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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bringing back the Wilderness

I have so far avoided addressing this issue.  But now that the vote is over, and it looks like a sure thing, I suppose expressing an opinion is just about mandatory.  Apparently an overwhelming majority voted to bring it back.  If people want to go out into the wilderness and kill each other for a chance at quick riches, I support their right to enjoy Runescape however they see fit.  What I do not support is their right to drag others into their game.  From my first day over 6 years ago, to now, I have very much enjoyed the monster slaying, skilling, quests, and diversions.  My wife and I hunt the penguins every week.  If Jagex wants to make the wilderness pvp again, that's fine.  But don't drag me into it.  It's not how I play, and I want no part of it.
Here's where I usually hear someone say "Then stay out of the wilderness!" 
Well, that's fine, and I would, except that in their infinite wisdom, Jagex has sided with the player killers, and put content in the wilderness that has nothing to do to player killing.  They've left the penguins out in the wilderness.  Who does that benefit, except the killers?  You take a wide variety of gamers who enjoy tracking down penguins and getting that experience bonus, throw them into the wilderness, and it's going to be a pure slaughter.  Runescape will destroy our pleasure for the avaricious greediness of the other group.
Same thing with the abyss.  I can remember trying to get to the abyss through a standing ring of 10 or 20 pk'ers.  I don't care how powerful you are, that situation is unbeatable.  You either don't go, or you get killed for your glory.  Never mind the loss of your essence pouches, which take a lot of time to get.
I wouldn't mind a fairer situation, one where maybe I stand a chance of turning the tables.  But they play a numbers game. 
Okay, that's not true.  I said I wouldn't mind a fair chance.  Truth is, I don't want anything to do with player killing.  I have moral issues with the implications.  We're training our children that it's okay to hurt someone else to get what we want.  Disagree with me?  That's fine, it's your right.  But by forcing me to play into that system, Runescape is robbing me of my right to choose.  If I had a choice, if I could achieve my runescape goals entirely without entering the wilderness, I would.  Instead, they've taken away that choice.  Now my choice is to give up parts of the game that gave me great pleasure, or participate in the pker's worldview.

So why does it have to be one or the other?  For years, Runescape favored the pker at the expense of the rest.  Then, because of real-world trading, they swung totally the other way and took away the pker's way of playing.  Now, they're swinging completely back the other way in favor of pkers again. 
All I'm asking is for consideration for both groups.  Why not keep a few worlds running in non-pker mode? 
If you answer is "Because then nobody but pker's will be in the pker's world", then I say you're right, but so what?  If that's truly an issue, then you're not playing as a pker looking for an honest win, you're playing as a bottom-feeding scavenger looking to take advantage of those who can't fight back, and I have no respect for that kind of player.
But apparently, Runescape does respect that kind of player, because the game is about to turn in their favor.  I probably won't quit because of it.  I've loved Runescape too much for too long.  I've invested way to much time building up my  character to give it up.  But they've ripped out a huge chunk of what I loved about the game.  I do empathize with pker's, I think if they wanted a dangerous wildy with the old rules, they should have it.  I just don't think they should have it at my expense, over my protests.  Runescape is a huge world, with many servers.  If they truly wanted to make ALL of their players happy, they could.

Now, if you're a pker, you're either gloating over my situation because you won and I lost... or you understand my pain, because for several years now the shoe was on the other foot.  By the way, that was my position back then... I felt bad that pker's lost what they loved about the game, even though it made the game better for me... 
And if you're not a pker, then you're in the same boat as I am, and wondering what to do.  Well, here's my take:
With free trade coming back too, I'm going to wait a month or two for  prices to stabilize, then start flipping for my profit again.  I made a decent income from the Grand Exchange, but with pking back, demand for combat related supplies will probably skyrocket, as will prices.  A savvy player should be able to ride the tide, and make an even better profit.
Next, I'll rethink my approach to anything to do with the wilderness.  For instance, penguins.  Generally, there's a maximum of two penguins in the wildy, sometimes none.  I may simply not try for them, but more likely, I'll only take two (or three and a prayer) items and see if I can find them.  If I get killed, that's annoying, but not destroying.
Another example- Bork.  You know, there's a non-wildy entry at the Saradomin statue east of Varrock.  It'll make the run through the caverns a whole lot longer, but I'll completely avoid the pkers laying in wait.
Here's a case with a less satisfying solution; Jennica's Ring.  For woodcutting and firemaking experience, I like to go to the farm near the west side of the wilderness, and chop the magic tree there.  When you chop it down in one realm, it immediately regenerates in the other.  So, chop it down, enter the spirit realm, chop it down, go back to the normal realm, etc... when my pack is full, I burn the logs.  Since the tree is always standing in one realm or the other, there's no waiting for it to regrow.  An added bonus, since I'm a loner by nature, I rarely get interrupted there.  With the return of the wilderness, I'm sure to get cruised by teams hunting for victims.  This one's a less satisfying solution.  I guess I'll just have to give up using that magic tree, or only go with a team of other players who can all help defend each other.

These are just some of the situations that come to mind.  I'm sure that as time progresses, smarter people than me will post guides on raising your odds of surviving, tricks and tips to enhance survival while skilling in the wilderness.  I'll be watching for those as well.
So no, the return of the Wildy won't make me quit the game.  But it will make me re-evaluate how I play.  I may not like it, but regardless of whether we like it or not, it's coming back, and the only option we truly have is to quit playing, or adapt. 
I'm going to adapt.

Video of the old wildy:

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