RuneScape Classic (also known as RSC, RS1 or RS Classic) was the first official release of RuneScape (DeviousMUD being the precursor). RuneScape Classic was publicly released on 4 January 2001. It was later replaced on 29 March 2004, with what was then known as RuneScape 2.
On 23 May 2018, Jagex announced that RuneScape Classic would be permanently closing on 6 August 2018 due to numerous unfixable problems with the game.
DeviousMUD (the first original name of RuneScape) is the forerunner of RuneScape Classic, created by Andrew Gower (one of the founders of Jagex) in 1998. DeviousMud was created using Java and 2D graphics. Although never officially released, Andrew Gower re-wrote it and opened a beta; the beta was open for one week before removing. After great success, on the 4th of January 2001, RuneScape (known as RuneScape Classic today) was opened to everyone. Later that year, Andrew Gower, Paul Gower and Constant Tedder formed the company, Jagex. On the 27th of February 2002, the members expansion was released.
RuneScape Classic was then replaced by RuneScape 2 on the 29th of March 2004. RuneScape 2 was then the live version of the game.
On the 4th of August 2005, Jagex stopped and closed down the free version of RuneScape Classic and so it remained the same. RuneScape Classic was still open to those who had access. Although it received little attention in regards to support, such as content, it still received minor bug-fixes found within the game. The same user account was used for all three games (RuneScape Classic, Old School RuneScape and RuneScape 3), but items, skills and progress on each were separate.
On the 15 of January 2006, players who had logged into Classic during the 4th of August 2005 and the 15th of January 2006 could access and play RuneScape Classic. There were numerous reasons why—one being the cost of running the Classic servers.
Jagex had since occasionally re-opened RuneScape Classic to members only with an update on the 11th of November 2009.  After the first re-opening of Classic, Jagex decided to re-open the servers to members, old and new every six months. However, RuneScape Classic was then discontinued in 2011; no new members were able to gain access to the servers until RuneScape's 15th anniversary in January 2016.  The only way to access the servers was from logging into RuneScape Classic during the opening weeks.
On the 27th of November 2007, Jagex made the decision to close down the RuneScape Classic forums for non-RuneScape Classic players. Although the forums were closed down, there was a thread running in the RuneScape Forums for those who wished to sign if they wanted to keep on using the forums. After many suggestions and complaints by those who missed the opportunity to sign, Mod Stevew added a new sticky thread to the Forum Feedback forum for others to sign, provided their account was a RuneScape Classic account.
Initially in RuneScape Classic, the only way to train Woodcutting was with regular trees, and the only tool available was the bronze axe. When members were introduced into the game, oak trees were added. However, Jagex later updated the game and introduced many more trees once they created the Fletching skill. Free-to-play players could still only chop regular trees, though. Unlike RuneScape 2, in RuneScape Classic, chopping trees took more time, as you could 'slip and fall' and failed to cut the tree and had to try to cut it again. However, you could continue to cut logs with a full inventory. Excess logs would be automatically dropped on the ground. In very early days, player had to use the axe on a tree to cut it, requiring a lot of clicks.
Only the logs of normal trees could be burnt, and you could burn logs anywhere, even banks. You had to drop the logs before you could burn them. Experience allocated per log depended on the Firemaking level itself. It was the only skill to work this way, meaning experience was gained more quickly as levels were gained. Before Fletching was added, Woodcutting worked the same way. After the update, some players (especially free-to-play users) complained that regular logs didn't give as much experience as they used to.
Before the introduction of pickaxes of different materials, there was only one type of pickaxe. Pickaxes couldn't be used as weapons. In Mining originally, rocks wouldn't change colour when there was ore present. Thus, players had to prospect each rock, which led to repetitive clicking. It wasn't until the introduction of Fatigue that rocks began to show when they had ore in them. Furthermore, you didn't automatically hit the rock; you had to click every individual hit. Before even that, player had to use pickaxe on a rock instead of just clicking on a rock. New pickaxes of all kinds came out that could hit multiple times per click. Prospecting rocks remained a part of RuneScape 2 for a long time after taking over, requiring players to prospect each rock to find out what type of ore it contained, despite of the colour showing the type of ore.
