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Monday, October 29, 2012

Runescape: Double Experience Bonus Weekend

Wow.  This is the day after Runescape's Bonus Experience Weekend (October 2012).  The first time ever to give a solid 2X experience during the entire weekend. No decrease over time.  Just a straight double exp.  Did you take good advantage of it?  It worked out pretty well for me.  Got up early on Saturday morning, and spent the majority of Saturday and Sunday playing.

To begin with, I had bought several thousand Mud Runes and Magic Potion(3) flasks.  Enough to get 99 Herblore.  My only mistake was not accounting for the 66 Torstol Leaves in the bank.  I keep the other ingredients on hand, and just make Overloads whenever there's a few Torstols in the bank.  That morning, there were 66 leaves stacked in the bank, so I made Overloads first.  Which meant I ground too  many Mud Runes, and bought too many magic potions.  No problem on the pots, sold 'em back.  But the ground mud runes?  Untradable, and Unstackable.  I've got 538 ground runes that will have to be taken from the bank and dropped, one rune at a time, to get rid of them...

Other than that, it went great.  Took Herblore from 97 to 99.  It was, unfortunately, the only 99 for me this weekend. 
My buddy Sam training prayer behind me.

Did about 3 levels of Crafting, but after spending 30 million on Herblore, I didn't have the money for those last few levels of Crafting.  But I did manage to get from 89 to 92.  That's not horrible.  Especially since I didn't spend any gold on it.  I've been collecting Robust Glass.  Been stockpiling my Red Sandstone for ages.  Not sure how long, because I've used some now and then.  But by Saturday, there were over 7,000 robust glass in the bank.  Been saving it, hoping some day Runescape would have another bonus experience weekend.  Finally, this weekend was it.  Got 90 and 91 immediately, then went for the Herblore 99. 

After that, most of the weekend went to Agility at the Advanced Gnome Agility Course.  Got 96 early on, then it was pure grind.  Late Sunday evening, finally got 97.  I really wanted to keep on, but after all those hours, just couldn't force any more. 
You know, I've always hated the Talent Scout.  When I was just training to kill time, I'd ignore his calls.  Now that I want the experience points, I (grudgingly) let him knock me unconscious over and over.  This really gripes me.  I'm a maxed combat player.  High levels all over the place.  Yet I stupidly fall for "Look! Over there!" every single time.  And we're never allowed to get even.  No option to pick a fight with him.  Even within the Pit, when I've lost and know he's coming for me... and know what he did to me... he can yell "Look! A double rainbow!"

And I'll say "What?  Inside?", look up with a big stupid expression, and get clobbered.  Again.
Spent a few minutes leveling up Mining.  Was only 24k away from level 94.  A quick trip to the Living Rock Caverns took care of that.  Didn't even crank up a Lava Titan.  With double exp, it didn't take much time at all.  This was really just a target of opportunity.  Close to a level, so went for it.
After all that, it was pretty late.  Still had around 1600 robust glass, and decided to see if that would get another level.  At about 12:20 am Monday morning, with 300 robust glass still left, I finally achieved 92 Crafting.

Could have kept on for the next 6 hours or so...  but I had to work in the morning, and common sense prevailed.  Still, that was 8 levels, all of them pretty high level.  Can't wait for the next bonus exp weekend!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Deathtouched Darts Instakill Queen Black Dragon for Dragonbone Platebody

Okay, I cheated.  Kind of.  No, I don't bot.  Regarding bots, I'm glad to say Jagex has really worked hard to clean up Runescape.  People in the forum complain they haven't seen improvement where they play, but I have.  Two places I often hang out...  The Gnome Advanced Agility Course, and the Grottworm cave, used to swarm with bots.  Now the   population seems much more in keeping with real players actually enjoying the game  Or in the case of the Agility course, at least actually experiencing the game...  Can't say I find that one fun.  Working toward 96, and it's just slow slow going.   More recently, I've seen vast improvement in world 77 Living Rock Cavern mining.

With the Bonus Experience Weekend coming out at the end of October, (and double exp this time, it was clearly stated in the news update), I might do an Agility marathon.  Though I'm currently leaning toward Herblore and Crafting, because they both cost a lot to raise.

Anyway, back to the subject.  Cashed in my Fate Cards last weekend.  Chose the Instakill option, which gave 4 Deathtouched Darts.  Took them in one at a time so there was no chance of accidentally shooting all at once.

Having decided what to get with the Fate Cards, then I got to pick my victim.  This was a lot of fun.  Jad maybe?  I'm down to one Fire Cape.  Gave up two for a pair of Baby Jad pets.  Gave up one for the Fight Kiln.  Haven't done Jad since early this year.  It would be kind of cool to walk up, say "Hi Jad, remember me?", and one-hit him.  On the other hand, I can beat Jad.  Not easily, but I know I can do it.  Why waste a Deathtouched Dart there?

