Old School Runescape, the proudly antiquated model of Runescape that still looks and performs like the game I sank countless hours into RS Gold when I actually should have been studying, is obtaining a raid. Its next raid, as it happens: The Theatre of Blood. A good raid requires good rewards, therefore when the Theatre of Blood was announced late last year, players were anxious to see what clearing the multi-man challenge could earn them. Jagex reacted with Justicar armor, a brand new best-in-slot armor place (above). There was one little problem: gamers totally hated it. They memed on it so tough that Jagex is now totally altering the armor's design. And not only that, the artist behind the Justicar armor,"Mod West," is utilizing layouts submitted and voted on by players. Virtually all of Old School Runescape's upgrades undergo participant polls, but that is the first time a suit of armor has been forged in a fire of memes. The irony is that while gamers loathed the'final' armor revealed earlier this season, they loved the prototypes revealed when the raid was declared. Initially, the Justicar armor was part of a trio of new armor sets, West informs me, but since the Theatre of Blood went from obscure concept to actual material, the armor shifted with it. Participants said there was sufficient DPS equipment but insufficient tank equipment, so it was narrowed down to only one armor set. And if they were only going to use a single group, Jagex guessed they might as well make a new one based on the armor worn by the raid's huge poor.
"We believed changing it up a little made sense," West says,"but players were not quite on board with the first proposal we shared on stream. And then, well, Reddit went wild." The memes came hard and fast. Most demanded a return to the model designs. Others thought the new armor did not seem tanky enough and liberally provided a few choices, with some calling for a more extreme redesign.
It got so bad that some players started to seriously believe a meme the upgraded armor was by another artist, which the artist who made the prototypes had abandoned Jagex. But then something amazing happened. Even as memes blotted out the sun, gradually but certainly serious suggestions started to glow through. It began with crude Photoshop tasks, but shortly appropriate examples and fan art started to crop up. Players rallied around the idea of a bulkier, blessed armor group inspired by the Runescape god Saradomin, so they moved back to West's prototype layouts and made some changes.
And then, a hero emerged: legend_arts, a gifted and famous Runescape fan artist. Driven by the memes and motivated by elements of Cheap RuneScape Gold West's designs along with other players' ideas, legend_arts created a hybrid armor design so good it not only silenced the memes, it captured the attention of West himself.