Smithing used to be one of the hardest skills in RuneScape Classic. Often, players would have to make the bars themselves or buy the certificates and uncert them. Then, they would have to go through a few options to decide which item to make. This made Smithing a tedious and concentrating skill in RuneScape Classic.
For a long time, bones and big bones were the only forms of experience for Prayer, which made it very hard to train. It wasn't until someone suggested making dragon bones that there was anything better, and those were the only three bones available until RuneScape 2, besides bat bones, but they were very rarely used. There were two types of protection prayers that time: "Paralyze Monster", which would work the same way as "Protect from Melee" but wouldn't work against players, and "Protect from Missiles", which would completely protect the player from Ranged used by other players. Enemy monsters did not have an ability to use Magic or Ranged. In the very early days of RuneScape Classic, prayer was divided into two parts: PrayGood and PrayEvil.
Magic, like Prayer, was divided into two parts: GoodMagic and EvilMagic in the earlier days. The evil magic spells were Confuse, Thick Skin, Shock Bolt, Elemental Bolt and Fear, and the good magic spells were Chill Bolt, Burst of Strength, Camouflage, Rock Skin and Wind Bolt. All magic spells, including non-combat magic, could be "failed" - the player would keep their runes but be unable to cast spells for 20 seconds. It was less likely for the player to fail spells at a higher level. Autocasting did not exist back then. Because runes were less common on RuneScape Classic, they gave far more experience.
The Magic skill within RuneScape Classic determined what spells players could cast; to see all your spells, players clicked on the Spellbook icon, and the magic menu would be brought up. From there, players could select spells to cast. The colour of the spell name told you if you could cast it or not. If the spell appeared black, then your Magic level was not high enough to use it. If the spell name appeared in white, this means you were proficient enough to use this but had not gotten the required runes to cast it. If a spell name appeared in yellow, then you had everything you needed to cast that spell. When you wanted to cast a spell, you had to just click on the spell name, and then click onto a target.
Prior to the introduction of RuneScape 2, in the 2-D game, most spells were represented by a simple, flying blue star, which proved difficult to distinguish from arrows, which were green stars. Also, in RuneScape Classic, wearing full armour did not have a penalty on magic accuracy.
In RuneScape Classic, each spell gave the fixed experience using the formula 2 * spell level + 20. Jagex explained that the reduction of Magic experience in RuneScape 2 was due to the fact that runes were easier to obtain on the new version.
Before the Fletching skill was introduced, there was only one type of arrow and only a few types of ranged weapons.
Spell-casting table experience
|1||Wind Strike||22||A strength 1 missile attack||11|
|3||Confuse||26||Reduces your opponent's Attack by 5%||123|
|5||Water Strike||30||A strength 2 missile attack||111|
|7||Enchant Level 1 Amulet||35||For use on sapphire amulets||11|
|9||Earth Strike||38||A strength 3 missile attack||121|
|11||Weaken||42||Reduces your opponent's Strength by 5%||123|
|13||Fire Strike||46||A strength 4 missile attack||132|
|15||Bones to Bananas||50||Changes all held bones into bananas||122|
|17||Wind Bolt||54||A strength 5 missile attack||12|
|19||Curse||58||Reduces your opponent's Defence by 5%||132|
|21||Low Level Alchemy||62||Converts an item into gold||13|
|23||Water Bolt||66||A strength 6 missile attack||122|
|25||Varrock Teleport||70||Teleports you to Varrock||113|
|27||Enchant Level 2 Amulet||74||For use on emerald amulets||13|
|29||Earth Bolt||78||A strength 7 missile attack||132|
|31||Lumbridge Teleport||82||Teleports you to Lumbridge||113|
|33||Telekinetic Grab||86||Take an item you can see but can't reach||11|
|35||Fire Bolt||90||A strength 8 missile attack||143|
|37||Falador Teleport||94||Teleports you to Falador||113|
|39||Crumble Undead||98||Hits skeletons, ghosts & zombies hard||122|
|41||Wind Blast||102||A strength 9 missile attack||13|
|43||Superheat Item||106||Smelt 1 ore without furnace||14|
|110||Teleports you to Camelot||15|
|47||Water Blast||114||A strength 10 missile attack||133|
|49||Enchant Level 3 Amulet||118||For use on ruby amulets||15|
|120||Missile attack that does 25 damage. Requires the Iban staff from the Underground Pass quest.||15|
|122||Teleports you to Ardougne (requires to do Plague City quest first)||22|
|53||Earth Blast||126||A strength 11 missile attack||143|
|55||High Level Alchemy||130||Convert an item into more gold||15|
|56||Charge Water Orb
|132||Needs to be cast on Water Obelisk||3301|
|57||Enchant Level 4 Amulet||134||For use on diamond amulets||110|
|59||Fire Blast||138||A strength 12 missile attack||154|
|60||Claws of Guthix
|140||Summons the power of Guthix.|
One must complete the Mage Arena and cast the spell 100 times in the Mage Arena to use it outside. A Staff of Guthix & Guthix cape are needed to cast the spell.
