I often wonder if other players I speak with frequently are going to approach me soon. It is a recurring nightmare of late. I come by my player owned house for a “party” and the door is locked behind me; everyone is sitting around the table crying, with hand-crafted letters at the ready to read to me.
“…You’ve become obsessed with those skill goals, and ignore other important things! You don’t play minigames anymore, no big monster hunting… you even blew off a ’99 Cooking’ party to go get a Runecrafting fix! We need you back, back to Runescape society, and away from your self-centered goals!”
This epiphany struck recently, with the release of Herblore Habitat, a well received minigame which got less attention from me than Justin Bieber’s last single. This is a minigame that would once have been right up my alley: combining herblore, farming, and hunter experience with some useful and non-tradeable rewards. The game has also been described as quite fun by several people whose opinions I respect. So why is it that I didn’t bat an eye at this minigame, nor give even a second’s thought into trekking to give this a spin?
The answer is simple; the minigame seems inefficient, and doesn’t align with any current skill goals. It will only slow me down from meeting my targets, free time I can ill-afford to waste. I don’t have time for fun, when there are about seventeen skill goals I have in the foreseeable future. Perhaps someday, when I’m bored, or have met all these goals. Yeah… some day.
My avatar’s name is Stormveritas, and I am addicted to skill-based goals. There, I said it. I’m hooked on hitting those targets, and forego all other component of the game which may be construed as “fun”.
- I have played loads of “Fast Stealing Creation”, the combatless dredge which earns points faster than the traditional minigame while attacking your very soul and will to live.
- I engaged in several hours of Pyramid Plunder, which should speak for itself.
- I couldn’t tell you the last time I played Castle Wars, hunted the Barrow Brothers, enjoyed some Trouble Brewing, hunted implings, slayed some abby demons, or did other tasks which are inefficient and yet fun.
And I’m not alone. I see it everywhere; the Help and Advice guide is loaded with a queue of queries requesting the latest methods of super-efficient leveling. Chats I enter everywhere are deathly quiet, with members grinding away. Areas where leveling or moneymaking (often to earn cash to quickly add levels) offer less efficient means are generally barren.
In the United States, last Thursday marked Thanksgiving: a day to be thankful for all of our means. Even a touch of perspective tells us that a game like Runescape falls leagues behind the thanks we should feel for family, friends, and health. That being said, there is plenty to be thankful for here, the community being first and foremost. Plenty of articles have been written already emphasizing the reliance of an MMORPG on the player base. We need not beat a dead horse there, but be honest about our own contribution to the community at large.
But what is the contribution which is expected? Some would say our friendly competition amongst members of your clan, the Tip It Forum, or Gielenor at large is what brings others to enjoy their time as well. We like racing our friends to that next level, large drop, or rare item. In some cases, efficiency helps our teams, clans, and minigames be more effective. It can make our dungeoneering team clear a floor more quickly, or be better prepared to fight a difficult boss.
Where is the middle? I’m certain that there is no set, definitive line in the sand which delineates the happy medium between the skill-obsessed and the happy doddlers. What do people tend to appreciate more: those that toil away at goals relentlessly, or others who lackadaisically meander about the face of Runescape with seemingly no point or focus?