GrindScape. ClickScape. RunEscape. OhMyGoshAllYouDoIsClickScape. We’ve all heard these names before (okay, maybe not the last one), and they’re all addressing a very important problem with RuneScape.
Many video game reviewers have given RuneScape poor ratings because a lot of the game is based around skill-grinding. To achieve the highest level in most skills (dungeoneering excluded), you need 13,034,431 experience points. Assuming that the average XP/hour is 100,000, it will take around 130 hours of playing time to get to level 99 in just one skill. Let’s admit it: that is a lot of time spent clicking on little pixel images.
This raises an important question: are skills too much of a grind? The first skill that I got to level 99 was fishing. When training fishing in the Living Rock Caverns, you’re going to get an average of around 45,000 XP/hour. There is 7,688,099 XP between levels 90 and 99, which means you’re looking at a minimum of 170 hours in the living rock caverns fishing Rocktail before you get to level 99.
Fishing isn’t the only skill with slow XP rates, though. Divination, Slayer, and Agility are all incredibly slow. I think that you’re getting what I’m trying to say now: training skills takes a lot of clicking. We all play RuneScape for different reasons. I actually enjoy grinding because the end result is extremely rewarding. However, there are still many players who dislike grinding. These players often grow bored of the game and quit frequently because of how much of the game is made up of this constant grinding.
The question to address now is: how should Jagex make skills less of a grind without making the game “easier”?
One of the main suggestions that many folks have is a massive minigame overhaul. There is a minigame for most, if not every, skill in RuneScape. For the most part, these mini-games have become dead content. Let’s take Fishing Trawler for example. It’s been years since I’ve seen somebody trying to assemble a team for Fishing Trawler. Back in the day, there were many people gathering up a team to sail the high-seas to catch fish, gain XP, and have a good time. Now, you very rarely see anybody mention fishing trawler. It’s the poster-child of dead content.
A huge minigame overhaul sounds nice, but there are many problems that can be run into. The RuneScape development team is fairly small. It would take a lot of time, money, and other resources to completely overhaul most of the minigames in RuneScape. Even though it would be nice, it’s very unlikely that it will happen.
Another commonly suggested method is to completely overhaul the skill system. With Dungeoneering, the XP rate fluctuates depending on how skilled you are. With some dedication on Jagex’s part, this can be implemented into other skills as well. The skills themselves would change quite a bit, though. In the past, we have witnessed the RuneScape community erupt with a roar when a game-changing update came along. If Jagex were to add to the game abilities similar to the Evolution of Combat for skilling, we would have a world 66 riot on our hands on a scale that we’ve never seen before. I, personally, would welcome such an update. A lot of the community, however, may not. It may be too big of a gamble for Jagex to take.
The most obvious choice would be to simply decrease the experience needed to master a skill. Instead of requiring 13,034,431 experience to achieve 99, it would require just 7,000,000 experience to master a skill. In present-day RuneScape, that would be between level 92 and 93. As with the Evolution of Skilling suggestion I addressed above, I can predict a large-scale World 66 riot because many players don’t want to have their achievements devalued and have the game made easier.
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer, and I’ve only addressed a few suggestions in this article. There are many more potential ways to remedy the grinding problem. My opinion on this matter is this – I like a game that’s rewarding and requires you to work hard. I think that the current system could use some minor updates, but overall it’s the system that I like best.
What are your opinions on the matter? Tell us in this week’s forum discussion thread!