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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Runescape Dungeoneering - Skill or Minigame? Either way it's FUN!

Dungeoneering has been out for over a year now.  I've had far too many other things on my mind, like getting 99's, or going for my Taskmaster Emote.  Maxing my Player Owned House... Geez, that gets expensive.
Well, I've achieved the Taskmaster.  Got some 99's, and done a lot to my house.  Could keep at it, but it felt like a good time to try Dungeoneering.
One of my early fights - a rare Frost Dragon
 I've never looked into it, beyond when it first came out, and thinking, "This looks complicated!"  Started studying up on it, learning what I could.  Monique's always telling me, she just dives right in, live or die, I study, and research, and make short trial runs, to find the way I like best.  At pretty much anything, but especially Runescape.  It's how we play, and what makes it fun for each of us. 
Whether it was for better or for worse, in the past year, our Tears of Guthix rewards have always gone to Dungeoneering.  Hands down, it's my lowest skill.  So by now, I'm level 64 without ever having played it.  My first run through, Monique came with me.  We played duo all the way to floor 32, at which point I hit reset, and prepared to go again.  Monique didn't have quite as much fun.  She sort of liked it, but my constantly stopping to compare things, look them up, plan and theorize, sort of drove her nuts. 
Since then, I've been soloing.  I enjoy duoing with her, it's a great convenience sitting side by side and being able to communicate immediately rather than type.  But I also enjoy soloing.  Let's face it, I'm really a solo player at heart.  I hate team sports, and games where I must interact with others.  That's why I excel at skills in Runescape, but stink at team games.  Clans, too.  If there was a clan that hated to play with other players, I might join it, but that seems kind of oxymoronic (yes, you can take that with or without the pun.)

Enough prep.  Let's talk about Dungeoneering.  Is it a skill or a Minigame?  Personally, I think it's more of a minigame.  As far as skilling goes, it's a hard skill to solo.  But as far as fun goes, I've been hooked ever since I started getting the hang of it.  The graphics are beautiful, the feel of the dungeons is very moody.  Monsters are all fun and diverse, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.  Boss monsters are amazing.  Some you can just power through, some need a bit of strategy.  I'm still learning.

If you're old enough, you might remember a game on the original Playstation called Azure Dreams.  One of my all-time favorite games, and I still own it.  One of the best parts was a tower that generated brand new floors every level, 40 levels.  Like most dungeon games, you spend a lot of time fighting your way to the final floor.  But unlike most games, there was an element of monster-summoning.  It was simple, but a ton of fun.  Dungeoneering reminds me a lot of that game.  Not perfectly, but a lot. 

The idea is really great when you think about it.  Go into a dungeon with nothing more than your Ring of Kinship.  You can't lose money or items, because you can't bring anything from the normal Runescape world in with you.  In the same fashion, you can't bring anything out with you, except experience and tokens.  Tokens can eventually buy you some pretty cool things from the trader, but the items cost a lot. 
Basically, you go in with nothing, and come out with nothing.  But while you're there, you get to kill monsters all you want, progress further into the dungeon, find cool drops to improve your trip, and even keep your top favorite item or 2 (or 3 or 4 if you're really high level) for every time you come back.  You can set the complexity to be basic monster-slaying, or to incorporate many Runescape skills.

I totally love the concept, and even though the experience is pretty slow, it's so fun, I keep going back in.  I recently found a player to come with me on one trip.  He's a Master Smith, and for a modest sum, he created a Promethium Chestplate, and Promethium 2-Handed Sword for me.  I can only bind 2 items, so that was all I asked for.  Now I have them at the beginning of every dungeon.  It's massively helped me.  I was really used to the Katagon stuff, and all of a sudden I'm using Promethium.  Way cool.  And NOT CHEATING.  Jagex themselves recommend having someone make better gear for you. 
Funny thing is, the same day I got the Promethium gear, a boss monster dropped Primal Plateskirt.  Twice!  I really wanted to keep it, but for how I play, the Promethium Chestplate was actually a better choice.  Still, really really hated leaving that behind.

I have no intention of writing a guide, so I'm going to stop here.  Yes, Dungeoneering is fun.  For me, anyway.  You'll have to make up your own mind.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Runescape Capes of Distinction... Cooler than I thought they'd be!

