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Tip.it Times 31 January 2010


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#21
Troacctid
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Maybe it didn't strike you all as such, but the second article seemed to me to be a reflection on the fact that 22 of Jagex's last 60 updates have been game-related, and that's including all the small fixes. The last 5 developer diaries have been about topics other than game content.

You can justify any individual update coming out, but the main point is that Jagex seems to have quite a lot of personnel taking more active roles in the support and special interests subdivisions. There's nothing wrong with that, except the fact that all the support staff is catering to clans and machinima makers instead of answering queries for everyone. How exactly is that taking a more balanced approach to the community? RS content has slowed - and while that's ok if each update is offering lots of playability, the quality of each is going in the opposite direction. I have yet to meet someone who thinks that RS is currently in the most perfect state it will ever be in and that Jagex should sit back and focus on support.

It's not the orb in particular - it's the whole shift away from content and towards community involvement. It was the result of people complaining that Jagex never tells us anything and that they never log into the game and that they never support people making videos or writing about RuneScape. Well now they log into the game and everything, but it's leaving gaping holes in terms of content.

It's not fair to treat this as a zero-sum game. Community management and content teams are separate entities that do their job separately and receive separate funding. The content team is too busy making content to write developer blogs and speak directly to the players all day. You see the community management team handling all that because it's their job to do it, not the content team. They write the dev blogs, they talk to the players. They get paid to be ambassadors to the players like that.

Would you prefer the content team spend all their time writing dev blogs instead of actually making the content? They need to actually make the game. (Actually, I would like it a lot if they wrote them more often, but I've done my share of writing and it can take a lot of time to get a good blog like that done, so I can understand.)

Edit: whoops, forgot I had just posted on the same thread :oops:

#22
waheera1
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But to the second article author, the orb isnt made just for machinima i personally see it as an all around good thing. Runescapes viewing is terrible, if i need to explain this you obviously havnt played other games.... But we see always above our head kinda like a RTS game. Like age of empires or Warcraft. I would love to see first person or see more angles then before. This and extending the horizons would be some of the best graphical(?) updates ever imo. I have no interest in moviemaking but i wish instead of the orb they could update the actual viewing...


If I've understood all that I read on the Orb of Oculus correctly, then you're simply hoping for too much from it. The post about it on the RS main page seemed to hint strongly at its use in machinima etc, with absolutely no mention of its use for generic gameplay. Thus it is unlikely to bring about any significant graphical improvements to viewing points or horizon views at all.

But, for the record, I'm a diplodocus. :-P

#23
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According to Facebook, I'm a T-Rex :thumbup:

#24
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It's not fair to treat this as a zero-sum game. Community management and content teams are separate entities that do their job separately and receive separate funding. The content team is too busy making content to write developer blogs and speak directly to the players all day. You see the community management team handling all that because it's their job to do it, not the content team. They write the dev blogs, they talk to the players. They get paid to be ambassadors to the players like that.

Would you prefer the content team spend all their time writing dev blogs instead of actually making the content? They need to actually make the game. (Actually, I would like it a lot if they wrote them more often, but I've done my share of writing and it can take a lot of time to get a good blog like that done, so I can understand.)


I would prefer if Jagex invested more money in the content team (receive more of that separate funding) than in the CM team if the CM team doesn't actually have an open customer support connection to the general public. If there were more developers to go around, there would be more projects in the work at any one time, meaning each project could be carefully manicured to perfection when it is nearing release (instead of being released with bugs or pushed back).

On the topic of developer diaries, I've always thought that the content ones were too large, not too small. The best diary is a short little blog entry, not a carefully written and timetabled production. All the developers would need to do is take 5 minutes at the end of each day to write about what they did that day, if it was meaningful.

2496 Completionist


#25
Big_Stingman
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Excellent articles. The first one was kind of humorous, and also informative. :thumbup:

Second one brought up some nice points, although I personally don't believe that Runescape content has suffered from other projects.

They do a great job of balancing between free to play, members, quests, minigames, skillers, slayers, and PVP just to name a few. If I had to decide what update to work on next for a game that millions are yelling at me to do something different, I think I'd go insane.