Thought about the Fight Kiln.  That thing just kicks my rear.  I've never gotten far with it.  Maybe the darts could help me get the Tokhaar-Kal, the Fight Kiln Cape.  On the other hand, maybe I would panic, over-use the darts too soon, waste them all, and still get killed.  Scratch that idea.

How about the new King Black Dragon?  Haven't been able to fight him since the revamp, because so many people are using their darts on him.  He's got great new drops, I really want to re-visit KBD.  But really, he's easy to kill once everybody's forgotten about him again.  Wait long enough, and I can fight him without wasting the 4 darts.

The final consideration was the perfect solution.  Queen Black Dragon.  To this day I still haven't killed her in a fair fight.  I am truly and deeply horrible at boss fights.  And I don't see the point in working to learn how right now, since the Evolution of Combat will require a whole new skill set.  Planning to wait until EOC is finalized and released, then trying for the QBD.  And the Tokhaar-Kal too.

One option that never occurred to me was Nex.  Didn't even cross my mind, no idea why not.  But a friend of mine thought of it.  He collected all the requirements to pay Nex a visit, suited up in full H.A.M. (Yes, H.A.M.) gear and killed her four times.  He has it on video.  Here, check it out:

In the meantime, the Deathtouched Darts expire at the end of this year.  They needed to be used, and the Queen was perfect.  A little cheap fun, with the chance of getting a special drops, especially upgrades for the Royal Crossbow.

It worked out better than expected.  Twice she dropped nothing special.  One time she dropped a Royal Torsion Spring, worth nearly 2 million gold.  That was all the win I had hoped for.  But in one of the fights, she dropped a "very rare" Dragonbone Upgrade Kit.  Really?  In 4 fights, she dropped a very rare item?  How cool is that? (Plus a Torstol Seed for a bonus... )
According to the Runescape Wikia, it's selling for around 16 million gold.  That's a good drop.  Seriously considered selling it, but finally decided (at least for now) to keep it.  That kind of luck just doesn't happen every day.  If I sold it, it would just be gold in the bank.  On my Dragon Plate Body, it's now the awesome Dragonbone Platebody.  Every time I wear it, it'll remind me of the day I one-hit the Queen 4 separate times, and got two rare drops.
Dragon Platebody
Dragonbone Platebody

That's worth more than money!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Runescape Daily Challenges: How to turn off Maxed 99 Skills

This is just a short update post.  When the Daily Challenges came out, I was essentially all for it.  Except for the skills with 99.  Giving us a suggested task, and some cool rewards for doing it, is a fun way to keep some variety in our training.  But why bother training 99 skills?

Well, I'm sure there are individual cases where someone would want to.  But I'm not a maxed player.  There are plenty of 'unfinished' skills left to work on.  That was my only complaint.  In general, for the effort given, the rewards were very nice.  Often very close to breaking even.  Sometimes even profitable.  I just skipped the ones that didn't appeal to me.

Well Jagex heard us.  Always nice to see that.  They've made several changes, especially towards increasing the experience rewards for Construction, Summoning, Herblore, and Prayer on the challenges.  Nice to see on the Herblore, though I had no complaints.  The others I haven't tried, so no basis for judgement there.

But the best part:  We can now TURN OFF any skill we're maxed in!

Anyway, when I saw the announcement, they didn't say HOW to turn off maxed skills.  So I spent some time searching all over the Daily Challenges and Noticeboard interface. with no luck.  No option anywhere on the board.

Turns out, it's controlled by the Quartermaster in Burthorpe.  Same guy who gives out rewards for completed challenges.  If you talk to him, he'll give you the option to select which skills to de-select.  Hover the mouse over each skill, and it will tell you if you're 99 or not.  Click on it, and it will be X'd out.

Now, I only get tasks that are useful to me personally.  No more wasted assignments.  Every challenge assigned to me are going to help me level something up.  Excellent update.  My hat's off to Jagex.

As far as I'm concerned, the Daily Challenge assignments are perfect now.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Runescape: All Hail the King Blad Dragon Graphical Rework

The updates at Runescape continue to fly fast and furious.  This week the King Black Dragon got a makeover.  I've always had a soft spot for him.  Once upon a time he was king of the hill, now he's one of the weakest boss monsters.
Back when the wilderness did not have PVP, I used to enjoy trekking out to his site and camping every now and then.  I seriously wanted the stuffed head for my player-owned-house.  Just a couple of days before the return of PVP, he dropped the head.  It was an awesome feeling.  I like dragons in general.  As far as I'm concerned, the KBD stuffed head is the best in the game.  Sure, the Abyssal Demon stuffed head is pretty cool.  And the Kalphite Queen mounted head is a neat accomplishment, though I don't really like the head itself.  But the KBD heads are the best wall-mounted trophy that can be mounted in a player's home.

