Alex’s Analysis – All About The Experience

posted by on 22nd October 2012, at 11:11pm

Ho boy, where to begin! The Runespan. Bonfires. Squeal of Fortune XP rewards. Sizzling Summer 1-million XP bonus. Double prayer experience from Festival of the Dead. Daily challenges with XP rewards. More cosmetic items that boost obtained XP. And now the more recent “skill packs” and double pack/XP lamp weekend. And now another double XP weekend!

What’s going on, here? Runescape has always been about training different skills, levelling up, and completing goals at a slow, but worthwhile pace! Part of what made it a long and gradual game that I could sit down and play for a while. I set a goal, worked towards it at a casual pace, and when I got it, I felt really good about myself.

But nowadays I’m seeing people hit level 99s almost every few minutes in the chat screen! It’s never been easier to train skills! I have gotten myself up from level 93 to level 98 construction without using a single plank! I upped my summoning from 86 to 89 without crafting a pouch! I’m getting XP left right and centre, and I’m not even actually trying to train! I have recently gotten lots of my levels in the 90s and I don’t even feel any satisfaction from it!

That’s not right! The whole point of the game is to do quests and up your skills! And let’s not even get into what you’re doing to quests to make them super easy!

Jagex! Guys! Please! We’re sated, here! Lay off the experience for a bit, you’re spoiling us a great deal! Unless you’re planning to up all skill max levels to 120 or releasing several quests with level 90 skill requirements (I actually wouldn’t doubt it; the majority of the new quests lately have been tailored for novice players and several of them still ended in cliffhangers), we’re getting way too much free and easy experience here! It’s no longer worthwhile training anymore if it’s just that easy to get a level, and because of this, what’s the point in playing Runescape at all? The concept behind training skills is that it’s hard, and getting level 99 is an incredible achievement. I’m seeing people get them every day. Makes me sad to think that my inevitable level 99 construction is no longer anything special.

Still, it’s appreciated. I appreciate what you’re doing with the Runescape Community. Celebrations, special events; most of the free experience is for a moderately good reason. By doing events like this, expanding off the glories of the past double XP weekends, you’re trying to keep Runescape fun and interesting for us. Give us all that sort of boost when he hit a snag in our training, be it lack of money or no time.

But if you keep it up, many of us aren’t going to even play the game until the next great experience reward. We’ll become too accustomed to getting experience the fast and easy way and will see ordinary training methods as much more dull and slow as usual. It’s like ice cream; you eat it every so often, you see it as a treat, and it’s incredibly tasty every time in very small amounts. But eat it every day, and you get fat and lazy and cannot go through an hour without at least a tub of the stuff because you’re addicted to it. You don’t want your players to get fat and lazy, do you?

… do you? … oh sweet Saradomin, Jagex is planning to eat its player-base! RUN!

Just kidding.

Now listen, this one’s for anyone at Jagex who have the self-confidence to speak up an idea during those meetings where everyone goes off of one overconfident chap’s crazy ramblings because he makes them sound like he’s a godsend with philosophical garbage that’s all written and never read.

I like what you did with the Runespan and Fish Flingers. You took a few otherwise boring to train skills (I wash the dishes in real life as I let my character fish – good use of my time, right?) and made them fun and interactive while offering a good, if not, better rate of experience in exchange for the reward (don’t get as much free stuff per experience point from either methods, but with the economy in the game, it really doesn’t matter). The Runespan and Fish Flingers also involve more effort and focus from the player, and they are rewarded for that. I approve.

I even like the Daily Challenges. Gives me something to look forward to and do for a good hour or so in-game aside from my usual routine of buying battlestaves, mining red sandstone, and assisting construction effigies. It’s random and tailored to our relative skillset, so it doesn’t seem redundant. And you not only get good experience, but you also almost get your money back in raw materials, further improving the economy.

But 1 million Sizzling Summer experience (practically pay $15 for a million exp), 250 000 free prayer experience from the Festival of the Dead event which hardly took me half an uninteresting hour to complete, all these special XP-based rewards on the Squeal of Fortune, and now Bonus XP weekend… you guys need to take a break. Devote a little time to expand Runescape storyline! That’s what makes the game really interesting, in my opinion. And nowadays, your quests have been incredibly well done. Great voice-acting, awesome graphics, relatable characters, moderate plots… you guys just need to apply that in finishing a few of these quest cliff-hangers you’ve left for us for years. What’s going to happen with the monkeys now? And the gnomes? What’s the Devourer’s next ploy? And Jossik’s father and the dagannoth?

And when you do finish them, I beg you: please please PLEEEAAASE end them off with a bang! The end to the Dorgesh-Kaan series was good for a quest of its calibre, but I was actually quite disappointed at the end of Ritual of the Mahjarrat (end of the buildup to the ritual, but an even bigger cliffhanger towards a potential next that’s probably not going to happen for years). I was expecting a whole battlefield I had to weave in and out of instead of one small cliffside against a bunch of elites, taking on several monsters I haven’t even heard of in-game. I wanted to whack at Lucien myself, and you even denied me that! And how long does it take to clear out a landslide “Within the Light”? Just make the rocks clickable and I’ll whip out my dragon pickaxe and hammer myself and build you guys a tunnel fit for royalty!

There you go. More quests, a few more interactive training methods, less free experience, and Runescape will be fun all over again!

Still waiting on that construction rework!

Cheers, cannoneers!

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