DATE & TIME: Wednesday Sept 23, 2020 @ 5pm BST / 12 pm EDT.
TYPE: 1 hour (+/- 15min) dedicated interview with Mod Warden to be inserted into Update 797.
FORMAT: Q&A interview with opportunities for open discussion and follow up around questions.
PUBLISH: Interview will be published in Update 797 releasing Oct 2, 2020
Background: Mod Warden is the Executive Producer for RuneScape 3 at Jagex and has occupied the role for a little over a year. We’re going to have a chat with him getting to know him, talking about the last year, and laying out a strategic vision for what the next year, 5 years, and maybe even 20 years of RuneScape look like.
Getting to know Mod Warden
- What is one thing about Mod Warden, the guy, that the RuneScape community should know?
- Quick fire round: Favourite sports team? Favourite pizza? Favourite quote? Favourite colour?
- Getting back to RuneScape, what exactly is an Executive Producer?
- The community has heard big promises year after year, why with you in charge should they expect different?
Looking Back at One Year as Executive Producer
- I think it’s safe to say that no one anticipated the situation we’d currently be in, so barring that, say in September or October of last year, what were you hoping you’d accomplish in your first year?
- In relation to what an Executive Producer does, if you don’t mind, what are some changes you’ve made internally that have benefitted players that they may not be aware of?
- In terms of setting a frame of a RuneScape player who has been around the block, been through numerous direction changes, and honestly, may feel a lack of confidence, can you point to a decision that you made that made a release such as 120 Farming/Herblore or Archaeology better?
- Discounting the pandemic which has been hard for almost everyone, what’s the hardest thing to overcome in your first year?
- What would you say, given the hand you’ve been dealt, what has been your biggest accomplishment this year?
- If you could describe your first year at Jagex with any word, what would it be?
2021 Release Cycle
- Recently on one of your live stream appearances you revealed that RuneScape is moving to a monthly content release model. We’ve been everywhere in the last 5 years from weekly updates to expansions, we’ve had content droughts, and it’s felt as though there’s not a single strategy. Can you recap quickly for those who may not have heard, why did you choose a monthly content release model?
- This will obviously be backed up with ninja strikes, time limited events, and yak tracks. Can you commit to carrying this model through 2021?
- [Monthly release cycle infographic]
- Let’s talk about roadmaps, you’ve been very clear that you aren’t a roadmap person. What changes can you make, to bring a new level of accountability forward and convince players that this strategy won’t be abandoned after 6 months time?
- Now for someone who may be disillusioned or just wants to be skeptical, why should they believe you when it comes to update release cycles?
- Whenever financial reports are released, there’s a news report about loot boxes, or even just sometimes a new microtransaction update in our game, the players always question if it’s too much. How do you make sure you get that right and strike the right balance?
- In your view, what does the ideal monetization model for a game such as RuneScape look like in 2020?
- Could you see us moving to a system where cosmetic overrides and the Yak Track system is the primary form of monetization (i.e. Overwatch/Fortnite) and Oddments or some other currency could be purchased (also being able to be earned in game) and then used to buy XP lamps or bonus experience stars?
- I’m not going to ask for a timeline on this but can you commit to removing loot boxes or at least chance based mechanics from RuneScape micro-transactions?
Strategic vision for 20+ years of RuneScape
- RuneScape will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this coming January. I’ve been playing since 2004 consistently and my account was created in 2002. How do you approach something with that legacy behind it, what questions do you ask when planning ahead?
- With regards to the player base of RuneScape, players often see that the majority of the players are well established, how do you expand the base of RuneScape players?
- How far do you plan ahead for RuneScape? Previously it’s seemed like there was no strategic vision or we weren’t told about it. Are you planning 1 year? 2? 5? 10? How far ahead?
- What is RuneScape to you?
- Someone sees RuneScape, they make a new account or download the mobile app. What's the first thing you want to change about RuneScape 20 years on or if you don’t, what do you want them to see?
- Moving forward, assuming changes are made, how do you balance the traditional RuneScape feel of the game with innovation and keeping up with modern game design?
- What is RuneScape’s endgame?
- What does the next 20 years of RuneScape look like?
- Episode Title: The Warden of RuneScape
- Teaser: Mod Warden joins us for a chat about his first year as executive producer, microtransactions, and the future for 2021 and beyond. Plus, we look at what Steam means for RuneScape, the removal of loot boxes, and the possibility of modding RuneScape.
- Recorded Date: September 23, 2020
- Release Date: October 2, 2020
- Hosts: Shane, Tanis, and Mod Warden
- Duration: 2:22:00
- Editing Notes: Insert Patreon spot