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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Runescape Elite Desert Tasks

Over the weekend, Monique and I finally did all the Elite tasks in the Kharidian Desert... that we could.  Let's talk about the Dominion Tower first.  Neither of us can do that one.  Plant a Dominion Marker, with all it's achievements, including kill the Sunfreet. 


If you already have this, you're probably feeling pretty smug right now.  I would be.  :^)
For the rest of us, this particular task is going to be a long long haul.  And to be honest, the rewards seem... minor... compared to the difficulty.  Actually, the only reward I'm thrilled about came from the Medium tasks.  That's when we got the Desert Amulet 2, which gives unlimited teleports to Nardah.  And a pretty cool teleport animation.  Of the rest, some are good, some not, but none really rock.

Right now, I'm working on my last 2 99 skills.  Not even going to attempt the Dominion Tower until that's done.  Then, it might catch my fancy.  Or maybe not.  That being said, lets look at the rest of the Elite tasks.

The Elite tasks were more interesting as a group than the easy, medium, or hard tasks.  (For a walkthrough, visit the Wiki.)  To begin with, the items needed required some work for us.  Slayer Helmet with 50 Summoning Scrolls?  Check.  Monique did have to go see Pikkupstix to get hers enchanted first.  Ancient Staff?  Check.  Again, Monique had to go pick hers up from Eblis at the Bandit Camp.

Holy Cithara- we both had that.  Ankh and Scabaras Mask?  We both had to go get them, but that was easy enough.  Climb the cliff behind the Monkey Colony, enter the cave, get the Ankh.  Good thing we've already done the required quest.  Same thing for the Scabaras Mask.  Already did the quest, just had to get it.  Down into the Kalphite Nursery, east through the long tunnel, down into the crevice in the floor, grab the mask.  Faster than it sounds.

Phoenix Feathers... I had a few, Monique went and plucked a couple.  The phoenix is over by the Dominion Tower.  Easy to get to with the Dominion Medallion.  Her thieving is in the 90's, so no problem there, either.  As far as the 2 Antifire(3) potions, had some in the bank.  I always make flasks from my Robust Glass, so had to go mine some Sandstone.  Good thing it had refreshed for the day.

The highest thieving requirement was 91, and can't be boosted.  That's for the Pyramid Plunder task.
For the actual task list, the Desert Strykewrym was fun and easy.  Just be sure you're wearing the charged slayer helmet and wielding the Ancient Staff.  In case you're wondering, for this task you do NOT have to be on a slayer assignment. 
As mentioned, the Pyramid Plunder requirement is to go to the last room and open the sarcophagus. 

Playing the Holy Cithara was kind of cool.  The emote looks kind of like hard rock meets medieval bard.  While standing in the abbey, we equipped the Ankh and Mask.  That counted, even though we weren't strictly in the desert.

Making a Super Antifire flask in Nardah was just a matter of combining the phoenix feathers and antifire potions, making the robust glass into a flask, and putting the potions in it. 

Assuming you've already done the quests and have all the levels, all the other tasks (Not the Dominion Marker) were quick and easy.  Considering just how easy, then looking at the Dominion Tower task, there's a pretty big discrepancy.  My own feeling is that the entire task list, including the easy, medium and hard tasks, was kind of hit or miss.  It didn't seem nearly as well-organized as the provious achievement diaries. 

Similarly, we got the best reward from the Medium tasks.  Teleporting to Nardah.  The rest of the rewards ranged from useful to useless, but none were as cool as the teleport. 

Would I have set the tasks to be so unbalanced.  Well... no.  :^)
Does that bother me?  Nope.  Maybe I'll finish it, maybe not.  Depends on my mood, and the goals of the moment.  For now, it's far on the back burner.  Runescape is a game I enjoy.  If I choose to go for it, I will.  If not, well, that's a choice too.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Runescape Hard Desert Tasks

Hurry up... I'm late for my next task!
Time for the Hard Desert Tasks.  We've been doing one set each night.  Last night Monique and I ran through the hard set.  Mostly, anyway.  The majority was easy enough.  Get on Lunar spells, cast Humidify on an empty waterskin.  Wearing a charged Water Tiara we did by accident.  Never head to the desert without one, so we actually were credited during the easy tasks.

