Welcome to Crewman6's Runescape Adventure Log! Monique (my wife!) and I have played Runescape together since 2004. We do the quests together, hunt penguins every Tuesday night, and help each other achieve our in-game goals. We play for fun, so our skill sets are a bit here-and-there. I thought it would be fun as we reach goals, and set new ones, to post tips, tricks, and thoughts as we go.
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Friday, June 29, 2012
Runescape: First Thoughts- Evolution of Combat Beta Trial
(Quick note: My screengrabber didn't. Grab screens, that is. After writing this, I realized there were no pics of all my testing. So I went back and re-took some pics, but not as much variety as originally. That's why most of what you see is from the Abyssal Demons... Sorry!)
By now, anybody who plays Runescape knows about the release of the
Combat Beta. Some got chosen... some didn't. Monique and I are 8-year
members. We didn't receive a specific email inviting us to the Combat
Beta, but since all members for over a year are supposed to be invited, I
tried to log in just to see... and it let both of us in.
anyway, we logged in- who wouldn't? Monique is high-level combat, but
it's not her favorite. She thought it was overly complicated for her
tastes. Combat is my favorite part of Runescape, so this had a lot more
impact on me than it did for her.
My first concern going in: did
Jagex ruin Runescape? And my first impression: No, Runescape is still
going to be fun. That's highly subjective, of course. For my
play-style, I'm mostly happy. For Pures, it's a nightmare. One of the
mods in the Jagex videos stated that pures can still exist, but leveling up has been
'greatly encouraged'. He went on to say he'd be interested to see how
Pures adjust to the new combat.
Using the Rejuvenate Ability- this replaces the Enhanced Excalibur effect
I've only had a couple of hours to spend in the Beta
so far, and for that, I stuck to melee. To begin with, at any major
population center, lag is so bad as to be nearly dead in the water.
Particularly Lumbridge, where all the agents are passing out free
armour and weapons. Yeah, it's a lot of fun grabbing full sets of all
the stuff I can't afford. After a bit, though, I chose to stick with
gear I already have, or can afford to buy. Messing with better gear
than I can buy just sets me up for disappointment when the Combat Beta
is over and I lose it all.
Wound up picking up
off-hand variants of some weapons, and leaving it at that. Hopefully as
time passes, the lag won't be so bad, and I can go
back to try magic and ranging equipment. Maybe during the upcoming
weekend. Having made that decision, I went to
the bank in Yanille to gear up. Not crowded there at all. Tried a few
combinations, settled on a Vine Whip and off-hand scimitar, just because
it looked cool.
Next up, played with
the action bar a bit. Didn't really understand it at first. Went out
and fought some low-level monsters, just to see how it was. Right off
the bat, I noticed basic combat can be pretty much the same if that's what you want. If you want to
do the old eat/fight/pray, so far they've left that intact. The
Ancient Curses icons have been updated, and new prayers added that
create a separate version of Turmoil for rangers and mages. But as far as I can tell, the curses haven't changed function.
Magic is greatly different. The access menu changed drastically. Didn't impact me much while doing melee, but it'll be interesting to
see what happens in mage combat. The entire Magic Book menu has been
changed into an all-encompassing "Ability Book". I suppose it's going to be all about the Action Bar.
fighting low-level stuff, the action menu makes more sense. It's easy
to set, and easy to adjust. Even on the fly, unless you lock the icons
to their places. For a first run, I put food on the first square,
Rejuvenate (healing over time- kind of like Enhanced Excalibur) and
Quick Prayers. I like that my Quick Prayers can be activated from the
action bar. It would be nice if we could sort the Ability menu by basic, threshold, and ultimate. As it is, they're sorted by skill level required, and it's hard to pick and choose when you can't compare apples to apples.
Prayer flashing should still be
possible. With dual weapons wielding, and a multi-combat field day
going on, I couldn't manage it. Just too many distractions. But if
you're using a weapon and a shield, it should work as usual. Most
people are better at combat than me, so it might not be such a big deal
to the majority of players.
My first action bar setup!
After that, I dropped in
some basic, threshold, and ultimate abilities. Left 2 blocks empty,
thinking it would help separate the functions easier. After thinking
about it, that was dumb. Later, I added more basic abilities to help me
charge adrenaline faster.
My final two squares
went to the Home teleport, and the House Teletab. I'm sure I'll modify
this over and over as time passes. Whole new combat
techniques and improved guides will proliferate all over the web. It's
going to be a lot of fun pre-setting specialized ability bars for specific situations. The
immense amount of variety is literally mind-boggling. The action bar
has 5 alternates, so you can preset your favorites and keep them. One
concern I had was the speed of change between preset action bars.
