Rip Van Runescape- The World Wakes (my thoughts)

The years of 2012 to 2013 were very pivotal for Jagex, as everyone knows. Especially those who have climbed the hill of Old School or RS3 and prepared their coffin, these years are all too familiar. Unfortunately, for myself, college took such a hard turn and my attention was super focused on life. These years went by, and my computer hardly signed on to the main page.

So, imagine I’m like the modern day version of Rip Van Winkle who slept through a massive Runescape revolution, and woke up on the other side looking at a divided fan-base going, “Why? There was just a graphical update, right?” And the chance to catch up has been long lost. Thankfully, a nice video of the last 15 years popped up recently on the Runescape YouTube channel, and I educated myself and am currently picking up the pieces as I go along, to get back into the know.

Buuuuuuuuuuut I’m still working on it.

In the meantime, I get to provide a unique perspective few Runescape veterans have, and even fewer post online.

When I stopped playing, my last achievements were the quests, Mournings End Pt. 2, and Devious Minds. I felt accomplished, and it felt like a good time to take a break. Years later, all of these wonderful new things kept popping up as I kept an eye on the game. I touched the EoC, watched the cutscene of Saradomin and Zamorak fight behind Lumbridge Castle (without knowledge of Guthix’s edicts), and I rode the Hasslehoff, got the crown, saved the town, and MR. KRAAAAAAAABS!

Sorry, got lost…

With a lot of touch and go, I rememeber the last update I wanted to see first hand was the Player Owned Ports, the best thing I think they ever could have made. But alas, my mere account could not enjoy it; the stats were simply too low. So while I enjoyed what I could see, I pushed the game back, went on, yet making sure I didn’t forget to check in on the game every once in a while.

But then my heart returned after heeding the call of some friends. From the PoS, to now, I didn’t keep in touch, so I’ve missed A LOT. I mean, new Asia themed provinces, more epic quests, new ways to level up the skills, new higher tiered weapons and armor, new metals, new costumes, and a whole trove of new dungeons, where was a guy to begin?

Well for me it was easy: begin where I can!

And that was World Wakes. I was barely able to start it. And even though While Guthix Sleeps, or The Ritual of Mahajarrat, were obvious prequels, I didn’t care! I wanted more glorious questing!

Well no one told me the first three enemies could instantly kill you.

And I learned quickly that EoC wasn’t Legacy fighting anymore.

So I took some time to get my way around the new system, learn the attacks, learn the strategies, look up some guides, and I tried again. It was a cinch, but an unknowing testament to the road ahead. Because after that, came a FREAKING GOD DUNGEON BOSS. People get in raids to fight this guy, and he wants a peace of me?

Runescape Kratos says, “Boi?”

After that fight, a harmless hallway descent down, turns into a huge ascent into lore. Many familiar characters appear, and join the story and lines are drawn almost immediately. Per true Jagex form, you have a say in how to proceed in dialogue, and the people you stand with. As well, puzzles and problem solving rely on you, which has been the crux of every hand crafted tale on Gielnor. While the brutish opponents of Guthix try and smash down the door, you cleverly work some puzzles and the door opens for you. Then a huge moment occurs in which a new line, the battle line, is drawn, and the followers true to their god come and attack.

The four major battles in the storage cells were all intense moments. I took advantage of every break to restock food and potions, and calm my nerves before entering again. Running around while rocks fell, keeping ymself secluded to a corner to avoid dangerous attacks, and ignoring small fry in order to attack magic portals was one thing. But the true enemy of that quest… Was Enakhra.

No matter what, the skill of passing a test always comes down to the individual. I had the guides, but they couldn’t beat her for me. I had to use my own skill, and it was a true challenge. To go against your instincts, and let your health drain, and keep it low tried not only your tenacity, but your butt cheeks. Every clenching moment where her health rose, and mine lowered was another bead of sweat down my forehead. Until finally she ran away like a punk!

And after all that, I still had to watch a saddening cutscene, which sets the online rpg game in motion to change ages.

It’s incredible to say the least, Jagex making humongous lore changes on a large multiplayer online game. Companies add content every day, but I’ve never seen such a bold change such as this. I think the Age change was great, adding galaxy levels of content for them making quest stories bigger and better, and adds possibilities for new dungeons like a Saradomin dungeon, and new lands to make. A personal idea of mine is Sky Land, where we’ll see Aviansie make a come back somehow, and we’ll learn how to get around on this new city, like gnome inventions, or winged dingy boats in the clouds? Who knows, maybe Jagex’ll hear me, maybe not.

