What's New at Amazon.com

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Runescape: Killing Grotworms for Profit and Fun!

Grotworms like to get in your face
I've been hanging out in the Grotworm lair a lot recently.  You can tell by the attractive white pallor where I used to be tanned.  The Mature Grotworms are pretty cool.  Easy to manage for a level 167 monster.  Nice drops, and for now, not crowded.  I say 'for now', because once the drop table is expanded for the Queen Black Dragon release, they'll probably stay crowded for a long time.

Grotworms are remarkably easy to kill.  I wear Bandos, Fury, Onyx Ring(i), Fire Cape, Dragonfire Shield, Dragon Boots and Dragon Full Helm.  I use a Vine Whip, because it's a great one-handed weapon and doesn't degrade.  I carry House Teletabs, High-alching runes, and the elite Enhanced Excalibur.

Getting there is pretty easy.  Forget Remora's Necklace with it's once-a-day teleport.  Just modify a house tab for Rimmington, then run a few steps north-east to the White Knight's camp.  Once inside, if you have at least 50 Agility take the short-cut to the south, and you're there.  If you have to go the long way around, it's a really really long way around, through the length of the caverns.

Grotworms can hit very hard, but most of the time miss or hit lightly.  Their drops are better than average.  They typically drop 2k - 7k of gold.  Rune weapons and armor.  Saradomin Brew and Super Restores.  Runite Ore, Blood Runes, noted adamant ore, noted flax.  Occasionally 2 cooked shark, which come in handy. A few other odds and ends.
Yes, I got the maze random.  That's where the arrows and feathers came from.

I high-alch all weapons and armour drops.  Keep whatever's worth keeping.  When my backpack is full of Runite Ore, Sara Brews, and Super Restores it's time to go.  Break a house teleport, recharge my prayer at the house altar.  Then go to the GE, bank what I want, sell the rest, and head back out.

I timed a random hour, just to get a feel for the value.  Below are the results:
  • 15 minutes:  100k gold.
  • 30 minutes:  155k gold
  • 45 minutes:  305k gold
  • 60 minutes:  364k gold
By then, my backpack had over 100k of things I was either going to keep, or sell on the GE.  Plus an Ancient Effigy, which I cashed in on the spot.  Love those Dragonkin Lamps! 

Over the course of multiple trips, the hourly profit varies a lot.  They're not as profitable as, say, Frost Dragons.  But Grotworms don't require my full attention, and the only resource I use up is alching runes, and 2 house teletabs per trip. 

 Use Ancient Curses with Quick Prayers set to Soul Split and Turmoil for healing.  Prayer flash as needed.  I'm not very good at prayer flashing, but these don't require a lot of precision.  Between Excalibur, and Soul Split, my hit points stay high.  The Sharks they sometimes drop can be helpful.  If you're really in trouble, use the Sara Brews and Super Restores they drop.  Generally, though, I bank them for more serious situations.

A vine whip may not be the best weapon, but it was fast enough for me.  Most of the time I was able to go between two Grotworms; one re-generating just as the other died.  I like having the shield, so didn't try 2-handed weapons.  Don't think they're worth the expense of a degrading weapon, like the Chaotics.

You can bring potions to speed it up if you want.  Bring a BOB familiar.  You can sell the drops on GE if you'd rather.  I'm taking a more laid-back approach.  No hurry, no pressure.  My last trip cleared 1.5 million in gold, plus 250 Blood Runes, and a number of potions.  Avies used to be my 'go-to' low-stress money-maker.  Not any more!  Grotworms all the way!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Runescape: New Quest- Song From the Depths

In the heat of the moment!
 (Warning: spoilers ahead!)
Today marked the release of Runescape's latest quest, Song From The Depths.  Listed as a short quest, and rated Novice level, 'Song' is a tantalizing teaser for the upcoming Queen Black Dragon boss. 

The quest might be short and easy, but it's very worthwhile.  I loved the graphics, the story, and the voice acting.  Especially the voices.  Sounds like Jagex is using professional talent.  Beautiful voices, full of sorrow, anguish, hope.  I already empathized with Remora (the central character of the story), but her soulful songs and heartfelt story just... lived... when listened to.  If you usually play with the speech turned off, I strongly recommend giving the voice mode a try with 'Song'.

