World of Warcraft vs. RuneScape

Semi-final match in MMORPG Showdown 3

The Match-Up

In the 3 years of MMORPG Showdown, there have been plenty of exciting matches and this year may have been the best tournament yet with several nail biters. However, none of the previous matches have been quite like World of Warcraft vs. Runescape. Both MMORPGs have a loyal player base and a large group of players who love to hate each game. Thus, emotions played a major factor in this match in addition to the close score. Language had to be toned down in a few comments and a few review members tried to vote more than once. Comments over graphics provided sparks for arguements in several reviews. In the end, RuneScape barely squeaked out a victory in regular voting while World of Warcraft won the voting in the forum discussion. The lead changed a couple of times during the week, but RuneScape maintained the lead for the final few days of voting. Nonetheless, World of Warcraft had a chance of winning in the final hour of trading because voting was so close. RuneScape now moves onto the finals to face the winner of Guild Wars versus Lord of the Rings Online.

Wow Vs RS Comparison by George Teng (weehut)

In the realm of MMORPGs, there are two very well known games out there, Runescape, and World of Warcraft. These are also the two most hated MMORPGs ever. Maybe this is because they have the most users and therefore the most haters. In this review, I will be comparing Runescape and World of Warcraft on a ten-point-scale, but with a slightly different twist.

Runescape has been bashed beyond recognition because of its poor graphics. However, my general rule for graphics is that if the graphics don't make the game less fun to play, then the graphics are fine. I would much rather have superior gameplay than amazing graphics. Runescape's graphics certainly do not take away from the gameplay. That said,  a graphics section will not be included in this comparison. That being said, roll part one! Getting to know the games.

Runescape and World of Warcraft are both fantasy games. You start out with a new character and then live your life battling monsters and doing quests. Here is where Runescape thrives, it offers a very comprehensive "beginners island." Every new user starts here, completing tasks that they must know how to do in order to survive in the world of Runescape. In World of Warcraft, the little part of the game where you are learning how to play is very small and you basically perform many small newbie quests to help you learn the game. On the other hand, many people dislike Runescape "beginners island" because it can not be avoided. The nice thing about Runescape, however, is the fact that you can play it in any browser. World of Warcraft requires a monster download/install from a DVD.

Runescape- 9/10
World of Warcraft- 8/10

That category was close. The next category is gameplay. Can World of Warcraft's award winning gameplay thrash Runescape's?

In World of Warcraft, the gameplay style is almost identical to Runescape's. The basic gameplay style is this: you click on a spell, you click on a monster, you charge the spell, and then you attack the monster. Then you just repeat this. It's horribly addicting, but it's oh-so-basic that anyone could understand how to play. The only problem I have with this is that it gets very boring after a long while of just grinding.

Runescape's gameplay is very lacking. To kill something, you basically click on it and wait. That's right, you just click and pray that you kill it. There's no skill whatsoever involved. If you have "runes" that enable you to use magic attacks, you just select a magic attack, click on a monster, and wait. It's boring, and if Runescape was just a complete grind, then I would have left Runescape by now.

World of Warcraft- 5/10
Runescape- 1/10.

Runescape just got bashed by WoW in the last round, but will it catch up with its vast features?

Runescape has always been well-known for its features. You can basically do anything you want in Runescape like build a house, chop down trees, light a fire, kill cows, smelt iron, go mine, build a canoe, etc. It's basically like living your life inside a computer game. Runescape doesn't have that many quests unless you decide to buy a membership.

World of Warcraft, although it lacks in features, is still very good. You can take boats to other places, fly on mounts, perform a huge amount of quests. However, you still mainly just kill monsters. Because of this, WoW may be viewed as just a "basic MMORPG with basic features."

Runescape- 9/10
WoW- 7/10

The fact that Runescape doesn't have many quests without a membership brings us to the next segmen: cost for playing.

I have one rule for pay-to-play games: if it's worth paying for, then I will pay it. If it seems that I'm not getting what I'm paying for, then I'm just going to quit.

