After the year of quite frankly mediocre to bad (mostly bad) updates that was 2010, RuneScape manages to survive another year. Apparently this year will bring many exciting updates, (possibly) including the Old Wilderness and Free Trade, although really, no one gives a shit, as seeing as Jagex are barely scraping through regarding creativity, the amount of Awful Updates this year might just top the last. We'll see.
King of the DwarvesEdit
Concept: Sequel to Forgiveness of a Chaos Dwarf, a bunch of bad things have been happening in the dwarven city of Keldagrim and you have to sort it out. Again. Why can't they solve their own fucking problems?
Reality: To think that the very first update of 2011 ends up here, its almost as though the whole thing is scripted. Featuring a quest with less length, less challenge and less creativity, you can really tell the short people got the short end of the stick here. The flagship reward here was a new gravestone, although it only counts as 'new' if you don't mind spending another 500k for an exact copy of the Angel of Death gravestone. But if you don't like the quest, you could instead collect the RuneScape 10th Anniversary cake, which will entertain the average player for 6.8 seconds until they go back to more constructive activity, such as downloading a virus.
Concept: The frozen door in the God Wars Dungeon has finally been opened, and the new strongest boss in the game, the Zarosian Nex has been released, along with new high level HP-boosting armour. What more could you want?
Reality: A couple tedious processes had been shoved into the update to artificially increase its complexity, including the dated killcount system. Nex herself was a oversold boss smaller than a Greater Demon, and the fight was made more complicated than necessary. The bow was an expensive but worse alternative to a Chaotic Crossbow, and the armour, an attempted 'fix' to the issue of the player's low HP cap ended up requiring upwards of 400M to purchase, never mind the street prices that locked out the average billionaire. Merchants enjoyed it, but to them RuneScape is a stock market simulator.
Hati - The Winter WolfEdit
Concept: A cross between a community event and a Bonus XP Weekend, this update sees you fighting Hati, a level 654 wolf who...well, thats it.
Reality: No awful update is complete without some massive clanger of an error, and this update managed a huge one. At first the login server wouldn't work properly, disallowing anyone from logging in. Seeing "0 people currently online" is a belter regardless of circumstances, unless you're Jagex of course. Hati itself was unchallenging, and seeing as everyone who attacks it gets both the useless wolf mask and the gloves as a 100% drop, combined with the fact that you can only obtain and use one set of XP-boosting gloves, meant that the actual content of the update could be completed and never revisited in around 5 minutes. A real howler.
Concept: Everyone hates crafting because its dull and its expensive and people just don't care about it. This is an attempted way to spice it up...how? By offering exp for other skills.
Reality: The urns themself either gave exp to skills that were easy enough anyway, or were simply too inefficient to be of any use. Even the Infernal Urn, which could have been used as a clever way to get free Prayer XP ended up being awkward to use, especially as the popularity of infernal ashes meant that just using them up as you got them wasn't very wise. Overproduction meant they didn't even get time to increase in price - they starting falling from day one. You could say that they didn't urn their worth.
The Wilderness StrykewyrmsEdit
Concept: The Lava Strykewyrm, a monster seen days before this update, was speculated either to be a boss or a Slayer monster with requirements upwards of 95. People thought it would be part of March's BTS - it wasn't.
Reality: This is just complete rubbish. Instead of a new boss or a good slayer monster, we get another pointless J-Mod community event with temporary content. Sticking them in the Wilderness meant pking clans can just show up to ruin your day, and quite frankly what we have now is the most pathetic excuse for a reward there has ever been in the entire of RuneScape's existence. You expect me to go out into the Wilderness, hope not to get destroyed by Pkers and fight a monster that can exceed 500 combat for something worse than a Rocktail? Shut up Jagex, just shut up.
Concept: An all new, all 'too much hard work' minigame based on Lunar Isle. An absolutely insane farm is going even more insane and you have to stop it. Great.
Reality: The fifth to eighth words on the above 'Concept' section already explained the biggest flaw, but the absurdly niche spell rewards coupled with the useless wishes rank highly too on the fail scail. (Surely 'Scale'? - Spell Checker)
The Clan CampEdit
Concept: The clans need support. Well, according to Jagex anyway, they apparently need to get the recognition they deserve. And that doesn't mean 'a bunch of gangly nitwits' like most other people think.
