RuneScape 3 and its HTML 5 engine have launched

David Ludlow
8 Aug 2013
RuneScape 3

New graphics engine and storyline now out

Updated on the 8th August with information on the first world event

RuneScape 3 has launched, bringing with it a brand-new HTML 5 games engine and a community-controlled storyline.

HTML 5 is the big news for the free-to-play MMO, upgrading the graphics engine from the Java client of old. The new engine brings a series of graphical improvements to the game, including a vastly improved draw distance and new graphical effects, including improved shadows and reflections.

One of the key things about HTML 5 is that Jagex, the game's developers, could use the graphics hardware inside a PC.

"Before everything was put on the CPU, but now we can focus on the graphics card and run a lot on there," said Dean Ollive, content development manager at Jagex.

We have to say that the differences are impressive. In our first look at RuneScape 3 back in May, the HTML 5 version of the game made a huge difference. With the Java version, it kind of felt as though you were running through a fog-covered world; with HTML 5, you can see everything at distance and it feels like you're in a massive and diverse world.

It's fair to say that HTML 5 also means that RuneScape 3 no longer looks like a browser game. In fact, Jagex is proud to say that its browser-based technology actually looks better than a lot of desktop-app-based MMOs.

"If you look at a lot of our long-term competitors, with HTML 5 we surpass them," said Ollive.

Currently the HTML 5 client works on Chrome and Firefox browsers, although there's still a Java client for people running on incompatible machines. In the future, the technology means that moving to tablets and phones will be possible, although work will need to be done to the interface, which is predominantly mouse-based.

As well as the new engine, RuneScape 3 also marks the 6th Age of Geilinor, the fantasy world the game is set in. This sees the old gods return, all looking to re-exert their authority. It's up to the players to decide which gods win, though, so the community has a chance to take part in and shape world-changing events.

The first world event is the Battle of Lumbridge. This battle sees Saradomin, the god of order and wisdom, face off against Zamorak, the god of chaos, power and destruction. Players can join either god's camp, where they're tasked with collecting divine tears that give their chosen deity more power and, hopefully, the upper hand in the battle.

A weekly event sees players vote on how Duke Horacio should allocate the city of Lumbridge's emergency resources, affecting how the city is rebuilt following damage from the battle.

With players able to change sides and the way they were voting, the victor in the Battle of Lumbridge is by no means certain, while the city itself will be changed forever.

Existing gamers can continue to use their user accounts, while new users can sign up for free at You can view the trailer for the game below.

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