Examining Togglescape

posted by Shane on 20 February 2019 at 16:24 | Discuss on our Forums

Togglescape is a term that goes back years. To put it mildly the term implies that there is a toggle for any conceivable option in RuneScape. While at the extreme end this is not true, there are still a great many questionable toggles in game. Toggles are not bad. The general sense of the community seems to be that you can have the game options as they are now or you can have no toggles. That’s not true; there is a middle ground.

Toggles in software go back decades. Entire fields in software engineering exist that examine how to build an effective user interface and then further examine how to tailor it to individual users by way of options and toggles. A good toggle should expose new or different functionality without introducing excess complexity. This does not mean that toggles should provide access to entirely different designs. Now that we’re aware of what software toggles represent, let’s pivot to RuneScape.

RuneScape’s toggles are quite simply egregious in some places. While they do make sense for someone who has been playing the game consistently or knows RuneScape like the back of their own hand, they can cause severe issues for newer players. What the rest of this article is going to do is run through some of the options available in RuneScape and pose ideas of how they could be removed or made more straight forward.


Camera Mode - This setting dates back to the launch of RuneScape 3 in 2013. When RuneScape 3 launched the camera positioning was slightly different than that of RuneScape 2. An option was provided to allow players to have the old camera. Had this setting not existed, 6 years after the fact would we remember the old camera positioning? No. This setting should be removed.

 
Classic vs. Modern Camera
Potion Tooltips - Tooltips were added to potions at the tail end of 2018. Potion tooltips are great and many items in-game already have tooltips. Either remove the option to turn off tooltips for consistency or allow all item tooltips to be turned off (though this would deprive gamers of an important source of information).


Drag & Drop Items from Inventory/Bank - With RuneScape 3 came the ability to customize your interfaces as you see fit. One of the paradigms this brought in was the ability to drag inventory panels around thus introducing the player to the concept of drag and drop. Drag and drop can already be used to move items from bank to inventory, worn, or familiar. It doesn’t make sense to have a toggle to drag to drop or drag to destroy. As long as existing confirmations are honoured there should be no problem with drag to drop.


Hit Splat Colours - This toggle makes almost zero sense. Poison damage is green, disease orange, healing is purple, general damage is red, etc. Each damage type is associated with a colour from the beginning on tutorial island. Allowing the player to break this association effectively breaks the interface because interfaces are defined by convention and expectation. The only place this may make sense is for colour blind players, though a single colour blind option could be added to toggle problem colours.


Ability cool down timers - People who don’t do combat may find this a useful option but for anyone who does do combat, removing timers will hurt combat effectiveness. Also, the timers are so small that they are one of the most unobtrusive things in RuneScape.


Activate regeneration when leaving combat - This option is toggled on for players who have been absent for 3 months or more. It will also be on for all new players. Folks who PvM regularly will want this option off as it is a common practice to build adrenaline before going into a fight to have thresholds or ultimates ready to activate. Remove the option to have it activate automatically and instead educate new and returning players on the purposes of orb buttons on the action bar.


Mining Stamina Bar - Launched after the Mining and Smithing rework of 2019 this bar was initially struck from the design. Why? There are three levels of stamina: 0, 1–99, and 100. Having a constantly updating bar for only 3 states is misrepresenting what’s actually happening. We already have audio cues and visual cues (coloured sparks: green (100), white(1–99), none (0)) to indicate what level stamina we are mining at. There is no need for it and the team initially made the right decision. It should be removed.


Toggle receiving Geodes - This is one of the newest toggles to be added to the game in an effort to clean up inventories while mining. Geodes in general are a mess for the inventory and aren’t worth much but other options should have been considered. These could include increasing the value of geodes or making some kind of pocket/sigil item that converts them into something more usable.


Toggle receiving Clue Scrolls - While geodes are generally going to be worthless unless they are metamorphic, clue scrolls are not. Clue scrolls at the very least allow the player to garner free items and clue scroll points. This toggle is an opt out of content toggle which in itself should be worrying for Jagex. Why is there not some kind of clue scroll eating device that rewards token experience, components or items? If not this then the player should make the active decision to not pick up clue scrolls.


