It is hard to believe we survived 2017. Hurricanes, threats of nuclear war, and our President’s Twitter feed all combined to make 2017 feel like the apocalypse was near. Unfortunately RuneScape mirrored the chaos in our societies by stagnation, failure, changing direction, success, and then more failure. I think there are plenty of people at Jagex HQ that are glad 2017 is over. Despite being one of the most tumultuous years I can remember playing the game, there were some jewels amidst the coal. It is time to take a look at the 10 best RuneScape updates of 2017. This year is an interesting one in which some updates that were considered half-baked, incomplete, or just plain bad were indeed fixed and became examples how to not give up and listen to feedback to improve the content. Now without further ado, let’s take a lesson from Drake and start from the bottom.


10. Patches and QOL
Have you ever noticed that some weeks that do not have a headlining update can have a huge impact on gameplay? The lowly patch week is often overlooked and taken for granted. I say no more, it’s time to give patches and quality of life fixes their due. Patch notes and quality of life updates come in at #10. Looking back on a year it is hard to remember specific patches or quality of life fixes however if they were taken away we would all notice it immediately. That is what good patches and QOL updates should feel like. If you go back and listen to any RSBANDBUpdate! there is a whole section of the show devoted to these underappreciated fixes that in hindsight we could not have lived without. Jagex released their largest patch weeks ever a few weeks ago and I'm still trying to remember them all. Here's to you patch notes, you made 2017 suck slightly less and come in at #10.


9. Crystal Skillchompas
Next up coming in at #9 we have a skiller's update. No, not urn improvements but rather crystal skillchompas. They added high-level content to hunter that was sorely needed and benefited many. If for whatever reason you couldn’t use a crystal tool, crystal skillchompas were an alternative. They also brought some of the best xp second only to ornate turtles in the arc. On top of that they were profitable at release making skilling great again! Over time their value has declined but all and all they are still very worth doing and deserve a spot as the #9 update of the year.


8. Gemstone Dragons
Here is one I bet you didn't see coming. Gemstone dragons get the #8 spot. Yes, they were not completely balanced at launch. Yes, they were not great money either and to be honest there wasn't much reason to do them over something else. Then the question becomes why would I consider them one of the best updates of the year? It is simple, Jagex listened to feedback and made them better. They are great slayer xp now and decent money. They were the first post 99 slayer creature and mechanically they set a framework of the post 99 content to come. These were not your annoying mini-boss ripper demons or living wyverns. They were also not your Netflix and kill dark beast. The gemstone dragons were a good mix of what a slayer creature should be at post 99. They could hurt you but at least every kill didn't feel like a boss fight.


7. Shattered Worlds
Number 7 is Shattered Worlds. I know, I know, how could one of the most disappointing updates make it on the list? Two reasons, first, once again Jagex did listen to feedback and made the changes the players asked for. Second, it is some of the best looking content Jagex ever created. When Shattered Worlds came out we saw what the NXT client was capable of and I for one was impressed. The mechanics are grindy and the rewards are so-so but at least it looks good while you’re doing it. Finally this is the only way for ironmen to get slayer masks and for that reason alone they should be rejoicing.


6. Achievement System
The achievement system rework was a complete and utter train wreck when it came out. I wrote an article on its shortcomings at the time and Shane and Cireon took it to task on the podcast. It was incomplete, clunky, and ugly. So how on earth did this ugly duckling come to be one of the best updates? Well, of course, Jagex listened to player feedback but more than that they made some internal changes that gave the developers what they needed to make it a good update. The achievement rework came out during the time Jagex was trying to do expansions. Needless to say, it suffered because of that. Its later rework of the rework came during a time Jagex was focusing on what they called unfinished business. Now the achievement system has everything it had and more which is what a rework should have. It’s easy to use and looks better than that sad UI they released earlier in the year.


5. Skyboxes and Filters
The #5 update is special to me. Jagex released skyboxes and filters this year. They look great and can give areas a completely different feel when using them. They are great for video creators and players that want some variety in their life. However, the biggest benefit to this update wasn't intended by Jagex at all. At least if it was, they never mentioned it. This was an accessibility update at its core. I could do things with this update I could never do before being visually impaired. One example of this is inverting colors in order to do ice strykworms. I could never see them on the ground before but now I just invert color and voila. It’s my favorite update of the year and that’s why it comes in at #5.


