Tuesday, June 26, 2012

10 Things to Watch For In the RuneScape Evolution of Combat Beta

The hype and the buildup has been massive, and all around the world, beta launch day is here for the evolution of combat update on RuneScape! From what I've seen, the combat update looks awesome, (animationwise especially, never thought I'd be saying this about the beta though, the whole thing totally sounded like it'd ruin combat when I first heard about it) but as with anything made or implemented by Jagex as of late, it's important to proceed with caution (case in point: Yelps the freaking goblin). Yet after spending some time in the combat evolved subforums on the RuneScape site and talking about it in game chat, I can't help but get excited for the update once again, so I've found 10 things I'm going to be watching for in the Evolution of Combat beta. See you on the beta servers!

10. New animations
Particles and more particles, the badass-yet-stylish look of two chaotic rapiers equipped at once, and animations that look like they came straight out of the hidden folder in the Jagex dungeon titled "Skillcape emote concepts". This seriously puts RuneScape right in line with combat graphics much like Mortal Kombat's (eh, not much of a gamer outside of the 'Scape, hope that was a good comparison). The current animations, or moreover the ones in place before these, are nostalgic, but I'll take the eye candy and the XP for using the new abilities for a change and a new direction in the game.

9. Hotkeys
Long gone are the days of click-and-kill with this update, you're going to have to know your keyboard too! What makes this part of the update even better is that Mod Rathe is working on making them programmable by the time the update goes live in a few months, so you can map them just like you do in other games, so no more pressing WASD on RuneScape after long games of TF2. Just drag anything you need- prayers, food, potions, fletching supplies, whatever- and press a button to work with it!

8. Dungeoneering Rings
This is a particularly interesting update within Dungeoneering as the current rings give very desirable bonuses as it is and maybe upgrading all the way to tier 10 will give a much greater bonus than before with the new system. By the look of the Jagex posts on the Forums though, it might just be a tweak rather than a complete rework. I imagine there will be a ring setting designed to help you regain adrenaline while using a _____ weapon, higher life point bonuses by tier while wearing _____ armour, and so on. Watch for the Ranged and Magic ring classes, though- those will need a rework of sorts.

7. The New Combat Level System
I'm figuring to be level 166 by this new system, but I didn't think this would be one of the parts of the game that would change with the combat beta. While at first it didn't make much sense on why Prayer, Summoning, and Constitution were removed from the combat equation, I became pretty quickly accustomed to it! Your base Constitution level won't make much of a difference now because of the lifepoints pool given by high-level armours, Summoning isn't the most useful thing in combat at the moment, and Prayer... well, we could always go back to the days when the combat level was displayed as 126+12 wherever you went, although now it'd probably be 200+99 or some tomfoolery like that. I recently had a discussion where someone asked about a one-on-one battle between a player with 99 Attack, 1 Strength, 99 Defence, 10 Constitution, 1 Ranged, 1 Magic, 1 Prayer, and 1 Summoning giving 200 combat versus someone with 99 Attack, Strength, Defence, Constitution, Ranged, Magic, Prayer, and Summoning giving 200 combat... who would win? In the new system, that could theoretically lead to a fair fight! As the Attack skill now gives more abilities to those using one-handed weapons, and the Defence skill gives you access to the best shields and armours in the game, the most game-changing abilities, and a huge pool of lifepoints, you could be well off against any end of the combat triangle with just two 99s. DPS might be lower for the player, but they could make up for that Likewise, the maxed combat player would have the same abilities and some extra help from Prayer and Summoning, so it would have the potential to be a fair fight. Another thing to be excited about is the fact that NPCs and players will be on the same system together, so the Ferret of Doom in the Dungeoneering sagas can kiss goodbye to level 9001.

6. Overloads and Extremes in the Wilderness
Huge one for all of the PvP-ers out there with high level Herblore! I'd bet you'd feel like a supreme champion in the Crucible if you went out into the wilderness and wreaked havoc on players just because you had the upper hand in Herblore! This almost redefines the benefit of a support skill in RuneScape PvP, and we thought Dungeoneering had already done that!

5. The Evolution of the Special Attack
While it sounds basic enough, (no pun intended) adrenaline is like the new special attack that you recharge by using basic abilities until you have enough of it to use threshold and ultimate abilities. Sounds pretty good, but I'm going to be looking out for this one to find alternate ways to fill up your adrenaline bar faster. What's going to happen of the 1,000 Restore Special potions I made during the last Bonus XP Weekend? What use is there for the Inspiration aura now? Will it double the recharging of your basic abilities? Watch this space closely, folks- this "adrenaline" brings a lot of change with it.

