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Friday, February 25, 2011

Runescape Bonus Experience Weekend Coming Up Again

Dinner should be ready in a moment
If you haven't heard yet, it's true... Runescape will be hosting a Bonus XP Weekend from the 11th to the 13th of March.  Last time we had one, I used it to get my 99 in Construction.  Monique used it on a multitude of skills, but she played consistently all weekend and really maxed out her bonus points!
     If you don't remember how it went, you generally get a 2.7x experience bonus the first 30 minutes.  The next 30 minutes nets you 2.55x exp.  Every thirty minutes, the XP bonus reduces a bit, until you get to 10 hours.  After that, you get a constant modifier of 1.1x until the weekend is over.
     Some skills don't get any improvement.  For instance, if you're using a player owned house, or the ectofuntus to work on Prayer, the skill bonus won't apply.  That's a downer, because Prayer is the main skill Monique is trying to raise.  In lieu of raising Prayer, she's going to work on Herblore.  She's always enjoyed it, and wants her next 99 to be Herblore.  Though she might spend some time working on other skills.  In particular, Agility.  We both need to raise that a lot.
Crafting...I'm Urning this experience (bad pun)
     I'm going to be working on Smithing and Crafting.  Smithing is easy, I'm smelting gold ore for that.  But Crafting is a weak spot for me.  I don't like messing around with it, and as a result, I'm pretty low on Crafting.  On the good side, now that Urns have come out, I can make Urns to raise my crafting level fairly cheaply.  But it's still slow and boring.  So I'll spend most of my XP Bonus Weekend on Crafting.  I need nearly ten levels for my Elite Achievements. 
     I think it makes a lot of sense to use the extra experience on skills you hate, so you can knock them out of the way faster... or expensive skills, so you can afford to level up more.  I'll save the free and fun skills for normal times.  Though like Monique, I may spend some of that time on Agility.  It's free, but tends to be boring.
     Regardless of how you plan to spend your Bonus XP Weekend, I'm sure Runescape has something to offer for at least some of your skills.  Even if it's not the one you most want. 
     Believe it or not, there are a small group of immature whiners (name-calling, yeah, I really shouldn't, I know) who like to complain about everything.  They figure since they had to walk to school uphill, in the snow, both ways, every day of the year, then nobody else should get to ride the school bus.  Or, in Runescape terms, since they earned their 99's the hard way (whatever way that was) then it cheapens the skill for someone else to have it easier.
     Speaking as someone with several 99's, and several skills close to 99, I don't mind.  Sure, maybe I got some of mine the hard/expensive/long way.  But that's okay, because... I was a) having fun and b) playing a game.  If someone is not enjoying the game, maybe it's time to find a new game.  If they're truly upset that someone else gets to play and have more fun than they did, maybe it's time to turn off the computer and play in the real world for a while. 
     Seriously, it's just a game.  If it quits being fun, I'll find something else to do.  I play Runescape to get away from working, jobs, responsibilities... for a while.  If it starts feeling too much like work, why the heck would I keep playing?
     I thought very hard about not expressing my opinions here... but decided to let it stand.  Those of us who simply enjoy the game often get shouted out and flamed by those who can't tolerate other opinions.  So, there's my opinion.  Comments are welcome, even opposing comments... as long as we can keep it civil and express our thoughts coherently.  So if you disagree, and can say so nicely, I would be happy to discuss it, and share our thoughts.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Runescape Shortcuts - Hidey Holes and Rope Racks - A "How To" Guide

You can read the blog about the guide... or just click on the link here for the actual guide:
Runescape Agility Shortcuts: How to Build Hidey Holes and Rope Racks Guide
And of course:
Runescape Cooking - Feel the Burn:How To Cook Rocktail Fish Without Burning: What You Do From Level 93 to 95

