Alex’s Analysis – Not So Funny Now?

posted by on 18th July 2013, at 10:40pm | Discuss Article

I love a good quest. I quest for the story and the surprise. I quest for the puzzles and the prize. I quest for the artwork and the paths. I quest for the humour and the laughs. It’s something that helps take me away from the every day chore of training skills. Almost like a game within the game. I live my Runescape life for quests!

That being said, the newest quest, Bringing Home the Bacon… well, it wasn’t a very good quest. I tried to enjoy it; I really did. I’m usually a fairly positive person, and I always try to see something positive about everything. But once you have to “try” to enjoy something, right away there’s something wrong.

Though the plot was solid and understandable, there wasn’t really much of a story behind it, and no real twist at the end (though it was nice to sorta find out what happened to the hornless… yeah, never mind, you guys go do the quest). There were several instances where I expected something interesting to happen. Like the final town showing, or during the process of picking onions. Many of the times I went out to get something, like the wheat and onions, I was anticipating something to happen. Some mysterious cloaked stranger warning me about Eli, or a loud explosion somewhere in the distance for whatever reason. Alas, so many missed opportunities.

What I mainly want to talk about is the humour aspect of the quest, or lack thereof. First off, though, let me offer a quick review. No quest guides, and because there isn’t much of a story, don’t be afraid of spoilers. But if you are, then just do the quest and come right back. Only takes half an hour. OK, quest review!

The puzzles/interaction… well, I can’t even count the thing at the start as a puzzle. You spam click all the decoys once they’re not surrounded by people and load them up with bacon from 43 pigs in order to save the six. And since then, all it becomes is a “go there and do that” quest. It’s easy to do and it lets the quest take some life, but there really is a limit to the amount of times you can do that in between developing content. Otherwise, it’s a very generic gather and go quest where you’re told exactly what to do and how to do it, and you normally stay in one area without any exploration involved.

The artwork; very impressively done. Kudos to the Jagex Graphics Team, they once again made the characters real and stand out. Even though there was only one. Or two, if you count the pigs… well, three, but the third didn’t even get a graphical update. Regardless, very nice work!

The song at the end that we had to “be sure to listen to”? Yeah, it’s catchy, but I had to listen to it about 5 times to figure out what the lyrics were all about. Too much of a slur in the voice. Maybe it was about 5BPM too fast and the singer wasn’t quite loud enough; I’m not much of a music specialist, so that’s about the best I can do. Otherwise, props to the audio team and voice actors; they did a very good job as well.

Finally, the humour. The core of this quest, promising itself to be one of the funniest to date. The promise wasn’t there. It wasn’t really funny. I chuckled a bit, especially at that thing in Draynor involving a kitten and a rather impressive show of discipline, but I didn’t actually have a memorable laugh during the quest. In fact, the only time I really laughed was when I saw that advertisement image for the quest. The look on the pig’s face, and that hungry guy in the background… another 50 points for the graphics team illustrators! That was brilliant! 90% of the jokes anyways were the farmer covering up a darker truth. In fact, if you played along, you didn’t even get a chance at that.

I cannot define what “funny” is, as the term is based on point of view. Perhaps the quest had more humour than I figured or it appealed to a different crowd or something, but if I can call myself a simple, casual gamer who still laughs at lame puns, I was considerably disappointed at what the quest had to offer. There were indeed quite a few puns in the quest, but it lacked variety. It was usually that one pun was done to death until another one arose, and there were a few times where I was able to throw a pun in with the normal speech.

Spoiler alert; they did the kitten joke again. Just like what happens usually in the Pirate Quest series. Here’s probably where opinion matters, because the pirate quest series are more high-level quests, and if it’s a newer player playing the game, this might become the first instance they see the kitten joke and it would be a lot funnier. But for me, having done all the quests insofar, the repeat was a little bit dry. What saved it was that the delivery was different, where we now have a dementedly happy narrator from Edna & Harvey 2 talking about how happy they are while player does unspeakable things to a pickpocket (though I had Dex do it for me; he’s so much better at making people regret knowing what pain feels like).

As I mentioned earlier, the main joke of the quest was Eli’s half-successful attempts at keeping his dark side hidden through excuse and half-truth. That too was a little bit dry. There wasn’t really any build up to the next joke; Eli “almost” slipped up pretty much every chance he got, and our character is always given a chance to retaliate either suspiciously or optionally indifferently. It got to the point where you almost expected him to slip up, and once he does, you just smile and nod. Yeah, he’s totally evil, and he’s never going to get justice done on him because he’s just so diabolically devious and life goes on in the Runescape world.

Otherwise… yeah, that’s all I really remember about the quest. It was nice to have a quest to do after a while of silence since World Wakes, and the rewards are moderately useful (mmm… bacon…). But to answer the poll they had when it came out, I still loved One Small Favour way more, though. That was a quest that was funny without really trying to be. Still waiting for “Another Small Favour”; I imagine Runescape’s now big enough for that. And that construction update!

And considering the circumstance, the quest was nevertheless welcome and appreciated. Runescape 3’s coming out in just a few short days, darn it, and they pulled off a fully voiced quest during that. That’s just plain awesome! Respect! Hopefully once things start to quiet down a bit and more focus goes into quests, the quests will once again capture our hearts the same way the other great quests did all over again. But for now, do that quest, get it outta the way, and get ready for Runescape 3!

Until next time,

Cheers, cannoneers!