4. Ranged and Magic Reworks
The beta packs a lot of punch for these two skills, bringing new armour, new weapons, and lots of abilities to play with to the formerly neglected skills. These skills are a pain to train because they cost more on a regular basis than melee itself. On top of the costs of good armour and weapons, you're required to buy ammo in the form of arrows, bolts, or runes to train the skills. In an effort to encourage players to use abilities rather than click-and-kill a target, only regular spells and Ranged attacks cost runes and ammo, not abilities. Even spells have reduced costs now though, Air Surge will only require air runes now! The best part about this is that you can use your abilities on any spellbook, even Lunar! Ancients and abilities... now that's deadly! Ranged will be getting two-handed crossbows and shield-bows for Ranged tanks, which makes up for the lack of good low to mid-level shields for rangers in-game. Jagex can accomplish something great here- balancing the combat triangle without nerfing melee!

3. Dual Wielding and Weapon Stat Buffs
There's a lot of potential for quick damage and even fast combat XP in two abyssal whips, chaotic rapiers, scimitars, or even two double poisoned dragon daggers! Sacrificing defence for 50% more damage in the offhand slot is quite enticing, and you could always keep some defensive abilities in your actionbar. Weapons like the Saradomin Sword are due to receive large stat buffs, and godswords will get some as well to make up for the loss of their special attack. Jagex will have to be more careful handing out stat buffs to one-handed weapons, because it only makes sense for their off-hand versions to have the same stats as the normal version.

2. Slayer
Slayer will be indirectly receiving an update to its XP rates, as although Slayer XP will still be given to a monster if you're on task, combat XP will not be awarded for killing a monster 30 levels below you (50 for higher combat levels until more monsters are released in the future). However, the actual explanation is a tad confusing, and Mod Rathe said it won't even necessarily be based on overall combat level! It'll be based on the skill that you're attacking with, and you can still get a reduced amount of XP if attacking with a style over 30/50 levels above that of the monster's. The full explanation, a post a little too long to get into detail with right now, is available here.

1. The Actionbar
The first time I heard about this, as I said earlier, I had my doubts, and I could almost even say "Welcome to WOWScape" like everyone else was. Since it was such a gamechanging update, however, I had no choice but to follow the development of the beta, and the things you can do with this actionbar in RuneScape are actually really cool! I'll be honest though, I've never played a game with an actionbar, (Uh, wait, Arcanists counts, right?) so this will probably take the whole beta period to get used to! I'll welcome it with open arms though, and laugh at myself as I try to type with it but end up taking a precious sip of a Saradomin Brew by accident. This is probably what's going to need to most tweaking before it's really for the live game, but these are all things I can live with, and that's a good thing. How the times change...

Happy update day everyone!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Free At Last: The Patch Notes

Whew, hey there everyone! It's been a heck of a past few months for me, and for me to not take up to an hour out of my day to keep y'all updated- disgusting! ;) Actually, I was quite shocked when I read Paul M's sentence on the second RuneFest backstage blog that his posts only take about 15 minutes to type up. Does that make me a turtle in comparison?! Eh, maybe I can't focus enough on the tasks at hand most of the time! Anyway, I'll have to slow-post real-life happenings from these last few months some other time, (Yeah, maybe I'll wait another few months!) but I'll go ahead and dedicate this one to my RuneScape and other gaming happenings, which will probably be spread out across a few posts as well!

Gee, now that I think of it, I haven't done much except accumulate money through the Miscellanian Kingdom, buy some high-level items for cheap prices, and take long breaks- which still focusing a lot of my time thinking about the game! It really gets etched in, eh? Thankfully, I've been able to at least turn that into something good- content! Although my video camera and screen recorders sit collecting dust, I've churned out a guest article for the RSBandBInformer! and a podcast episode in the nice, sweet span of a restful month and a half while finishing up my 8th grade year. Count 'em as two blog posts, for typing up the article which I titled "The Antisocial Epidemic" felt like it! Hopefully it's the first of many, because it was a lot of fun typing up my thoughts on the subject of being antisocial in a game as a sociable person myself, even if I did go over the recommended limit of 750 words for guest articles, oops! But hey, it turned out to be worth it, since I was able to strike up some good conversations with folks like The Orange, Sky Armada, Arengeir, and even my good Skype buddy Matt McGriddles... who goes by Zion Ion on RuneScape, if the McGriddles come as a shock ;), about when it's acceptable or practical to be antisocial, as well as the effect the different chat systems have had on the game. It's never too late to have a great debate about the points somebody does or doesn't cover, and I personally never get tired of good chats! Heck, I want to start up a debate team, and I'm already enrolled in my high school's Academic Decathlon program, albeit just the Humanities class for now, so I could use some good practice!