#26
Troacctid
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It's not fair to treat this as a zero-sum game. Community management and content teams are separate entities that do their job separately and receive separate funding. The content team is too busy making content to write developer blogs and speak directly to the players all day. You see the community management team handling all that because it's their job to do it, not the content team. They write the dev blogs, they talk to the players. They get paid to be ambassadors to the players like that.

Would you prefer the content team spend all their time writing dev blogs instead of actually making the content? They need to actually make the game. (Actually, I would like it a lot if they wrote them more often, but I've done my share of writing and it can take a lot of time to get a good blog like that done, so I can understand.)


I would prefer if Jagex invested more money in the content team (receive more of that separate funding) than in the CM team if the CM team doesn't actually have an open customer support connection to the general public. If there were more developers to go around, there would be more projects in the work at any one time, meaning each project could be carefully manicured to perfection when it is nearing release (instead of being released with bugs or pushed back).

On the topic of developer diaries, I've always thought that the content ones were too large, not too small. The best diary is a short little blog entry, not a carefully written and timetabled production. All the developers would need to do is take 5 minutes at the end of each day to write about what they did that day, if it was meaningful.

The dev blogs are personal preference I guess, but as for hiring more content developers, look at this graph (from mechscapeworld):

Posted Image

And keep in mind that MMG said they already have a full decade's worth of content in the works on schedule to be released at regular intervals. So, I mean, it's not like it would be bad for them to hire more content people, but it's not like things are going so badly as it is. At least not in any visible way.

#27
Beaumonde
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The Runescape Dinosaur article perfectly describes the way I play, no I don't want to friend you, please don't talk to me and please don't bother my training.

#28
firebird308
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The Runescape Dinosaur article perfectly describes the way I play, no I don't want to friend you, please don't talk to me and please don't bother my training.


Ditto. I mean, I don't mind answering a question or helping someone out real quick while I'm at the bank or something--like if someone needs a potion I have the level/ingredients for--but while I'm running around doing stuff? I'm not gonna lead your behind to some location way the heck away from whatever I'm doing/going. -.-

Silverfox30.png


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^^^At least I'm not the only crazy one


#29
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Regarding the 2nd article, I think the author is a little biased.

Especially regarding this statement:

A majority of players that I have interacted with related me that they’ve never been in any clans. The reason that is most commonly given reason is because of bad experiences with clans.


1) If players have never been in any clans, how would their reasoning be that they've had bad experience with clans, considering they have never been in any clans? How can you say you don't like something if you have never tried it.

2) Every single person I know or have on my friends list has been in a clan at one point of another. Some clans are "community clans", some are "skilling clans" or "pk'ing clans", but at one point or another all of them were in one. I guess you could say my opinion is a little biased because I've met all my friends through the clans I've been in.

The tip.it community tends to be more of a solo-ish community. There are a fair number of clans here, but most people in clans would not typically visit Tipit or their forums because they are busy in their own clan's activities/site.

Onto the topic at hand, the reasoning for the new content being developed for communities is simple.

Jagex wish to develop at least one piece of content for every group of individuals that play.

You may not like it, I may not like it. I think Jagex waste their time with PvP and should just remove it. I dislike boss-hunting at GodWars, and would rather Jagex remove the God Wars Dungeon. But I also understand a portion of players like these pieces of content. I play this game for me, and I don't enjoy the content listed above, but I feel like I can take a week of no content for me to make other people happy.

I understand Jagex want's to appeal to everyone and don't complain if I only have 2 updates of content to do a month. Keep in mind Jagex does not design this game for YOU, they design this game for EVERYONE.

If Jagex suddenly stopped making updates to help community and clans, how do you think they would feel? They would feel the same as if Jagex stopped making quests for you. Who are you to say how this game should be played or what should be fun. Essentially you are being discriminatory to the people who enjoy those things. It's like saying "Well [insert minority race] is not as good as my race, so they shouldn't get anything because only my race is more important".

