Alex’s Analysis – Armour and Glamour

posted by on 13th March 2012, at 12:02am

Well, it’s that time of year… actually, month now. It’s that time of month where Jagex decides to update the existing content and make it seem new and fresh again. Lots of art, little code.

And I dig it. No, I really do. They separate their departments like this so the artists can focus entirely on a graphical update while giving the coders some time to create some very new innovative game mechanics we will see in the near future. They give themselves extra time while still presenting us with something worthwhile enough to be called an update because, as we know, we as a player-base simply can’t stand to go two weeks without an update.

And what better thing to update than the very armour you wear day in and day out? Don’t have to go out of your way anymore to see these new updates; just log on and behold! …unless you’re me and like wearing shade robes, because those never got updated. But dangit, why’d they have to update the wizard’s hat, because now it doesn’t match the shade robes anymore! I’m gonna have to get myself a black dragon mask or something from a level 3 clue scroll!

Anyways, you cannot deny it. The armour looks fantastic. Absolutely stunning. All the different material armours like adamantite and dragon now have their own unique style and theme. Adamantite looks much more majestic and fluid, while runite highlights a more brutish, tankish look. And you really don’t wanna mess with anybody in dragon; you try to attack them, I can guarantee you won’t be able to pull your sword back out of their thousands of notches and spikes.

The natural (ha ha) armours look splendid too. Dragonhide looks much more like I killed something and put their hide on. The antifire shield, though I don’t think it needed this dynamic of an update, still looks pretty slick for something frequently used (and there’s just the one type alongside the dragonbreath one). The penance torso looks more like you can beat something’s lights out (seriously, with the old ones, if you swap it with a Verac plate your arm actually inflates/deflates). The mystic robes actually look dignified; something I’d actually want to wear even as casual wear. And I don’t care what you guys say; I like the new Bandos armour.

However, I don’t like how Saradomin dragonhide armour is simply blue dragonhide armour with a trim and a patch now. I liked how the armour stood out as its own color theme, and was much more easily identifiable against ordinary blue dragonhide. Like how it had full shoulders as opposed to the torso-only blue dragon-hide. It also matched my blue h’ween mask, but now it doesn’t. The armour is now a brighter cyan color than one of my more favourite shades of blue.

I’ll still wear it. By all means, it looks pretty wicked. They just took out all the positives I liked about the armour and added a few new ones that don’t quite match up to the ones I’ve lost.

I like this update. It’s no longer just about colors anymore; most of the armours have their own unique flares, and can be worn simply based on appearance rather than status. If anything, this will benefit machinima-makers in the long run, as there is now a much greater variety. And again, each armour has a sort of “theme” to it. For example, steel has a more dignified, disciplined knightly look while dragon maintains an intimidating, lone wolf sort of feel.

Somebody in Jagex’s art department deserves a raise. Heck, I’d pay to take lessons from them. Hint hint…

What else… oh yeah, the gnomes got a graphical update as well. Originally in Runescape classic, they were these short men. Then they became more gnomish. Then a fairly recent update, they became just totally weird, but I came to accept them as the representation of gnome society. Short, pointed ears, flat mostly-bald heads… yeah.

But now this update made them half-gnome, half-human hybrids. While I’ll admit, they look pretty cool (especially the kings)… I dunno, I feel as though their appeal as an individual race is slipping away. With the TzHaar update, they became their own unique species (as I’ve highlighted in my last article). These guys just look more… well, “normal”. I dunno, maybe I’m over-reacting. They’re more “hobbits” than gnomes now. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did have hairy feet under those boots. It’s why they’re so fashionable, after all!

Anyways, with this update, I’m simply extending the point I made with my last article. Bit by bit, Runescape is becoming more expansive through the vast modifications and improvements of existing material. With intricate details like this, the game has more of a complete feel to it. Of course, anybody will look at the armour for a few minutes, but when they start training or fighting, it simply becomes the blur of action that Runescape provides with our everyday lives.

All we’ve gotten is a few new shiny colours to entertain us in the midst of the action.

And I like shiny.

Cheers, cannoneers!

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