On 17th March this year, Jagex released a Dev Blog describing a future update – Capes of Distinction. This was a series of new capes designed to reward players for various achievements. Last week, we got that update.
For a long time players have been asking for a cape that shows off how long you’ve been playing. Jagex accommodated this with the Veterans and Classic capes. This sounds great, a way of saying you’ve been playing for five years, or that you’ve been around since Classic. The only problem is… these capes are members only, but it’s possible to have been around for such a long time and be F2P. When the Dev Blog was released, most people were under the impression that the Veterans and Classic capes were for both F2P and P2P.
Why not? Yes, these capes have stats, but it wouldn’t be hard to remove the stats for F2P. This has nothing to do with what F2P deserve or do not deserve, I think it’s about giving respect to those F2P players who stick around, who have stayed loyal to the game. If Jagex are going to spout that they have the World’s Largest Free to Play game (which they do every chance they get) they should give a bit of respect to those players whose accounts make up their numbers for that. I think they may just be hoping that people will purchase members to get the cape, which is a shame, really. I hate to jump on the bandwagon that says Jagex are just in it for the money, but it’s the small things like this that add up to giving Jagex a bad image.
Then we have the milestone capes which show off the milestones of reaching all skills with level 10+, 20+, 30+, etc. The capes follow a rainbow pattern all the way up to the highest 90+ cape. Personally, I like the colour scheme because I’m a big sucker for rainbows and seeing the concept art given of them all in a row pleases me. I know some people are not happy that the 70+ cape, a pretty decent achievement and the first milestone cape which means you’ve earned at least as much experience between all the skills as a 99 in a single one, is pink. While I don’t care too much about the colour, I do agree with some people, in that the 70+ capes require more than a single 99 to get, but they have no stats, unlike a skill cape. Jagex could have given them some stats, the equivalent to an untrimmed skill cape perhaps, for those of us that like to spread out our experience rather than put it all in one skill.
The next cape up from this is the Max cape, the cape acquired by getting all skills to 99. This cape is fairly impressive on its own, maxing out is not an easy achievement, but if you think this is hard – take a look at the Completionist cape.
The Completionist cape has too many requirements to list here, but Jagex describe it as: “you’ve gone beyond RuneScape’s skills and have completed all quests, tasks, mini and hidden quests, have unlocked all music and spellbooks, and performed a number of other such feats”. This is quite a simple way to describe the insanity that this cape really embodies. When they say ‘performed a number of other such feats’, they mean you've done everything. Then, if that wasn’t enough, they add on the crazy requirement of 5000 games of Castle Wars, completion of the Shattered Heart statue, and another big list of goals, to ‘trim’ the cape from white to gold.
As far as this writer knows, only one player has the trimmed Completionist cape (and the insane achievement of 5000 Castle Wars games). The player base is always crying out for more exclusive, higher level content. Well, my friends, you certainly got some exclusive content there.
Of course the cape isn’t just an ordinary cape; it comes with the best cape stats available in game (and presumably, the highest that will ever be given). The Completionist cape also counts as a TzHaar fire cape, Ava’s Accumulator, and has the same teleport options as the Ardougne cloak 4. It truly is the epitome of what a cape can be. Its emote creates a huge dragon! What more can you want? (The dragon turns gold with the trimmed version, if that’s what more you want.)
Some people are annoyed about the requirements for the Completionist cape, some people think it’s too hard, but I’m glad. I’m glad that the Completionist cape is like this distant, mad goal, for most players. Even for those who have high levels, it’s not something to sniff at. I would have been disappointed if Jagex had made it mediocre; it truly does deserve its name.
There are some people that will go for this cape just because of its stats, and fair play to them. However, some people have been complaining that the golden trimmed version should have higher stats than the original. I have to disagree. By giving it no more than a cosmetic difference, Jagex have managed to achieve the delicate balance between players who are Completionists and players who need the items with the highest stats no matter what. If they’d given it higher stats, there would be so much complaining that Jagex are ‘forcing’ them to do five thousand Castle Wars games and all the rest. Of course, nobody is forcing them, but it’s hard to reason with people like this, so Jagex have managed a win with this one by not making it better than the original cape.
Reading on our forums about this update, someone called this update ‘Capescape V2’ and that struck a chord with me – because it’s true. This is another series of capes which complement the Capes of Achievement. Skillcapes have for a long time been the driving force behind many people’s quests to 99. It turned the game away from focusing on gp/h to xp/h. It turned Runescape into Capescape – and I worry a little about what these capes mean. I doubt there’ll be any dramatic difference, the milestone capes aren’t going to do anything different than what the skill capes do, and the other capes just aren’t practical for most players. Even so, it’s another way in which capes are becoming the focus of our game. We don’t play for wealth, we don't play for experience, we play for capes.