So what I think you should consider is that, while it may have attributes of a single player game at times, in the end Runescape all revolves around the community to function. Jagex is just now starting to make updates for all aspects of the community rather that just part of it, unless of course you'd rather have them focus one just one part of the community?

Perhaps they should move some staff and stop making quests so they can focus on other "more important" parts of the community? Nobody I know does Quests anyways.[/sarcasm]

EDIT: Oh and by the way, if you think making videos is a small part of the community, perhaps you should do some research. "RSMV" results to about 53,800 videos on Youtube. And that's just music videos.
Posted Image

#30
jettrider
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It's not fair to treat this as a zero-sum game. Community management and content teams are separate entities that do their job separately and receive separate funding. The content team is too busy making content to write developer blogs and speak directly to the players all day. You see the community management team handling all that because it's their job to do it, not the content team. They write the dev blogs, they talk to the players. They get paid to be ambassadors to the players like that.

Would you prefer the content team spend all their time writing dev blogs instead of actually making the content? They need to actually make the game. (Actually, I would like it a lot if they wrote them more often, but I've done my share of writing and it can take a lot of time to get a good blog like that done, so I can understand.)


I would prefer if Jagex invested more money in the content team (receive more of that separate funding) than in the CM team if the CM team doesn't actually have an open customer support connection to the general public. If there were more developers to go around, there would be more projects in the work at any one time, meaning each project could be carefully manicured to perfection when it is nearing release (instead of being released with bugs or pushed back).


as for hiring more content developers, look at this graph (from mechscapeworld):

Posted Image

And keep in mind that MMG said they already have a full decade's worth of content in the works on schedule to be released at regular intervals. So, I mean, it's not like it would be bad for them to hire more content people, but it's not like things are going so badly as it is. At least not in any visible way.


Recent updates have been suffering from a big lack of quality, of the "oomph" that makes you want to replay the update. All of the quests have been short and the dungeons have followed the set formulas. Let me quote from a different diary:

We then build the game. This simple statement incorporates a lot of work. Graphics and audio work needs to be allocated, performed and scheduled to arrive with the developer at the correct time. We work using build iterations: we add something, playtest it and change it until it works the way we anticipated. Sometimes we need to completely remove elements we've added, because they just didn't work the way we thought they would. And so the game progresses: add, test, refine/reject/replace, test again and so on, until we've got the best result we think we can get.


I'm pretty sure that Jagex doesn't consider a quest that takes 10 minutes to complete to be "the best result we think we can get." With RS getting bigger every year, each unique idea that comes up needs to be milked so that it leaves a substantial piece of itself in 'Scape. Forgive me if I don't jump out of my boots at a 2 percent increase in the number of developers. The removal of customer support suddenly liberated ALL those customer relations people, whose numbers only fell 2.5%. If Jagex kept them on, then they need to increase the size of the content team a great amount to keep the working ratio going.

It's a testament to how complicated RS has become that only 94 people in content and QA combined managed to churn out all the great stuff from 2006-2007, the golden year of RuneScape. Updates have dropped vastly in number, and while that is to be expected as a game grows, the lack of an increase in playability means things are still getting rushed. Just adding another 20 developers, 4 graphic artists, 1 music track mixer, and 5 QA testers would allow another 15 or so projects to be designed simultaneously, meaning each project can be given the time it deserves to make sure it fits in the game. Even if these projects take 8 months each, we are still getting 24 more high-quality updates per year - another 2 for every month. Obviously it won't always shake out this way, but it should be pretty clear that even minor increases should vastly increase quality without sacrificing quantity.

2496 Completionist


#31
Troacctid
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Recent updates have been suffering from a big lack of quality, of the "oomph" that makes you want to replay the update. All of the quests have been short and the dungeons have followed the set formulas. Let me quote from a different diary:

We then build the game. This simple statement incorporates a lot of work. Graphics and audio work needs to be allocated, performed and scheduled to arrive with the developer at the correct time. We work using build iterations: we add something, playtest it and change it until it works the way we anticipated. Sometimes we need to completely remove elements we've added, because they just didn't work the way we thought they would. And so the game progresses: add, test, refine/reject/replace, test again and so on, until we've got the best result we think we can get.