Since I really dislike PVP (nothing against players who like it, but it's not my cup of tea...) it was very nice to get the drop before player-vs-player came back.  I haven't been back since then.  Now with the update, Edgeville has a shortcut to the King's lair.  Right behind the monastery, there's an artefact (that's how it's spelled in-game) kind of half-buried in the ground.  It'll teleport you directly to the KBD's lair.  Pretty awesome!

If you get there the hard way, through the wilderness, you get a 10% bonus to your attack damage.  But that's okay.  He's not that hard to take down.  I'd rather just teleport and skip the long trek.

It was pretty exciting gearing back up for him.  Ever since Jagex mentioned he'd be getting an update, I've been eager for it.  It makes sense that a lot of other people are interested too.  Especially since he's been given an improved drop table, and two unique drops listed as "best in class" for prayer bonus.

And yes, there were plenty of other players there.  They seemed like a friendly bunch, smiles, waves, and greetings.  What I didn't expect, was the InstaKill Darts.  Remember those?  Sizzling Summer, members for all of August and September got some pretty amazing bonuses.

Well, as fast as the King showed up, he was dead.  Appear, spin around, flop over.  I think MAYBE I got to hit him once.  Not entirely certain about that.  Guess it might be smart to wait for the excitement to die down.  And people to use up their InstaKill Darts.  Then maybe try again.

But for the brief moments he was there, he looked awesome!  Great graphical rework.  Really caught the spirit and gave him personality.

New Stuffed and Mounted Head
Wish I could say the same about the stuffed and mounted King Black Dragon head, though.  The ONE head that's on my wall now looks very cool.  But where the heck are his other two heads?  Very disappointing.
Old Stuffed and Mounted Head (talking to baby black dragon)
Even more disappointing is the conversation.  The old conversation was funny.  It had tons of personality and attitude.  He was the King, and even as a stuffed and mounted head, he was still convinced of it.  A bit dense, but very likable.  He even had two possible conversations, for a little variety.

The new head has a new conversation.  Only one.  No  variety.  They've made him sound far more intelligent, and very obnoxious.  I liked the old KBD.  The new one is a jerk.  In all fairness, if I was a disembodied head hanging on the wall, I might be obnoxious too.

Another one of those gain something, lose something, situations.  The actual dragon looks spiffy.  Much improved.  The stuffed and mounted head looks good as far as the one head goes... but I miss seeing all three, and the fun interaction they all had.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Runescape: First Festival of the Dead Event

This being October, I've been expecting Jagex to announce the upcoming Halloween event soon.  It's always fun to play out the extra content, and see what they've come up with each holiday.  This year for the first time ever, in addition to the Halloween content, Runescape is celebrating the Festival of the Dead.

In this event, Father Joakim asks your help in celebrating the passing away of some of Runescape's notable characters.  There were supposed to be two starting points, one in Burthorpe, and one south of the Lumbridge graveyard.  Monique and I went to the Lumbridge point.

Right off the bat, you see a wooden crate, a decorated coffin, and Father Joakim (wearing a mask).  He asks for your help.  Seems like he's trying to start a new Runescape tradition, modeled after a celebration he witnessed with a group of unknown travelers.  Your job is to decorate the coffin, and bring an item from one of the selected deceased characters. Decoration involves getting flowers from the wooden crate, and making three skulls from soft clay.  All this goes on the coffin.

We started off with Duradel.  He's the highest-level character to choose, and really, the only one that had a real emotional connection with.  Going to where he once dispensed Slayer tasks, we found Duradel's Slayer Claws on the floor of his hut in Shilo.  (Lapalok's hut, now.)  Bring the Slayer Claws back to Father Joakim, and put them on the coffin.

Having done this, there's some discussion by associated characters, especially Kuradal, his daughter.  Here's where I was disappointed by the event.  I thought we would actually have a chance to converse with the spirit of the departed.  Maybe a chance to thank him for his sacrifice for Geilinor, or to know he bears no ill will.  Or that he appreciates being remembered. 

Unfortunately, nothing of the kind happens.  We talk, we light firecrackers, there's a bit of dancing, and the offerings disappear.  Joakim claims this is a sign the spirits are happy with the items on offer. 

And that's it.  Just do the same for each character.  The more characters you celebrate, the more Prayer Bonus experience you receive.  Bear in mind, this is NOT pure experience.  This is boosted experience.  When you train prayer, you get double experience up to whatever maximum you earned.  Up to a maximum possible of 251k.

