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Friday, February 17, 2012

Runescape: Tzaar Update, Elder Kiln Quest

Well, we celebrated Valentines Day by doing the new Elder Kiln Quest.  It was a lot of fun.  For me, at least.  Monique does better with the non-combat quests, but she got through it just fine.  My weakness is puzzles.  I don't mind easy ones, but the complex ones are not my cup of tea.  
Anyway, this was my kind of quest.  Lots of combat, only one very easy puzzle.  Considering we make date nights out of new quests and penguin hunting, this made for an excellent Valentiine's Day for us.  I like the TzHaar a lot, they're a unique race, with some interesting features.  Over the years, we've learned more about them, and they've continued to grow as a species I really enjoy.  Even Jad, I started out hating him, and actually kind of like him now.  Even though he kills me more times than not.  

The quest itself teaches us a lot more about the TzHaar, their history, civilization, and continuity.  The extra characterization helps to make them more likable.  The plight with the young Ga'als was touching, and there were definitely some upsets and surprises throughout.  
The egg-hatching challenge was easy, just cast spells to heat or cool depending on the target temperature.  They even provide the runes to use, so I didn't have to use mine!  Having to protect the Ga'al during combat wasn't too tricky, though I have to admit, I bulled through on high hit points and Soul Split.  Nothing fancy.  

The quest makes bank access pretty easy, so working from point to point really wasn't that hard.  In the long cave, you can clear up to a checkpoint, then break, go back, stock up again...  It made for a very forgiving quest.  The final seven waves were the toughest, because you can't re-fuel from the bank.  You have to go prepared, and manage your resources carefully.  Or if your combat stats are high enough, you can just bulldoze through it.  I chose the bulldoze route, and had lots of prayer and about 3 Rocktail left.  On the good side, if you get killed, you don't lose items.  Items that get used (like food, potions, etc) are not replaced, but your armour, weapons, unused inventory, those are safe.  
if you've done the Fight Cave, you'll recognize many of the monsters as modified/ stronger versions of the same ones.  

The puzzle with the Tokkul was just my speed... simple!  Use the book you picked up from the skeleton to decode the numbers, it's simple adding and subrtracting.  If there HAS to be puzzles, this is how I like them.  (As I've mentioned, Monique excels at the tougher puzzles.)  

Rated as a Master-level quest, Jagex assigned a 'medium' length to The Elder Kiln, while other sites posted it as a 'long' quest.  Personally, it felt more 'medium' to me.  But maybe that's just because I enjoyed the emphasis on combat.  As far as the Master rating, I can see that.  Mainly for the combat, though it seems like mid-levels should be able to finish it without too much trouble.  The final fight of 7 waves was probably the hardest part, and if you manage your supplies carefully is do-able.  

I found the story engaging, and tragic.  The final cutscene with the Ga'al you've protected is... unsettling.  I can see a future quest spinning off that could go either well or badly for the TzHaar as a result of this quest.  The rewards were very nice.  A heaping helping of experience points:  100k XP Lamp for Attack, Strength, Defence, Magic, or Ranged, 50k Magic, 30k Agility, and 2 Quest Points.  

You also get access to the Fight Kiln (you'll have to do a one-time sacrifice of a Fire Cape to enter, but access is free from there on.)  Lastly, a Tokkul-Zo, which is a pretty cool ring.  It boosts damage against all lava or obsidian monsters (except Jad, darn it!)
The ring also acts as a teleport to points within the TzHaar area of influence.  You can go to the Main Plaza, Fight Pit, Fight Cave, and Fight Kiln.  using the teleports does not use up any charges.  Fighting with it does, and if you use all the fighting charges, the teleports do not work until it's been recharged. 

One last thing- the Tokkul-Zo has a small combat benefit.  4 across the board, for all attack and defense, with the exception of Summoning defense.  It loses all of these bonuses when uncharged.

As far as the graphic improvements, the new TzHaar city look and layout is phenomenal.  You actually have the feeling of being in a strange city.  The new creature design is appealing, with specific looks for each different caste.  Updated the whole TzHaar look and feel in conjunction with the quest was a good idea.  I thought it was a great way to introduce the new graphics.

I do have a question about Jad... In the preview video, Jad was shown in a vivid reddish/crimson color, but in the youtube videos I've seen of the Fight Kiln, he looks grey.  I'm curious if the original Fight Cave Jad has been updated to look like the preview one (in color) or like the Fight Kiln Jads (greyish).  I really liked the full-color look.

Not going to get into the Fight Kiln too much.  It's a separate minigame, and not truly part of the quest.  The main thing I'm happy about is that I've always wished there was an easier way to practice on Jad without spending an hour or more just to get killed.  

Haven't tried the Fight Kiln yet (thinking maybe this weekend) but I like the idea that there's a Jad every 10 waves.  I'll be getting lots of practice on him.  If I can ever get to the Fight Kiln boss, I'm certain Jad himself will never again intimidate me.  My only concern is the expense of fighting in the Kiln.  Not so much the equipment, I'll make do with whatever I can afford.  But the supplies... Prayer potions, 6-serving flasks, Overloads, Bolts and Runes.  

To compensate, I'm going to practice the Kiln without any supplies at first.  Just to get killed a few times, and see how I fare.  Kind of like practice runs.  :^)

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