RSBANDBUpdate! 602 - We Love Coal

posted by Shane on 20 January 2017 at 17:22 | Discuss on our Forums

A full discussion on Planted Feet and game design including the latest Mining and Smithing Dev Diary video! Also, expect images to get sharper and is it time to move back to Mozilla Firefox?

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Please note that there will be spoilers here, as I will be talking a bit about Sliske's Endgame (and several other quests). If you haven't done that quest yet, I advise you go do it. If you don't have the stats to do that quest, I advise you get them. If you're thinking: "shut up, Alex, nobody tells me what to do", then you probably shouldn't be on the internet.

After the sixth age began with the death of Guthix and the return of the Gods, we were presented with the potential for chaos. We expected Saradomin to battle against Zamorak, Bandos to personally smash the Cave Goblins, and Armadyl to reclaim his staff and start delivering all the justice. Oh yeah, and maybe the desert Gods make a comeback too, but they've kind of always been there, so no big deal.

Enter Sliske with a quest called Missing, Presumed Death, which despite the seemingly innocent story and plot, served as a pivotal way to steer the future quest lines. It starts off a whole new quest-line where he obtains the Stone of Jas and offers it to the being that kills the most Gods. Or Godlike things. Thus prompting the creation of World Events, a couple of holiday events, and starting off the Sixth Age questline.

And now it's over. Sliske's Endgame has come and gone (at least for me), and with that, the series reached its conclusion (and possibly the age itself, I'm not sure to that extent).

But Runescape is not going to just end like that. When one story ends, another begins.

Fortunately, this time we don't have to wait until an obscurely-named quest that seemingly has nothing to do with the storyline comes out of nowhere to bring us back on track. ... which I thought was actually kind of brilliant. They also did this for the V quest. Yeah, it's sad that we didn't really get the kind of quest we were expecting, but a quest with a surprise twist with an even more surprising plot is always exciting.

This time, though, it sounds like the content team is trying to keep these quests a bit more of a surprise. And thank goodness, too. I purposely avoid watching the "upcoming-content" videos in fear that they'll spoil the quests to come or make them not nearly as powerful story-wise. They did it with a few of the quests in the Sliske storyline; during Runefest, they only subtly advertised Nomad's Elegy with a picture, and purposely withheld information about Kindred Spirits altogether. This was good, because it didn't give us time to overhype ourselves with expectation if we didn't know what was coming.

So what's next?

Well, the most powerful artifact on Gielinor, the Stone of Jas, has been destroyed, but now we've got its creator up and about, telling us to prove ourselves to the others as they awaken or they wipe everybody out. Scary!

We've got Zaros revealing his true colors; he wasn't really trying to become an Elder Gods to stand for mortal-kind; he saw the position as his birthright. After being denied it, he got considerably cheesed off and left vowing revenge. By the sounds of things, he's going to try to properly create life to prove himself.

We've got the dragonkin running around, presumably either freed from the Stone's hold, or forcibly tasked with reassembling it. Either way, they might be thinking much more clearly now, and we know them well to be beasts of destruction.

The Gods are no longer tasked with killing each other (though they weren't really super-good at that anyways), meaning they are now able to get on with their own agendas. Goodness knows what's going to happen when they start doing stuff to appease their own desires. I can at least foresee a big battle against the White Knights and the Kinshra. And what about the desert Gods (besides Icthlarin)? ... well, actually they're kind of their own series, but with the upcoming return of Menaphos, who's to say they won't make a comeback.

Even you, the player, are no longer fully in control (I'll be kind and not completely spoil this one). Will this be resolved in a single quest where you dive into the structure of your very soul, or will it linger as a parasite that makes future quests infinitely more difficult than they need to be.

With such a dynamic change to the upcoming quests' storyline, it almost feels like we're going to start playing Runescape 4. But without the super-improved graphics. Instead, we get a lot of extra content. Which is really all we need at this point.

Until next time,

Cheers, cannoneers!

We begin the new year with discussing the Memorial to Guthix and the potentialities that could arise from it. Also our thoughts on the element of surprise and where should RuneScape be designed?

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A New Player Suprise

posted by Mr Bistro on 13 January 2017 at 02:44 | Discuss on our Forums

Jumping into yet another year in RuneScape and my hopes are high. This month we the players got to experience Jagex keeping January updates hidden which was really refreshing and gave me the feeling of surprise that updates have been lacking for quite some time. I gushed about how I wanted Jagex to do this more and to start off the new year they did! Hopefully this won't be the last time this year that this happens because it was really enjoyable to see and a breath of fresh air that removed some of the almost monotonous release schedule that Jagex as become known for. I think that Jagex should make an effort to have their releases more like this, maybe once or twice a month, if not all the time.

Speaking of releases, EVE Online went free to play recently and I could not be more excited for what is in store for that game. I am encouraged to pick it back up and give it another go with some friends. This has relevance to today's topic because it has been something on my mind but noticeably not on the mind of those who it matters most. Free to Play Runescape. What has it been up to since I became a member so many years ago? Is this the right method that Jagex should be taking going forward?

Last time I tried free to play post being a member I had lost interest very quickly, the amount of ads for membership were borderline criminal. The entire approach that Jagex had was wrong. And though it’s slightly better today ( emphasis on the slightly), Jagex still is going about it all wrong. The fact that every time non members receive an update; making Shane and any of the hosts of RSBandBUpdate! raise an eyebrow in shock, is a bad sign. The release schedule is so poor for non members in the game that it shouldn’t surprise anyone that there are so few new players joining the game.

