One of the problems I find with a game the size and scope of RuneScape is remembering where everything is and how many things there are to do in a particular area. The recently added Achievement Diary gives you a good reason to wander around an area and do a few things you might otherwise not get around to. Whether you’re new to an area, or run through it on a regular basis, it’s nice to have a reminder of what’s there.
The Blokes at Jagex Towers have done a very nice job with this feature. They’ve added it in a sensible place, and they've done it in a way that allows plenty of room for the other diaries they’ve promised us. I also like the way the tasks have been divided by difficulty level, with rewards to match.
It’s also a feature that you can ignore if you choose to. If you’re not interested in doing any of the listed tasks, you don’t have to. It has no effect on your ability to do any other of the tasks in the area, it’s simply a bonus. This means that any of you grinches out there who don’t like it, can just ignore it. And there will be someone out there who doesn’t like it – not even TB@JT can please all the people all the time.
So I've been busy wandering about Karamja. Of course, I'm not done with the Diary, there's a small matter of one of my least-favourite places in the game, the TzHaar Fight Caves, and one of my least-favorite beasts to kill, metal dragons. However, as I've already said, one of the great things about the Achievement Diary is that it can be ignored.
About the only thing that can't be ignored in the game, apart from the Drunken Dwarf, Evil Bob, the Sandwich Lady and the other assorted random event NPCs, are the rules. When you sign up for an account, you agree to abide by the terms and conditions. All of them. As written. When, or if, Jagex changes the terms and conditions, you either abide by the revised versions or you quit the game. It's a simple binary proposition: Play by the rules or don't play.
That means if you're under 13 you shouldn't be playing. If you're between 13 and 18, you need your parents' explicit permission to play. It means that you can't play on your brother's, sister's, boyfriend's, girlfriend's, aunt's, uncle's, cousin's, grandfather's (or gramdomother's!), or best friend's account. And they can't play on yours. It means you should be reasonably polite to other players and not attempt to cheat them in trades, insult them, or use foul language in conversations. It means keeping your personal details to yourself and not asking other people for theirs. And most of all it means no real world item trading, no autoing and no running macros.
Yes, leveling up is a long grueling process. I appreciate how disheartening it is to get to level 92 in a skill and realise that you've only got half the XP you need to get to level 99. Once you get your skills into the mid-60s levelling up becomes a slog. The higher you get, the longer each level takes. It's a treadmill. But that doesn't mean you should break the rules and macro your way to the top.
I've heard it said that perhaps Jagex should allow people to trade items in the real world. The usual justification for this is that the people who'd be able to take advantage of this and buy their way to the higher levels would be mainly adults in their 30s, who deserve to be able to buy their skills because they don't have the time to train them up like high school or college kids do. I'm sorry, but I think that's a load of recycled cattlefeed. If you don't have the time to train your character the way Jagex has written the game, then you need to go find another game. I don't care how hard you work, how rich you are, or how little time you have. You are not a special snowflake, you don't deserve to be able to buy your way around, beside, over or under the rules.
The "I'm special, I'm entitled to special treatment" attitude is becoming increasingly prevalent in the real world, in almost every area of life. Everyone wants to be a special case, as long as it gets them out of doing the dirty work. Nobody wants to start at the bottom and work their way up. Everyone wants the corner office and the expense account without having to put in the time learning the skills of their trade first.
Sorry, it doesn't work like that. For every Iron Chef making bazillions of dollars, there are hundreds of guys (and gals) slaving over hot stoves flipping burgers for just over minimum wage. For every CEO and corporate board member with a fat salary and all the perks, there are dozens of mid-level corporate flunkies who live from paycheck to paycheck.
Neither the Real WorldTM or RuneScape owe you any kind of special treatment. If you aren't willing to expend sufficient effort in your day job, the boss is not going to pay you a bonus, or promote you. If you don't expend the minimum he or she requires, you're going to find yourself unemployed, and I don't recommend trying a life of crime – I'm not sure you'd get all that much Internet access in jail.
There's a part of me that would love to drop a few bucks into the right hands, then log on and find myself on the front page of the high scores. But if I did, it just wouldn't feel right. I'd feel like a cheat and an impostor – which is exactly what I would be. As things stand, I might never make it to the front page of the high scores, but that's fine by me. My mediocre skills are mine, all mine. Each one is the result of hours of training, plus a little luck and a lot of planning. Every GP in my pitiful bank account was earned by me (or picked up off the floor by me after being left behind by those too rich or too lazy to take every last coin a monster drops). And it's going to stay that way.
The bottom line is, it's a game. We play for fun. There's no requirement to do anything, get to any level, complete any quest – well, OK there are quests you have to complete to get access to certain aspects and areas of the game, but in general, everything in RuneScape is purely what we want to do. If you're not having fun, if you feel compelled to win, to beat other people's scores, then maybe you're playing the wrong game. I, on the other hand intend to go on ignoring the existence of metal dragons and various other imposing monsters and continue to 'scape like a newb.
Did You Know...
...that you can get a free infinite supply of flour in the kitchen of Sinclair Mansion? The mansion is located just to the Northeast of Seers Village, and there are convenient Fairy Rings nearby.
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