MMORPG: RuneScape 3 now has one month under its belt. How has the game been performing?
Phil Mansell: We have had a great response since launch, both from our established community and lots of new players starting their adventure in RuneScape 3. We worked hard to make starting up the game quicker and easier, and it's great to see that working well for people. The launch of RuneScape 3 also prompted past players to take another look at the game, and we've seen an astonishing amount of accounts being reactivated to explore the modern version of the game.
MMORPG: What were some of the major enhancements to RuneScape 3 that you were able to add?
Phil Mansell: RuneScape 3 is an enormous upgrade to all aspects of the game, and it’s something worthy of the remarkable 12 year heritage that it houses. From a gaming perspective, we are starting to hand power to players so they can direct the story for themselves. During world events, players own choices and actions decide the future of the story, locations and characters across the RuneScape world. You can make a difference no matter what type of player you are, so it’s a very exciting place to be at the moment!
In addition to the player-driven narrative, RuneScape 3 features a whole new, fully customisable interface that complements the extensive and varied gameplay on offer in RuneScape. The game also includes a new CD-quality audio engine featuring over six hours of in-game orchestral music crafted with the BAFTA award-winning composer, James Hannigan.
MMORPG: When you upgrade the game do you take into account the long standing veteran players and how they might react?
Phil Mansell: We have always worked closely with the RuneScape community, and we continue to do so - player feedback is crucial for us. That said, it is impossible to be able to evolve the game, make the changes players want to make, and all the while keep everybody happy!
MMORPG: How much player feedback are you able to actually put into the game?
Phil Mansell: In the last year we’ve been doing a lot more to integrate player feedback into our designs. We had an extended beta period for RuneScape’s New Interface System and that was extremely helpful in tailoring it to suit different play styles. Aside from specific betas, we’ve also had a number collaborative community projects, such as the upcoming Birthright of the Dwarfs quest which was voted on by the players and is filled with ideas and designs from competition winning contributors.
MMORPG: September is just beginning, can you tell players what to expect with the Super September Challenge?
Phil Mansell: Every day of September there is a new Super Challenge for RuneScape members to tackle, from crushing enemies in combat and gathering items, to raising a specific skill or eating an enormous portion of food. We’ve worked hard to ensure each Super Challenge is totally different!
As every challenge is completed and handed in, players receive bonus XP in the skill of their choice. Those that rise to the challenge and rack up multiple completed Super Challenges will be rewarded with outstanding milestone rewards, including: A superhero outfit, super titles, a new emote, lightning bolts, claws and a superhero shield!
MMORPG: Where do you see RuneScape in 5 years? Or even into the next decade?
Phil Mansell: It goes without saying that we hope RuneScape will continue to go from strength to strength, as it has done for the past 12 years. More than 220 million player accounts have been registered since the game first launched, and that figure rises every day. Of course, it’s exciting to imagine how the outcome of the current war between the gods will change the game world forever, beyond even the next five years – we’ll have to see what this 6th Age of Gielinor brings.
MMORPG: What do you tell a new player first coming to the game?
Phil Mansell: RuneScape isn’t standard fare; it’s a unique mixture of freeform adventure, virtual world and deep story, reminiscent of classic RPGs rather than the cookie-cutter MMORPGs you see so often now. So I’d tell new players to expect something a bit different, to explore and experiment, to enjoy a game that rewards curiosity and ingenuity… because in the end that’s so much more satisfying than being on a linear path where your fate has already been pre-determined.
MMORPG: What are your favourite personal parts about RuneScape 3?
Phil Mansell: I’m really loving the weekly content updates we’ve done since the launch. RS3 started a new era of story: We’ve already had the first big 6th age quest called The Death of Chivalry and introduced a new skill called Divination, which is deeply tied into the new storylines.