4. Nex Angel of Death
Number 4 was the big pvm update of the year with Nex Angel of Death. It was one of the earliest updates of 2017 and seemed to start the year off on the right foot. The pvm community received it well and it brought in tier 92 duel wield weapons and tier 99 prayers. I can't speak to its gameplay or mechanics personally but everyone I know that does it enjoys it.

Ok time for the top three everyone take a breath and have a seat cause it is about to get controversial up in here.


3. Menaphos
Menaphos is my pick for the third-best update of the year. Yes, it was broken. Yes, it was overhyped and under delivered. Yes, it killed expansions. However, it has become better over time and its impact on the game was huge. In one way or another Menaphos affected most of the updates this year. Before Menaphos things were rushed and incomplete after they were thought out and finished. What makes Menaphos the third best update of the year though is its pure scale. It brought in 120 slayer, a new city, and new skilling locations. Granted they were mid-level which didn’t sit well with a mature xp focused player base but there was a lot to it. A new mini-game and four new quests was a lot of content. It was strapped, however, by the expectations of an expansion. I think had that word not been used it would have had a better reception. Don't get me wrong it had problems but it also was a huge update and deserves third on my list.


2. Invention Batch Two
Invention batch two is the runner-up for the best update of the year. This was talked about as part of an expansion and later became unfinished business. Invention batch two really filled out what had been missing. Machines were a fun addition and took some of the monotony out of simple actions. While other additions like portable fairy rings and teleport compacters made getting around easier and take less bank space. The divine-o-matic was another great addition and made making divine charges much easier by just gathering energy. It was the pin needed to pull divination and invention together. Good job Jagex on the number two pick.


1. Player Owned Slayer Dungeon
Ok drum roll please...and the best update of 2017 is the player owned slayer dungeon. Yes, how could it be anything else? To have the ability to place monsters you capture in your own dungeon and kill at your leisure is monumental. Do it for money or xp or both, it is up to you. Dark beasts are crowded, well not anymore. Wait there’s more. Did I mention you can use your friend’s dungeons too? It’s a slayers dream oh and it came out with a little something called Menaphos, just saying. Not only is this the best update in 2017 but I think it makes the list of all-time best. The personalization and customization just makes the possibilities endless. Hands down by a mile, the best update of the year.

There you have it my Top 10 updates of 2017. How many of these would make your list? What updates did I miss? Let us know on the forums. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and I'll see you next year. Until then, Happy RuneScaping.


RSBANDBUpdate! 650 - The Chic-Axe

posted by Shane on 15 December 2017 at 19:27 | Discuss on our Forums

The Christmas quest is here, we give it a solid 10 out of 10. A check in with the Mining and Smithing rework and how everyone now wants a Chic-Axe. Also, the astronomically rare chances for Skill Pet drops.

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Hosts: Shane and Pyrnassius
Duration: 2:02:44


Alex's Analysis - All the Fix

posted by Alex 43 on 14 December 2017 at 01:16 | Discuss on our Forums

From Runescape.com:

"Quester, skiller, or killer? Today it doesn't matter, because this Patch Week features the heftiest collection of game-wide quality-of-life fixes we've seen all year... The behemoth-of-a-list left our forum post bursting at the seams, so much that it now spans two gargantuan forum posts."

...

Alright, then.

This week's update hosted a whole bunch of those little conveniences and player opinions made reality that we call Ninja Fixes. Ninja, which I'm led to believe stands for Nothing Insanely New, Just Additions, is the team that go through player comments and their own in-game experiences, and just tweak and modify little bits and pieces here and there to help make the play experience smoother, easier, and generally all-around better.

Rarely do we get new dialogue or quest-related features from there, which is a real shame because I would like Zamorak and the Mahjarrat to remember that Zaros had returned because, well, they were all together during the Endgame and all. Nevertheless, they're still great. Aside from quests, I much prefer them over other kinds of updates like new bosses and slayer monsters. Rather than being driven to do something new and different for the early-bird benefits, we instead get little improvements to help with our daily routines that we already have cemented down to a science.

Now, I like to go through updates and offer my analysis on how I believe they will affect the game through my years of experience. However, this time, there are... quite a lot of them. Just a whole bunch of ninja updates, fixes, and simple improvements. It would take paragraphs to go through each one individually.

Instead, let's go over everything in general, highlighting the bigger, more interesting ones along the way. So, without further ado, the simplified version:

GRAPHICAL

Crystal chimes got their animation fixed. Yay. No more disconnecting from reality when fighting giant warped tortoises.

