The Knowledge Base: Killing fan sites?

By [M]ike

Ok, so right about now your thinking.. huh? [M]ike? What happened to Gamer H? Well as any experienced writer would know, you can't just write non-stop so he has decided to take a break, but don't worry, Gamer H will return to writing the main herald article next week.

Now, as the title states, this weeks herald is based around what Jagex calls the "Knowledge Base". But the real question is: Why did Jagex make this? Was it designed to lower the use of fan sites? Or was it just made to help inexperienced players? The knowledge base doesn't directly give guides for quests, although the recent quest help system does give "hints" to quests you have started. Of course, this feature could only be made by Jagex due to the fact that it uses the game to find out which quests you have started.

Of course, the fact that Jagex only gives hints or tips for quests means that many players will still look to fan sites for full quest solutions. Another point that Jagex have is the fact that Jagex is a large team of experienced adults, most RuneScape fan sites are run by teenagers, aged from 13-18, and usually in a fan site the main team consists of up to 20-ish members. This means that the Knowledge Base can be updated much quicker with recent updates due to the fact that Jagex have a lot more staff, that are paid to keep the knowledge base updated. Using Global-RS as an example, guides for the latest quests will usually be added within a week of the release of the quest, but the RuneScape Quest Hint system is updated as soon as the quest is released.

So, at the moment it seems that the Knowledge Base has a major advantage over fan sites, the only pro that fan sites have is the fact they contain full guides for quests, mini-games and skills. Where-as the Knowledge Base is based more on pointing a player in the right direction. I personally believe that Jagex designed the Knowledge Base mainly to aid players, but I'm sure they also discussed the fact that many players may start to just use the Knowledge Base instead of RuneScape fan sites, this is an advantage to Jagex since there is less chance of a player gaining malicious software from such fan sites, because as you would expect, every time a players account gets hacked/banned they will straight away turn to Jagex.

Now, I feel we should not accuse Jagex of trying to make fan sites unneeded, since there is many good reasons why the Knowledge Base was created. Alot of people enjoy trying to find leaks in the Knowledge Base, other players that would rather wait for the update than see images of it before it is actually released often blame Jagex for having leaks. But just like any fan site, mistakes will always be made, after all, Jagex are only human.

My conclusion is that the Knowledge Base was a good idea and should be looked upon as a "lighter" source of information.

Feel free to post any comments, thoughts or ideas you might have in this topic!

Last update: 26-Nov-2006
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