I get that free to play is an inherent demo of the game, but that is not what it use to be and the sheer about of content in the members realm our ratios non member content tenfold what it was back in 2006. This is bad, this turns the non member version of the game into less of a demo and more of an afterthought. You would think that the product that would get new players interested in the game would receive a little more attention if it’s made to sell the dang game!

I am a member, most people are, in fact I would wager that a good 95% of the people that take the time to read Runescape articles on a fan site are. I also am all for the game shedding some of the members heavy time dedication for bringing in new players with the thing that is already in place. It’s not hard, it wouldn't take away from any of the overall game. Jagex would still be adding content. But they would be adding content that is of high quality face value for new players that pick up the game and find out that maybe they want the huge quest arcs and literal different planes of existence that membership has to offer.

Lets not forget that this is a system already in place. Jagex can make more money by getting new players interested in the game and paying the non grandfathered membership price which to me sounds like another are that if they really wanted could tie up. If there were more people playing the game it would solve a lot of problems. Everyone talks about this all the time but everyone, even Jagex forgets to mention that non membership has it worse.

This leads to Bistro’s plan to turn around areas of the game that really need it with minimal cost, effort and even so a potential and probability of revenue.

1. Remove the grandfathered price. It’s time Jagex, if people are paying near double the cost of membership, tighten that belt and consolidate payment plans. This will save effort for many areas of your company such as accounting and web development,and headaches for figuring out membership revenue for the new players. Not to mention this would marginally cut costs on time for accounting, development and increase the revenue. Win win.

2. Advertise. Where the hell are the advertisements for this game besides in the freaking game? Maybe Jagex has a dumb marketing team but I would think that over here in the US that they would put in at least a little more effort into this. Do you know how much it would cost to put ads on phone game apps? Flipping Youtube videos? Why am I not seeing any of those? I could ask any of my friends who have or have not played the game in the past that are avid gamers. If they have ever seen a Runescape ad and they would probably say no or “Runescape is still a thing?”. Yea.. That is the state of advertising in the US. Piss poor, expecting to get more players due to their own in game ads and their behind the scenes videos. Hats off to you Jagex, fire your worthless marketing team.

3. Fix free to play. This is devoid of content and the content that it has is outdated and old hot garbage. Anyone who may meander over an ad and see that there is free to play and give it a try will be immediately turned off with the adverts and the lack of content that free to play has. It’s a mess that has no attention on it. Put a couple developers on the team. Bring a writer onto the team. Jagex did it for old school and it works really well. The content doesn't have to be big, and when you want it so, collaborate to make it happen. Clean up the welcome mat to the game because I don't want to be stepping over the leftover remains from the members world.

Doesn’t that seem simple? Why is Jagex not moving on any of this and why haven't they when those numbers dipped so dangerously low? Understand that a quality entry for a new player is what will bring them to pay that membership fee that allows you to feed your own family. Not adverts in your own game. There is good in the idea of free to play and it was great over a decade ago. So make it that way again. It’s why I started paying for membership. As just about any veteran player and I would bet a large majority of them would say the same thing. If there is one thing that would impact you Jagex as a whole to make the game better. To surprise new players in the year of surprises, that’s how you would do it.

Happy Gaming everyone!

[Informer] 2017 Begins: Happy New Year!

posted by Shane on 1 January 2017 at 22:00

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone is having a great start to 2017 thus far, even though it's only been less a day or so. 2016 certainly provided some surprises and was fulfilling in many ways. Our goal for this year is much the same, to keep delivering great discussion and analysis, to you the reader. But before we go further and start thinking about what lies ahead, let's have a look at the month that was December.

RuneScape saw two updates this December in addition to the Christmas event. The first was an update to the Crafting skill that provided silver jewellery crafting options for low to mid level crafters. In addition to providing a use for rare gems Alex explains why this is useful to the Crafting skill at this point in time. The second update of December was Sliske's Endgame. The much anticipated and hyped conclusion to the god storyline that we have been progressing down since 2013. Colton carries out a thorough review of this quest and asks some much needed questions any player is probably asking after undertaking such a massive quest. Spoilers ahead. Read more in Sliske's Endgame: What Now?.

As the month of December sometimes necessitates we look forward to the year coming ahead or the year we just lived through. Mr. Bistro provided us with his Dream Roadmap for RuneScape over the next 2 years. Mr. Bistro covers two planks that are necessary to be examined in any game as mature as RuneScape. Microsoft is one of the companies at the forefront of research in all areas related to technology. Microsoft has the best public vision for the future out of any of the major tech companies. With this, I went through Microsoft's Vision of 2017 and 2027 blog post and chose some highlights and explained what they mean to us, normal technology users. Finally, any Informer end of year roundup wouldn't be complete without a top 10 list of games. Tanis went through this years list of game releases and chose 10 and explained why they were so important. This list includes two games that many in this community play...

2016's last Skill of The Month looked like it could potentially provide some surprises at mid-month but Flash persevered and took the win in this Dungeoneering Skill of The Month with 23,417,085 experience gained. Congratulations!


In second place we saw Undoer with 13m experience and in third was Mr Bistro was 10.5 million experience.

2016's Skill of The Month competitions were certainly a mixed bag. In total 575,073,210 experience was gained in the competitions for an average of 47,922,769 experience per month. The smallest was our June Crafting competition at 15,465,787 experience and the largest was Invention's first Skill of The Month at 128,716,365 experience.

2016 was sure a wild ride with the massive scale of RuneScape updates. 2017 is looking to be no different. We'll be there with you both in text here at Informer and over the air at Update. To you and your friends, have a happy new year and all the best in 2017!