Same with Broad Bolts.  I did a lot of them recently, working on Fletching.  You can just teleport to Sumona with the Slayer Ring.  She sells Unfinished Broad Bolts, bring feathers.  Making the Ugthunki kebab was a pain, but not really hard.  There's an ugthunki camel just north of the desert lodestone.  Kill him, get the meat.  Take all the ingredients to Nardah.  Meat, pot of flour, bucket of water, onion, tomato, empty bowl. Combine them as needed, cook in the range south of the bank.

Used to kill a lot of Dust Devils, back in the day when Dragon Chain was the ultimate armor.  Never got one, but sure logged a lot of Dust Devils.  So this one was easy, and kind of fun.  Blast from the Past.

Filling another waterskin... this time at Enakhra's Temple.  Easy enough.  If you change to Ancient Magic while you're there, then kill the Ugthunki with Ice Burst, it gets three things out of the way with one trip. (For an efficient step by step guide, check the Wiki.)

Harvest Cactus Spines that you grew yourself.  Quick question... is there anywhere you can harvest cactus spines that you did NOT grow yourself?  Anyway, I collect mine at least once a day.  This was one of those tasks I did by accident.

Listening to Al the Camel recite a poem while wearing a completed Cramulet.  Entertaining, and easy enough.  Though I wouldn't want to listen to him all the time.

Going to the Sophanem dungeon and killing a Locust Rider was kind of fun.  Monique got the Scarab Mage, so I had to wander a little farther in.  Be sure to wield Keris. It was a quick and easy kill.  The part that made it fun was re-visiting places I haven't been to (or thought of) in years.

Using the deposit chest north of the Bedabin Camp?  Maybe too easy.  I don't remember there being any requirements to access it.  It doesn't really seem to qualify as a 'Hard' task.  Much more appropriate was the assignment to enter the Al-Kharid Resource Dungeon.  Easy if you've got it, but at least it has a fair Dungeoneering level required.

Doing the Pyramid plunder was easy enough.  While we were there, we went on to do the Elite version of this task too.  Only for Monique to discover you can't boost the skill level needed.  She's only 100k from level 91 thieving, so she'll finish this one soon.

We saved "Nipped in the Bug" for last.  For that, you have to use a Dreadnip on the Kalphite Queen.  Monique hasn't messed around with the Dominion Tower yet, so she's going to have to win 450 fights to get a Dreadnip.  I was lucky enough to have done that already, because I really wanted Dreadnips at one point for a boss fight.  She's currently training at the Tower to get her Dreadnips.  I went ahead and did the task.  Run through the Kalphite Lair, jump down the hole, sprint past the guards, and attack the Kalphite Queen.  Don't have to defeat her, just use the Dreadnip on her.

From there, it was on to Ali the Mayor in Pollnivneach.  He's usually wandering in front of the big mansion by the town square/water fountain area.  He upgraded the amulet to Desert Amulet 3, and gave me a 20k exp lamp.  This was a fair exp lamp.
As far as the amulet, the Desert Amulet 2 had the best reward... unlimited Nardah teleports.  The only thing I really liked from amulet 3 was that it doubled my cactus spines.  That's useful, because even if you don't need them for farming, they always sell well.  (Let's hope this doesn't change anytime soon.)

If you use them, the double charges on a Pharaoh's Sceptre or a Sceptre of the Gods could be a good bonus.  By the same token, if you like doing Pyramid Plunder, it'll be nice to have fewer Mummies and Scarabs popping out at you.

The buff to Keris, by all accounts on the forums, is underpowered.  I wouldn't know, haven't used mine in years.  Not since finishing the related quest.  10% cheaper items at the Pizazz store?  Maybe someday that'll be nice.  But I quit using the mage training arena as soon as I got Bones to Peaches.

One last deal - we get 30 noted potato cacti from the Weird Old Man every day.  If you do a daily money run, this can be incorporated while doing anything with Fairy Rings.  Code B I Q, run north-west, grab the potato cacti, and  either teleport out, or run back to the fairy ring.  They're worth about 25k at the moment.  Though that changes over time.  I used to get 50k for buckets of sand, now they're around 20k.

My daily money run depends a lot on my mood, but if it's quick and easy, I'll usually include it.

Cool teleport animation!
That was it for our Hard tasks, though.  On the whole, the Desert Tasks seems a bit random.  The tasks, their difficulty levels, and the rewards are oddly mismatched.  I'm not complaining about the rewards.  All I really wanted was the teleport.  Everything else didn't really matter.