INTERFACES

The majority of these are the bank now reliably showing icons and options, as well as settings and preferences remembering what they were set to. Not much to read into for these ones; a UI that now works as expected as opposed to earlier is always a good thing. Unless the UI is intentionally glitchy due to the game mechanics. Seriously, don't you find those kinds of games creepy after a while?

SKILLS, D&Ds, AND MINIGAMES

Couple tweaks to Kuradel's dungeon, New Varrock, and black wool. A good one here is the extra increased chance of an Ushabti working from 200m exp to 120 slayer. Pretty big for those struggling to complete their slayer codexes.

QUESTS

How about that; there actually was more dialogue added this time. Doris talks about a Court Case. ... that's it. Please let there be more in the future!

Not much else here to concern yourself with if you already have your quest cape and nearly all achievements unlocked. Several requirements have been updated, several achievements have been tweaked, and a couple of rather obsolete bugs here and there have been fixed. Otherwise it's just listing and stuff.

TOOL-TIPS

This was a great idea. A really great idea. Hover mouse over an item, and it will show you all the affiliated stats rather than you right-clicking, selecting an option, and praying it didn't make the item explode on you. Since there already are so many items in Runescape, it came as no surprise that a few were missed. Reckon there are still a couple out there missing complete tool-tips, so folks, kindly get your suggestions out there if you find one that could really use a more conveniently accessible stat!

BUFF-BAR

The buff bar now tracks cannon ammo! Now isn't that awesome? Also, you can now directly see prayer drain as a buff bar icon. And the Vengeance spell. And the Fight Kiln crystals. And even Onslaught! Wow, this was a good one.

The others are extras like D&D buffs, Blackhole from the Zaros Godsword, an enemy's poison immunity (because who uses poison, right?), and various others. You'll see them.

F2P CHANGES

Yup. Just when you thought F2P were getting spoiled with a whole new skill, here are a bunch of additions to F2P. Namely, F2P got every single achievement that can be done in an F2P location. The wilderness, Karamja, desert, Daemonheim, and even some in Varrock. They also got a bunch of new Daily Challenge tasks, monster drops, daemonheim fixes, and member/non-member differentiations. They even can now get the ever-popular Robes of Zamorak from the monks now. Some of the uses F2P stuff, like marrentil, evil elder trees, and Bounty Hunter rewards became members items in exchange.

SHOP STOCK

In a nutshell, nearly every store in Runescape now stocks up to runite from adamantite, as well as tier 50 mage and ranged armor. In other words, every shop now has an increased tier of stock. I would imagine this may have something to do with the upcoming Smithing update. Or it could just be making it easier for newer players to have access to higher level gear without resorting to negotiating the Grand Exchange. Either way, it feels a bit unnecessary, and the only real practical use I can imagine out of this is both stabilizing the mid-tier economy and having more stuff available for invention disassembly.

Many stores also now sell off-hand versions of their equipment. That's got a bit more practical use.

OTHER

Going to be honest; didn't know you could set up a cannon in a citadel until they blocked it. Come on, you guys! Cannons are my livelihood here! Stop making things difficult for me!

Linza armor drop rate has been significantly increased (forgot what they even do...), Seren Godbow's special has been slightly reworked, and now nearly all monsters that drop one-hand weapons now drop their off-hand variants (in separate drops, of course). Epic. Though to be fair, I like it a bit better when one-hand weapons come with the right-click-to-generate-offhand option like the Treasure Hunter rewards have. That probably would've been a lot easier to implement and work with, but I'm glad they went the extra mile with that.

Alright, almost done! One thing left to-

NINJA FIXES

Wait, what? We never even touched the Ninja Fixes after all that? They weren't kidding, were they?

Ho boy, where to start? Well, I reckon I'll point out the more interesting ones.

First, the elite Varrock armor makes Chaos Tunnel random teleports less frequent, which is a shame because elite clue scrolls no longer take you there anymore.

Second, the Price Checker will now tell you the price of any item in the Grand Exchange, so you no longer have to actually go there for that. Sweet.

Player-Owned-Ports will show you your ship's equipped parts directly, making it much easier to customize them for particular missions.

Revolution is now the default combat style when starting Runescape. Hopefully that will not scare new players off.

You can buy the Ring of Stone in the TzHaar city for 303,000 Tokkul. Which, nowadays, is relatively easier to obtain compared to what I went through to get my first Onyx. Let's just say I got and sold nearly 100k chaos runes from the Barrows. ... yeah, it was a busy year.

The Music Playlist now has a Repeat-One toggle. Woo!

You can swap the default skill used when clicking a permanent bonfire. Very nice.

