RuneScape provided a first taste of massively multiplayer online gaming. Released in 2001, RuneScape was a blocky world full of ugly characters trading each other logs and feathers. The world existed only to perpetuate an endless skill-grind that was largely without purpose, and the height of competitive or co-operative gameplay was racing a friend to a particular skill level. It's been almost ten years since those first moments of RuneScape, and the game today is barely recognisable as that world many of us grew up in. The game engine has had several major graphical overhauls over the years, from the RuneScape 2.0 3D upgrade in March 2004 to the RuneScape HD overhaul in July 2008. There are now hundreds of servers worldwide, and players can benefit from ten years of previous content updates.
Back in April, Jagex published the largest content update in RuneScape's entire ten-year history. The Dungeons of Daemonheim expansion brought in dungeoneering -- a fantastic new solo or group activity with practically infinite replayability. Players can form groups of one or more characters and venture down into the dungeons of Daemonheim to test themselves against some unique challenges. The high degree of replayability comes from the fact that the dungeons are procedurally generated and tailored to the specific skills of the players in the group. The dungeon rooms are filled with monsters of varying difficulty, items you can use and skill challenges that unlock bonus rooms and loot. Dungeoneering is available for free players, though some of the content is limited to subscribed members.
In this hands-on article, we get to grips with RuneScape's massive dungeoneering system and ask whether or not it's as fun as it sounds.