How a bunch of Reddit memes became the best armor in Runescape

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Old School Runescape, the proudly outdated version of Runescape that still looks like the game I spent countless hours in when I really should have been studying, is raid. His second raid, in this case: The theater of blood. A good raid needs good rewards, so when the Theater of Blood was announced late last year, players were eager to see what the multi-man challenge would bring them. Jagex responded with the Justicar armor, a new best-in-slot armor set (above). There was one small problem: gamers absolutely hated it.

In fact, they hated it so much that for months the Old School community piled the armor on the 2007scape subreddit and memorized it in Hell and vice versa. They memorized it so much that Jagex is now totally changing the design of the armor. And not just that, the artist behind the Justicar armor, “Mod West,” uses designs submitted and voted on by players. Almost every update to Old School Runescape goes through player polls, but this is the first time that armor has been forged in a fire of memes.
“I expected an answer”

Blood Theater

The irony is that while players hated the “ final ” armor revealed earlier this year, they loved the prototypes shown when the raid was announced. Originally, the Justicar armor was bulkier and part of a trio of new armor sets, West tells me, but when the Blood Theater shifted from vague idea to actual content, the armor changed with it. Players said there was enough DPS gear but not enough tank gear, so it was reduced to one set of armor. And if they only used one set, Jagex figured they might as well create a new one based on the armor worn by the raid’s big bad.

“We thought changing that made sense,” West says, “but players didn’t quite agree with the original proposal that we shared in streaming. And then, well, rs3 reddit went nuts. . “


The memes came hard and fast. Some players have said it is too similar to the existing armor, including the armor from Runescape 3, the new main version of Runescape. Many demanded a return to prototype designs. Others thought the new armor didn’t look tanky enough and generously offered alternatives, with some calling for a more drastic overhaul.

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Things got so bad that some players began to seriously believe in a meme that the updated armor was by a different artist and the artist who made the prototypes had left Jagex. But then something incredible happened. Even though the memes were erasing the sun, slowly but surely serious suggestions began to emerge. It started with rudimentary body editor online work, but soon proper illustrations and fan art began to appear. Players rallied around the idea of ​​a larger, blessed armor set inspired by the Runescape god Saradomin, so they went back to West’s prototype designs and made some changes.

And then, a hero emerged: legend_arts, a talented and well-known Runescape fan artist. Driven by memes and inspired by elements of West’s designs and suggestions from other players, legend_arts created a hybrid armor design so good that it not only silenced memes, but attracted l attention from West himself.

“What memes brought”

“When I first introduced it to the community via Twitch, I expected a response,” West says. “Because when you show the best parts of the slot machine, you either get no response – which is what you’re really aiming for because that means they’re happy – or you get a really strong response which like us. Seen everything on Reddit, that’s what happened. Of course, I didn’t expect another artist to show up. But when Legend_Arts released their concept where they made it shiny and shiny, it got around 10,000 upvotes on reddit, which is why i then went on the livestream to let them watch me build it.

“It was almost like a collaborative approach,” says community leader “Mod Ayiza”. “It’s a much more favorable position than everyone else complaining and shouting. We were lucky. Of course there were a few memes here and there, and they were pretty good. But what the memes brought about. , which was so great about it For example, there were some genuine people who actually wanted to create good designs, and while there were memes, the good suggestions that people liked weren’t overshadowed. “


Legend_Arts posted their hybrid armor on April 9. On the same day, West selected some player-created concepts to work with. Two days later, he streamed the process of transforming popular ones into game models. Two days later, he shared a few variations with polls to once again allow players to shape the armor. And he wasn’t just spitting. Here is the armor coming to the theater of blood. The players provided the metal, and now Jagex is shaping it.

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“What I worked on last week will be the first design players liked,” West says. “The Gothic turned blue design was a bit behind the player’s suggested design. But by that point I had already decided to do both, so what I’m going to do is create the other together in the game and we’ll have an official poll so they can finally decide which one they want. I don’t really care who wins. I like the one suggested by the players. “


For all memes, the Justicar armor fiasco is a prime example of the benefits of an inclusive player approach, especially for an MMO. Of course, some old school gamers just want to watch the world burn, but the majority really want to help improve the game. In this case, they weren’t happy, they offered suggestions, and because Jagex took action. on them everyone gets a better raid.

“I think players like it when they have a say and when their voice is actually put into practice,” West said. “It gives them more power to shape their game, which I’m all for. To be recognized in this way by the developers is fantastic, it brings the community to the developer side. … Many comments questioned what it was like. being an artist that gets so many honest reviews, and I feel like that’s what you learn from. If you want to ignore the negative reviews, you can also ignore all the reviews. nice, but it takes a few years to get used to. “

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