Old School RuneScape Vs RuneScape: Top 10 Differences

The current prices for party hats listed on the OSRS and RS3 wikis.

One of the most apparent differences between OSRS and RS3 is the implementation of rare items. In RS3, Jagex never intended for rare items to exist in a way that would be worth billions of GP two decades after they were dropped in a seasonal event.

If you want any set of party hats dropped during the 2001 Christmas event, you can try and buy them in the GE each at a max cash stack (2,147m). You can choose from six party hats: white, blue, red green, yellow or purple. But they sell for a lot more on the forums.

The point is, although these items fluctuate according to demand, their number is limited. This is also true for all other rare items that can be traded via canned updates or seasonal events. RuneScape Wiki

Jagex also wanted to ensure that OSRS didn't contain rare items like RS3 in 2013 when it was released. In the seasonal events, you have access to the previous tradeable reward regardless of the year. This ensures a constant resupply of 'rare items' such as the Christmas cracker and party hat so that they always stay at a low price. So, for example, to get a complete party hat set, you need only spend between 20-25k. Old School RuneScape Wiki

9. Tutorial island

An iconic part of Runescape for those who played in the early to mid-2000s was Tutorial Island.

OSRS has this introduction to the game, teaching you the basics of skilling and combat and quests and navigating the interface. It is a simple, effective way to guide new players through tasks before they are teleported from Lumbridge to begin their own journey. A player cannot return to this area after they leave.

However, RS3 Tutorial Island was not around for most of its lifespan. In 2008 the island tutorial was replaced by the quest Learning the Ropes (Learning the Ropes - The RuneScape Wiki), and then a year later was temporarily reinstated. In 2009, Unstable Foundations replaced the tutorial.

The evolution of combat was released in 2012, and the Ashdale Tutorial was added to the game. Tutorial island was also removed from the game's map on 28 November 2012.

It wouldn't be until three years later, on the 14th of December 2015, that they explained why the island vanished during the Beneath Cursed Tides quest. The island was a former school of adventure, and had been cursed under the sea (Beneath Cursed Tides).

It was in late 2018 that RS3 finally saw the return of an old classic tutorial island. This rendition is a modern spin on a classic tutorial iconic to Runescape.

8. Microtransactions

The Squeak of Fortune with RS3.

RS3 has been infamous in the Runescape community for microtransactions and various Pay-2-win schemes since the 2nd April 2012. The story starts with the Squeal of Fortune. This provided daily spins on the wheel to players for a chance at winning prizes, including experience (XP), lamps and coins.

Jagex was the first to allow players to purchase in-game bonuses with real-world currency. This wealth advantage gave people an unfair advantage over others, which led to players being angry and leaving the game. Effectively, people could now pay to max their characters.

Three months later (on the 17th of Juli), Solomon's General Stores was introduced to the game. Players had to either purchase RuneCoins from real money or win them via the SOF.

Updates like this continue for RS3 since bonds, which were introduced in 2013, are now available. Today in 2021, most people can max an account and get the best gear without playing the game. For more information on this subject, please visit the Wikipedia article Microtransactions. RuneScape Wiki

OSRS has not implemented microtransactions as well as RS3. Yes, they offer bonds that allow members to purchase bonds in GE for gold and sell them. You still need the game to level up.

Many OSRS members are proud of the fact that the game does not have a pay-to-win system. It allows for fun competition on high scores, where you can compete with everyone, regardless of your wealth.

7. Combat

OSRS is easy to use.

OSRS' combat style is simpler than RS3's, but it's still very old-fashioned. It is easy to learn, and the style appeals so much to so many. It can be complicated for those who are willing to push the system's limits.

The Evolution of Combat, which was released just before RS3, was a complete reworking of RS3's previous combat system. The result was a much more complex system that changed the direction of the game forever.

OSRS offers three combat styles: Melee and Ranged. Each of these styles are affected by bonuses that depend on the equipment you use and your combat-related skills. For example, Melee is affected by Strength and Attack, while Magic is affected by... well, Magic.

