Overgrown Idols appear for the Woodcutting skill but are they enough to idolize Woodcutting? And what updates would be needed to modernize Woodcutting. Also an overview of Player Owned Farms and the upcoming clan updates.
Earlier this year, EA released a remastered version of the 2008 classic, Burnout Paradise. The remastered version, released for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and soon the PC, includes support for up to 4K resolutions and 60 frames per second. It retails for $40USD, $20 less than the standard price for a new game. It contains all of the DLC, it contains no microtransactions, and everything can be unlocked through gameplay.
It’s a return to the golden age of modern gaming. Burnout Paradise set the bar for racing games, and every racing game since, from Need for Speed to Forza Horizon, has tried to emulate its success. The exploration element has not just influenced racing games, but many other games as well.
The game world is incredibly well designed. It has a grid-like city center area, an interstate, and country roads. There are shortcuts all over the game world that you can find, and billboards to smash. The trick, however, is that you can see most of the boards easily, but some are way up in the air above you, and you’ve got to figure out how to reach them. Despite being a car racing game, the world is very much designed with vertical elements in mind.
In the background, there are billboards in the air with advertisements. Some have criticized the inclusion of such ads, but I think they’re charming. They’re non-intrusive and they generate revenue for the company creating the game. It’s part of what allowed them to release the game at a lower cost, and without microtransactions. In other games, having such obviously placed ads might be intrusive, but in this game, they’re just billboards on the side of the road – something I see every day when I get in my car and go somewhere. It fits.
Burnout Paradise also brings a sense of nostalgia, not just because it is a game I played when I was younger, but the soundtrack. The soundtrack to this game is incredibly well done. Since the game takes place in Paradise City, the title song is, obviously, Guns n Roses’s “Paradise City”. You hear that as soon as you boot up the game, and it immediately puts you in the right kind of mood. The rest of the soundtrack takes you back to the mid-2000s. There are few feelings greater in the world than racing through a city at high speed, getting on a ramp and flying off, landing on top of another car to perform a “takedown”, while Avril Lavigne belts out “HEY HEY YOU YOU I DON’T LIKE YOUR GIRLFRIEND”.
[embed width="560" height="315"]https://youtu.be/msYC0pjiNbw[/embed]
For me, a racing game is well made if you can just drive around, and then all of a sudden an hour has gone by. Burnout Paradise is that game. It’s a game like Sid Meier’s Civilization – you always have to take “one more turn”. In my opinion, racing games, namely Forza Horizon 3, have come very close, but none capture the signature element that comes with a Burnout game: the crashes.
Long ago, in 2007, a 12-year-old Colton found himself in the possession of a Treasure Trail clue scroll. He didn’t know what Treasure Trails were, necessarily. Well, he had no clue what they were. In all honesty, his assumption was that this one scroll (which happened to have been dropped from a hobgoblin whilst training near the Crafting Guild) was redeemable for the really cool stuff! Party hats, godswords, and that super fancy rune armour with the gold all around it (the only somewhat close assumption made) would be available to him whenever he found out what the heck this gibberish anagram meant. Once he had finally figured out this clue, he went with eyes as big as dinner plates to receive his grand reward from the figure alluded to in the clue.
Much to his dismay, no such treasure awaited him. Merely another clue. After four or five legs, the casket was finally in hand. Surely this was his time, his moment, his one shot at riches aplenty. The loot? A water talisman, 2500 coins, and 10 hard leather. This pubescent Colton was devastated and would never again seek a clue scroll until his time would come, much, much later…
Treasure Trails came out May of 2004 and, over time, have been given new coats of paint, new fancy puzzles, new rewards, and even new tiers. Yet even through those changes, the heart of this unique Distraction and Diversion remains. The Treasure Trail stands as one of my favorite in-game activities outside of questing for reasons which I will now unfold.
In 2015, the now 20-year-old Colton was still playing Runescape, yet still had not truly begun to value Treasure Trails for their engaging qualities. This long period between 2007 and 2015 was characterized by completing all the quests, achieving numerous level 99 skills, and engaging in just about every new piece of content imaginable (outside of a 2-year break in the middle). Finally, thieving was on the list to train and Prifddinas made it so much more convenient to train without constant clicking. Driven now by a desire to complete all tasks given to him, this more-recent Colton began completing each new clue scroll that came to him, learning more and more about them (elites, in particular) along the way. Eventually, I became quite good at clues and the thieving training became merely a means to find more scrolls. At the time of writing, I have completed over 260 elite clues and a smattering of those from other tiers. Although I no longer have the hours upon end of free time to spend in Runescape nowadays, the clue scrolls ever call my name.
One of the first reasons Treasure Trails really held an allure to me then and now is the fact that these are solo activities. I don’t need to coordinate with someone else to do this. I’m not competing with someone else for monster spawns, worlds, or mining rocks. It’s as though I’m the only player in the game when I’m on the hunt for treasure.
