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 Post subject: [Informer Article] Restricted Skilling?
PostPosted: September 15th, 2013, 11:22 pm 
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Have you ever noticed certain skills can only be trained in certain spots? I never really noticed this much until Dungeonering was released. Dungeoneering is the biggest example of this - you can only do it at Daemonheim!

I was looking over my skill list and came up with three categories for skills based on where they could be trained; Any, Many, and Restricted.

Any
These skills can, quite literally, be trained or used anywhere in Gielinor.
Attack, Hit Points, Strength, Defence, Herblore, Ranged, Cooking, Prayer, Crafting, Firemaking, Magic, Fletching, and Woodcutting.
Cooking and Woodcutting are slightly debatable because one requires at least a fire and one requires a tree. They are listed as Any though because a fire can be made nearly anywhere and trees are almost everywhere.

Many
These skills can be trained or used in a large variety of areas around Runescape.
Mining, Agility, Smithing, Fishing, Thieving, Slayer, and Hunter.

Restricted
These skills can only be done in specific areas or only have specific uses.
RuneCrafting, Farming, Construction, Summoning, Dungeoneering, and Divination.

What's the significance of this?
Well, roughly 23% of the total skills are restricted to only certain areas. That's actually a pretty good ratio though, it means about 77% of skills can be trained in any or most parts of Runescape. This is unlike many games which have half or all their skills requiring a special facility or the like.

The thing I noticed though is that 5 out of the last 6 skills released were restricted. Doesn't that seem kinda odd to you?

Farming - Farming barely fits in the restricted category because although there are a great many farming patches, it is still restricted to only farming patches. For the most part you can only gain Farming experience when checking or harvesting plants, of course that makes sense, but still.

Construction - Aaaaahhhh. Construction is very exclusive, unless you have a lamp, some long bones, or a quest reward, Construction can only be advanced when inside a Player-Owned House.

Summoning - Like Farming, this could almost classify as Many. The problem is you are required to go a Summoning Obelisk. The only skill way to gain experience away from Obelisks is to use pouches, which honestly don't give enough to be worth even considering.

Dungeoneering - Pretty much the Ultimatum of restricted skilling. There is no way to actively train Dungeoneering outside of Daemonheim, one place. Sagas and resource dungeons give experience but that can't be considered training. Neither can spending points since it requires going into Daemonheim.

Divination - "Oh, here he goes bashing the new skill." Right...No, well. To me, 12 exclusive locations doesn't really constitute a broad area. Sure, their locations are varied, but still, you are required to go to those locations. At least for a little while. Unless you bought all the materials and transmuted everything for your levels.

So what's my point?

Well, let's see if I can pull this around...
While the 77:23 percent ratio is good, it makes me wonder why there is even a 23%? I mean, why can't those 6 skills be trained everywhere or almost everywhere like the others?

RuneCrafting
Honestly, I can't think of a good way to make this one cover a broader area without ruining the lore behind it. The altar ruins works well, and considering the previous exclusiveness of Runestones, it makes total sense. As it is this skill has lost much of its worth and reduced the uniqueness of its lore due to things like the Abyss (however so much as we all used to love it) and the Runespan.

Farming
Our benevolent overlord Shane could probably explain some good ways this skills' locations could be broadened.
Adding something akin to Fishing, Woodcutting, or Mining style gathering may allow it to be broadened. What I mean by this is giving a use to all those plain farming fields around Runescape, you know the ones. Make them to where the crop they have rotates or something and allow players to come and help reap the harvest. Not like a Distraction but as a normal thing.
It kind of depends on whether the player is just growing things to grow things or to learn about the sciences and methods behind growing them well.

Construction
Construction would be one of the easiest broaden. There are workbenches and workshops scattered around the world, why can't we use them? And why is construction only/mostly focused on building a house for us? Guthix knows we never use it. Why can't we help the RuneScape Construction Crew build houses all over new places? An Uber radical idea(and one that would fit right with their 'Player Involvement' push) would be to have the community build all new towns, or at least some. I mean think about it, if we've been skilling in some area for YEARS and then instantly there is this new bustling town there wouldn't our characters think, "What in the heck? Are we in Kansas, Toto?" Buildings don't just drop from the sky, Dorothy.
Get players to help. Make them bring their own planks and nails and literally build the town. Turn it into a permanent structure, not some Distraction that gets torn down after a week nor a Citadel that degrades. A real, permanent building. Now THAT would shape the future of Runescape.
Obviously they couldn't do this for all new areas because things like new islands would already be populated.