This set of tasks just doesn't have the smooth gradation that the other sets had.  I guess there's just not that much in the Desert to pick from.  It feels like they had to scramble to find stuff for us to do.  The one place where that doesn't hold true, is the elite task requiring completion of the Dominion Tower.  Those who have already done it obviously don't mind.  But the rewards versus the time and effort it's going to take just isn't justified.  It would have been more reasonable to break it into a more manageable requirement.

I'm going to do all the other Elite tasks, maybe this weekend.  But going to skip the Dominion Tower.  It will literally take a month or more away from my normal play.  For now, I'd rather work on other goals.  I'll be getting the max skill cape once I finish Hunting and Farming.  That's more important at the moment.  After that, it might catch my fancy to do the Dominion tower.  But not sooner, and maybe not even then.

Runescape Medium Desert Tasks

Slowly but surely, we're working through the Desert Tasks.  Last night Monique and I did the medium tasks.  If you've already got the requirements, then actually doing them is a breeze.  Some of it brought back good memories.  Flying with the Eagles, as always, made me chuckle.  Since I just recently watched "The Hobbit" in the theater, it also put me in mind of Tolkiens' giant eagles.

Crossing the river was interesting.  Haven't used that shortcut in a couple of years.  Mainly because it turned out to be fairly useless.  There was actually a note and a pile of noted timber waiting there for me.  It's a shame the route is wasted, because the cg there is pretty cool to watch.

Doing Ali Morrisane's sudoku challenge was tough, only because it took a while to figure out how to trigger the challenge.  After teleporting to Varrock, talking with Aubury, and fiddling around a while, we finally got the option.  Solving the puzzle was a lot easier than actually getting offered the puzzle!

Praying in Nardah, taking the fairy ring to the Kalphite lair (code BIQ), mining granite, cutting teak, Amascut's altar, were all a snap.  Doing the Combat Potion at Nardah was easy, but persnickety.  You had to do ALL of it right there, or it didn't count.  You can kill the goat just outside the town, but everything else, including grinding the horn, has to be done inside the perimeter.  Even the agility pyramid was simple.
  The only one that slowed us down was creating a Kalphite pouch in the desert.  Not that either of us couldn't do it, but Monique had just trained Summoning, and had no Blue Charms left.  For quick Blues, she went and killed Bork.  He always drops 4 Blue Charms when you kill him.  (Plus his other drops.)  After the side trip to Bork, we finished off the Medium tasks.

The experience lamp was better.  Equivalent to a small exp lamp from the Squeal of Fortune, or my daily Jack of Trades reward lamp.  8k experience in whatever skill you pick.

The Desert Amulet 2 has the one reward I really wanted: Unlimited teleports to Nardah.  That's going to be useful for our weekly penguin hunts.  Other than that, it gives better success at the Agility Pyramid, a chance for goats to drop noted Desert Goat Horns, and 20 Noted Potato Cactus daily from the weird old man (by the Kalphite Lair entrance).  Also, you can make 50 Molten Glass a day, but you have to have the Soda Ash first.  There's a 2nd Teak tree east of Uzer.  and you get a 5% discount on Pizazz points.
 Some of that might be useful.  But what I hear is Desert Amulet 2... blah blah blah... unlimited teleports to Nardah... blah blah blah..

I got what I wanted from it.  Coming next:  The Hard Tasks.  See you in the Kharidian Desert!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Runescape Kharidian Desert Tasks (Easy)

 Yesterday (Jan 21, 2013) the Desert Tasks came out.  I've been waiting for this one for a while, half with anticipation, and half with trepidation.  Because of the rewards, and interesting content, and our levels, Monique and I can do just about all of them easily enough.  Except for the Dominion Tower.  The mid-level challenge is easy enough, and I'm all set for it.  But the Elite Dominion Tower challenge is far beyond my current 'finished' list.

As a matter of fact, because it's going to take so long, I'm not even going to try for the Tower until finishing some other goals first.  After my last 2 99's are done, and the Dungeoneering 120, then maybe I'll consider getting that final Elite task.

The rest, though, are no problem.  So Monique and I will do them in the next couple of days.  As a matter of fact, we did the Easy Tasks last night.  It took maybe half an hour, wasn't really paying attention.  And we accidentally did some of the higher level tasks.  Like wearing our Water Tiara.  In preparing to go into the desert, we grabbed our Tiara equipped it... to discover that was one of the goals.