You'll also get a purely cosmetic skull mask.  It does nothing except look like a skull mask.  You can store it in a house Toy Box, or destroy it and Diango will keep it for you. 

The experience bonus is excellent if you're training prayer.  If you've already got 99 Prayer, I'm not so sure it's worth the effort.  I only did two of the tasks.  Monique finished all 5, hoping at the end we'd get to talk to the 'honorees'.  But nope.  No emotional payoff.  Just experience bonus.

My Prayer is 99.  There's just no incentive to finish.  If there'd been a little emotional reward, it would have been really cool.  Jagex missed a really cool opportunity here, in favor of a purely mechanical experience bonus. 

The graphics were nice.  The cut-scene was good.  The rewards are top-notch if you're training Prayer.  But the storyline was watered-down. They had an excellent idea, but it wound up being anticlimactic.

I love Runescape.  This won't change my mind.  Besides... we've still got the Halloween content coming up!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Runescape Sizzling Summer Bonuses

The Runescape Sizzling Summer payoff finally arrived.  For those who subscribed as a member through the whole summer, there are some pretty amazing rewards.  The most substantial (and most appreciated by me) are the experience bonuses.  Members through August received 350,000 experience in the form of Experience Lamps.  Then you get twice that (!) if you stay a member through September as well.

The lamp interface can be a little confusing at first.  It's called a Promissory Note.  Before I realized it, I'd spent one of the smallest lamps on the first 350k, and had to spend the rest in multiple increments.  Had I been paying full attention, I could have just spent the whole lamp at once by clicking on the largest amount.  With the 700,000 experience bonus, I just blasted it all in one lump.  Much easier.

The whole month of August members got an extra Squeal of Fortune spin per day.  In September, we were given 2 extra spins every day.  I'm not a SoF hater.  Except when I get bad spins...  But it ads fun to the game, and there's always the anticipation of getting a great prize.  The big money and powerful items are cool.  But what really makes me happy is winning experience lamps.  Or even Skilling Pendants, so long as it's a Pendant I can use.  I'm not so thrilled when it's for a skill that's already 99.

Over the course of August, Solomon's store also gave away costumes, emotes, Seaweed dreadlocks, a Title, and a Squid Cape.  Okay, they're all only cosmetic, but these things add choice and variation into the game.  And the Squid Cape looks a whole lot better than you'd expect.  It actually looks cool enough that I see players wearing it throughout Runescape.

The final reward is very different.  Jagex put a deck of 4 Fate cards in your inventory.  (Assuming you were a member for the required space of time.)  These cards are:

Dodging Death:  Get killed, respawn right then and there with all your gear.  Full life points.

Instakill Dart:  This ones a gimme... Kill something.  Right away.  Some limitations apply.

 Emergency Healing Box:  Can be used to heal all life points immediately, on you or someone you choose.

Remote Deposit Box:  Can be used anywhere, gives a bank deposit box for 1 hour.  Once placed, it can be used by anybody for it's duration.

With the experience bonus, it was fabulous, but over in a micro-second.  Like a child eating a bag of candy, I used all my exp in a single glorious moment.  I have a policy of putting all unassigned exp into Dungeoneering.  I always either solo, or duo with Monique.  So it takes forever to make progress.  As a result, my Dungeoneering level is pretty high, but haven't played it that much.  I do enjoy Dungeoneering, just don't want to spend forever getting it leveled up.

With the Fate Cards (as in "Choose your Fate") the decision's not quite so clear-cut.  Though strongly leaning toward the Instakill Dart, I haven't actually chosen yet.  Some players apparently don't understand the value of these cards.  On the Yanille Home Teleport last night someone had played their Remote Deposit Box.  What a waste!  For a high-level player, I could see an hour at the Frost Dragons with unlimited deposits.  For lower levels, the Green Dragons out in the Chaos Tunnels would be a big help.  Plenty of in-between places where it could help.

But for me, the Instakill has a big appeal.  I'll freely admit, the Fight Kiln has so far been beyond me.  I always die.  Done Jad a few times.  Maybe half a dozen total.  Haven't beaten the Queen Black Dragon either.  Since I can't even get to the boss in the Fight Kiln, that's out.  Since I can beat Jad on my own, not sure I'd use it on him.  But the Queen is easy to get to, and I can't yet defeat her.  She might be the perfect target just for the fun  of killing her once.

What did you do with your rewards?  Where did you spend your bonus experience?  On a skill that costs a lot of money?  Takes a long time?  Or maybe one that bores you?

How about your Fate Cards?  Which one would you use?  Where?  Why?  Personally, I think the Insta-kill dart is best, but I don't PVP.  Does that influence your choice?

I'd like to hear some opinions before choosing.  What advice do you have?