|140||Summons the power of Saradomin.|
One must complete the Mage Arena and cast the spell 100 times in Mage Arena to use outside. A Staff of Saradomin & Saradomin cape needed to cast the spell.
|60||Flames of Zamorak
|140||Summons the power of Zamorak.|
One must complete the Mage Arena and cast the spell 100 times in Mage Arena to use outside. A Staff of Zamorak & Zamorak cape needed to cast the spell.
|60||Charge Earth Orb
|140||Needs to be cast on Earth Obelisk||3301|
|144||A strength 13 missile attack||15|
|63||Charge Fire Orb
|146||Needs to be cast on Fire Obelisk||3301|
|150||A strength 14 missile attack||175|
|66||Charge Air Orb
|152||Needs to be cast on Air Obelisk||3301|
|152||Reduces your opponent's Defence by 10%||155|
|68||Enchant Level 5 Amulet
|156||For use on dragonstone amulets||11515|
|160||A strength 15 missile attack||175|
|166||Reduces your opponent's Strength by 10%||188|
|170||A strength 16 missile attack||175|
|180||Increase your Mage Arena spells damage||333|
|180||Reduces your opponent's Attack by 10%||11212|
Influence was the predecessor to Quest points. The only way to gain Influence was to complete quests. A player with a high Influence level could sell silk to the silk trader in Al Kharid for more coins than usual. Influence had since been removed from RuneScape Classic, in favour of the now used quest points.
Tailoring was an early Crafting skill dedicated to tanning and crafting leather. At the time, few players trained it because of its tediousness and very limited purpose as players could only make gloves, boots, and leather armour with the skill. Tailoring was later removed when it was merged with Crafting.
Carpentry was a proposed skill in RuneScape Classic with no amicable or possible method of training it although there were proposed locations for player-owned houses, such as East Falador and parts of East Varrock. Carpentry would be removed when Agility was released and implemented into RuneScape 2 as the Construction skill.
Armour had many differences in RuneScape Classic—one of the main being that male and female armour differed. Female tops had more curved shape and lower neckline with plates on the shoulders and gauntlets (part of the top). The skirt went all the way to the ground. In the case of male armour, it went for a more muscled approach, though the entire upper body was covered right down to the hands. The legs had a rather baggy look, sometimes being referred to as "snow pants." Some players were slightly annoyed by the fact that male characters were blocked from wearing female plate, even though female characters could wear male or female plates as they wished.
There was a non-player character named Thrander just south of the east bank in Varrock that could switch male platebodies and platelegs to female platebodies and plateskirts for free, but he disappeared during the transition to RuneScape 2, as players discovered an easy way to obtain money from purchasing cheaper female counterparts and converting them for more expensive male counterparts. There was no longer any need for him seeing as the new RuneScape 2 plates change when worn by a character, and skirts and legs are separate items with different prices.
Another key difference was that plate could not be worn at the same time as gloves, and legs couldn't be worn at the same time as boots. However, if a character wore chainbody, they could wear gloves. Some player killers preferred wearing chainmail in order to wear gloves and get the slight Attack boost gained at the expense of some Defence.
In very early RuneScape Classic, there was an equipment stat called "Hiding". It was to be used to make aggressive monsters not notice players and thus not attack them. Hiding was later removed.
