When was the last time you played Trouble Brewing? Unless you're one of a select few, it's probably been a while. Possibly even never. How about Charm Sprites, ever paid them a visit? How often do you take a stroll through Dorgesh-Kaan, fixing light bulbs? Burn any shades recently? Hell, did you even make any of the recently introduced urns or did you just buy them like I did? The more I think about it, the more tons of things in RuneScape that are abandoned or widely used come to mind. Of course some things become obsolete over time, but it feels like some updates were never executed to their fullest potential. It makes me, as well as countless others I'm sure, wonder if Jagex plays the game they create, or if they do, if they're any good at it.
As stated by Jagex, creating updates involved with experience gain is tricky business. Creating new bits of content aimed at skills without unbalancing or obsolescing other aspects of the game is something they always need to be wary of. I've recently noticed the developers taking a reasonable alternative: mixed skill training.
Instead of creating new content that trumps all previous content (in terms of efficiency) they take two or more skills, mesh them together, and give reasonable experience or incentives to train it that way. A perfect example is the recent Herblore Habitat. It's given us new herbs and potions that promote skilling, additional farming spots, and the newest and fastest way to train hunter. I think Jagex nailed this update because it didn't completely unbalance other methods of training skills. You may have the fastest gains catching Jadinkos, but it's not a profitable venture, per se. With this method you cannot sell the product of your labor, unlike Chinchompa hunting. It also requires a lot more attention than, say, Black warlock butterflies, which also provide you with Agility experience.
Another great example is the not-so-recent Living Rock Caverns, which provide an easier and more profitable way of skilling. Because they're not the fastest experience-per-hour method of training, though, other methods are still used. The list of these "mixed" or alternative training methods goes on and on.
Of course, sometimes Jagex doesn't always hit the nail on the head. In fact, sometimes they miss it completely. I know some players may find Charm Sprite hunting fun, but it is, for the most part, completely dead. Jagex tried to combine Summoning and Hunter and while they did that well, the implementation was terrible. The experience gains were far from notable, it was fairly out of the way, and after its initial hype, it's now become a long forgotten bit of content.
In a game where it feels like most players are obsessed with being as efficient as possible (to an extent), providing paltry amounts of experience in two different skills at the same time (when each of those skills separately would save more time and yield better experience) becomes a novelty. It seems like the recently introduced Urns were a missed opportunity by Jagex. I believe, like Racheya said in the main article, they would have been better off used as items that would be filled up by the resources obtained, in lieu of adding to it. It would have finally given some players the option to "power level."
In the future I would like to see Jagex breathe life into existing content. Give us a reason to go to the Fishing Trawler to catch Manta Rays and Sea Turtles. Perhaps let them heal more hitpoints. Give us Construction or Crafting experience for fixing the ships. Provide monetary gain for fixing the lights in Dorgesh-Kaan (be honest, how many of you even knew you could do that for experience?). Give us more training that opt for experience over raw materials, like Ivy. Jagex should spend less time on new content that few will use and spend more time on giving old content new purpose. I doubt it will ever happen, but I would love to one day see people training at multitudes of places, instead of going back to their usual grinds.
One can hope.