I'm pretty sure that Jagex doesn't consider a quest that takes 10 minutes to complete to be "the best result we think we can get." With RS getting bigger every year, each unique idea that comes up needs to be milked so that it leaves a substantial piece of itself in 'Scape. Forgive me if I don't jump out of my boots at a 2 percent increase in the number of developers. The removal of customer support suddenly liberated ALL those customer relations people, whose numbers only fell 2.5%. If Jagex kept them on, then they need to increase the size of the content team a great amount to keep the working ratio going.

No, a 10-minute quest does kind of suck. Which is why In Pyre Need and Perils of Ice Mountain and All Fired Up were crappy updates. All of them came before the community management push, though, so there doesn't seem to be any correlation. In fact, since MMG took over, we saw awesome streaks of updates like Forgiveness of a Chaos Dwarf, Living Rock Caverns, Ardougne Diary, High-level potions, and Temple at Senntisten, as well as Nomad's Requiem which is debatable but definitely had the most epic boss fight in the game's history and certainly took me hours just to solve the puzzles.

#32
GameSock
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I liked o :)

#33
jettrider
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No, a 10-minute quest does kind of suck. Which is why In Pyre Need and Perils of Ice Mountain and All Fired Up were crappy updates. All of them came before the community management push, though, so there doesn't seem to be any correlation. In fact, since MMG took over, we saw awesome streaks of updates like Forgiveness of a Chaos Dwarf, Living Rock Caverns, Ardougne Diary, High-level potions, and Temple at Senntisten, as well as Nomad's Requiem which is debatable but definitely had the most epic boss fight in the game's history and certainly took me hours just to solve the puzzles.


I went over all that in my last post:

-Forgiveness of a Chaos Dwarf took 10 minutes as a quest, that is simply unacceptable for something that lets you fight for a dragon pickaxe
-Living Rock Caverns was pretty much the only legitimate update as it released a new game element: resources that collapsed based on a timer, not on the number of items they held
-High-level potions and Ardougne diaries are very minimal updates in terms of effort. Yes, their effects were awesome, but the burden of creating those lied mainly on balancing and not developing.
-Temple at Senntisten was your average 30-45 minute quest, nothing new...quests need to become harder...
-Nomad's Requiem did not even come close to qualifying as a grandmaster quest. It took me less than an hour: the biggest puzzle, the 3x3 shifting block puzzle, took me maybe 5-8 minutes. I did not die once the entire quest.

This is what I meant by 10-minute quests in the first place...Forgiveness of a Chaos Dwarf and an herblore update that had to be fixed after release and that screwed up the economy bad for months. The ideas are in place, but it just seems to be so rushed and overlooked.

2496 Completionist


#34
Ring_World
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No, a 10-minute quest does kind of suck. Which is why In Pyre Need and Perils of Ice Mountain and All Fired Up were crappy updates. All of them came before the community management push, though, so there doesn't seem to be any correlation. In fact, since MMG took over, we saw awesome streaks of updates like Forgiveness of a Chaos Dwarf, Living Rock Caverns, Ardougne Diary, High-level potions, and Temple at Senntisten, as well as Nomad's Requiem which is debatable but definitely had the most epic boss fight in the game's history and certainly took me hours just to solve the puzzles.


I went over all that in my last post:

-Forgiveness of a Chaos Dwarf took 10 minutes as a quest, that is simply unacceptable for something that lets you fight for a dragon pickaxe
-Living Rock Caverns was pretty much the only legitimate update as it released a new game element: resources that collapsed based on a timer, not on the number of items they held
-High-level potions and Ardougne diaries are very minimal updates in terms of effort. Yes, their effects were awesome, but the burden of creating those lied mainly on balancing and not developing.
-Temple at Senntisten was your average 30-45 minute quest, nothing new...quests need to become harder...
-Nomad's Requiem did not even come close to qualifying as a grandmaster quest. It took me less than an hour: the biggest puzzle, the 3x3 shifting block puzzle, took me maybe 5-8 minutes. I did not die once the entire quest.