Before we could start, I had to wait on Monique to finish something with Mom.  So I logged in, and started up some of my daily stuff.  While heading to the Legends Guild, a Kingly Impling floated past me.  He requires 91 Hunter, which I don't have, but Monique does.

I started hollering for her, but she couldn't hear me.  Got him trapped in a small 'U' shape of trees, then ran up front and asked if she wanted him.  We both sprinted back to our computers, she logged in.  I got back just as he was flying through my blockade... so while she was teleporting over, I was chasing him.  When she finally caught up to him, the Kingly Impling yielded 6 cut Dragonstone Gems.  They're not super valuable like they used to be, but it was still work nearly 70k gold.

Monique gave the gems to me, and went back to what she was doing.  Mom, in the meantime, was patiently waiting.  The Kingly Impling gave a pretty good reward, but about a month ago, she got something that was worth over 1 million gold.  I don't remember what, something Dragon I think.  But because of that, it's always exciting to find one, and see what he gives up.

After, I was thinking what a cool household this is.  My wife dropped what she was doing IRL to run back and hunt an impling.  Mom knows enough to realize this had to be a spur of the moment thing, and waited with no complaints.  How many people live in a home where that could happen?   :^D

As far as the Easy Kharidian Desert Tasks, there's a Wiki Guide that helps you go through them in a convenient order.  Don't need it.  But it speeds things up.  The most fun one had to be re-doing the rooftop agility path from Diamond in the Rough.  Love the graphics.

One thing I liked about having to 'Spectate' a match at the Dominion Tower, you don't actually have to watch a match.  If you choose the option, but nobody is currently fighting, that counts as completing the task.  I was afraid I'd have to find a busier world.
And both of us Lol'd watching our characters shimmy with the Citharede Abbey dancers.

The easy rewards were... easy.  Nothing special yet.  Desert Amulet 1, which gives double drop loot from Sparkly Dung Kalphites, Double water from desert cactus, and 2% cheaper prices at the Pizzazz Guardian.  Plus a daily bag of Lost Items from any Rug Merchant.  This last might be worthwhile once getting the teleport to Nardah on the amulet.

Almost forgot, also a 2,000 exp Antique Lamp.  2k isn't exactly thrilling, but I'm not turning it down, either.  Aside from the Elite Dominion Tower Task, I'm looking forward to the rest of it.  Especially the next set (Medium) where we get unlimited Nardah teleports on the Desert Amulet.  I'm not too thrilled with the rest of the rewards.  There's some potential, but I'll just have to wait and see how they all  shake out.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Runescape Post-EOC Boss Overbuff renounced!

Captain of my own fate... thank goodness there's POP while they're still fixing EOC!
Runescape Post-EOC Boss Overbuff renounced!
Kind of funny; after several days of hearing gripes and complaints on the forums, I threw my two cents into the end of a post yesterday.  From what I was hearing, the problems were legitimate.  Not just someone whining, but players actually analyzing, testing, and trying multiple approaches to verify others claims.  I can really appreciate that.  Certain monsters were simply overpowered after the changes. Plus the changes in equipment make it sound like you must have absolute top-flight armor to take on higher level monsters.
Frost Dragons pre-EOC

Today, the very day after posting my thoughts on the issue, Mod Mark posted a new Og Blog.  It's nice to see they do listen, and I'm certain the response was due in great part to the logical and rational commenters on the forums.  Now they're rebalancing a few of the over-buffed monsters.

Mod Mark addressed the recent EOC Boss monster buffs.  According to him, most are working as planned, and will not be changed.  But some were over-buffed, and running rampant.  Either far harder to kill than they should have been, or effectively unkillable.

They made adjustments specifically to:
Frost Dragons
Ganodermic beasts + Runts
Glacors and Glacytes
Mithril Dragons

One monster brought up in multiple complaints was Waterfiends.  This one was not addressed in today's changes.  I guess that means Jagex thought it was within their expectations.  I do understand the need for adjustments.  On the other hand, I can understand the entire community getting tired of constant major changes.  How in the world can you find... or write... a good guide to anything, if the rules will be different tomorrow... and the day after... and the week after?

One suggestion in the forums impressed me.  I wish I had noted who said it, or where I read it, because it's an excellent idea.  They suggested Jagex include a 'recommended weapon/armor level' for each monster.  Don't just say something like "weak to water based magic".  Give us some idea of the gear required.  Is my equipment good enough?  Is it too low?  Do I have a reasonable chance of having or obtaining effective items?