Been really hopping recently - Aside from playing with my new Lenovo Ideapad S10-3t Netbook Tablet Computer (my caps- I really love this little netbook!) I've been catching up on all the work (and play) that's fallen behind.  You may have noticed several new Runescape blogs in the last few days.
Today's blog is short and sweet, and relates to the hubpages I write (see sidebar.)  With all the updates recently, there's been a lot going on in Runescape.  And with so many BIG changes, there's been a minor change that didn't catch a lot of notice.
     The shortcuts update, Hidey-Holes and Rope Racks.  This small, unsung update is a lot more important than you'd suspect.  Sure, the Rope Racks aren't such a big deal.  After all, how many of us truly use the Eagle Transport System that much?  But the Hidey-Holes are a very nice change.  Out of all the Runescape agility shortcuts, the crossbow-and-grapple shortcuts have been, as a class, the most useless.  I mean really, who just happens to carry a crossbow and grapple around by accident?  If you've got them with you, you planned for it.
     As a result, most of us ignore those shortcuts.  Jagex finally did something about it... with a little work, those shortcuts will forever after be easy to access!
     ...Yes, I did say 'a little work'.  Don't panic, it's not that hard.  When I first looked into it, I realized there were the 'repeaters' all over the internet; you know, the sites that just cut and paste quotes from Jagex.  And there were good informational sites that offered dictionary definitions of certain aspects.   But nobody had bothered yet to tie it all together into one step by step guide.
     I play a lot.  Obviously, since I blog about it.  But I've only done one guide previously.  There's no sense writing a guide that's already been written about 50 times or more all over the internet.  So my one and only guide up until now has been the 'cooking Rocktails' guide.  I wrote it because it was a helpful technique, very useful between cooking levels of 93 to 95, and nobody had written one.
     The Hidey-Hole and Rope Rack guide came about in the same way.  I couldn't find one, and it seemed like a useful idea, so I wound up writing it myself.  I hope you find it useful!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Runescape Skilling - Just Got Better with Urns for Cooking, Fishing, Mining, Smithing, Woodcutting, and Prayer

This month's skilling update is a pretty cool one... or not, depending on your point of view.  As always, when Runescape gives us a new way to skill, or improves and existing one, there are complainers.  People with 99's who think this somehow devalues their skills.  While I can understand their feelings, I think they forget it's a game, played for fun.  If something changes to make the game more fun, I'm all for it.  Especially if it reduces the boring tedium required to earn a 99 in anything.
I like to have fun.  But I also like leveling up, even though it can be a real pain.  If I can level up, and have more fun doing it, that's the way the game should be.  If you followed the complainers logic to it's bitter end, we'd all still be playing original  Runescape Classic, in all it's glorious hand-drawn, flat 2-d art.  Because the complainers would veto any changes that made earning a skill easier.

Okay, enough griping.  Sorry, got off topic slightly.

The new Urns are a pretty spectacular addition to certain skills.  First, in their very creation, you earn exp in Crafting.  Way cool, because I need to improve my crafting level, and these are cheap to make, while mildly profitable to sell.  (I would say Wildly profitable, but they sell slow at the moment.)
Then they can be crafted to speed up experience in Cooking, Fishing, Mining, Smithing, Woodcutting, and Prayer.  I've only used the Fishing Urns so far, but the exp gain is very nice.  
With the best urn, I get 1900 exp per full urn.  I've been fishing Rocktails, with a Rock Lobster.  I now bring a few urns with me.  While they do enhance exp gained, and quite nicely, there's an even better aspect.  They give me something new and entertaining to consider while I fish.
Just imagine- fish, fish, fish, kill some bait, fish, fish, fish... that gets a little boring after 90+ levels.  Now, every now and then I get a notice.  "Your urn is now one-quarter full"... "Your urn is now half full"... and when the urn is full, I actually get to manually initiate the teleport.  Watch my little guy put the urn down, see it whisk away...

If it sounds like I'm teasing, well, maybe a little.  But really, I'm glad for the extra distraction.  It provides a little more entertainment, yet if I'm reading something, (or writing a new Runescape blog) there's no hold-up because I'm not paying attention.  Sometimes I miss an urn being filled up.  When the next one tells me, and I go to teleport it, that's when I realize I had more than one.  I still get all the exp, no waiting, hold-up, or penalties.
Bear in mind, I've only tried it with fishing so far, which I like very much.  
Monique has used the Prayer urns, and that looks pretty good too.  Prayer got an even better boost than the other skills did.  Now demons drop ashes that can be used for prayer, and are very effective used with the Prayer Urns.  Monique has been working very hard, and spending a fortune, trying to raise prayer.  Now she'll have a new tool to use.  She likes to multi-task, so rarely does Abyssal demons unless it's a Slayer task.  But I told her she should just camp out at the Abyssals, collecting the odd Abyssal Whip, and earning (urning) Prayer exp.  Sounds like a win-win to me!

