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Dungeoneering is fantastic. I applaud Jagex for releasing an enjoyable skill to train. In an interview with Gamerzines, Jagex stated that ‘Runescape needs Dungeoneering’. They went on to explain how existing players need the same sense of adventure and discovery as they did when they were newbs, and Dungeoneering does this quite well with Daemonheim. But that’s where the adventure and discovery stops.
Like almost everyone else, I have to agree that Dungeoneering has its flaws. Its largest flaw is that it is only trainable in one specific area. Sure, we get to battle new monsters and equip new weapons, but the fact that those monsters and weapons are only accessible in one area is limiting Dungeoneering to its full potential. You see, Dungeoneering is like Construction; only trainable in one place, which is why it is so flawed. Players see Dungeoneering as a minigame because of this.
When Jagex developed Dungeoneering, instead of picking only one themed area with multiple floors, they should have developed multiple themed areas with a couple of floors in each area. Dungeoneering should be like Agility; with different areas where the skill can be trained. Agility has diverse courses; in fact, thirteen to date. As you progress in Agility, you find new places to train, giving faster experience.
If Jagex had correctly designed Dungeoneering, then we would have numerous locations to excavate. Think of all the possibilities that could have come with these new dungeons! Of course, Daemonheim would have to be included. In fact, it would’ve been a great place to start out. Up until about forty Dungeoneering, we could excavate Daemonheim. Of course, the floors would all be of the Frozen theme. We could encounter ice warriors and ice giants, and the ice-themed bosses would stay the same. We could keep the plotline with Bilrach and the Kalgerion demons, which would make for an epic quest that required completion of the Daemonheim dungeon.
Next we could have a dungeon located in the desert. We’d battle scarabs, Kalphites, desert strykewyrms, jackals, snakes, lizards, etc. Of course, we’d need waterskins in this dungeon, but it’d be worth battling the new desert-based boss monsters, like let’s say…oh…the Kalphite King? Let’s not forget what excavating this dungeon would mean for us in the long run. Maybe the quest to enter Menaphos would require us to have previously excavated the entire desert dungeon.
What about a dungeon in Morytania? Some neat bosses would be a mutated talon beast or a snail, and maybe we could be rewarded with a new way to fend off ghasts or vampires? Heck, maybe this dungeon could lead us under Castle Drakan! Or how about a dungeon on Musa Point; one that includes Tzharr-based monsters and a secret passage to the Brimhaven dungeon? What if there was an underwater dungeon that gave us valuable information about the gods before Guthix? As you can see, there are so many different possibilities that Jagex failed to make reality. I believe adding more dungeons would give the skill more meaning. Instead of being “Dungeoneering: a skill that involves delving into the depths of one, count ‘em; ONE, area,” it could be “Dungeoneering: a skill that expands Runescape’s history and is enjoyable by all players.”
However, I do get what they were going for. Not only did they want a new skill, but they also wanted to introduce Bilrach somehow. They are doing a fantastic job at it, I must say, but I think they’re missing the point. Instead of divulging on one small section of Runescape’s plot, they could have revealed so much more. They have stated they have no plans for releasing more Dungeoneering dungeons, but I do hope they come to and add tons more.
And that’s only a fraction of what’s wrong with Dungeoneering. There are a few more things I want to list. First off, I love the reward trader and all, but he takes away from the skill. Dungeoneering is sort of like an excavation skill. Instead of buying rewards, they should be obtainable through different methods, just like all other skills. For example, you could be walking through Edgeville dungeon and come a cross a crack in the wall. You search the crack and find a chaotic rapier. Having an NPC selling you literal rewards for a skill is taking away from the skill aspect. No other skill is like that. With slayer, you kill a monster; you obtain a drop. An NPC doesn’t sell you that drop, unless it’s quest-related or from a General Store.
Obtaining experience for the skill should also be scratched. Like I said, Dungeoneering is excavating a dungeon. Instead of a final experience reward at the end of a floor, you should receive experience as you progress through the floor. You open a door; you obtain experience in Dungeoneering. You craft runes; you obtain experience in both Dungeoneering AND Runecrafting. This would eliminate leeching, and you would still gain experience even if your computer crashes. The only downside to this would be that some players with faster computers would gain more experience then their teammates, but Jagex could work around this. They’re smart like that.
Jagex has done a terrific job with this skill. It gives a reason to increase all of your stats, and it is a fun activity to do with friends. Yes, it should be trainable in other places than just Daemonheim. Yes, we should obtain rewards in a different way. Yes, experience should be gained as you progress. But the fact that this skill is so diverse and includes every other skill proves that Jagex can outdo themselves.