Second, my interest in Treasure Trails came only a year after I essentially burned myself out of high-level PvM after marathoning the Araxxor release to get a full staff in 313 Araxxor kills in a week. After pushing myself and probably taking a couple years off of my life by all the stress that high-level bossing puts on me, I decided to lay down the Razer Naga and instead take a much more lean-back approach to bossing, skilling, and all Runescape activities. Treasure Trails scratched this itch perfectly and they still do today. To get the first clue, all I did was sit back and pickpocket Prifddinas workers until I found one. Back then, I could usually get one elite clue every half hour at most. From there, the clue involves essentially no combat of any significance (for one who was maxed combat) and merely relies on your ability to do puzzles and run around, things I’m relatively good at! Doing an elite clue was a low level of investment, allowed me to be social/watch something else while I was doing them, and was not nearly the risk to my personal assets as compared to high-level PvM.
Yet even if it was less of a risk as opposed to bossing, Treasure Trails still offered insane rewards. Of course, there are the classics (God armour, 3rd Age, etc.), but now there were dyes and other fun goodies to get! I even got the ridiculous chance at one point at the height of my clue-ing to have received a shadow dye. No, I’m not kidding. Yes, I did piss away the money soon after. No, I will not tell you how, that’s an embarrassing story for me to know, and for you to find out.
And lastly but possibly most important is that Treasure Trails are uniquely Runescape. It’s a game within a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, encourages experimentation, whimsy, offers fun through the journey itself, and most of all fosters a distinct sense of place and adventure. Unfortunately, that sense of adventure and discovery is somewhat muted in today’s game with endless teleports to everywhere and lodestones available at most important locations, but I still will sometimes take the backroads, neglect my teleports, and simply enjoy the landscape between clue destinations. So next time you happen upon a clue (elite and masters, especially), take the time to do it and try your best to forget that guides and teleports exist, just appreciate the journey for what it is. I hope you can enjoy this piece of content as much as I have.
New quest. Yeah.
Normally, I would warn against spoilers, having had completed the quest and wanting to talk about my experience with it.
This time, though, I... no. I really don't want to talk about the quest content. It is fantastic. It's a quest with little to no initial hype; one that you have no idea what you're getting into. Who's it about? What are you going to learn about them? All of that came out of nowhere, and that's what made the experience so powerful!
I want to maintain that. I want you to figure out this quest for yourself. Therefore, I'm going to try to talk about this quest with as few giveaways as possible. Rather than discussing the content, I'm going to talk about the flow of the quest, and what makes it such a good one, even though it is incredibly simple.
Actually, it is because it's simple that it's so good. The quest uses a base mechanic that is familiar, and yet so different from the norm. A little bit of everything, rolled into one, somewhat unpredictable form. It's like taking a final exam after having studied a full course. And I mean, actually studying it for hours each night. You actually got this. It's glorifying.
I also love how this quest deviates from the original formula. The quest is advertised about saving yourself, and it really is that simple. You really are trying to prevent your own death by completing the quest. Every character you interact with is aware of your oncoming demise, and either fears for your future or promises to enjoy every moment of your doom. It adds to that discomforting immersion seeing a friendly familiar face look at you like that.
But what's funny, and I hope I don't spoil too much with this, is that the quest constantly tries to get you to STOP completing it. It asks you, it threatens you, and at one point it tries to bargain with you to stop trying to complete it.
Even starting the quest is different than the usual formula. Usually you are told where it begins via Quest Journal, News Post, or even the Behind the Scenes. Not in this case. You legitimately have to figure out the quest start location (there is one, don't worry) on your own (or you can ask a friend, but that's no fun unless they're good at riddles). And don't worry; that's the hardest part. But just that beginning, where after figuring out a puzzle and getting marked for death really drives you into the quest. You just stirred the hornet's nest, and now you get to figure out what's so secret that it promises even the death of you; the pivotal hero of Runescape.
Another minor spoiler, but it ends on a note that there will be another quest of the same vein. Perhaps in the very near future. It was made fairly quickly, with few new resources, meaning that more quests along the same storyline can be made. Or, and I'm really REALLY hoping for this, it will be another "figure it out, players" activity like finding the missing Ga'al, where everybody contributes to figuring out a puzzle with minor, vague clues from the J-Mod who created it. That was epic.
So yeah. Great quest. Really hoping there will be many many more like it. Please, folks at Jagex, keep surprising us! Give us the minimal details and let the quests take a sudden, sharp turn! That is the best way to do it!
Until next time,
We unpack the layers of You Are It. What it is isn’t what it appears to be… Also, patch notes, another look at Safecracking, and Google’s talking AI assistant gets smarter.