Last September the legendary elven city of Prifddinas finally came back to Gielinor and opened its gates for all to enjoy. It had been ten years in the making when the players forced Jagex’s hand in a poll and voted to bring the city back. At the time, I called it the biggest update of 2014 and possibly the biggest since I started playing RuneScape in 2008. Now one year later it is complete with the additon of waterfall fishing. I want to take a look at the city this month on its first birthday and talk about what it has meant to players, how its changed the game, and finally ask the question”did it meet the goals Jagex had for it?”.
One of the goals Jagex had was to create a social hub for high level players. I think its safe to say that this goal was achieved. Of course Prifddinas is locked behind significant quest content and moderate skill levels so its hard to see how this wouldn’t be the case anyway. The impact this high level hub has had on the game is dramatic to say the least. The grand exchange in Varrock looks like a ghost town now. I predicted that this would be the case early on but what I didn’t see coming was the removal of those highest tier players: the maxers, completionists, and trimmed completionists. Now the max guild is their new home. Its so amazing that when you’ve reached that upper eshalan of players you have everything you need in this one place. It has a GE, bank, portal to any boss in RuneScape, portal to many skilling locations in the world, a challenge master, and a decanter – tell me why you would ever have to go anywhere else again? Oh and I almost forgot, none of those pesky noobie plebs are allowed. I say that in jest but really the max guild has, in effect, put these players behind a gated community. I’m conflicted on if its good for the game or not. I love the max guild I really do, but honestly I can’t say for sure if it is good for the game or not.
One of the things that Jagex wanted to do with Prifddinas was to create new skilling methods. In this they didn’t just meet their goal they crushed it. The new skilling methods are what makes Prifddinas what it is. At the same time this has had the most impact on the game. Every skill you can train in Prifddinas is worth it with the possible exceptions of prayer and divination. The latest addition, waterfall fishing, hasn’t fundamentally changed how fishing is trained but rather it’s barbarian fishing with a shark suit. Thieving and mining however will never be the same. Where once the goal would be to get a high enough level to train thieving on dwarf traders, it is now to get into Prifddinas. The same is true for mining with the Seren stones. The once fast but expensive skill of crafting has changed too. This is an interesting one where now you can train one of the most expensive skills in the game for free. The downside is its really slow, I mean watch paint dry slow. Agility is also reborn in Prifddinas. The new agility course had never been seen before in RuneScape. Relying on cut scenes to add some new flavor to one of the most boring skills ever. Oh and its semi afk nature makes it the only place to train agility in my book. All of these things are wonderful and has improved these skills and the game overall however, was there a downside?
The answer to that question is, it depends on if you like this new xp culture or not. For some time now RuneScape has been a tale of two end games. One group that leans towards high level pvm and the other leaning towards xp gains. The xp culture is by far the more dominant of the two. In a way this was inevitable due to the large number of players that are maxed. Another factor was the introduction of the 120 capes. At the time I thought, big deal, a cosmetic cape. However that’s not how the players saw it and it quickly became the new status symbol. What does this have to do with Prifddinas you may ask? Well the new skilling methods were like pouring gasoline on a fire. Where as before the xp culture was a slow burn and only really manifested in the high score tables, now with Prifddinas everyone could get to a 120 cape much easier. Like I said Prifddinas isn’t the reason we have the current xp culture we do, but it sure contributed to it.
Lastly the most overlooked goal Jagex had was to wrap up the elven story line from a lore perspective. Plague’s End did this very well and is an appropriate gate keeper so to speak of Prifddinas. We now know who the Dark Lord was. We also know the whole story behind the mourners and that regicidal King Lathos. We learned about how Prifddinas was shrunk to crystal form and why. That’s a lot of lore. Last month we even brought Seren back and restored her to her former glory. The only piece of Prifddinas that doesn’t fit the lore is waterfall fishing. Of course the reason for this is that it was never intended to be included in Prifddinas in the first place. We all know that it came from RuneLabs and is a good example for why Jagex should solely be in charge of decisions concerning lore content. It’s safe to say now the elven story has been told and I would be hard pressed to see any reason there would be any further quests dealing with them. Bottom line is Jagex delivered lore in heaps and mounds and then said “but wait there’s more”.
It’s hard to believe that it has only been a year since Prifddinas was introduced into the game. I can barely remember what it was like before. Its become my go to spot for the last year. I don’t think I’ve used the GE in Varock since last September and I highly doubt I would be maxed right now without the Seren stones, Hefin agility, or Prifddinas thieving. I still think its the single best update I’ve ever seen to this day. I personally love the skilling methods it brought into game and they have established themselves as the go to training methods in many cases. The story that Plague’s End and The Light Within told was epic. A fitting end to a story line ten years in the making. It’s hard to say anything negative about Prifddinas, however if you have to find something I think it’s the acceleration and fostering of the xp culture that did exist before. In closing Happy Birthday Prifddinas you are amazing. Until next time, Happy RuneScaping.