Summoning is not what it used to be, but is this for better or worse?
On March 31st, 2008, Jagex revamped Summoning. With this revamping, they strengthened many of the creatures we could summon, added quite a bit more, changed how long they stayed around, added/changed their special abilities, added more helms that could be enchanted to hold scrolls, and added mini-obelisks all around RuneScape.
Strengthening the old, did it work?
I’m sure many of you, at least the ones who tried Summoning before it was changed, know how pathetic and worthless the Familiars were when used in combat against other players. Since PvP is one of the most commonly used multi-combat areas this was about the only place worth trying your Familiars in. However, because the Familiars were built to fight monsters and not players this made the Familiars look bad. Against other monsters, the Familiars didn’t do too bad, so long as the monster it was fighting wasn’t much higher then itself (not very useful for high level players).
Now, let’s compare some of the old creatures’ combat levels.
|Familiar||Old Combat Level||New Combat Level|
Those are just some of them. All of the old Familiars had their levels changed, for better or for worse.
As you can see, some of them had quite a good level change like the Spirit Scorpion, Bull Ant, Praying Mantis, and Wolpertinger to name a few. However, there are some (like the Granite Crab, Compost Mound, Spirit Terrorbird, and most notably the Unicorn Stallion) who have had their levels reduced.
Why this reduction?
I think Jagex lowered their levels because they’re not supposed to be used as fighters, though they can double-up as a weak ally. The Compost Mound, for instance, is made to forage for seeds and compost while the Steel Minotaur is made for fighting. What I don’t understand is why they reduced the Unicorn Stallion’s level – in all fantasy stories and myths the Unicorn is a very strong and powerful creature, easily able to hold it’s own.
How does it strengthen them?
The level reduction doesn’t, but I think Jagex boosted the Familiars’ non-combat abilities to make up for this. For instance, the Spirit Terrorbird (whose level was reduced from 67 to 62) can now carry more items.
In the above list, 9/13 creatures had their level raised, while 4/13 had their’s lowered.\\
Rating for this part of the update: 8/10\\
The raised levels was good and useful but they had no good reason to lower the other one’s.
Adding more, don’t we have enough?
Well yes, we did have quite a lot of Familiars to summon but Jagex thought we needed more. Most of these new creatures are good additions – here’s a list of a few good ones: Spirit Tz-kih, Void Spinner, Void Shifter, Pyre Lord, Spirit Graahk (Kyatt and Larupia), Ravenous locust, Forge regent, and all the Titans. Okay, so that’s a bit more then a few.
Now let’s see why they’re good.
Of course, I only mentioned 10 of the 24 new creatures and some, like the Titans, I only mentioned their race. There are actually 9 different types of Titans ranging from level 139 to 230!
Rating for this part of the update: 9/10
It’s time to renew your Familiar, or is it?
Another thing they changed in this update was how long Familiars stayed around. I’m not sure how many of you remember (or even knew) this, but before this change all Familiars would stay around for 3 minutes plus one minute per 10 levels above the required level to summon that creature. This was a very bad way of doing the time because most people were using creatures they could only just summon, meaning it would only stay around for 3 minutes.
With this update, they gave each creature a set amount of time that they would stay around for. Now the minimum amount of time a creature can stay out for is 4 minutes on the Dreadfowl, while the max is a whopping 151 minutes on the Rune Minotaur! That’s nearly 8 full games of Castle Wars!
Nearly every creature worth using will stay around for at least 15 minutes, reducing the cost of having a Familiar out dramatically.
Rating for this part of the update: 10/10
This was a much needed change, and the only problems I can see is that certain low level critters can’t stay around long for high level summoners, but then again who would want to use a chicken?
Why summon it, its special abilities stink, or do they?
Yes, I admit many of the Familiars’ special abilities and attacks were pathetic before. Some of these were changed while others remained the same. Here’s a list of some of the better changes.
The Beaver has been changed to forage for logs (any I’m assuming; I do not know if it can still only cut willows) and planks.
The Bunnyip has been given a Heal ability like the new Void Spinner – it heals 2 hit points at an assumed rate of every 45 seconds.
All Beast of Burden (or BoB) Familiars can now carry much more, most notably the Pack Yak who can hold 30 items.
Rating for this part of the update: 7/10
They should’ve altered more, but the changes they did were pretty good.
I don’t want to wear some animal’s skull, give me my rune full!
With all these changes making scrolls more worth using, we’ve got to have some way of storing them without losing an inventory spot. Jagex added the ability to store scrolls in 12 already existing helmets, these range from Rune fulls, to Fremennik helms all the way past dragon and onto the Armadyl helm.
Rating for this part of the update: 9/10
This was a useful update because they actually chose helms people wear. The only flaw I can see is that they neglected Barrows helmets, and being such a widely used item I expected to see them chargeable.
Why did they have to put those obelisks so ‘out-of-the-way’?
Well, it is true, the big obelisks are rather annoying and out-of-the-way to get to. With all the new monsters worth summoning Jagex has added mini-obelisks all over RuneScape (literally). Almost anywhere you go in a day’s commonly traveled places you’ll usually see at least one if not more of these mini-obelisks. These can be used to fully restore your Summoning points, or SP.
With this change comes the ability to bring summoned Familiars to the main Obelisks and all mini-obelisks. However, you cannot summon a Familiar near the big ones. This means you could use a BoB to carry items for you to the main obelisks, allowing you to create even more pouches per trip.
Rating for this part of the update: 8/10
Useful update, though I think if they had done this before then they wouldn’t have needed to change the timers.
Hmm, what’s left…
Ah yes, charms now drop from 20 more slayer monsters so you slayer fanatics can now train your summoning easier. Or for those rogues out there you can steal charms from certain chests in Dorgesh-Kaan. These chests are located randomly around Dorgesh-Kaan but there are also some special ones in Oldak’s and Zanik’s houses (level 52 Thieving is required to loot these chests).
And now, for the ratings…
Rating for ‘Strengthening the old, did it work?‘: 8/10
Rating for ‘Adding more, don’t we have enough?‘: 9/10
Rating for ‘It’s time to renew your Familiar, or is it?‘: 10/10
Rating for ‘Why summon it, it’s special abilities stink, or do they?‘: 7/10
Rating for ‘I don’t want to wear some animal’s skull, give me my rune full!‘: 9/10
Rating for ‘Why did they have to put those obelisks so ‘out-of-the-way’?‘: 8/10
Total Update rating: 51/60
All in all it was a very good update. There are, of course, some things which could be slightly better but they did a pretty good job.
I hope with these new changes you’ll be more favourably inclined to train Summoning.