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2009 Highlights, Part 1

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Well, it's the end of 2009 at long last! A time for reflecting on...what? What do you mean "It's January 10th"? So what if it is? A guy can't write a year-end review unless he does it in the first week? Jeez!


Troacctid's Top 10 Updates of 2009


Now before I start, I should explain that I'm only going to list headline updates. Smaller updates, though they certainly have an important impact on our gameplay, are just too hard to sort through without the risk of missing some. Or perhaps they simply deserve their own list...


Also, this is my list. There's no point in pretending to speak for the entire community. Obviously the choices will reflect the biases of my personal style of play. I welcome debate, but if you want your stuff in a different order, make your own list.


Now, commence the Top 10 list!


10. The Curse of Arrav



What is it?

In this portion of the Mahjarrat quest line, the player uncovers some important secrets about the mahjarrat and undermines the evil necromancer Zemouregal's control over Arrav, the legendary hero of Varrock.


Why is it on this list?

I liked it. The Curse of Arrav is easily one of my favorite quests ever. Sure, I wasn't crazy about that bit with the digging. Infiltrating Zemouregal's hideout, however, was pretty sweet. I discussed it in a previous entry already. Nothing makes you feel like a master thief quite like an extended cutscene detailing all the security measures in place to stop you. There have been other quests that revolved around the "stealing priceless artifacts" thing, but none of them pulled it off this well. It was fun.


Additionally, the information from this quest gave us story buffs Zemouregal's Notes, which give us info on all known mahjarrat. This information has become the basis for a great deal of storyline speculation.



9. The Reopening of Runescape Classic



What is it?

Back in November, Jagex temporarily reopened Runescape Classic to new players. Runescape Classic, as you probably know, was the game's original incarnation. Until this update, only those who had played it back in the day could still access the Classic servers, and only if they remained active. However, all members could log in during a special two-week period and gain permanent access to new Classic servers. A similar period of Classic reopening is slated to occur every six months or so from now on.


Why is it on this list?

Well, it was pretty significant. Runescape Classic has been closed off for a long time. I tried it out for myself. The basic mechanics are the same, but it's like a completely different game. This update gave the rest of us a chance to see for ourselves a part of the game's history. Do people play Classic very often? Probably not. But now we can.



8. Mobilising Armies



What is it?

Mobilising Armies is a minigame. It was released in July after an unusually long time in development (release was postponed seven months!) due to technical issues; it does things that the game engine had never done before, such as completely changing the interface during gameplay. The game has the player control squads of elves, dwarves, and goblins to battle other players in a real-time strategy setting. Alternate gameplay modes include assaulting a castle in Siege mode, stealing treasure in Hoard mode, and rescuing TzHaar in Rescue mode.


Why is it on this list?

Now, you might be thinking, "But troacctid, Mobilizing Armies sucked. It was riddled with bugs for the first week, it's boring, and it was pretty much an all-around failure." I would agree with you. But there's no denying it's had a significant impact on gameplay. Or at least, it's had a significant impact on my gameplay, and it's my list. As much as the actual minigame was lame, I can't ignore the addition of a very useful bank and teleport location, both of which I use every day. Any part of the spirit tree network is now easily accessible within seconds through a mere ring of duelling, and there's a bank right there. And as someone who chopped eucalyptus to 99 woodcutting, you can bet I appreciated the location they chose for it.



7. Ardougne Achievement Diary



What is it?

October saw the release of the latest Achievement Diary, this time for the Ardougne area. Players who explored the area, trying out all the different content around Ardougne, could complete a list of tasks. The reward: an Ardougne Cloak. This was the first diary to feature Elite-level tasks, with requirements as high as level 90+ in some skills.


Why is it on this list?

This one earns points simply because of the usefulness of the Ardougne Cloak. It has the highest prayer bonus of any cape, a +6 stab attack bonus, unlimited teleports to a prayer altar and a bush patch, and a great teleport to the Ardougne farming patch. That's on top of the more specific bonuses such as free pure essence or increased Thieving success rates--with really high levels, gloves of silence, and the cloak, you can actually gain a 100% success rate pickpocketing some NPCs, including Master Farmers at level 93 Thieving.


The addition of the Elite tasks seems to have been generally well-received, and its success will influence future--and maybe even past--diaries. (Jagex suggested that new Elite tasks might be added onto existing diaries at some point.) And although some of the tasks seem arbitrary--a rune crossbow?--it's still great to get some high-level content.



6. Run Energy Update and Resting



What is it?

In June, the entire run energy system saw an overhaul. The Rest feature was added, allowing us to sit down and restore run energy more quickly. Musicians were placed in strategic locations for even faster restoration. Finally, the Agility skill now has a much greater effect on your run energy restoration as well as your drain rate. Energy potions and similar items were tweaked to retain some of their previous power level.


Why is it on this list?

Few updates this year have had the same impact on our play that the run energy update had. We run everywhere now, all the time. The once-ubiquitous super energy potion has become a relic of the past--or at least, it has for those of us with half-decent agility levels. :wink:




Click here for Part 2

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Recommended Comments

In fact, I think running is the only effective method to actually get anywhere now. That's my thought.

I'm always running...but I don't run everywhere. I teleport everywhere. The multitude of transportation alternatives dampened the impact for me.


I would, however, rate it as the #1 F2P update of the year by a landslide.

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