(Note: Please read the entire post before posting)
Slayer. The longest, and hardest, 99. The skill loved by all. The skill proclaimed to be the greatest thing since RS2. In short, it sucks.
Widely regarded as the best way to train combat, slayer simply isn't. Every thread I see asking about combat goes something like this:
*Post about training combat*
*Post saying X monster is good*
*Post saying Y monster is good*
*Post saying slayer is good*
*Post saying 'the above guy is right'*
*Post saying 'yeah train slayer"* X 8
Same with combat money makers.
Slayer isn't a good way to train. Slayer isn't a good way to make money.
XPwise, slayer is a nightmare. At near maxed stats, you are lucky to get 50K xp\hour. I used to train slayer, but I started to get fed up with it after the new release. I'm on my 49th task, and I should get 50th just so I can buy runes and make a bit of money, but I can't stomach it any more. My tasks went something like: Iron dragons, for the 1000th time, (skip, 41 points left), 60 steel dragons (skip, 11 points left), Mithril Dragons (Can't skip, 11 points left). I spent way too much time trying to kill mith dragons before realizing that it really wasn't worth it.
XP per hour with slayer: 50k
XP per hour with Zombie Monkies: 110k
Yeah. But slayer earns money, you say? Zombies cost too much, you say?
Slayer is LUCKY to earn 50k per hour before level 80 (I can't vouch for after 83, but from what I hear it really doesn't pick up a whole lot). A few tasks make a little money, but most tasks I consider myself lucky to break even. Subtract prayer pots\armor repair\Summoning pouches\scrolls\super set costs, and your left with a pittance.Zombie monkies, with my invo and outfit, costs 5 prayer pots per hour, + 1.5 pure sets.
XP per hour with slayer: 50k, Profit per hour: 50k
XP per hour with monkies: 110k, Profit per hour: (-40k)
1 hour at Zombie Monkies = 110k xp
2 hours at slayer = (If your lucky) 110k xp
You turn out 100k (profit from slayer) + 40k (loss from monkies) = 140k ahead with slayer. Hopefully most of us can make more then that in 1 hour.
Ah, but slayer is easier, right? No, zombie monkies is standing there clicking a prayer pot every couple of minutes, and running a few squares away and back so that the monkies are aggressive again. You can literally read a book and turn your attention to RS for a few seconds every couple of minutes. Slayer means constantly running around and attacking monsters, or piety switching if you want to train prayer.
Danger: Slayer is fairly dangerous; I've lost several dozen million to it, quite a bit from metal dragons. Not paying attention and letting your prayer run out can result in nasty things happening to you.
Zombie monkies, on the other hand, and incredibly safe. Your prayer drains very slowly, and in the off chance that it runs out, the monkies hit very slowly. If you do manage to die, you lose proslyte and not much else. Not that it matters; your grave is less then a minute away from any bank with Ape Atoll tele.
Slayer is 'fun' - I can't really argue against this one; everyone's idea of fun varies. I do zombie monkies during times I can't pay much attention or don't really feel like playing; when I 'play' runescape, I do whatever I find fun, usually PVP games like CW\Fight Pits, or else get some real training done with chinchompas and whatnot. If, for you, the funnest thing in the game is killing various monsters, you could just as well train at monkies during downtime, and kill random monsters not on task when 'playing'. You'd still end up ahead of just slayer, although if you want to train the best would be to kill monkies steadily. Like I said, opinions of 'fun' vary.
The last argument I hear is that if some new item comes out with a high slayer requirement, you can make a lot of money. Which is sort of true, but not a viable argument. Whips were one exception; no one had the slayer level when they came out, and the first people to 85 slayer made a massive amount of money. Dark bows did OK, but few people really had a good strategy for killing dark beasts, the bows were rare, and they dropped like a rock. Put the letters two, eight, and seven in the first three digits of your reply to prove you actually read what I typed. Dragon boots had the same problem, and dropped very quickly, but they remained a decent money maker until recently. However, those perks for the first day or two that items come out will never come close to making up for the fact that you were earning 50k an hour for all those hundreds of hours of training - you could have made more money then you would ever spend by doing something other then slayer for the time.
Slayer is downright horrible for training range. I can earn 65k XP an hour right now at level 50 spiders while clicking on my range potion once every 7 minutes, at a minuscule cost. When I have time and feel like doing something, I can get 220k XP\hour at Ape Atoll for 450k an hour with grey chinchompas. With slayer, I can get 30k XP\hour, getting lucky to break even when using decent ammo so my XP rates are acceptable. Meaning that I get 7.3x the XP at chinchompas, for a cost of 450k an hour more. So, I would be spending an extra 6.3 hours to save 450k - 71k an hour. I can find a few ways of making more then 71k an hour, thank you very much. At level 50 spiders, I'm losing 20k an hour to get 65k XP, vs 30k XP for free with slayer. I can make more then 9k per hour, so I like spiders better. Besides that, I can do spiders while paying virtually no attention whatsoever.
Training magic using combat, in any way, unless your bursting rock lobsters, is a bad idea. No need to argue that point.
In short, slayer is bad for any form of training. The only possible way slayer would be a good thing would be if you really enjoy the skill, and are willing to sacrifice huge amounts of XP and GP just so you have variety in training.
I'm welcome to any opinions against this, and I'm sure there will be plenty. But don't post any arguments of the following kind, which I have already covered:
'Slayer is better XP then you say, because I get X xp with Y task' No. Slayer is 50k melee XP at the most, and 30k range XP if you are lucky. With banking time and the time spent getting tasks, the XP rates go down dramatically. And for every 'good' tasks, there is several bad ones.
'Slayer is easier\less clicking\requires less attention and is less dangerous then X method of training' No. I already covered that. Zombie monkies for melee and giant spiders for range, the two methods I use in comparison, require a couple of clicks per minute at the most, and both have virtually no risk. Slayer, on the other hand, requires constant attention for most tasks, and some tasks carry a significant risk.
'Slayer is funner' Fair enough, if you find it fun then that's that. However, read my section on 'slayer is fun'.
In short, saying 'slayer is the best way to train combat' is a horribly wrong statement. A correct version would be 'slayer is a slow and unprofitable way to train combat, but if you enjoy the skill it is worth training. Just know that you will be losing out on a large amount of XP and GP.' I have nothing against slayer, but I get tired of people saying that it is the best way to train combat...
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