RuneScape now has Fresh Start Worlds — which brings its own perks and cons

RuneScape, the popular MMORPG created by the lovely UK folk over at Jagex, has received its Fresh Start Worlds today, allowing players to jump in and start from scratch with a reset economy and all the unique quirks that aspect provides. Old School RuneScape players won’t have to wait too long either, as Fresh Start Worlds for that title are also due soon on October 19.

The reasons for grinding up a new character again? These Fresh Start Worlds come with unique cosmetic rewards including capes, halos, and other swanky gear. Set to last for a limited time, characters and loot obtained on these Fresh Start Worlds will later be transferred over to a core world with all their stuff. Great news for those who put in the time, but also the cause of some concern. We’ll touch on that later.

Check out the trailer for the Fresh Start Servers yourself?

To access these Fresh Start Worlds, players will need to create a brand new account and purchase a fresh membership according to the official support website. This isn’t a burden to new players, who’ll be able to use these fresh servers as an opportunity to get in on the same level as others, but for existing RuneScape fans it’ll mean cashing out for a second subscription alongside their pre-existing account.

Once you’re in, accelerated XP and gameplay boosts are available to push you towards content you want to prioritise. You’ll want to get a game plan sorted out too, as a whole new high score table is here alongside Fresh Start Worlds so the most dedicated players can earn exclusive accolades.

But let’s take a moment and think about the wider consequences to RuneScape as a result of these servers. I love fresh servers. It got me back in Classic WoW recently, and I do believe it provides an opportunity for players to jump back in, or make their first dive, into a long-lasting live service title which they feel they may have missed the boat for. However, some of the intricacies of RuneScape have me scratching my head.

First of all, it’s worth noting that the totally fresh economy and Grand Exchange may be a blessing and a curse, thanks in large part to the eventual character migration to core worlds. On fresh servers, prices are typically high due simply to economic supply and demand. If you’re one of the few players on the server able to acquire brilliant end game gear, you can sell it for an inflated price.

It is entirely possible that money-minded players will use the fresh servers to dash to certain key bits of content, farm out high-end gear, sell it at high prices, then sit on that newfound wealth until they’re transported to main servers. Either that, or they could come over with an inventory packed with valuable items, exploding the supply and tanking the usual price.

Also, it’s hard not to feel a pang of heartbreak for these pre-existing players who want to jump in but will need to grab a new subscription. Of course, new content costs money, and there’s nothing wrong with charging for fresh servers. However, three whole months worth of real-world money for a world that is doomed to be folded back into the main ones? Something about it rubs me the wrong way, personally.

Soem of the rewards offered up in RuneScape's Fresh World Servers

Some of these prizes will be awfully sought after…

It also raises the question of who the fresh servers are for. In my mind, and according to the Fresh World FAQ, fresh servers and the new economies they create are a boon for the green, who want to test out the game before markets and players have settled, and experience a bustling world. However, the high score tables, transferable exclusive cosmetics (many of them likely tradable), all play into what an already-invested player would want. It seems as though there’s plenty to tempt older players into jumping in, which is good for Jagex of course, but potentially rough for their wallets and the in-game wallets of much of the community.

So it seems to be a fun idea, but with some head-scratching finer points nestled inside it. The full impact it’ll have on the wider RuneScape experience and economy is something the community will have to wait and watch out for. Regardless, now probably is a great time to get into RuneScape if you haven’t already, and if you’ve got the cash to spare, it might be a great way to make some sweet moolah if you’re already deep into the MMO.

But what do you think? Are these concerns a little over-dramatic? Or are you genuinely worried about the consequences of Fresh Server character transfers? Let us know below!

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