Jagex released the new achievement system rework this week. It's a new way to organize all your tasks, goals and paths. Its definitely not reinventing the wheel but it does bring a certain amount of simplicity and organization to a central location. Unfortunately many players were left scratching their heads as to why it changed or how to use it. In typical Jagex fashion there really wasn't enough explanation on how to use it and where things had been moved. By now Jagex should also know its player base in general doesn't love change just for change's sake. A lot of players feel that if something isn't broken, there is no need to fix it. The RSBANDB community is usually much more forgiving of these kinds of changes because we tend to see a bigger picture, however allow me to illustrate to the wider community why this is a good update with tons of potential. First let's take a look at the nuts and bolts of the new system and talk about how it works.
The new achievement tab is accessed through the hero section of the ribbon. Clicking on that will bring up the hero menu and at the top are a series of tabs. This is where you'll find the achievement tab. The first thing you'll see when you click on it is a summary page. This contains brief information about how many tasks you've completed, what tasks are almost completed and on the right is a new path system. The left hand side is pretty self-explanatory. The number of tasks you've completed is shown as one color on top of another which represents the tasks in total. Underneath this is a neat little new feature that shows you some tasks you've recently completed and under that are two more bars showing tasks that are almost complete. I like this feature a lot because it can give you something to do quickly that you already have progress in. Of course there's a catch. Either by oversight or by haste Jagex has failed to put any mouse over text or any identifying information about what task set it belongs to, etc. Hopefully this can be added in the future. Finally on the right hand side is a new path system. This new path system has a pull down menu where you can chose different goals, like PVM, getting into Prifddinas, paths for new adventures and combatants, as well as paths for accessing ancient curses and the lunar spell book. There is a lot here and much more could be added in the future. Once you've picked a path the box underneath will show you different steps to take to achieving the goal of the path. It's really nice and helps with the feeling of being overwhelmed when you first start this game. Hold on though there is still more to talk about that was just the summary.
On the left hand side of the screen there are an additional three tabs. At the top one looks like an eye (this is the summary tab) another looks like a trophy and the last is an arrow. Let's take a look at the second tab, the trophy. This is your achievements tab. This tab is separated into skill, areas, PVM and completionist. This tab is the heart of the rework. The skills portion shows your progress towards maxing. The area section is the old achievement diary portion, it has additional options when you click on it that gives the different task set areas and then displays the task sets of those areas on the right. It's very similar to what we are used to but at the same time it does separate the different task tiers into their own sections. This is a nice addition however it does make for a deeper dive to find the information you're looking for. The next part of the achievement tab is labeled PVM. This section also has additional options underneath which include solo PVM, group bossing, raids and general. If you click on one of these it will display different achievements you can do on the right hand side of the menu. For example, if you were to click on raids one of the achievements you'd see on the right would be "One more couldn't hurt" which means you have to kill Durzag without killing Cormes. Lastly there is a section labeled completionist. This is where the requirements for the completionist, trimmed completionist and master quest cape can be found. After clicking on the completionist section just pick which one you want to look at underneath and the requirements are shown on the right. I know it's a lot to take in but it doesn't take long to learn where things are in the new system.
Directly under the trophy tab on the left is a tab with an arrow on it. This is your tracker tab. It shows your achievement progress from the trophy tab represented in bar form as in the summary tab along with the number of achievements you've done for that given section. This is also where your pinned tasks will show up. Anything you pin will show up on the right of this tab. There's not much to this one really just a different way to show your progress.
OK, got all that? I know, I know, it was terribly tedious, but at Informer we step in to explain things when Jagex gives us the Cliff's Notes version of an update. Putting the lack luster explanation aside, two questions remain. Is it a good update and was it needed? On the first question, I say the answer is yes. I think it helps players, especially new and intermediate players, not feel so lost. Many of us forget what it was like when we started. RuneScape can feel overwhelming and like any MMO if you can't get roped into the game in the beginning it's hard to keep those players around long term. Many of us learned from each other however, the games social aspects were less centralized back then. Now most social interactions take place in the clan setting and less in the public chat. It's not a good or bad change it's just different. I remember learning about the game just by watching other people's conversations. This update kind of gives newer players some structure and goals that we use to just pick up playing the game. In this respect it's good for the casual player as well. Players that have played for a long time often take breaks from RuneScape. It can be daunting when you come back after just a few weeks or months with all the new content. This rework will help players catch up more quickly. Lastly its biggest strength is that it can so easily be expanded. There is significant room to grow with the new system. In many ways while what Jagex put out has the basics I can't wait to see all the possibilities in the future. As for if the update was needed, I would say this is a harder question. The potential for what the update can be makes me lean towards yes. The execution of the update however leaves a lot to be desired. The update should have been postponed and as usual with Jagex it needed more testing. They put the update in before Menaphos which means they can easily add in the new task sets, etc. It also gives them a few months to fix the many problems there are with it and make improvements. What improvements you may ask? Well here are a few ideas.
First I want to say these are just a few suggestions. Before Jagex takes on any additions to the system they do need to fix it first. Shane and Cireon had a very informative discussion on the podcast that I encourage everyone to listen to about the short comings of the new system.
As for my ideas, number one, the completionist section of the achievements tab should be renamed capes. That's what it is, completionist is redundant. Along with that change I'd add the max cape as an option and show the skills on the right, doing away with the skills tab. RuneScape has such a rich tradition of capes and there are many that could be added here not just the most elite. The path system in the summary also needs more content. They have included some good milestones and important unlocks, but it's pretty basic for now. There is one idea I've been seeing on the forums that I just have to say no, please for love of all that is holy, Jagex do not do this. No toggle to the old layout. I usually don't have much of a problem with this, however in this case I do.
All and all I have to say good job Jagex but you have work to do. Its not totally finished right now. I can get past that looking at what it can be, but you have to deliver and not just leave it. I have an optimistic view of the rework because of where it can go but it needs to go there. If it remains unfinished I won't be so kind next time. Players will get used to it and it could be great for the reasons I outlined above. It's a solid first step and it has vast possibilities. Lets make sure Jagex doesn't forget about it and stay on them to finish what they started. That's it for me but I have something special planned for next month. Until next time, Happy RuneScaping.