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Friday, February 8, 2013

Runescape Sinkholes: The New Dungeoneering Distraction and Diversion

Runescape continues to enjoy an unprecedented amount of updates.  On 2/5/13, Sinkholes became the newest of new content to be released.  It's a Dungeoneering-based Distraction and Diversion, with a competitive edge.

Every half an hour a new Sinkhole will be generated.  The duration is brief, and time counts down even if you haven't started a game yet.  Find Talsar (he's a bit to the west on the Daemonheim plaza) and he will teleport you to the current sinkhole location.  He gives up to 3 teleports per day, though you can only play the D&D twice a day.
It takes 5 players to start a game.  If there aren't enough, then there's no game.  The first time I tried, I didn't get to start a game, but spent the time talking to the Gorajo who manages the sinkhole.  The second time I tried, it was in a different world, and by the time we had enough players to start, there were only 4 minutes left to the game.
Once it started, it was very much like regular dungeoneering, only the players are assigned specific goals as a team.  We had to collect plants.  They only count if they got banked before the game ends, but I was lucky enough to find a central bank deposit within the dungeon floor.

The floor itself seems equivalent to a small floor, but the map pattern seemed denser, and more convoluted.  You can't take anything at all in with you.  As you enter the first room, there are three kinds of gear to choose, so you can play to your favorite style - melee, magic, or ranged.  But it's pretty basic gear, and the monsters are fairly low-level.  There's also a table with plenty of food.  I grabbed several fish, but it turned out not to really be needed.

So I ran pell-mell through rooms, killing what I could, plucking any plants that were there.  I picked up a few cards that affect your final reward selection.  Found some Combat Totems after fights, and some Exploration Totems, apparently just laying on the floor for whoever picks them up first.

Didn't pay much attention to the score panel in the upper left corner, except as my rank shuffled around.  I finished as player number 3.  Average...

When the timer runs out, you're transported to a treasure room, and placed in front of a treasure chest that corresponds to your score, 1-5.  When it was my turn to play a card, I chose "Consistent Yak", because I already had a medium exp lamp in my chest, and it guaranteed a medium exp lamp as my final reward.  If I'd had a better reward to start with, that would be a bad choice.  But since my initial reward was the same as what the card guaranteed, I figured at least I wouldn't wind up with a worse prize.

There are a lot of details, and the Wiki has a good breakdown.  But if you just jump in and play, you'll figure it out as you go.  If you're familiar with Dungeoneering,then it's not actually super-complex.  But it is a lot of fun, and for the few minutes it takes, a welcome addition to the Dungeoneering skill.  For a 4-minute game I scored a 17k medium exp lamp.

This is good content, and I hope the 5-player requirement (no more, no less) doesn't push it into the 'dead content zone'.  Right now I'm working on other skills, but this looks like a great way to bump up your DG training.  I'm looking forward to diving into some Sinkholes!

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