The folks at Jagex are not afraid to mess with the formula.

They removed the wilderness once. Let that sink in for a second. An at-the-time pivotal method of PVP, for casual player-killing and clan wars, was one time completely abolished and made into a relatively safe place patrolled by some high DPS revenants. It became a sort of high-risk high-reward interaction where you’d kick butt so long as you invested in it, or else you’d get wrecked, and I myself enjoyed the odd jaunt into the wilderness to hunt revenants and see what sort of sweet drops I’d get from them.

Spoiler alert; I didn’t get much.

And “spoiler” is the word of the day here, because I’m about to talk about V’s Quest and the Eye of Het, among others. Yeah, I just spoiled my own article. If you haven’t done them yet, go do them! Otherwise…

You guys remember V’s Quest? When it came out? It was after a number of the Gods returned to Gielinor, and V himself was one of those figures clad in mystery and rumour. When the quest was advertised, the focus was on V and the Fremennik, and it promised a lot of history and backstory about the Fremennik tribes and, possibly, the Moon Clan tribe. And I’ll say this; I was kinda excited to see what sort of quest it would be. Might involve a bit of sailing. Maybe going for a proper Fremennik hunt. Beer and parties and all sorts of stuff. Heck, maybe we might even finally learn to play the lyre!

But then, all of the sudden, he was killed! By Dragonkin! Who, until now, have been these sort of behind-the-scenes figures in the background, exuding power that even the Gods feared. They’d broken out of the Stone of Jas in While Guthix Sleeps, killed Lucien in Ritual of the Mahjarrat, and chased the Gods away in Missing Presumed Death. But until now, we’ve never had any proper interaction with them because each and every time we’ve seen them, we’ve had to run the @#$% away!

With V dead, suddenly the quest took a whole different turn, which found us hunting down Dragonkin hideouts, getting questions answered by some, and even killing one ourselves! The quest was never going to be about V and the Fremennik; it was about the Dragonkin!

And we had NO IDEA!

This wasn’t at all a one-off. A number of other quests followed the same format.

Missing Presumed Death was a quest that started with the mystery of seeking out a pivotal figure of Runescape, which one would’ve imagined us taking his place, retracing his steps, and stepping into the life and times of Harold. NOPE! Meeting of the Gods and the announcement of the New God Wars! BAM, IN OUR FACE!

You Are It was an interesting quest that made you feel like you were being targeted and hunted. That something was out to get you, and the only way to escape it was to play the game and figure out what’s even after you, Jigsaw-style. Then at the end, to our amazement and surprise, it pulls out a character we were never expecting to make an appearance; Charos, whose name was only ever featured once on a particular ring. Then at the end, we discover Uri himself and the whole reason why clue scrolls exist. not at all what I was expecting; I thought it was simply going to be a sort of suspenseful horror quest, seeing as it came not long after Broken Home.

And now we have the Eye of Het quest, which started off as a simple archaeological mystery where we wondered; what happened to the Duel Arena? One would’ve speculated this was a desert quest that would possibly see Amascut and the return of the Kharid-Ib; something that had been gone for quite a while. The pieces fit, after all; she was interested in these desert artifacts and was trying to attain power for herself; getting at the Eye of Het would be an awesome segue into retrieving it for the Elder God Wars. Would we succeed? Would we have to team up with Icthlarin and take her down once and for all, possibly even saving the Kharid-Ib in the process?

NOPE! The quest took a sudden turn and we discover that one of the Gods was actually behind it. And just to throw sand in our face, they suddenly ditch the others, leaving everything in a state of absolute uncertainty. They’re panicking, one has gone insane, and the end of times is suddenly upon us. The situation has suddenly turned extremely dire.

Usually quests that involve those sudden plot points are large, even grandmaster in scale. Never did I expect such an intense development after a MINI-QUEST!

I love that. I love that because I’m not expecting it. I’m promised one ‘meh’ sort of thing by Runescape News, but then I’m given something better that I wanted a whole lot more. They’re sneaky, yes, but there’s a fun charm to it.

You see, when an update comes out, there needs to be a way to inform the player-base. Otherwise it may end up undiscovered for a while. Hence, the need to read the Runescape News. To see that changes were made and that there’s now a new feature within Runescape. That way, everyone gets equal chance to try it out rather than only a select few getting an unfair jump start just because they got lucky. The problem here is that, because the Runescape News talks about the new thing, it sort of spoils it a bit, since you’re reading it on the main website instead of discovering them in-game. This takes away the fun of discovery that RPGs utilize in their formula.

Don’t try to argue with me; the grind and XP gains are NOT why we as players play Runescape. It’s ALWAYS been the quests. The exploration, the discovery, the story and lore, and especially the secrets and hidden features. That’s the fun part of the game. The joy of wonder! The only reason we grind cash and bosses and XP is because we want to be as properly and epicly equipped as possible for when the next new mystery appears.

So when we get these sudden turn-arounds in quests, I know that this is them going that extra mile to surprise us with some intense developments that we never see coming. And that emotional immersion just makes the game feel so much more exciting.

In my opinion, at least. If you guys are more into bragging right because of low boss-killing times… yeah, I’ll let y’all have that one. I play for the stories.

Until next time,

Cheers, cannoneers.

Play, Don’t Tell

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