RS3 has a similar combat system, but it offers extra bonuses that OSRS players don't have. For example, RS3 has the summoning skill, which allows for familiars to give you combat bonuses.

The action bar is available from RS3.

RS3 offers both players as well as creatures an adrenaline bar to help them perform their combat abilities. However, commands cannot be performed again until this amount of recharge is reached. It can also be disabled when you use the legacy combat mode.

In both games, skills themselves have different names-for example, the Constitution of Hitpoints.

In OSRS, the maximum hitpoints of a player are 99 without any brews. However, executed in RS3, they have increased the hitpoints to 999.

Combat Levels for OSRS are maxed at 126. However, in RS3, they can be increased to 138 by summoning.

As you can see, there are a lot of differences in combat between the two games. To learn more, check out these links:

Combat - OSRS Wiki (RuneScape.wiki) Combat - The RuneScape Wiki

6. Faster XP and AFK Training

RS3 AFK - Firemaking

In general, since the release of RS3 XP, rates and skill training has become more AFK. This is due to updates to dead skilling content in order to keep the game's interest alive and to satisfy the demand of players who wish to train in this area.

RS3 has many factors that have contributed to the increase in XP per hour. Firstly, players learning better techniques and getting better at the game because of guides. However, most of this comes down to buffs obtainable from monster drops, skills, and pay-2-win mechanics.

The lower XP rates in OSRS are due to a player base that does not want their hard work to be undermined by players who complain a skill is too slow or tedious. Jagex is now implementing quality updates to improve soft skills and accept XP rate requests from players. XP rates in the future will likely be comparable to RS3 if these updates continue - with microtransactions included!

Similar results can be made for OSRS AFK skills. Jagex has introduced many updates to the game since its 2013 release. This is good news for the game, as it allows casual gamers to still enjoy the game, but also because it doesn't take away the tedious methods that provide the best experience overall.

5. Boss Fights

In both versions of this game, the Giant Mole is present.

Bossing is a lot easier in RS3 than OSRS when you use the ability bar. Moreover, with better equipment in the game and higher leveled players, the bosses have been updated over time to include more complex battle mechanics. An example is an option of pursuing the classic Giant Mole in a Hard Mode.

Before we go into how this is different from its usual killing method, It is best to explain how this boss works in OSRS. The Giant Mole is a simple boss that is easy to kill with a cannon, ranged weapons, stamina pills, and a molelocator from Falador Hard Diaries.

The Mole can found in its lair underneath the Falador Garden and wanders about in a multicombat area. Despite being level 230, the Mole can be easily defeated with protection from melee because it only has one attack style. The most difficult things to deal with are world crashers and loss of Prayer.

The hard version of the Giant Mole on RS3, however, is much more complex. The mole attacks with melee, until she digs, then she burrows into one the offshoot rooms. This is where OSRS fights become different. Each room has a different effect on the Mole, changing the dynamic of the fight.

4. Voice acting and sound designing

Hear the voice here: https://runescape.fandom.com/wiki/Unstable_Foundations

RS3 has a different sound design. This is a good example of the differences between the two games. First, many quests in RS3 can now be voice acted. While not all NPCs or quests are voiced in RS3, they do add a modern direction this client is heading in.

This is the area where you can find this famous piece of music!

The second example of how the two games are different sound-wise is through the comparison of the most famous RuneScape soundtrack. Sea Shanty 2.

OSRS has the classic version of the piece with the jaunty play of accordions to a fun sea-themed melody. RS3 has a remastered rendition of the same tune, but it uses more string-based instruments and takes on a more serious tone. See Sea Shanty 2 - OSRS Wiki (RuneScape.wiki) and Sea Shanty II - The RuneScape Wiki.

3. Quests

The end to Romeo and Juliet in OSRS.

