2009 was a quite a good year. We saw the addition of 2 Achievement Diaries, 10 new quests, 2 new Mini-games, 3 new types of worlds, 1 new Jagex CEO, and many other smaller updates!
In Pyre Need
January saw the release of the first quest of the year, In Pyre Need !
Unfortunately we weren’t able to get an article on this because our reporter was incinerated by something outside the Phoenix’s cave, sorry.
In Pyre Need requires the player to aid a dying Phoenix who has been injured (apparently by a dragon, which is odd since Phoenix’s are made of Fire). Since the Phoenix is made of fire it’s impossible for the player to aid the Phoenix how it might aid a human or other mammal. Instead the player must prepare a special Pyre to perform a special Ritual for the Phoenix. To do this the player must run through multiple levels of a cave that has many creatures which shout messages requesting the player to aid the mistress(the Phoenix) gathering special twigs.
Once the twigs are gathered the player goes to the Phoenix and weaves them onto the pyre. Then the player lights the pyre and the Phoenix is reborn as a new Phoenix(for everyone knows Phoenixes rise from the ashes).
After the quest players can kill the Phoenix once everyday by navigating through the caves (which are now filled with high level aggressive monsters), collecting the twigs again, and then killing the healthy Phoenix. This can be quite a challenge for some players but it’s worth doing the first time because you get 7,500 Firemaking experience, 3,000 Fletching experience, 1,000 Crafting experience, 5,000 Slayer experience, and 5 Phoenix quills. You get the same reward for consecutive kills except that it only gives 500 slayer experience each time. Each time you kill the Phoenix there’s also a chance she’ll reward you with a phoenix egg which can be incubated at 72 summoning for either a Cute or Mean Phoenix eggling(the cute/meanness is random).
The Quill can be used to create Phoenix pouches for summoning which can be useful for PVM against monsters that drop ashes, notably demons because it’s special attack, Rise from the Ashes, makes the Phoenix resurrect itself using ashes on the ground. Doing so does area affect damage to up to 5 creatures and players nearby (if the area is multi-combat). The lower the Phoenix’s hitpoints the higher the damage. The max hit against each opponent is 50. The Phoenix can also throw ashes at the enemy which will appear on the ground after about half a minute which can be used to perform Rise from the Ashes.
5-minute Logout Timer
On the 13th day of the new year the auto-logout timer was changed from 90 seconds to 300 seconds(5 minutes). This made it much easier for players to stay logged in when multi-tasking.
Seers’ Village Achievement Diary
The 20th saw the release of the sixth Achievement diary, The Seers’ Village Achievement Diary. This diary released the head gear piece of the Achievement diary set: The Seers’ Headband.
Total tasks: 35
Highest Skill requirement: 80 Cooking (Cook five sharks in Catherby using the Cooking Gauntlets)
Total Quest requirement: 8
Hardest Quest requirement: One Small Favour (Find the highest point in Seer’s Village)
Easiest Task: Pray at the Seers’ Village altar
Hardest Task: Kill one guard on each tower of the Ranging Guild using a longbow
Most Expensive Task: Burn a magic log in Seers’ Village
The Total Rewards are: Seers Headband 3, 16,000 experience (split up in 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000 increments), Chance of producing more arrows when fletching, 10% more experience when cutting maple trees, one or two extra logs when cutting normal trees near Seers Village, Significant increase in speed while using the Spinning wheel in Seers Village, 120 Flax per day for free from Geoffrey, the ability to have the Lady of the Lake enhance Excalibur, increasing its special attack, +2 prayer boost when praying at the Seers’ Village altar, 13k cheaper mystic staff enchantment at Thormac, Headband counts as a bright lightsource(doesn’t have to be worn), Coal trucks hold 196 coal, +10 xp when cutting maples anywhere in RS, Bonus log from regular trees anywhere in RS, and regular trees don’t always fall down after the first log(most rewards require the headband to be worn).
All in all it’s quite a useful reward for woodcutting and a fairly easy diary to complete.
Other small changes
2008 Christmas event was removed on the 6th.
Many word were removed from the chat filter on the 13th.