As for the Evolution of Combat, I think making an Old School server was a good idea in the end. It hurts to see a divided fan-base, because the intentions behind the new RS3 I think are pure and good.

I’m an adult now. And gooooooooooooone are the days as a kid or a teenager. But once I heard that the new RS3 game introduced double XP weekends, and new ways the train skills faster, I was fully supportive. And I still have an account to go back into Old School and play and enjoy when I have that opportunity. The Old School is great on mobile devices and times when I’m waiting around, and I still will pull it up and grind fishing while working.

But I have to say that hardest thing to get used to was separate content. I’m all for it, it gives me a great reason to play both. But I don’t want it to make the division wider. I want both sides to respect each other and the livelihoods that are allowed to enjoy Runescape at any capacity.

So come on, fellow ‘Scapers, we have our corners, so let’s enjoy it all peacefully. There’s enough Saradominists and Zamorakians in the real world fighting because either is on one end of the spectrum than the other. We need to be more like Guthix and maintain a balance for the good of everyone happily, not begrudgingly.

So anyway, what’s this Kourend I keep hearing about?

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!w00t! Runescape !w00t!

Hoo boy, two weeks without a new entry. That’s a little rough, and definitely going on my permanent record. I would say things have been busy, but I won’t because:

1.) It’s true, but no one likes the truth
2.) Any excuse is still an excuse, so with that said…
4.) I also ran out of peanut butter
5.) The moon told me not to…
6.) Number 3’s excuse was so lame the number changed, and I bet you didn’t notice.

But man- these two weeks have been crazy am I right?

  • Got a new job at Pepsi
  • ENDGAME
  • I got back into a classic game that was one of my favorites growing up (spoiler, title of this blog :p )
  • ENDGAME
  • I don’t watch it, but I hear Game of Thrones has been doing crazy things again
  • ENDGAME
  • Oh, and Marvel produced their epic conclusion to a saga they’ve been making for over ten years now. What was it called again?

Haaaaa, I’m kidding. The movie was phenomenal, but we’re not here to talk about that! There’s plenty of reviews out there, and my opinions not that unique enough to make a blog about so instead I’m going to move forward with something that has been rekindled so such an amount, I would feel foolish not doing it.

RUNESCAPE

Big name, big game, not the same, as others. It shares the common things as other MMORPG’s but what make it stand out above all the others? And why was it my choice of gaming after so long bringing me back? Well I’m sure it would be a question my dad would even like to know.

As a funny story, back in the day, we had to show the games me and my brother wanted to play, to our parents. They were being cool, we were young, and didn’t want us doing Grand Theft Auto level things, or Gears of War level things, and there was a lot they didn’t know about the internet, so being cautious and compromising was their game. And they were good at it. I, on the other hand, was bad at selling.

I could not present a case for myself to save my life. To this day, I am the king of underselling something. I have left that to greater men and women. People would ask me what my favorite kind of music was, and I would list off bands, and they were all, “ew gross, really? WHY?” and then I was like, “uhh, uhh, because the song is all BAM, and the guitar is like JAM!”

…In college I had to quickly learn the phrase, “eh different strokes for different folks” so I could avoid having to put up a case for my opinion.

And my dad was also intimidating. Just picture Dwayne the Rock Johnson, add hair, a pastoral career, and maybe… fifty pounds and boom my dad! tadaaaa

Easily the epitome of free quests

But I was able to play Runescape, despite how he looked at it, he said it looked boring. To his credit though, I was walking around trying to find out what kind of content to show him, but there was so much, I should have prepared something in advance.

This entry is going to be like a letter to my dad. To explain why I played this boring game so much, why I gave it money, how this influenced my career choice, and what this game is going to involve the future of this blog.

May, 2004. Just off the cuff of releasing their graphical update that will forever stick, Jagex released Big Chompy Hunting. At this time I was being introduced to this new game called ‘Run-escape’, by my friend. At the end of Tutorial Island I was entranced in this unique system of Java based gaming you could play anywhere. The way fighting happened was really cool to me, even though it was A attacks B, then B attacks A, and rinse and repeat. But everything was a skill to earn by your own making, from cooking to fishing, to cutting wood, to making crafts, and mining, and fighting. All of the skills have a symbiotic relationship that one supports the other, (excluding Dungeoneering- a beast of its own.) and with the proper knowledge of locations and monster locations, you didn’t need to buy anything.

