I remember the first time I entered the God Wars dungeon many moons ago, being slightly anxious about losing my precious possessions to enemies who were far, far stronger than I was. Unfortunately, my knowledge of the four bosses contained within was non-existent and no sooner had I tentatively taken my first steps into General Graardor’s domain with a small group of friends were we laughed out of the door as ‘amateurs’ who didn’t belong.
Six years later, the position of amateur and veteran has been reversed, the only difference being the acquisition of good manners that are apparently quite lacking in the world of MMO’s. It’s common knowledge that MMO’s are the breeding grounds for elitism and ignorance: the minority of players that believe above all else that they have the right to certain content and if you can’t compete for whatever reason, it’s your own fault.
I despise the arrogance of such players but recent experiences with some new content released for RuneScape has made me realise that this self-righteous attitude isn’t exclusively found in the high level community. With the release of the revamped King Black Dragon a few weeks ago, I decided to do some old fashioned camping for a chance at his new drops, specifically, the new lore book. After letting the mandatory new content rush subside I ventured in to get under way.
One immediate (and surprising) thing I noticed was how social and cooperative other high-level players were in sharing still crowded worlds and genuinely enjoying the occasion. It doesn’t take long for one bad egg to spoil things though. Within the period of around an hour, several lower level players had wandered in, hurling abuse at anyone a higher level than them, making the amusing demand for all high-level players to get lost and go fight Nex because this boss right here belonged to the non-maxed population.
In all honesty, I can understand the frustrations of these players; after all, this boss IS aimed at mid-level players. The problem is that high level players want to kill NPC’s not designed for their level for the exact same reasons that ‘amateur’ players attempt the God Wars or the Corporeal Beast etc., and it’s because of the lucrative drops.
Jagex has arguably created this problem to at least some extent: adding items to the drop tables of NPC’s aimed towards a certain level bracket that are desirable items for everyone is simply poor design choice. Further exacerbating the problem is the recent decision to add lore tomes to drop tables of high level NPC’s, a move I personally find redundant as it offers no direct benefit to a players avatar and furthermore is in no way shape or form a level specific aspect of the game outside of quests.
Of course, there have been multiple suggestions over time to remedy these kinds of problems, like instanced worlds for example. Though they are a good idea in theory, the economic impact of such a change would make the whole point of boss hunting redundant anyway. Another option is locking players out of content that is either too high or low for them, but this would be far too detrimental to gameplay.
Jagex need to re-examine the relationship between level requirements and the difficulty of obtaining different equipment tiers from bosses. A player with the minimum requirements to equip Bandos armour wouldn’t have a hope in hell of obtaining it themselves due to the high volume of maxed players present due in part to the lack of higher tiers of armour. It’s a tough situation and one I have seen discussed on multiple occasions, but what do you think? Do you think the system is completely fair and promotes competitive gameplay or is it a poorly constructed mess, hindered by legacy issues from a game that is over a decade old?