[Monday Musings] RuneScape’s Castle Wars.

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As a younger nerd, one of my favourite things to do on RuneScape was play Castle Wars. I would literally spend hours a day waiting in the lobby for those twenty minute sessions. It was the most enjoyable aspect of RuneScape to me back in the era of paying for membership by landline.

I was always Team Saradomin. I would spam click on Saradomin’s portal repeatedly until I managed to get in. If I couldn’t? I’d just wait until the next game. I would never enter Team Zamorak. Occasionally I’d click Guthix in the hopes that it would let me into Saradomin but it never did.

I haven’t played Castle Wars in a long time. When I used to play top tier armour and weapons were Dragon and Barrows. It was enjoyable. Most people could hold their own. Unless you got owned by a team anyway! I even managed to capture the flag multiple times. The underground tunnel was the main corridor between camps and you would often find people hoarding their own flag down there. If I wasn’t waiting down there, I was with everyone else at our flag defending it.

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I knew that things would be different when I went to play today. I logged into the specific Castle Wars world and was surprised when I couldn’t enter the Saradomin portal. I was happy to see that they were still the preferred team. There were a few people around me so I figured it couldn’t be that bad.

One of the main problems with current Castle Wars is that playing over 2000 games is the requirement for the Trimmed Completionist Cape. So many people tend to AFK for the reward. I found this to be true as soon as I started playing. You can even see in the screenshot above that another member of my team is asking someone to play insteasing of AFK’ing. With a team of AFK’ers, we were never going to win.

I was also surprised to see that I was the only person guarding our flag. Literally no one else was. When I used to play there used to be at least five people protecting it and it was always barricaded. This time other than me it was completely ripe for the picking. I was a bit let down by this. I don’t know if it was just my current team or if that is the state of Castle Wars currently.

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It came as no surprise that we lost. I expected nothing less from a team that spent all of their time AFK’ing and not defending their own flag. That has really sucked the fun out of the game and I probably won’t play it again unless Jagex finds a way to combat this. I may try it again during the Mini Game weekend if there’s a perk as genuine players should flock to it. Other than that I can’t see myself returning.

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