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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Runescape: Evolution of Combat- Good or Bad?

By now, most of us are aware of the "Evolution of Combat" forthcoming update announced by Jagex.  Touted as one of the most awesome and all-encompassing updates ever... and this is both elating and frightening when you think back to some of the massive changes Runescape has gone through in the past! 
On June 1st, Beta signup rolled out.  I tried to follow the link first thing that morning, and couldn't even load the webpage.  I'm sure the Runescape servers were overloaded!  Anybody with a paid membership going back continuously from now for at least a year received an invitation.  In your inventory if you had room, in the bank if not... and if your bank was full too, it was given to you as soon as a slot became available.

If you're not in the initial invitation roster, don't panic.  50,000 additional players will be invited based on activity and play style.  You may be invited as one of the 50k.  Even if not, the Beta world (worlds?) will be open to everybody during the weekends.

After all the hype, I'm very excited to see the future of fighting in Runescape... and worried.  While there's a lot to be desired, I'm used to it.  Been pretty much the same for the 8 years Monique and I have played.  I'm already combat challenged enough.  Learning Jad took me 2 months.  Still haven't beaten the Fight Kiln.  Been trying to beat the Queen Black Dragon that came out this week, and she's kicking me from one end of the cavern to the other.  But I still like the game.

Will this mean the end of AFK training?  Will it be the end of 'grinding' for those combat levels?  Will combat be fun, or frustrating?  From the behind the scenes, it sounds like this could be the end of 'pures'.  I've never pk'd, so never experimented with creating a pure.  But a lot of work, time and effort goes into the making of a pure.  I get the feeling many people will quit over that alone.

I may not be a pure, but I'm still worried.  Runescape has been my game for a long time.  There are years of play invested in my character.  Combat-challenged or not, all his combat skills are maxed.  How is this going to affect actual game-play?  The in-game graphics look cool, yes.  But will it change the game so much that it won't be fun any more?  Jagex says a lot of reassuring things to keep players from panic.  They always make the claim of necessity when major changes happen.  Okay, let's say I believe them.  They DO want to stay in business, so any huge changes must be carefully weighed out. 

There will always be ragers.  I'm not worried about the small percent who react without using their brains.  No big loss there, even if they do quit.  What bothers me is the quantitative feel of the game.  I'm all about fun.  If Runescape stops being fun, I'm not going to rant, rail, and demand a return to the old days.  But I will quietly roll up my gear, pack up my weapons, and search for a game that meets my needs.

I've been faithful to Jagex for years.  Through updates I've loved, hated, or just didn't care either way.  This will probably go the same way.  Whether I love it or hate it, it seems likely Runescape will still 'feel' like Runescape.  At least, enough to keep me playing. 

I guess on June 26th, the Beta test will begin, and we'll finally get some real answers.  Until then, we don't have much to go on.  Jagex released an update video the shows a lot of the combat graphics being tested on a 'dummy npc' with immense hit points.  I have to admit, it looks very cool.  All this worry could be going for nothing.  Won't know for nearly a month, though.  For now, the only real clue available is their video.  Assuming many people still haven't seen it, or don't read Runescape's updates, here it is.  At the top of the page.  Skip past the Fish Flingers update, and you'll get a glimpse of our future.  For better or worse, this it it. 

Have any inside info?  Thoughts on the update?  Share them with me... I'd love to exchange speculation and ideas.  Here's hoping for the best!


Anonymous said...

I'm pretty excited for this update. I feel like combat is going to be a lot more interactive and a lot less tedius. I like the fact that the new "special abilities" are unlocked through your combat skills and not just 1 specific special from 1 weapon. Mod Chris L (or I think it was) stated that combat now is too much of fighting interfaces like switching from prayer, to inv., to your combat page, and then your spell book. Now, everything is going to be in one location from the sounds of it.

I'm just worried that this may be too over-whelming to younger players and might be discouraging if they can't get the hang of it for some reason. I do think this may hurt PKing with all the new specials that sound/seem over-powered, but only time will tell!

Crewman6 said...

You hit the nail on the head. I think you're exactly right. If this goes well, it's going to be amazing. If it doesn't go well...

PKing is a major consideration too. Lots of people spent lots of time building their customize Pure. I don't PK, but I feel bad for anybody losing all that work. It sounds like the entire concept of Pures won't work any more.

I'm nervous, but hoping for the best. Can't wait to see how it goes!!

Anonymous said...

Because of Evolution of Combat, shouldn't most weapon and armor prices rise? And if they do will Jagex provide new ways to earn more money?

Crewman6 said...

I've been wondering the exact same thing. My guess is, prices will wildly spike at first, then stabilize as we learn which equipment is useful, and which is wasted space.
I'm scared to buy or sell anything until we see which way the wind will blow!!