The topic of release dates has came up a few times recently. A user has been going out of their way to discover and add corrected release dates to very, very old content, from the RuneScape Classic days. However there has been some dispute what constitutes a "release date". A few people have suggested the release dates of all content released prior to the creation of Old School RuneScape be changed to the launch date, as technically that's when all content was released. There has also been some debate on obtainability vs availability and which date should be used for filling in release dates.
There was a forum thread on the other wiki a few years ago, and they determined that data mined from the caches shouldn't be used for filling in release dates; rather, the release date be the date they were first obtainable—but if there were time-gated requirements for obtaining it, the release date be set to the date it would be obtainable if you could complete them all instantaneously. However, as we are separate from the RuneScape wiki, their policies don't necessarily apply to us. That, along with the aforementioned uncertainties, leads us to this thread.
So, the hard question first:
A: should all pre-2013 release dates be changed to the release date of Old School RuneScape?
If that is opposed, it leads to further questions:
B: should the date things were first added to the cache be used as their release date? This means things that were initially in the cache but unobtainable would retain their initial release date, rather than be changed to the date they were made obtainable. As an example: Telekinetic grablet is currently not available in-game. The date it was added to cache, and thus its "release date", is May 31st, 2006. If the telekinetic grablet were to be added today, March 1st, 2020, should the release date remain as May 31st, 2006?
C: should the date things are made obtainable by players be used as their release date? In the previous example, this would mean the release date would be changed to March 1st, 2020.
This distinction is important notably in one case, cut diamonds. They were initially in-game as early as January 24th, 2001, where they spawned in Varrock bank basement. However, they were not intentionally obtainable until jewellery came out, in May of that year—some people did manage to get into the vault and nab some on release date, however it seems they were not able to keep the loot.
If opposed, the release date would be the date they first appeared in game instead—January 24th, 2001, for the diamond example. If supported, the date would be changed to May, when they were actually obtainable. Telegrab was not release until May as well, so the diamond would not have been obtainable by that method.
Additionally in the odd case of gems, uncut gems were unintentionally made available on March 17th, 2001, where they could be mined from rocks. However, that was patched out in a hidden update. However, existing gems were not removed from players' inventories, meaning the release date was technically March 17th, 2001, despite them later being removed, before being re-released along with jewellery in May.
D: should content that was removed and then re-released be given a new release date?
Presumably D would not apply in the case of switch infoboxes—but I don't believe a switch infobox would be a good fit for diamonds. Alternatively it could be selectively applied, for example in instances of mistakes (as in the case of uncut gems), rather than e.g., recurring content.
Due to new info I propose the following instead:
D: if C is supported, should it apply to items that were unintentionally obtainable as well? Diamonds and uncut gems, for example.
Thus, opposing all would mean release dates should be the object was added to the game—not the cache—regardless of whether it was obtainable/interactable with/etc.
I've focused mostly on items in this thread, but most of them would apply to other things as well. Please let me know if anything has been missed that needs to be accounted for.
As players found out how to get into the bank vault, the diamonds were technically obtainable when they first appeared. I've amended the relevant sections to account for this. チェン (話し合う) 16:46, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
Oppose All: I think that things should just have one release day, so if we're talking about the diamond. That would be in January, where it was unintentionally released. We can add the whole story attached to its accidental release, removal and re-release in the trivia section. Things from the Unobtainable items should still use their original release date in the cache, until they are released (like if the blood talisman and tiara were released) Then the fact that they were added years ago could be added as trivia. Exaldin (talk) 16:52, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
Oppose All - I think if an item/object/npc was in the game then that should be it's release date, regardless of if it was able to be picked up, interacted with, etc and regardless of if it was removed then readded. Obviously a changes section and maybe a trivia note about removal and readding for those cases. I think unobtainable items that exist solely in cache should have the date they were added to the cache as release date until a time where they are added into the game, in which case the date they are added into the game should be used and cache date be put into trivia.17:19, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
Oppose All - I don't know if I get to vote, but my thoughts:
- A: I think of Old School as a fork, not a separate game. So in a way, it did exist before 2013 as the regular game. As such, I think the release dates are still valid. Old School is just a name.
- B: Using the cache release dates strictly would be a BIG mess for early stuff, and very confusing, for several reasons: #1: Almost every update added things to the cache that were still being worked on. You'd wind up with a situation where half the quest items in a quest would come out the update before the quest. Many items were in there looong before they were added to the game as well. #2: Many items underwent drastic changes including being removed and then re-added to the cache later. #3: We don't even have half the caches available for RSC. I only know of the ones I mention on my user page. #4: The dates of the caches themselves are just my best guesses. There's a lot of speculation involved.
- C: I think of it like this: If it were a single player game at that date, would you be able to obtain and/or be aware of this item's existence on that date? With Diamonds you would, because the game spawned them in the bank and you could examine them. With the case of Andrew walking around in full Rune before Rune armor's release, it would be a NO because that depends on him being there. You'd never be able to get or even see it it by playing the game legitimately.
- D: If they were unintentionally released and they didn't remove them from player's inventories afterwards (they didn't with gems I'm pretty sure) then I'd say keep the unintentional release date. If Jagex did some rollback and removed them then maybe I could see using the "real" release date.
- A point you didn't bring up: What happens when an item/NPC is renamed? I say keep the date of the original. So many names were changed between RS1 and RS2, but we don't consider the Large Rune Helmet separate from the Rune full helm. It was just renamed, right? What about the "Demon" and "Lesser demon" then? Really the Lesser demon came out at launch if you just consider it a name change. Otherwise, it'd be a double standard.
- One more point: Whether to use RS2 beta's release dates or RS2 launch's release dates. I'm strongly against using release dates from a test server. We don't do this for modern stuff, so why do it for 2004 stuff? It creates a double standard. I understand it's confusing not being able to link to the update where it was mentioned, but so what? Just note it well enough in the talk page to remove the confusion for any future editors.
Oppose all - The status quo works appropriately for our needs. There isn't a need to possibly complicate or confuse anyone based on what's found in the cache because many users aren't even familiar with how such data would be obtained. The release date should match the date that the item was released in the game, which should match Jagex's announcements of such things. Legaia2Pla ᴛ · ʟ · ᴄ 01:46, 16 March 2020 (UTC)