Alex’s Analysis – The Simplest of Things

posted by on 18th May 2015, at 9:00am

One of the newest updates that have been presented to us is a reworked drop pickup ability. Players can click on a pile of drops and get a menu allowing them to either pick out choice items via image rather than name, or even pick up everything at once in one fell swoop. By the looks of things, they can also filter out stuff that they don’t want automatically in terms of price and value.

Since I started playing Runescape back in… well, the forums say 2002, but I’m certain I started earlier than that… picking up drops used to be simply clicking on the spot over and over, picking up everything until what you wanted finally entered your inventory. In the later Runescape Classic days, though, they came out with the ability to right-click and pick out drops manually. Aside from a few tweaks regarding order, importance, and item scale, this really hasn’t changed since.

Updating how players can pick up drops is really not that big of a change in retrospect. Click an item, get a menu, pick what you want. Really, it’s just a visual change with a little extra functionality and readability. The result is the same; you pick up items from the pile you want and leave what you don’t. Plain and simple.

However, it is a change to something that has been around for many years and is used so frequently. Newer players won’t be very much effected by it, but veteran players who are so much more used to the older methods will be much more affected. I’m currently not sure if it’s toggle-able or not (I imagine it is), but if it’s not (just to present my case), then it will very much change a dynamic of the game and make Runescape feel very unusual to them. Almost foreign. As though they’re playing an entirely different game. While it may appeal as “interesting” to some, there are many people out there who really don’t like change when they’ve become so accustomed to something.

It’s the addition of yet another menu that takes away from the immersion of the game, and it’s a seemingly more lazy way of picking up drops and estimating the value of them. Similar to adding the GE value to an item’s examine, this is giving all items a much more definite value rather than a personal one, even though it does change quite often thanks to said GE. Still, unless you’re an ironman, it’s no longer about training and fighting hard to earn that Godsword anymore; it’s about getting gold coins. Enough to either buy that Godsword or the supplies to fight for it. Once you finally get the Godsword, it’s difficult to give it a personal value when it’s got a price tag permanently slapped on it, regardless of whether or not it took a great deal of effort to get it in the first place.

(Hoping the Invention skill will fix that – give all our weapons our own personal touch)

Adding a filter also takes away from the game’s required effort to play. Like Make-X, it removes some of the tediousness in playing the game that comes from repetition. Games like Runescape thrive by making players have to input a lot of commands themselves. There is a real struggle to get better, and thus the reward for this hard work is much more worthwhile. Take away the need to put any effort into your achievement, and it loses all its value. Makes it almost not worth doing at all.

But, I can’t deny that it does still help improve the still fairly tedious part without really touching any of the efforts. All it is is the method of obtaining the reward, not the actual process of earning it. I really shouldn’t be butchering it because it makes the gameplay different or easier, because it’s really a fairly redundant, if not simple part of the game.

I mean, I’m all for updates. I rarely hate an update, even if the “majority” (see my last article) claims it’s terrible. In fact, I support this update, as it makes the game a bit more convenient, and am looking forward to giving it a chance in my daily routine. I just hope that the designers at Jagex understand that by changing these simple aspects that have been the one way for a very long time into something almost completely different, they risk effectively changing the entire feel of the game similar to what the EOC did.

Until next time

Cheers, cannoneers!

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