Well, it looks like I’m about to go two for two for combat articles this year. I’m not overly fond of combat. I’m really not. But with the continuance of the evolution (or is it de-evolution at this point?) of combat it is giving me plenty of fodder to write about. At this rate, I’ll be writing about this all year…
So according to the current poll, unless something drastic happens, it looks like the 138 combat level is coming back. What this means is still confusing, and how we can vote without knowing the true implications of something is sketchy to begin with, but we can confer from this is that players didn’t like the 200 level scale. Many people seem to like how 138 was all inclusive and represented being “max” more honestly, but I like the higher and even number of 200. If this is how Jagex decides to go is anyone’s guess, but one thing that seems to surely be coming back is probably more controversial than the number above our heads: Pure accounts.
Like I said, I’m not huge on combat, but I can appreciate those who are. I can also appreciate the place that pures fit in the ecosystem of an MMO. In the combat triangle of life, they have an important niche they fill. Probably the most dividing thing about EoC was that pures aren’t viable. In essence, we were all seen as pures by the system since it only took into account your highest offensive stat. In any formula where more than one offensive stat is calculated pures can exist and, as sure as rain in the plains of Spain, they will exist.
This makes for a very interesting combat dynamic. The pure accounts of yesteryear were abandoned. Jagex says there will be a way to roll back combat stats, but a majority of those players probably left when they saw no hope for their viability in the new system. For the first time since the wilderness made its return, pures will be at home in the wild and more potent as ever with the new arsenal of abilities and offensive options. This may very well lead us into a new era of players where PKing is actually enjoyable and possible. This is a cause for further controversy. Some may feel this is an area of the game that doesn’t need to be revitalized and that the community improved without PKers. Others, some of which may have already moved on to 07 servers or quit entirely, would applaud the move.
As a clan leader for over five years I have mixed emotions about it. My best experiences in the game were with my clanmates and it was a big part of my life – my real life, not just RS life. I could probably write a year’s worth of articles on what I learned and the many experiences I had leading a clan. How we had to change over the years – with free trade being removed and coming back, the wilderness changes, how play style has evolved – it all took a toll on us and prompted adjustments. We started as wilderness based following the philosophy of only killing those who killed skillers in the wild. Eventually we became more skilling based. With the creation of citadels, that become our primary focus. Mine, like many RS clans, eventually had to close simply because we had no reason to exist anymore. EoC killed what was left of these old style of clans. Any that remain now are more communities than anything. Shells of the former glory and righteousness they once stood for. I miss them – not so much the work involved in running one, but even that gave me purpose to play. If it wasn’t for my clan I probably would have quit long ago. Without a clan now, even months after the fact, I still feel like a lost puppy. Without a home and nothing to rally around. Clans are important to retaining players of any MMO and Runescape is suffering without them. If you don’t agree then you probably weren’t ever a part of clan, and I feel bad for you missing out on that aspect of the game.
I guess given my history I would like pures to be back in the game. Many other clan leaders including arguably the most vocal of them all, His Lordship of the Wilderness Guardians, has been chiming in on the most recent announcements. You may recall seeing some of His Lordship’s work on YouTube, including the “Why Runescape is Dying” at the end of November last year that got a lot of people talking. He has long campaigned to Jagex to make the wilderness an important part of Runescape again. All the pieces for a revival of the wilderness and therefore clans would be available and ready for Jagex to make the right decisions to make them relevant again.
Lets look at a case study that illustrates this. Through the greater part of the 20th century, wolves were hunted and killed for sport in much of the northwest of the United States to the point that they were placed on the endangered species list in 1978. A survey of Yellowstone National Park conducted in the late 70s found that absolutely no wolves were present within the park or surrounding area. In the early ‘90s Yellowstone National Park reintroduced wolves into their ecosystem to study their impact. In studies still continuing, scientists find that the elk population has been impacted and a significant increase in new trees, which elk feed on, was noted. Much of Yellowstone’s area has had deforestation and fire recovery issues, so new growth will help restore these areas. Much like reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone National Park, adding predators to an ecosystem can bring about balance and allow other aspects of that environment to flourish. Pures can be our wolves. Having these predators in Runescape again might just improve the entire game.