Unfinished Business | Release Strategy Update
Good afternoon, 'Scapers,
First of all, I'd like to apologise for going a bit quiet in the past month. You've had plenty to say about Menaphos, Achievements and a few other updates, and it might have seemed like we were tucking our heads in the sand or popping off to the pub.
In reality, we've been deep in discussion as a team. We've been so focused on Menaphos and the determination to get it ready that we have neglected the wider game, so we've been making a big change or two.
NOTE - We have a habit of announcing that we're going to make changes. This time, we wanted to talk to you about changes we have already made. Expect us to go into more detail on Tuesday's livestream, as well as regular video-and-newspost updates like this one. Let's put a date in the calendar: Friday, 28th July seems like a good time to check back in on what we're doing with another post.
For now, though, read on!
While many of you have liked - even loved - Menaphos, it's fair to say that it's had its problems. Regardless of whether you felt it was complete, we underestimated how much of our focus it would take up, and we've neglected other updates as a result.
Expansions take up a huge amount of dev time, leading to a sparse release schedule and less player happiness. It's clear that regular updates is something that makes RuneScape RuneScape. The game feels less alive without them.
For this reason, we are suspending development on all future expansions. We might release expansion-sized updates like Elf City in the future, but we won't be committing to a sequence of them, and there will be no additional expansion this year.
I know that might sound dramatic, but hear us out and find out why we think this will benefit RuneScape.
You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't like Ninja updates. That particular fix you've been waiting for can often have a greater impact than a conventional update. But colossal projects like the Bank Rework have been blocking the team from strengthening weeks with these essential quality-of-life improvements.
That's a real, real shame. We miss those updates. So, three weeks ago, we made the decision to double the number of developers and testers on the Ninja Team.
Thanks to the additional developers and testers, we will be releasing Ninja fixes such as the following throughout July:
- Quick Prayer Presets that allow you to define a bunch of different prayers and curses to be turned on via one action, stored as a right click option on the prayer button or action bar
- An Aura Bag to manage and unlock loyalty auras
- Barrows, Shadow, Third Age and Blood dyes for all Telos weaponry
That's a taste of the updates you can expect regularly, and we've got many more ready for August (and don't worry – the Bank Rework is still very much a thing). We're determined to keep the quality of Ninja fixes high, and we've got a plan for how we might do that.
We know that we've tried polls before but, while they're flawed, they work. It just feels right to be involved and, as such, polls are coming back in a big way.
The plan is that we poll as many of our updates, fixes or improvements as we can.
Okay, now for the big one. For the foreseeable future, the Eternals and Titans will be delivering the updates that have been promised in the past. They will be finishing updates that feel unfinished and improving the core of the game. Think area reworks rather than new areas, and continuations of old questlines rather than new ones.
Simply put, we want to pause for a moment and resolve the Unfinished Business in RuneScape.
A good example is Achievements. Let's not assume we're done with it: we want to fix it, and make it something that benefits the game for years. So, we are planning to bring in interface improvements based on your suggestions, including more achievements onscreen at one time and a Player Inspect feature.
Invention Batch 2 is another strong example. You know it's coming from a Dev Diary, but we're expanding its remit so that it not only adds to Invention, but attempts to fix it too. So, while you can expect devices, machines and benefits beyond level 10 for your augmented gear, you can also expect fixes. These will include the removal of Inspiration, making tradeable Augmentors, and a clearer idea of which Perks will come from which components.
We now reach a bit of a quandary. In an ideal world, we'd show you a list of all of the Unfinished Business updates, complete with their release dates. BUT that would only create more expectation, and add to 'Unfinished Business' rather than deduct from it.
Instead, we'd like to list 10 updates that we're actively working on or researching. There are no dates attached: just reassurance that we're looking at these right now, and that they'll be released only when they're ready and right for the game:
- Bank Rework
- Mining and Smithing
- Clue Scroll Overhaul
- Dailyscape reductions
- Invention Batch 2
- Achievement System finishing
- Evil Dave Quest
- Graphical Reworks, including Seers' Village and Witch's House
- Combat Pets
- Shattered World improvements, to make it more rewarding and varied
We're going to be giving you progress-reports on these. Expect the first on the 28th of July and regularly thereafter. We also want to get you involved in their priority, and whether other updates should replace them on the list.
With that in mind, it's time to mention...
The Big RuneScape Survey
On Tuesday, 11th July, at the same time as an Unfinished Business live stream, we will be launching The Big RuneScape Survey.
This will be an open, online survey that lists everything we consider good for the game and previously promised, announced or unfinished. We will then ask you to prioritise them. Is a bunch of graphical reworks more important than a Construction Rework? Tell us, and we will use the results to prioritise the Unfinished Business stuff that you want, and build a backlog of updates to work on.
I've rambled on enough for now, and we can catch up again on the 28th of July. Remember to tune into the live stream on the 11th July, when we will be answering your questions and releasing the Big RuneScape Survey.
On a personal note, I know these changes seem radical and reasonably rapid, but – having spent so much time reading your feedback – I'm convinced that it's the right direction. Now it's your turn to tell us whether you agree.
Thank you for being such a committed and passionate bunch of players. We're lucky to have you.
Mod Osborne & The RuneScape Team