The RuneScape Wikis: 2021 Year in Review

Through all that has happened in 2021, many of us found comfort by logging in to RuneScape and Old School RuneScape. The RuneScape Wiki community has been hard at work adding features and writing articles — the most that have ever been created in a single year. Read on to see what's new, what's changed, and how the community has come together in 2021.

Highlights and milestones

Traffic statistics

With over 1.3 billion pageviews in 2021, we may be the second-most visited wikis in the world. (The first is Wikipedia, although we won't be catching it anytime soon — it had more than 100 billion pageviews this year). About half our views came from the United States, with the wikis being visited by 241 different countries and territories in total, including a few new ones: Antarctica, Christmas Island, and Niue.

The year started out with RuneScape's 20th anniversary events in both games drawing players back; throughout the spring and summer, various quests and expansions caused smaller bumps in views. The sharpest increase came in October, when Group Ironman Mode was released in Old School RuneScape. We've annotated some of the more notable surges in traffic on the graph below.

Daily pageviews (7-day rolling avg.)

Though not visible on the graph, which covers all four wikis, a single day in September notably represented 8 percent of the RuneScape Classic Wiki's total pageviews for the year. This spike in interest was caused by a link to the dwarf multicannon page in an /r/2007scape post discussing a proposed cosmetic override for the Shattered Relics League.

The following is a more detailed per-wiki breakdown of pageviews, visitors, and other statistics. (The RuneScape Classic Wiki still gets a few hundred thousand visits each year, despite the game being defunct.)

Total pageviews for the RuneScape Wiki this year
Up 12% from previous year
Total visitors to the RuneScape Wiki this year
Up 6% from previous year
Average number of minutes spent on the wiki per session
Down 1% from previous year
Average number of pages viewed per session
Up 1% from previous year
Top countries of origin
  1. United States48%
  2. United Kingdom12%
  3. Canada7%
  4. Australia5%
Most-used web browsers
  1. Chrome52%
  2. Safari35%
  3. Edge6%
  4. Firefox4%

Community statistics

Editing activity generally follows RuneScape and Old School RuneScape's update cycle in waves. Edits are not always proportional to player interest in content, as some updates add more items or NPCs into the game than others; Group Ironman Mode, which had the biggest impact on traffic (shown above), was merely average in terms of number of edits.

Other times, peaks in editing are due to new projects getting started, independent of any update. For example, the large spike in late August was caused by a single user uploading thousands of detailed item images and historical graphical update images to the Old School RuneScape Wiki.

Daily edits (7-day rolling avg.)

The wiki's greatest strength has always been its editors, from regular contributors to anonymous users who fix typos. Whether it's adding an image, covering a new update, or helping write a guide, we owe our success to every player (which may include you!) who reads and edits the site.

Pages created by our community across all wikis
Images uploaded by our community across all wikis
Edits made by our community across all wikis
New accounts who made at least one edit this year
Messages sent in our Discord server this year
New Wikian titles awarded to editors in-game

Technical changes

In the second half of 2021, the Weird Gloop sysadmins were hard at work on a major upgrade to the wiki servers. Launching progressively between September and November, we moved our infrastructure from OVH to Google Cloud. This gave us increased reliability, greater flexibility, and faster load times for page views that hit the wiki servers.

Below, we've graphed the wikis' time to first byte (TTFB), which measures how long it takes for your browser to receive the first byte of page content from the server. TTFB is a good indicator of how responsive a site is — the lower, the better.

Time to first byte (7-day rolling avg.)
Average time

The wikis had an average TTFB of 270 milliseconds over the past year. For comparison, that's 20 percent faster than Wikipedia, which averaged 340 milliseconds. When combined with improvements to our CDN, these changes cut the average page load time nearly in half!

As part of this infrastructure upgrade, we also upgraded our version of MediaWiki, which is the main software used to operate the wikis. Moving to MediaWiki 1.36 was (hopefully) barely noticed by most readers, but behind the scenes it's a huge deal: it makes the wikis faster, more secure, and use less resources — and also unblocks some cool features like user renames. These upgrades helped keep us competitive with better-funded projects in pushing MediaWiki to its limits.

Test your knowledge

The wikis have no shortage of interesting facts, with dedicated trivia sections on over 15,000 pages. Think you know your stuff? Give our quizzes a go and see how you well you know the game! If you want to try more than one category, you'll get the chance to pick again after you finish your current quiz.

Thank you!

2021 was a year full of unique trials — we're looking forward to covering new game content coming in 2022. Whether it's Het's Oasis, the Shattered Relics League, or the Trade Octagon minigame, we hope you'll check out the wikis as you play and help your fellow gamers document every rat in RuneScape.

Het's Oasis, the upcoming skilling area that will replace the Duel Arena.

If you want to get involved with the wikis, there's always work to do and new projects are being started all the time. If you haven't edited before and aren't sure where to start, join our Discord or tweet us, @RSWiki and @OSRS_Wiki.

— From everyone at the RuneScape Wikis
3 January 2022