I am old, stuck in my ways, and I hate change.
It's normal to be wary of change, if you are the way I am. It takes me a long time to try a new mini-game or other new content. I don't even want to bother to try and adapt to game changes. However, I do like quests and it took a remade quest to get me to even try the Artisans workshop. My favorite outfit is basic leather armor, since all the new stuff is so bling, it is Ivanhoe meets Liberace to me. I still don't like Solomon along with the daily spins, and I grump about changes almost daily.
In short: I am in a perfect position to completely hate the Evolution of Combat, and I fully expected to. But somewhere along the line, I decided to continue playing RuneScape, despite the EoC update.
I have many friends on the game and a clan I feel responsible for. As I started playing post-EoC, somewhat begrudgingly, I found many little bugs and other annoyances. It seems they are to be expected with such a huge update, even after an extensive beta. Besides these I also came to a few conclusions.
Some old favourites, like the Crystal Bow, have regained their old glory and been rejuvenated! The Crystal Bow used to be a great quest reward because it was a powerful bow that did not need arrows, and after recharging it several times, the price per shot became very reasonable to me. Sadly this bow was overtaken by other weapons, like the rune crossbow in power, and this was amplified because it lost effectiveness as it lost charges. It was no longer used much, it became obsolete. Jagex decided to not have the bow degrade its power in EoC, and it again is a very strong bow. I experimented against Black Dragons and it worked brilliantly, beating even my chaotic crossbow. There is still no need to pick up arrows that the chicken-backpack missed, and it has a very reasonable 75gp per shot cost. After borrowing a Zaryte bow, which is very impressive, I was still amazed by the Crystal bow. Yes, it is a little weaker then the top bow, but not a lot and it certainly is a lot more cost-effective!
There is no longer one or two 'be all and end all' weapons, no longer one or two weapons that are the best for each style. Instead, you now need to use different types. This promotes variation! Before EoC you either used a whip or a Godsword, maybe a chaotic weapon if you liked Dungeoneering. This is no longer viable. We need good weapons for stab, slash, and crush. It does not stop there. Shields are useful because of healing abilities, so we will want 1 hand weapons next to the more powerful two-handers. The same is true for range and mage as a combat style.
You may think my earlier rave review of the Crystal bow defeats this argument a little, for range, but there are still more choices. Off-hand crossbows ad speed, Dragon ones compete with Zaryte, and then there are the thrown weapons... which I must admit I have not tried. I hate throwing away my stuff...
The last positive thing that stood out immediate is how surprisingly easy to learn the action bar is. It certainly helps not having to struggle to do so.
Some old top-level equipment has lost a lot of its lustier , including the Fury Amulet and Kiln Cape. The Kiln Cape is now purely a melee cape, and not useful for all styles, the Legends cape seems to be the best for not having to change capes. Now that we have to use the different styles more, this is not handy. The Fury also seems to be lost in the balance, being only slightly better then the Glory; this is a mistake to me. We need an incentive to collect our Tokkul! Of course there are many more examples of items that have lost significance in the changeover.
The combat skills are too similar. The abilities mirror each other across skills. I really wonder about the need to max Strength specially, you gain a set of abilities similar to Attack and even those are all unlocked at level 81 or 82, the only bonus one gets above this is 1 extra damage per level, which is peanuts compared to the 1,000s we hit now.
Runecrafting has lost even more of its usefulness since we need a lot less runes to cast magic. I actually like magic costing less, but it's a pity to see that 99 runecrafting now basically signifies you spent a week in Runespan.
The last negative shouting at me is the need to press enter before typing a sentence, my clan is a social one and it seems this hurts the interaction between players. Momentum certainly helps a bit... build up some adrenalin, hit momentum, and join the conversation.
Normally I would now come to a logical conclusion based upon the pluses and minuses. But instead, something strange happened—not based upon careful review, not based upon the points mentioned above, but on a simple, instinctual feeling: I LIKE THIS!
Using abilities is easy to learn and it feels natural and logical. They have caused me to fall in love with the range skill again! When I first started playing RuneScape, I began as a ranger. I liked the idea of being Robin Hood, running around with my bow and arrows. But before I hit level 60, range started seeming slow and expensive. So instead, I picked up a sword.
When playing RuneScape pre-EoC, I never felt that the triangle was unfair. It seemed that the skills were different in their use. To use a comparison with strategy games: melee was the 'tank', mages were the 'artillery', and rage was the 'anti-air'. This difference is gone now, and while that may be a pity, balance has certainly increased. An added bonus is that combat in 'New Runescape' is faster, more involving and more spectacular, which will hopefully draw in many new players!We need these 'noobs' to keep our game growing and healthy.
There may be a few little things about EoC that still nag me, but the principle is sound. Anyone who just gives it a chance should be able to use it and adapt well. It saddens me to know that some of my friends and clan mates will inevitably not even give it this chance; they will just hate the idea of EoC and decide to quit the game. They do not realise, it seems, that however much some of us hate change, this game of ours constantly does just that, but still remains Runescape!