Holy cow!  When Runescape announced the new capes, I thought "yeah, blah blah blah, nothing to get worked up over."

But when I'm wrong, I really know how to be wrong.  Okay, so maybe not ALL of the capes are that fabulous.  My first inkling that events were moving and shaking was a short little email from Monique:

 "The 5 year cape emote is way cool.  The classic cape emote is just OK.  I have a feeling you will go for the Completionist cape.  :)"
It didn't take much more to intrigue me.  My reply:
"Does it require all 99's in every skill?  I'd hate the requirement, but you're right... I'd it's in my nature to obsess, and this sounds like me.  I'll have to check out the homepage when I get a moment.  And I don't care how way cool the 5-year emote is, taskmaster emote is better!"

The taskmaster thing was a reference to my recent acquisition of the emote... I'm still kind of proud of my taskmaster emote, and here they are already de-valuing it!  

So anyway, when I found time, I checked out Runescape's home page.  Okay, the cape thing is kind of cool after all.  There are multiple capes, respecting many layers and levels of achievement.  If you know your capes, then it becomes pretty easy at a glance to show your overall Runescape progress.  Not just combat, which has always been obvious, but all skills.  

The Veteran's cape is pretty neat, more from the emote than from the cape itself.  No, it's not as cool as the Taskmaster emote, but it's a pretty darn close second.  

Then there's the Max Cape.  You have to have 99 in every skill to wear it, and the emote manages to incorporate aspects of every single skill.  Pretty cool, and I'm certainly going to work on getting one.

But the coolest cape of all time?  Move over skill capes.  Out of the way, Fire cape.  Ardougne Elite Cape, step aside.  The cape of all capes, the Completionist Cape... Wow, the emote is just awesome!  I want one... but it'll be forever before I can get it.  Downer.  This cape has the best emote of all time, converting it's wearer into a dragon that flies, shoots flame breath... oh, heck... just watch the video.  It's too cool for words:

With the Max cape and Completionist Cape, aside from the emote and the bragging rights, you can personalize it with your own color choice.  The Max cape, according to Jagex, is "Overall, the max cape is second only to the completionist cape in terms of stats."   So it's at least the 2nd best cape in the entire game, topping or equaling the Fire Cape. 
The Completionist Cape is, of course, the best, again referring to the above quote.  On top of the stats, it also acts as a combined super-functional cape including:

Counts as a Tzhaar Fire Cape for fighting Strykewyrms
Ava's Accumulator, collecting arrows but not junk
Teleports like the Ardougne Cape 4.

I mean, come on... all that, plus I get to be a DRAGON?  Sigh... years of training to go.  It requires all skills 99, all quests, mini quests, hidden quests.  All music and spellbooks unlocked.  And an unspecified "number of other such feats."  

Oh well, I guess I need to pick a skill and start grinding.  On the downside, I sure hope Jagex has some way to keep bots out of this.  I'd hate to see someone wearing these capes who didn't work hard for them.    

Milestone Capes:
Weave on a loom to make yours. Stats are all 0's.

Classic Cape: Attack stats all 0, Defense Stats all +1, Prayer +1.

Veteran Cape: Attack stats 0, Defense Stats all +5, no Str or Prayer bonuses.

Max Cape: Attack Stats all +5, Defense Stats all +11, Str +4, and Prayer +10.
Wow, I like that! Significantly better than the Fire Cape.

Completionist Cape: Attack Stats all +10, Defense Stats all +12, Str +4.5, and Prayer +13.
Truly the best cape in Runescape.

But, realistically, I'll be years before getting it.  I stand a much better chance of getting the  Max Cape... maybe in about a year...  

At least I qualify for the Classic, Veteran, and at minimum the 6-level Milestone Cape.  And getting 7th and 8th Milestone won't be too hard.  Most of my skills are in the 80 to 90 range, with about 10 already at 99.  Just need to smooth out some of the lowest ones.  Just to be thorough, here's some of the Milestone Capes:

What the heck.  They're still cool capes.  And maybe... just maybe, one day... I'll be the coolest guy in the old folks home when I finally get my Completionists cape!