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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!!


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the quest too. I just hope Jagex doesn't over-due the voice acting around Runescape. It was nice during the quest, but for me, playing with sounds on can be quite a nuisence.

I'm absolutely pumped for the QBD and have been prepping for it for a few weeks now. I've made around 40m in the past 2 weeks to buy supplies. In a 'mod'cast from RuneShark one of the developers of the QBD said mele would still be the fastest way to kill her.

Do you know where you heard about how the bolts will have "special" damage, and that the upgrade to the xbow will be buffed up a lot? I personally have made over 10k dragonbane bolts in preperation for it assuming that'd be the fastest range method!

Crewman6 said...

You're right- voice acting in general is annoying, especially if it's repetitive. But for this quest, it was wonderful.

And you've been much smarter than me. I've only managed to build up 20mil (been busy on Runespan and Bonfires!) for the QBD. But I've been collecting Coral Bolts now.

The xbow upgrade was announced in the quest update from Song from the Depths. The line that caught my eye read:
"With some help from Thurgo, you’ll be able to upgrade the crossbow from Song from the Depths into a truly fearsome weapon."

The special damage was only hinted at, on the Wiki for Queen Black Dragon. Below is the quote:
"With the release of Song from the Depths, the Coral crossbow is a reward that is used along with Coral bolts to help defeat the Queen Black Dragon. It is unknown how it will help at the moment though."

I stink at boss combat. She'll probably kill me over and over. But I'm still excited about it!!