Old School RuneScape or OSRS for short is Jagex's official term for an alternative version of the Runescape game from a backup of the Runescape source code as it was from 10 August, 2007
Despite it having originally been stated that servers would take one to two months to be opened following a successful poll, on 22 February 2013 as part of an Early Access scheme Jagex opened over 50 Old School RuneScape servers and gave a month of free Old School RuneScape membership credit to it to all of those who had voted in the poll. The game quickly saw player counts equalling those of the main version of the game, which has since been labeled RS3 or RuneScape 3 by the community in order to distinguish it.
Old School RuneScape works similarly to RuneScape Classic in that it can be played with the same account that one plays the main version of the game; yet stats, items and quests are separate and non-transferable. All players regardless of achievements in other versions of the game begin Old School RuneScape on Tutorial island with a blank character. As a result, an economy and money supply has had to emerge from nothing since release.
Community driven serversEdit
Old School RuneScape has had an alternate approach to updates to the game, unlike RuneScape 3 where Jagex decide the greater majority of updates. Polls will be set for the community to vote upon. Content and other in-game suggestions are taken from the Old School community, which will then be put into poll for others to vote for or against. Currently the poll requires 75% support to be implemented into game.
This version of the game was announced in a news post on 13 February 2013, which was followed by the opening of a poll to determine community interest on 15 February. The poll, which was set to end 1 March, will decide, among other things, whether an additional membership fee would be charged for access to the game.
The poll ended at 00:00 UTC on Friday 1 March 2013, with a final tally of 449,351 votes. Though 500,000 votes were needed to allow no additional membership fee. On the 7 June 2013 Jagex announced that the first six months of Old School RuneScape will not have any additional charge. Jagex will review this again in September; if the community is still growing and active by then, then it will remain at no extra fee. Currently players top up to use RuneScape 3 and Old School RuneScape in one transaction, this means full Membership benefits for both games at no extra cost.
The voting was done in tiers as following:
The first level requires 50,000 votes, and is the absolute minimum amount of votes required to guarantee the Old School RuneScape release.
- $15 additional membership fee
- No game updates or bug fixes
- Critical maintenance only
The second level requires 250,000 votes.
- $5 additional membership fee
- No major updates, only critical bug fixes
- Small development team
- Possibility of modern-day anti-bot technology over time, if needed
The third level requires 500,000 votes.
- Free with current membership
- Some content updates, anti-bot technology added if necessary
- Maintenance will be done on a regular basis.
The fourth level requires 750,000 votes.
- No additional membership fee. Free portion of the game will be open for everyone.
- Content updates will be decided upon by regular polls.
- Modern anti-bot technology added if necessary
- Large development team for continuous maintenance
Features introduced after voting endedEdit
Initially the vote passed with 449,351 votes for the return, which, unfortunately only reached the 250,000 benchmark (Level 2) and not the 500,000 (Level 3), however, the Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard upgraded some of the elements beyond those of the 250,000 benchmark. This includes the following:
- No exta fee of $5.
- Anti-Bot upgrade.
- Polls to decide new content.
- When Old School RuneScape was initially released, uncleaned herbs were grimy even though on the 10th of August 2007, uncleaned herbs were still unidentified. This was intentionally done by Jagex to prevent players from scamming. Unidentified herbs were reinstated on the 25 February 2013.
- On Day 1, the Old School Servers hit 50k online players after being up for only 4 hours. During peak times, player count has been seen to rise up to 66,708. However, during offpeak, the count has dwindled to as low as 3,566. The current highest peak player number was obtained on 17 March 2013. The current lowest players was on 8 August 2013.