The Hall of Memories is here, it provides lore and a new click-intensive Divination training method. Also a roundup of the latest Mining & Smithing Q&A focusing on the debate around high level smithable armour. Also, RSBANDBUpdate! turns 13.
So a new Guthixian Cache sort of minigame came out. You go to this big cave, you fill a jar of memories, you throw it in the anima, and then you get divination experience up the wazoo. Akin to chopping ivy or fishing crystals, but for Divination. Because that's not at all a boring skill that needs some updates as to how it's trained.
I am kidding, of course. It's not just the training method. It's also a good way to get in a fair bit of lore into the game. Especially lore that relates to one of the biggest mysteries the game has to offer; Guthix's Plans for the world.
Naturally, being chosen by Guthix to protect the world being the pivotal point of the game (ushers the world into the 6th age, after all), you'd want to know as much as your employer as possible. What he had done in the past, what his plans were for the future, and what he really wanted you to do for him when he made you his champion with powers that protected you from the Gods themselves.
I'm going to be honest. I'm not a big-time lorehound. I'll read into something the game offers, probably just see it at face value, maybe do a bit of analyzing and what-ifs, and then a story is built up. Usually my hyperactive imagination plays up and I imagine a series of events will happen, then wait until the real ones actually happen and see how close I was. Quite often I'm not at all close, but it's all a part of the fun.
That being said, this is not an article about the dark secrets that Guthix has hidden away. I'll let you guys discover them for yourselves, as it does tie in with a lot of events; some of which don't even happen in the Runescape game itself.
Instead, there's another side to this update I want to talk about. It's not the forbidden secrets themselves.
It was the fact that Guthix was keeping these secrets hidden away. It was the fact that these secrets existed in the first place. This isn't about the happenings in the Runescape world.
This is about Guthix himself.
Who is Guthix? Well, he's a God. This big almighty divine being that you probably most definitely couldn't take on in a fight, even with prayers and potions. You're not meant to fight him. Impossible. He's a God. Way too strong for that. Heck, you're not really supposed to even interact with him. He's got no time for your problems. He's got an entire world to watch over!
So you simply respect him. You either pledge yourself and your service to him out of pious loyalty, you scoff at his ideals and commit efforts to destroy all he stands for, or you simply ignore his existence and carry on with what's really important to you. That's it.
But who is he, really? How tall is he? What's his favorite food? Is Guthix really his full name? Was he always a God or did he ascend somehow? You don't just interact with him directly in the game. Every time he's referenced, it is by the interpretations of another. He's a mysterious character.
Same goes with the other Gods, and Gielinor's got a lot of them. Lots of different ideals, lots of different concepts, and therefore lots of different ways to live out your Runescape life.
I'm once again going to take you guys back in time. Back to the days of RuneScape Classic and RuneScape 2. At the time, we only knew of the Gods by references in quests and NPCs. At first it was the big three: Saradomin, Guthix, and Zamorak. Then mention of Armadyl came about, then the tablet with the symbol of Zaros was found, the goblins started mentioning a Big High War God, the elven lands came out, and it just branched off from there.
But forget all them for a sec. Let's focus on Saradomin, Guthix, and Zamorak, and how they came across.
Saradomin was the god of good and wisdom. He was the main God in all the kingdoms. Each of the main churches were devoted entirely to him, and many individuals used him as their chief reference to the divine. In Lumbridge, one of the first NPCs you interact with introduces you to the God and even gets surprised when you say you've never heard of him. Even the prayer icon itself is a Saradomin symbol. From the original God Letters (now evolved into the Postbag from the Hedge), he comes across as a wise scholar, offering knowledge and teachings to all.
Zamorak, on the other hand, was the god of evil and chaos. His followers had to go into hiding, and their temples still showcase skulls and blood to the grossest degree. Many of his followers seek to control the world or wage war, resort to underhanded tactics, and ultimately create conflict enough to generate much of the quest content. In the letters, he is pure downright nasty, constantly badgering those who write to him and not afraid to laugh at a player's feeble attempts to threaten him.
And Guthix was, well, the god of neutrality and balance. You follow him, you basically acknowledge that nobody's perfect and, so long as you understand what and why you do something, everything happens for a reason. He's a much more passive ideology because of how subtle everything he stands for is, and by all accounts, he never really seemed to do much for the mortals. As such, he has even fewer followers than Zamorak, and he comes across as a somewhat indifferent being that preaches order and indirect answers in the letters. In a way, he somewhat resembles Saradomin, but a lot less direct.