After completing the Varrock Achievement diary the Varrock teleport spell can now be changed to the grand Exchange. This was done on the 13th also.
Armies of Gielinor, a Funorb game based on Runescape’s history, The God Wars, is released on the 16th.
The alchemy prices of crystal bows and shields are reduced on the 20th.
The operating delays of the Slayer ring, combat bracelet and skills necklace were also removed on the 20th.
The magic interface was changed to allow players to sort spells by level, teleport, or combat on the 27th.
A ‘You are here’ button is added to the ingame world map on the 27th.
A teleport to Fist of Guthix was added to the Ring of Dueling on the 27th.
The ability to fletch and cast the alchemy spells is removed from The Great orb project.
Mark Gerhad replaces Geoff Iddison as CEO
On the 2nd of February Jagex’s CEO Geoff Iddison resigns and Mark Michael Gerhard takes over. So far MMG has started turning Runescape into a more community based game whereas before the focus seemed more on members only. He says he wants to give Free players more updates and says the next skill will be both members and free. One of his most notable Free player updates so far is when the forums were opened to high level free players on April 9th. This allowed free players with 12,500,000 experience(about the same as all F2P skills at level 72) or more to post on the forums.
On the 10th one of the most useful, but possibly also controversial mini-games, was added: Soul Wars! It’s very much like Castle wars and Pest Control combined in the sense that it’s a safe multi-player multi-combat game which requires you to kill/capture a certain thing whil fighting other players and monsters. It’s like Castle Wars because you must destroy the other teams Avatar more times than the opposing team can kill yours (much like capturing the flag in Castle Wars) within 20 minutes. And it’s like Pest Control because you must keep your Avatar alive and defeat enemy monsters.
It’s rewards are much like Pest Control but give significantly more experience than Pest Control per point. This is slightly offset by the fact that each Soul Wars game takes 20 minutes whereas a good Pest Control team can take less than 2 minutes per game. The max experience per game of Soul Wars is 25,725. The max experience per game of Pest Control is 2,240. However a good Pest Control team could play 9-10 games in the time it took a team to play one Soul Wars game. This means Pest Control could give 22,400 experience, which is still worse than Soul Wars.
Another reward from Soul Wars was the ability to trade Zeal points and a slayer trophy in for a pet of that trophy. The pets you can get in this way are Creeping Hands, Minitrices, Baby Basilisks, Baby Kurasks(Or Kuras), and Abyssal minions. You can also trade Zeal points in for Charms or use the Gamble! option to get rare bones for prayer or other items for summoning.
The 25th saw two big changes and one minor useful addition. The first big change was the removal(or as Jagex said, ‘retirement’) of many old and well known Random events. The Random events removed during this time were Dr. Ford, Candlelight, Genie, Axe handle and Axe head, Security Guard, Exploding Rock, Poison Gas, Ent, Rick Turpentine, Cap’n Hand, Mysterious Old Man and Strange Box, Drunken Dwarf, Strange Plant, Big fish, Watchman, Rock Golem, River Troll, Tree spirit, Shade, Zombie, Evil Chicken, Swarm, and the Whirlpool – 23 in total. Many of these like the Genie and Strange plant had no known reason for being removed and upset many players because the events gave useful items (genie lamp and Strange Fruit respectively). Events like the Rock Golem, River Troll, Tree spirit, Shade, Zombie, and Evil Chicken seem to have been removed because many players were complaining that they were unfair. This was because the event could appear when a player went AFK and could very easily kill an unprepared player before they got back. Many high level players miss these battle random events because killing them had a chance of dropping a good item. Most of these random events can still be found either wandering around Runescape on in the Enchanted valley.
One good thing about the new random events is that alot of the gift boxes they give have the option to choose an experience lamp which works in the same way as the deceased genie.