Runescape can be enjoyed without a membership. However, with a membership, you get to wield many more weapons, go on many more quests, and do many more things such as exploring new areas with a canoe. The membership is very cheap, about five bucks each month, and can be paid for in a variety of different ways. However, I do not believe that getting a Runescape membership will improve gameplay at all. As a free player, I had tons of fun just exploring and making new friends. When I bought a one-month membership, although there were more things to do, it didn't actually make the game more fun to play for me.

World of Warcraft costs a hefty fifteen dollars a month just to play the game, with no membership accounts. You simply pay that amount, and play. I do not believe that you should have to pay this amount, however. Even though the quests are expertly woven into the game, and the fighting and grinding is made fun, fifteen dollars is just too much money for gameplay that could be emulated in a free to play game.

Runescape- 6/10
World of Warcraft- 4/10.

The next round here is PvP. With the epic Runescape "Wilderness" PvP area gone, can it still snag a win?

In Runescape, there used to be an area called the "Wilderness" where warriors of any level could come and fight other people. However, this was shut down by Jagex, much to the community's dismay. Now, there's a simple duel arena where you can fight enemies and some PVP servers where you can attack anyone within your level range. The PvP in Runescape is all a big mess now. The PvP servers are flooded with kill stealers and almost everyone is a bowman or a mage because they are so overpowering against anybody using non-ranged weapons. The entire combat system leans towards the ranged side, giving them an unfair advantage.

PvP in World of Warcraft is absolutely amazing. Any player at any time may start a non-lethal duel. The winner of the duel just walks away with the feeling that they won the fight. However, there are also some hot-spots on the map where the Alliance and the Horde may fight one another in an epic-style combat.

Runescape- 1/10
World of Warcraft- 10/10

The last category is the game community. Can the sometimes immature Runescape community still win?

Over the years, the Runescape community has gotten a lot better. Players are now much more helpful and none of them are just running around shouting "OMG N00B I COULD PWN YOU IN PVP" anymore. If you ask how to finish a quest, you'll immediately get someone to walk you around everywhere and finish the quest with you.

The World of Warcraft community is very immature. They follow you around asking for gold and they call everyone n00b. In PvP, other players bash you if you lose. Overall, the community in WoW is something to be looked down upon. If you ask help for finishing a quest, for instance, almost no one will help you out.

Runescape- 10/10
World of Warcraft- 2/10

-->Final tally<--
Runescape- 36/60=60%
World of Warcraft- 34/60=56.66...%

-->The winner is...Runescape!<--

-->Final Statement<--
While neither of these games are perfect, Runescape came out slightly on top with a score of 60%. Not a very high score, but it was higher than the WoW score of 56.66%.

Pros for Runescape:
Very nice community.
Loads of features.
Able to play in any browser.
Cheap membership.

Cons for Runescape:
Poor Player versus Environment gameplay.
Amount of quests is very limited for non-members.
Membership really isn't worth it.

Pros for World of Warcraft:
Numerous quests.
Very addicting.
Very clean interface and gameplay.

Cons for World of Warcraft:
Immature community.
Cost is pretty high for the actual game quality.

Tale of the Tape

World of Warcraft

  • Still the world's most popular MMORPG with over 11 million subscribers.
  • Had an extremely successful expansion with the Burning Crusade. 
  • Second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, is a huge hit as well.
  •'s 2004, 2005, and 2007 Online Game of the Year.
  • Constant updates and patches have made it into one of the best-made MMORPGs yet.



  • Free to play.
  • 3D graphics.
  • Made in Java.
  • Offers a premium version.
  • Browser-based.
  • World's most popular free MMORPG.
  •'s Game of the Month for September.
  •'s 2004 Best Free Online Game and 2005 Best Free MMORPG.

Select Comments For World of Warcraft (Edited for Presentation)

Rating: 7
Author: komgred
Comment: World of Warcraft is considered one of the best MMORPGs due its amount of subscribers and its addictive nature.

