Alex’s Analysis – Good to be back in the Wilderness!

posted by on 10th August 2022, at 4:30am

Let’s talk about the wilderness!

The wilderness started as a universal PVP area where players could mess around, fighting each other for all the loot and glory. The higher level you went, the more dangerous it was, but the more cool stuff you could get. For a time, it was the only place to fight greater demons, and at one point, you could get some super-powerful and ridiculously expensive magic spells by braving the wilderness and its relentless player-base. If you wanted to be safe, you brought equipment, but the better stuff you brought, the more you risked, so it became a balance of many different factors. What you were wiling to risk, what sort of contingency plans you had, was whatever you were venturing into the wilderness worth it, and, most importantly: did you feel lucky?

For a time, it was moderately balanced, and then a few new spells came out. Spells that included tele-block and ensnare, which prevented you from teleporting and moving. At all. And there was no way to freedom yourself. And it could be cast on you every few seconds, which means that you were effectively screwed. This changed the ballgame as it was no longer about honor and glory, it was about the loot. You could trap folks, unload a huge barrage on them, and wipe them out without a hope and a prayer. With such a horrid threat, the wilderness became a no-man’s land.

But then, things took a turn when folks realized that they could lure noobs into the wilderness for easy kills with such methods. Not just that, but this was also a time where real-world trading was a serious threat to the game’s integrity and legality. So the folks at Jagex took a gamble: they nerfed trading. Players could only (moderately) trade if they knew each other for months, the Grand Exchange was made to allow for a much more controlled economy, and the Wilderness, because one could merely make a money-mule account and have it butchered by the client, was effectively abolished and turned into Revenant-Land.

And I loved it. Revenants didn’t teleblock or ensnare. I could run in there with my best gear and obliterate them, and if things went south, escape was feasible (if not still pretty darn difficult). They had some rare, good drops as well, but ultimately, it felt like a whole new place to explore because I wasn’t too afraid of the hopeless slaughtering of my character.

Then, they incorporated better detection methods and nuked bots, and the wilderness returned to its former… ahem, glory. Evolution of Combat made things a lot more fair with freedom, and the death system ensured you knew what you were risking.

… and now the wilderness has been obliterated again. And I LOVE it!

Up front, I’m not a PKer. Never was, except when I tried it with a noob account with high magic. It was alright. So, as you can imagine, this post is super opinion-based. But I love what they did to the place.

First off, being a PKer is optional. You need a skull to be a PKer, which means no more luring folks to click you with shadow-robe accounts following you around (seriously, I bore witness to this, and I would’ve been disgusted were I not impressed by the ingenuity). You accepted the risk of being whacked by a PKer, and you voluntarily got that skull because you were there for freakin’ glory. If you didn’t have the skull, then you were in for a ride of your life, because the wilderness has been completely reworked to include all the actually high-level enemies. You got living wyverns, you got kal’garian demons, you got a freakin’ volcano shooting fireballs at you, and you even got random mass mob spawns that, if you didn’t run right that moment, you were straight-up dead. It was super dangerous!

But death’s got your back now. You die, you shell out a couple million coins and all’s well again! The risk is mitigated, turning the experience into a more tactical and attentive one rather than luck-based.

You can fight whatever you want in there, go for that revenant pet, and even do special slayer contracts in there for some extra exp and cash! It’s awesome!

Oh, and did I mention it’s been graphically reworked as well? Seriously, check out the wilderness volcano now; it’s freakin’ NUTS!

Whew! Alright, let’s talk about the new quest now. Spoiler alert:

You are sent off with Trindine (I knew it right when I read her fake name. “Anne Dimitri”? Come on, she’s not even trying at this point!) to spy on Moia and see what’s going on in the wilderness civil war against Zamorakians and demons. You enter her memories, play as her, and discover that she’s gone full berserk mode and wants to effectively become the new Zamorak, maybe even the new Lucien. Also she captured one of the Twin Furies in a bottle.

That’s the whole quest. It’s fun, though; I really love the mechanic of playing as another character and having access to whole new abilities. Makes you come up with tactics on the fly and improvise a lot. Good fun!

Adrasteia and Moia, successors to Saradomin and Zamorak. That’s right, with the majority of the banished Gods having been male, the age of the powerful ladies is now upon us! Woo! And thumbs up for that move, I really like the idea because these two characters are just so much more dynamic than Saradomin and Zamorak. Feels like being Gods, they’ve already developed themselves and all we were seeing was their pasts played back like an old video tape. Now, we are effectively tying ourselves with the fates and choices of these two women and developing their stories alongside them. Much more engaging and involving!

Not much else to say about the whole thing. The quest was fun, was a great introduction to the new wilderness, and the wilderness itself is just a treat to explore once again after such a long time of staying the heck away.

… yes, I have full globetrotters. I would change wilderness clues without even thinking about it. That’s how much I hated the place. If the folks at Jagex want to just tweak back that little randomness patch that made clue scrolls less likely to be wilderness clues, I wouldn’t mind.

Until next time,

Cheers, cannoneers!

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