Reality: This one was a belter - not only was it screamed about for ages from Jagex - including the amount of now-dissolved clans made in 24 hours, the amount of now-uninvolved people who joined clans, and the amount of now-clan hating people who have had this garbage shoved down their throats. (But at least you can make a fake Herblore skillcape, and thats the main thing. Right? Right?)
Easter Event - Holly and HawthornEdit
Concept: An Easter Event that doesn't involve the same recycled factory, a genuinely hatable pink obese rabbit and menial, shitty tasks that involve asking what a badly animated goblin thinks of Easter. This should be great eh?
Reality: A massive improvement over last year's embarrassing effort, but temporary content always loses half marks from simply being a waste of time in a month according to everyone. Although the new-look Queen of Snow put Commander Zilyana out of a job. For now.
Capes of DistinctionEdit
(It should be noted at this point that literally every main update is being chucked on the list. I'm not doing this for the sake of it, the updates really are turning out this bad.)
Concept: Continuing with the 'capes are the be-all/end-all' theme, this update let people know if you wasted time on RSC, spent 5 years on this game or simply played it so much you've maxed everything out. And then another cape for 'and then some'.
Reality: Like any other update that involves cosmetic items, give the players 2 months and the update will have lost its appeal. Sure, the 'max cape' and 'completionist cape' are improvements over the fire cape, but just what portion of the player base is this targeting? You couldn't make an update appeal to a thinner audience if you made new GWD boss that instantly barred entry if you had completed Cook's Assistant. Oh and the F2P'ers complained too. Something about being lied to about the useless Veteran Cape...etc...
Lava Flow MineEdit
Concept: A Mining based minigame in Keldagrim that you can access once you've done King of the Dwarves. Perhaps finally a way to speed up one of the slowest, dullest skills in the game?
Reality: Increased exp rates are fine and all, but this suffers in the same way as Artisan's Workshop because it effectively added NOTHING to the game. And what is the point of an update that contributes nothing?
Concept: A pair of cosmetic headwear items that can let other knows of if you're any good in the Wilderness or at Duel Arena. Erm...great!
Reality: We've all thought up of things we'd like to be added to the game. Chaotic spears. New magic spells. New boss monsters. But whenever would you have thought "we need a pair of hats that can be used to show off our pking/duelling skills"?
Concept: A 'Master' level quest, this one sees you trying to catch a massive fish called Thalassus. And find some topless mermaid things along the way.
Reality: The quest itself took about 10 minutes if you knew what you were doing, the rewards were just another cop-out pile of XP and some irrelevant other things, and most people were none too pleased about RuneScape suddenly having topless mermaid things. But at least Jagex said they are keeping to their 'self-imposed standards' and thats the main thing, right? Right?
The Member's Loyalty ProgramEdit
Concept: I don't fucking know! What the fuck were they thinking?
Reality: Where do you start? The thing itself was ill-advised from the start, everyone with sense was screaming at Jagex to cancel this for the 27 days it took to be released after the announcement, and the entire rewards base was a load of pointless whimsy. Waheyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
Salt in the WoundEdit
Concept: Final part to the Sea Slug storyline.
Reality: As a general rule of thumb, if the first time you will hear about an update is in the month's BTS, then chances are its going to be rushed. And thats the case here - and definitely became apparently in the worst quest series ending so far - killing the main antagonist by dropping a pillar on it.
Concept: Apparently one great big amazing utopia in the sky for dedicated clans to evolve into greatness. So exciting they couldn't wait until the BTS to shout about it.
Reality: I wouldn't be surprised if they had the developers for this lined up against a wall and shot by a firing squad - because this seemed like Jagex planned it to be the one of the defining updates of the year, and it ended up as a dull work-work-work in which clans spent ages chopping away at a tree or mining a rock for an unrewarding XP-boosting clan ring. There was a battlefield editor that worked well, but it couldn't hide just how much of a mess-up the main thing was. After it was panned by the player-base, I almost expected Jagex to make a response announcement containing only "WE HAVE GIVEN UP."
'(Now I know what you are all thinking - "Where is Jadinko Lair? The Whip Vine was a massive dissappointment." Well frankly, I believe that in time it will straighten itself out in time.)'