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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Runescape: Bakriminel Bolts

I'm a little behind the times with the new Bakriminel Bolts.  To be honest, the fletching requirement was too high for me, and I just forgot about it.  Since I don't do pvp, and the bolts are most useful in pvp, there just wasn't enough desire to raise my fletching.  The requirements are 85 woodcutting and 93 fletching.  Woodcutting wasn't a problem, but my fletching is only 87, and not likely to go up any time soon.

The bolts didn't catch my fancy, so I forgot to mention them to Monique until a couple of days later.  Turned out, she hadn't read the updates, and wasn't even aware of it.  After mentioning Bakriminel Bolts to her, her antenna perked up.  A little research, and she's all interested.  She's got the levels required.  (Monique... how the heck did you get 93 Fletching???)  She made a couple of trial runs, and decided it was quick and easy profit.  (She's currently making roughly 250k for every run, and the trees regenerate every 6 hours.) 

Now that she's comfortable making her Bakriminel runs to the Bloodwood trees, she mentioned she'd be glad to 'assist' me in making bolts too.  I'd get the bolts, and she'd get more experience from the assist program. 

These bolts are extremely powerful, and can be used effectively against monsters.  But where they really shine is in pvp against mages.  To put it briefly, they offer targetable special damage.  You get to choose one of 3 targets, each of which does something unique and painful to player mage characters.  And they're currently selling for much higher than the GE price shows.  Bakriminel Bolts can only be fired from a Chaotic crossbow or a Rune crossbow.

The bolts are only available from Bloodwood trees, and you have to start the first time by speaking to Mami Rimba.  She's near the wilderness edge by the new Edgeville Home teleport pedestal.  After some colorful conversation (and wild eyes) she'll be willing to sell you some special Bolt tips.  Won't tell you how to make them, but she'll sell them to you.

From this point, Monique took me on her Bakriminel bolt rounds.  First she told me what to bring, and what to wear (mainly the Vyrewatch gear so the vampires won't be aggressive at the Darkmeyer tree.)  We used our Inferno Adze for the chopping, but any axe should work fine.  The Bloodwood trees are suitably gruesome, with skulls around the base, and the limbs look like bone and muscle. According to Runescape, the ones deep in the wilderness give greater rewards.  As far as we can tell, that's not necessarily true.  The best tree I got in the wilderness was 3 logs, which was the same as my best tree in the non-wilderness.  Monique did get 5 logs from one tree.  Even so, that's not huge numbers.

We had to be careful not to step away from the tree while she was assisting me.  Too far, and the logs disappear.  Monique found out the hard way, if you cut Bloodwood logs, then get taken away by a random, you LOSE your logs!  What a pain.  Just remember, you have to cut them, then fletch them, before leaving the tree.  Otherwise you lose any logs or incomplete bolts.

Monique had worked up a route she likes, but after running it with her, we thought next time we might check the convenience of shortcutting from Ghorrock (the Frost Fortress) into the Wilderness.  It looks like a viable route, and might make the run easier.  We also didn't realize there was a nearby fairy ring, so we ran from Fremmenik all the way up to the canoe.  Would have saved over half the run if we'd used the DKS fairy ring.  A polar bear would be even easier, but too much of a waste for just that one use.

  I haven't experimented with Bakriminel Bolts yet, but it seems like they should be excellent for Jad, or the Fight Kiln.  Costly, though.  Still haven't seriously attempted the Fight Kiln yet.  I like the Steel Titan method, it looks very useable.  But don't have Dreadnips, and have never done the Dominion Tower.  Looks like it might be worth doing the 450 boss fights at the Tower in order to have access to Dreadnips.  One more thing I need to do...  right after finishing the Morytania tasks.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Runescape: How I Spent My (Bonus Exp) Weekend

Well, Runescape's Bonus Weekend has come and gone again.  I spent about 15 hours playing, so definitely got my time in!  Usually for a Bonus Exp Weekend, I focus on one thing and try to blast through as many levels as possible.  This time was a change of pace.  Spent some time hanging around the GE Crafting Black Dragon Bodies, and Flasks.  Went up two levels, from 86 to 88.  Not a significant mile marker or anything, but it makes crafting flasks require much less Crafting potion.  At 86, sometimes I couldn't even finish a full inventory before it timed out.  At 88, it's easy to do all 50 from one sip of potion.  Since I plan to take on the Fight Kiln soon, having plenty of 6-dose flasks will be very helpful.

