It is hard to believe we survived 2017. Hurricanes, threats of nuclear war, and our President's Twitter feed all combined to make 2017 feel like the apocalypse was near. Unfortunately RuneScape mirrored the chaos in our societies by stagnation, failure, changing direction, success, and then more failure. I think there are plenty of people at Jagex HQ that are glad 2017 is over. Despite being one of the most tumultuous years I can remember playing the game, there were some jewels amidst the coal. It is time to take a look at the 10 best RuneScape updates of 2017. This year is an interesting one in which some updates that were considered half-baked, incomplete, or just plain bad were indeed fixed and became examples how to not give up and listen to feedback to improve the content. Now without further ado, let's take a lesson from Drake and start from the bottom.
10. Patches and QOL
Have you ever noticed that some weeks that do not have a headlining update can have a huge impact on gameplay? The lowly patch week is often overlooked and taken for granted. I say no more, it's time to give patches and quality of life fixes their due. Patch notes and quality of life updates come in at #10. Looking back on a year it is hard to remember specific patches or quality of life fixes however if they were taken away we would all notice it immediately. That is what good patches and QOL updates should feel like. If you go back and listen to any RSBANDBUpdate! there is a whole section of the show devoted to these underappreciated fixes that in hindsight we could not have lived without. Jagex released their largest patch weeks ever a few weeks ago and I'm still trying to remember them all. Here's to you patch notes, you made 2017 suck slightly less and come in at #10.
9. Crystal Skillchompas
Next up coming in at #9 we have a skiller's update. No, not urn improvements but rather crystal skillchompas. They added high-level content to hunter that was sorely needed and benefited many. If for whatever reason you couldn't use a crystal tool, crystal skillchompas were an alternative. They also brought some of the best xp second only to ornate turtles in the arc. On top of that they were profitable at release making skilling great again! Over time their value has declined but all and all they are still very worth doing and deserve a spot as the #9 update of the year.
8. Gemstone Dragons
Here is one I bet you didn't see coming. Gemstone dragons get the #8 spot. Yes, they were not completely balanced at launch. Yes, they were not great money either and to be honest there wasn't much reason to do them over something else. Then the question becomes why would I consider them one of the best updates of the year? It is simple, Jagex listened to feedback and made them better. They are great slayer xp now and decent money. They were the first post 99 slayer creature and mechanically they set a framework of the post 99 content to come. These were not your annoying mini-boss ripper demons or living wyverns. They were also not your Netflix and kill dark beast. The gemstone dragons were a good mix of what a slayer creature should be at post 99. They could hurt you but at least every kill didn't feel like a boss fight.
7. Shattered Worlds
Number 7 is Shattered Worlds. I know, I know, how could one of the most disappointing updates make it on the list? Two reasons, first, once again Jagex did listen to feedback and made the changes the players asked for. Second, it is some of the best looking content Jagex ever created. When Shattered Worlds came out we saw what the NXT client was capable of and I for one was impressed. The mechanics are grindy and the rewards are so-so but at least it looks good while you're doing it. Finally this is the only way for ironmen to get slayer masks and for that reason alone they should be rejoicing.
6. Achievement System
The achievement system rework was a complete and utter train wreck when it came out. I wrote an article on its shortcomings at the time and Shane and Cireon took it to task on the podcast
. It was incomplete, clunky, and ugly. So how on earth did this ugly duckling come to be one of the best updates? Well, of course, Jagex listened to player feedback but more than that they made some internal changes that gave the developers what they needed to make it a good update. The achievement rework came out during the time Jagex was trying to do expansions. Needless to say, it suffered because of that. Its later rework of the rework came during a time Jagex was focusing on what they called unfinished business. Now the achievement system has everything it had and more which is what a rework should have. It's easy to use and looks better than that sad UI they released earlier in the year.
5. Skyboxes and Filters
The #5 update is special to me. Jagex released skyboxes and filters this year. They look great and can give areas a completely different feel when using them. They are great for video creators and players that want some variety in their life. However, the biggest benefit to this update wasn't intended by Jagex at all. At least if it was, they never mentioned it. This was an accessibility update at its core. I could do things with this update I could never do before being visually impaired. One example of this is inverting colors in order to do ice strykworms. I could never see them on the ground before but now I just invert color and voila. It's my favorite update of the year and that's why it comes in at #5.
4. Nex Angel of Death
Number 4 was the big pvm update of the year with Nex Angel of Death. It was one of the earliest updates of 2017 and seemed to start the year off on the right foot. The pvm community received it well and it brought in tier 92 duel wield weapons and tier 99 prayers. I can't speak to its gameplay or mechanics personally but everyone I know that does it enjoys it.
Ok time for the top three everyone take a breath and have a seat cause it is about to get controversial up in here.
Menaphos is my pick for the third-best update of the year. Yes, it was broken. Yes, it was overhyped and under delivered. Yes, it killed expansions. However, it has become better over time and its impact on the game was huge. In one way or another Menaphos affected most of the updates this year. Before Menaphos things were rushed and incomplete after they were thought out and finished. What makes Menaphos the third best update of the year though is its pure scale. It brought in 120 slayer, a new city, and new skilling locations. Granted they were mid-level which didn't sit well with a mature xp focused player base but there was a lot to it. A new mini-game and four new quests was a lot of content. It was strapped, however, by the expectations of an expansion. I think had that word not been used it would have had a better reception. Don't get me wrong it had problems but it also was a huge update and deserves third on my list.
2. Invention Batch Two
Invention batch two is the runner-up for the best update of the year. This was talked about as part of an expansion and later became unfinished business. Invention batch two really filled out what had been missing. Machines were a fun addition and took some of the monotony out of simple actions. While other additions like portable fairy rings and teleport compacters made getting around easier and take less bank space. The divine-o-matic was another great addition and made making divine charges much easier by just gathering energy. It was the pin needed to pull divination and invention together. Good job Jagex on the number two pick.
1. Player Owned Slayer Dungeon
Ok drum roll please...and the best update of 2017 is the player owned slayer dungeon. Yes, how could it be anything else? To have the ability to place monsters you capture in your own dungeon and kill at your leisure is monumental. Do it for money or xp or both, it is up to you. Dark beasts are crowded, well not anymore. Wait there's more. Did I mention you can use your friend's dungeons too? It's a slayers dream oh and it came out with a little something called Menaphos, just saying. Not only is this the best update in 2017 but I think it makes the list of all-time best. The personalization and customization just makes the possibilities endless. Hands down by a mile, the best update of the year.
There you have it my Top 10 updates of 2017. How many of these would make your list? What updates did I miss? Let us know on the forums. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and I'll see you next year. Until then, Happy RuneScaping.