The Barrows Brothers are back and have been a big subject in my clan. You have to be rather fast after you kill one to get all of the others down. One down, five to go, four...three. From what I hear it is rather hard, too hard. My conclusion on the Rise of the Six, for now, is that its an other silly piece of soon to be dead content. The main reason being that it is too hard in relation to the reward. Most ordinary mortals seem to need a Seismic Wand that cost a billion to get a chance to get shields or materials for armor that both are in the low hundreds of millions.
I will be honest, I have not tried yet myself, leaving the pioneering to the master bossers in my clan, it also has not been long enough maybe to judge. However, going on the assumption you need a billion GP wand to be effective this fight is only for the wealthy few. A rather limited audience.
Considering Vorago is only tackled by a few groups nowadays I fear The Rise of the six might indeed soon end in six very bored brothers playing poker or doing silly dances to amuse themselves.
But the Barrows are not the only ones, an other group is also back together. One we now and then encounter on RS, via Jagex references: Monty Python They are going to do a reunion show called "One down, five to go". The reason for the title being that one of the original six—Graham Chapman— issadly no longer is among us. 'The Beatles of comedy' are known for hilarious surrealistic silliness and so is RuneScape at times. I just called its newest bosses silly, but of course it is not meant to be and maybe I am premature. New methods to fight them might very well be developed and nerfing could happen any day, making it more durable.
When thinking about silliness and surrealism on RuneScape, we automatically think about the sometimes wonderful humor Jagex portrays. This is mainly with cultural and historical references, but also with a house walking around on chicken legs and great quests like 'Garden of Tranquility'.
Besides these intentional jokes I think there are a lot of surrealistic , silly things in the game that are the result of momentary lapses in common sense by designers or left overs of an ever changing game. In no particular order:
Infrastructural discrepancies seem to be among the most frequent. I suggest you take a little tour and go look at them!
I already talked about the agility shortcut across the river Lum not two steps from a newer bridge. It is located south of the church and for a short time had some function.. probably.. although agility shortcuts seem to be commonly featured among dead content. By now it does nothing but cause some of us to shake our heads. Not only is there a bridge, but we also have tons and tons of teleports to just about everywhere including between Lumbridge and Al Kharid, the two places this shortcut used to service.
This is a leftover from old times, and is a result of momentary lapses in common sense by designers This is something we also see in real life.
The first I am thinking of is the bridge between Edgeville and the GE. For the old-timers among us this used to be a log leading to a hole dug under the wall. This made sense.. someone dug a hole as a semi-secret shortcut into and out of Varrock and threw a log over the river. That can happen.. But now a wide, sturdy bridge has been built which still leads to.. a hole in the ground! SILLY. No sensible person builds a bridge that leads to a secret hole. A bridge signifies a well traveled official route, which would require an equally well built gate..
While we are visiting this marvel of city planning, I wonder about the canoe we use to travel here, which somehow makes its way under this same bridge, even though it is much wider then the passageways.
I can hear some of you now: "it is fantasy, we have magic, it does not need to be real". I agree with all of that, but bridges and a canoes are not magical devices and we should be able to expect a game to adhere to its own logic, like we expect books and movies to do. This also applies to the next architectural marvel I am taking you to on our tour.
Yanille. A city seemingly under threat by Ogres, so much so that it has a massive wall and gatehouse guarded well by soldiers and... a simple unguarded hole in the wall to the east. Does that mean potential enemies only attack from the north, south, and west? It simply does not make sense AT ALL. When we take in account the Watchtower quest, which provides the town with 'much needed' magical protection it does not get better. If this magical 'wall' is foolproof there is no need for the guard detail at the west gate, is there?
The last silliness of a concrete nature I am thinking of is toilets.. or rather the lack thereof. All this eating and no way to relieve yourself!
There is also a huge historical problem which can be summed up in one word: gunpowder.
Let me list a few in game facts about this subject:
- Pirates have gunpowder laying around everywhere; it is a miracle some of those islands aren’t smoking craters by now.
- We had to invent our own gunpowder to assassinate a king; traveling to the east to pick up a barrel was not an option.
- We again had to make our own explosive at the digsite—actually a more modern liquid.
- There are modern canons every were—even on castles guarded by armored, sword-wielding people. For good reason, swords were long gone when those advanced canons appeared!
- No equally 'modern' guns.
- The pirates acquired their 17th century canon-toting ships from the gnomes, the same gnomes that ironically use catapults instead in their desperate war against General Khazard.
Basically the whole subject is one blatant continuity error. If RuneScape was a movie, it would have us laughing ourselves silly. Staying with the pop culture analogies, this seems to be due to the lack of a good 'showrunner' (the boss of a TV-show) who reigns in his or her writers when they go overboard. A J-mod once said the reason we have pirates and zombies in RuneScape is the personal fascination with them of a particular colleague.
In the end there is no need to have pirates (or zombies for that matter) in a medieval fantasy game unless it evolves to later times. This seems to be happening with RuneScape, which gets more and more modern, including a more steampunk feel. That in itself is fine, but would require many of the early medieval parts to be phased out. I think one of the reasons why Player Owned Ports feels like a different game (besides the Facebook-like gameplay) is the overall Dutch Golden Age look it has.
I do think Jagex has lately been trying to get a more consistent game, if only by integrating quests in to one big storyline.
In a way, inconsistencies like above are inherent to a game and there is one that is even more unavoidable: the infinite realities. The world is populated with a million 'heroes of Varrock', the royal children of Miscellania have married thousands of adventurers, and Mother Mallum has been released upon the world countless times. But not really, because on the other hand we all are one and the same 'World Guardian'. We all play the same character in this story. Think about how empty the world suddenly is when you are the first to log in after an update.. no one else around. THAT is how Gielinor really looks.
Whatever the future holds for the Barrows brothers back together, I am happy to see that other group do a reunion and I am hoping for a televised registration of 'One down, five to go'. If you live in London and can get tickets I jealously recommend you doing so.