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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Runescape: Ariane quest part one- Rune Mysteries

In keeping with the "Ozan" tradition of rewriting Runescape Quests and featuring a signature hero, now Runescape has a redone Rune Mysteries, and made Ariane into a central character.  Not to mention an integral part of Runescape's history and lore.

The original Rune Mysteries quest was mainly a way to introduce Essence mining into the game.  This version has a much richer story, and strong personalities.  It's also a voice acted quests.  As usual, Monique and I are split on this feature.  She hates the voice acting, because it slows the questing down to listen to all the talking.  I agree, it really slows the questing down, but I actually like the voices.  They add a layer of depth to the story, and enhance the 'feel' of the characters.

In this case, there's more history than usual.  Ariane got an official story in the Lores, explaining how she came to be a wandering mage/adventurer, and why she's banned from the Wizard's Tower.

Along with the quest redo, the Wizard's Tower has been totally transformed.  Where it used to be... a tower... now it's a gorgeous tapestry of design woven into a colorful theme surrounding the mystical central beam of light (which is also used to levitate from one level to another.)

Now that I've mentioned it, let's start with the beam of light.  Centered in the tower, and pervasive through every floor (and beneath the ground floor), this magical beam replaces the old stairs.  It's a cool idea, and a much more wizardly way of getting around than stairs, or an elevator.

Because Mysteries is a beginner's quest, it's very simple.  Walk into the tower, get involved in Ariane's situation, talk to a few wizards, and use a bit of combat magic.  There's no risk, and no equipment needed.  The Wicked Hood is convenient for getting to the Wizard's Tower.  It takes you to the top floor, you just descend through the beam to get to the ground level.

Oh, and you get to play a pipe organ.  It's part of a fairly simple puzzle involving translation of a spell into music.  Later, you get to hit some sour notes to distract Sedridor from his 'purging' spell.  One thing I really liked here, was the top row of keys literally can be played.  After all these years of having organs in the occasional odd spot, now you can finally play music!  I couldn't resist - played "When the Saint Go Marching In" with it...  :^)

As with Ozan, the graphic rework for the tower, and the entire island, is wonderful.  Makes for some very scenic moments, especially when you have to head underground.

This quest took nearly an hour to complete, because I wanted to hear the voice acting, and try out every possible combination of conversation with everybody.  If you just want to zip through and be done, probably more like 15 minutes.

It's the second time in Jagex history to release two quests on the same day.  Because it was so late in the evening, we haven't done Rune Memories yet.  Plan to do that one tonight.

As far as Rune Mysteries, I liked it.  No challenge, but a great story and beautiful graphics.  I appreciate the continual improvement to the land of Geilinor.  Not only new content, but old content constantly gets improved.  Makes the whole world better in the long run.

Rewards are appropriate to the quest level.  The only reward worth noting is the  Tower Mindspike, an elemental staff that can be changed at need to provide Air, Earth, Fire, or Water runes, so it pretty much replaces the basic elemental staves we're used to.  And if it's lost, you can get another one.

You also get 2 Squeal of Fortune spins, a First Tower Hat, some exp, a quest point, an Air Talisman, 70 Mind Runes, and 4 new titles.  The titles are given as a result of a quiz you answer in the quest.  The quiz can be retaken to change  your alignment from among Blue, Green, Grey, and Red factions of the original Wizard's Tower.  I was awarded Blue, so if I accepted the new name, would have been called Techreader the Blue.

I'm looking forward to the second quest tonight- the rewards look a bit more commensurate with higher level players.

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