Jagex has indicated they want monsters to have a 'target combat level' player/opponent.  That's fine, but let us know.  Is the monster a good one for me to train at my level?  Is it a waste of time?  Is it too hard?  Too easy?  Will I have to buy better gear?  How about if I'm maxed combat, but can't afford Torva, Pernix, and Vertus?  Can I still be effective with the next lower tier of gear?

I can appreciate Jagex' desire to target player levels and monsters.  It gives all levels of player something of interest to fight.  But it would be nice if they gave us a clue.  Some effort needs to be made toward teaching us the new rules.  The Combat Academy is a step in the right direction, but it's for beginners.  There needs to be functional guides for high-level monsters.  Jagex, if you're going to severely restrict how and at what level we can fight monsters, at least let us know what the restrictions are.
Combat Academy
 In the meantime, until the dust settles, I'm getting a ton of skilling done!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Runescape: Hati and Skoll 2nd Ever Appearance

Apparently, it's that time of year again.  Time for the annual Hati and Skoll giant wolf Fremmenik event.  Since this time last year was the first time ever, I'm not certain this qualifies yet as an 'annual event'.  But I'm willing to extend benefit of the doubt.

Being nearly the exact same thing this year as last year, there's not much to say.  If you enjoyed it last year, you'll like it this year.  The rewards are the same, with the addition of an extra item or two.  Hati drops bones, the Hati head, Hati cloak, and Hati paws.  The head and paws are purely cosmetic.  The bones are just bones.  Bury them, ignore them, no real benefit to be had.  The paws double experience in the main combat skills.  The charge is good for a set amount of points in total, and cannot be recharged again for the duration of this year's event.  If you already had them from last year, killing Hati gives one full recharge.  So it's as if you received them as a fresh drop.  Once per year/season, I guess.

Skoll, Hati's brother, has a 60% chance of dropping Skoll Boots or Skoll Amulet.  The amulet is just cosmetic, but the boots, like the paws, give double experience while training.  For the boots, the skills are Woodcutting, and Agility.

All of the wolf drops (excluding bones) can be stored in the POH, or destroyed.  If destroyed, Diango will keep them for you.

The wolves are fun to kill.  Both have large amounts of hit points.  Hati did no damage to me, and Skoll did minimal damage.  Actually, I think it was his Fenrir wolves, but I wasn't watching them.

I've been hearing a lot about Runescape's recent Boss Buff (Mid-Jan 2013).  Currently, my time is divided between Player Owned Ports and Hunting, and real life has made it difficult to get much of either done this week.  But in fighting the wolves, I didn't see any signs of more difficult combat.  Sure, they had tons of hit points, but the damage the did was pretty minimal.  I was wearing mainly Bandos gear.

In the forums, I see lots of complaints for the Fight Cauldron Quest boss, for Steel Dragons, Glacors, and Waterfiends.  Maybe others, but mainly those.  But I've also seen rebuttals from players who claim they don't see a difference.  It probably has a lot to do with the targeted player level of the monster in question.  Things are supposed to be much more stratified now.  If you're not the right combat level, wearing appropriate-to-level equipment, it might be several orders of magnitude more difficult.

The one thing I know for a fact I won't like is the nerfing of Rejuvenation.  That was an awesome ultimate ability.  On the other hand, a five-minute delay timer will put it on par with the old Excalibur special.  But with a 5-minute delay timer, I'm not sure it'll rate a place on my action bar.  Guess time will tell.

I do wish Jagex would allow things to stabilize.  It's hard to find (or make) decent guides for anything.  What works this morning, might not work this evening.  It's all so random at the moment.  Good thing combat's not my main focus right now.  Maybe by the time I'm done skilling, they'll have it sorted out.

Change can be an improvement, but I'm beginning to miss the old days when the game I played last night is still the same game when I log in today.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Runescape: Fletching Done, Hunter Next

99 Fletching at the Player Owned Ports Bank
Last time I posted an update, Fletching was still my current goal.  It's been a while since then.  During that time, I finished Fletching.  Got the 99 primarily due to Unfinished Broad Bolts.  They were kind of a pain, but decent exp and a fair profit.  Those previous 99's had sapped my bank, the Broad Bolts gave it a chance to rebuild.  Then, because I was really getting bored constantly clicking to fletch the bolts, I spent the last level or so making Magic Shieldbows.  And doing my challenges.

