Forum:RS2 Beta release dates
Apologies in advance for yet another release dates thread. Consensus has been reached (I think?) that pages should have the date content was actually possible to access by players as the “release date”, then if this is different to the cache date, note any plausible other dates in the update history section.
This leaves the issue of the release dates of content added during the RuneScape 2 beta; many of which are impossible to figure out (eg Dragon spear). Xell Khaar raised the issue last year but there was no real discussion on it. This was not so much of a problem before as only a couple of items and NPCs were released during this time period. However on the OS wiki we have now started creating pages for every single scenery object ingame, a very large number of which were released during the RS2 Beta.
I will try to explain this best I can so there is no room for misinterpretation:
1 December 2003: The RS2 beta is first released, players can only access F2P areas at first. The other areas of the game are gradually made accessible.
9 January 2004: There is a copy of the RS2 beta cache from this date, but it’s surprisingly useless. It includes content that hadn’t been released yet, and nothing is in order. You can’t draw many conclusions from it except to say that anything not in this cache was definitely released after this date.
3 March 2004: The RS2 Beta Item test occurred which is the last time the game itself was completely reset. Anything after this date we know the release date for, starting with 4 dose potions on 9 March
29 March 2004: RuneScape 2 was officially released, beta accounts were wiped and accounts from Runescape classic were copied over.
So with that in mind, I see several different ways in which RS2 beta release dates could be approached.
- Option 1: Set the date for everything released between 1 December 2003 and 29 March 2004 as 29 March 2004, since that is when the beta ended. (So several items, NPCs, music that have their date before this would be changed)
- Option 2: Set the date for everything released between 1 December 2003 and 3 March 2004 as 3 March 2004 (when the beta stopped being reset) and everything after this as their current date
- Option 3: The same as above, except if content was definitely not in-game on 9 January 2004 then change it to a range of January-March 2004 or the actual date if known
- Option 4: Using the date a piece of content was first (presumably) accessible during the beta
At the moment the Wiki uses a mixture of Option 4, and when that is not known Option 1.
Here is a table to demonstrate how the release dates of things would change depending on which option is used;
|Flowers (mixed)||29 March 2004||15 March 2004||15 March 2004||15 March 2004|
|Cream robe top||29 March 2004||3 March 2004||21 January - 3 March 2004||21 January - 3 March 2004|
|Dragon dagger||29 March 2004||3 March 2004||25 February 2004||25 February 2004|
|Baby dragon bones||29 March 2004||3 March 2004||3 March 2004||14 December 2003|
|Cat training medal||29 March 2004||3 March 2004||3 March 2004||1 December 2003 - 3 March 2004|
In summary this might be the least important topic ever discussed but hopefully one approach can be agreed on rather than the inconsistent mix that is used on both wikis now. Hlwys (talk) 04:20, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
Comment - Wowee, this thread blew up! Just so it doesn't get closed with absolutely zero discussion,
my own preference is Option 2. Cook and Xell Khaar have previously said they support Option 1. I support #2 as 3rd March was the first time players were able to experience RS2 in full on their RSC accounts (i.e. there was continuity), and everything after this date can be documented quite simply.
Regardless of what option is picked, we'll try to note all the plausible release dates in the update history section. This is just discussing the minor issue of what date goes in the infobox. Hlwys (talk) 16:22, 8 February 2021 (UTC)
- Support Option 1 - Actually I've changed my mind, the more I think about it the less Option 2 really makes sense. Option 1 would at least be consistent with how beta release dates are treated elsewhere. Hlwys (talk) 18:26, 9 February 2021 (UTC)
Comment + Support for option 1 - I have been thinking about this for the past weeks. I think it all comes down to what we consider the RuneScape "main game", and I think you did a good job assessing that problem in your post. First of all, it is important that the dates we choose are in line with other choices made on the wiki in similar situation. With regards to the Mining and Smithing rework, dates were set to 7 January 2019 - the actual release date, not the beta release date. This would make Option 4 no logical option, nor would it make Option 3 the correct option - as it still deals with dates of introduction while resets still occurred.
Personally, I believe that Option 1 would be the most logical choice: it is the point in time when it was really decided items were no longer in beta and allowed to be released as the main game. The update Update:RS2 Beta Item test also describes "The new RS2 beta accounts that have been created are still temporary, using them still won't affect your real rs1 account in any way, and they will still be deleted at the end of the beta.". I think that, while this turned out to not be the case, the period between 3 March and 29 March should still not be considered the main "release" of the first RS2-specific items. It's just such a strange case... but I would say that people on 4 March 2004 would not have considered these RS2-specific items as "permanently obtainable".
I would opt for a structure like this in the item's history section: - Added to RS2 Beta on 1 January 2004 - Due to no later reset of the RS2 Beta, the item can first be permanently obtained on 3 March 2004 - Official release on 29 March 2004
Support 1 - Beta versions of the game aren't actual release dates, which is how we dealt with M&S rework dates and EOC dates. Betas by definition are not production releases, so would not qualify a release date. I agree that clarifying in update history with comments about the Beta releases would be the best way to capture this information where we know about it, per Zorak.21:16, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
Comment - Out of all these threads, have we ever considered just adding a note next to the release date? As one particular editor loves to say, explaining things in prose removes most sense of ambiguity. Haidro 01:59, 21 February 2021 (UTC)
Closed - There is a clear consensus to allow option 1. Alongside this, the update history on relevant item pages will also include the full detail of the other "release dates".
There's also a consensus to ban all release date threads and discussion until the next generation of admins.03:55, 23 February 2021 (UTC)