Something to look forward to: RuneScape is one of the oldest MMORPGs out there, but its hardcore, grindy gameplay has thus far only appealed to a relatively niche audience – at least, compared to other MMOs like World of Warcraft. However, that could change soon: following in the footsteps of its more modern counterpart (RuneScape 3), Old School RuneScape is coming to Steam next month.
This is a massive milestone for the game's development studio, Jagex. Though OSRS did reach an astounding 170,000 players in 2020 during the game's second major "League" event, it averaged a much lower (but still significant, for what the game is) 60-80,000 concurrent players in the months following.
With its impending Steam launch, however, those numbers could skyrocket. This old school classic could get a new lease on life, with the potential for tens of thousands of new users to jump in and perhaps even snag the game's $11/month subscription.
On the off chance that you've never heard of either OSRS or "Normal" RuneScape before, here's a quick breakdown: it's a relatively old-fashioned, click-to-move MMO that started as a browser-based experience.
Over time, though, the games have both received their own dedicated clients. These days, players can grind out dozens of skills, ranging from Hunter to Woodcutting, and from Ranged to Magic. Levelling up these skills allows you to undertake new challenges, defeat powerful boss monsters, and go on truly-epic quests.
Indeed, the quests are one of RuneScape's (both OSRS and RS3) primary selling points. Each one is named and has its own, self-contained story. There are no fetch missions here – every quest is a proper adventure. Some can even take multiple days to complete, due to the sheer amount of content they have.
These days, both RS3 and OSRS offer raids and other challenging solo and group content. The Inferno, for example, is one of the hardest gauntlets in the game. You'll have to survive 69 waves of enemies before taking on the final boss, TzKal-Zuk. The entire process takes hours to complete, and if you lose focus just once, it can mean the end of your run.
Overall, if the idea of grinding your way through a journey that might well last you hundreds of hours sounds like your cup of tea, feel free to wishlist the game on Steam now. It's free-to-play, it has a small file size, and it's hardly going to bring your PC to its knees, so you don't have much to lose.