The Tip.It Times

Issue 199gp

Functionality vs. Flash

Written by and edited by Tip.It

Admit it, many of us are excited and giddy to see Runescape's new graphical update for one reason or another. For some it's like Christmas in July. I know I am excited to see the new graphics. The screenshots amazed me to no end, but instead of throwing us pretty eyecandy, I will delve into one of the most basic and oldest arguments in gaming history: Functionality vs Flash:

While I love my Call of Duty, Halo or almost any next generation console game, how important are graphics to Runescape? The last line in the recent development diary, makes me think they are beyond important. "RuneScape needs to constantly evolve to remain a state-of-the-art online game, so we're already planning future graphical improvements..." There are known issues with berets and women's hair on Runescape. The top hat to my knowledge, still makes everyone I see with it bald. The cane looks more like a baton and do not even get me started on redesigning almost every NPC in the slayer tower. I never saw anything wrong with the Bloodvelds, "Nech's", Spectres, Infernals, Crawling hands or Banshees. Some got uglier and more "scary" and to me the infernals look like giant gnomes, but why do they need to be changed? They certainly work fine as is.

Lots of players for years have requested improvements to Castle Wars, the Fishing Trawler free loader dilemma and other older mini-games. I wish these games would get as much attention and as many revisits as the graphics get.

I wish we could focus on released content, updates for skills, items, new creative content and not flash. If I want flash, I can easily go elsewhere… Can't most players?

What I love is the creative content that is seemingly replaced with flashy updates meant to razzle, dazzle and attract new customers. While the quests are nice, those areas often become known as quest towns or useless until the next quest, and some creative content could really make the game more fun and us say "Wow, this is cool" without having to subject to us constant graphical tweaking.

Some examples, to me the gargoyles looked fine before, the new ones make some of my friends dizzy and feel seasick – they look better to me, but now some players I know enjoy them much less. A good friend asked me today "How hard will shadow warriors be to see in a game that will actually have shading and shadows?" I know lots of users who hate the new ores, they are difficult to see, but for "Flash" or "Design", they have kept the same layout. I am not saying Runescape doesn't have creative content updates, but they seldom seem to be revisited after the bugs are tweaked and it is tweaked for balance, and that is sad.

Take Castlewars for example. It has grown hard to find a world that's not the "suggested world" that has a decent crowd of just say 40 or so total players. The suggested worlds are HUGE, maybe 200, 300 players at once, in a small area that is not designed for an epic game. We could have an arena triple the size, or multiple arena's with separate landscapes or something so much more, Instead we have the same mini-game we have always had, that is only spiced up by the additions of new items… Add something new for Frog Tokens, Ecto-tokens, Give us reason to do something old again. After all, is variety not the spice of life?

Yet Npc's are getting upgraded ever so often, and while that's nice, it's not really needed, they drop the same loot, hit the same and besides being different, don't change the gameplay at all. Except they may make someone say "wow" or in my case say "Sigh…" or they may impress a 14 year old who is deciding between Runescape and say World of Warcraft.

All in all, I can't wait until the graphics come out, but please don't continue to improve them, give me some potatoes with my meat or some shards with my charms. If I want flash, Saints Row and Call of Duty 4 are calling my name, not better graphics while I sit clicking the same thing over…and over…and over that only looks different and has never been tweaked as far as what I do with it, just how I look at it.

Did You Know...
...that you can buy an Opulent Table Flatpack plus other gilded items for over a 90 percent discount on the Grand Exchange compared to the raw material prices of those items? (Thanks das!)

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