The second big update of this month was the addition of another Distraction and Diversion – Evil Trees! Evil Trees appear randomly around RuneScape near patches of rare trees usually. When they first appear they’re a sapling which must be nurtured by a player to grow into an adult Evil Tree. Once fully grown it can be chopped down for a reward much like Shooting Stars. The rewards will always consist of a number of noted logs the same type as the tree depending upon how much reward % you got for chopping it, a bird’s nest, and some coins. Additionally a key half or level 1 clue scroll may be obtained. Further rewards which are always applied is a better chance of bird’s nests from trees, a lower chance of trees falling down when cut, and automatic log banking when your inventory is full(This means it banks consecutive logs which you’ve chopped while having a full inventory).
If an Evil tree is left alive too long it’s struck by lightning up to 3 times with the third strike killing it.
Personal Price Checker
I’m sure we can all remember helping someone Price check an item or seeing someone say ‘PC Please!’. This feature allows each player open a screen and put their current tradeable items from their inventory into it to check their total and individual prices. very handy when you’ve just completed a Treasure trail or just got a big item from a monster drop.
Other small changes
On the 9th MMG announces some changes to Runescape and the Future of Runescape.
The Seers’ Village achievement diary rewards are changed slightly and the Karamja gloves 3 now provide free access to the Brimhaven Dungeon on the 10th.
MMG answers questions from RuneScape players on the 16th.
On the 25th Ava’s backpacks are allowed into Soulwars and the Soul Wars Avatars are made stronger.
Lokar Searunner, Captain Bentley and Bill Teach are given right click options to speed up travel on the 25th also.
The quest list is also given a filter and sort feature, allowing players to see what quests they can do much easier. This was also released on the 25th.
The 27th saw the temporary closure of the Bounty Hunter craters in the wilderness due to several problems.
The Chosen Commander
On the 17th RuneScape’s 150th quest is released. From poisoned food to adventuring goblins, to goblin prisoners, to fighting Bandos statues and Avatars, The Chosen Commander‘s story is pretty good. The most interesting part to me though was that this quest finished up the Dorgeshuun quest line. No more H.A.M., no more Sigmund and his prayer and rings of life, no more Dorgeshuun goblins in danger, and no more vanishing Zaniks.
The quest itself has a pretty good reward, giving 20,000 agility, strength, and thieving experience, 3 quest points, and the ability to use and purchase Zanik’s crossbows as well as a new short agility course in the Bandos throne room.
Deposit all feature, Items kept on Death screen, and Ranged Strength
These three are put together in my book because they’re all fairly small.
The deposit all feature allows players to dump everything in their inventory, everything their wearing, or everything their familiar is carrying with the click of a button (all three of the mentioned desposits require individual clicks though). This makes banking items like essence, ores, fish, and logs faster since 90% of the time that’s the only the player is carrying. This was added on the 3rd.
The items kept on death update made it alot easy to determine which items a player would lose should their health deplete to rapidly (they die). It shows the carried wealth and risked wealth as well as the exact items that will be kept and lost upon demise. This feature is widely used to value one’s assets. This was also added on the 3rd.
The addition of an exact ranged strength for ranged equipment made it much easier for Ranged Max hit calculators to be built efficiently. This update specified an exact ranged strength (much like normal melee weapons have) for all wieldable ranged equipment. This was added on the 25th.
Another addition on the 25th which was widely appreciated and used was the addition of the Quick Prayers. This allowed a player to set a group of prayers (such as Protect from melee, Protect item, and Piety) which could all be activated or deactivated with one click. It made it significantly easier to use prayer in quick situations. It also made it easier to use prayer when you only need one type of protection prayer but also need to heal your health because you no longer need to switching tabs from prayer to inventory.
The quick prayers can be used to set a group of Zaros Curses also.
Other small changes
Birds’ nest sounds are now more audible. This was changed on the 3rd.
A route finding bug is fixed on the 17th.
The Dragon platebody is given a graphical change on the 25th.
The Culinaromancer’s chest and Gnome cuisine prices are no longer dependent on the Grand Exchange and now have their set prices. This was also done on the 25th.
