Turning Back the Clock with RS2006

by JoHarrington

Runescape players, disgruntled with the way the game's going, have recreated their own. RS2006 returns to the golden days of 2006.

At the time of writing, in April 2012, there are 124,646 registered players on RS2006. It might not match the millions with accounts on Runescape itself, but it certainly equals the number playing at any one time.

These are the individuals furious with the direction in which Jagex has taken their game of late; or else merely nostalgic for the halcyon days of their youth.

They are prepared to break the law, stealing copyright, in order to reclaim some of that lost magic.

Buy Runescape: The Official Handbook

Published in January 2007, this guide would be the perfect companion to RS2006. They both stop at the same time!

What is RS2006?

It is Runescape recreated exactly as it was in 2006, website and all. The game acts as if the last six years never happened.

As a Runescape player myself, I joined the game in 2006. Entering RS2006 is literally like retracing my steps.

That interface is the same as the one which welcomed me then. That button is identical to another I once pressed. I chose my name and password in precisely the same way. I entered forums which aped exactly those I saw back then.

Only the dates have changed, on the news alert scrolls and the forum posts. Otherwise, this is as close to time travel as we get. The old days of Gielinor back once more and me walking in as a noob.

RS2006 Homepage on April 9th 2012
RS2006 Homepage on April 9th 2012

Is it nostalgic? Of course it's nostalgic! It's a sentimental journey back in time, touching aspects of our own happy history.

The forums are buzzing with new and old arrivals. The Compliments Board is awash with headers reading 'thank you', 'wow... just wow!' and 'I'm so happy!'  Inside the commentators tell of tears in their eyes and a feeling of profound relief.

They've all come home through a tumultuous journey, which saw unwelcome changes in-game and a global Recession in the real world.  Who amongst us wouldn't like to catch just a glimpse of 2006 before it all went wrong?

Buy Runescape T-Shirts on Zazzle

If you can get the references here, then you really were there in 2006!

What Did Runescape Look Like in 2006?

Andrew Gower was still at the helm with a passionate regard for his baby. Players moved in old time pixels; and it was great!

There were eighteen skills in 2006. Gone are Construction, Hunting, Summoning and Dungeoneering. Constitution was still called Hitpoints.

In order to create anything in your inventory, each item had to be clicked, every single one. Unformed bow on bowstring; herb into vial.

And, incidentally, those herbs would have to be identified first, because nobody knew what they might be. This was an age of peering at the colors, trying to guess from the exact shade of green.

The Wilderness was there, of course, before the time when it was removed in a bid to combat Real World Trading and bots. (A noble pursuit sullied by 2012, when many players accused Jagex of simply buying into the very same industry.) PKing clans ruled supreme.

Questers (myself included) could embark upon eighteen f2p and eighty-six P2p quests. The big names amongst them were the Underground Pass, Mourning's End Parts 1 and 2 and Monkey Madness. For those adventuring around Varrock, Romeo and Juliet still wandered around.

There were twenty mini-games, including the classics Castle Wars and Pest Control. The random events could be dangerous to those away from their keyboards or cheating via bots; and treasure trails were worth doing.

But more to the point, everyone had a level playing field, regardless of real life status. You rose or fell on your merits only within the game.

For more memories, there is the RS2006 Wiki to peruse.

Won't Jagex Hate RS2006?

The project is not only a slap in the face for all that moved on, but it's probably illegal too.

For the furious players signing up in droves, the response to 'won't Jagex hate this?' is likely to result in unsympathetic expletives. For the makers of RS2006, the situation is a little more complicated.

They are the ones putting in hours of their lives, recoding from memory and scratch every aspect of a vast game. If the rug is pulled from under them, in legal battles, then that's months of their lives wiped out in a flash.

Fortunately, Jagex have not yet commented, let alone taken action.  In December 2011, when RS2006 only had 20,000 registered accounts, Mod Vault optimistically indicated that the project makers were largely relying upon the goodwill of the copyright holders.

Image: RS2006 Mod Vault on Jagex
Image: RS2006 Mod Vault on Jagex

However, with over 109,000 people signing up in the intervening four months, it's likely to be raising red flags in the Jagex board room.

After all, 129,000 players in RS2006 are 129,000 players not being monetized in Runescape itself, and that is more or less the number in-game on any given day.

In April 2012, the recreated 2006 Runescape is not yet live. Those donating to the project are able to act as pre-Alpha testers, but the general public are consigned solely to the forums. It's a beautiful atmosphere, filled with gushing praise and the rose-tinted gaze of sentimentality. The game itself is viewed with great anticipation.

But that is also liable to be when the crunch time occurs. Letting people float in a nostalgic dream of a long-gone website is one thing; but unleashing a full-scale rival game will be something else entirely.

We await developments and Jagex's eventual reaction. Will Goliath stamp all over this particular David? Or will diplomacy prevail?  Regardless of the Fate of RS2006, it will surely have delivered a powerful message to the makers of Runescape: that a hugely lucrative and loyal player base will ditch them in seconds, if microtransactions and other game breakers go on.

These Runescape RWT Rules are Still 2006!

The famous sentences are still there, even as Jagex removes them in April 2012.
Image: RWT Rules on RS2006
Image: RWT Rules on RS2006

Runescape Rant Shirts

Each of these slogans protest something not right in the state of Gielinor.

Do you Support the RS2006 Project?

It is assumed that Jagex will take a dim view of the launch. Less certain is how Runescape's players will react.

