Fresh start worlds have arrived in Old School RuneScape, giving players the chance to experience the MMORPG as an untouched, new space – without the two decades’ worth of economy and on a completely level playing field. Old School RuneScape is taking a slightly different approach from the one RuneScape itself used in its fresh start worlds in that here there are no XP boosts – Old School really means old school, including all the original grinding.
“For brand new players, Old School RuneScape’s Fresh Start World will recreate the experience of logging onto the iconic living game for the first time, with all the grinding and nostalgia flair that comes with it,” developer Jagex promises ominously.
All the items and economic development that have built up in Old School Runescape are gone in the fresh start worlds, and players will truly be starting from scratch.
Interestingly, Old School RuneScape’s fresh start worlds is a time-limited event that’ll last for six months. Once that time is up, Jagex says, players’ fresh start characters will transfer to one of the main game servers to continue their adventures there.
In the meantime, though, there are countless world firsts to chase down again and high scores to beat.
Elena Falkenberg Nordmark, a content developer at Jagex, says her experience with MMOs has been that it’s typically difficult to keep the early areas in a game feeling vibrant and exciting.
“What I noticed was that the early zones that you go into, they don’t feel like an MMO, because there’s no one there anymore,” she tells us. “Everyone’s in the final zone doing the endgame, and at that point, you just feel kind of alone in a big world. That’s what we’re trying to prevent.”
This limited time even approach to fresh start worlds could turn into a recurring thing if players gravitate to it, she says.
“We’ve never done this before,” she said. “So we don’t know how it will go. But assuming it goes well, I don’t see a reason why we wouldn’t do it again.”
With reporting by Dave Irwin