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Up to date as of February 07, 2010
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From the RuneScape Wiki, the wiki for all things RuneScape

The Scale theory is one of many unofficial names given to a theory that explains the inconsistencies between RuneScape's storyline and actual visible nature.

The theory has arisen due to the game's much more grandiose storyline, which would be impossible in the area actually seen in-game. For instance, it is possible to walk across the whole of the Gielinorian mainland in a matter of hours, whereas it is frequently described as a continent of massive size and scale. Also, cities such as Varrock, which are meant to be massive, sprawling settlements, possess limited inhabitants and often lack basic living facilities for all of the populace. These and countless other inconsistencies have led to the creation of the Scale Theory.

Scale Theory is the idea that RuneScape is a fictional world being viewed on a scale. The world is, in its fictional universe, logically designed, as the storyline suggests. The version presented in-game is much smaller than the actual fictional world of Gielinor and has been scaled down to make gameplay possible. Essentially, the world of Gielinor is being viewed through a filter that removes most details from the world that are not necessary for gameplay, and squashes all of the settlements and notable landmarks into a reasonable size for playing.

The Theory is briefly presented to the player by the bartender in the Blue Moon Inn. He explains that the RuneScape is a computer game which is in a "magic box", and this implies a difference between what players see whilst on the game and what the actual inhabitants see. Some obvious evidence of scaling exists even within the game itself; for instance, during Temple Trekking, players visit many parts of Mort Myre Swamp that do not exist when travelling through it normally, suggesting that huge swaths of it have been omitted from the standard map. Further evidence supporting it are various caves and quest areas, which are usually quite large in comparison to the outside world. For instance, in the quest Underground Pass, the player travels through a vast tunnel network, with the final cave area being larger than most cities, yet the World Map suggests nothing of the kind.

Scale Theory is supported by several RuneScape Lores and stories. These are not ingame features, and as such the qualitative assumptions may not necessarily be extrapolated into the lore of the game. For instance, in the first RuneScape novel, Betrayal at Falador, it takes characters days to travel between settlements in the kingdom of Asgarnia. Falador is described as a vast city with more than 10,000 inhabitants and a large district of rundown houses (The Dens), a feature that does not appear within the game at all. The lore The Coat Thief makes the Dwarven city of Keldagrim sound far bigger, emphasizing the differences between East Keldagrim and West Keldagrim. The degree to which these observations are relevant for in-game play are questionable, and up to personal interpretation.

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This article uses material from the "Scale theory" article on the Runescape wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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