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A few notes before i start.
1. This is purely hypothetical.
2. to my knowlage, JaGex has no intent to do this.
3. Yes i feel the need for the two above.
4. Why? because alot of people are..well, not smart.
5. ALOT of this is post will have information that may seem redundant, or second nature, things that make you think "duh, doesn't everyone know that" however, this post is taking into account people who have only played runescape and may not be used to things that come with retail MMOs.
6. A Big box MMO, also known as a AAA MMO, sometimes known as a retail MMO, is..what the last name suggests, an MMORPG that requires a retail sell, everquest, world of warcraft, champions online, these are all big box MMOs.
That said, lets begin. Alot of people think of runescape as a "childs" MMO, and indeed for alot of people runescape WAS their first MMO. Another often heard complaint is that runescape is too "grindy" which, it is. The third most common complaint is that the graphics are bad - this was mostly heard before the latest graphical update, but i feel its still a fairly valid complaint for those used to console systems and retail MMOs.
If done right, runescape as a retail MMO would fix all of those concerns/complaints and more. If it had a manditory subscription to play, it would allow jagex to hire more people, which would mean better, and faster customer support, as well as more programers and designers for better, bigger updates. It would, however, also cause a few more concerns. The way most retail MMOs work, while as a whole it wouldn't be as grindy, quests would and they'd lose their unqiue(to the MMO world), detailed story lines however these could probably be kept in for longer quest chains, we would also just see the introduction of alot more mindless, repetitive quests - but anyone who plays runescape shouldn't be able to complain about mindless repitition.
How i see it working.
They would either have to completely redo the combat system, in which case everything i'm about to type about the classes would be completely meaningless. Or they could take the current combat system and edit it to fit, such as.
Warrior - current skills attack/strength. This class would be for melee damage dealing,
Tank - Current skills attack/defence. This would be for tanking, and soaking up incoming damage from monsters, at the expense of attack strength.
Archer - current skills range. A long range damage dealer, however like the warrior they're not as capable as taking damage that well.
Mage - current skill magic.. A long range damage dealer, But the weakest physically.
Summoner - current skills magic/summoning. Basicly, a mage who puts his talents more into summoning strong monsters then his own attacks, as such his casts are weaker, but he is benifitted by having pets for multiple situations.
Hunter - current skills, range/summoning. Basicly, a summoner who uses bows, arrows, and the like instead of magic.
Preist - current skills mage(unique spell book) A mage with access to a spell book mages dont, as well as unqiue prayers, which would buff the group, cure disease, posions, and heal.
(possible) Ancient mage - current skills mage(ancient spell book) this is a mage who, unlike the regular mage, uses ancient spells.
Now, each class would have access to things the others dont, different sets of armor, different perks that only they can access, but they'd also have cons as well. For example only Summoners and Mages would be able to use +magic damage armor and weapons, however they'd also be the only ones who'd want them.
Apart from classes, the rest of the skills would be introducted as skills of their own, however unlike the current system these would not be required to do quests, nor would they more or less be required to get to endgame PVE or PVP - currently as it stands you need atlest mid 80's, and at most 99 in all skills to be competitive during end game content and do all the quests.
Also, im sure alot of you are thinking "If they changed it so a player could heal others, why would we need things we have now, like food? simple..Out of combat healing. All retail MMOs, casters have a "mana" bar which empties as used, and filled slowly when not. So to save that resource, when out of combat, you would use food to heal.
Now, combat in alot of MMOs is stale right now, runescape is probably the worst offender. You click a monster, your character attacks him, you sit back, watch, and click on food, potions, or prayers as needed. it is rather boring, not engaging at all. However even the combat system in most retail MMOs is getting stale because its so over used - basicly pressing a series of buttons on the keyboard to get maximum damage.
Currently, i have no idea how they could do combat to make it more interesting, engaging, and more..well, fun. However im open to ideas.
Some of you(if anyone has even got this far) may be wondering whats the point of this thread? well, there is no reason. I just thought it was an interesting idea/concept and figure'd..why not post it However i have a question for you?...
..would you play it?
The secret world
WoW, DCU online, star wars: the old republic, city of heroes, city of villains, everquest, plenty more I'm probably forgetting or aren't worth noting.