After Crafting, I made about 150 Overloads.  No special exp goal, but since I was running out, it made sense to wait until the Bonus weekend to make more.  Already had most of the potions assembled, just had to add the Torstol leaves to it.  No levels gained.  But still, extra exp for the effort.  I certainly wish it wasn't such a complicated timekiller to make Overloads and Super Antifires.  

After that, Monique and I had a date at the ZMI Altar.  She wasn't quite ready, so for me, laps at the Advanced Barbarian Agility Course until she was done with her first project.  Once she was done training her Crafting, We met over at the Lunar Altar to switch spellbooks.  From there, we ran Runes at ZMI.  Talk about blindingly boring...  I only made about 100k exp, she stopped at 50k.  ... Next!

Okay, so that didn't go as planned.  Somedays, you're just not in the mood.  We both switched back to Agility, each to our own course (she's at Gnome Advanced).  Stayed there long enough to level up from 91 to 92 Agility.  It's a slow skill, but just felt more entertaining than Runecrafting.  Making 92 doesn't come with any great benefit, but it's one level closer to 99.

My agenda still includes getting Mining up, so after Agility, I went to the Living Rock Caverns.  Went for a few gold ores.  Only needed 220k exp to get a level, so made that the goal.  Went to world 77 so the Living Rock creatures might leave me alone more.  Talk about lag.  Move a step, pause.  Move a step, pause.  Went that way the entire time.  But still, got that level!
Last and finally, we both checked our 'cleanup' levels.  You know, the ones where you just need a few points to level up.  My only reasonable one was Hunter, needed about 16k for a level.  Went off to do Red Chinchompas.  Had no idea how crowded they are.  Wish there was some more space for others there.  Still, managed the 16k, made one more level.  It's my lowest skill, at 74 (75 now).  Usually I just let Juuna train that one.

I didn't focus on one single skill this time.  Just spread it out among different ones.  Made a few levels, had some fun.  In general, just really appreciated the bonus experience.

So that was my weekend... how did you spend yours?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Runescape: City to City direct - New Teleport Lodestones

Today was a big day for me.  I've been looking forward to the new teleport network.  Hoping for something like the Fairy Ring network, where we can step on at one place and go to any other fairy ring.  This turned out even better.  The teleport lodestones are located in an odd mixture of places, some extremely useful, some less so.  But the really cool part is the unlimited uses.  Even though it's the basic 'Home' teleport just jazzed up, you can now teleport from nearly anywhere, to any of the new locations.

Same old rules apply.  No teleporting away from high-level wilderness.  It's a slow spell, and can be interrupted by an attack.  But now, when you use the home teleport, there's a small map, with icons representing all the new locations.  It's going to take a while to get used to all the new options.  I especially like the Catherby lodestone, it's never convenient to get to on the normal spellbook.

The Lunar lodestone is another awesome one.  It's just a few steps from the bank.  Now getting my daily battlestaves from Baba Yaga will be much easier.  It's won't be so dependent on saving a teleport on the Wicked Hood any more.  In turn, that means I can use the Wicked Hood twice over to make Bloods, for best experience, and a good selling rune.  Up til now, my daily Wicked Hood use has been Astrals, run to Baba Yaga, bank, Bloods, Camelot for free flax, Arhein for 80 Seaweed, bank, charter a boat to Oo'glog, get Red Sandstone, make glass, bank.

I don't make flasks with the sandstone right now; with Bonus Exp weekend coming up, I'm saving the glass up to make all my flasks for extra experience. 