Gameplay: The quests are your traditional kill 10 and collect 10 types but they were implemented in such a way that you will find them very enjoyable and fun to do with friend. However, they do eventually turn into a grind fest and you will get extremely bored. Instances are also very fun and brilliantly designed, but the groups you go with are mostly terrible. The classes are very unique. Each class has a defining role within a group, but some of the classes are difficult to play solo. Each class has 3 talent trees so you can customize your play style. Each skill that is bought from a trainer represents one of the talent trees so you upgrade any one of them to what fits your character best. The professions are very good as you have a lot of options on which objects to make with your desired production profession. In Pvp, some of the battle grounds are imbalanced. The PvP is still very enjoyable but you will get very annoyed and angry later on in the game. 7/10

Graphics: For a Warcraft game, the graphics are spectacular. They make the environment really stand out. Due to its low graphics, old machines can run the game. 8/10

Community: The community isn't that bad. You get quite a few people begging for money, wanting to port to Stormwind and asking classes "can you make this x?" when they can't. I don't see the point of adding a friends list because being in a guild is more fun. You make a lot of friends that you can speak to in guild chat and you always go on raids to alliance/horde areas and instances. Most of the people on the alliance side are immature and act like idiots while the horde is completely the opposite. 6/10

Difficulty: It is very easy to get started within the game. There is no need for a tutorial because the layout is very simple. Some of the classes are very difficult to solo as they have been nerfed a lot in the past. Soloing is very easy to some classes, as all the classes can solo to a certain extent. Making money is also very easy to some classes as the gathering professions will make loads for you. 8/10

Overall: 7/10

Rating: 10
Author: shizen656
Comment: I love both WoW and Runescape very very much. I think comparing them is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. They are both fruit, but their flavor is very different. I like both apples and oranges and I like both WoW and RS. They both deserve a 10. I am only voting because I want to see Guild Wars beaten and I highly doubt Runescape has any chance of doing that.

Rating: 8
Author: Aaddron
Comment: One of the best MMOs of all time. WoW is a great game and is a lot of fun but I find it kind of repetitive after a while. I'd recommend this game to anyone, but can't give it a 10.

Rating: 9
Author: webber
Comment: The world's biggest MMORPG keeps getting bigger and bigger. Wrath of the Lich King is awesome. I am taking off a point for the PvP because it is a little unbalanced due to the death knights.

Select Comments for RuneScape (Edited for Presentation)

Rating: 8
Author: komgred
Comment: Runescape, a game that some people love and most people hate.

Gameplay: There is a wide variety of skills to level up and, unlike most MMORPGs, you are not restricted to any one class. The downside is that the leveling process is a grind fest. I can't even remember how long it took to get to level 60 Woodcutting by chopping willow trees from lvl 36. The quests are very good since they are not your average kill 10 or collect 10 quests. It is a whole new type of gaming experience that actually requires thinking. Your character is also recognized in the quests, which is always a positive thing. 9/10

Graphics: For a game that is completely developed in Java, the graphics are really impressive. RS shows a high amount of detail, especially the HD setting for the game. The guys at Jagex did an excellent job. 10/10

Community: Terrible, there are some players who will help you out but the majority act like spoilt brats. It does get better if you are a member as it has a more friendlily atmosphere. Even though the community is not so good you should still make a lot of friends. 5/10

Difficulty: Just right. New players will be able to remember what everything is used for due to the very helpful tutorial in the beginning. Quests are also simple to new players and get very challenging along the way. 8/10

Overall: 8/10

Rating: 10
Author: Aaddron
Comment: By far one of the most innovative MMO of all time. With its unique quests, ever changing world and tons of skills and mini-games, what is there not to like? Most people would say the graphics, but it's a browser game. You can't compare it to WoW's graphics because it is a game that is downloaded instead of being played in a browser.

Rating: 3
Author: EvansfromtheHeavens
Comment: Good graphics? I don't think so. PvP has gone in the dumps and the community is horrid! The pay version offers more than the free version, but I won't use it.

The Voting

World of Warcraft received a total score of 6.1

RuneScape received a total score of 6.2

The Result

RuneScape Wins!

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