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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Runescape Troll Invasion - New Solo Distraction and Diversion

Troll Invasion came out just yesterday.  Monique and I did penguins, and didn't feel like figuring out something new so waited till today to try it.  I'm not usually big on mini-games.  But this one gives experience that you can put on any skill you want. 
Get the trolls close enough, and your ranged support will help you.

Turns out it's a good thing we waited a day.  Apparently it was still a bit buggy, and a lot of players wound up not getting credit for this month's attempt.  Yes, this months.  You can play it as often as you like, but you only score the big exp on your first attempt of each calendar month.  So brace yourself, get ready, and do your best straight out, because you'll have to wait a month to try again (for points, anyway)!!
There's two sides to it, you can just go and fight all the way through, or you can work defense to protect the keep.  Monique took defense, and I took combat.  She did well enough, scoring about 22k of xp.  I was very happy with mine, finished all 20 waves and got 42k of xp, which went on my lvl 73 dungeoneering, raising me up one level.
Since we went together, I didn't get to watch Monique's part.  It sounded like she did pretty good.  But for me, the combat was pure fun.  Lots of variety, good graphics and sounds, and the occasional bit of humor.  This being a 'safe' minigame, there was no risk of losing anything by getting killed.  Just the same, I'd rather not die.  I've heard you get better points scored if you don't die. 
If you enjoy combat, this is a blast.  Jagex makes it pretty easy to survive.  Not that you won't take damage, just that it's pretty easy to manage your resources, and you have plenty.  I still brought my own, and definitely needed them near the end, but only because I let an explosive troll blow my resource table up.  Not on purpose, I didn't even see it happen.  But I went to heal up and my table was blown away!
The Troll magicians were cool, especially their ability to summon me to them.  It was awesome to see me being dragged rapidly from wherever I was to fight with them.  And welcome, since I really wanted to kill the magicians as a top priority.  It was also pretty neat to see summoners conjuring creatures up. 

Of course the big news was the big guy himself, Cliff.  He was huge, and made my Steel Titan look tiny.  Of course, the bigger they are...  and wow, when he fell, he fell hard.  It's a little bit like the fight cave and Jad.  You go through waves to get to the boss, and he uses multiple styles of attack.
I've read that you should vary your protection prayers according to which attackers your facing.  I tried that, but eventually realized it worked out just fine if I left my prayer on Deflect Melee and Turmoil (Ancient Curses) the whole time.
Also, based on advice from Wiki, I took my best melee armor, best summoning creature, and 3 weapons.  Whip, Rune Crossbow, and Dragon Claws (for special attack on the boss monster).  Whip for normal fighting, crossbow for the ones that refuse to come into melee range.  Brought 5 Prayer Pot (4)s, and the rest of the inventory was Rocktails.  Only used 2 Prayer pots, and about 1/3 of the Rocktail.
With this setup, it was pretty easy to just bull through.  Didn't really need any finesse or skill, just kept prayer on and kept fighting.

All in all, this was a very fun diversion, and I loved getting 42k of exp for just a few minutes of play.  I assume if I'd put it on a higher skill it would have been more, but 42k was great for the skill it went on.  We only tried it the one time.  Based on what I could see of Monique's part, I think the combat was more fun.  I might even come back before the new month and try the harder combat, the one with only 7 (very intense) waves.  Just to get a feel for it before trying it for real points.  I'm sure it'll be more challenging than the easier 20 waves.

If you're thinking about trying it, I'd say give it a shot.  It was enjoyable, and well worth the time spent!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Runescape- Deadliest Catch Quest Review

The latest quest to come out, Deadliest Catch, has had a lot of hype.  First and foremost, it's name was chosen in an unusual fashion.  Initially, a group of names were picked by a mod from a forum thread asking for suggestions.  His top picks were put in a poll, and voted on by players.  So, in a roundabout way, players named the monster of this tale. 
Of the names available, Thalassus was  a pretty decent one, so no complaints there.  Especially when you know Jagex has a tendency to bad puns and lots of humor.   Regarding the quest itself, I enjoyed it quite a lot.  I especially like the graphics for the monster, which looks very cool. 

To begin, go to the fishing guild, and speak to Jones the Fisherman.  He starts the quest, and of course, is the main character (not counting Thalassus) during the quest. 

The requirements generated some controversy- upon first announcing it, Jagex made an error and listed at least one of the requirements significantly lower than it should have been.  Quite a few players trained levels to prepare for the quest, only to find they were not qualified on the day of the quest.  There were plenty of complaints on the forums!  If you were one of those caught in the middle, I'm sure it left a bad feeling about the quest.

