There are many players that are not very happy with the Gemstone dragon release. Slotted to be an anticipated surprise update and the intro to the first slayer creatures that require a slayer level of over 99, there doesn't need to be much explanation as to why. This update took me by surprise as well. I am not sure how I feel about the initial release but I can explain why this was a gem of an update that players do not seem to give credit for.
Let's start off by talking about the mechanics. They are very simple, arguably as simple as rune dragons but less intensive. They fight very similar to fighting frost dragons where a player needs to look out for those shard attacks that happen at random. I will go over each of these individually.
To start, the Dragonstone dragons have 40,000 life points and require 95 slayer to kill. They have a shard ability that deals up to 4500 damage. This ability also causes if hit, a 20 second reduction in the antifire time so it's a good idea to bring extra anti fires just in case when fighting this dragon.
The Onyx dragon has 50,000 lifepoints and requires level 98 to kill. Their special ability fires off the same why the Dragonstone dragons did but their effect is different. When hit by this ability the player will have life leeched off and given to the dragon. Pretty simple.
The final dragon is the Hydrix dragon which requires level 101 slayer so this is the first true slayer creature intended for the 120 release. Simple for now however,a wild pie or wilder pie will suffice to allow players to kill them today. They have 60,000 lifepoints and are level 133. Their ability drains the player's adrenalin to zero and halves the rechange for a small amount of time when hit. Once again simple.
These creatures require the completion of the hard Karamja task set. If a player is not assigned these dragons, they will be forced to pay entry in order to kill them which I feel was a really smart thing to do. One reason this was a good idea is to keep the amount of players inside low. But another and more important reason for this is to keep the high level gems up in price. Maybe help balance out the dragonstone from the other top gems.
Methods for killing these beasts are surprise surprise, ranged. Yep, still nothing for melee or hybrid related to be so bold. As a lot of their attacks are either magic based or fire based, there is no reason someone would not choose ranged here. If choosing melee, keep in mind that they will add melee attacks to their attack options and hit you with mage and melee. Armor here to use I would recommend using royal d'hide. It would seem like a waste of money to use any more. Keep in mind that this is a slayer creature so it would makes sense to most players to use budget gear and not have to worry about paying a recharge fee later. I would recommend chaotic crossbows and dragonbane bolts. Though royal bolts should be just fine here. Of course bring super anti fires and overloads or super sets and restores. There is no poison here so check that off the list. And this is a slayer creature so no bringing adrenaline potions you combat addict you! Finally try not to use AOE abilities as to avoid taking on multiple dragons and their specials at once (Unless that's your thing). Pray mage or deflect mage, you get the idea, and finally Sharks will suffice here. If attacking the Hydrix, i'll say it again, bring wild or winder pies based on your slayer level so you don't have to make a trip back to the band and then back to shilo all over again. I am sure in a couple months time we will all be laughing about this.
The drops are an area that many players are seeming to be complaining about and I cannot for the life of me understand why. Each of these dragons drop certain pieces of the new gemstone armor which is the level 80 hybrid armor. I can see that this is a recycled drop table for other slayer creatures but more themed and with the rare drops for each. The Dragonstone dragons drop the boots and gloves, the Onyx drops the legs and the helm and the Hydrix drops the chestplate or whatever it's called. Aside from those pieces the drops are pretty terrible at a first glance. Making money doesn't really seem to be the driving force to killing them. The dragons all drop adamant dragon bones for some reason, I am guessing that the logic behind is is that the levels are similar. They also drop some bolt tips, gems and jewelry. One area that I would have liked to see some improvement is in the addition of more themed drops, more along the lines of including the chance to get an onyx or a hydrix per the dragon. They fact that the name of the dragon is named after the gem basically implies that they are related. The chances for these drops can be adjusted based on making sure there is no influx of them gems, but the absence altogether is simply wrong.
The crux of the issue is that players feel the drops are to bad to ever want to kill these. And that's fine. But that is NOT WHY WE ARE KILLING THEM. They are slayer creatures, They are meant to be killed in higher than average quantities and while on a slayer task. Jagex allows these to be killed anyway which is great, but they are meant to be fought with slayer, increasing their kill value and giving the next step of exp expected on the way to 120. They are easy to kill but may take time because they are slayer creatures. They have very rare drops because Abyssal Demons had rare drops. How can players be blind to this? I think that this update was very well done, they require more than just a slayer level to access to kill and they are a rather laid back kill anyway.
At the end of the day, Jagex set out to make sure that the 120 race could start early and not miss the sorry level grinders that are already fearlessly gaining exp so they don't have to train the skill later. I really disliked the idea of announcing they were raising to 120 so far in advance but this update is helping heal my wounds from the announcement. Wilder pies reach farther than 101 so be expecting some more creatures to be released before Menaphos. This update set out to do just what it did, and it did it well. I would not put this anywhere near the top for update release this year, but that doesn't make it a bad update. This year has been very good so far with the minimal releases and it increases the excitement for the updates to come. Thank you all and happy gaming.