You can combine the monkey gree-grees into one. Saves you a bunch of bank space.

The rest of them are quest reward lamp updates and requirement classifications. Again, when you own a Quest Point Cape, really doesn't affect you much. Though I am still waiting on the Sliske's Endgame boss rematch on the Stone of Jas platform.

CONCLUSION

So, there you have it. You can read up on all these changes yourself here if you want. Again, nothing game changing or super-dynamic; just a bunch of quality-of-life tweaks that make an already great game even better.

Now, if only the Sonic Team did this with their games...

Until next time,

Cheers, cannoneers!


The biggest collection of patch notes and ninja fixes ever! Including lots of focus on F2P usability, shops, and achievements! Also our thoughts on player hosted events supported by Jagex and an update on the rewards for Pieces of Hate.

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Hosts: Shane and Tyco Elf
Duration: 2:10:05

Is it… is it time? *slowly crawls to surface of cave*

*gasps loudly* Finally… fresh air… a quest!

It’s been a long and strange year for Runescape, in general, to be sure, and that is perhaps most appropriately said regarding the quests released this year. Although we began the year with a penguin quest, all we’ve really had since then were the four “quests” released with Menaphos, and in my opinion, these last four shouldn’t belong on the list because they go against the general questing spirit and are the reason I no longer am a card-holding member, but I digress. This article is not about the recent dearth of content but is instead about the breath of fresh air that this most recent quest is to save this year from ending on a bad note. So let’s get into the summary and analysis of Evil Dave’s Big Day Out!


To begin the quest, make your way to Evil Dave in his BASEMENT OF DOOMLY DOOM!!!! *coughs* Forgive me, it seems the transformation back takes some time… Regardless, begin in the typical fashion by speaking to Evil Dave in his house in Edgeville and asking if there’s a quest that might be done! If you have the proper requirements filled to begin the quest, Dave will then offer you a quest and off we go.

Apparently, Dave has been obsessing over Zamorak ever since the Sixth Age began (what, over five years ago in earth years?) and Dave desperately wants to get his attention. To do so, he needs the player’s help to conduct an EVIL ritual of some sort. However, as Dave has poor handwriting and the player has difficulty reading the incantation properly, the ultimate consequences of the ritual are that the player character and Dave switch bodies, a la Freaky Friday. When you’re finally able to come to, Dave (now in your body) is nowhere to be found and all you can do is go up to Doris to try and see what you should do next. Believing the player to truly be Dave, Doris expects Dave’s chores done, and that’s exactly what you must do.


After cutting vegetables, sweeping the rug, washing the dishes, and cleaning the bed, the player character takes a nap on Dave’s bed and dreams of Dave in the player’s body speaking to Moia and Zamorak in Daemonheim where Dave is, of course, acting strangely which raises some suspicion from those around him. Still, Zammy tasks “real Dave” with infiltrating and spying on a meeting for Saradomin in Falador. Once you wake up, Doris seems satisfied and leaves “Dave” at home while she goes to the Grand Exchange. Seeing this as an opportunity to search Dave’s personal belongings for help in getting out of this predicament, the player then searches Dave’s personal book stash to find some rather interesting book titles and text boxes that will be discussed in more detail later on! After finding his spellbook in the bookshelves and some runes in a hidey hole behind some drapes, the time seems right to make off to the Makeover Mage. The idea here is that disguising Dave’s body in a female form will allow the character in this form (real Dave is banned currently from entering Falador) to enter Falador and stop real Dave before he can spy on Saradomin’s meeting.


But of course, nothing goes as planned and the teleport you actually cast is to the Grand Exchange, where you are very nearly caught by Doris who is shopping for groceries. After she leaves, the player needs to access Dave’s bank to get new runes to teleport once more. The earth rune can be gained by speaking to the banker and the law rune will be in Dave’s bank along with an “emergency flask of stew.” To get the air runes, you speak to the Grand Exchange employee who will only give Dave a law rune for a drink (but not his stew because it’s too spicy) so you empty the stew into your own mouth and fill the empty flask in a fountain. After drinking the slurry (with a “hint of orange”), you now have all the runes needed and teleport successfully to the Makeover Mage!