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No
Travis on 01/01/2013

The funny thing is, even if a legal battle happened, and jagex successfully removed rs2006, all those players are not likely to return to jagex's runescape. They would move on to another game. RS in 2006 stole our hearts, and every year since has been jagex adding another notch on a vice grip.

Cathy Payne on 04/14/2012

No not really truth be told RS2006 is just to old I started in 2002 I don't play RSC for that same reason while they were fun & enjoyable at the time I don't like RSC now and I'm likely not to like RS2006 either for the same reason. Essencially Runescape always was the type of game to change fairly quikly having near weekly updates since the release of RS2 I've gotten usto the game changing & I like most of the content they have put in... remove the SOF update & you've got the sort of game I'd like to be playing now in 2012.

I'll come for a look but don't expect me to stay.

Yes
CarlosR on 01/30/2013

Not sure if you guys know about this but there's a petition to add pre-EoC servers. It's gone pretty viral in the runescape youtube community and it has 26,917/30,000 signatures so far. https://www.change.org/petitions...

DryMango on 12/09/2012

RS2006 is the only thing Runescape related that I'm interested in anymore.

It sucks to start the game entirely from scratch knowing that I worked very hard in keeping my character be decent in terms of skills and overall rankings, but there's really not a lot I can do at this point.

Jagex is destroying their game, and I refuse to play it until it becomes a playable game. It isn't. It's just not a good game right now. I have to admit it's bad.

Ambo100 on 12/06/2012

' this is as close to time travel as we get.'

Sam on 12/04/2012

I'm kind of eager to embrace the nostalgia with RS2006. Those were some of the best times as a Scaper, as it also ran parallel to simpler times as a naive junior high school student.

Em on 05/22/2012

Yes, I started back then and would love to experience the old game again.

David Jenkins on 04/23/2012

Yes! I cureently have a character 6 years old, in the top 70k of all time players, but I dont care that I have to start again. I have already cancelled my membership and will not pay jagex a futher penny until they remove SOF. I feel betrayed, lied to and stolen from. I hope RS2006 gets going, but if it doesnt due to Jagex's legal team getting excited, I hope the message is clear. That we dont like what RS has become.

JoHarrington on 04/09/2012

Sionnach, you're echoing what myself and a lot of other people are saying here. I support RS2006 mostly because it's a return to first principles. It's anti-RWT and it's a level playing field. I started playing in December 2006, so I've only just made it into that year. This is RS as it was when I first walked in. Not everything in 2012 is bad, and I have a lot invested into my account, but suddenly erasing the whole ethos of the game feels like a slap in the face.

SionnachDhu on 04/09/2012

Hard to say "yes" OR "no" to this. I started playing RS in early 2007, and have been a member for all but the first few months of the entire 5 years I've been playing. I have a lot of time and effort invested in my character, and regardless of changes, I still enjoy playing the game and want it to continue.
However, like many others, I'm not fond of many recent changes, and am particularly unhappy with the current trend towards microtransactions. One of the most attractive things about RS has always been that it DIDN'T try to force me to spend extra real-world money to play, as so many other games do, and if anything ever makes me quit, that will most likely be the cause.
So my final answer is "yes"... because if nothing else, RS2006 should send a loud and clear message to the current owners of RuneScape that they're very close to killing the goose that lays the golden eggs

Ah! Nothing like a nice cup of tea!

Buy Runescape related mugs to extend the lulz to tea time.

The End of RS2006

By the end of 2012, it seemed that RS2006 was no more.  Wild rumors circulated, some stating that Jagex had finally served legal papers months into the coding.

But the most pervasive of all stated that Mod Vault had simply pulled the plug and run off with the donations thus far.  For those Runescape players, already disillusioned with the legal game changing beyond all sight, it was a final kick in the teeth.

The reality had gone; and now the nostalgic dream had gone too.

Related articles about Runescape

Real world trading had always been a no-no; in-game gambling had been discouraged. Then came Squeal of Fortune.
Runescape U-turns into aggressive real world trading with Insight Venture Partners' Jeff Horing at the helm.
US firm Insight Venture Partners now owns the majority of shares in the British company Jagex. What will this mean for the future of Runescape?
The makers of Runescape have successfully prosecuted bot makers, Impulse Software. Jagex now has the names of all infringing customers.
Updated: 03/19/2014, JoHarrington
 
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Comments


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JoHarrington on 09/10/2014

Yes, I should. It's there in the vague intention of eventually going in to do the quest.

Southeaster on 09/10/2014

You should cancel your subscription while you're at it.

JoHarrington on 09/10/2014

Who was I trying to kid that I'd give myself a break long enough to do a quest? Myself probably. I gave up on breaks in 2011.

Southeaster on 09/09/2014

It's been a month, Jo, who are you trying to kid?

I knew you didn't care about the game anymore, but I was hoping your historical love for quests would still be enough for you to check out something that's been anticipated for ten years.

I was clearly wrong.

JoHarrington on 09/01/2014

I'm now back home, aching like a git. I will get there eventually. Just not right now.

Southeaster on 08/29/2014

So you're not going to do it then.

JoHarrington on 08/27/2014

I honestly haven't had time. I've only been back a week and tomorrow I'm off again until Sunday, on a camping trip for my birthday. Then I should be more settled. :)

Southeaster on 08/27/2014

Have you done the quest yet?

JoHarrington on 08/11/2014

Make it a fortnight. I'm away from home from Friday until the following Friday. Hence the rushing about. <3 But thanks for checking in on me!

Southeaster on 08/11/2014

Eventually?

Sure, okay, I'll ask again in a week.


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