Alex’s Analysis – Don’t Desert the Desert!

posted by on 26th January 2013, at 1:15am

Seems like ages since we got the Morytania task list, but now we’ve finally got one for the desert! The vast southeastern lands finally have made themselves known to real-time adventurers who have had their quest list complete for ages!

All that’s left now is… um…

… actually, I think that’s about it. Maybe there’ll be an “Island” task list somewhere in the future for Ape Atoll, Crandor, Mos’ Le Harmless, the Void Outpost, and Player Owned Ports. Maybe Priffdinas will expand to the point where it can accommodate a task list once its storyline draws completion.

But that’s not likely because there’s nothing else to wear as a reward! Except maybe an aura. Or a pocket item. Or a sword or an axe to go alongside your lonely Falador Shield. Yeah, we’re not done with achievements.

And that’s a good thing. I personally enjoy the achievements. Sure, they’re a bit tedious to do, but if you think about it, they are basically a whole bunch of mini-quests. They require items, they require you to go somewhere, they require you to do something, and they require you to have… well, requirements! And they have rewards after! To name a few: daily potato cacti for low-level summoners and high-level herbalists, free Nardah teleports which can be used to heal and pray at the Elindis statue after some Pyramid Plunder (gg, Nardah teleport scrolls…), the ability to craft molten glass out of soda ash in the desert (go ahead and skimp this one, but I’m sure there are lots of low-level crafters out there who will disagree).

Sounds exactly like a quest to me!

I like them not only because they’re (mostly) fun and interesting to do, but because of how dynamic they are. They send you all around the area, checking out updated graphics you might have missed or forgotten about. They have you doing things you might already do routinely, or they may have you discover something new that you might enjoy doing for a while.

Case and point for me: the Dominion Tower. Originally, I sort of left it alone seeing no real profit or benefit other than a blast from the past. With the EOC out and not one, but two of the desert achievements directly linked to it, I’m forced to take it on in all its glory and fulfil its own full list of achievements! Sneaky, Jagex! Really sneaky!

But, as I’ve discovered, it’s actually quite fun. Because the bosses are mostly very dynamic, you learn a few tricks about fighting. You figure out the best DPS combos of special abilities in all four corners of the combat triangle (melee, ranged, mage, and suck – I tend not to use that last one unless I’m bored). You learn how to make your character move quicker through anticipation, which in turn teaches you to be patient with the bosses (one does not simply “rush” Nomad…). You improve your peripheral, keeping an eye on the boss and your own health simultaneously while also scanning your surroundings sometimes. You learn to manage your resources in Endurance Mode and prepare in advance in Climber and Special.

And hey, you get to fight the bosses all you want at no risk and fair reward. Good training.

If you already haven’t made it your underling, give the Dominion Tower a try. There’s a couple of high-level achievements and potentially awesome rewards in it if you can handle it.

OK, back to the desert.

…actually, what else is there to discuss about it? The desert is just this big empty space with hardly a worthwhile high-level feature apart from Pyramid Plunder, the Scabaras Sovereign (I’ll let you figure that one out), and the Dominion Tower (which really could exist anywhere). You go there for some good combat experience fighting bandits and to change your spell-book. And even though they added the awesome might of the Kalphite King, you’d think it would’ve somehow been involved in the elite achievements?

But OK; combat and thieving. And maybe the granite mine for mining. And a few treasure trail locations. But that’s it.

It needed this update. It needed this reward. The desert was starting to get boring. And when something in a game gets boring, that’s the best time to do something to it. Considerably little effort for a considerably good output. Make it seem new and fresh right when everybody forgets about it. Good on ya, Jagex.

Now if you excuse me, I’ve got a cannon to smuggle in the Dominion Tower.

Cheers, cannoneers!

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