So we've got our three personalities from back them. Saradomin: a wise, good teacher. Guthix; a calm, indifferent sort of hippy, and Zamorak: a twisted narcissistic psychopath.
Now let's return to the present. Does that still sound right?
No. Not at all.
Saradomin's not at all a paragon of good. He's egotistical, controlling, quick to judge, and even aggressive at times. Heck, he attacked me for the unicorn horn wand because I tried to argue that it had deemed me worthy of its power, and surprise surprise; it didn't properly work when he used it. Still waiting for the next quest in that series, Jagex story-writers.
Zamorak is not really a psychopath. He preaches chaos because he believes the world needs it to become stronger. He hunkers down and plans his moves rather than sporadically sending zealots to their deaths. He takes good care of his followers, even going so far as to defend Moia (an abomination in their eyes) from his fellow Mahjarrat during the Endgame.
And Guthix is by far not passive or indifferent to the world. He did a TON of things to it. He brought in its first inhabitants to live on Gielinor. He killed a God even more dangerous than Saradomin or Zamorak. He even chased away all the Gods when the God Wars broke out.
Why such a dynamic difference in character? And why to the Gods?
Let's face it; in RuneScape, almost everything exists to eventually be killed by the player. Vorago. Yakamaru. Telos. Solak. These are great and power entities that no doubt have a fantastic story on how they became so incredible and powerful. And you kill them over and over for better weapons and armor.
Not the Gods, though. They don't exist to- OK, we killed a few of them. But they're not supposed to exist to die. Ergo, they are the safest characters to develop because, since they don't exist to die, we are more pushed to getting to know them better. Again, out of respect. I know I'd want Armadyl by my side when I fight Araxxor.
We are learning a lot more about the Gods now because they are the focus of the Runescape story. They are no longer ideals, but actual physical beings that bring about change to the world. World events, whole questlines, even a big giant war. They are the ones that drive the Runescape story.
They are the main characters now!
And it's funny. By the sounds of things, during the Sliske storyline, you begin learning that even your own character has a bit of a mysterious past, and the new tutorial island (Ashdale) basically has your character already grown and raised. A lot could've happened before all that. And yet we're getting oodles of information about the Gods and very little about the very avatar you control. Almost as though he's now a secondary or tertiary character to the whole ordeal.
Which really is a bit of a twist for a roleplaying game like RuneScape. We're accustomed to our characters being the center of everything. We are the heroes and the protagonists of those worlds. All the quests we do, we complete to the fullest extent.
Not so much in RuneScape. Lots of the quests like Devious Minds, Regicide, and the Prince Rescue series end in a cliff-hanging failure. Your meddling causes doom and you are often tricked into doing something incredibly foolish.
But then again, isn't it a lot more fun when the world doesn't revolve around you? That you're constantly thrown in states of hardship? That there's always going to be something much more powerful than you are, and it's standing right in front of you?
Appreciate it. Get to know the Gods a bit more. There's a lot of things happening in RuneScape now, and they're all at the epicentre of it.
Until next time,
For the entire history that RuneScape has existed there has always been one or two questionable third-party tools in the spotlight. RuneScape is a game that was once played in your browser and now just loads up instantly on your computer when you wish to play. It’s not like World of Warcraft which requires a huge download on your system. Back in the early days of RuneScape this lead to a mindset that maybe because it runs in the browser the client could be modified in some way. It was and still is.
The large development team and the modern client that RuneScape 3 utilizes can be credited to preventing most third party tools from interacting with RuneScape 3. Most, however, does not include client overlays. One of the most popular toolkits used for RuneScape 3 is Alt1. Alt1 layers tools over your game client that provide many in-game advantages that players not utilizing the toolkit don’t have. Should players have such an advantage? Let’s have a look at some of the things on offer.
Having a quick look at the Alt1 website, here are some examples of tools they offer: clue solver, afk warden (notifies you when you need to click), xp meter, and drop logger. The clue solver apparently screen reads your clue and solves any puzzle under the sun (including the new towers and lockbox puzzle); this has an effect on the in-game economy as this tool is reducing the market size for tokens to solve these puzzles. The afk warden claims to track in-game activity and alerts when to click, even if RuneScape isn’t on your screen, this is enabling unattended RuneScape playing. The xp meter and drop logger are available in-game currently with RuneMetrics. The first two mentioned here (clue solver and afk warden) have a direct impact on gameplay and the game economy. The latter two are cutting into a potential revenue source of Jagex.