But wouldn't that make Construction more fun instead of building and destroying the same Larder 50,000 times?

Summoning
Summoning, hmmm....You know, the nether worlds and spirits probably could've been connected somehow to Divination. A spirit Memory or some such?
Meh, that's a different tangent.

But, how to make it used more broadly? Or rather, trainable more broadly?
Yes, Summoning can and is used all over Gielinor, but only for specific purposes and then it is not used for training it.
I'm not sure off-hand how to broaden Summoning. The Obelisk thing kinda screws most attempts. The best thing would probably be to gain experience when a familiar does something and make the familiars do more useful things.

Dungeoneering
Due to the innate designed nature of Dungeoneering, I don't think it is possible to really remove it from this category. However it could - and should've at release - be broadened. How so?
Use Dungeoneering to explore areas, like - DUNGEONS! There are tons of dungeons we only go in once or twice for a quest and then never step foot in again. Dungeoneering is the prime way to use these old, defunct, dungeons.
What happened to the elaborate caves of the Underground Pass after we left?
What happened to the caves under Kharazi Jungle?
What about those mazes in the desert? What treasures do they hold that were not related to the quest, or perhaps they were but we didn't find them?
There are countless places where Dungeoneering could be used for that - and I don't mean just 'unlocking' the area like Resource Dungeons. Have certain levels of Dungeoneering allow you to find, use, or do certain things in these Dungeons. MAKE a reason to want a guy with high Dungeoneering.
Because when we get right down to it and are honest with ourselves, floor 60 is exactly the same thing as floor 1, albeit with a few different colored rugs and a new hat on the big baddie.

But if level 80 Dungeoneering allowed you to find the secret lever that moved a stone hallway allowing you to get somewhere...well, that would be a different story entirely.

Divination
I'm still trying to figure out where, exactly, this skill is heading. Currently we're just gathering will 'o wisps. If it has to do with lore than why didn't we call it 'Loremastering' or 'Scholaring' or 'Scribing'.

Anyways, my biggest peeve is that we can only really train this skill in 12 select locations and then only by absorbing sparkly balls and puking them into a bottomless pit.
Ok, so that was a bit dramatically simplified.

BUT, the 12 locations is true.

Instead of having these energies flowing in 12 select locations, why not have them spawn all over the place like imps? Give a higher chance to spawn when interacting with something. Like if you're just walking around you may see an energy you can absorb. But Woodcutting, Mining, Farming, or killing something also has a chance to release additional energies. That would give the skill a near 180 - instead of making it waste a lot of your time, have it encourage you to train other skills. Naturally this would require the energies to give more experience each because they wouldn't be anywhere near as plentiful.

But think of it, doesn't that truly make more sense? I mean, why would Guthix's energy only come out in remote locations, WHY? It would be everywhere. There should be no concentrations save for the cavern where he slept.

Well...

I've just been pondering the fact that recent skills and activities tend to always have at least one of two extremes; either they are a time-sink or a money-sink.
As a Player, I dislike both of these.
As a Game Designer, I know they are not required.

So my question to Jagex is...
Why?

This was originally posted as an Informer Runescape article.

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 Post subject: Register and login to get these in-post ads to disappear
PostPosted: September 15th, 2013, 11:22 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: [Informer Article] Restricted Skilling?
PostPosted: September 15th, 2013, 11:52 pm 
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Interesting article.

For me, I look at it this way. The skills you pointed out as being restricted are arguably so for good reason. A skill like those by their very nature demand that they be trained in a specific place and/or way. And that's just how some skills are. Yes, it would be nice if every skill could be trained everywhere and anywhere, but it's not a bad thing if all of them can't be.

Truthfully though, every skill in Runescape is restricted. What do I mean? I mean that even if Jagex designs a skill to be trainable anywhere and in any way, players will train skills restrictively. Sure, Cooking can be done anywhere and with many kinds of food, but likely a player will train it by a bank since this is the fastest method. That is restrictive. Firemaking, the same is true. In reality, I think all your skills fall in the Restricted category save for combat skills.

While I agree the Restricted skills are designed to be so, the rest are restrictive simply because of the players themselves. Even if Jagex designed a skill to be broad or diverse, players will inevitably find ways to train them restrictively in order to achieve experience the fastest way possible.

Jagex should try to make every skill as least restrictive as possible and let the players train as they see fit. But on the whole, I don't see a problem with restrictive skills given what I have said. Although, it is interesting most the new skills released have been that way.

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