Just last week I witnessed another fun happening that's been in the works for quite some time- a RuneScape podcast! Listening to such great shows as System Update, RSBandBUpdate!, some now-defunct podcasts I found on iTunes, and most recently, the PrimeMar podcast, fed my desire to create my own for a solid few months, so Desilord10, Greenzorz, (Good ol' Greenman's Ale!) and I got together on Twitter and started conspiring! We had to wait a few more weeks for everyone to get working mics, and once that was taken care of, more and more folks were interested in participating, so it really felt like it shaping out to be a community podcast. I was pretty ecstatic about all the interest, but with more people participating in a podcast come more time zones to consider before recording, which made it pretty hard to finally record. Easily, another one and a half weeks were lost before we were down to three folks from the original five that would record the inaugural podcast- Desilord10, Boomer-One, (an admin at RuneSlayer and former Team Penguin rank) and myself (the other potential two were Sky Armada and RuneSlayer's Ben). Surprisingly enough, thanks to Boomer's connection with RuneSlayer, a few of the admins got together and agreed to host the podcast on their site! We finally recorded The Patch Notes (Hey, it could've been The Yak Show!) this Wednesday, with the editing effort beginning that same night, and darn, am I in love with Audacity now! It took another day to get all of the editing finalized, as well as getting everything up on the servers, iTunes (still yet to be done, but close), and the posts and announcements written on the blog (Hey Colt Cabana, how ya doin'?), the dedicated podcast site, and RuneSlayer's "RuneScape Times" (Hey Colt Ca- wait, I still have yet to do that too!). Hey, it's podcast beginner's orientation ;). I might have overedited a bit, and the speech might not seem very natural at times, maybe I bleeped what would end up being acceptable, but I sure hope you do enjoy the final product and leave some feedback for new features and what we could improve on, and make it a true community podcast. I might not like the word "ado" a whole lot, but without any further ado nonetheless... the first episode of The Patch Notes! Now if I could just get back to finishing that "RuneScape in RockMelt" article...


Er, if neither of the links display correctly, I'll try to get an audio player set up on the blog, but for now you can head over to the dedicated podcast page on RuneScape Times.

In this episode:
-Jagex's social media operation and lack thereof, specificially the handling of their various Twitter accounts.
-Discussion of the Loyalty Programme, Jagex's possible new direction with microtransactions, and the mysterious island of Kethsi, as well as the Mahjarrat storyline.
-Dissection of this week's patch notes.
-DJ's Rants
-Answering questions
-"Thanks to RuneScape, Jagex games, or the internet, we didn't..."

Hosts: Boomer-One, YakHunta, Desilord10
Length: 57:18
Date of recording: Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Intro song: "Tyrannosaurus" by Jim Johnston
Outtro song: "Power to the People" by John Lennon

This podcast has been in the works for a long time, so thanks to everyone who takes the time to listen to it! There wouldn't be a podcast without the interest!

Any questions to be aired on the next show? Did we miss something? Anything we can improve on? Want to be on the show? Shoot us an email at thepatchnotespodcast@gmail.com (Audio questions to be accepted soon)!

Also, save yourself the trouble and go use exfm for Chrome or iPhone, the quick download is worth it!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Wilderness Songs

  Well, the time has come. This will be the final post on my blog before the grand return of free trade and the old Wilderness to RuneScape. I'm excited for it, more so to see what it was like back in the day, and also to just see it unfold before my very eyes. Suffice to say, this topic has been dominating my mind all week long, and I can't stop thinking about it for too long. Therefore, it's led to a few interesting thoughts...

  How do people pass time in the Wilderness? Say they're waiting on a friend to come supply them with food or resources for one reason or another, or they're in the Lava Maze waiting for a sharp object. Simple, they sing a song!

55 levels in the Wilderness, 55 levels in the Wilderness
A Revenant Ork came to visit me -OH CRAP- so I ran south, and I'm safe for now
But now there's 54 levels of Wilderness left to trek...

