First a little recap: I managed to reach my previous goal of 99 Woodcutting. I mainly cut Yews from 95-98. At level 98 I got a little impatient and decided to sacrifice cash for time. I switched to cutting ivy for the first time at the north wall of Yanille. The experience rate impressed me, averaging between 75-85k an hour. Although I gained no resources for doing so, I did manage to gain 23 bird's nests in this short period, notable drops inside were 3 palm seeds and 1 magic seed (better rate than I've ever got from collecting high level seeds before). It took me 2 days to cross the 1.2 million xp gap between 98-99. I met a few interesting people while I was cutting ivy who were coincidentally also at level 98. How do you stay motivated? One of the beauties of the Woodcutting skill is it only needs part of your attention while you are cutting. The trick is to find something else to take your mind off of the time. If you're stuck staring at your avatar chopping away and staring at your experience rate it will become very tedious. I watched a few of my favorite episodes of "Band of Brothers," as well as the first episode of "The Pacific." I'll reserve judgement on the latter show until a few more episodes are released.
Another thing I did while chopping away was browse YouTube videos. I've been watching one poster by the name of NightmareRH. If you haven't watched his Runescape videos I would recommend them. They are mostly crude and comedic, but they have a charm to them, especially when he routinely fouls up on his PKing runs. One video in particular caught my eye where he discussed his recent achievement on 99 Mining, and how he went about doing it. This motivated me to set my next goal.
And that's how we got to where we are. I'm not the type of player that rushes out to try every update as soon as it hits the streets. In the above mentioned video he mentions the Living Rock Caverns (LRC), and offers a quick demonstration on how to mine there. I had never been there, and was quite ignorant to this area (I don't even know how long it's been there). The advantages of mining at the LRC were immediately clear, and I just had to try it out for myself. Today, I suited up, bought myself a Dragon pickaxe, and headed out.
After only one day of mining, I must agree that this is the place to train. There are two types of areas to mine: concentrated gold and concentrated coal. One advantage to mining here is that you don't strike to get one ore per rock, then wait for them to respawn. Instead, you accumulate the gold while you mine similar to mining pure and rune essence. This makes the skill much more manageable similar to Woodcutting and Fishing, where you gain multiple resources per spot. The second advantage is an easy to reach, one-click deposit box just a short distance away. This means no dropping wasted resources to gain any time advantage. In other words, you'll mine more gold and keep it all when you mine here. At 85 Mining, I seemed to be averaging 55-60k experience and around 800+ gold ore per hour.
The downside to mining at LRC is that it is a dangerous area, filled with 120+ enemies who use both melee and range to attack you. That means you do have to pay a little attention, lest you foolishly die in the area. However, I still am in the belief that if you come prepared, then it will still require far less concentration compared to powermining iron or granite.
With a little help from Dark_Demesne, this is what I wore for my first day at LRC. I wore my Varrock 3 armour, obtainable on completing the related diary. I equipped Dragon platelegs and boots, obby shield, amulet of glory, helm of neitiznot, and a skillcape. Of course, I also equipped my Dragon pickaxe. I used a Lava Titan familiar, which gives a good +10 boost to your Mining, but I also saw several Pack Yaks there. I don't have the Summoning level yet for that. World 84 seems to be the unofficial world for LRC. With the large crowds, the chances of being attacked are far less. I didn't notice the rocks disappearing too fast, even with what seemed to be dozens (if not hundreds) of players there. So the good far outweighs any bad that might come from the crowds. The more the merrier.
I also brought along an Enhanced Excalibur sword. It was recommended for the special of restoring health and boosting defense in case I ran into trouble. I may rethink bringing this next time, as I didn't seem to have much of a problem with the enemies in this area. My LP never dropped below 700 from my normal 970. In some of the areas there are safe spots where no harm can come to you, so if you do run into trouble it seems easy to hide.
In my opinion, this is the best place I've ever been. You gain both great profit and experience at the cost of a little safety. If you play it out right, even if you accidentally die at the LRC and lose any stuff it shouldn't matter. Your profit margin should far outweigh any risk that may come of it.
So after testing I'm planning on coming back tomorrow. Wish me luck to 99. I can't say how often I will be on, but I want to try and get as close as I can to 99, because it's such a rewarding place that I wouldn't be surprised if it gets nerfed in the future. Future posts will include my progress, as well as any random thoughts that might pop in my head. Till next time, happy Scaping. Maybe I'll see you at LRC soon.