The other update, making agility shortcuts easier, I haven't looked at yet.  Maybe this weekend.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Runescape Wilderness - The New Dangers of Trusting Family in the Wildy

It's been a while, but I'm still here.  Runescape has had an interesting month so far, with the return of the wilderness, plus the recent skiller update.  As much as I dislike pking, I'm happy for all those who enjoy it.  Especially since, as it turns out, pkers haven't actually caused a traumatic change in my game, as I had thought it would.  Not that there's not risk, and some things may no longer be worth the risk now.  But mainly, with a little planning, I've been able to follow my usual pursuits in the wilderness with minimal risk.  So far, no one has tried to take off my head.  Though Monique accidentally walloped me with her dagger while we were penguin-hunting.  It was our first trip into the 'new' wildy, and she intended to click "follow".  Instead, she attacked me.  I told her she lured me out there just to kill me for my 'stoof'.

In return, the following week while we were penguining in the wildy, I accidentally hit her... two times... with a poisoned dragon dagger!  I'm glad the poison didn't take - I'd never have heard the end of it.  Aside from our minor hiccups getting used to it, things haven't been too bad.  We've done penguins three times since the wildy became dangerous again, and never been attacked.  That's not to say we won't ever be.  I'm not going to take it for granted.  But I'm relieved at how it's gone so far.

Aside from the group penguin-hunting in world 60, I usually make an effort to find a relatively empty wilderness. I gear down as much as possible, don't take anything super-expensive.  For penguin-hunting, next time I'm going to Ooglog first, and taking a saltwater plunge.  Maybe if my run energy is endless (for a limited time) it'll make things easier.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Return of the Wilderness: Beacon fires complete

Today, February 1st, 2011, marks the return of the Wilderness.  Whether you love it or hate it, the game's going to take a lot of getting used to.  In preparation, Monique and I decided we needed to complete the beacon network before it was crawling with... impediments.  It's an elite task required for the Varrock elite armor.  Both of us had a lot of work to get our firemaking levels up.  Monique got hers a day or so before I got mine.

After hitting the required level 92 firemaking, it was time to make the run.  We chose to use magic logs.  I had a few hundred extra after my firemaking training, and they burn 18 minutes before going out.  Lots of time to make our run. 

Our first steps involved loading the beacons with logs.  Starting from Canifis, we worked our way west, and then southward.  It really wasn't necessary, but I wanted the added security of having the beacon tenders help by tossing 5 extra logs on the fire.  Some were willing to help right off the bat, some needed a little gift to smooth the way.  We prepped them before even loading the beacons with logs. 

After loading all the beacons with logs, it was time to make the run in earnest.  First a trip to Ooglog for the saltwater pool.  That gives infinite run energy for something like 20 minutes.  Very handy!

Then we began setting a blazing trail.  Lighting every beacon in sequence, giving our 5 extra logs to the beacon tenders who'll take them.  A lot of running, combined with an occasional teleport.  The Combat bracelet came in handy for it's teleports.  First to the monastery, and later to the Warrior's Guild.  I was on Lunar magic, so was able to teleport us to the Ice Plateau for the last two.

Before we knew it, the final one was done, and King Roald was thanking the both of us for our help.  Why, without our hard work and dedication, the kingdoms of Misthalin and Asgarnia could be at risk.  Now everybody is safe from Morytania and the depths of the Wilderness.

As you can see, his thanks were very generous.  Monique and I are now the proud owners of the coveted Inferno Adze, a single tool that acts as a dragon hatchet, and a rune pickaxe.  From a distance, it doesn't seem like much.  But when you get a good view, it's actually a cool design.

At this point, Monique went on her way to continue training.  For me, though, this was the grand finale for Varrock Elite Achievements.  My last task, and then it's off to see Vannaka, the Edgeville slayer master.  He upgraded my Varrock armor from the goofy white shoulder-padded get-up, to a cool, dangerous-looking chestplate.  Seriously, at least it looks good, right?

Goofy White Armor
Cool Elite Varrock Armor
 It's protective stats are the same as a steel platebody.  Not what I'd wear to heavy combat.  But the abilities it grants are heavy-duty!  It has a whole laundry list of improved features, but my favorite has got to be access to 80 Battle Staves every day from Zaff's apprentice, Naff.  If I stay on Lunar spellbook, I can teleport to Lunar Island and buy 20 more per day from Baba Yaga.  With little extra effort, I can sell them for a profit of 130,000 gold (at this moment- prices are sure to be changing now that Wildy is back.)

It was a lot of work, but I'm super glad we finished before the Wildy returned!