Of course, the song goes on in the same fashion, but it's a possibility. Maybe this is what the Drunken musician near the Forgotten Cemetery in the Wilderness sings in his spare time!

  Last night, I was thinking about how much Jagex has hyped this issue, but through it all, they've forgotten to create a theme song for the Wilderness! Sure, my idea of a theme song is a copyrighted one, and of course it's not created in-house. Nonetheless, it captures the spirit of the last two weeks, so let's examine a particular verse. The song is to the right, of course!
  Before even looking at any lyric, it repeatedly talks about "the wilderness downtown". It's already perfect! At about 0:54 into the video (and song), lie some of the things that remind us of the old Wilderness and the great, grand return of it. 

So when the lights cut out...
I was left standing in the Wilderness downtown

Now our lives are changing fast
Now our lives are changing fast
Hope that something pure can last
Hope that something pure can last

Of course, this tells a story of how the old Wilderness was replaced with the new, and how we were left standing in it, puzzled and confused. During this time period, our lives were "changing fast", for sure. Constant updates each week, new bugs found each week, incomplete updates- it was tumultuous! Now of course, we're just hoping that something pure can last. Ladies and gentlemen, let's hope for the best.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Shadow Silk Hood (and Begging Leechers)!

Shadow Silk Hood!
   There's nothing like an exclamation point to two weeks of happiness, fun holidays, and plenty of achievements and strange moments on RuneScape. Sure, it would've been nicer to have killed Nomad at last, but I'd settle for a Shadow Silk Hood drop any day, particularly in the fashion that I got it. I thought I'd have one last go at level 78 Dungeoneering, so I logged in to 117 to try to find a large Occult floor team, but I always look for anything that's available. After a few moments of looking around, someone opened a party for a large floor 33 dungeon, and I tried to join. My reflexes were a little bit slow on accepting this invite, so I lost out on the invite. Disappointed, I found another person that was forming a team for a floor 26 small dungeon, so I traded him for an invitation. I had to wait just a few seconds to get in, as we got another team member in the nick of time. The dungeon started, and we blitzed through it in good time, getting to the boss, Night-gazer Khighorahk, with a minimal amount of food and Prayer points. It was a bit of a hassle, this boss was! First off, we had a leecher that stayed at home during the entire time we were fighting Khighorahk, yet he didn't even cite lag as the issue! Someone tried to kick him twice, but both tried failed. To make things worse, we had just three of us in the boss room most of the time, and I had to take care of the north pillars by myself. I died once because I didn't eat fast enough, but it didn't penalize my XP much. Onwards to the next floor, gang!
  "One minute left until the next dungeon begins."
  "30 seconds left until the next dungeon begins."
  "15 seconds left until the next dungeon begins."
  "Loading, please wait..."
  At last! I tend to stick around for the next dungeon, sometimes to open a few doors or maximize my XP. This time, it turned out benefitting me, but there was one roadblock in my path.
  The leecher.
  Yeah, he stuck around too. Yeah, he actually helped kill some of the monsters, after I had opened the lone guardian door we could open. Yeah, he was party leader. All of this didn't really matter until we opened the second door, where I saw a Night Spider crawling around, and a few Forgotten Rangers, as well as one Forgotten Mage I didn't see. Heck, I didn't expect to get a Shadow Silk Hood as I killed the spider mindlessly, listening to the leecher pleading for me to stop hitting it, telling me to leave it alone. Maybe if he wasn't such a leecher, I would've let him. Unfortunately, he was. The Night Spider died and to much to my surprise, I saw the ultimate drop- the Shadow Silk Hood- on the list of drops! I was bound to the spot by the Mage, but my character bent over to pick it up and it was in my inventory, at long last! Both of us died, and I rushed to bind it, first checking if he was party leader. The fact that he was made me panic, but it didn't really seem like he even knew about the kicking feature. I declined to give him my hood, citing the long time I had had to wait until getting one. I bound it, then rushed off back to the surface to try it out in some complexity one dungeons. After those, I was completely convinced that I'll be having fun with this bind in the future, after levelling my Smithing and Mining so that I can make some higher-levelled armor, and I'd like to start making my Farming runs, which I do rarely, more efficient. Anyway, those are some of my goals for this month, along with my seemingly neverending goal of killing Nomad, and this month I want to get at least eighth place in the RSBandB Skill of the Month. Heck, I still have to introduce myself to their forum community. I guess I have more to do than I thought ;).

