Fresh Start Worlds launch and we're neck deep. We’ve got a full discussion on how all the skills perform, from methods to quests we uncover the feeling of 28 new skills. Then we bring it back to basics with the people and economy of Fresh Start Worlds.
Ironmen join the rest of us in boss instances, Solak goes solo, and Zamorak’s drop system gets a rework. Then we look to the future with master max capes and RuneScape’s 29th skill on a new development roadmap.
We go retro with an old Dragon Scimitar and a look back at the launch of Prifddinas. It’s hard to believe but Prifddinas arrived in RuneScape 8 years ago this month. We look at how it’s aged and why it’s a hallmark of RuneScape design.
In this month’s instalment of Forgotten Lore, we’ll talk about the God who died too early: Bandos. Despite his premature death, many pieces of lore have been released through other content that reveal a lot about Bandos’ origins and past. Strap in!
Image Credit: RuneScape Wiki
Bandos’ homeplanet was ruled by a God known as Jododu Otoku, whose presence was the only thing that protected the planet from imminent destruction. The planet was otherwise occupied by a race of rhinoceros-like fighters. This rhinoceros race consisted of many tribes, and Bandos was born the son of the Kal-i-kra tribe’s chieftain. The Kal-i-kra tribe had been long at war with the Gozor tribe, and Bandos learned at a young age to love battle and hate the Gozor. When his father, the chieftain, was gravely wounded by a Gozor attack, Bandos killed his father as to give him a honourable death, and as such became the new chieftain of his tribe. Bandos’ intellect and strategic mind made him an excellent leader in battle, and he managed to drive the Gozor tribe into extinction.
Unfortunately for the other tribes, Bandos was also filled with a bloodlust that wasn’t yet satisfied after the defeat of the Gozor. One by one, Bandos and the Kal-i-kra defeated all of the other tribes on the planet. The last tribe to fall was the Hada-i-dar tribe. The son of its chieftain, hoping this would keep him alive, told Bandos about a group of mystic nomads called the Caretakers of Jododu Otoku, who supposedly knew the whereabouts of the God. Bandos heartlessly slaid the calf anyway, and used the obtained information to track down the Caretakers. Although the Caretakers put up some resistance, with one of them even managing to blind Bandos in one eye, Bandos was eventually successful in finding the resting place of Jododu Otoku. With the Spear of Annihilation, Bandos killed the God. Upon Jododu Otoku’s death, a barrage of asteroids immediately rained down on the planet. Only the freshly ascended Bandos was left standing, and he began to travel the Multiverse in search of other worlds to rule.
Image Credit: RuneScape Wiki
Before finding his way to Gielinor, Bandos came across Yu’biusk. We visit Yu’biusk multiple times during the Dorgeshuun quest series and during The Mighty Fall, but we only ever see it as a toxic, barren wasteland. This was very different before Bandos’ arrival, however; Yu’biusk was once a prosperous, green landscape filled with many types of creatures, among which were the goblins, orks and ogres. Even though we know these species as very violent now, they were once relatively diplomatic; they definitely did not agree on everything back on Yu’biusk, but they preferred to settle their disputes diplomatically rather than violently. Bandos came upon this world and was disgusted by its primitivity. He introduced his own form of civilization, which was really just Bandos’ way of saying “war is the answer to everything, do not have mercy, do not doubt me”. Bandos divided all species into tribes and ordered them to live in isolation. Where there was once union, there was now only division, and Yu’biusk quickly fell into a chaotic state of constant warfare. All species began to worship Bandos as their god, and they even followed him to Gielinor, where they served as his army in the ensuing God Wars.
Bandos’ efforts during the God Wars are relatively well documented and well known. Bandos did not care for the lives of his troops or for the spoils of war; all he wanted was to prolong the bloodshed. He made and broke alliances with the other Gods as he pleased. Bandos was one of the four important parties to participate in the war. He fought in the battle for the Godsword, which rages on to this day in the mountains near Trollheim. He conquered the Feldip Hills and established the city of Gu’Tanoth, as well as a forge known as the Warforge, where he trained his goblin soldiers and had a master smith, the Imcando dwarf Thalmund, produce unusually powerful bronze weaponry to arm his goblin soldiers with. Furthermore, it was in the Feldip hills where the demigod TzKal-Zuk emerged and the legendary battle between him and Bandos was fought. This battle lasted several days and was quite close, but in the end, Bandos did manage to come out victoriously. Bandos imprisoned TzKal-Zuk in the Elder Kiln, from which the latter only managed to emerge after being freed by the Elder God Ful to fight as her general in the Elder God Wars many thousands of years later.
After the God Wars ended and Guthix set up his Edicts, Bandos fought with him for a few years in an attempt to avoid banishment. Many battles were fought, but ultimately Guthix proved too strong. Ultimately, Bandos gave in and said he would peacefully leave Gielinor together with his followers, but Guthix did not have it. He teleported Bandos into the void before he could take his followers with him. Angry at the loss of his Gielinorian followers, Bandos returned to Yu’biusk and plunged the planet into its final stage of warfare and darkness. His remaining followers on Yu’biusk fought each other to extinction, and what was once a luscious, green world had now become a terrible, broken wilderness.