Okay maybe you might need to buy a bucket.

This first concept was amazing to me. To earn everything in the game was on you. Yes, this is a basic thing in MMO games, but this was my first, and until this time I was used to playing console games like Crash Bandicoot, and Kingdom Hearts. This game was where I -me- was the adventurer. I could customize this avatar to look how I wanted, try out hairstyles and beard trims that I didn’t have, and have fun with it without suffering consequences.

Suddenly, I was with my friend! We were in the same game and we weren’t in the same room!

But what’s this?

There were hundreds of other people also playing this game! Words were appearing above their avatar heads, they were running around, all looking different, some with noob clothes (like me) to the most decorated player with all the latest armor and weapons. And those weird polygon graphics looked so cool. That was another thing, the armor and weapons you picked up- you wore them! Other games didn’t do that. They didn’t want to take their precious Sora and give him a legit necklace change, bangle, or ring when you equipped it.

My friend began to take me to a cow field where I could train my combat skills to get stronger so we could take on harder enemies like evil wizards, goblins, hill giants, and… dragons! Yes, this game was looking so good to me!

“But Chronic, Lord of the Rings online has all of that, so does Ultima Online, Star Wars KotOR, Ragnarok, Eva, Guild Wars, and least of all: World of Warcraft!”

Yes well all of those games did not have the magical hidden charm Runescape possessed. Why? Because those games were all trying to mimic each other, and say they were better, despite all having the same lifeless avatar, controls, quest-text directive, key-bound ability based combat fighting, and arrow key movement. All of that is fine, in fact I’ve spent my fair share on those games, so I feel I’m safe in making my claims. But, here comes my shade…

They were all BORING!

The NPC’s had no character to them! The quests didn’t feel epic, they felt like fetch quests. The main story-lines were the only good parts. Period.

The two best things I find the most fun in any game are the story, and the exploration. I like a lot of color, and fantasy elements thrown together to make something that I’m not going to see in real life. To see the limits of the imagination challenged and stretched, but not to the point of insanity, and still make sense.

Let’s take two comparisons, Runescape has a large Elven city call Prffindas, and even though Lord of the Rings Online has Elven cities, I’m going to use Minis Tirith because it’s fairer to pit two hub worlds together. Hub worlds I mean you can practice all of your skills in one place. For these two in particular they are highest level in-game content. You have to nearly be maxed out to make to these places, which is awesome, settings goals and providing challenges are what game are for. Graphically it has to be given to LOTRO, the scale is enormous, and it’s a real accomplishment to have visually mastered the image J.R.R Tolkien set out to create.

I think he would be proud and definitely be playing it all day long. And if the game had the rights to create the Westlands, the final resting place fo the Elfs, then maybe… just maybe it may beat out my preference. But it probably won’t because the combination of Jagex’s charm of lovable and charismatic NPC’s, your own characters character, and the unlimited potential on the imagination means they can do much more than Warner Bros. Sadly, for all the things Lord of the Rings did, I also like, and prefer the higher fantasy I get to enjoy with Runescape.

Runescape has the Barrow Brothers, six brothers who died but their ghosts remain. Their skirmish rewards you their armor, which is another visually appealing commodity.

This game also has the God War Dungeons. Four factions time locked in a frozen dungeon and are eternally fighting. Players can shove themselves right in the middle of it all, and make their way to the God representative general, fight them and get a chance to also be awarded a ‘Godsword’ a weapon both practical and impractical.

You can also fish for sharks and those funny Monkfish, but they also make their own aquatic life called Rocktail and Karambwan.

They have so many different colonization of creatures and people. From right and proper Varrok, to the jungles of Karamja, to Feldip Hills with Zogres, to the Death Plateau with rock Trolls, to the valleys of Goblins, the desert of Kalphites, Mummies, and Egyptians, over to swamps and vampires and werewolves, to under ground with the lava dwelling Tok rock beings, and to the far west lands of crystal-house dwelling Elves. And let’s not forget about the gnomes! Those rascals…

It’s a fantasy lovers dream game.

But all of that wasn’t even my favorite part.