Now that there's unlimited teleports to Lunar (and numerous other locations) the Wicked Hood teleports can be dedicated just for Runecrafting.  Or maybe penguin hunting.

Another cool aspect is the nearness of banks.  Now banks are just a home teleport away.  The days of teleporting to Edgeville or Varrock for quick banking may be drawing to a close.  The Grand Exchange will probably always be a major nexus, but less so for every drop-off. 

It will take a while for all the ramifications to filter down.  I'll be watching the Wiki and Forums.  Going to be interesting to see the clever and creative ways people put these new teleports to use!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Runescape: Short-term goals and Long-term goals

Now THERE'S a wasted cannonball!
 Didn't think I'd have time last night, but wound up going down to the Frost Dragons.  Lasted the duration of one Pack Yak.  I've been operating under a handicap, lacking a Chaotic Rapier.  I know, 88 Dungeoneering and no Chaotic...  That's because I've always solo dungeoneered, or at most, Monique has gone along with me.  Not knowing at the time how great the Chaotics are, all my points went into the Ring of Kinship.  Looking back, I guess there's no regret.  Boosting the ring does help within the Dungeons.  But now it'll be a long time before getting any Chaotic weapon.  Yes, I know it's faster going in teams, but I enjoy playing solo.  Don't like the stress of working with a team.  As long as it's fun, that's the big thing.

Looking online for guides vs Frost Dragons, there were some that recommended a Vine Whip as an alternative choice.  That seemed good, especially since I do have a Vine Whip.  No money or time spent just trying to get one.  The Vine Whip poisons, so it seemed like a fair compromise.  But something a friend said made me start wondering about Korasi's Sword.  While down there last night, the sword went, and not the whip.  Turns out Korasi's Sword is FAR better than a vine whip to kill Frost Dragons.  What a huge difference... Now when I need a little Soul Split, it's actually an effective solution.  Before, it was very (pardon the expression) hit or miss. 

Eventually, it would be nice to have at least one Chaotic weapon.  But there's so very many goals in Runescape, and just not enough time to play them all.  My immediate goal right now is to make money with Frost Dragons.  This in turn will fund my attempts to beat the Fight Kiln.   (Ha! - You thought I'd forgotten about that by now, huh?) 

I haven't forgotten the Kiln.  I'm just seriously horrible at complex combat.  It's going to take a lot of practice and many tries.  Plus large amounts of gold.  After spending most of my bank getting some Crafting levels recently, the Frost Dragons are helping build it back.  It would be nice to have about 50 Million as a cushion before making a determined effort on the Kiln.

Let's not forget Bonus Experience Weekend coming up, too.  There's a lot on my plate for that weekend, but Monique and I still intend to maximize our bonus exp.  Will probably spend more time crafting.  Herblore too, since it's time to make more Overloads.  Monique has invited me to train Runecrafting at the ZMI altar with her.  Unless we decide to do gold mining in the Living Rock Cavern.  Then there's always Agility.  At 91, I can't think of any serious in-game advantage to be earned with a higher Agility.  Except that in the long run, I want the Completionists Cape, so ALL the 99s are important. 
Man, there's just so much to do... Anybody want to hire me full-time to play Runescape?
... Nah, didn't think so.  Guess I'll just keep playing in my spare time.   :^)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Runescape: Graphic Update to Amour and Gnomes

It looks much better while you're spinning around and changing angles
 Yesterday marked the graphic update to much of Runescapes armour, plus the gnomes.  This is the first of the promised changes for March.  The others comprise new teleports to major towns, a Bonus Experience Weekend, and a Morytania Task Set.  (Other stuff too, but these are the ones I'm looking forward to!)

As far as the graphic update goes, it's a bit of a mixed bag.  Overall, I do like the changes.  Some, though, could have been a bit better.  I speak particularly to Rune Armour, which now looks a little... baggy.

In the main, the changes were for the better.  The Dragonfire Shield is especially excellent, making use of lighting effects to "glow" the dragon-mouth on the face.