Another quest in the Fremmenik lands enlightens us about some Glorious Memories between Mawnis Burrowgar, King Vargas, Chieftain Brundt, and Asleif(The same Asleif that was the Mountain Daughter). With some help from the player King Vargas finds out who, what, when, where, and how he became a Yeti. We also find out that one of his friends, Nial Swiftfling, also became a Yeti but is now dead because the player relieved Nial of the curse. Vargas curse is removed by a potion the player makes (Thankfully for Vargas we didn’t have to kill him also).
The rewards are decent considering it’s not all that hard. 1 Quest point, 10,000 Magic experience, 5,000 Herblore experience and a tome which grants 5,000 experience three times. An unfinished astral rune is also collected during the quest and can be exchanged with Bab Yaga on Lunar isle for an antique lamp that gives 2,500 experience in any skill 35 or higher. She also gives a prophecy tablet which can be given to Historian Minas in the Varrock Museum for 10 Kudos.
On the first of April Jagex continued their April fool’s jokes but instead of adding a Dragon Plate or Kite they made the cabbages near Faladoor come alive!
If you tried to pick a seemingly harmless cabbage it would start hopping around. Ofcourse with enough persistence you could pick one of the buggers up and even toss them at your friends! Or if you want a slightly less vicious approach you could just hold the cabbages, but where’s the fun in that? Lots of people found enjoyment kicking the poor cabbages around. Some of the more efficient kickers tried kicking the cabbages all the way to Oo’gloog from Falador – and succeeded! Doing so didn’t give a special item, but it did make the Queen/King of Cabbages happy with you.
The 8th saw the release of one of Jagex’s annual holiday events, Easter! A lazy son and a retiring father can really give you Splitting Heirs if you don’t have a cool head. Like all holiday events so far this gave a fun item and an emote. The player is reward with an Easter carrot (much like the Rubber chicken from a previous year) and the Emote Around the world in Eggty days.
High level Free players allowed to post on the forums
As mentioned earlier, Free players with 12.5m total experience (roughly level 72 in each skill) can now post on the forums. Jagex says that this could bring around 250,000 new posters to the RuneScape forums. This change makes playing free not so bad anymore as it gives them something to look forward to and lets them do a previously members’ only activity.
Tale of the Muspah
All younglings in Rellekka wish to one day prove their coming-of-age but many do not want to go through the Fremmenik Trials. Some would rather tell tales and hope it impresses the council. One in particular, Erjolf, wants to tell the Tale of the Muspah to prove he’s ready to be a Fremmenik. Of course like most Characters in RuneScape he has you do all the work and takes all the credit for himself. Thankfully for his sort we don’t mind.
Tale of The Muspah reveals another Mahjarrat, Jhallan, as well as the Mahjarrat Ritual site and a creature only mentioned in folklore, the Muspah. The Muspah are made out to be quite a powerful race (especially since a Mahjarrat got a nightmare because of one) but are said to be easy to defeat. We have yet to fight one so we don’t really know.
The reward is fairly decent since no combat is involved. 1,000 Magic experience, 800 mining and woodcutting experience, 500 firemaking experience and a 200 experience lamp from the Natural Historian. As well as 4 sapphires and a new cave filled with jellies. Talking with Ali the Wise after the quest will provide you with more information about the mysterious race known as the Mahjarrat.
Other small changes
RuneScape Duel cards, a card game, is released on the 2nd.
On the 21st Self Injury items (such as nitroglycerin and rock cakes) can no longer kill a player.
Picking from bushes and fruit trees was also sped up on the 21st.
A few small changes took place on the 28th including new hairstyles, the ability to restore familiar’s timers by using another pouch, the limit for pets owned is doubled, it’s easier to exchange pouches with Bogrog, quest journals now link to the Quest help system corresponding to them, and Afro wigs are released.
Lilies of the valley are also released to mark the beginning of Spring.
Bounty Hunter Wilderness only PVP worlds
The first update in May was on the 6th day. It was the addition of Bounty Hunter Wilderness only PvP Worlds, or Bounty Worlds. These bounty worlds were one way Jagex tried to re-add the wilderness but also not allow RWITs back in RuneScape. Like the old wilderness you can attack anyone, like bounty hunter you have a target which gives extra lot if you kill them. One interesting thing about bounty worlds which is unlike all other worlds is that only the wilderness, Edgeville, and the Grand Exchange are on them.