Special note for the Slayer Counter

The option to enable a Slayer counter appears 3 times. The toggle for the Slayer counter appears in optional interfaces, Skills -> XP, and Slayer options. Looking to computer operating systems it is common for there to be multiple ways to access a settings interface, it is however not common to have the same setting in 3 places. The Slayer toggle is an interface option first and foremost and should only appear there, it doesn’t outright affect the Slayer skill in terms of playability and it doesn’t affect any other skills.

The three places where the Slayer counter can be activated.
Special note for Combat XP

The toggle for choosing what kind of combat XP you receive appears twice. First under Combat -> Combat XP and then under Skills -> XP. As with the previous toggle, you can access it multiple ways, but it really should only appear once. The combat settings menu is the most logical place. As a side note, this used to appear in the Powers root menu with the launch of RuneScape 3. It makes more sense to have this in a general combat settings interface.

These are a series of toggles that could be modified or removed entirely. The idea to write on this began before the game started receiving changes for mobile. The move to mobile has helped in terms of slimming down some of the game settings. Toggles are a subjective subject since RuneScape players are creatures of habit. At the end of the day a discussion on togglescape is warranted and an active review of the in-place settings would do wonders for usability.


It’s time for the much anticipated sequel to Cook’s Assistant! Chef’s Assistant delivers pop culture references, a fresh F2P experience, and of course cheesecake. Also thoughts on the quest QoL updates and spaghetti lore.

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Well, after 18 years, RuneScape's first quest finally gets a sequel. ... or rather, if we pretend Recipe for Disaster doesn't exist, it... um...

... OK, it's just another Cook's Assistant quest. It's not even the same cook! But don't worry, this one's more competent! He just needs you to gather all the ingredients for a cake so that he can...

... be voted to become the leader of a chef's association that's apparently higher than the leader of the Cooks Guild and the official holder of the level 99 Skill Cape. Yeah, better than being late for a birthday party. This is not for a town's respected leader, it's for his own personal gain! So much better!

So he tasks you with following a secret recipe that everybody knows about because he's a local drunk, sends you to an out-of-the-way dairy that's not on a farm for a specific ingredient, then sends you back again for the other ingredients, and then sends you to go deliver the finished product all over RuneScape and pretend it's his work because he is too busy manning the guild and... doesn't have employees to do this sort of thing for him. You know, being a guild master and all...

...

This is a fantastic quest!

So this quest stays to the roots where it's basically a fetch and go quest. There's no real turns or twists, nothing to fight (unless you count the tree you chop), and most of the places you need to go have quick teleport options. And that's the point of it. It's a tutorial quest, where it teaches the player how to do something in RuneScape that's comparatively convoluted. It does so by drawing them in with the potential of a good first-time reward (a nice big quest complete window) and a fairly involving story to help maintain interest.

The quest itself is straightforward. There are no new areas in-game, the majority of the characters you interact with already exist (save for the dairy in Falador, which I'm not entirely sure was necessary since there's the one in east Lumbridge), and the level requirements are fair. Nevertheless, it's tedious enough to warrant a good effort because there's quite a bit of running around involved. But that ultimately makes the reward more worth it afterwards.

And what's the reward? Cheesecake! Cheesecake is like regular cake, where each item has three portions. It's hard to make, and it doesn't restore an incredible amount of health compared to some potentially endangered species of fish.

However, unlike regular cake, cheesecake restores prayer points too!

Pretty awesome, eh? The best cheesecake will restore 99 prayer points per section, adding up to about 297 prayer points, which for a higher level player is roughly the equivalent of a... single dose of regular prayer potion. But, it does heal too. Balances out, right? ... oh, you'd rather have a six-dose prayer potion and a rocktail instead of two cheesecake...

Oh right, did I mention this is a free-to-play quest?

This is probably the first and only option for edible prayer restoration for free-to-play players. Not to mention since this is a beginner quest and the method for crafting cheesecake, while tedious, is relatively simple and low level, it offers developing players a great asset to supplement their everyday training!

