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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Runescape God Emissaries: Who did you pick, and what did you get out of it?

Zaryte Bow might have been overkill... but it was fun!
Earlier this week the God Emissaries came to Runescape.  Since they hang out around Pot Sarim, and I spend a lot of time there with the Player Owned Ports, it was pretty convenient to jog over and talk with some of them.  Originally, I thought The Godless sounded like the best choice.  Geilinor doesn't need a bunch of self-proclaimed gods running about mucking up the place.  We can do that just fine all by ourselves, and do less damage.

After some discussion, I still empathize with their goals.  But maybe The Godless are just a tad... overzealous.  If they can set aside their differences and just hang around, it doesn't really bother me.  I just want to see the 'controllers' and 'warmongers' gone.  Guthix had the right basic idea.  But he doesn't account for Seren, who only wants to live in peace and harmony with her followers.

As a matter of fact, the more Endwyr (her representative) talked, the better she sounded.  Monique agreed with me, and we both chose Seren.  I know you can change your mind at any time, but really... what kind of loyalty is that?  It's kind of like breaking a promise.  I don't really foresee anything that will change my mind.

Once chosen, our emissary has a set of jobs for us.  There are three major groupings- combat, exploration, and skills.  The tasks are the same for any emissary.  As a matter of fact, if you change your chosen faction while doing the tasks, it has no bearing on your progress.  You just keep going as if nothing was different.  It would be cool if each one had different assignments, but then nobody would choose one group and stay with it.  Instead, we'd just work down the list.  Do the tasks for one, change loyalty, do the tasks, change loyalty...   It's better this way.  Who we choose becomes a personal decision.

I've noticed a lot of forum conversation regarding our choices.  Most updates have 'ranters', people who are just never happy.  These have been noticeably absent for the emissaries.  Instead, everybody wants to know who you picked, and why.  Or they want to explain their own choices.  The conversations have been thoughtful and in-depth.  A welcome change.  :^)

The tasks themselves start of supremely simple, and progress to 'requires a small amount of thought'.  The easy stuff are things like 'kill 10 goblins', or 'make 3 bowls of scrambled eggs'.  The hardest combat assignment included killing a Black Demon.  He seemed unusually easy to defeat compared to the normal ones.

The skilling tasks included things like fishing, mining, crafting... the hardest task required a total combined skill level among multiple skills.  Pretty easy, but if you aren't sure your levels are high enough, Wiki has a good page with the details here. 

The only task that really required any thought was the final exploration task.  In it, you had to get to 6 different rune altars (Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Body, Mind).  Not too hard in and of itself, but there's a time limit.  You have to do them in pairs, and only have 90 seconds per pair.  For instance, Fire and Water.  Monique and I began with the Water altar.  Touched the artifact to it, and the timer began.  Used a Ring of Dueling to get to the Duel Arena, ran north to the Fire Altar, and used the artifact on it within 90 seconds. 

Then you pick your next pair and figure that out.  If you've maxed out your Wicked Hood, it's very easy because it gives you 3 free teleports per day to any Rune Altar.  So we just went to the easiest ones manually, and used the Hood for the rest. 

When I chose Seren, Endwyr gave me a basic banner and partially complete book.  The book will be completed as you progress, and gives personal insights into the gods.  The banner upgrades as you finish task sets.  Each upgrade is slightly more impressive looking, and offers a 30-minute boost once a day to the related skill set.  For instance, the skilling boost raised my woodcutting from 99 to 101, which will last 30 minutes and can be used once per day.  Upon trying to boost another skill while that one is active, it told me I had to wait until this one was done.

Combat skills are boosted by 5 levels, the Exploration boost will raise your Agility by 5, and the Skilling boost raises the associated skills by 2.  Which is why my Woodcutting only went from 99 to 101.  The combat boost is especially nice, because it boosts ALL the associated combat skills plus 5. 

You don't have to wield the banner, or even carry it, to enjoy the boost.  Once activated, you can bank the banner and continue to enjoy the boosted skill for 30 minutes total.

Endwyr also gave me a Relic Helm when I finished all of the tasks.  This makes sense.  If you haven't noticed, all of the tasks were leading up to the creation of the helm.  When it's finished, she gives it as a reward.  It's nice-looking, and actually comes with level 60 combat stats.  All of the emissaries Helms look similar, only differing by the color of the inset gems and decorations.  If destroyed, you can get another from your emissary, but it costs 80,000 gold.  Something to think about if you're trying to clear out bank space. 

Initially, I did the Emissary tasks for fun.  Since then, the value of the banner has become more apparent.  It may not have the potency of an Overload potion, but for players who don't yet have access to overloads, it can be great.  Similarly, if I don't want to waste an overload, but am heading into combat, a free 30 minute fighting boost doesn't hurt!

One last point - as the tasks are finished, you earn experience rewards.  Starting with very tiny amounts, but eventually totalling over 100k of experience in the combined skills.  Not going to make or break a level, but good rewards for something I was going to do anyway.

Overall, the God Emissaries are another successful bit of added content for Runescape.  It ads depth to the story of Geilinor, makes us as players more emotionally committed to the world, and was fun to do.  Monique and I treated it like a date, and broke it into three different evenings.  One for each task set.  Good job, Jagex.

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