"Hi, I’m the Tip.It Times Editor, and I’m a Pest Control addict."
Yep, color me addicted. These days, I’m usually down at the bottom of the world whaling on portals. OK, sometimes I take a break and do a little skill training or questing, but mostly that’s where you’ll find me. I’ve gotten pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. I’ve got a system that ensures the knights rarely find me lacking in zeal, and unless there’s an invasion of idiots (or spinners), I’m winning over 95% of the games I play. Depending on the number and level of the other players, that works out to between 25 and 50 Void Knight points per hour. A couple of hours most evenings can bring in a combat level in about a week. Which by anyone’s standards, is not too shabby.
Pest Control is an interesting game. Unlike most of the rest of Runescape, it requires cooperation between players in order to win the game. In much of Runescape you’re competing against other players. For example, when mining, woodcutting or fishing, you compete against other players for resources. Get to a busy and popular training spot, and you’re competing for monsters. In the wilderness, it’s everyone for themselves. Other than in a couple of quests and a few other mini-games, there’s very little in Runescape that requires cooperation with other players. So you have to learn to play a little differently to do well at Pest Control.
For some time, the best place to play Pest Control has been world 78. There you can pretty much be guaranteed enough people to play with and to win a decent proportion of the games, whatever your combat level. Last few times I’ve checked, it’s been about 20 – 25 wins per hour and about a 90 - 95% win rate. Anyone with a combat level of 70 or better shouldn’t find themselves lacking in zeal (unless they’re not paying attention). In contrast, hanging with a clan of high combat level players generally gets me double that number of wins (40 – 50 per hour), and unless I’m really paying attention to what’s going on, then I’ll find myself lacking in zeal.
There was considerable correspondence on the forums recently about the higher level players (combat 90+) going off, hiding out and playing where they hoped the lower levels couldn’t find them. After some debate, I believe that a group of combat level 70 – 90 players set themselves up with a private website as well. This left the level 40 – 70s complaining that nobody loved them or wanted them on their team.
I think that this was a very good idea. Playing with a group of combat level 90 and above players is challenging. The games are over so quickly, usually in under a minute, that one has to be absolutely on the ball or they won’t get those 50 points of damage necessary to make zeal and get a Void Knight point. I’ve heard people with combat levels of 110 or so complaining that the games are over so fast they’re not making zeal. What chance then does a level 50 or 60 player have? Back when I was in school, kids were streamed by ability – that meant if you were not very good at a subject you got grouped together with the other kids who also had a hard time with it. Each stream could then move at its own pace. The same strategy works for Pest Control. At the lower levels, the games will be slower and it will take longer to earn points. But even a level 40 player should be able to get 10 – 15 points in an hour.
It’s far better to team up with a bunch of people whose abilities are similar to yours and train together, than it is to hang on the coattails of people with much higher abilities. Working with people close to your level will quickly bring all your levels up. Trying to keep up with the high level players is a waste of your time – because you won’t make zeal and get points. But if you stick with it, it won’t be long before you’re one of the high level players yourself.
You’ll note I’ve said nothing about the spoilers: the people who run around opening gates that should be left closed, or who stand around doing nothing after they’ve done their 50 points of damage. Or my least favourite pest controllers: the ones who ignore a spinner right beside them that’s healing the portal faster than they can hit it.
Dudes! Cooperate!! I know it goes against the whole theme of Runescape, but it’s the only way to beat Pest Control and get all those lovely rewards!
Do you have any thoughts or comments about what you've just read? Want to discuss this article with your fellow Runescapers? We invite you to discuss the article in this forum topic.