It's been over two years since the construction skill was released. It is no longer the "new skill" but has quickly turned into just another "buyable skill" that for some reason, people tend to look down upon. Presently, level 99 construction requires around 100 million gp using oak planks, including the cost of paying your butler and without the aid of hammers from the Stealing Creations minigame. Making that much gp from scratch is no walk in the park.
As a user with level 99 construction, I get many comments about my skill cape from random users on both RuneScape and the Tip.it forums. Many of these comments are simple things such as, "Wow nice cape," or "Awesome, 99 construction!" But other comments go as far as to imply that 99 construction is not an incredible achievement because "you can just buy it."
Yes, construction is a buyable skill. You have to buy over 200,000 oak planks to obtain level 99, plus factor in the costs of paying your butler. How is that any less praise-worthy than 99 fishing or 99 woodcutting or 99 hunter or even some of the combat skills? Just because someone has 99 construction doesn't mean that they hoard party hats and have millions of gp collecting in their bank just waiting to be spent. It is true that if someone is already exceptionally wealthy, they could easily get level 99 in about a week, but we should never judge an entire skill based on how a select few people are able to max it out. I, for one, spent months runecrafting without the aid of double natures in order to afford 99 construction. Dedicating several months to any skill requires a colossal amount of patience and determination. It is so easy to burn out and want to give up. But for some reason, many people think that buyable skills are easy because you can typically gain several hundred thousand experience per hour. What people forget, is that you have to be able to afford it in the first place. The difficulty with buyable skills is not in the actual leveling up process, which is rather quick, but in the money-making process, which can take weeks or even months.
Another statement that I frequently see is that "Construction is easy if you have the money," and it's certainly true. But how many people have the money required to buy 99 construction sitting in their bank right now? And even if they have 100 million gp stored up, how many of those people want to spend it all on one skill when they could probably buy five level 99s with it instead? In addition to being able to make large amounts of money, someone with 99 construction also has to be able to watch themselves spend all their money on ONE skill, when they could have spent that same amount of money getting multiple 99s instead. Although it may sound like an easy, insignificant thing to do, it can actually be very hard.
You are about to buy 217,000 oak planks. You stroll into the Grand Exchange with a peaking confidence and an eager smile. You have 92,659,000 gold pieces weighing you down, but you still can't help but run the final few steps towards the Grand Exchange clerk. You might even double over from excitement because obtaining 99 construction, one of the rarest level 99 skills, will surely be your most noteworthy accomplishment in your RuneScape career.
Pictures flash through your head of your seemingly insignificant RuneScape character equipping the acclaimed construction cape at last. Endless masses of people will congratulate you on your accomplishment and plead with you to demonstrate your cape emote. Although the attention would delay your RuneScape agenda, you can't help but smile because you have never received such attention before.
Returning to reality, you click the "Buy" option and make a search for "Oak planks." You cooly input 217,000 and see the price soar from zero to 92,659,000 gp. Your curser hoovers over the "Confirm Offer" button, which would seal your fate, and you hesitate. 92,659,000 gp is all your savings. Do you really want to do this? Blow everything on one skill? What if you split up that money into multiple skills instead? You could buy 99 cooking, 99 fletching, 99 firemaking, 99 crafting, and probably get smithing or farming or prayer or magic or herblore well into 80s or 90s. People would still admire you for those achievements. Plus you'd have four level 99 skills instead of one...
Your slowly eyes alternate between "Confirm Offer" and the price of 92,659,000 gp listed just above it. You inhale and try to recollect yourself, but your attention and anticipation has shattered. The temptation to focus your efforts on four skills instead of one increases with every passing second. As the tension builds, you can hear your heart pounding in your ears and you begin to sweat out of frustration and confusion. Your confidence, which was once so clear dissolved in just a few seconds, as you were presented with that second window of opportunity.
So what will it be? One? Or four?
Unless you absolutely have your heart set on 99 construction, you have to have nothing to lose in order to dish out a large sum of money for ONE skill. Could you do it? Could you blow all of your efforts on one skill? Could you give up the potential to max out four skills and dedicate everything you have to construction? Could you watch yourself go from riches to rags with the click of a button?
All level 99s require effort and all level 99s deserve praise. Just because a skill is buyable doesn't necessarily make it easy to obtain level 99. If started from scratch, it can be just as hard - if not harder - to get level 99 in an expensive buyable than an unbuyable skill. So if you ever find yourself about to discredit a buyable skill such as construction, prayer, or herblore - particularly if you aren't level 99 in it yourself - take the time to consider the months of time and effort that are required to raise enough money and the motivation that is needed in order to blow millions of gp on one single skill.