Quests! Yes, this is what makes the game's two versions very different from one another. And we would be spending all day listing them all, so I am just going to focus on two free-to-play quests which were changed between 2007 and 2021 RS3.

Varrock is the author of a popular OSRS quest called Romeo & Juliet. You might recognize it from a play of the same title, and yes, it is very similar to the play by Shakespear, but with Runescape flair. See Romeo & Juliet - OSRS Wiki (RuneScape.wiki).

Romeo starts his quest looking for someone who can talk to Juliet. You do that and she gives you a letter to Romeo. There is a plan to get them to run away together so that they can live together forever!

You talk to a priest and create a fake poison potion to convince Juliet that she is actually dead. Finally, Romeo drags Juliet to the crypt. But when he arrives he forgets all about Juliet's love and falls for Philipa. THE END! You will get five quest point for this short quest.

The end of Gunnar's Ground in RS3.

It is probably a good decision that RS3 replaced Gunnar's ground with Gunnar’s ground in 2010. See the details here Gunnar's Ground - The RuneScape Wiki. This quest is an original spin of the same play, but it is about a dwarf poet that falls in love with the Barbarian chieftain's daughter.

The quest starts in Barbarian village and is initiated by Dororan. He will tell of his love and affection for Gudrun and would like to gift Gudrun a golden engagement ring. As the player, Jeffery must see you get this ring and write a love poem.

The player must convince her to love Dororan, but not reveal that he is a dwarf since her father hates outsiders. Dororan will eventually write a letter to her, which she will then read to her father.

Gunthor agrees to the end of the quest, and anyone is allowed to settle in the village. The quest is completed when Gundran, Dororan, and Gundran finally meet.

Most prefer the RS3 quest. Don't you?

2. Art Styes

One of their most significant differences is the two art styles.

OSRS reflects the older polygon java graphics, which appeals to the nostalgic more senior players of Runescape's original 2005-2007 era. The game prides itself on this simplistic design and a call-back to early 2000s games of old. As they add new features to the game, the team has pushed the boundaries of this style in recent years. See more information about this here: Graphical updates - OSRS Wiki (Runescape. wiki).

On the other hand, RS3 has updated HD graphics which have been in the older version of the game since 2008. This update brought High Detail and RuneTek 5 to the game, which drastically defined the period of Runescape from 2008-2012.

With the introduction of RS3 in 2013, the animation abilities have become more complex. RS3 has a wider view distance than OSRS and more detail inspires. RS3 also has animated sprites that can be used on more items.

With the EoC, gear was also upgraded in their designs to be more detailed and look vastly different than their OSRS counterparts. Take rune armor and god swords, for example. You can see more information about this here: Graphics - The RuneScape Wiki.

1. Continent expansions

OSRS is the only place that can offer this unique continent expansion! (Great Kourend).

Finally, our number-one spot goes to...Continent extensions! As with quests I could go on and on about all the other updates to the OSRS map and RS3 map. But I will briefly focus on two to show you how the two timelines for Runescape have split.

OSRS released the Great Kourend kingdom on the continent of Zeah on the 7th January 2016. It includes its lore as well as quests, bosses raids, mini-games and more! It is amazing how large it is, and it is still being updated with new content.

This is a quick comparison: I like the bossing content in this region, such Wintertodt or Raids. They make Firemaking more fun with rewards and raids provide the game with additional high-level content it desperately needed. https://rswiki.net/ See Great Kourend - OSRS Wiki (Runescape. wiki).

The Daemonheim expansion in RS3.

RS3 has a Freminik Stronghold that branches east from the wilderness. It is called Daemonheim and contains the skill Dungeoneerinng. It came in 2010 with the release of the dungeon-diving skill. See Dungeoneering - The RuneScape Wiki and Daemonheim - The RuneScape Wiki.

This fortress is not present in OSRS. Raids in Zeah offer a similar content. RS3 lets you join a team and explore the dungeons in the fortress, looking for treasure. This will earn you points that can be used to level up your skill and get rewards.