So what if FSWs are a cash grab?
Fresh Start Worlds give players brand new worlds to dominate. Without an established economy, leaderboards, and everybody on an equal footing, it becomes a different experience. In regular worlds, you’ll see boss hoggers, PvPers with dedicated builds, and no chance to see your name high up in the Hi-Scores. The OSRS gold economy is booming in those as well.
In contrast, Fresh Start Worlds only accept new accounts and has a blank slate on the rest. Everyone starts with nothing, not even an alt to give them a boost. They can rank first in leaderboards, establish the economy, and get away with hanging out in the Wilderness.
So why are veterans up in arms about it?
A Blatant Cash Grab
Interestingly, even if free-to-play FSWs exist, the developers would love players to share vouchers. These vouchers can provide membership to FSW accounts. Veterans who want to give one to their friends who are new to the game can do so with this feature. Some players are even saying that membership is required to play FSWs. (It’s not really, but very recommended.)
Of course, with crusaders always trying to defend the game’s integrity, they’re all angry that business is getting in the way of their enjoyment of the game. Except, that’s that point; companies will always want to increase their bottom line, even if it does cross some lines for players.
This is even a minor form because, as mentioned, membership is optional. People would want to experience everything OSRS offers, so they buy a membership. This is targeted at new players, but veterans can get in on the action if they want to.
Nostalgia vs. the Present State
In some ways, FSWs imitate the WoW Classic and other ways to recreate MMOs as they once were. These bank on the nostalgia of veterans wanting to re-experience the game as it once was. It’s a significant influence on the player base, perhaps more than the other features of the server.
To reiterate, everybody starts with a new OSRS account and a blank slate. With all players on relatively equal footing, PvP is not as heart-pounding or fear-inducing. There won’t be a group of over-leveled PvPers waiting in ambush, and all are afraid of each other. The Wilderness in an FSW is vastly different from the regular servers.
Also, nobody at the start has the power to hog farming spots or bosses, so everything is free game. With the Grand Exchange empty of OSRS items for sale, you must rely on something other than it for supplies. More than that, starting in a Fresh Start World feels like an unofficial Ironman Mode. You can treat it as one, but you can still trade, so it isn’t the whole experience.
Some players prefer treating it as such, enjoying the servers differently. At any rate, FSWs bring a different experience from the regular servers, which beginners and veterans can both enjoy.
Anger For the Sake of Anger
There isn’t any real reason for all the salt and complaints about these servers. Business is business, and in the end, companies are more concerned about their bottom lines. They’d do whatever to increase revenue. Sometimes, this results in almost-predatory practices or deception.
However, for Fresh Start Worlds, neither applies. You only need a brand new account to join; membership is optional. Any new memberships would be on the player’s part, and there was no deception or unsavory business practices.
Microtransactions can be a worse option, which most players agree does not fit in OSRS. It’s the standard feature in live service games, making OSRS a little unusual. It only has Membership and Bonds as its source of profits. If the company owning Jagex wants more revenue, be glad they didn’t use MTX.
Enjoy OSRS Fresh Start Worlds (or Not)
Whether they’re a cash grab or not, we can’t do anything about the decisions made by the developers or their bosses. They can do this for several reasons, including increasing player population, the worth of OSRS gold, or revenue. In the end, we can agree or disagree with it, but since it’s done, there’s nothing we can do about it.
In any case, it’s here for 6 months until its data merges with the regular servers on April 2023. Whatever progress was made in the Fresh World Servers will carry over to the main ones. That lets beginners catch up with veterans with fellow ‘beginners,’ something that isn’t often done in the mainstream game.