It's nice because the F2P section doesn't get a whole lot of updates. Sometimes they get something from the patch notes, or sometimes an item is moved to the non-members side to fit with the layout, but since the big F2P update where they got Taverley and Burthrope (and who could forget Tutorial Island), they haven't had that much new content to go off of.

At the same time, Jagex exist as a company to make money and pay its hard-working employees. If everything was free, they just wouldn't last very long. Or, RuneScape would be all covered up in ads and sponsor images. And I do not plan to wear a piece of Masterwork armor branded with Hammacher Schlemmer on the back.

So yes, this isn't the sequel to Sliske's Endgame, nor is it really a sequel to the actual Cook's Assistant quest. It's a guide to making a complicated food item to aid newer players. It's tailored to a specific audience. It's a quick and easy quest.

I approve! We need more of them. Quests are a good way to invite players into new content.

Y'all remember Karamja Idols? No, of course not, because there's no quest for them. You remember the Nexus? No, it's a minigame without a quest. You going to remember cheesecake? You probably will try to forget that one.

... or maybe that's just me. I personally don't like cheesecake very much. Don't know the appeal. My RuneScape character seems to enjoy it, though. Yay for Alex 43.

Until next time,

Cheers, cannoneers!


This guest article comes to us courtesy of Derparnieux in Clan Quest. Derp is an avid clue hunter on multiple accounts and is someone that many go to for Treasure Trail advice. You can find him in Clan Chat, "Clan Quest".

Ever since Treasure Trails received its last major touch-up a year ago, the sight of 25-stacks of clues must be a familiar one to most players. And even though the possibility of receiving a dye is quite alluring, many players find themselves low on motivation to actually complete the clues. Contrarily, there is a select group of players with a clue completion count in the thousands... This immediately begs the question, what is their secret? Today, seeing as I believe myself to be a reasonably accomplished clue hunter, I will try to answer this question.

Now, I feel it’s appropriate to include a disclaimer here: to a certain extent, clues are a matter of personal taste. It’s not unheard of for people to dislike the entirety of clue scrolls, or maybe just certain tiers of clue scrolls. As for myself, I have barely done any elites in the past year because I simply tend to dislike doing them. However, in many cases of people disliking clues, I believe a significant part of this disliking can be resolved by following a few tips and tricks to make the process almost infinitely more tolerable.

Secret #1: Filled hidey-holes!

One of the major and most welcomed changes the Clue Scroll Rework brought to RuneScape was the addition of hidey-holes. These hidey-holes are item stash units where you can, like the name suggests, stash the items needed for certain clue steps close to the respective locations. If you’re a new player wanting to get into clue scrolls or a veteran player who hasn’t bothered filling these up yet, they are an immense gamechanger for both the completion speed and enjoyability of clue scrolls.

Secret #2: A good bank preset!

 

A picture of my personal preset, which I use for completing (mainly) hard and master clues.

Even though bank presets are quite a... scarce resource in RuneScape, having one dedicated solely to Treasure Trails is an incredible blessing to the entire process of completing clue scrolls. Fill up your preset with useful items and teleports for the tier(s) of clues you want to complete, save the preset and you’re done! Note that the example preset you see above is definitely not optimal – this preset is taken from an account without 99 Dungeoneering and Slayer (and therefore also no max), and these three capes are also very useful capes for clue hunters.

However, it Is quite difficult to pinpoint what preset is the best for everyone. The truth is, different players most likely prefer a different preset. This is also why you will almost never find two clue hunters who use the exact same preset. This is partially based on what teleports and useful items you have unlocked, but also just on personal preference. The only way to find out what preset works for you is to start out with a generic preset, and then change it to your own liking.

Now, I won’t bore you with a precise list of what items I have included in my preset*, but I can give you some tips on how to make an effective preset:

  1. If there exists an item which combines the effect of other items, use that! Examples of this category are the large rune pouches, the passage of the abyss and Evil Dave’s spellbook. The more room you save by combining, the more useful items you can take!
  2. The inclusion of items I’ll refer to as ‘convenience items’ is a wise choice. Examples of this category are the Meerkats, the portable fairy ring and the spirit tree re-rooter. These items aren’t strictly necessary to use, but they do save you quite some time in the long run.
  3. If you’re sufficiently high-level, don’t waste your inventory space on combat supplies. There is no need to bring potions and/or food; you can use the Meerkats’ special move to skip all non-Double agent fights, and if there is ever a time when you need desperate healing, you can use one of the many available bank teleports in the game.
  4. Also, don’t waste your money on skipping tickets. They’re not worth it. With a bit of experience under your belt, you’ll blast through the puzzles in no time.

