Spring Fling or Spring Flop?

posted by on 27th April 2014, at 3:57pm

I like to think of myself as a positive person, not overly critical of others and always looking for that silver lining. Unfortunately I do have my limits, so for all of you who have been waiting for me to get critical about Jagex this article is for you.¬† I started this month thinking I would be writing about traditional versus nontraditional holiday events, but as it turns out that is only the tip of the iceberg. There are so many things wrong with this so-called spring event I barely know where to begin. Rest assured there is enough fault to go around and I won’t leave anyone out. So without any further ado let’s delve into this quagmire of contradiction called Cabbage Face Punch Bonanza.

First things first, let’s set the record straight, this is not a world event. I know it is commonly being referred to as World Event Three, however in the April 5 pollcast,¬† J mods were very careful to say it was not a world event. I know this is confusing namely because there are two gods battling it out. Although this is a much more light hearted cheeky kind of battle it still gives the appearance of a world event. The points you earn from playing the mini-game are even called renown points and they are turned in to the Quartermaster just like the previous two world events. This is the first major contradiction. We have a world event that is not a world event. I’m sorry Jagex, but if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck well you know what they say it’s probably a duck.

Next up we have an event that is taking the place of a traditional Easter event. This starts to get into the territory of traditional versus nontraditional holiday events. I understand this was voted for by the players and believe me I will get into that later, but putting that aside for now let’s talk about traditional versus nontraditional holiday events. I am not a person that wants to freeze RuneScape in time and have it never change. I believe in progress and I am open-minded when it comes to change. That being said I do believe in tradition. There are certain things in RuneScape that are tradition and we look forward to them every year. They are always a lot of fun and it gives us a break from the seriousness of what we are normally doing in-game. Traditional holiday events are woven into the fabric of what RuneScape is. Three holidays in particular are always celebrated in Gielinor: Halloween, Christmas, and Easter; at least that’s how it was until 2013 when Halloween was replaced with the Lumbridge¬† Rebuildathon and now Easter has been replaced with Cabbage Face Punch Bonanza. Many of us have special items from holiday events going back to when we started playing. I have things going all the way back to 2008 and I know many of you have things going back even further than that. These items mean something when you see them in your bank, you might remember playing the event that year with your friends. You might think about how much fun or how annoying it was. You might even think about what you were doing that year during that holiday. Its little things like that which have to be considered when you go messing around with tradition. The consequences and implications are much more far reaching then Jagex or the players may realize. I really hope this is not the beginning of the end for the traditional holiday events in RuneScape.

Now let’s talk about Jagex calling this a spring event. That’s all fine and good but I fail to see how a Cabbage God and a Monkey God have anything to do with spring whatsoever. Springtime is the season of rebirth, the trees are budding, the weather is beginning to get warmer, and we are beginning to put the monotony of winter behind us. Tell me Jagex how does a Monkey God and a Cabbage God play into this theme? I understand it’s all in fun but you have really went off the rails on a crazy train with this one. Don’t you have to have something pertaining to the season in a seasonal event? As it stands this could have been plopped down in any season for any reason there is absolutely nothing tying it to spring or Easter. This is yet another contradiction in what appears to be a mini game that Jagex really wanted to release and didn’t have a slot for so they just threw it in now and called it seasonal. Call it what you want, we know the truth, there is nothing seasonal about it.

So how did this happen? Well that is an interesting question with some even more interesting answers. It actually happened from poor decisions made by Jagex and interestingly enough the players as well. The players were polled on whether they wanted a traditional or nontraditional spring holiday event back when power to the players was first released. Jagex has been very careful to point this out every chance they get so as not to take full responsibility themselves. While this is true, we are beginning to see the limits and the downside of power to the players. Jagex needs to remember when they are driving the bus you might ask the passengers where they would like to go but you don’t ask the passengers whether you should stop for this red light or not. Furthermore you definitely don’t blame the passengers when the bus crashes because it ran a red light and say the passengers told you to do so. I know this is new and it does have its merits, however Jagex, you have to do a better job at what you are putting out for the players to vote on. I know on the surface this looked like the perfect opportunity to try out power to the players but nothing could have been further from the truth. You don’t tinker with tradition with a new polling system like this. The end result is we have a so-called seasonal event that was done by committee. Anyone that has ever written by committee knows that it can easily turn into a convoluted mess very quickly. I hope that you learn a lesson from this and don’t, under any circumstances, allow the players to create a quest by committee. This awful excuse for a spring event should be a warning shot over the bow for you to pull back.

Now I want to talk directly to the players. We are all guilty of voting purely for our own self interests and maybe that is as it should be. I know that I voted for the Elf City over the invention skill because I really wanted the quest line to be finished. Unfortunately Jagex has decided to employ us as unpaid content developers in which case we have a responsibility to think about the game long-term. We are no longer mere players, we are now responsible for the future of this game. I would love to vote for what I wanted in every poll but I can’t help to think about the implications my decisions have on the long-term future of the game. We didn’t necessarily ask for this job but it has been thrust upon us nevertheless, so with great power comes great responsibility. Over time Jagex will begin to make the polls better. Many of the polls up to this point have been biased. That is why it is extremely important on our part to make sure we read everything carefully. If you don’t want to read about what you are voting for that’s perfectly fine – just don’t vote.

All that being said the mini-game itself is so-so. It’s not particularly fun and it’s not particularly terrible. The point values are extremely low and the rewards are not great. I will say that visually it looks really good. They did do a good job on the visuals, the voice acting, and the sprinkles of lore. If this mini-game hadn’t been put forth as a seasonal event it may have done better. It’s just too difficult to separate the mini-game itself from all the other factors that have made it a big flop. I do hope some of you out there enjoy it and I wish I could have gotten into some other things such as buying cosmetic holiday items or having to purchase keys to get something Easter related, unfortunately that was just too much for an article. As always, happy RuneScaping and I will see you next month.

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