A new year, a new set of possibilities.
I was looking at a list of future updates for Runescape recently and I have to say, there are certainly a lot of them. I don’t think Jagex will get to all of them this year, but that’s no surprise with how many things they’re wanting to do(Over 30 specific tasks). Below I list some of the more exciting and most needed updates.
This is a long awaited and needed update. You see, originally we only had 6 types of armor: Bronze, Iron, Steel, Mithril, Adamant, and Rune. These 6 were spread out over 99 levels of progression to craft, and 40 levels to use. Of course leveling both combat and smithing was also much harder back then, so being able to wear Rune was pretty impressive. These days there are tons of armor and weapons and you level so quickly it’s not uncommon for players to skip right over a few armor grades. Smithing hasn’t changed over the years and so we now have a drastically off-balance craft and use system. By the time you can create Rune, you’ve been using a degradable for months already.
Jagex wants to fix this by rebalancing the level and recipe advancement of Smithing, making you be able to craft items much sooner and more on-level than currently. They won’t be making high levels useless, however, as they plan to add at least two new types of resource, Orichalkum and Necronium. I expect and hope they’ll either add some all the way to 90 or redesign some of the existing armors to make use of high level Smithing(more so than a simple cost reduction on degradable repair). In fact this Smithing rework is the perfect time to rework how armor in Runescape works. Since armor will be craftable more on-level, they could have all types be degradable and subsequently be repairable using resources of that level and also gain decent experience doing this. So you would need to either have 80 Smithing or have a friend that has it to repair level 80 armor and weapons. This would integrate smithing into Runescape as a whole much better.
Mining would be altered to accompany this new design, however they choose to go about it. There’s talk of adding deposit boxes near every mining site, but that just seems stupid from a lore point of view. It would make more sense to allow ore to be stackable up to X quantity or some such design. They already have the stackable ore concept with Corrupted Ore, there’s no reason to limit this to only high level ore. They could have all grades of ore be stackable but in differing quantities based on the level.
In the area of skill related potential updates for the new year I would be amiss to not mention Invention. There is talk of this skill coming out as updates to many skills instead of an entirely new skill, and I have to say I like this concept much better than a whole new skill. We don’t need another race to the top of the skill chain, but we do need more useful content throughout many existing skills. Think about it, between Smithing, Crafting, and Fletching we have most of the basic skills required to ‘invent’ or alter just about anything. Magic and/or Prayer should be used to enchant items and create the fabled ‘Soulweapons’. Doing this would also give Divination more use with other skills as the energies would still be needed as was originally planned, but the recipes would be executed in a different manner. Creating these new items would give experience in their respective skill and possibly in Divination too, providing a new type of training for both skills.
I would love to see Jagex work more on synergizing skills to work off each other rather than created entirely new ways and ideas for things. We have all these skills, let’s use them to do something awesome!
This is another area which we could be seeing some big changes in the near future. Along with a graphical update, we may get new instanced areas – Player Owned Neighborhoods. These wouldn’t be a whole neighborhood owned by one player, it may be something along the lines of 20 of your friends or clannies having their houses all together in one instance. So you could literally walk down the street to your friend’s house. There’s also talk of being able to buy plots of land for your house in the real world. I do wonder how this might work as there is only so much real estate in the real world. They would likely have to have it only show you and/or some of your friends houses actually in the world.
Construction could be the focus of quite a few months of work with all the different ideas they’ve got for the skill. Some of it includes making the skill more useful all around by allowing you to do more than just create furniture and furnish your own house. Ideas such as having NPCs request items and possibly buildings are some. Personally I’d like to see Construction used to rebuild parts of the world, especially those which have gotten ravaged by the recent World Events. Rebuilding West Ardougne would be a wonderful use. I would love to see us be able to permanently and physically rebuild some of this city.
Moving from Skills to Quests, there’s word that quest 199 is coming soon, likely in the next few months. This will involve Zamorak and the Mahjarrat. Zamorak is going to form a sort of A-Team or Impossible Mission Force it seems to steal the Stone of Jas. Supposedly we get to choose his companions via Power to the Player Polls. Unfortunately since they haven’t started letting us vote on these, I don’t expect this quest before March.
It seems like just last week we were all rushing to finish that Recipe for Disaster, but in fact it’s been almost 9 years (March 15th 2006). Previously they had been releasing a 50th quest roughly every 3 years, which means this quest should’ve been released in mid 2012. That, however, didn’t happen. Hopefully we’ll see the number of quests released go up started this year. Although I am not much of a quester, I really think that would be a good thing.
Regarding this 200th quest itself, it seems we’ll somehow find ourselves in a sort of Mirror world (Trekkies may be familiar with this term). In this world, we, the Hero, never existed all these years. It seems the world has all gone wrong since we weren’t there to save everything. I’m not sure how we get into this alternate world(Fairy Ring Transport accident?), but being the Hero it is our duty to save it. This should make for quite an interesting quest as we may have to fight multiple big baddies at the same time.
There are quite a few other questlines they’d like to work on in the near future – and I hope they do. They’ve specified 10 quests/questlines they’d like to work on and although that seems quite ambitious based on their recent track record, it would be great for them to succeed in releasing all 10 of these this year. One decent quest a month shouldn’t be too hard and would be a great goal. I hope to see somewhere around 1.5-2 quests a month, but for now that’s wishful thinking.
There’s a handful of different areas that have been talked about receiving a rework/update/redesign in the future, not the least of which being a new God Wars Dungeon. The possibility of a few more Achievement Diaries is also not too far of a stretch this year.
It’s not a breakthrough idea in the industry, a fair number of games/developers have had user submitted content for a few years now. Perhaps the most well known being Steam’s Steam Workshop. RuneLabs, from the little I’ve heard, is supposed to be akin to this in that any player(members only currently, unfortunately but understandable due to spam) can submit an idea. It can be as simple as a single line or as in-depth as 10,000 word right-up with a 15 minute video and a dozen hand drawn sketches. I am looking forward to seeing how this winds up working and what shape it takes in the end.
Jagex has quite the load on their plate this year. Granted, not all of these things are guaranteed to come this year. I hope they will but that doesn’t mean they will. I’m sure we’ll get things not yet mentioned along with some of these.
I would like to see 3 main focuses from Jagex this year:
1:) A design ideal of synergizing skills to work together and alongside each other more. Some skills simply ‘are’ with little to no interaction with other skills(*cough* Construction, Dungeoneering, Divination *cough*). As talked about above, the Smithing rework and ‘Invention’ concept are a great place to implement this.
2:) A determination to release quality quests, consistently. This is not to say their recent quests haven’t had quality, but they haven’t consistently released quests in a long time. Finishing quest lines and advancing popular ones is good, but that doesn’t have to be everything. A random new quest/questline would also work or adding a semi-sequel to existing quests, maybe even just a little offshoot to fill in some backstory. Quest finales are good but they need lots of work to be good. And besides, you don’t want to always end questlines else you soon won’t have any active storylines. Something along the lines of 1-2 finales a year, 3-4 continuations, and 1-2 beginnings with various other quests thrown in would be a good goal for the year.
3:) Cut back on the SOF and SGS. Treasure Hunter will always be the Squeal of Failtune. Sorry Jagex, but to me that’ll always be SOF until removed. While I doubt we’ll see either of these removed any time soon since they’re both a fairly big income earner now, I would very much like to see a reduction in posts about them. Most of us would rather play the game than spend real money on stuff for the game.