Bandos’ attempts to nullify the Edicts and return to Gielinor are the subject of the Dorgeshuun quest series. When Guthix was finally killed by Sliske in The World Wakes, Bandos returned to Gielinor and was delighted to fight in Sliske’s god-killing competition for the Stone of Jas. Unfortunately for Bandos, his participation in this competition didn’t last very long, as Armadyl managed to defeat and kill him in the second World Event, The Bird and the Beast.
Let's talk about the wilderness!
The wilderness started as a universal PVP area where players could mess around, fighting each other for all the loot and glory. The higher level you went, the more dangerous it was, but the more cool stuff you could get. For a time, it was the only place to fight greater demons, and at one point, you could get some super-powerful and ridiculously expensive magic spells by braving the wilderness and its relentless player-base. If you wanted to be safe, you brought equipment, but the better stuff you brought, the more you risked, so it became a balance of many different factors. What you were wiling to risk, what sort of contingency plans you had, was whatever you were venturing into the wilderness worth it, and, most importantly: did you feel lucky?
For a time, it was moderately balanced, and then a few new spells came out. Spells that included tele-block and ensnare, which prevented you from teleporting and moving. At all. And there was no way to freedom yourself. And it could be cast on you every few seconds, which means that you were effectively screwed. This changed the ballgame as it was no longer about honor and glory, it was about the loot. You could trap folks, unload a huge barrage on them, and wipe them out without a hope and a prayer. With such a horrid threat, the wilderness became a no-man's land.
But then, things took a turn when folks realized that they could lure noobs into the wilderness for easy kills with such methods. Not just that, but this was also a time where real-world trading was a serious threat to the game's integrity and legality. So the folks at Jagex took a gamble: they nerfed trading. Players could only (moderately) trade if they knew each other for months, the Grand Exchange was made to allow for a much more controlled economy, and the Wilderness, because one could merely make a money-mule account and have it butchered by the client, was effectively abolished and turned into Revenant-Land.
And I loved it. Revenants didn't teleblock or ensnare. I could run in there with my best gear and obliterate them, and if things went south, escape was feasible (if not still pretty darn difficult). They had some rare, good drops as well, but ultimately, it felt like a whole new place to explore because I wasn't too afraid of the hopeless slaughtering of my character.
Then, they incorporated better detection methods and nuked bots, and the wilderness returned to its former... ahem, glory. Evolution of Combat made things a lot more fair with freedom, and the death system ensured you knew what you were risking.
... and now the wilderness has been obliterated again. And I LOVE it!
Up front, I'm not a PKer. Never was, except when I tried it with a noob account with high magic. It was alright. So, as you can imagine, this post is super opinion-based. But I love what they did to the place.
First off, being a PKer is optional. You need a skull to be a PKer, which means no more luring folks to click you with shadow-robe accounts following you around (seriously, I bore witness to this, and I would've been disgusted were I not impressed by the ingenuity). You accepted the risk of being whacked by a PKer, and you voluntarily got that skull because you were there for freakin' glory. If you didn't have the skull, then you were in for a ride of your life, because the wilderness has been completely reworked to include all the actually high-level enemies. You got living wyverns, you got kal'garian demons, you got a freakin' volcano shooting fireballs at you, and you even got random mass mob spawns that, if you didn't run right that moment, you were straight-up dead. It was super dangerous!
But death's got your back now. You die, you shell out a couple million coins and all's well again! The risk is mitigated, turning the experience into a more tactical and attentive one rather than luck-based.
You can fight whatever you want in there, go for that revenant pet, and even do special slayer contracts in there for some extra exp and cash! It's awesome!
Oh, and did I mention it's been graphically reworked as well? Seriously, check out the wilderness volcano now; it's freakin' NUTS!
Whew! Alright, let's talk about the new quest now. Spoiler alert:
You are sent off with Trindine (I knew it right when I read her fake name. "Anne Dimitri"? Come on, she's not even trying at this point!) to spy on Moia and see what's going on in the wilderness civil war against Zamorakians and demons. You enter her memories, play as her, and discover that she's gone full berserk mode and wants to effectively become the new Zamorak, maybe even the new Lucien. Also she captured one of the Twin Furies in a bottle.
That's the whole quest. It's fun, though; I really love the mechanic of playing as another character and having access to whole new abilities. Makes you come up with tactics on the fly and improvise a lot. Good fun!
Adrasteia and Moia, successors to Saradomin and Zamorak. That's right, with the majority of the banished Gods having been male, the age of the powerful ladies is now upon us! Woo! And thumbs up for that move, I really like the idea because these two characters are just so much more dynamic than Saradomin and Zamorak. Feels like being Gods, they've already developed themselves and all we were seeing was their pasts played back like an old video tape. Now, we are effectively tying ourselves with the fates and choices of these two women and developing their stories alongside them. Much more engaging and involving!
Not much else to say about the whole thing. The quest was fun, was a great introduction to the new wilderness, and the wilderness itself is just a treat to explore once again after such a long time of staying the heck away.
... yes, I have full globetrotters. I would change wilderness clues without even thinking about it. That's how much I hated the place. If the folks at Jagex want to just tweak back that little randomness patch that made clue scrolls less likely to be wilderness clues, I wouldn't mind.
Until next time,