Have you ever saw a bot in RuneScape and wished you could send it to bot heaven? Have you ever been training Slayer and somebody just barges in and tags every monster and you wish you could turn your drygores on them? Have you ever been in the Grand Exchange and an argument breaks out between two idiots and you wish you could just take out your duel crossbows and blast them both? Well now you can, DarkScape is here and it's wonderfully brutal. A new pvp game mode that keeps your head on a swivel and your blade in your hand at the ready. Its time to shine a little light in the dark and examine Jagex's latest game mode that took us all by surprise.
Jagex developed DarkScape in secret, so it was a big surprise to the RuneScape community when it was released. DarkScape is a version of RuneScape that allows pvp everywhere. You're never safe - death can come at anytime. However that's not all DarkScape is and it's starting to establish itself as its own entity. One of its most compelling features is its economy, or economies I should say. DarkScape is broken up into three risk areas. High, medium, and low. In the low risk areas there are high leveled guards that will attack anyone that is skulled and there are level limitations on who you can attack. The medium risk areas only have guards in the towns themselves and no level restrictions, anyone can attack anyone else. The high risk areas have no guards anywhere and you can also attack anyone. The way this works with the economy is very interesting. There are three economies all independent of each other. Each risk area has its own Grand Exchange (GE) that does not interact with the other two. This means items can have different prices from one GE to another. Sorry merchs, your going to have to work for your money now. Smuggling is a viable way to make money in this game. Taking items from one GE to another is risky but rewarding at the same time. Banks are also a new challenge in DarkScape. You have three banks, one for each region. This doesn't mean there is only one physical bank per risk area but rather you can only access items you have deposited in said risk area. For example if you bank in Lumbridge which is low risk, you can't retrieve them from Catherby which is medium risk. On top of that the bank space is severely limited. Teleporting is also a challenge in DarkScape. You can't teleport between risk areas with any items on you. Lastly, all game content up to the release of May 2015 is free. Yes, you heard that right its free, however if you log into DarkScape from a members account you will receive a 50% xp bonus and additional bank space. Just remember whether you're a free player or a member, you start from scratch - level 1's across the board.
Why You Should Try DarkScape
Its fun, pure and simple. Take it from me a guy that never once tried pvp before DarkScape. I wouldn't go into the wilderness for any reason. Now I'm the terror of White Wolf Mountain just waiting for an unsuspecting noob to wonder by. Like I said above, it's free and everyone starts from scratch. No matter what you like to do in RuneScape doing it in DarkScape adds a thrill to it. Fishing is exciting when you never know if the guy next to you might turn around and take you out. The same can be said about walking around and moving things from one bank to another. I've never been more nervous than when I moved gold from my medium risk bank in Catherby to my low risk bank in Taverly.
One of the great things about DarkScape is it brings old style pvp back to RuneScape with a twist. The combat is locked in Legacy which is okay given the purpose is pvp. Its also very cool to see players coming from different RuneScape platforms to play DarkScape. Players are coming from RS3 and Old School and there are even people that have never heard of RuneScape that are giving DarkScape a try. That's something we haven't seen in the player community for a long time. Jagex has finally given us a platform to come together put our bias's aside and stab each other in the face.
A Word of Caution
DarkScape is very much a work in progress. What that means is things are subject to change. DarkScape was developed by only two developers with the help of the ninja team executing it. Everyone is learning as they go and things you have been accustomed to doing can suddenly disappear because they are not conducive to the kind of game play Jagex wants in DarkScape. For example high alchemy has been nerfed to the point that its useless in DarkScape. Jagex did this because of the gold that high alch brings into the game. Remember this is a brand new economy, there were no items in the game before it started so things like high alch can be a detriment to a new economy. Shops have also been nerfed so to speak. Now all shops have shared stock and diminishing returns for selling multiple items. There are certain things Jagex is looking at fixing soon as possible as well. Number one on the list is one-itemers. These are the players that risk nothing and use the protect item prayer. It is a problem but I'm optimistic that Jagex will find a solution in the near future. It's all part of starting from scratch there are things that you can't anticipate no matter how hard you try.
Tips for Getting Started
1. Do the Nexus to get yourself all of your protection prayers. Don't remember the Nexus? That's okay, no one does, but its just south of Lumbridge - you can't miss it.
2. Do your God Statues. Its great xp for prayer and construction.
3. Do Troll Invasion as soon as possible.
4. Follow the path system to get free pathfinder armor. It fits all styles and easily replaced - very good for starting out.
5. Take the time to do a little agility. You walk everywhere in this game and run energy can seriously be the difference between living and dying.
6. Quest, Quest, Quest, not only are quests fun and they unlock valuable training methods and resources but they are a great source of xp at low levels.
7. Never drop your training weapons. These weapons are kept on death even if skulled so keep them, you never know when you are going to need them.
8. You're going to die! You're going to die often. You're going to die with items on you. Its part of the game try to not get mad, just get even.
9. Trust no one. DarkScape is brutal. Seriously don't trust anyone. Play as self reliant as possible because that's all you can count on.
10. If you need help pm me in game (Tanis79). I love to put a beat down on griefers so if you need anything just let me know.
DarkScape is a great addition to RuneScape. Jagex really delivered a unique RuneScape experience. Its exciting and you never know whats going to happen. There are no high scores so the xp race is moot. Its really just for pure fun and trust me killing another player is fun. I think one of the great things that Jagex did with DarkScape was keep it secret. The usual crowd of Jagex trolls didn't have time to torpedo it before it started like they've done with so many good ideas Jagex has had in the past. DarkScape has grown organically without the hype train running a muck. I can't say DarkScape will or will not be successful in the long term but what I can say is if the pvp community that so many people talk about deserting RuneScape isn't happy with this, then they won't be happy with anything and can be safely written off. DarkScape is a whole new way to play RuneScape and it definitely cures the post max boredom so many of us have had to deal with. Its not about xp, its not about pvm, its just about having fun and that's something I think we can all agree needs to be a higher priority for some players. Beware DarkScape is addicting though so don't blame me if you find yourself on it for hours. Let me leave you with some words of wisdom by a Jedi turned Sith Lord. "You don't understand the power of the dark side". Until next time, Happy DarkScaping.