Digging up the Future

posted by on 23rd August 2019, at 3:12am

Do you remember the first job you wanted to do when you were a kid? I can remember by the age of five I wanted to be an archeologist. I loved dinosaurs. When you’re a kid, I don’t know if there is anything quite as cool as dinosaurs. Of course, my five-year-old self didn’t realize what I really wanted to be was a paleontologist because they are the ones that actually deal with fossils. As I got a little older, I started to develop a love for gaming as well. RuneScape is by far the game I’ve spent the most time playing. I played it through college, I was playing it when I got married and was still playing when my daughter was born. Needless to say, I’ve spent a lot of time playing RuneScape and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. This month seems to be the perfect time to ask the question, could archeology be the next new skill, could this be the year where my childhood passions come together?

Let’s get one thing out of the way right now, Jagex has not confirmed or committed to archeology. They have not communicated in any way that archeology would be the next skill. It has been mentioned during Q&A streams in the context of possible new skills. Now that we have that straight, let’s talk about why this may be the perfect time to do an archeology skill. Jagex has racked up a number of wins earlier this year. It has given them confidence and gained them some political capital so to speak. That capital has been allowing them to do things that some players have been asking them to do for a long time. Namely, players wanted them to get back to surprise style updates. Jagex has responded by taking some bold moves. The first of which was the Land Out of Time or Anachronia. This is a huge new island with new slayer mobs, agility course and a new method of training hunter. They haven’t used their capital simply for good though. With Anachronia players also had to deal with a dramatic cut in the experience, you could gain from the hunter. In addition to that, Jagex wanted to make some drastic changes to player-owned farms but were forced to take another look once the players were told it was coming. No one knows what Jagex may have planned, but it’s safe to say they do still have some goodwill to work with and I like to think it won’t be spent on any other experience nerfs. No matter what side you fall on in that debate the bottom line is that nerfs don’t excite anybody. They don’t bring in new players or entice existing players to engage more with the game. That means that this would be a good time for them to make a bold move like a new skill.

Perhaps the best argument for archeology is Anachronia. Anachronia has introduced us to a dinosaur in RuneScape. We also know from the lead up to its release that Anachronia is Fossil Island, only we are seeing what it looked like in the past. This was made possible in the desperate time’s quest where Karapak stole the elder artifact the needle that can change time. In addition to all of this, the Vorak museum was involved in the funding of the expedition of Anachronia and they have ties to archeology from the dig site. On top of that, we know that there is more to Anachronia then what we have right now. One clue comes from the new slayer master Lanakea who has some interesting dialogue about what may lie underneath the island. All that implies that there will most likely be another quest having to do with Anachronia, Karapak, and the needle. All the pieces are there they just need to be tied together. RuneFest is even going to have an Anachronia theme to it, and in the distant past RuneFest was where some of the game’s most ambitious projects have been announced. Last but not least, it’s been three years since invention came out in January of 2016, but wait that was an elite skill. The last regular skill was divination in August of 2013. In other words, it’s been a while since we’ve had a new skill. All the pieces are there to build on which would make this the perfect time to introduce archeology.

To anyone that listens to RsBandBUpdate! it should comes as no surprise that I don’t have a developers mind. I’m a player at heart. I can’t tell you why we need archeology from a design perspective. That being said I do have a vision of how archeology could be introduced and some of the things it could do. Of course, it should be brought in with a quest. I could see it coming in with the next Anachronia/elder god quest. I could see it being instanced where we were brought forward through time to modern-day Fossil Island. I think one of the things I would love to see is players uncovering objects from all the previous ages of Geilinor. It could also be a part of new high-level weapons that come out. We could unearth parts that could then be combined with new boss drops. I could see archeology being done solo or in teams or expeditions where players would do different roles as part of the expedition. Like what we have in the dig site. Where some people are digging while others are sifting and still others are cleaning the specimens. These are just a few ideas of things that could be a part of archeology.

It’s time for a new skill. There won’t be a more perfect time for archeology to come out than now. Anachronia, RuneFest, fossil island, the needle, it’s all there it just needs the cherry on top. I’m not saying that we absolutely need this. What I am saying is this is the perfect time to do it if it is to ever be done. I know Jagex hasn’t said a word about this, but can we whisper a dream? Until next time, Happy RuneScaping.

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