The Tip.It Times

Issue 25499gp

Who Am I?

Written by and edited by Racheya

Alg loses connection...

No, not that kind of connection.

Player choice is something I've covered in the past, and I'll be the first to admit that I'm spoiled when it comes to choices in gaming, as 'freedom' has become something of a buzz word in the last few years. And why wouldn't it? One of the strengths of single-player games is the feeling of having made an impact on the story or the setting. It's something that Jagex has started to catch on to, as well: previews for most recent quests have focused as much on the choices as the rewards. Even the world event allowed you to pick a side.

So why don't I feel like I've accomplished anything?

For the most part, choices seem superficial at best and completely meaningless at worst. My decision to help Saradomin during The Death of Chivalry gave me the same result as a player who opposed him; with the only difference being dialogue that supported whatever choice we may have made. The world event, on the other hand, did away with personal choices entirely, resolving a conflict that has defined the game for the last ten years with a popularity contest.

On one hand, I can understand exactly why they do this: it would be a nightmare to create content for every possible outcome of every quest. Ending The Death of Chivalry with a meaningful choice would ensure that its sequel would have multiple storylines that only really have a name in common, as would letting each individual player decide what a post-God War Lumbridge would look like. It's less a matter of being easier and more a matter of being reasonable.

Even knowing that, I have a hard time getting invested in the lore. It may be reasonable, but it isn't entertaining, at least not for me. Other people might distinguish themselves through ranks or rare items, I would prefer to do so through quests. And as selfish as it might sound, the short version is that I have very little to show for my character's unique contributions to the world. Items and titles are freely interchangeable if it isn't possible to collect them all at once, and the biggest changes to the world happened in spite of my actions. Even unique stat builds aren't much of a possibility; not training everything is essentially a self-imposed challenge. Uniqueness is the key here, rather than pride.

I can't really say much other than "It's not my thing". I like games that take choices and preferences into account, good or bad. I dislike the sort of powergaming where you can do everything perfectly and will never make a mistake. Somewhere along the line, Runescape became the latter, or the latter became the community's preference. I'm not sure which. And while I'll still be around to enjoy quests, I'm not sure if I'll be as invested in them as I am in other games.

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Tags: Quests

Will you use Menaphos to train your skills?

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