The release of aquanites this week was met with a wave of acceptance. A new slayer monster, designed for higher-level slayers hit the street with a frenzied rush of mad, bloodthirsty treasure-seekers. Within minutes the Fremennik dungeon was filled with eager killers, all lined up with fangs exposed, ready to attack and be the first to pull in the new elite monster drop.
The drop, commensurable with other high leveled slayer drops such as ; the whip, dragon boots, and dark bow offers a previously unheard of item, a totem of great value as it is unmistakably better the long-running standards. Indeed, the amulet of ranging offers a far greater offensive bonus for rangers than the amulet of glory or even the expensive amulet of fury. Given that rangers tend to find safe ground, the lack of defensive bonuses is not a terrible shortcoming. People looking to train the range skill would be well advised to invest, as it will certainly aid in a more expeditious progression to a high range level.
This is an interesting development for the game, as it changes the balance of the game, moving RuneScape forward in several new directions.
The drive towards more powerful items continues. This is a hotly contested item, although it’s not unfair to describe the development as inevitability. People squirm in their seats as the game becomes easier, as they reached their accomplishments (99 range, a high total level, or money made killing monsters through now inefficient means). The time to reach a cape is decreasing, as many agility cape owners would bemoan.
They are, of course, correct. There is no disputing that the time taken to reach 99 in nearly any skill today is markedly easier than it was three years ago.
The larger question still remains; So what?
As an MMORPG, we play the game almost exclusively for the communal environment. Were Runescape a traditional RPG, everyone here would likely have long since finished, defeated the game, gotten several nice extras, and moved onto a new game. What ties us in - is this friendly competition, to impress others and move up ranks. Make more money, get stronger, show off cooler items than what your friends have. This is the reason behind the resentment amongst long-time players, as their once-mountainous accomplishments are now more like reasonable mole-hills for the masses.
I have long felt like I am waiting for the punchline to a joke when more “experienced” players make this assessment. So what? Why not level your skills even higher than they are today, or reach higher total experience? Why not use these items for your own benefit now that they are available, and make more money or simply earn them and sell them?
Just as a company designs their budget around their needs for the following year, so too must Jagex continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of their user base. More online games are available today. There are more skills players feel an natural responsibility to train. There are more quests to complete. In these times monsters are bigger, badder, and more difficult to defeat than their predecessors (there was a time when the King Black Dragon reigned supreme).
It’s fine to wax poetic and enjoy memories of a simpler time, but why let that get in the way of enjoying the game you play today?