Scrolling from 1 through 5 had a pause between click and event. If
you're trying to change combat styles on the fly in a boss fight, this
could get you killed. I saw on the forums
where people were suggesting the action bars be stored locally on the
individual computers. This sounds like a good idea, as changing action bars could be much quicker.
With the advent of
dual-wielding, another issue is going to be bank space. If you want, for
instance, to use a whip with both hands, you'll need 2 bank spaces
rather than one. Weapons are specialized per hand. You get a
main-hand weapon, and an off-hand weapon. Not absolutely sure why this
is, but have read that off-hand weapons are weaker than their main-hand
versions. In short, I'm hoping we'll get more bank space to accomodate
the extra weapons.
There will be no more
special attacks based on a specific weapon. Instead, you have
'abilities' that can be used based on your skills and type of gear
setup. I would NOT buy any new weapons or equipment based on
speculation, unless you're making an educated guess. Things like
Godswords and Dragon Claws have lost their specials, potentially ruining
Enhanced Excalibur is now an off-hand
weapon. It's special (healing) has become an ultimate ability
(Rejuvenate) under Defense. Exalibur itself has been upgraded to be the
equal of a standard whip. I don't mind this change on a functionality basis, but I worked hard for the Enhanced Excalibur, and like many before me, feel a little 'robbed' of my favored status... :^)
I'll get over it. As long as the function is still accessible one way or another so that I can use it, I'm happy enough.
With my newly customized action bar, I decided to pay a visit to the Abyssal Demons in the pseudo-rift. Haven't been there in ages. Hoping nobody else was crowding the place. Turned out empty of other players, so it was a great place to try out different things. I hadn't really thought out that multi-combat thing though. Now that EVERYTHING is multi-combat, it's a completely different experience. After a few minutes, they lost their hostility, and I could just attack what I wanted. But it's a pain to have every creature in sight be hostile, and they all get to attack simultanously!
everywhere??? Not too happy with this at first glance. Jagex
mentioned (I think in an Og-Blog) they will be making more monsters and
faster respawns to compensate. I'm just not sure that's an equal
compensation. I like having fighting single monsters, and being
guaranteed nobody will take the kill from me. Seems like this will
allow 'Runescape Bullies' to ruin the fun for other players. Here's hoping Jagex has thought this through and taken preventative measures. If I had to pick one thing about the Evolution of Combat that I do NOT like, it would be multi-combat. I suppose over time we'll all develope new techniques and ways of dealing with it.
graphics and animations abound -- much of the gear has been updated
visually, new pieces added to complete old sets (like Bandos), the new
fighting animations are amazing. Even the fighting stance vs
the 'just hanging around' stance are different, with the character
sheathing weapons while standing at rest or walking. Player avatars
have much more detail and shading. Very impressive improvements.
The 'hit-splats' are too much, though. They obscure the
cool new graphics. I'm hoping they'll move them to the side, or make them semi-transparent. It's not bad enough to ruin
the game, but I definitely would like to see the combat graphics without the obstructions.
combat skill is now 200! Sounds pretty awesome until you look at the
new formula. It's 2 + Defense level, + your highest level from among
Attack, Strength, Magic, or Ranged. Using this formula, it'll be far
easier to be high-level now. As I understand it, this is the main
complaint of Pure accounts, because a pure works by hiding his true
combat capability. Additionally, use of defense plus the highest combat stat could destroy an existing pure. That carefully crafted low level will show a truer damage potential under the new system. It won't surprise me if Jagex loses a few customers over this issue. Personally, I don't like pvp, so it's fine with me. But I can deeply empathize with the loss of all those careful hours building the perfect pure.
Pures aside, I suspect the new gear stats/requirements are going to make and break some banks in Runescape. In the new fallout, it's anybody's guess what equipment will be worth having, and what's going to collect dust in the GE.
This has been a pretty random review. Mainly because the Evolution of Combat updated is such a huge complex beast. Since my perceptions are jumbled and random, my thoughts are coming out the same. Tried to organize it a bit, but if I'm skipping all over the place, that's why. If you don't have access to the Beta, and you want to get an idea of what you can do with the Action Bar, check out Wiki's Action Bar guide. They have a complete list of all the Abilities you can use, and the requirements to use them.
One thing I do know... I had a LOT of fun with the new combat options and graphics. There's so many ways to fight, so many ways to accelerate adrenaline, so many great uses for the adrenaline. It's pretty cool to watch it build up until you can use that Ultimate ability! The level of customization is intense. Intimidating. Complete freedom to play any way you want. I've only barely scratched the surface. Can't wait to see what we all do with it now!