Quick word about the daily challenges;  once you have less than 5 skills to 99, the Daily Challenge is your best friend.  (For most skills, anyway.)  I just let them pile up for the skills I'm not interested in.  That way, every day I get only the challenge I want.  Well... the actual challenge may not be what I want, but the particular skill is my choice.  Do that skill each day, and the next day it gives another challenge in my chosen skill.

Side note to the quick word...  Farming.  Not sure if any other daily challenges are as sorry as Farming.  But Farming challenges are a major fail.  Plant a seed.  Get nearly 4k of bonus exp.  What?  All other daily challenges give me as little as 20k bonus (mining) to 115k bonus (dungeoneering).  To some extent, they're tied to your level, but my Farming level is 92.  It should be worth more than 4k bonus exp.

No big deal.  I do the Jack of Trades Aura every day.  For a minute or two's effort, I get almost 9k exp applied on Farming.  For a skill I'm not currently working on, 9k a day is a decent boost, and better than the Farming Challenges.

Once Fletching was done, Hunting was next.  My Hunter skill was 80.  I know, embarrassing, right?  When most of my other skills are 99?  Just never got around to it.  The nice thing, is Juna will give me nearly 50k a week experience in Hunter now that they've updated Tears of Guthix.  And once Hunter surpasses that 92 Farming, Juna will start rewarding my Farming skill.  It's good either way.

Not very fond of Hunting.  Tried Carnivorous Chinchompas.  So-so.  Tried hunting butterflies.  That was better.  But seemed kind of slow.  At level 80, I'm sure it's not the best exp available.

Then I found a guide to Herblore Habitat that was unlike any other HH guide I've seen.  It provided step by step instructions, with a list of items needed at each point.  It explained how to capture all the required jadinkos for the weekly bonus exp and clothing items.  Then it explains clearly how to catch the 3 God Jadinkos in order to get the Voodoo Mask.  The Voodoo Mask provides infinite teleports directly to the Herblore Habitat area.

Yes, it was all a pain.  But now I have the Mask for easy access, and am set up to catch Igneous Jadinkos  at leisure.  It requires a Blue Vine Blossom, Lergberry Bush, Thermal Vent, and an Orange Tree.  You can buy and grow the orange tree, and the other requirements will be easy by the time you've attained your Voodoo Mask.

Also, yes, I considered Draconic Jadinkos.  But I got bored quickly with the whole idea of having to renew the juju potion on the flower ever 20 minutes.  Without that, the Draconic ones go away.  With Igneous, you set them up, and they'll forever be ready to hunt.  Slower experience, but simpler.  I can do that.  If boredom strikes... well, there's always Draconics.  Or butterflies.  Or Chinchompas.

It's going to be a long way to 99.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Runescape Massive Post-EOC Changes?

How's your Runescape game?  With all the changes going on, I'm not certain it even still feels like Runescape.  Some of these changes I've enjoyed.  Some were so-so, and some not so happy with.

To begin with, ever since EOC Beta was announced my focus has been skilling.  Didn't' see sense investing time in combat when everything's still in flux.  With all that free time spent NOT in combat, there's been several 99's happening.  Currently I'm training fletching, and am halfway between 98 and 99.  Next up will probably be Hunting.

Skilling, while kind of a drudge, is traditional gameplay.  The trick to getting your mindset is to focus on the excitement of levelling, and maxing the skill.  Reach a zen state, and zone out.

In between working skills, I do my daily money run, and work on my Player Owned Port.  Really enjoying the POP.  Have 3 ships, a few upgrades, and about 5 scrolls so far.  Many people are much farther along.  That's okay.  It's been a lot of fun.

But... I'm a bit nervous about the upcoming updates.  Mod Mark published his latest Og Blog yesterday.  It's describing some pretty large changes to the EOC, scheduled to take place on 14 Jan 2013.  A lot of them I'm not too thrilled about.

Get used to the EOC?  Okay, fine.  They took roughly six months to test it, and have been working on it ever since.  Minor changes, adjustments, updates, those are all to be expected.  That's all okay with me.  A major realignment at this point in time though?  That's kind of hard to take.

I've gotten used to, and quite attached to, Rejuvenation and the other healing abilities.  After they already took away my Enhanced Excalibur, now they're taking away my healing abilities.  Or at least, making them nearly useless by putting Rejuvenation on a 5-minute timer.