The Bandos set, and the Armadyll set, are both huge improvements.  Now when I wear them, it doesn't look like a dress.  They look more appropriate to 'manly' men's wear   :^)

The Black Dragonhide looks excellent.  Monique thinks that since it looks so much more complex, we ought to get more crafting exp for making it now.  Not sure that follows, but heck, she'd a lot higher than me in Crafting, I'm all for anything that makes the game more fun!

Not too impressed with the Varrock Armour.  It's not bad, but I think I liked the original design better.  The Full Slayer Helm is fabulous - If you've ever seen the old Anime series, "The Guyver", the new Slayer Helm reminds me of the Guyver.  Especially with that blue gem glowing in the middle of the forehead.

When you stop to think about all the work involved, the graphic update becomes very impressive.  It's not like they simply drew a new design and slapped it on.  Many of the new designs involve re-worked 3-d shapes, and have to be modeled to move through each and every frame a player is likely to be in.  That's a lot of hard labor, and mistakes are all too easy to make.  Remember the old 'flesh-colored post' on the flying carpet?  It extended well below the carpet, and looked extremely bad.  If I remember right, we used to sit down, until then.  I guess they couldn't figure out a fix, so changed the character to stand instead of sit.  Or maybe the timing was just coincidental. 

I'm completely blown away by the Gnome updates, though.  The characters finally look believable, now that they no longer have the super-wide frog mouths.  And the view from on top of the Grand Tree is just amazing.  Really worth the trip.  The subtle changes, the rich colors, and complex lighting are visible all the way from the top to the ground.  Nice place to lay out a blanket and have a picnic.

Overall, the upgrade was a positive step by Jagex.  Keeping Runescape attractive is important, and as computers become more and more capable, the improvements need to keep pace.  This latest effort might not be perfect, but represents the commitment Jagex has to keeping Runescape current.

For me, the one single best improvement was the Dragonfire Shield.  My least favorite?  I'm going to cheat, and go a week or two further back... I hated when they changed Baby Jad!

What was your favorite change?  How about the one you hated the most?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Runescape: Skill Weekend 3/16/12- What will YOU be working on?

Not much going on right now for me.  Internet has been having intermittent service, so I've been unable to do anything dangerous.  I keep getting logged out.  Cable guy came out today, installed a couple of new parts.  Said there was a problem with the 'forward signal' in the outside lines, whatever that means.  He's sending someone to check it out.

In the meantime, I'm stuck skilling.  Doing things that won't cause problems if it logs me out.  Which ties in very nicely to today's "Behind the Scenes" announcements.  New Extra Experience Weekend coming up the weekend of March 16 (2012).  That's cool.  Monique and I usually make it a date weekend, and let everybody know we're out of touch for the weekend.  I haven't decided what to spend the time doing.  Thinking to spend at least part of the time on Agility.  It would be good to get crafting up, too.  That's an expensive skill if you're using Black Dragonhides! I pre-bought enough Black Dragon Leathers to go up one level... from 86 to 87. 

Then there's mining.  At one point that was going to be my next 99, but events (and Runescape Updates) have sidetracked me a bit.  Or, if they allow extra tokens and exp for Dungeoneering, that's an option.  Can't remember offhand if they allowed it last time or not.  Have to wait for more details to see what Jagex's rules and restrictions are for this time around.

Problem is, there's too many skills to work on, and not enough weekend to do it in.  Monique's got 98 Defence and aiming for 99, this might be a great opportunity for her to get her next 99.  Of course, choosing how to spend that time is half the fun.  I enjoy looking through the skills, seeing what's close to another level, or what's normally an expensive/slow skill to raise.  These weekends are great.  One of the first ones earned me a 99 Construction, which was awesome, considering it's expense.  The Hati paws helped train my Agility.  Monique got 99 Crafting AND Herblore from the last time.

There's just so many choices, I'm really looking forward to it.  For now, not really sure what to do, but going to have fun doing it!

So what did YOU do during Extra Exp Weekend last time?

What are your goals for this time?