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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Runescape 3 - Is Divination all it was hyped up to be?

Enriched Spring near the Golden Apple Tree
Recently I posted a review of the new Divination skill.  Overall it was positive, though the skill is definitively a grind skill.  I don't mind the grinding, it's an honored tradition of Runescape.  Heck, pretty much any fantasy RPG game.  Since the early 1980's playing Bard's Tale on the Commodore 64, grinding has been the way to level skills.  (Okay, actually even before that, but that's my first and best memory of frp.)

In the forums, I've seen some complaints about the grind.  No sympathy for most of the complainers, but one person brought up a valid point... if Jagex has been building this skill for so long, why is it so repetitive?  Not speaking to grinding, but that the method of training is the exact same at every level.

It's a good point.  This skill has been promised since last October to my memory, and I'm seeing some claim it's been in the works for 3 years.  I like Divination, but there's not enough variety of training methods to justify a long design time.

All I can conclude is that the 2nd promised skill (soon to be released?) integrates thoroughly with Divination.  So much so that getting them to work together is what's taken up all the time.  We'll only know  when it comes out.
Starting up at the Karamja Divination site
 But I can speculate to a bit more.  The graphics are quite well done.  Beautiful, elegant, very much bringing to mind the will-o-the-wisps that obviously inspired the glowing spheres we chase.  Designing and testing the graphics probably took a fair chunk of time.  Also, this is a non-competitive skill.  Jagex promised the springs last the same no matter how many players are pulling from them.  (Yes, the Chronicle Fragments are competitive, but they're for bonus exp.) 
Another thought, and I don't have any facts or experience to back this up, but I wonder if the skill wasn't designed with the intent to baffle bots?  The randomness, the similarity in color and looks between all the moving images onscreen... sure, bot designers can figure it out.  But maybe actual players have a training advantage.  At the very least, bots won't steal resources from actual players.

Something else that was cool - Divination has been integrated into Dungeoneering.  You can collect energy and memories in the dungeon, and there's a rift in the Trader's room.  I haven't explored the options in depth, but from what I can tell, it's used to open doors that need high skill levels.  If you get stuck at a door too high-leveled, you can use Divination to pass it (assuming you've got the appropriate Div level).  Sounds a lot better than making a potion in the Dungeons.

All things considered, I still like it.  Maybe it's not a home run... but it's a solid base hit at least.

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