As a testament to modern web browser capabilities, Alt1 claims that the toolkit is “just a fancy browser with a ton of RuneScape related features”. This effectively means that Chrome is running Alt1 behind the scenes but there is also some capability to read the screen of your RuneScape client. Given the current security model of Windows (since Vista) it is almost impossible for an application to get a running list of what other applications are running without having elevated permissions. This means that if Jagex wanted to they would have no way (outside of RuneScape as an administrator) of determining if Alt1 was running on a system. I suspect the reason we haven’t seen any action against Alt1, given that it is screen reading the client and other things, is that there’s no easy way to know if it’s running.
Alt1 is claimed by many to just be an integral part of playing RuneScape because they have used the toolkit for so long. Alt1 is a piece of third party software, third party software can never be 100% independently verified as safe. When a large amount of people use any piece of software a single security vulnerability in said piece of software is amplified proportionally by the number of people who use that software. RuneScape accounts still fetch a pretty penny on the black market and RuneScape GP is still targeted by hackers and those with malicious intent. This doesn’t mean that Alt1 is going to harvest the data on their users, it does mean that Alt1 carries a higher target of malicious actors.
Old School RuneScape has had a different past with third party tools. Old School RuneScape sees two dominant third party game clients in OS Buddy and RuneLite. Recently Jagex attempted to shut down RuneLite but the creator was able to make concessions to keep the product alive. After concluding these talks, Jagex said, “whilst discussions and our investigations continue we are temporarily holding off legal action. Adam, the developer of RuneLite, has agreed to make the RuneLite client and obfuscation tool closed source and pause development during this time.” You can read the full statement here. Checking in on the RuneLite website it looks as though development has resumed with more features added that are unavailable in vanilla Old School. As time goes on we’ll have to see what happens with the Old School third party tools and clients.
This episode with Old School RuneScape and third party clients proves two things in particular. The first is that third party tools that do infringe on the RuneScape user agreement or just put the players at risk will at least see Jagex attempt to stop their development. Secondly, the rule on Macroing and Third-Party Software is incredibly grey: “Software that can be used to gain an unfair advantage in our games may not be used. This includes automation tools, macros, bots, auto-typers, and tools that circumvent any of our mechanisms designed to automatically log out inactive users.” Alt1 satisfies this clause with its treasure trail solver by providing the “unfair advantage” of solving clues instantly. RuneLite satisfies this clause by replacing the game applet. Two very different cases with two very different outcomes.
Jagex must be consistent with this rule rather than wavering in its enforcement. As illegal as RuneLite may be it is incredibly unfair to subject one individual’s work to a legal challenge while allowing others (Alt1 and OS Buddy) to go completely unchallenged. Having an easygoing policy for some tools and throwing legal challenges against others do no one any good. There should be no third party tools allowed for either version of RuneScape.
This week marks one year since the release of Menaphos, we have our memories and a renewed method of reputation gain. Also thoughts on Elite Dungeons, Solak bug abuse, and Jagex’s winning strategy.
Hello everyone! Lots of news over at RsBandB and Informer especially this past month! With that said, let's get to it.
Tanis started off our month with Cracks in the Foundation, a look at the newest addition to Thieving, Safecracking. This month's Alex's Analysis took on the new unusual quest released under much speculation, You Are It. Colton took a trip to the past and reminisced about his history with Treasure Trails, and our dear leader Shane discussed the oftentimes flawed methodology of polls.
Our newest Informer recruits debuted with their first official articles! The ever thoughtful Cireon went into detail about Analysing Skilling Variety, and our new resident PvM expert David gave tips and tricks on dealing with Solak, the newest boss. Go check them out!
Also this month was a guest article from RsBandB moderator, Clan Quest extraordinaire and all around good guy Earth, who wrote about an old racing game favourite Burnout Paradise, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. Almost makes me want to fire up the game again for the first time in awhile!
That brings us up to a whopping 7 Informer articles for this month. Expect more goodies next month as our new recruits settle into their roles.
May's Thieving Skill of the Month included everyone getting at least 3M xp, so well done on that front to everyone who signed up! Of the 10 participants who signed up, Sorensen57 pulled ahead of the pack with an amassed 77.6Mxp. Congratulations Sorensen57, here is your pixel based trophy:
Also in Skill of the Month news, going forward Skill of the Month will be open to the public. This means that you will no longer need a forum account to sign up. Sign up starts one week before the end of the month and you can find the signup form here.
With that said, we will see you next month for another roundup! Have a good June everyone.