* Just kidding: Master farmer’s hat, Captain’s log, Tiranwwn quiver, Luck of the dwarves, Globetrotter outfit, Passage of the abyss**, Grace of the elves***, TokKul-Zo, Dave’s spellbook, Big book o’ piracy, Attuned crystal teleport seed, Wicked hood, Ectophial, Spirit tree re-rooter, Portable fairy ring, Compacted combat bracelet, Ardougne cape, Desert amulet, Disk of returning, The Heart teletabs, Fremennik sea boots, Karamja gloves, Drakan’s medallion, Bullseye lantern, two large rune pouches (filled with air, water, earth, fire, law and nature runes), Meerkat pouches and Fetch casket scrolls.

** Inside the Passage of the abyss, I have: Amulet of glory, Games necklace, Ring of dueling, Skills necklace, Digsite pendant, Traveller’s necklace.

*** My max guild portal teleports are set to Overgrown idols and Deep sea fishing hub.

Secret #3: Practice makes perfect!

You might argue that this is not truly a secret, but I do believe that people underestimate how much better you get at doing clues with experience. Not only does practice allow you to fine-tune your preset, but over time you’ll begin to recognize clue steps you’ve completed before - just this simple ability of recognizing clue steps saves you a lot of time in the long run.

Upon completion of a clue scroll, you will receive a certain amount of Treasure Trails points (TTP). The amount you receive depends on what tier of clue scroll you did, and on your completion count in that respective tier. Now, with these points, you can purchase a multitude of items/unlocks, but the most important one is the Globetrotter outfit. This outfit consists of five pieces (jacket, shorts, boots, arm guards, backpack), and each of these five pieces provides the wearer with a useful benefit during Treasure Trails. Full details on how the outfit works and what benefits it gives can be found on the wiki, but I’ll give you a taster here:

  1. The Globetrotter jacket can be used to teleport to the location of a clue step. Now, you might wonder, when is the ideal time to use this teleport? Well, it depends on the tiers of clues you want to complete. In general, the effect is most beneficial for scan clues in large or annoying-to-traverse areas (think Elven lands, Brimhaven dungeon, etc.). After that, its biggest use is as a time saver for annoying to reach locations, like the lowest level of the Polypore dungeon or the two coordinate clues in Gu’Tanoth.
  2. The Globetrotter backpack provides the ability to swap a clue step for a new one of the same difficulty. No more dropping clues for which you don’t have the requirements! I mostly use this to skip Wilderness and Entrana clue steps, though, or to skip an annoying clue step if I don’t happen to have any jacket charges.
  3. The full Globetrotter outfit, when worn, acts as the outfit for emote clues if the respective hidey-hole is filled. No longer having to take items out of hidey-holes is such a time saver!

It is easy to underestimate how helpful these effects are. I have now obtained the entire outfit on two accounts – I first obtained the outfit on my main, then decided to create an alt and I got the outfit entirely from scratch on this new account. Let me tell you, doing clues without the outfit while being used to the effects of the outfit really puts into perspective how powerful it is.

Funnily enough, having unlocked the outfit on my main made it so that I purchased the pieces in quite an... unconventional order on my alt (backpack -> arm guards -> shorts -> boots -> jacket). The order in which you should buy the outfit pieces is largely up to personal preference, though, so the best advice I can give you here is to decide for yourself what effect you deem most necessary or useful.

And I believe that’s it for me! Hopefully this article has provided you with at least some useful tips for completing your stack of clues. Good luck on the loot, and if you have any questions, feel free to hit me up in-game or on Discord!

Derp


We have a first hand experience with the Player Owned Farm Farmhands and the many Farming quality of life updates this week. We also have a rundown on the Valentine’s day Twitch Prime offer and a discussion on smithable salvage and the comp cape!

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