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'People rightly expect it to still be recognizable' Old School RuneScape Dev on Defender of Varrock

Defender of Varrock has made its return, with a few changes

Christina Gonzalez Posted:
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A new interview sheds some light on the return of Defender of Varrock in Old School RuneScape, the process of bringing back and expanding on classic content, and what the Jagex team has changed in the process.

Ed Pilkington, Old School RuneScape’s senior narrative designer, talked to PCGamesN about the recent update. The announcement of the new region of Varlamore, coming in March, and the return of Defender of Varrock, came via the Winter Summit, followed by an official roadmap in January.

Defender of Varrock was released last week, and the team had to backport the entire classic quest in the Mahjarrat storyline all the way back from 2008. When they announced it on the roadmap, they said that “While most of the quest remains exactly as you remember, we’ve added a little Old School spice and brought it up to our modern standards”, and now we know more on that.

This is the first of the backported quests that the team had to actively remake from top to bottom, leaving room for change and adjustments, but it “needed to still be immediately recognizable as Defender of Varrock”, Pilkington says in the interview.

Essentially some of the quests just didn't work, they might have been clunky because 2008 was a while ago, and other quests might have been altered because they just didn't fit the team’s current sense of where OSRS is right now. One of the things Pilkiington rules out is the return of the finale, Ritual of the Mahjarrat, since it doesn’t quite fit the story elements now. Still, the emphasis is on not overpromising and underdelivering.

“If we say we’re bringing back an iconic quest, people rightly expect it to still be recognizable. If our intention is to do something new, we should make that clear from the start and make sure the community agrees with that direction,” he says.


Christina Gonzalez

Christina is MMORPG.COM’s News Editor and a contributor since 2011. Always a fan of great community and wondering if the same sort of magic that was her first guild exists anymore.