Rimmington Square- note the polar bear in the well..
Beginning in Rimmington with Lucille, you quickly find the good men of Rimmington trapped in a shared dream and unable to wake.  To add a bit of pressure, it turns out Raptor got there first, and is all set to bring his own brand of chaos to the situation.  By the way, Raptor is one of Runescape's 7 signature heroes.  These are the guys (and lady) who accompany you on quests requiring NPC companions.  There are 6 of them, plus you as the 7th hero.

It takes some help from Lucille to enter a lucid dreaming state.  From there, you follow the trapped spirits.  As you enter the cave, you begin to hear the song, a haunting melody and tragic story of the mermaid Remora.  You also hear The Raptor growling his threats and ill humor along the way.  You'll hear clues as you go, but if you get lost, just follow the occasional spirits that pass by. 
What lies beyond the door?
Couple of low-stress puzzles next.  The glowing runes on the floor will unlock doors are you go.  You just have to find the right spot to activate them.  The burning sapling was more complicated.  If you have trouble with it, Wiki (as always!) offers excellent assistance.  Just remember, the main goal is to slowly put the fire out and heal it until it can become a large tree.  The tree's roots will provide a walkway across the first chasm.    If you get confused, simply exit, which brings you back to Lucille.  Get another sleeping potion and come back at it fresh.

Once across the tree root, you'll find an impenetrable drop, with spirits of the sleeping men jumping in.  The Raptor looks over, decides they're goners, and it's suicide to follow.  As soon as he says "Only a fool would follow"... he laughs and jumps in.
It's a long way down...

You know what's coming next... Yep.  Jump in after him.  The Queen Black Dragon appears, and swallows everybody entire.  Inside, there are acid pits and small monsters.  Avoid where possible, but if you brought some food (or an Enhanced Excalibur) it's easier to just bull straight through everything.  You'll take small damage, just heal as you go.

When you get to the Siren, there's a cutscene, and a long conversation with her.  By this time, you've heard her story, and it's time to break the cycle.  While she's reluctant to trust you, a few words of the "Song of Awakening" show her the truth.  Remora thought she was trapped on an isolated island.  Realizing the truth is horrific, and I really felt her pain.  Wonderful storyline, great voice acting, especially here.

Incidentally, her song rescued the trapped spirits.  Somewhere in the middle of all this, Raptor shows up, and threatens to kill Remora.  Once convinced he needs her to escape, he stands down, but warns "I'll be watching you!" 

Grab the coral crossbow on the floor, free Remora, and prepare for a wild cut-scene again.  The Queen Black Dragon will vomit all three of you up now (I know... Yuck, right?) 
In the ensuing chaos, Remora protects you with her life, you dive for her teleportion amulet, and escape with The Raptor.  Once safe, the Raptor leaves you to deal with the aftermath, while he goes back to fight the Queen Black Dragon. 

You might think it's all over now, but you still have to talk to Lucille to get close out the quest.  The reward is one quest point, 700 Constitution Experience, the Coral Crossbow with 50 bolts, Remora's necklace, reduced damage taken from the QBD (when she's released next week), and access to the new dungeon.

You also get 2 SOF spins, and 30,000 Constitution as an after-quest kind of thing.  Go back into the quest cave, follow the hints (remember Wiki is your friend!)  and you'll find 2 cavern walls.  Reading the blue glowing runes on one will give you 5k Constitution exp.  Then swim across the acid pool, read the 2nd wall, and it will give 25k Constitution exp. 

I really liked this quest.  I know it was mainly setting the stage for the coming Queen Black Dragon boss fight, but it was a good story.  Well done, all across the board.  I've already mentioned how good the voice acting was.  The graphics deserve credit too.  Love the glowing effects, the character details.  Monique and I have played Runescape since 2004, and it's just amazing how much it's improved over that time.  The Raptor was quite well done, too.  I liked the character.  His gruff, tough, personality.  His problem-solving approach.  Reminds me of the saying "When your only tool is a hammer, all your problems start looking like nails."

