Alex’s Analysis – The Post-Fest in a Bottle

posted by on 25th October 2015, at 9:33pm

Fair greetings to you all. I have returned from the RuneFest once again impressed and surprised by what it had to offer. Compared to the 2013 RuneFest, it played out pretty much the same way. J-Mods were everywhere (I heard from one there were 150 of them present) and they weren’t afraid to chat up with their fanbase, there were some activities where you had to collect tokens, and there was no possible way for you to do everything available simply because there were so many people there and things happening all at once. You know, a convention.

One of the biggest events that the RuneFest had to offer was the 2016 reveals, which pretty much everybody there attended. This is where the convention became E3, where whole new never-before-heard ideas are brought to the surface and the biggest Runescape fans around all simultaneously showed their enthusiasm with thunderous applause at each new reveal. It got pretty loud when Nomad appeared on the screen there, and I cannot even begin to describe the hype when the Gower quest was very cleverly introduced (almost nobody saw it coming).

It wasn’t as actively announced, but one of my favourite booths there was a showcase for a potential update including the Oculus Rift. They sat you down and plugged you in with a headset and headphones, to which you were brought on a first-person journey through several areas of Runescape. The POH aquarium, Tarddiad, Mazcab, and finally Araxxor’s lair, where you finish the tour with an encounter with the giant arachnid itself. Watching it on the screen does absolutely no justice when you have the headset on feel like you’re actually there, physically looking up at it and realizing just how tiny you are in comparison. It’s merely a prospect, but with the new NXT game client possibly coupled with Oculus Rift compatibility in the hopefully near future, Runescape can and will become a thousand times more epic. Provided you own an Oculus Rift headset, but I reckon that won’t be too much a problem soon.

Now, what blew my mind was the announcement for what they call Bottle Quests and how they were going to be doing things in regards to updates. If you’ve read some of my other articles, you’ll know that I like to preach substance. Simply adding some series of dialogues without having to create so many assets to make the game a lot more interactive and fuller really helps the experience. Guess either some of them actually read my articles (if so, hi guys, and great job on the game), or great minds think alike. Either way, this is an incredibly welcome piece of news and I’m looking very forward to having a lot more quests happen in the upcoming days.

Let’s talk about these for a bit.

Bottle Quests. Basically, quests that are created that take up few assets and mostly involve the player chatting up already existing NPCs. Some new items are made, maybe some new rooms or puzzle caves are created, but ultimately it’s a quest that can be hammered out in about a week’s time that reuses many existing assets. Like the kinds of quests we used to have going back in the early days of Runescape 2. Devious Minds, Eadgar’s Ruse, Rag and Bone Man, Death to the Dorgeshuun, and many more.

From 2014 onwards, we didn’t have very many of these come out, as due to a public vote, it was more desired to have large-scale epic quests. Sort of a once per month or two month ordeal. I liked the idea of quests taking us on a very high-quality adventure, but most of what it really ended up being was beautiful graphics, incredible soundtrack, and a good story to go with it. Felt really bad when it was over, because that meant I’d have to wait another month for another one. And if the quest ended on a cliffhanger, how long would I have to wait for the next one to come out?

What I’m hoping to see in that regard is a whole series of bottle quests, where each part comes out once or twice a month. That way, each quest doesn’t have to take very long, and it can be a pleasant little distraction from endless skilling. It would be like reading each chapter in a book at a time. You fellow book-readers out there know what I’m talking about, right? Focus on one chapter at a time, and you get more out of the book instead of just scanning through the whole thing to get it over with?

And there’s already so much content out there in the world of Runescape, and so many areas that no longer hold any interest to anybody. Let’s see another quest in Camelot Castle, or one that takes us back to the Ogre Cuty of Gu’Tanoth, or even one that returns us to Crandor and starts the rebuild of their civilization. How about a quest with the dwarven gangsters from One Small Favour, or one that entirely takes place on Entrana, or even one that doesn’t involve any NPC interaction at all that takes us all around the Runescape world, searching for something we casually found in a book at the Varrock library. It would be a shame to let them all become just another lamppost on memory lane.

Yup, looking forward to a whole slew of new quests. Gotta make sure that quest cape is well-worn, after all.

Until next time,

Cheers, cannoneers!

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