Although a few days late, I thought it would be apt to have a quick look back over some of the events and updates of 2005. These are my own opinions - so you're free to disagree - and post on the discussion thread on the forums. You'll find the link at the end of the article.
Brimhaven Dungeon and Metal Dragons (17-Jan)
A good update I thought that provided a wide range of monsters for the upcoming Slayer skill. The Dragon legs that the new metal dragons dropped were the last piece of dragon armour needed for full dragon; however females weren't very happy as dragon skirts didn't come till a few months after. I remember making a killing off a lucky streak of drops selling many pairs of Dragon legs. Those metal dragons helped finance my campaign for 99 magic.
Slayer Skill (26-Jan)
The Slayer skill introduced a wide range of useful features to the game. Firstly the Magic dart spell and the Slayer staff. Magic dart was popular to use for the upcoming barrows update. The slayer staff opened up a new way of training magic, with the staff being able to autocast the Crumble undead spell. However Jagex later spoilt that when the experience you received from casting Crumble undead was greatly decreased (halved). Most importantly the Slayer skill brought Abyssal whips which everyone thought were great as they sped up combat training and provided more power for PKers. However PKing with them when they first came out was very risky as they were a major source of income, the first abyssal whip went for around 150million gp in worth. The granite maul and abyssal whip weapons that were introduced into the game with the Slayer skill originally had different specials and when Jagex changed them to be less powerful there was uproar among players.
Wilderness Capes (22-Feb)
In my opinion wilderness capes were a poor attempt at clan support by Jagex. Most of the clan action in big teams is on F2P, however Jagex can't help that as they have to make P2P updates to attract customers and so on. Even though there is a wide range of team capes there is nothing to stop another team planning ahead and wearing the same cape as your clan's to confuse you and spoil your fun. The multi combat friendly Ancient Magick spells introduced later in the year still hit people with the same team cape on as you, making it hard to use the multi spells effectively. I think players would have appreciated some sort of war arena instead of team capes. Also Ranger PKers were weakened when Jagex changed the special attack on the magic short bow to only allow 1 special at a time and not 2.
Dragon Scimitar (29-Mar)
The Dragon scimitar originally had a special that stopped your opponent from moving for a short period of time but Jagex changed it to stop protection prayers instead, which many players weren't pleased about.
Ancient Magicks (18-Apr)
Ancient Magicks released as a reward for the Desert treasure quest opened up a whole new world to PKers. Mage/melee and Mage/range PKer hybrids began to show up using the high level Ice barrage spell. Rangers weren't too happy about this especially after their magic short bow had been toned down. Ancient Magicks also brought useful teleports to new locations. Teleports in the wilderness were useful for getting to fights deep in the wilderness, the teleport to the Canifis pub was useful for barrows runs which was added the following month. Also the freeze spells are used in a method at barrows - see our detailed guide for more info (authored by yours truly).
The Barrows mini-game brought new armour and weapons, the best armour in the game, with better defence bonuses than dragon - finally an update targeted for high levels. The revolutionary new Guthan armour set with it's healing ability made combat training without food possible. The Dharok armour set made hitting damage around 80 possible. The Verac armour set made it possible for players to solo kill the Kalphite queen again. Players were unhappy about the Karil armour set as it had the same bonuses as black dragon hide armour but was much harder to get. Later on in the year Karil got a secret power boost making him hit harder when you fought him in barrows. Its fair to say, the new Barrow sets changed the way people got things done forever.
Abyss and Runecrafting updates (13-June)
The Abyss gave a much needed boost to the Runecrafting skill, providing a quicker, but riskier way to travel to Runecrafting altars. Upon entering the Abyss your prayer is drained to 0 and you are given a skull, because it's in the wilderness it's an easy opportunity for PKers to come and kill you. Players quickly brainstormed new techniques and tactics that have allowed them to make a lot of runes quickly and hence a lot of gp, especially with nature and law rune crafting.
Farming Skill (11-July)
The Farming skill was introduced designed slightly different to other skills. Players were allowed to gather seeds to prepare for the skill a month before it came out. Some people went crazy buying seeds in mass amounts. When the skill came out it turned out that players needed time and patience more than mass amounts of seeds; an aspect unseen in other skills to date. When the skill first came out the Jute seed gave high amounts of experience compared to other seeds but that bug was fixed. The farming skill brought along new weapon poison so PKers appreciated this update, replacing their dragon dagger poisoned with a dragon dagger super poisoned. However, the general response to the skill has been less than favourable, which I'm sure Jagex would not care to admit.
Players had been waiting for the cook-x option for a long time; many other skills had the make-x option for quite a while. The cooking skill was made easier to level, cutting out a lot of clicking. However this change triggered a change in the Runescape economy, raw fish increased in price.
Fight Pits & Fight Caves (Sep & Oct)
A level 702 boss, the highest level monster in the game was introduced with the reward for killing it being a powerful new untradeable cape called the fire cape. Most games have a warning that recommends players to take a break after every hour of game play, however the fight pit requires around 2 hours of solid game play without logging out. It is by far the most challenging task for combat oriented players to date, easily out ranking the challenge of killing the Kalphite Queen or any dragon, and many players like myself have yet to obtain the fire cape.
Bank Pin (19-Sep)
Many players were happy when bank pins were introduced. Unfortunately character stealing and scamming is commonplace in Runescape so the extra protection was appreciated. What percentage of the population that have actually taken advantage of this feature is unknown, as many people are still falling victim, albeit owing to their own lack of common sense and/or information.
Dagganoth Kings (7-Nov)
The introduction of the Dagganoth kings in the Waterbirth Island Dungeon provided a new place for people to venture in big teams and it brought a new dragon item - the dragon hatchet, a new staff - the mud staff and a new bow - the seercull bow. The mud staff provided a new way for people to train magic, providing unlimited water and earth runes allowing people to train with the stun spell. The seercull bow is a deadly weapon against mages in the wilderness as the bow special reduces the opponent's magic by however much damage is inflicted. However because it is quite hard to acquire and it protects over dragon hides because the general shop value of it is lower than hides, it is rarely seen in action the wilderness.
Obviously I haven't covered everything, but I did try to talk about what came to my mind anyway. It certainly has been an eventful year, in more ways than once. Happy Runescaping and good luck with everyhing in 2006!
Did You Know...
...that if you don't have a fire cape (from Fight Caves) then the God capes (from Mage Arena) are the best in defence in magic giving a massive 10 defence. They are also easier to obtain than legends capes, which only gives 7 magic defence bonus. (Thanks weasel)
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