Some things of particular note.  Remora's Amulet allows you to teleport directly to the Grotworm Lair once a day.  I like things that teleport.  One of my favorite rewards.  Another cool item: The Coral Crossbow.  It's upgradeable (once the QBD is released), and according to Jagex, will become a "truly fearsome weapon."  Cool.

On the bad side, it only fires coral bolts.  As far as I know, they can only be obtained as drops from the Grotworms, so if you want to take on the Queen, better use this week in advance to stock up.  You get 50 from the quest, and they're untradeable.  Even better, Coral Bolts are supposed to have an unknown (as of yet) special effect against the Queen.  Don't know about you, but I think I'm going to spend some time with the Grotworms!

If you go deeper in the tunnels, there are three levels, with increasingly tough worms.  The final ones are level 167, and drop cool things like Runite Ore, Rune Daggers, and gold.  I especially liked the gold.  I killed 5 Mature Grotworms just to see what they were like.  Got 2 Runite Ores, 1 Rune Dagger, a 5,000 gold drop, and a 7,000 gold drop.  That's a pretty good drop rate!  Plus Big Bones every drop, if you like those.

The level 167 worms seemed resistant to whip damage, but also seemed very inaccurate.  Occasionally one would hit hard, but mostly they missed or did light damage.  I'll have to follow up and see what they're weak to.

Great atmospherics, easy (yet fun) quest.  To me, it was a great intro for the Queen Black Dragon.  Now I'm even more excited- going to be hard waiting for her official release!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Runescape: 100th blog, new goals, and the Queen Black Dragon

One of my proudest achievements: Getting 2 Baby Jads (Back when he still looked cool!)

 This marks my 100th Runescape blog.  Kind of a special occasion.  Cool timing, because with the new Runespan and Bonfires, I finally got Runecrafting and Firemaking both up from 92, to 99.  Getting two 99's in one week is pretty unusual.  

With Firemaking maxed, it's time to find the next goal.  I always go through a 'blah' stage between goals.  Not sure what to do next.  There's so much to do, and always new content coming out.  Monique and I have been enjoying Runescape since 2004, and it never gets old.  However, I'm not a big fan of mini-games.  Don't much care for the group activities.  That still leaves lots to do.  We both like skilling, though our specialties differ.

At the moment, my bank is low.  Making money would be good.  I like straightforward combat, but right now flipping on the GE sounds more appealing.  On the other hand, most of my game-time has been skilling recently, leaving no time for combat.  Dungeoneering is starting to call to me again.  Been ages since doing any.  That was always a lot of fun.

Monique thinks I ought to actively work toward my Strange Rock collection.  It's one of the Completionist goals.  But right now, getting all 99's is so far in the future I just can't get worried about Completionist.  Time for that after getting all 99's.  Probably take several years.  That's okay.  It's been fun so far, and will continue to be fun.  That's the reason we're still playing.
Jagex teaser shot of the Queen Black Dragon cave.
It might be smart not to get too involved in anything just yet.  Jagex has promised a new quest and a new boss monster this month.  We always do the quests together.  Our first achievement cape was the Quest cape.  Unless you count the Legends Cape.  After that it varied.  Monique was one of the early Farming 99s, and for years stayed high in the ranks.  My first 99 was easier than farming, but still pretty ambitious.  Trained on Gorillas with Dharok armor, and timed it to get Strength, Accuracy, and Defense maxed within seconds of each other.  As a fringe benefit, Constitution maxed out at nearly the same time.  Getting 4 99's within a few minutes was wonderful, but never happened again.  After that, it was all long training on one skill at a time.

This whole Queen Black Dragon boss thing sounds really intriguing.  Designed for high-level combatants, solo only (Yay for solo monsters!) and with a range of new rewards... plus an entire new dungeon to explore on your way to the Queen Black Dragon.  I'm kind of stoked, even if I'm not great at complex combat.  Can't wait to try her out!
Will she really look like this?  We should know in two weeks or so.
Bearing her in mind, maybe I'll just play at non-committal things until the new release.  We're already halfway through the month.  If there are no delays, it should all happen in two weeks or less.

What's your take?  All hail the Queen...  or "Oh H***, it's the Queen!"   ?

It's been a wild time with great updates recently.  Looking forward to the next ones!