RSC+ was first released in January of 2016 during the last official reopening of RuneScape Classic. Influenced by OSBuddy paving the way for "legit" third-party clients, RSC+ was released to make playing RSC on modern computers with their massive 1920x1080 resolutions more enjoyable, to provide quality of life updates, and to provide a level playing field for players whose only alternative to the aging 512x346 locked official client was a closed source bot client (which by the way, did not have resizable mode until about a week after RSC+ released with the feature).
Everything was happy with RSC+ for a couple years and thanks to its open source nature, many quality of life features were added to the client including: an XP tracker, various chat commands, a ground item overlay, the ability to see what herbs you were trading with bot users who already knew what herbs they were trading to you, inventory count overlay, fatigue/chat notifications, etc.
But then one day, May 23rd 2018, Jagex announced that RuneScape Classic would be shutting down.
Somehow we didn't see it coming; we just thought RSC would be up forever. It'd been up for nearly 18 years, why stop? In the week before this announcement, we had 4 active contributors to the project. RSC+ was in kind of a renaissance period of fast development. Think about the ratio of 4 active developers on a client with an active playerbase of only 50 players online at any given time (of which, yes, about 70 to 90% were botting). I remember feeling distinctly optimistic and proud of our work right before Jagex announced they'd be yanking the rug out from under us in about 3 months.
So... what good is a client without a server? Would our work over the last 2 years go to waste? What happened to RSC+? Well, the first thing we did when we heard the announcement was, to add a sad little countdown to the end on the login screen. We fixed resizable mode on Mac OS X , finishing up loose ends we had started. But then we realized, actually, that RSC+ could keep going.
Applying an approach similar to one used in console emulation, we realized that if we could record all the network traffic coming from Jagex's RSC servers, and save it to disk, we could find a way to feed it back into the client, and make RSC+ a tool for software preservation. Using our momentum from the previous week's renaissance of RSC+ development, multiple developers of RSC+ worked together to very quickly prototype RSC Replays, creating the first playable archive of decryptable RSC server data only one day after Jagex's announcement. We would release RSC+ replays to the general public as "stable" on May 29th.
Over the next 70 days, a dozen or so dedicated players recorded RSC+ replays and attempted to document every interaction with the server possible. We documented the crap out of the game. We killed every monster, watched them respawn, picked up every item, watched them respawn, did every quest with heavy scrutiny to find dialogue that no one had bothered to write down before, and we trained every skill. To make sure that RSC is not forgotten or misremembered, we have released these archives freely here.
And so, RSC+ continues to be used today, even without a server, to help remember the way RSC really was. :-)
Perhaps one day, RSC+ will again be used to play RuneScape.