I’m convinced the best move is to give it the opportunity to fulfil more of its potential. The Land Out of Time raised the visual bar for the game, and we have to ensure that Archaeology maintains that standard.

However, in its place I can reveal a new update. A lot of you have been asking for it, and in early 2020 we’re really excited to be able to offer the PvM Hub, now known as War’s Retreat, which came out of our autumn Game Jam. Previously the reserve of Max Cape owners, War’s Retreat is being bought into the game proper and is your one stop shop for all your bossing needs. We’ll have a lot more details to share after Christmas.

I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful Christmas break and enjoyable holiday season. Enjoy the company of good people and good eats! Thank you in advance for your support and patience. We will catch up again very soon.

Mod Warden

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