Deadliest Catch is rated as a Master Quest.  I'm not sure why, except that the requirements to do the quest itself were set pretty high.  The hardest part is the mermaid's conversation.  Make the wrong choice, and you have to start over.  The memory puzzle with the trail of wreckage wasn't so bad.  If you've got a decent memory, you'll have no trouble.  If not, make a simple point by point map.  In all other respects, this was a short, easy quest.  I still liked it, just surprised it rated 'Master Quest'.

The mermaids themselves were another point  of controversy.  They were essentially 'topless', though not done in any way to draw specific attention.  I know this is supposed to be a kid-safe game, but it seemed blown out of proportion to me.  Some people will complain about darn near anything.

The best part for me was at the end of the hunting trail, when you actually get to see Thalassus.  And later, when (if you've convinced the mermaids to help) Thalassus spits Jones back out.  Great graphics, and a lot of humor there.

Aside from the monster itself, I was also liked the scenes with the Master Smith, Linza.  Unique character, lots of conversation, cool graphics.  Loved the close-up, Jagex did a great job, not just on her, but the anvil was very… anvilly looking.  It just looked a lot nicer than the standard anvils spread across Runescape. 

While the end might have been a slight let-down, I like that I can go back (up to 10 times) and re-hunt Thalassus for more hunter experience.  It's kind of fun, though it gets harder with each succeeding attempt. 

The rewards are pretty nice, commensurate with a short master quest.  Not many, but the points are very nice, especially the fishing exp.  The wieldable fishing nets were nice, but it seems like they'd have included a wieldable fishing pole too. 

I don't typically do guides, just reviews.  If you need a good guide, Wiki is usually a good source.  In looking to refresh my memory while writing this, I also see RuneHQ has a good guide.  Either will get you through this quest admirably.  Like I mentioned, it's not really hard.  There's not even any combat.  Just a little adventuring, minor problem-solving, and a fun story.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Runescape: I Am NOT The Babysitter!

Does not play well with others... but I skill great!

Recently I embarked on a side goal of getting my mining to 90, and my smithing to 99.  Mainly to make dungeoneering more fun.  During my time in the Living Rock Caverns, and world 84 in general, I've noticed a rather frightening trend.  While many of us have been upset at Jagex for allowing the 'bots to become such a major problem, I never realized how it was shaping the entire Runescape community. 
I'm a loner by nature, and enjoy quietly skilling, or roaming the world of Geilinor, without being bothered by anybody.  Most of my time is spent on world 160, where talking is restricted, and I'm more likely to be left in peace.
So it came as a shock to be on world 84, (for mining gold in the Living Rock Cavern) and see how things have changed.  Now, you're guilty of botting unless you respond to all the children clamoring for attention.  People call me by name, begging, borrowing, chasing, wanting my time and attention. 
If you don't respond, … then you're automatically a bot.  When in the world did THAT happen?  Because I like to play in solitude, I've been called names, insulted, followed incessantly, and talked about between players as if I'm not there. 
It may seem rude, for me not to respond.  To me, it's rude to intrude on my time.  When I play, I'm focused on my goal.  Unless I'm specifically hanging out with my wife, or real-world friends, in which case we usually get together to work on a skill together, or hunt penguins.  I don't generally strike up random aquaintances with strangers whose faces and names (and locations) are total mysteries.  When someone tries to take away my time, they're stealing from me.
Yesterday someone persistently continued to ask if I could loan them a godsword.  I wasn't holding one.  Wasn't standing there, yelling "Godsword for loan or sale!"  I gave them no reason to assume I'd be glad of their attention.  And if harrassing me in the bank wasn't enough, then he chased me from Edgeville, to the Varrock shortcut, before giving up.  At that point, he got quite vulgar and called me a bot, among other things.  I never responded once, not even to retaliate.  Never gave him any reason to think he deserved anything from me, yet he acted like I was the one who had done wrong.

This whole attitude, that I 'owe' another player my attention merely because they demand it, bothers me.  I play because it's fun.  Don't need anybody telling me how to play.  If, occasionally, I choose to interact with someone, it's because they were polite, or caught my interest.  Not because they have the right to demand it. 

I sure hope there are other players out there who agree.  I'd hate to think I'm offending the majority of Runescapers here :^)

But still, for the unsupervised children roaming the internet…I am not your mommy nor your daddy, and do not owe you anything.  If you must intrude on my fun, please do so courteously, don't demand, and I might actually be nice.  Either way, I'm not a bot… surly, grouchy old guy, yes.  Bot, no.

Skilling to make Dungeoneering more fun

Recently, I've gotten into dungeoneering.  Having never really tried it before, I was pretty intimidated by the massive learning curve.  My level was mid-60's due to Tears of Guthix.  (Funny how much exp a solid year of Tears will give you!)