Missing My Mummy
Ahh, nothing like reuniting a lost baby zombie with its mummy. Surprisingly that’s not what Missing My Mummy is about. It’s actually about helping Leela, daughter of Osman, rebuild a new temple in the desert. This is the second quest in the Mysteries of the Mahjarrat questline, the first being The Tale of the Muspah.
The reward isn’t too bad, though it’s not the greatest. 1 Quest point, 5,000 coins, and 7,000 hit points experience are direct rewards from it. With another 2,100 cooking and construction as well as 3,000 thieving, 3,350 crafting, 5,000 magic, and 6,500 prayer experience. Access to another special altar is also granted. This altar gives a slightly higher prayer boost at the cost of hitpoints.
Dungeon maps, spam filter, and a few small changes
The rest of the updates in the month came on the 27th and included adding the Dungeon maps to the in-game world map (making it much easier to navigate large dungeons), the introduction of a game message spam filter (which hides repetitive messages such as “You catch a shark.“), the removal of member’s content from F2P (You can no longer try to pickpocket on F2P), and some small graphical changes to the leprechauns, Hitpoints bar, hitsplats, minimap flag, and the world globe icon near the minimap.
The Hunt for Red Raktuber
What exactly is a Red Raktuber anyways? It sounds like some sort of seed, doesn’t it? You know, like the Gout tuber?
Well I’m sorry to say it isn’t. Instead it’s a submarine! The penguins are up to something again and it’s your job to out what. If you venture to Hunt for the Red Raktuber you’ll find some interesting information about the penguins as well as meet Chuck. Who’s Chuck you ask? You’ll just have to hunt and find out!
Should you find the Red Raktuber and Chuck you’ll be rewarded with 1 quest point, 1,500 hunter, 2,000 thieving, and 3,000 construction experience. In addition to these is a bonus to the Penguin Hide and Seek by being able to spot a PBJ polar bear once a week in a well and fish hats(Puffer, Ray, Octopus, and Monkfish hats)
Run Energy Upgrade
Ahhh, the much awaited Run Energy Upgrade! It’s amazing that this was added in June. I guess time flies when you don’t spend so much of it waiting.
This upgrade makes energy be used slower and regenerate faster. It also see’s the addition of the first sit-anywhere feature – resting! When resting you regain hitpoints and energy faster than normal. Energy potions and energy restoration foods are also more efficient now. Agility also has been changed to now recharge your energy faster and make you run more efficiently. However this bonus from agility no longer works on F2P worlds.
Extended Agility course
Agility got another update this month when Jagex Extended some pre-existing agility courses. The zero level Gnome agility course was given an extension requiring level 85 and the level 35 barbarian course was given a level 90 extension.
Though the courses by themselves give good experience, the real reward comes when you successfully complete 250 laps on each course. Thankfully these laps do not have to be consecutive without failures. If you went through the course 3 times and failed the second lap it would still count as two successful laps if the first and third were successful. When the Advanced gnome agility course has been completed 250 times you can speak to a Gnome Trainer nearby to receive the Agile legs, which reduce weight by 10kg. When the Advanced barbarian agility course has been completed 250 times you can speak to Gunnjorn to receive the Agile top, which reduces weight by 12kg. When these are combined with the Boots of lightness, penance gloves, and spottier cape you can achieve a weight of -37kg!
Heh, that’s the short version of Player vs. Bounty Gravestone Worlds. In this update they added ancient artifacts which can be traded to Mandrith in Edgeville on Bounty Worlds for cash. They also had some creatures migrate into the old Bounty Hunter volcano and made it to where gravestones almost always appear even when in most instanced areas(such as Bork).
Other small changes
On the 9th…
Drop potential is calculated more accurately when changing from hot to cold zones rapidly on PvP worlds.
The drop potential bar has been upgraded.
You can spectate games in the Games Room.
Guthan’s set affect can no longer heal zero hitpoints.
It’s impossible to get the same task twice in a row.
The next six months will come later in the month when hopefully more updates have been released.