Another difference in early RuneScape Classic was players did not need Attack/Defense requirements for weapons/armour. This allowed for pure PKers to have 1 Attack and Defense with full rune.
In RuneScape Classic, there weren't any dialogue boxes with non-player characters. All the dialogue was yellow text overhead the player and NPC. A non-player character could talk to only one player at a time. That meant that the competition over who got to talk to NPC when a new shop or quest was released, was very high, and it often took several minutes to finally get to talk to an NPC. That would also allow griefing for intentionally delaying the dialogue. There also weren't right-click options for shopkeepers, bankers, etc. to quickly open the shop or bank screen.
The bank in RuneScape Classic was much more difficult to use. For example, players could only withdraw or deposit limited amounts of items at a time, so trading large amounts of items was very time-consuming; however, Jagex updated Classic and added a deposit/withdraw "X" option. Also, since only one player could talk to an NPC at any given time, using the bank in crowded trading areas was very tricky and was very time consuming.
Fatigue was introduced to combat macro users. Using skills would increase fatigue until it reached 100%, at which point players could not receive any more experience, making it impossible to train for certain periods of time. Players were taught about fatigue by the Fatigue expert. At first, players could only reduce it by sleeping in beds located in nearby houses or buildings, but then after a while sleeping bags were introduced. They did not reduce fatigue as quickly as beds. Either way, it was necessary to type in a random word to wake back up again. It was introduced shortly before RuneScape 2.
The concept was greatly disliked despite the fact that the time it took to actually train skills was balanced by taking less attempts to successfully mine rocks and catch fish. It went through a few revamps before being dropped entirely in the transition from RuneScape Classic to RuneScape 2. It was believed to have been dropped because most, if not all macro users, had programs called "autosleepers" that would type the random word in. RuneScape Classic had a program where if players stood in one spot for too long, they would be logged out. The removal of fatigue in RuneScape 2 also came about due to the addition of random events, which were designed to prevent large-scale macroing/autoing.
Before RuneScape 2, trading large numbers of items was much more of a hassle. At first, the only way to create stackable items out of those that couldn't be stacked normally was to turn them into certificates, or "certs" as they were referred to. Lobsters, sharks, coal, and certain logs could be traded for certs - 5 items for 1 cert. This was done by Niles, Giles, and Miles, who were located in what is now the Draynor Village market. In RuneScape 2, these certs were replaced by notes, which can be withdrawn from a bank in the form of a piece of paper with a picture of the item and a number on it, and many items can be withdrawn as such. With the creation of new random events, Niles, Giles, and Miles can be seen making cameos as a random event. The "certs" remain the only way to transfer large amounts of items in Classic.
The holiday drops, which produced rare items, began in RuneScape Classic. In order of appearance, they were: pumpkins, Christmas crackers (containing partyhats or other items), Easter eggs, Halloween masks, Santa hats, Bunny ears, and Scythes.
Newer holiday items are still being released in the main version of RuneScape, but it is common to have to complete a series of tasks in order to achieve the holiday item(s), starting with the yo-yo.
Player vs. player
All weapons had the same speed, so the Rune 2h sword was used by almost all free-to-play player killers. Members used dragon weapons or Mage Arena staves. Once attacked, a player could not run away for three rounds of combat so pures worked to get high enough Strength to kill their opponents in three hits. There was no running in RuneScape Classic, so "catching" was a vital skill. Generally, the good PKers needed to keep their opponents in battle in order to stop them from running away. They timed their attacks with the opponent's attempt at running away. This way, as soon as the opponent would try to escape, they would immediately be trapped in the fight for another three rounds.
Plus, you could only eat out of combat, so it made things hectic as a player waited to get a chance to run and eat, then try to eat as much as possible before combat started again. There was also a great number of "wine pures" who were pures that decreased their Attack level below 8 using the jug of wine trick in order to gain pure Attack experience from hitting dummies in Varrock. A slight advantage can be gained in the sense that their Hitpoints levels would be lower than traditional pures, while their Strength would be higher. If they hit first in combat, they would be able to hit one to two damage more, and thus have a greater chance of three-hitting somebody. With the RuneScape 2 update, the functionality of dummies was removed as it looks at your maximum Attack level rather than your current. Also, player killing was not limited to the Wilderness at first. The only place where players weren't subject to attack from other characters was in Lumbridge, or if they designated themselves as NPK's (non-player killers). The second option could only be changed twice, and it was eventually taken out of the game.
