When I'm not busy beating on Portals with my trusty whip (I think it's broken at the moment though – it seems to only hit 0's), I like to browse the Tip.It forums. A great source of information and gossip, the forums have always got something going on worth reading.
One of my favourite forums is the RuneScape Discussions & Suggestions forum. It's fascinating to see the ideas people come up with for improving the game. Of course, this being RuneScape, mixed in with some pretty brilliant ideas, are some real "What were they thinking?" ones. Sometimes these are more fun than the useful suggestions – if only for the interesting sensation of one's brain trying to claw its way out of one's skull so that it can run away with one's eyeballs and prevent one from ever reading anything like that again.
So, in the interest of what remains of my sanity I, your Humble Editor, would like to propose a few things that you might want to consider when coming up with creative ways to improve the game. After all, the blokes at Jagex Towers read the forums too – let's give them ideas they can work with, not have them all laugh themselves to death, because who then would update the game?
First and foremost: The KISS Principle: Keep it Simple, Sweetie! Now, no matter how brilliant your idea is, if it isn't fairly straightforward to implement and execute, it ain't gonna fly. Take a nice long analytical look at the way the game plays sometime. It's all really very simple. Any new skill, or any enhancement to an existing skill, has got to work at the same level. I don't know if you've done the One Small Favour quest…I have. It sends you all over the map. In order to do this one simple thing, you have to do another "small favour" for someone else, which in turn requires yet another small favour of yet another NPC, and so on. If your suggestion works along those lines, fuggettaboutit. [email protected] (the blokes at Jagex Towers) aren't going to want to program it, and no one's going to want to play it.
#2: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If what you're proposing is an extension or a revision of something that works just fine in game, don't bother. Apply your talents to the areas of the game that don't work so well.
III: "Give F2P skill X" is not a suggestion, it's a demand. And if [email protected] haven't given it to F2P yet, chances are they're not going to.
4th: If it's an add-on to a skill that exists in a different skill (example: "Why can't we have alch all? We have cook all!") then again, don't bother – it's probably either in the pipeline at Jagex Towers, or can't be easily done that way.
E: Does it work within the technological limitations of the game? This one's a bit more complicated and gets into all sorts of grey areas. On the one hand, we have coal trucks, but apparently no engines to move them from A to B. On the other hand, the Dwarves have enough technology to create a steam-powered cannon so, in theory, we could have steam engines. On the third hand (what? You don't have a third hand? You should talk to your parents, you've been robbed!), we do appear to have the ability to make explosives, so the steam-powered cannon could use more conventional powder and shot. So while it might be cool if we could travel around by helicopter, powered flight doesn't appear to be technologically feasible right now. Hot air balloons, however, are a different matter (and it would be very cool to be able to fly via hot air balloons – the Rants forum could power several fleets alone!). And while we have cannons, I don't think we're going to see machine guns or other firearms any time soon. Unless you can do some serious historical research that puts the technology you favour into approximately a 12th to 16th century framework, then it's probably not likely that [email protected] will be interested. As a side note, there was a precursor to the machine gun produced in the 15th or 16th century…one of these days I'll write about it and some other interesting technologies from that period.
Finally, another judgment call. If you're writing a quest, does it fit in with the general story arc of RuneScape? There's a huge amount of the history, mythology and social customs of RuneScape available on RuneScape.com – the knowledge base has tons of stuff in it. If you want to add to that with a new quest, take a few moments to ensure that your story fits in with what's already been written, without duplicating anything.
The nice thing about a game like RuneScape, is there's always room for more. It can always use more quests, new weapons, extra monsters, fresh food on the menu, additional skills, new mini-games, and enhancements to what we already have. The nice thing about Jagex is that they are open to suggestions. The trick is presenting an idea to them in a way that makes them think: "Wow! Cool! Why didn't we think of that!"
One of these days they really will take on one of the several bank organization suggestions that are floating around, and we'll finally have both enough bank space and a way of keeping it organized. They might even be working on it now! After all, they managed to keep player-owned houses and construction under wraps for a good long time. I'm not holding my breath for the bank changes, though. I don't know enough about the operations at Jagex Towers to know how they go about these things. I suspect it's a lot more complicated than it would appear from over here.
And with that I'll leave you to get creative – there's a Portal down South somewhere that needs my attention!
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