I'm also worried about the armor changes.  Buffing high level armor is fine, but it sounds like they're going to make it nearly mandatory to wear the best armor to fight the biggest fights.  I've been playing since 2004, but I still can't afford an entire set of Torva, much less adding Pernix and Virtus to all of that.  I do well to keep my bank at 100 million.  Making it factors of 10 greater is going to take a long time.  Requirements like this certainly encourage gold farming.  I worry that some day we'll be able to buy RS gold in Solomon's store.  That would be a sad day.  However much gold I've got, I earned it, and so should everybody.

I can appreciate Jagex's goal here.  Trying to stabilize the price of supplies and equipment.  Bring value back to the skillers and killers.  Yay to the goal.  But if that means I'm going to need a few Billion (with a "B") gold to effectively fight the highest level monsters... I'll be years saving up for it.  Every time I get over 100 million saved, I spend it training a skill.

After playing nearly a decade, I'm effectively being shut out of something my character is capable of, because they're making the armor requirements too restrictive.  That seems harsh.

Maybe I'm wrong.  Might be misinterpreting the intent, or the after-effects.  Maybe the new high-level armor from POP will fill in the gap with effective  yet affordable equipment.  Possibly the upcoming Kalphite King drops will become the new 'top gear', bringing price down on the older gear.   Or maybe the prices will drop to affordable levels as a direct result of the proposed changes.  I really hope something helps.

Because, as I've stated before, Runescape is just a game.  If it changes to the point where I don't like it any more... then it's time to go.  No drama.  No hate.  But I'll be a lot happier if it continues to be a wonderfully enjoyable game that Monique and I can play together.  After both of us have spent nearly a decade enjoying it, we've built a lot of good memories playing.  I'd really miss that.

Guess I'll find out in a week.  Fingers crossed!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Runescape: God Statues Distraction and Diversion

Yesterday, 3 January 2013, Runescape released the God Statues Distraction and Diversion.  Like battling the Trolls for bonus exp, it can be done once each calendar month.
Monique was a lot more interested than I, since she is actively training the associated skills.   (Construction, Prayer, and Slayer.)  So while I was doing my daily challenge (Dungeoneering) she went to check the statues out.  By the time I was done with my task, she was too.

Based on her comments, I went and did mine, just to see for myself.  God Statues turns out to be a very quick, very easy, series of 4 statues to build each month.  You help Ernie (who goes by Copernicus Glyphand when he's working) by building scaffolding to his directions.  Choose one of 4 gods to build a statue of.  You can pick Commander Zilyana, Juna, K'ril Tsutsaroth, or General Graardor.

There are 4 locations to build on, one north from Lumbridge, one near the border between Taverly and Burthorpe, one south of the Yanille lodestone, and one just across the river east of Canifis.  You can build any of the four statues, and they can be duplicated between spots.  (I built 2 Juna's to test this.)

Copernicus will tell you the minimum and maximum dimensions of the scaffolding, and correct you you until the scaffolds are right.  Very easy to do, just stack them all to the minimum, then go back and use the rest to the max heights.  Don't worry about it being right.  Check in with Copernicus, and he'll tell you which towers are too short or too tall.  Keep adjusting until it's perfect.
Then you and he stir up a cloud of dust while sculpting on the big rock.  When finished, you collect Construction exp automatically.  Then Copernicus suggests you pray at the stone.  If you've build for Prayer exp, the locals love your statue, and do not interrupt your prayers.  You gain exp.
If you've built for Slayer exp, the locals hate your statue, and a fairly low-level local attacks you.  Defeat him, and you gain Slayer exp.  It's a pretty heft chunk of experience.  At 99 in all three skills, I got 34k exp each time in Construction.  And 17k in either Slayer or Prayer for each statue built.

The requirements are minimal.  At least 60 Achievements, Let Them Eat Pie, and have tutorial mode manually turned off.  Basically this D & D is just an easy way to gain some free exp each month.  There's no real puzzles, and no life-risking combat.  No high skills are needed.  If you've maxed Prayer, Construction, and Slayer, the statues won't be of any practical use.  But if you're working on those skills, the time versus the rewards is very... rewarding.  :^)

Graphically, it's okay.  Decent work, and mildly attractive.  But it doesn't look like Jagex really hurt themselves trying to impress us.  Honestly, I had hoped the statues would look more detailed, like the preview art we saw on the Runescape website.

Taken altogether, a quick and pleasant way to level up the 3 skills.  Not especially fun, but not boring either.  Worth it if you're leveling those skills.