Jagex’s big update of September is Distractions and Diversions. It’s really not a single update, but a few organized into a category. Each event moves to a different location each week.
The first part of D&D is Balthazar Beauregard’s Big Top Bonanza. From here on out I’ll refer to it as the circus, since Balthazar Beauregard’s Big Top Bonanza is rather time consuming to continue writing.
You can get to the circus by finding a ticket box. The ticket box moves between 12 cities of RuneScape each week.
Once you take a golden ticket from the ticket box, you are teleported to the circus. You’ll see a ringmaster right in the center. He’s rather impossible to miss.
The ringmaster will brief you on the general instructions of the tent, but basically all you need to know:
1: You can only do each performance once a week.
2: The audience will yell out suggestions, following them will give you extra points.
3: Don’t repeat the same trick, you won’t get as many points.
4: Do emotes after your tricks to get more points.
5: The levels are suggestions, I have done a level 99 trick while being level 31. However, if you don’t have the level you need, you have a larger chance of failing.
6: Rewards are earned based on points from your performances. If you lose your costumes you can get them back by speaking to the ringmaster.
7: You can only do 10 tricks in each performance.
The Magic Performance
If you head over to the magic areas, you’ll see an assistant around a box. The assistant will talk to you about how the game is played. The box is full of spell tablets. You can cast spells on the items on pedestals. The audience shouts out the spells and items for extra points, but you don’t have to follow this advice. Just make sure you don’t repeat the spells, and do as many emotes as you can earn points for between spells. There are 4 different types of spell tablets, and many different items with levels recommended for them.
The Agility Performance
If you see a ladder that stretches to the ceiling, with a platform on top, you’ve spotted the tightrope. The tightrope is where the Agility Performance takes place. Going through the changing booth will deck you out in a suit (For “safety reasons”, you can’t take the costume off while you’re on the tightrope.) and place you on top of the platform.
Talking to the Agility assistant will provide you with a simple explanation. Basically, a little tab appears, showing the tricks and level recommendations. There is a box full of things you can juggle, also leveled. If you choose, you can take a pamphlet about the tricks you can do from the assistant. Again, remember to watch the audience and you’ll do fine.
The Range Performance
Heading over to the area with the target and ducks (known as a poppinjay) will take you to the third section of the circus. This is the Ranging area. Talking to the Range assistant will get you an explanation of how the performance works. Head over to the box full of range supplies and pick up your weapon of choice. You can take as many as you want, but you can’t keep them after you finish the performance. Listen to the all-important audience, and shoot from the stars they recommend. You have to use the same weapon for each shot, so if you use a throwing axe on the first shot you cannot use the bow for the rest of the performance.
You are rewarded individually for each performance. It is based mainly on the audience’s reaction to you (repeating will not help this; doing emotes in between tricks will) and the amount of tricks you failed. Lower scores (1-500) will get you audience costumes, middle scores (501-1000) will get you acrobat clothing, higher scores (1001-1200) get you pieces of a clown costume, and anything above 1200 gets you parts of the grand ringmaster costume. If you lose any of your costume pieces, the ringmaster will return them to you for free if you right-click him and select “Rewards”.
Other Parts of Distractions and Diversions
The circus is not the only section of Distractions and Diversions. There is also some penguin spying and shooting stars.
Penguin Hide and Seek
You can start the penguin hide and seek mini-game by speaking to Charlie in Ardougne Zoo, right outside the penguin cage. He’ll talk to you about the importance of keeping a watchful eye on the penguins, because of evil things they may be doing. You’ll get a penguin journal, for recording the results of your spying. While I can’t exactly give you a guide on these, for the penguins hide in many different places (switching each week), I can give you an outline of Penguin Hide and Seek.
1: Penguins hide in barrels, crates, cacti, bushes, rocks, and toadstools.
2: If you think you see a penguin hiding in any of the above, right click the object and select Spy-on.
3: After you’ve collected data on the penguins, you earn Penguin Points. Completing Cold War before finding the penguins will earn you 2 points per penguin. Without Cold War, you earn 1 point each. You can acquire up to 15 points per week. Once you get points from your sneaky behaviors, you can trade them in with Larry for experience points or gold coins.
4: Larry can give you hints on where the penguins are.
The shooting stars are the last feature of D&D. There are star sprites trapped inside of stars falling to RuneScape, and you can set them free. Shooting stars are also somewhat random, like the penguins. To get a clue of where and when they will fall, you can use a telescope in a player owned house.
After you get to the location of a fallen star, there are some things you need to know before you whack away.
1: Shooting stars are all different sizes. The size of the star determines how high a mining level you need to crack the tough outer layer and collect the stardust, freeing the sprite inside. You can find out what size the star is by prospecting it. Mining levels required are the size of the star x10, so a star that is size 7 requires a level 70 miner to get through the layers.
2: Getting through a star is not an easy process, so having other players help you is advantageous.
3: When you finally get through to the star sprite, you can exchange your stardust for items.
4: You can only exchange stardust for rewards once a day, and the maximum amount of stardust you can have at once is 200 units.
I consider Distractions and Diversions to be like an addition to Tears of Guthix. It’s not a monumental change in your RuneScape life, but it’s a helper to your skills and a good way to take a break from grinding. I can’t really see any disadvantages to at least trying D&D, so I recommend it to every member out there. Try it, even if you think a circus is a “failure of an idea”.