Duelling used to be possible at any location at any time provided that both duellers were in a member's world. All the player had to do was right click on a player, and "Duel" would be an option along with "Walk here", "Follow", and "Trade". It was often used as a cheap and easy way to return to Lumbridge, since dying in a duel would send the player back there, but if nothing was staked, nothing would be lost. This made Lumbridge a hotspot for duels.
Many players have complained about the removal of this feature, which was removed, because with the introduction of running in RuneScape 2, players could now run during any point of battle without ending the battle. Players would be able to fight all around the world, or bank the staked items if it was not moved to the Duel Arena.
One more thing players liked about the ability to duel anywhere in the world was that if someone came to take over your spot, you could challenge them to a duel for who gets to stay there for the spot instead of switching worlds to find a less crowded area to train.
RuneScape Classic had 50 quests. There were 17 free quests and 33 members quests. No new free quests were released in RuneScape Classic after membership was started on 28 February 2002, and since then, there have been only four new free-to-play quests released in Old School RuneScape, the latest being X Marks the Spot. The quest journal lists the free quests in alphabetical order, but the members quests in chronological order. Legends' Quest is quest number 50. See listing of quests.
New quests in RuneScape Classic were very difficult to complete shortly after release because only one player can talk to an NPC at a time. This resulted in large crowds in the quest area. Jagex tried to negate this by adding duplicates of key NPCs in the quest. Busy banks were similarly difficult to use for the same reason, as only one player could talk to a banker at a time.
A major complaint of those who remained loyal to RuneScape Classic over RuneScape is that there were too many players who use macros to make playing it worthwhile. These players regularly complained to Jagex to do something about the problem, but as Jagex considered RuneScape Classic to be, more or less, an abandoned project, they were reluctant to allocate resources to combat the problem. Jagex, however, had posted on the RuneScape website that macroing would not be tolerated on RuneScape Classic. Another complaint was that the segregation of RuneScape Classic to only allow member-made players who chose to stay free-to-play in Classic was unfair since they had to buy membership in order to keep their items and account. RuneScape Classic featured no HiScores or Knowledge Base (now called Game Guide). However, Jagex had stated before in a Behind the Scenes article for January 2004 that they were planning to add them in 2005, although this has yet to happen.
Originally, there were classes from which players could choose. This feature was removed in early July 2002. Tutorial Island was released in the following September.
Depending on the class chosen, new players would start with a higher level in the appropriate skill at a compensation of lower skill levels in other areas. For example, a miner would start with level 5 Mining, but they would also start with 9 Hitpoints.
- Necromancer (EvilMagic, later removed after a major update to the Magic skill) - Started out with a black wizard hat and a regular staff.
- Wizard (7 GoodMagic) - Started out with a blue (later black) wizard hat and a regular staff.
- Warrior (3 Attack, 3 Strength, 3 Defence, 12 Hitpoints) - Started out with a bronze short sword and wooden shield.
- Miner (7 Mining) - Started out with a pick-axe, which at that time was the only type available. These were later turned into bronze pickaxes.
- Ranger (12 Hitpoints) - Started out with a shortbow and 10 arrows. These later became bronze arrows after the release of the Fletching skill and multiple arrow types.
- Adventurer (2 Attack, 2 Strength, 2 Defence) - Started out with a tinderbox, a bronze axe and one piece of cooked meat.
After the class system was removed, all new players started out with a bronze axe, cooked meat, and tinderbox.
Mark Gerhard (Mod MMG) has stated that a new server of RuneScape Classic may be brought back for all players to enjoy. The new server will be essentially the same as normal RuneScape Classic, only players can set their levels, spawn items, and add cheats into the game. This is done to make bots and real world trading unnecessary, also to allow players to be able to get items they can't obtain during the regular RuneScape game. It will be completely independent of the current RuneScape Classic game and as such, normal RuneScape Classic worlds will not be affected. However, on the 25th of November, it has been mentioned that for the player-owned servers idea, "we have decided not to proceed with it in Classic at this point: the game is working fine as it is, with new people playing it, and there's no reason to continue with such a big project with the numbers of players in Classic as they currently are." With the final re-opening of RuneScape Classic over with, it is likely that new server idea has been scrapped.