Monique tried it with me, and we had mixed results.  She likes to dive in and try things.  I like to research, plan, and prepare.  So for her, it was very boring... waiting for me.  For me, it was a wonderful new world within Runescape.  Dungeoneering harks back, for me, to the early days of home computers.  Bard's tale, Pool of Radiance, all those games that were mainly about gaining levels and crawling dungeons.  I kind of miss those days.

As I've learned, and improved, I think maybe I can take Monique back into the dungeons and not slow her down now.  So with luck, she might be willing to duo a few floors with me.  Otherwise, I enjoy solo dungeoneering.  Even if the exp is far slower than with team play.

A couple of weeks ago, I found someone to make a couple of items for me to bind.  Promethium 2-Handed Sword and Chestplate.  Love them both, but I would really enjoy trying other things out.  I'm also looking to find a Shadow Silk Hood, and will have to give up one of the binds if I do.  But I can't afford to lose the time, or money, constantly paying someone to make new gear, so I'm hesitant to experiment, and don't want to give anything up for the hood (not that I've found one yet!).

It got me thinking how fun it would be, to make my own gear.  I'm a skiller at heart, and most of  my skills are decent or better.  So I looked up how much I'd need to mine and smith promethium.  To do it all, I'd need 90 mining, and 99 smithing.  I thought, heck, I've got 82 mining, and 91 Smithing.  Let's do this! 

The Liquid Gold Nymph sorta liked me...

It's a week later now.  I have the fancy golden mining armor from the Liquid Gold Nymph.  It took 14 real-time hours down in the Lava Flow Mine to get it all, and to have my pick guilded.  Also bought a Dragon Pick Axe for best mining.  Figured I can always sell it back later.  And at 14 million, trust me, it's going back just as soon as I'm done with it! 
She gave me this cool Gold Mining Armor

For the last week, all my game-time has been spent in the Living Rock Cavern, mining gold.  My mining went from level 82, up to 88 by Thursday.   89 by Friday, and got 90 this morning.
I'll be glad to leave this chaos behind!

Started all this last Sunday, and today is Saturday.  Now that mining is at 90, I've switched to smithing.  It'll take 125,000 gold ore turned into bars, using the goldsmith gauntlets and my Varrock 4 armor.  I banked about 17,000 gold ore while mining.  (Spent some of my time Lava Mining, which doesn't give ores.)  It cost around 24 million to buy the rest of the ore, which will become gold bars.  Then craft, probably into plain gold rings.  They resell at a loss, but not a complete loss.  With any luck, by the time I've gotten to 99 smithing, it won't be a big money pit.   Or maybe I'll forget profit, and just make gold amulets for the better experience.

Monique and me making gold bars

I know this'll take a lot of time.  But worth it, when I head back into the dungeons and can make my own armor and weapons instead of relying on someone else.  To me,  dungeoneering is all about the fun.  If I was serious about getting exp and levels, I'd team dungeon.

The good part, when it's all done, I'll be a tiny bit closer to the max skills cape.  So it's all good.

Pray Hit Eat - Melee Combat in Runescape

How do you fight in Runescape?  More specifically, what's your melee style? 

Pray Hit Eat- it pays to have high prayer levels!
 I was discussing Jad with a friend recently, and the subject kind of drifted in sideways.  Being a high-level player, I tend to rely on lots of prayer, Attack/Strength, and hit points.  For most ordinary monsters, that's generally sufficient.  Which is good, because I spectacularly fail when it comes to complicated combat styles.  Jad in the Fight Caves took me two months to beat.  I only succeeded because I found out you can kill him with deflect prayers and never actually have to fight Jad.

Same thing with Nomad.  I studied every guide out there, tried it all, and finally beat him mainly by persistence, luck, and by having high stats.    Before the big fight, when Monique and I were doing the Nomad quest, we came to the maze of exploding floating platforms you had to jump across.  Monique was cautiously threading her way through, trying to jump only to ones that wouldn't explode.  About 1/3 through, she looked over at me, to see me just waiting for her at the end.
"How did you get there?"
Me: "I ran"
Monique:  "How'd you know where to run?"
Me:  "I didn't... I just ran."

Got to the end with hit points to spare, ate some food, ready for the next phase.  And Monique?  Well, she got to the end in pretty good shape, and her method was much more elegant than mine.

This pretty much explains my approach to most combat as well.  I do my research, try to face it intelligently, but rely heavily on the "Pray Hit Eat" method of survival.  I'm just not coordinated enough to get truly elegant.  Survival is the goal, and it doesn't have to be pretty.  Just effective.

In the long run, my technique has limited effectiveness.  But with higher stats, I can afford to be a bit sloppy.  So, how do YOU melee?  With wit, charm, and style?  Or "Pray Hit Eat?"