Also, I did mention strange moments and fun, no? Four of my favorites, three centering around Dungeoneering:
-Dungeoneering with a #DrunkRuneScaper for TWO HOURS (and 30 minutes).
-One other 2-hour dungeon. When you're deep underground with a bunch of 'Scapers for two hours, there's                                                                                        bound to be priceless moments.
-Another long dungeon, shorter than the others, in which there were three leader changes due to our first leader being AFK and too bossy for too much of the dungeon, and also because I had a power outage, therefore making another person the leader. The final three completed the dungeon without much trouble, thankfully. Before the power outage, I had found a Night Spider and hit the majority of the damage on it, but someone else teleported to me in time to hit one of the last blows. It had dropped a Shadow Silk Hood, but he clicked on it faster than I did. Unfortunate, but...
-Long, long, long Skype chat sessions with @Greenzorz, @Desilord10, @Sky_Armada, @Ur_a_RC_lvl, @The__Orange. It's fun talking with people while playing RuneScape, it adds a lot to it :P.

This is how I felt after I bound it. Bear with me for a moment ;).

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,
I tried.
  I apologize for writing this letter just a score of minutes away from midnight here in California, but I do understand you like reading these, no matter how late they reach you. I've written these as early as June or July, and that may have excited you for Christmas, but this time it is to prove the supremacy of California over all states enthuse you for your sleigh ride in California, which I'm sure you've always enjoyed, no? I mean, come on... Truckee at midnight is really a great place to be at (Read: if you want to get ice barraged by Mother Nature)! Anyway, I'm not sure you have all that much time left to be reading posts like these, but I still want to thank you for making Christmas happen year after year somehow. I just wouldn't know how to- oh, I just did.
  Christmas is one of those times when you can go back to being young again. I remember when I was 10 years old I left these big long lists of gifts that I wanted, in my shaky handwriting, under the pillow. When I woke up, it was like the Tooth Fairy's deal- there was nothing under my pillow (Nope, the Tooth Fairy actually left some money. I still think she's a fluke.). I had a wide grin on my face and I got up to tell my parents all about it. In a way, you've already given me great gifts- more happiness and rejuvenation for a week or two. I thank you for those, although I'd appreciate it gift-wrapped next time, assuming you send it to me again. Just a side note.
  This year was also my family's first full year with my cat. He's a great cat and I'm personally glad to have him around, although I jokingly call him a fool sometimes.
Thanks for the cat, Santa. October's a little early though, isn't it?
  On to my wishlist- there's not much this year ;). To start things off, I'd like a football so I can get out and do something other than play with that basketball you gave me last year, which has been serving me quite well, thanks! Perhaps a pump and a book on how to kick and punt a ball, since I'd like to do that sometime in the future. 
  Speaking of books, I've always wanted to learn how to code, but I can't get myself to, much like posting new posts. Maybe with some books around on the subject, I can start off my year with some more experience under my belt, and that's always a great gift!
  Another thing I'd like is an iPod Touch. Sure this is completely unrelated to the last two and it's a rather common present, unlike the other two. I like to stand out from the crowd, which should explain my strange antics After all, I'm not as hard to figure out as Nomad. Now that I bring him up, I wonder what he got for Christmas when he was a kid.
This one was painfully obvious.
  How about a nice ol' Wired subscription? I love the magazine, and the content is wonderful. Grandma got me this earlier in the year, it's your turn to renew my subscription!
  Perhaps the strangest gift I'd like this year is less visits to my blog from Internet Explorer. I'm grateful for all visits, and I thank all of you that have stuck with this blog since the beginnings, as well as those who have recently started reading. Y'all are my motivation to keep on posting, because I know there's at least someone who'll check out what I have to say, which feels great deep down inside! To those of you who visit from Internet Explorer, I love you 47% too, but why not upgrade to a better browser? Even IE9 can't do the same job as Firefox, Chrome, or Safari. If you download any one of those, do enjoy the web in a whole new way!
  Last, but for sure not least, are motivation, love, happiness, laughter, memorable times, fun, luck, learning, and everything in between. I hope you all have a very merry Christmas yourselves as well! Make today a good day.

/End post


Directions for Santa

Find cat, remove him from wherever he is, place him in chair for perfect picture when I wake up.

Eat milk and cookies, to be found on my computer desk.

Leave gifts, if any, and perennial note on computer desk.

See you in 2011!

/End post