The Tip.It Times

Issue 27599gp

Eyes Open?

Written by and edited by tripsis

Perhaps we need a bit of chaos.

As much as I hate when other people do it, I've been letting the idea of what the game lost over the years marinate in my mind. Right now? Connections. Or, rather, the lack of connection, or of coherence. Or maybe I've just been playing too much D&D and would like to see what a natural one would do to my character, since she's not nearly unlucky enough as it is.

We're getting complacent, slowly grinding our way to our individual goals while the sixth age almost uniformly unfolds around us. We're in complete control over everything at all times. Everything is part of some greater, organized plan. But should it be? It's a boring twist on the old fantasy cliché: "nothing exciting ever happens here." Unlike the cliché's usual use, the game will remain true to its word.

This is, surprisingly, what they created Distractions and Diversions to counter: things that you could just happen across in a regular game session that provided a nice bonus... Except that players immediately began organizing groups to hunt them down because there was almost no way that you would just happen across them. Don't get me wrong, I respect the penguin hunters: Jagex simply made them all too predictable.

So why not bring random events back?

Not as they were, mind you: not an annoyance that served only to inconvenience you, but a truly rewarding distraction. A random piece of fortune (for you) or misfortune (for a thematically appropriate NPC) that would spice up your daily training routine. As always, the concepts are there: the Lava Flow Mine, Bonfires, Chronicle Fragments, and even bird nests could be used as an examination of what works and what doesn't. Rewards could include such generic options as boosted experience or resources, or automatic banking if you're gathering, or they could offer unique perks and cosmetic items. Considering some summoning pets already work like this, that side of things is already in place.

There's almost no limit to the workable ideas for something like this, especially for skills that are otherwise entirely click-and-wait. Something falls out of the tree you're cutting, or gets snagged in your net, and suddenly you're helping a baby animal find its family (hunter experience) or following a note in a bottle, as long as it rewards players for paying attention rather than punishes them for not doing so. The random events of yore failed in this regard, leading to costly losses for not paying attention, in a game that encouraged not paying attention. But then, even if you were, they simply weren't worth the time. You would end up miles from civilization or dead, or you would have gained less experience and money than you would have otherwise, for no real reason.

It's something small, something that they've already worked in to at least the flavor of the game—the concept was advertised heavily during Divination's prerelease—and if done well, it would benefit a population that's almost drowning in stagnation, at least for a little while. At worst, we'll make some otherwise neglected things a bit more rewarding. I doubt many people would complain about that.

Of course, the main reason is much less pragmatic: it might be fun to lose control for a bit.

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Tags: Suggestions

Will you use Menaphos to train your skills?

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