Recent staff changes and big announcements from Jagex themselves have created a lot of buzz around the quests to come in the next year. Outside of large skill updates and some PVM, quests were the focal point of the Runefest 2016 headliners. Now that the year has finally arrived, let's break down each one of the quests that has been confirmed for released in the upcoming 12 months!
A puzzle of the quest start screen was teased on Twitter the week of 8 January 2016.
Sliske Part 1: Nomad's Elegy
This year will be especially impactful on the lore of Gielinor because the Sliske's Contest storyline will be coming to a close. This quest series was started by Sliske's assassination of Guthix in The World Wakes, and was continued as he stole the Stone of Jas and began a contest between the gods. The winner would be the god that killed the most other gods, and would allegedly be rewarded with the Stone. To continue after this, the first part of the series will already be at Grandmaster level and will feature a return of the infamous Nomad.
Nomad will be attempting to channel all of the souls on Gielinor into his Soul Obelisk, following the events of the Dishonour Among Thieves which saw him attempt to touch the Stone himself. In order to stop him, we will be teaming with our old friends Iccy and Harry (Ichthlarin and Death, respectively). In addition, it's been shown in concept art that the character will also be interacting with characters who have died in previous quests. Could we be meeting up with all the heroes gathered back in While Guthix Sleeps, only to lead them to their certain deaths? I, for one, hope to see Hazelmere once again. Additionally, how does this all tie in to Sliske? Will Nomad be making another move to gain the Stone? Will we kill or witness the killing of a god in the process? Only time will tell!
On a scale from 1-10, 10 being EXTREMELY hyped for this quest, I'd say this one comes in at about an 8.
Sliske Part 2: Ballad of the Barrows Brothers
The story continues to unfold as we now move on to a tale involving the Barrows Brothers of Morytania... and their sister? Whether you think this was a pathetic or commendable attempt at gender diversity in the lore aside, this one promises to entertain. The Barrows Brother have been imprisoned as Sliske's wights since the Third Age (except Akrisae), and are finally making an attempt to break free from his bonds. It has been hinted that we will be helping the Brothers in their quest, and throughout will somehow encounter the previously unknown sister. Among the questions I have, I wonder most of all about whether the sister has been under the curse the entire time. The Crumbling Tome that mentions the Brothers and details their descent into Sliske's captivity never once hints at another. Has she been recently made a wight? If so, where is she, and what is her origin? Will she help or hinder the Brothers in our journey?
This quest is a solid 7 for me with regards to anticipation.
Sliske Part 3: Fate of the Gods II
This is it, man! Well, technically it's the penultimate in the Sliske storyline, but MAN is this one going to be fun. The quest begins as the player discovers that Mah, woken up by the player in Fate of the Gods, now intends to create her own world after destroying Freneskae. In order to put a stop to this, the player, Zaros, and all the Mahjarrat will return to the ash-covered landscape. In amongst all this strife, however, we will see Zaros and Zamorak finally square off once again. Will Zammy be strong enough to fight Zaros without trickery this time? Will Zaros even seek out the fight? We know his goal is not for revenge, as he's moved on. But will he have a choice if Zamorak chooses to try and eliminate him once and for all? And not to mention, will Sliske be there to add to the tensions?
10. No explanation needed, here.
Sliske Part 4: Sliske's Endgame
The last quest of the Sixth Age is near. Sliske will finally invite all those who have killed a god to an "event" that none should wish to miss. We don't know much about the details of this quest, but we do know that previous decisions made by the player will come to fruition with this quest, and it will leave a lasting impact on Gielinor that most assume will take the world into the Seventh Age. Will more gods have fallen before now? Will Sliske be true to his word and award the Stone to the victor? How will the world change if a new age does in fact begin? So much to ask, but we'll have to wait until the last half of 2016 to find out.
Another 10. No question.
Myreque Finale: River of Blood
Last year we got to join up with the old gang in addition to Vanescula, storm to the top of Castle Drakan, and eventually battle Lord Drakan himself, killing him once and for all. But all is not well. Many of your brethren were killed in the process, and Vanescula turned on you at the last moment to suck the Icyene blood from Safalaan, now making her immune to the blessing of the River Salve. Using haemalchemy, she plans to pass this ability on to all her followers, and soon invade Misthalin to seek out new feeding stock. The end of Lord of Vampyrium saw the player warning King Roald of the impending danger, and the concept art for the quest makes it appear as though a massive battle will be pitched between the two forces as a culmination of the storyline. Without Safalaan, however, the player may seek the help of Queen Efaritay, Safalaan's Icyene mother who was thought long dead, yet many believe her to be the mysterious prisoner that was released at the closing of Lord of Vampyrium. This quest line has been a personal favorite of mine since the beginning, so the closing of this chapter will be a bittersweet one, but I'm glad to see they intend to ride the wave of hype from last year's installment in order to finish it off properly.
Stop me if you've heard this before, but this is another 10 for me.
15 Years of Runescape: Gower Quest
We've already seen the first of the 15-year anniversary celebrations in-game, and what better way to keep that going than to bring back the brothers that started it all to create an appropriately Runescape-themed quest. The quest itself will be standalone with very few requirements, and will follow brothers Andrew and Paul Gower as NPCs in the game as they fail to properly grow cabbages on their farm. Expect references to classic Runescape tropes, old items, content that was never released, and other references from this quest as the Gower brothers give us all they have to knock us unconscious with pure Jagex humour. Puns, witty banter, strange examine text, and many more will be had here. If you know me and what I love about Runescape quests, this is the cherry on top. I don't think I could possibly be more excited for this. Just one request: make it replayable!
11. Try and stop me from violating my own scale!
Some other quests that have been hot on many tongues will likely not be making it into 2016, unfortunately. It may be that Menaphos will be released in some capacity (if the Runelabs has anything to say about it), but it is not likely a quest will accompany it this year as Jagex has stated they feel they wont have time for such a large undertaking in order to do it justice. Rite of Passage, the Armadyl homeworld quest taking place on Abbinah, has also been confirmed that it will not take place next year, but is a possibility for 2017.
Well there you have it. Six huge quests, 2 storylines coming to a close, and the first quest released by the Gower brothers for a very long time. I expect nothing less than greatness from this year, and the excitement is real.