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Monday, March 11, 2013

Runescape: The World Wakes Quest

Finally did "World Wakes".  Got off to a slow start, we just couldn't fit it into our schedule until Saturday.  So Saturday morning, we're up fairly early, got the house to ourselves, and it's questing time.

Wow.  I loved this quest.  Before getting into the details, let me give a sweeping overview...  The story was fabulous- we actually cared what happened to the people in the story.  The combat was just right.  Hard enough to get my attention, but not 'Nomad-level' tough.  The puzzle was well-done. Attractive, it made sense, and didn't take forever.  The rewards... were awesome, though I wish we'd been allowed more freedom with the experience lamps.

If you want a walk-through, Wiki has one, Rune HQ has one, and DrBloodSpillRPG posted the excellent youtube video guide above.  I highly recommend the video.

The World Wakes has been hyped by Jagex for a while now.  World-shaking import, major choices to make that will affect Runescape forever after.  Grandmaster level quest.

Let's clear up the Grandmaster thing first.  It wasn't grandmaster in terms of difficulty.  For a non-combat newb like me, it was hard enough.  I even got killed a few times (More on that shortly).  I think the Grandmaster part comes from the massive importance of the storyline.  It's safe to say, this changes deap-seated assumptions about Geilinor that have been 'in stone' for years.  The big gods have always been more legendary than participatory.  Some of the lesser gods, and the wanna-be gods have had active roles in quests and stories.  But not the big guys.

That changes now.
(SPOILER ALERT- continue reading at your own risk!)

In The World Wakes, we meet, and converse with, Guthix, and Saradomin.  Face to face.  We have to choose which god to support, or none, but it's an active choice, that will make direct enemies from whichever gods on the wrong side of the fence.  From the first, there's hints of something big.  Orlando Smith discovers Guthix' legendary resting place, but can't get in.  You step up to the doors, and manage to shrug them open all by yourself.  Holy narrative foreshadowing, Batman!

After exploring a bit, we get attacked by automated guardians.  They kill Orlando, and are the first fight of the quest.  If you're good at combat, they won't be a serious threat, but you'd better be paying attention, because they hit fast, hard, and using the whole combat triangle.  After the fight is over, Sliske shows up, pretending to be Guthix.  When you prove too savvy to fall for that, he goes all 'hey good buddy' on you.  But his main point is, bad guys are coming to kill Guthix.  On the other hand, Guthix's own followers are determined to protect him and not wake him up.
On the third hand, Sliske and his bunch want to awaken Guthix, and see if they can negotiate a peace treaty.  Sliske suggests faking out the Guthixians.  If you pretend to be on their side, you'll get to Guthix faster and easier.
I told him "I know what my choice will be."  Let old Sliske assume whatever he wants.  None of them are playing straight with me, I owe him nothing.  Heck, he tried to make me into a Barrows brother!  Though he's still kind of likeable.

You learn a lot in this conversation.  Plenty of cutscenes, too.  Apparently all the gods were fighting over this world, and on the fast track to total destruction.  Guthix, the most powerful of all the gods, marked Geilinor off-limits to the gods, then took a long nap.  Now that you've opened up the shrine, Guthix might be vulnerable and the gods want to kill him.  Several god factions are on their way, and it looks like you might be the only being able to slow them down.  Unless you decide to help them.

When they arrive, some of them move forward, but Kree'arra stays to 'deal with the human'.  I liked him.  He gave me several chances to get the heck out of Dodge.  When I wouldn't go, he regretfully decided to kill me.
It was a tough fight.  Not so much Kree'arra, but the stupid whirlwinds that fly all over the floor.  They killed me 3 times before I even realized they were touching me.  Once I started trying to dodge them, it seemed several times like they would 'lock' onto me, and chase me.  What a pain.  I tried magic combat first, but finally succeeded with melee.  If you haven't done the fight yet, watch out for the tornadoes.

Since the opponents in this quest are all bosses we can fight elsewhere in the game, we don't actually get to kill them.  When defeated, they acknowledge defeat and leave.  Classy.

More cutscenes, more story, then the puzzle.  It's kind of like Marble Madness meets Pipe Mania.  You have to lay out the path for the marbles to roll across, then make sure it gets across safely.  There are 4 different marbles, so 4 different paths to make.  Once the puzzle is clear, it's time to troop off with Guthix's A-team.

Fiara, Valluta and Cres were new to me.  (Fiara is apparently related to the Fist of Guthix minigame.)  Death is an old friend and sidekick.  He's also featured in several holiday content updates.  Juna runs the Tears of Guthix minigame, so we're old friends.  Cres sort of administers the 'Guardian test', which is a series of questions.  You must answer so as to keep Good, Evil, Order, and Chaos all in balance.  Once confirmed as a Guardian, you take command of the defense and assign teams to protect different approaches.  In addition to the other guardians, Chaeldar the slayer master, and Thaerisk the druid leader follow your leadership.

Each guardian must be assigned an entry to protect.  If you assign each defender correctly according to their strenghts, you all get a boost during combat.  Otherwise it's a much harder fight.  Something I didn't know at the time, if any of them die during the upcoming fight, they stay dead in the game.  Any guardians killed in combat will be permanently replaced by new characters outside the quest.

Thank goodness, they make a bank right there, so you can re-stock between fights if need be.  They also provide 3 cauldrons with stat boosts.  Be sure to drink from all three.

Once everybody is assigned, and you're ready to fight, the first battle is with General Graardor.  He has several special attacks, but the only one that seemed hard was when all the ceiling debris was falling.  I was running like crazy for a long while just to avoid the never-ending rockfalls.  Zemouregal was easy enough.  The only trick to him is that you have to destroy two blue portals before you can hurt him.  Later he makes 4 more, and you have to destroy them again before finishing him.
K'ril Tsutsaroth took a while, but really wasn't that hard to beat.  Enakhra is a long fight, because she heals off of your own hit points.  The amount is determined by how high your hit points are, so I just let my points stay very low.  It was a long fight, but just a matter of time, really.

After winning all four combats, you find Juna under attack.  She must be protected from a number of lower-leveled fighters.  Many of them died with just one hit, so it wasn't too hard to do.

The real decision point comes just after Zilyana kills Cres.  At this point, everybody realizes it's all on you, and you must make a choice of which side to support.  Betray your Guthix friends and side with the Zarosians or the 'Kill-Guthix' crowd, or stand steady at Guthix's side.
This was a tough decision, because several websites mention the easiest choice being Zarosians.  I was torn between the easy choice, or the emotional choice.  Finally decided I had to stay with my friends.  Juna gives me free experience ever week.  Death has been sort of like an old drinking buddy for years now.  And Chaeldar?  She helped me master the Slayer skill... how could I forget that?

So I stayed Guthixian.  Unfortunately, Sliske had secret plans of his own.  Just as I got through the caverns, Sliske showed up with an elder god weapon, and blew a hole in Guthix.  With his dying moments, Guthix told me his own story, and bequeathed some of his power on me.  Now I can stand up to the gods, which became apparent when Saradomin showed up and tried to take over.

The World Wakes was a wild roller coaster ride, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  The rewards were pretty hefty.  Aside from being centrally positioned in the story of Geilinor and the home defense leadership for the upcoming new Godwars...there are lots of experience lamps, new combat abilities, a cool new ring that's almost as good as the Onyx Ring(i).

Plus more conversation with some of the quests major players, access to a new slayer monster (Automatons), and new drops from these monsters for very high-level gloves and a pet, the Cres-bot.

World Wakes is one of my top favorite quests ever, and I look forward with excitement to learning how this changes... everything!

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