The first of October’s updates saw the third and final part of the summer quest line of the Void Knights. Over the quest, the difficulty of each quest rose further, leading to The Void Stares Back being a grandmaster quest. However, did this quest really deserve a Grandmaster Title? Also, before I start, it’s an obvious factor that this article will have spoilers, so please do not read this if you don’t want the plot to be spoiled.
The quest starts off at Tiffy and Korasi discussing plans over what to do. When the player asks them, they immediately come up with a strategy – to infiltrate the Black Knight’s Fortress and see what they’re up to, because we’ve not done that at least 2 times before in the past. So the player dons a set of Black Knight armour which was bugged, so they can track his/her movements, then heads towards the fortress.
At the fortress, you meet Commander Gilroy, who teleports you to the Black Knight’s hideout within Taverly Dungeon. After walking through the door next to you, you’re faced with your first puzzle – the weight distribution puzzle. At first it seems hard, but once you understand the somewhat cryptic help you’re given, it’s rather easy.
After completing the aforementioned puzzle, you, Gilroy and the other Black Knight Soldier are ambushed by a Pest Control team – being a Defiler, Torcher, Spinner, Brawler and a Shifter, of which you will receive no help from the NPCs. After killing them, you will see that they drop security plates – one of which is broken. Gilroy tells you that you need to search crates around the hideout and then activate a forge…
After running around, almost aimlessly, you find your supplies, activate the forge and then fix the key. Then you run back to open the door… and surprise! Another puzzle! In this puzzle, you have to align the security wall back together with a twisted style of Tetris. Once opened, you then enter a room with a portal. This is the portal that leads to where the main antagonist is putting his plan into action.
After a cutscene, where you ally the White, Black and Temple Knights together, you are then forced through the portal – in which you get ambushed (again!) by a Conquest Team of pests. Guess what mini-game you’re going to play now? If you guessed Conquest, you’re right. After another cutscene, Tiffy will give you a Commorb which can only issue one move before it needs recharging.
This game of Conquest is not like a regular game – it is heavily biased towards the Pests. You’ll notice that they have quite high health, namely the Spinner (which has 800 health), but also some have the advantage of high hits, like the Ravagers. In between charges, after you’ve made your move, the pests can move twice.
So after that heavily biased Conquest game, you then have to move into the cave, where Korasi and Jessika went earlier. Immediately, you’ll see Korasi injured, standing next to a huge turtle, and Jessika tied to a pillar. It is at this point when the antagonist is revealed to you as… Wizard Grayzag! He then forces you to kill either Jessika or Korasi, so that the Pest Queen may be summoned. After sacrificing either, lo and behold, the Pest Queen pops out of the portal.
Now begins a rather long and a somewhat difficult fight. Throughout the fight, you have to use the special of Korasi’s Sword to stop the Queen from using her special attack, kill or attack Elite Defilers to stop them from killing the Void Archers, and survive a 5 minute plus fight. You do get help from the Knights, they will occasionally hit her quite hard, but it isn’t really enough.
Once the queen is disposed of, Commander Tyr asks you how you want to dispose of Grayzag. The choice you make here will impact heavily on the armour you receive after the quest. So now, Jessika or Korasi is dead, the Pest Queen is dead and now Grayzag is too… and the quest is over.
So, after reading that, you can see that the quest is quite short and in fact, quite easy too. Which brings me to my point – this quest is criticised as not being Grandmaster quest, but much rather a Master quest. But what else is there to compare it to?
While Guthix Sleeps is currently RuneScape's longest, and probably the most difficult quest to date. It features over 5+ hours (if I remember correctly) of questing, a huge, immersive, sad plotline and two very relevant heartpumping fights. The rewards, too, are very great - a shard of Dragon metal (found as a drop from Tormented Demons, used to make the Dragon Platebody) and 4x 100K exp lamps to spend on any skill of your choice (totalling 400K).
Nomad's Requiem is quite a short, little quest, with only a few puzzles but it is home to possibly one of the hardest boss fights you will ever face in Gielinor. Nomad himself is extremely difficult to kill, and there are many strategies involved in killing him - something which can take quite a long time for any adventurer who is not prepared to the full. It also rewards you with the popular high-level Soul Wars cape, which, I believe, beats the Fire Cape in some areas. But it also gives you 70 Zeal, which can be spent on a pet, gambling (to make quite a fair bit of money), or a huge amount of EXP in a combat skill (plus slayer)!
I might even be brave enough to say that there are Master quests that should in fact be Grandmaster. For example, Blood Runs Deep. Blood Runs Deep is, like WGS, a very long quest with quite a difficult boss fight (although, it's no where near as hard as NR or WGS). The rewards, too, are even greater than While Guthix Sleeps (exp wise), giving 450K total EXP in any chosen combat skill over level 75. Then there's also Mourner's End Part 2... and the list goes on.
But what makes The Void Stares Back a grandmaster quest? Really, in my opinion, the only thing that makes this quest a Grandmaster quest is the requirements. The quest itself isn’t hard like Nomads Requiem and While Guthix Sleeps, and the rewards are nowhere near similar to Nomad’s Requiem, While Guthix Sleeps, or even Blood Runs Deep! But that doesn’t mean to say it’s not enjoyable – because, at the end of the day, whether or not it’s grandmaster, it was still a great story… just a bit too puzzle heavy though!
But what is your opinion? Do you think it's the length and difficulty that makes it grandmaster? The rewards? The storyline and plot? Should The Void Stares Back be a grandmaster quest? Tell us what you think on the discussion topic!