I've always been a fan of team quests. Not Shield of Arrav and Heroes Quest--those were a pain in the neck. I mean the quests like Swan Song, My Arm's Big Adventure, and Dream Mentor, where we get to work alongside NPC versions of heroes like ourselves. Zanik, My Arm, Cyrisus, and the Wise Old Man all made it onto my Top 10 Quests back when I first wrote the list. (As an aside, if I were writing it again, I'd probably add the Temple at Senntisten someplace towards the front. I liked that one a lot.)
As it turns out, I'm not the only one who's a fan of Cyrisus et al. They're popular enough that Jagex is catching on, and apparently the future will herald a whole new batch of NPC allies with which we'll share some of our adventures--so they've announced in this dev blog posted on Tuesday.
"Signature heroes" in dungeoneering garb. From left to right: Ariane, Sir Ewain, Ozan.
On the one hand, this is awesome! Not only is there a new Wise Old Man quest coming up next week, but eventually we'll have a whole new crop of fellow adventurers that will hopefully be just as cool as Zanik and Cyrisus are/were!
On the other hand, what if they aren't that cool? Xenia's supposed to be the first of these "signature heroes," and she's hardly awesome at all! She's more like the person who sends you on the quest in the first place. Y'know, like Sir Tiffy Cashien or something. And who likes Sir Tiffy Cashien? He's not awesome at all. At least, I've never seen him doing anything awesome. As far as I can tell, all he ever does is lounge around on a park bench like some panhandling bum.
Get a job!
I think the signature heroes are a fine idea, but they won't work without good writing. Like, dialogue that's actually good. Seriously. And they need to do things that players do--that's a big part of the charm. My Arm plays Tai Bwo Wannai Cleanup, farms herbs, and gets random events. Zanik collects Tears of Guthix. Cyrisus had a bank full of Barrows armor, magic logs, and ranarrs. The Wise Old Man casts Saradomin Strike, wears a party hat, and solos the Kalphite Queen. They do the stuff that we do. And we do it with them. They're just NPC versions of us. The whole "painting the fourth wall" bit is a big part of what makes these characters so charming. Xenia doesn't quite have that charm for me. I hope Sir Ewain and the rest will do better! :^_^:
Behind the Scenes: July
Also this week, our July installment of Behind the Scenes! I haven't blogged about it, but I'm happy to see the return of Behind the Scenes. The theory was that it would be nice for updates to be a surprise, and the quality of updates would improve without the pressure of the deadline. Neither of those panned out the way we hoped, so it's great to be able to discuss and speculate about the month's updates in advance again.
As I just got through saying, the Wise Old Man is awesome and I thoroughly enjoyed Swan Song, so I'm definitely pumped for a sequel. Quests are great, and this one looks promising! I expect I'll be ready with a review of it on the week of release to discuss it in detail. For now, I have high expectations.
Next on the list, we have our Dungeoneering Batch 1.5 scheduled for the middle of the month. Again, I have high expectations for all the new features described. You can just go down that list of everything they talked about and put a :thumbup: after everything and there's my reaction.
Class-based bonuses are a great idea. Specialization seems like an excellent way to subtly encourage strategy, diversity, and teamwork.
Rewards outside of Daemonheim are exactly what the skill needs most right now.
I said before that with some good upgrades, Dungeoneering has the potential to easily be one of my favorite skills. I have high hopes in this regard for the middle of July. Expect another review from me the week of release.
Finally, towards the end of July we'll be getting an update to clue scrolls! They certainly need it. As it stands, I never do clue scrolls. It's just not worth the effort for a few firelighters and some addy or rune garbage. But I'm apprehensive about adding new rewards because of the effect on the economy. Do we really need a whole new batch of super-rare items for merchants to use as anti-junk? The GE price restrictions will make it a nightmare to trade these new items no matter how the initial prices are set. Then what we'll have is a whole set of awesome, shiny new items that we can never buy. And then I'll feel bad about fighting in my Proselyte instead of souped-up 3rd-Age armor with the same prayer bonus but twice the defense...or crap like that.
On the bright side, even though the price restrictions suck, at least clue scrolls won't be worthless anymore. In fact, with guaranteed unique rewards for every treasure trail, even I might start doing clue scrolls. Investment tip: stock up on clue scroll items ahead of time. I imagine rune warhammers and pointy blue snelms will be selling like hotcakes the first week. Runescape Wiki has a complete list, so make sure you know which ones you can buy from shops and which ones will leave you desperately searching for a trade partner!
That's all I've got for you this week. 'Til next time, folks!