An instance of opposition or contrast between two concepts or two aspects of something.
There is no better way to describe Dimension of the Damned (DOD). It’s meant to be a competition yet you need other players. You start with maxed stats however you’re limited to free to player gear. The concept and gameplay are simple but the strategy can be complex. It looks great but it has been a challenge to balance. DOD is all of these things and with real prizes on top. This month it’s time to face a zombie horde and try to survive as we take a deep dive into DOD.
Dimension of the Damned is a zombie horde survival mode. It’s available to free to play players and hence takes place in free to play areas with free to play equipment. In order to upgrade the basic weapons you are given you must either make them or loot them from mystery boxes. You can also trade other players. DOD runs off the NXT client so you must have that to play. You can launch DOD by going to the RS website and clicking on DOD or here is the direct link. Once you start you’ll have to set up your action bars and interface. I know it’s a pain. At first you start with a shortbow, bronze arrows, bronze sword and a new currency called bottle caps. Bottle caps can be spent on food, mystery boxes and crystallized blood which makes antidote. Not only are there zombies but you can be infected with zombieism which will do damage over time. The goal is to score points. Points are earned by killing zombies. There are different kinds of zombies ranging in difficulty and point values. There are also boss zombies which spawn when there are a lot of players around making noise. These bosses do 2500 damage to 30 players when they spawn and spread zombieism when they die as well. In order to start scoring points you must click start session on the left of your screen to begin keeping score. Sessions last for one hour.
This is a competition and Jagex is offering real prizes. The competition has two phases qualifying and finale. Only the top 1,000 players will qualify for the finale held on October 28th. The prizes include the title “of the Damned” for those who qualify. The top 10 will be named on a statue in the normal game world for 2 weeks and will receive a special Dimension of the Damned style pet in game. The top 5 win an all expense paid trip to Jagex HQ and gold premier club membership for 2018. The winner receives 200M gp, lifetime membership, the unique King/Queen of the Damned title, real life zombie award, and all other previous rewards. The prizes are really good and worth playing for and therein lies the problem. Jagex is obviously still learning how to do competitions because once again this has not went off without a hitch.
On the day of release player feedback was positive except for a few things. Players enjoyed the world and the look as well as the idea behind the mode but thought it lacked challenge. Many players reported it was fun but gets stale after a few hours. In typical Jagex fashion they listened to player feedback and became reactionary. DOD was buffed and became difficult. On top of that boss monsters did 5000 hp damage when they spawned, your grave lasted only for one minute and unless you were on a very populated world zombies didn’t really spawn. Once again Jagex realized they missed the mark and the pendulum had swung too far in the other direction. Which leads us to Wednesday. Zombie spawns were increased and the spawn damage from boss monsters reduced. These were welcomed changes and it finally feels balanced. There is a sense of threat and surviving isn’t easy. Notice we finally hit balance on day three of a fourteen day qualifying time period. Anyone see a problem with that? Oh yeah in the midst of all this there is a real competition offering real prizes.
Players that took part in the contest on day one had a clear advantage. That is not to say that its impossible to qualify now. Frankly that’s not the point. It’s about fairness and everyone having an even playing field. I would have thought that Jagex would be more careful about how they conduct competitions after last months OSRS’s Deadman Tournament fiasco. A trip to Jagex HQ is a really awesome prize and so is lifetime membership. Its the sort of thing players will put in time to try to win. If the mode was unbalanced in the beginning then one of two thing should gave happened. Either re-balance and reset the high scores or do nothing and let it play out. Those are the fair choices. For reasons that I don’t understand Jagex choose to do the most unfair thing and re-balance without resetting scores. Then instead of explaining their decision they just defended it by saying you could still climb the ranks. While that is true its beside the point. Once again Jagex took a great concept and somehow screwed some part of it up.
Problems aside I really like this game mode. Its almost DarkScape for PvM. It’s unique and very different from our usual RS grind. I think it would make a wonderful addition to the game and I wish it were here for longer than two weeks. What it does well it does really well. If not for the competition aspect of DOD I would have called it a home run. It looks great but it could be so much more. Jagex should take the duality out of the mode and make it either collaborative or competitive, but not both. If they must re-balance then reset scores but not re-balance and not reset scores. If its about zombie hordes than make it about that not boss zombies. Its another example of trying to make everyone happy and only succeeding in delivering half to any one group.
Before I go I will give you a few tips though. First hang out by the store and try picking discarded items other players don’t want. This is a tip from tycoelf and its helped me. Go to populated worlds to earn bottle caps by doing damage to boss zombies outside Falador. Stock up on food by going to less populated worlds and killing normal zombies and picking up the modified shrimp they sometimes drop. If you have friends or just meet people work together. Its the living against the dead. Most importantly have fun and good luck to all finale hopefuls I hope I see you there. Until next time, Happy RuneScaping.