2007 Runescape: The Official Handbook

by JoHarrington

For those enjoying the relaunch of the Old School Runescape servers, it's time to dust off an ancient published guidebook. The 2007 handbook to be precise!

In February 2013, Jagex ran a poll amongst its Runescape players. It concerned an old version of the game dating from August 10th 2007. If enough people voted to bring it back, it would be made public.

People did vote. In their 100s of 1000s, they asked for RS2007 to become a thing. Within days, Jagex launched the Old School onto its servers and players flocked to it.

Yet even for those there at the time, it took some nostalgic adjustment. I was laughing though. I had the Official Runescape Handbook from 2007 on my bookshelf!

Runescape: The Official Handbook (2007)

This is the US version. See below for those sold in other countries.

Entering Runescape in 2007

It can be quite overwhelming for a froob lost and alone in Falador!

Image: Runescape 2007At midnight, on December 23rd 2006, I logged into Runescape for the first time.  After traversing my way through Tutorial Island, I found myself in Lumbridge, listening to Harmony for the first time.

It was bliss.  It was precisely the game I had been looking to play all of these years.  I could have kissed the friends who introduced me to it.  

I was also incredibly lost.  I found myself in fear of the Highwayman, who lurked on the path back to the safety of my pixel home. 

I remember reacting with relief and glee when my real life friend logged on. 

"Where are you?"  She asked.

"I don't know!  It's got a kind of square with ladders and the buildings all have white stone."

"You're in Falador.  I'm coming to get you.  We're meeting Audina in Varrock."   It all meant nothing to me.  I'd only been playing for a few hours.  I could see that I needed to invest in some urgent catch-up, if I was ever going to match my friends.

In January 2007, Tracey West published her guidebook -  Runescape:  The Official Handbook.  I bought it.  Never again would I struggle to know my Rimmington from my Barbarian Village.  Gielinor, here I come!

What is Tracey West's Runescape Handbook?

It's a book, published in 2007, to guide noobs like me through the features, skills and by-ways of the game.

In truth, the official guidebook was all a bit basic.  It also rapidly became dated, as weekly up-dates transformed the game.

When I first bought it, I poured over its pages, looking for tips and new things to learn in Runescape.  Then I discovered Sal's Realm of Runescape and here was no looking back.  Being on-line, that website was able to keep pace with all that Andrew Gower was adding to the game play.  Plus it had a great community in the forums, and the most vibrant group of Runescape bloggers in cyberspace.

Poor Tracey West's book quickly became a thing of nostalgia.  It was no longer useful to me, but for a gauge of how Runescape changed over the years.  By 2013, it bore no relevance at all to how the post Evolution of Combat, graphically updated and hugely expanded Gielinor could be explored.

Until Jagex launched the 2007 servers.  Suddenly that 2007 handbook was a great reference point.  It could be used to refresh my memory on how things were, and are again.

Time Travel to Runescape '07

Is the Old School Runescape Guidebook Worth Buying?

It really does depend what you want it for. Pros and cons abound.

I learned in 2007, and was reminded in 2013, that nothing teaches you about playing Runescape like playing Runescape. 

Tracey West's book was useful, but discovering things for myself was magical and fun.  I soon stopped turning pages in favor of clicking my mouse.  I enjoyed just nipping through gates and meandering down lanes, solely to find out what was there.

That said, the game moved on a lot in over half a decade.  It took us with it.  As players, we have forgotten so much, which was second nature in 2007.  This handbook is like a moment frozen in history.  It tells us in plain text all that we once all knew.

However, its scope is quite limited.  It covers only the F2P lands and doesn't so much as peep through the gates of Taverley. 

If you're buying it as a genuine guide to Old School Runescape 2007, as released in 2013, then I wouldn't bother.  It might give you a momentary step up as a revision - perhaps a few days before your friends remember - but you'd just as easily rediscover it all by playing the game.

If you're considering it as a geeky gift for an old time Runescape player, then yes, it's fun and nostalgic.  I'm keeping my copy accordingly!

Oldschool Runescape T-Shirt

For those of us who look back nostalgically at how Runescape used to be.
Updated: 03/19/2014, JoHarrington
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Seelyon on 06/20/2015

I did have the original handbook back in 2008 or maybe 2009 when I first played RuneScape, I still have the copy somewhere and I'm sure it's well used.

JoHarrington on 03/27/2014

At the time I got it (back in 2007), it was informative. Now it's a beautiful piece of nostalgia. I still love flicking through.

JoHarrington on 04/07/2013

Quite late into RS2, there were still Classic players in our friends chat who spoke quite lovingly of the community back then. I'm sad that I missed it.

Tim on 04/07/2013

The irony is on launch a fair chunk of the classic players said RS2 sucked. It's a case of history repeating it's self.

JoHarrington on 03/11/2013

I've had so many conversations in Old School Runescape. The other day, we were all in Catheby - all strangers - discussing international politics, the US and North Korea predominantly. It was as informative as it was profound. I haven't seen the like in years.

I missed all of that in 2006. Oh dear!

Wournos on 03/11/2013

Yeah it was amusing back then. And like someone else said, people actually SPOKE to each other - albeit somewhat rude. I barely remember having chats with anyone after 2009 or so - other than defending my choice in armour because someone accused me of wearing the "wrong" type. Bots and xp-maximizers everywhere too.

I wonder if you missed the character design riot of 2006 (or so). Jagex changed the design to be able to tell males from females apart. Problem was, they made Barbie copies, which resulted in offensive language towards teen girls ("bend over") and upset mothers cancelling their children's and their own payments. I stopped playing for a week! O.o Jagex has never reverted/improved an update as quickly as they did then. XD

JoHarrington on 03/10/2013

I think that you're in the majority there. There's a huge number of people who love new Runescape, but hate EoC and micro-transactions.

You started over a year before me! You were right in the Golden Age of 2004-2007, which is what I hear spoken of most often.

Wournos on 03/10/2013

Give me RS 2010 (including improved Temple Trekking & Burgh De Rott Rumble) and I'll be happy. But we all know that won't happen.

Classic sucked. I tried it and it was just horrible and ugly. RS2007 was far better (I started Feb 2005).

JoHarrington on 03/01/2013

I regret I wasn't there to play Classic in its heyday. I did make an account when it opened briefly again, and played a bit. But I arrived in 2007, so that's where the nostalgia and magic is.

I've heard such great things about the Classic community though. It must be amazing to have lived, and still be living, through that.

Lan on 02/28/2013

All versions of Runescape after Classic Suck!

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