Alex’s Analysis – Divination Diaries

posted by on 31st March 2014, at 9:29pm

You already know this, but for those that don’t, I love stories. They can be told with many different emotions and can make me feel many different ways. They impress. They humour. They challenge.

Stories are information. I love information. I love learning new things. I also love memories. Memories equal stories. They have stories, and they are stories. There’s a story behind how they’re created, there’s a story that can be told by the interpreter of the memory, and there’s sometimes even a story that results from the recollection.

OK, you get the idea. That’s enough about me. I can already hear you guys going “shut up, man!”

One of the latest updates in Runescape is something called “Mahjarrat Memories”. Basically, you grind a little bit for about 20 minutes to fill up a chest with energy, which you then use to collect something from a location obtained from your own personal experience with the game, then trek it back over to Relekka. Doing so rewards you with a book with a few pages of lore and some experience.

This repeats 15 times. You get 15 books. Each with a different piece of the mahjarrat’s history, which I’ll let you figure out on your own. Once it’s done, you get more experience and some nice little cosmetic rewards. No crazy splash screen, no new music or explorable areas, and nothing really changes around you. It’s a miniquest, purely to help you train Divination and expand on Runescape’s history.

Aside from an interesting “subscribe-able” price checker, that’s the update for the week. All the effort’s going towards the finalization of Fate of the Gods quest. Thus it should be, that quest is destined to be awesomeness reincarnate. In fact, it’s impressive they even went to the lengths to create such an awesome interactive. We could’ve otherwise seen simply a short story highlighting a character and their experience told in some nice detail with enough Runescape similes to make a meme-hound groan, if the majority of you remember those old stories (they too were awesome).

So, what do you think? A chore? Well, only if you think it like that. I mean, the experience is the main reason most would go through such an arduous process. You get more than half a million divination experience at the end of it, plus several cosmetic rewards. Many higher levels would argue that one could harvest enough divination experience on their own to make up for the time they would’ve otherwise spent on the task.

But I say forget the experience and rewards; isn’t the lore reward enough? If you must work hard for a story, doesn’t it make that story just that much more involving? Every detail is salvaged and pondered so that nothing is missed. Valuable backstory to a mysterious quest so long in the making that the thought of it coming out soon has one checking the Runescape news 5 times a day.

Having to grind and spend a lot of time to get something; that’s what makes a quest fun. Not the dialogue, though it does help explain stuff, but the process behind earning the dialogue. It needs to take ages for someone to find the hidden treasure. It must be exhausting trying to figure out a boss’s weakness. This is valuable time to help let the story settle into the young creative minds of the audience before it continues. And with that said, you can understand how using a guide ruins the experience.

Did I mention I love stories?

Although I can still sympathize for those who “don’t have time”. Get the quest done and over with so that’s less time they have to spend playing the game. Or simply because they’re impatient and must get the reward for whatever reason. Fame, wealth, experimentation, etc. Still, though; isn’t the point of a game to entertain you over a duration of time? Not quite how it works, gents.

I still enjoyed this update very much. 9 out of 10 from me. My only negative feedback was that the experience gain was a bit too generous. I mean, I get that there are very few divination quests out there and therefore there are very few options to get a bumper-boost of divination experience, but there are still better options than concentrating huge divination exp rewards over a set few tasks. Even if they are hard work.

For example, a while ago some of the quests like Eadgar’s Ruse and Demon Slayer got some “extra rewards” at the end that one could walk over and pick up. Why not do something like that instead, spreading several smaller rewards over several quests? Have Kaqemeex offer a little Divination experience alongside the Herblore training that we can claim later down the road, or someone nearby a known Divination spot sharing what they’ve observed. It’s not as difficult to get the experience, but newer and less experienced players at least have that option, and divination becomes less of “the new skill” and more of something that’s a part of the world.

Looking forward to the new Inventor skill, hopefully, it’s implemented in this sort of manner, or is at least fun to train. I’m not a big fan of these grinding skills.

Until next time,

Cheers, cannoneers!

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