The cool thing about being the Editor of the Tip.It Times is you get to write about almost anything in RuneScape every week. The slightly less cool thing is you write about it every week. Well, except when we have a guest author on board, that is. Sometimes it can be difficult coming up with a fresh and exciting subject to write about. Many thanks to Sligo for the excellent column that was published while I was on vacation. I hope you all read and enjoyed it.
But that’s not what this column is about. This column is mostly about Quests. However, before I get on my soapbox and start ranting about quests, let’s give the blokes at Jagex Towers a nice round of applause for the new graphics. I haven’t seen all of them yet, but I like what I’ve seen. Even though I nearly got done in by a blue dragon after I crawled through the pipe in the Taverly Dungeon, and was so busy admiring the cute little baby blue dragon, that I didn’t see momma approaching and she singed my beard. Nice work guys! Keep it coming.
So to the meat of this column: Quests. I like quests. I really do. They usually have good rewards, and they make sure I travel over large parts of Gielinor that I’d probably ignore or otherwise forget about. They fill in the backstory to the game and are a good way to learn the history and mythology that makes the game so rich. They’re also mostly fun to do. And there’s the rub: that "mostly" thing.
One of my RuneScape goals is to complete all the quests. I’m happy to report that this goal is in sight. I just have to do Desert Treasure and then the finale of Recipe for Disaster and I’ll have done them all. Until the next new quest comes out, that is. Most of them have been fun to do. One Small Favour was somewhat annoying, but it was supposed to be. It’s the quests that aren’t supposed to be annoying, at least I don’t think they are, that I’ve been having trouble with.
Take Murder Mystery, for example. Somewhere along the line I got something out of sequence or missed something or lost something. So, although I thought I had everything, I couldn’t get the guard to accept my evidence and let me be done with the quest. Eventually, after trying and trying, I tossed all the stuff away and decided I’d just have to accept that I’d terminally messed the quest up. Several months later, in a moment of boredom on a rainy Sunday afternoon, I went back and retraced my steps from the beginning, and this time it worked! The guard accepted my evidence, told me I was cool and *pow* Quest Complete! Frustrating, but not crazy-making.
Mourning’s Ends Part II on the other hand, has been driving me crazy. I’ve spent hours and hours running round the Temple of Light adjusting mirrors and putting crystals in light beams, all the while being attacked by shadow creatures. There’s one place where you have to cross a gap in the floor by using hand holds on the wall – standard agility thing. Except I kept falling. Eight, 10, 12 times one day. Each time landing in a pit of shadow creatures. I ate about 50 tuna and sweetcorn potatoes and another 30 or 40 monkfish doing the Temple of Light maze. I didn’t count the number of prayer and super energy potions I used, but I know it was a lot. When I went on vacation I was halfway through it. Unfortunately I was still halfway through it when I got back. Of course all that sunshine at Catherby beach had toasted my brains a little, so I couldn’t remember how far I’d gotten (Notes? Keep notes? Why on earth would I want to do something that sensible?). So I started from the beginning again. Fortunately I could remember some of the bits I’d done, so it didn’t take quite so long. Three evenings' hard work and I meet up with this dwarf dude. He gives me a shopping list. I read it. Then I said some words that Jagex won't let me use in-game. Another evening was spent running round getting all the items. And delivering them. Then finally I was done! I think I woke the neighbours with my whoop of delight.
I have a 3-digit combat level and my Agility is level 70. What I’d very much like to know is how does anyone complete this quest as a medium level player? You can’t carry a lot of food and potions, because of having to be able to carry the mirrors and crystals. You’re wearing the mourner’s outfit, which carries no significant combat bonuses. A ring of life is a Must Have for this sort of quest, and fortunately it doesn’t take up any precious inventory space. But you do need a teleport exit. Do you take a ring of dueling which only takes up one inventory slot, but has a 2-stage activation and leaves you at Castle Wars? Ardougne teleport runes (2 precious spaces, but gets you straight back to the jumping off point)? Or an elf crystal (instant activation, but you’ve still got to get back to Ardougne). Whatever you take, it’s at least one more inventory slot gone.
I know the quest is supposed to be hard – that’s not what I’m griping about. What drove me crazy was that, because of the constant attacks from the shadow creatures, I kept having to bug out, restock food, and then make my tedious way back to where I left off, only to consume half my food en route. Puzzling one’s way through the light maze is difficult enough without the assorted beasties chomping on one’s toes. You need to be thinking strategically and tactically at the same time – not always easy.
There’s two kinds of "hard" here – complicated puzzles that you have to solve on the one hand and dangerous beasties (either because they are individually very strong or else because there’s an awful lot of them) on the other. Trying to do one while in the middle of the other makes for very frustrating game play. It would be nice if the blokes at Jagex Towers would make up their minds and give us just one flavour of difficulty at a time. I, for one, am tired of getting my toes stepped on, my buns roasted (or even worse!) by some horrid-looking creature while I try to figure out some brain-numbing puzzle. And while you're at it, Jagex, how about some new F2P quests? Sure, playing the F2P version of the game is supposed to make people want to become a member, but your member base is increasing more and more every day! So how about a new free quest or two as a sort of "thanks" for staying loyal and continuing to play your game?
Having got that off my mind, there’s a long weekend coming up here in North America. Perhaps I’ll have a go at Desert Treasure. After all, it can’t be any worse than Mourning’s Ends Part II can it? On second thought, don’t answer that. Let me find out for myself. If it does turn out to be too difficult, there’s always Pest Control!
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