After ensuring to the Mage that you are who you claim to be, he/she agrees to transform you into a female form, even agreeing to maintain the lovely beard! Now as Davina, the mage teleports you back to your home where Doris arrives shortly after. Despite having no evidence to go on outside of the fact that “Dave” smells “fresh,” you now find yourself to be double grounded. And as such, a new round of chores are in order: the same as before! However, the chores do not go so smoothly this time and the broom, knife, and a dish all break, requiring the player to take a trip across the road to the general store. After some rather hilarious interactions, “Dave” is simply given the materials he needs and makes his way back home to finish the second round of household duties. Once the bed is cleaned, another nap ensues and thus another glimpse into the actions of real Dave in your body. This time, Dave is in Falador Park speaking to Sir Tiffy about becoming an elite white knight in hopes of getting into the aforementioned meeting. Dave must, therefore, re-do the training that the player went through, even including a rather funny cutscene involving Dave and the sea slugs wherein the mind-controlling sea slugs actually give up their plans in the face of Dave’s authentic brand of insanity. Real Dave is now in, and the player wakes up once again.


Evidently, Gertrude’s cat problem is only getting worse, so Doris let’s “Dave” know that she’s off to visit her, allowing another opportunity to get out of the house and into the White Knights’ Castle. Once there, the player happens upon a Metal Gear Solid-esque scenario requiring that the player evade the notice of a few white knights, very similar to quest mechanics typical from a decade or so ago. The first knight must be distracted in a different way and, after a bit of examining the surroundings, the player crafts a sort of homemade bomb that then summarily blows the unsuspecting knight over the wall, leaving only a pair of charred boots.

From here, the “maze” is fairly straightforward (and seems to be able to be cheesed by just running through most of the time at the time of writing) and once through, the player arrives on a tower with a knight barbecuing and Sir Amik demanding drinks be brought to him. Once you get Sir Amik completely sloshed, he reveals that the secret meeting is in a Kalphite Hive in the Kharidian Desert. After this, the player returns back to home, Doris, and a fresh triple grounding with more chores. Thankfully, the chores go on this time without a hitch and a new cutscene is revealed. This time, real Dave is at Shantay Pass and moves on through on his way to the secret meeting.


Upon the third waking, Doris leaves once again and soon after a family of new hell-rats announces that they have come over to visit (as this is apparently a regular occurrence). Taking three of these rats, the player decides they will compose the crack team needed to get through Shantay Pass and into the meeting. Once to Shantay, however, it seems evident that rats are a big problem for Shantay. To keep this section short, the player needs to find some way to smuggle the rats through the pass. To do so, the player rolls one through in a barrel, launches one from a coconut tree, and throws one from the wall of the city while within a coconut shell. The rats then help in finding and infiltrating the meeting, which the player helps interrupt. I’ll be frank, this scene seemed odd and I didn’t quite get what the purpose was. Maybe it was supposed to emphasize the fact that Dave’s plan is absolutely stupid and that somehow summoning Zamorak into a meeting with Saradomin wouldn’t really do anything. Regardless, the “meeting” ends with real Dave teleporting the both of you to Ice Mountain where Doris is for some reason talking to a monk when she spots the two, taking you both home.

Back in the basement, the hell-rats volunteer to help in the evil body-swapping ritual which once again gets botched, but this time with the player regaining their body and only Dave and Doris swapping bodies. After the ritual, speak to Doris (Evil Dave) and quest complete!


Although the quest was by no means perfect or super-spectacular, it was the fact that it was a normal quest with self-referential humor throughout which made it fun. It was relatively simple, seemed inexpensive and used a lot of already available assets, but still provided an hour or so of light-hearted fun.


Some Highlights
-Dave is his usual over-the-top evil in this quest. If you’ve done Evil Dave content before, this hits some familiar notes.
-The bookcase dialogue is golden. The books are pun-riddled and the insistence made by the game that you not waste any more time after continuing to search the shelves is perfect.



-It might be small, but the extra options when sweeping and washing dishes to fly away and to play in the bubbles are nice additions.



-The fact that everyone knows Dave. WHY DOES EVERYONE KNOW DAVE? And more importantly, why don’t they see him as crazy? This leads to the hilarity of the female general store clerk. She totally has a thing for Dave and it is absolutely inexplicable.



-“And now my watch has ended” on a broken watch (Game of Thrones/ASOIAF)
-“None shall pass” (Monty Python and the Holy Grail) and “You shall not pass” (Lord of the RIngs) lines from Shantay
-“My life got flipped, turned upside down” from Dave (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
-The fact that Dave somehow managed to buy up all the shadow dye and then waste it all on cheap garments. Classic Dave.

This is the kind of quest that you want to see every couple of months. Something small, simple, but quintessentially Runescape. Next up will be in a few months so hopefully we can get something as a Christmas present to tide over those of us that love being sent on an adventure, no matter how small!