New MMO from RuneScape creator lets you automate and AFK the boring stuff: "Instead of fighting against people doing this ... let's make it part of the game"

 Brighter Shores.
Brighter Shores.
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RuneScape's original co-creator has detailed how his newest MMO battles the grind that usually bogs the genre down, even letting players automate busywork like mining.

Andrew Gower, the co-founder of RuneScape studio Jagex, recently announced his all-new studio working on an all-new project called Brighter Shores, which aims to capture the same chill MMO vibes without the excessive grind. "We've got this sort of unique blend of idle and active gameplay," Gower says in an interview with Gamesradar+.

"You can do things in the game, and you can sit there, you know, chopping down trees all day if that's what you want," Gower explains. "But you can also set your character off doing things automatically. So you can set him to go and mine some rocks overnight or something like that."

Gower explains that this grind-reducing design philosophy has two main benefits. Players who get bored clicking on trees for minutes on end can just skip such activities, letting your digital double take over the manual labor while you sleep. (Sort of like the Inies and Outies from Severance.) Plus, if you're lacking free time but want to jump into Brighter Shores anyway, you won't need to stay up past your bedtime to grind for materials.

Another way Brighter Shores alleviates grind is by giving players "a lot of different things to do," and frequently changing "the most efficient option." The game apparently "nudges you to do different things all the time, so it doesn't become making 1,000 swords in a row."

Gower and the team are still conscious that they "don't want to detract from just playing the game" by automating too many tasks, so doing them yourself will yield much better results. "It's really just meant as a nice sort of fun, log in the next day, and you've gotten some stuff overnight, you've got a bit more XP, you've got a bit more money, you've got some more of the materials you need to do the thing you actually want to do," Gower says.

He also acknowledges that many people already try to automate processes with or without a game's help, whether that's rubber-banding a controller or using a weight to hold down buttons on the keyboard. "That was part of the thinking because we know a lot of players will try to do this sort of stuff," Gower says, "and we thought, well, instead of fighting against people doing this, which is often the approach, let's roll with it. Let's make it part of the game. This is how people want the game to work. So we'll make it work this way."

Brighter Shores is headed to PC (Steam) later this year as a free-to-play release, alongside a premium pass that offers more quests and unique features.

Will Brighter Shores slide into our best MMORPG games ranking?