It was the quests.

The story. It was the story, and is the story that kept me going, and hooked me back in. The story is, the world of Gielnor has not one but many stories as many creatures as there are. And many are great in length, vivid in detail, smothered with humor, and encounters feel more intimate than any other boss fight other MMORPG’s couldn’t offer.

The community is the icing on the cake. It being a relatively niche environment, the players all have a special brand of pride when they meet outside the game. I met a player on my first day, and only my first day. It was a fun day, but I’ve never seen them again. But with that in mind, it’s a game you can play solo and not feel bored. It’s definitely better playing with friends or other people. No one feels like a stranger on the game, because you instantly have something to talk about: your skill level. And if they have a cool piece of armor or weapon or item, or a cosmetic, or they’re in the same quest as you, you find a special bond.

This one time, I was playing a quest where you have to infiltrate a village of monkeys. and if one of them saw you, they kicked you out, and you had to start over. The quest was hard, they made very few places to hide, and some of those places had snakes attacking you. It got to this part, near the end, where these gorillas were blocking the way to the door, and I didn’t have the combat requirements needed to face them. I needed to defeat them, so I could use what they carried to make a disguise and become a gorilla too, which I needed to finish the quest.

But anyway, there was this guy training on them, and he was like, “You need me to defeat them?”
And I went, “That would definitely help me out”
And he said, “Alright cool”

And he just took care of them! What I needed dropped on the floor, and I picked it up, and was able to finish way under the level a normal player should have been. But that’s why I like them! Most of them will let you in even though you don’t meet their “height requirements” and if you beat them, then you get all the spoils afterwards, and it just might level up your character enough to the right level 😉

There’s a guy on YouTube called Settled playing a hardcore account where he keeps his character in the swamps, and can only stay in there and use whatever he can find to become strong enough to face the hardest challenge, “Theatre of Blood”. So there are people making their own game out of the game, and there are others just coming in to play the game and conquer it like Zezima, the best player historically.

So anyway, dear dad, that is why I love playing Runescape. It’s a game for all player types and more, I didn’t even mention all the minigames like Gnomeball and Castle Wars. Or the devastating Player vs. player action of the Wilderness. I normally stay away from those areas. Mainly because I’m still leveling up after fifteen years of playing. But I level up according to my next quest goal. So I’m working on my level 80 skills now. And yes, I’m playing on the new Runescape 3. I love the Old School, and I love the New School. I can go back anytime and play like I remember, but now that I’m an adult with less time than my teenage self, I like how easy they make the game for those with busy lives. Jagex understood who their audience was, a bunch of kids who grew up and still wanted to play. But they also kept the Old School running, just because there was enough people who liked it that way.

They didn’t have to do that, but they did, because they love us. And that shows. What about you, Blizzard? Lucasfilms? Warner Bros? You guys are looking like you love your wallets a little more than your fans. Just saying…

If it wasn’t for the final point that this game is now mobile, and I can train my fishing while working on papers and blog entries, then I’d have a hard time vouching for this game. I’m grateful the original guys wanted to make a flash game that could be logged into anywhere, and now that the game is on every mobile device, Runescape is up with the current times and hopefully is here to stay for a long long time.

I love this game so much, that a lot of my future posts will be ideas for quests that Jagex can have for free, without even having to give me credit (okay maybe like a private email giving me a thumbs up, followed by a message saying, don’t tell anyone, that would be sweet). I keep a lot of story ideas and honestly, Runescape is a great place where I think one day it would be cool to see them implemented.

So I guess you could say this is the Chronic Shenanigan Syndrome’s first blog goal: Get a Quest on Runescape.

Quest Requirements: Level 99 Writing, Level 99 Charisma, Level 99 Commitment, Level 99 Begging and Pleading, Level 99 Self-Confidence, and need a ball of wool

Rewards: A private email with a thumbs up

Phew! That was a lot of gushing. Alright guys that is all I have to say for this week. I have to get back to fishing for Monkfish so I can finally get sharks (woohoo!). Let me know how you feel about the game, my thoughts, or your thoughts on my thoughts, or your thoughts on the game. If my dad is reading this, then I’m sorry for the lame jokes, and that it took fifteen years to tell you why I like something. Love you!

Cites:

Runescape- https://www.runescape.com
Settled- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs-w7E2HZWwXmjt9RTvBB_A