Since the release of RuneScape 2, Jagex has maintained that RuneScape Classic would no longer be updated. Nevertheless, the game has seen a few minor updates, such as:
- Mass bans of bots
- Player Moderator crowns
- The ability to withdraw or deposit 'x' items
- Some bug fixes, such as the Flames of Zamorak appearing out of nowhere
- The return of the ability for players to message their friends on the other games
On 23 May 2018, Jagex announced that the RuneScape Classic servers would close on 6 August 2018, citing the increasing probability of game-breaking bugs, bots and macro users, and the inability to support Classic in the future as leading causes. This news caused some players to riot in Falador, as well as in Draynor Village on RuneScape Classic itself. Following the announcement of the closure, player counts for RuneScape Classic increased significantly, particularly on the day of closure, when more than 400 players were online concurrently. Prior to the scheduled closure of RuneScape Classic, automatic system messages were periodically sent, broadcasting the time until server shutdown.
On 6 August 2018 at 7:00 AM (UTC), the scheduled time of closure for RuneScape Classic, many players' games crashed; however, servers were not shut down, and players could immediately log in again. No official comment was made until approximately 45 minutes after the scheduled shutdown of Classic servers, when a three-minute system update message was sent to all users; once again, when the timer reached zero, no players were forced to log out. It was later revealed that the closure of Classic servers was manually delayed so a player could complete Legends' Quest. With the scheduled closure already delayed by two hours, Titus Furius was the last player to complete Legends' Quest at approximately 9:04 AM (UTC), moments later another three-minute system update message was sent to all players.
- Before RuneScape Classic was re-opened on 1 June 2010, there were duplicates of some characters in a single world. Most players suppose this is because players can't talk to a character who's already being spoken to. (ex. King Narnode Shareen on the ground floor of the Grand Tree.)
- In the very early version of RuneScape Classic, when someone said something offensive, it would be filtered to say "Cabbage" to replace that specific word. When this feature was first implemented, a humorous glitch endured for an entire day in which anything said by any player came out as "Cabbage."
- In the early days, an FPS meter could be found at the bottom right corner of the screen. This is now possible using the developer console.
- In the beginning of RuneScape Classic, sometime during January 2001, it was mentioned by the developers of RuneScape that the following were needed to "create" the game:
- Over 120000 map tiles make up the huge world
- Over 800 frames of animation for the monsters and players
- Over 200 different objects to find and trade (200 Items)
- Over 2900 items of scenery with over 100 different designs
- Over 250 characters all walking around the map, with over 75 different designs
- After RuneScape 2 was released, it was said that players who have not logged into RuneScape Classic for a period of six months would have their account wiped. This no longer appears to be true.
- In RuneScape 2, when pointing at someone's name in Friends List who have changed their display name, it says Last known as: (display name). In RuneScape Classic, it says: Formerly: (display name).
- ↑ Jagex. "RuneScape Classic Temporarily Re-opened". 11 November 2009. RuneScape News. *
- ↑ Jagex. "Return to RuneScape Classic". 11 January 2016. RuneScape News. *
- ↑ The Old School Team. "RuneScape Classic: Farewell". 23 May 2018. RuneScape News. *
- ↑ Jagex. Mod Wolf's Twitter account. 6 August 2018. Mod Wolf: "So @Titus_FuriusRS is about to get his Legend's on Classic before the game timer ends... and @JagexTitan swoops in to save the day and stops the update last min to ensure he's time!"
- ↑ Jagex. Mod Chaose's Twitter account. 6 August 2018. Mod Chaose: "He's done it. @Titus_FuriusRS has become the last Legend of RuneScape Classic and the timer's approaching one minute remaining. Goodbye RS Classic, it's been fun."
- ↑ Jagex. RuneScape's Twitter account. 6 August 2018. RuneScape: "'Goodnight, sweet prince/and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.'"
- ↑ Jagex. Old School RuneScape's Twitter account. 6 August 2018. Old School RuneScape: "Goodbye, old friend."