Guest Article: Roleplaying in Runespan

posted by on 31st May 2012, at 11:57pm

This guest article comes from Trekkie and was spurred by discussion of Runespan. You can find out how to send us a guest article here.

Runecrafting in Runescape is now more fun. Back in the day, Runecrafting was a very tedious and boring skill to train. The idea of constantly running back and forth made many people not fond of runecafting unless they really were committed leveling up. On April 30, 2012, Jagex released a brand new method of runecrafting by adding a new training method. But if you do a little role-playing with your character and you may noticed something is wrong with Runespan. While Runespan did revolutionize Runecrafting, there is a minor flaw with its ideology in the world of Gielinor.

I would consider Runecrafting to be one of the most boring skills in the game. What the double weekend has shown us is many of us just do not have the brain power to constantly make runes at the ZMI altar to level it up faster. Even then, the experience received from the altar was very little compared to many other skills. Even with the power of the internet and television, it was still very mind-numbing to train this skill in any circumstance. This complaint was highlighted during the last Runefest where people voted for a new training method to make the skill more enjoyable. Jagex actually listened to the people decided it was time for a change, and succeeded.

The release of Runespan changed everything for the skill. When Runespan was released in late April almost every player was ready to try the new area. With three different floors, it has something for every player of all Runecrafting levels. The first thing people would notice is how easy it was to actually level up Runecrafting. Players can now just stand at an island and start siphoning esslings or esswraiths and siphon nodes for more experience. Even now, Runecrafting friend chats are already rising in popularity to let people know where a Runeorb is, or if there a bloody skull node in the area. It also started to get more membership because of the added benefits of what Runespan offered. It became an AFK’able skill which was more entertaining to many people. The new area actually made people want to level up Runecrafting.

In the past, there just wasn’t a lot of incentive to level Runecrafting up. Before Runespan came out, the rewards for levelling Runecrafting were few and far between. Taking a look back to the days of running to the altar to level it up, you only got a decent level reward roughly every 5 levels. In order to go make water runes, you had to go from level 1-5, level 9 for earth, and all the way to level 20 to make every f2p rune. For members, the gaps were also a lot larger where you then needed level 27 for Cosmics, and the next was chaos at 35. While in between you had the ability to make multiple runes, the profit from making those was not enough to cover the cost for the rune essence themselves. It was a big money sink for new players unless they decided to mine rune essence to use those to level up. This is where Runespan completely changed the game.

The level rewards at Runespan filled in a lot of level gaps in between Runecrafting levels. Every 2-3 Runecrafting levels gave you something new. Let’s use me as an example for this. I was at 75 and before Runespan, and the next big thing that I could do was make Bloods at 77, then double Astrals at 82, and then finally 91 for double Natures and starting effigies. But then Runespan, where at 77 not only could I make blood runes I can siphon Blood Esswraith, now that I got that level I was only 4 levels away from double astral. Right after that, I could do bloody skulls at 83, able to get to the next platform at 85. At 90, I can siphon Soul Esswraiths, and double Natures at 91 and so forth. So within that 14 level difference, I had 3 extra abilities I got from levelling up. As those who were listening to me during the podcast of its release, it makes people want to train. A player who has 25 RC, they are 2 levels away from firestorm, then 28 gives triple mind rune, 30 gives the ability to use the lesser runic staff, 33 allows for vine ladder and 35 gives chaotic cloud. Players end up getting so close to getting the next level and stay at Runespan to get it up more. Can anybody say that they would have stayed Runecrafting for another few hours just to get closer to the next rewarding level? I do not like, Runespan, I love it for this very reason. It makes players want to level up. It’s also a lot less tedious and there is also the no cost associated with Runespan. There is no money sink for low level players trying to level it up, and makes it more appealing for younger audiences with limited patients. While Runespan was a game changer, there is something flawed with the method of training.

Players are destroying Runespan and the creatures living there. The few days before the release there was a little preview of the new update with “See the future” update. While it was a completely disappointment, what some people may not have noticed, they also introduced some new NPCs during that update. One of them, professor Felix is a student in the wizard’s tower with a theory that the rune altars were running out of power. They are using Runespan as a way to study rune energy to continue to make runes. Let us do a little role-playing with your own character. Here you are doing the old method of running to an altar to make runes. You have an almost endless supply or essence to continue your training and make as many as you can. Suddenly, a college student from one of the most prestigious wizard’s school tells you that we may be running out in the future. Now, you hear about a great new place called Runespan that is suppose to change how you train completely. You go there, and now you find out that this is a lot easier than before. Now, take a step back and think… what exactly are you doing? You are killing, esslings and esswraiths, and destroying the nest for sport, yes sport. Are you using the rewards for anything at the moment? Expect for the staff and the massive pouch, (which may be useless with everybody at Runespan) you’re really not getting anything to use. Not to mention that now you know that the altars are running out of charges, and you are just killing esswraiths for sport how long before Runecrafting becomes untrainable? I believe that it should have been what Runecrafting was intended for. What is the end result of all those runes people make? They go to people who use it to train magic. Magic and Runecrafting are intertwined with each other. Without runes, mages cannot cast, without mages to buy runes Runecrafters cannot make money to continue their training. Runespan could have something similar to what they have now, where you siphon nodes and maybe other creatures. But, what should also be there should be a way to train magic to replenish the nodes. Then those who are going for higher Runecrafting can assist those who are training mage by donating those runes they get. In return, mages can use the essence to enchant and revitalized destroyed nodes in the area. Then the area serves two purpose, the ability to multi-train and be able to get people to work as a team again.

There is a small flaw if you look at Runespan in the game. Before the release, Runecrafting was one of the most tedious and dull skill in the game. After the release, not only did it make level up faster and easier, it also made it a skill that people wanted to level up. However, keep in mind that the rune essence mind could be running out in the future. If it wasn’t just a computer generated creature, how long would Runespan really last? Making Runespan a multi skill area would give more things to do there instead of only siphoning creatures. While this was just a fun look at role-playing as your character, aren’t we in the time frame to go green? Are we not in a time where we are trying to find new forms of renewable energy, eco-friendly appliances, and vehicles? Jagex should start teaching kids to give back to the earth and conserve resources. After all, shouldn’t we start them young?

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