Let me begin by apologizing for my conspicuous absence last month. I lost a very important person in my life last month, my stepdad Truitt Smith, to his battle with brain cancer. I want to thank the RSBandB community for their support during this difficult time.
2014 has been an outstanding year for RuneScape. I never thought that Jagex would be able to top 2013, but much to my surprise they did exactly that. Think of last year as the foundation of the modern game being laid and this year we saw the framing and potential the game has today. There were so many good updates this year that I had to narrow it down to my top five picks. My criteria for these picks is simple. To make my list an update had to have a huge impact on the game, or advance the lore in a significant way, or fix something that was majorly broken. So without further ado let’s get into it.
5. Legacy Mode
That’s right, Legacy Mode made the list because of its impact on the game. As many of you know I was not a supporter of Legacy Mode. I felt it was unnecessary and catered to a vocal minority of complainers. Even worse, I was afraid of the impact it could have on EOC, which I genuinely liked. I went as far as to urge people to vote against it because I felt after seeing the beta it wasn’t ready. Well my friends, take this all in because it doesn’t happen often, but I was wrong. The problems with Legacy that I had encountered during the beta were fixed for the most part before it went live and its impact on EOC was minimal. I thought it was a minority of players that wanted it even though it was a slight majority vote and as it turned out, the data is showing nearly a third of RuneScape players play in Legacy Mode. I think we can also say that this was one of the success stories of power to the players. Power to the Players has had its ups and downs, however, contrary to my own personal beliefs, it looks like the players got it right and Jagex deserves a lot of credit for pulling this off. Legacy has had a huge impact on the game. It did bring some players back, all be it not in the numbers hoped for. Most of all it gave players a choice of the kind of game they wanted to play. It’s also quieted the EOC critics to the point where if you hear criticism now you pretty much know it’s someone that could never be pleased and will never be happy with anything Jagex does.
4. Plague’s End
Of course this made the list. We have been waiting for 10 years. It wrapped up the elven storyline masterfully. It was a long quest worthy of being called grandmaster and was packed with lore. We even saw the integration of puzzle solving with boss fighting. I think the most impressive aspect of this update was that it actually lived up to the hype. That was no easy task, the expectations were at an all-time high for a quest and if it had flopped I have a feeling there would’ve been lore hounds outside Jagex headquarters with their pitchforks and torches. All in all it was an awesome end to one of the oldest and most beloved storylines in the game. Oh and did I mention the rewards? The exoskeleton is one of the most useful tools you can have when training Theiving and oh yeah that small matter of unlocking Prfiddinas.
Revolution came out early in 2014 but it’s had a huge impact. I have always been a supporter of the EOC, however, I have also always been honest that it had problems. Revolution was the solution we had all been waiting for. Had it been part of the EOC when it was first released we would have never seen the problems we saw. Revolution brought us the relaxation of not having to spam your keyboard or mouse while maintaining the option to use threshold and ultimate abilities while preserving the strategic element of setting up your action bar. I’ve said all along that this is the best of both worlds. I think it actually disproves the old adage you can’t have your cake and eat it too because actually yes we can, it’s called Revolution. Once again it gave players a choice of how they want to play the game. I really can’t imagine going back to either full manual EOC or Legacy at this point. Of course we saw a litany of small changes to combat this year, tweaks and fixes galore, but this by far was the biggest and best of these changes.
2. Fate of the Gods
That’s right, Zaros is back! This was without a doubt the best quest of the year. It had everything from exciting music and voice acting to an entirely new realm for us to explore. Oh, and did I mention Zaros is back? The implications this quest has on the lore in the future is remarkable. We learned more about what makes Zaros tick, that his sister is Seren and that the Elder Gods are not benevolent creators but rather complicated messes themselves and that they may still be on Gielinor. Not to mention the rewards for this quest were also quite nice. To start with we now have a Shard of Zaros which if you visit the God Wars Dungeon you know how helpful this item is. We also got our hands on an elder artifact, the Measure. If we weren’t the World Guardian right now we would be on our way to ascending to Godhood. I really can’t say enough about this quest. I know it will go down in RuneScape history as one of the best quests of all time.
The best update of the year without a doubt is the new Elf City. Not only is it the best update of the year, it is the best update in the seven years that I have been playing. It’s one of the largest cities on the map and it revolutionized not only how skills are trained at high levels but how we look at cities from now on. Cities are no longer just a collection of shops and starting points for quests. They will now contain training methods and reasons to be in them other than just something you have to do for a quest. On top of that, Prfiddinas is beautiful, the graphics are really good and the music is superb. I think it is also opening our eyes to the fact that 99’s are a new beginning rather than an end. Things that would seem overpowered on the surface really aren’t when you consider the new milestone is 120. In that regard the city is perfect. Once again it actually lived up to the hype and that was no easy task. I remember listening to a RuneScape podcast in the summer of 2013 and hearing Mod Osborne say that Elf City was something on his wish list but would be unlikely to happen in the near future. This brings us to the biggest success of Power to the Players. One of the first polls ever released was the Inventor skill versus Elf City. A majority of players voted for Elf City and in only nine short months the first batch of the city had arrived. I can’t imagine an update that would have had a bigger impact than this. It is without a doubt the biggest update of the year and my number one pick.
Well that’s it, my top five updates of the year. It was a packed year and there were many worthy updates that could have made the list. Everything from quests like, One of a Kind, The Mighty Fall, and Shadow Over Ashdale to Araxxor and Ironman Mode could have made a top 10 list but alas it was only a top five list. We saw RuneScape integrate with Twitch TV and long-awaited features like bank loadouts this year. The ninjas were busy this year as well with quality of life improvements nearly every single week. I really didn’t think I would be saying this again but this is the best time to be playing RuneScape. If anyone ever tries to tell you that this game is dying make sure you look at them and ask them what it feels like to be so completely and utterly wrong. I feel very fortunate that my first year writing for Informer I was given such a smorgasbord of updates to write about. I want to hear what you think, do you agree with this top five? What are your top five picks of the year? Until next time, happy RuneScaping.