What we understood of Menaphos
"It's a massive change for us and our existing player base in terms of how we provide content," says lead designer David Osborne. "We're used to drip-feeding good, additive RuneScape gold pieces of content each week, but that is about bringing all of that together to provide players something they can really immerse themselves - a long-form story, a great deal of skilling and combat material, an expansion to a degree cap - all the things you'd want or expect in a growth ."
"It is us moving into the box set mentality," explains product owner Joseph Redstall,"we did all these polls last year and we spoke about the cadence of updates and it was working fine for us. We could do large chunks of content every 2 months, but we can't do as much as this."
Menaphos is also a chance to bring prospective players to the fold with a more packaged chunk of material. A new map, new quests, new loot, new systems, and also an extended ability cap - all under a single release date. Menaphos is about developing a critical mass of stuff for existing, lapsed, and new players to gravitate towards, which could make the decision easier for those who are on the fence about whether or when to dive in.
It's a medieval fantasy realm that spans a massive number of cultures and environments, but it also excels in steampunk and modern-day influences. In large part, that's as it's a world that's grown by means of countless small content upgrades, the majority of which were alterations to existing locales.
Jagex seldom get to flex their artistic muscle using a blank space. What we understood of Menaphos was restricted within the low-res stone walls in its boundaries - nothing else buy RS gold existed outside the trollish gates, which players can walk up to, but not traveling beyond. For the first time, Jagex was working with some of the empty space, producing content for the Menaphos update from scratch rather than building it along with a city that existed.