This is what I meant by 10-minute quests in the first place...Forgiveness of a Chaos Dwarf and an herblore update that had to be fixed after release and that screwed up the economy bad for months. The ideas are in place, but it just seems to be so rushed and overlooked.


Plenty of people DID struggle with the Nomad.

Besides your not the one who decides what a grandmaster quest is or isnt Jagex is.

But your other points i do agree with.

#35
nerdboyxxx
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First article was very good, always love tyhose kinds of articles :).

Second article was interesting. I agree that all the updates lately have been extremely boring from my point of view, because all they are is Machinima video competitions. Even though I enjoy watching the videos and everything, I didn't really want their major update for the week to be something I don't want to participate in. The Orb of Oculus will be quite interesting as well, but again I feel the same way because all it does is fill up another update slot that could better be spent on developing something else.

Clans are a pretty big part of the game however, because they bring people together that enjoy a certain skill(s), boss hunting, PvP, etc. and do what they like to do, so technically they are playing the game because they want to play the game, like you are stating in the article. Clan support is quite overrated, because clans aren't the thing that keeps the game going, but they still deserve the support that the get from Jagex.

Sorry if my post is kinda wierd, I am feeling kinda light-headed :P.

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#36
jettrider
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No, a 10-minute quest does kind of suck. Which is why In Pyre Need and Perils of Ice Mountain and All Fired Up were crappy updates. All of them came before the community management push, though, so there doesn't seem to be any correlation. In fact, since MMG took over, we saw awesome streaks of updates like Forgiveness of a Chaos Dwarf, Living Rock Caverns, Ardougne Diary, High-level potions, and Temple at Senntisten, as well as Nomad's Requiem which is debatable but definitely had the most epic boss fight in the game's history and certainly took me hours just to solve the puzzles.


I went over all that in my last post:

-Forgiveness of a Chaos Dwarf took 10 minutes as a quest, that is simply unacceptable for something that lets you fight for a dragon pickaxe
-Living Rock Caverns was pretty much the only legitimate update as it released a new game element: resources that collapsed based on a timer, not on the number of items they held
-High-level potions and Ardougne diaries are very minimal updates in terms of effort. Yes, their effects were awesome, but the burden of creating those lied mainly on balancing and not developing.
-Temple at Senntisten was your average 30-45 minute quest, nothing new...quests need to become harder...
-Nomad's Requiem did not even come close to qualifying as a grandmaster quest. It took me less than an hour: the biggest puzzle, the 3x3 shifting block puzzle, took me maybe 5-8 minutes. I did not die once the entire quest.

This is what I meant by 10-minute quests in the first place...Forgiveness of a Chaos Dwarf and an herblore update that had to be fixed after release and that screwed up the economy bad for months. The ideas are in place, but it just seems to be so rushed and overlooked.


Plenty of people DID struggle with the Nomad.

Besides your not the one who decides what a grandmaster quest is or isnt Jagex is.

But your other points i do agree with.


I understand that Nomad was hard for some players. Nevertheless, a grandmaster quest is meant to be extremely challenging, and Nomad can be taken down by anyone once they get comfortable with his patterns and find a good strategy. Even the quest developer thought he was too easy - that is true proof that the final boss fight does not override the extremely short puzzles/plotline enough to qualify it as a grandmaster quest. I personally believe that such quest bosses should have strength relative to each player's levels, perhaps with a slight curve, although that's another story. Bottom line: the questcape is a privelege, not a right, and even if Nomad took you several tries the quest was quite straightforward, short, safe, and easy.

2496 Completionist


#37
depresins
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Clans only impact upon the people active in them. They make little to no positive difference to the gaming experience of other people. Lately the updates have been catering towards not the majority, but those with the loudest voices.

I agree with Me_Hate_Libs on just about every topic. This one is no different. I consider her the voice of the mature-minded player.

#38
waheera1
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I understand that Nomad was hard for some players. Nevertheless, a grandmaster quest is meant to be extremely challenging, and Nomad can be taken down by anyone once they get comfortable with his patterns and find a good strategy. Even the quest developer thought he was too easy - that is true proof that the final boss fight does not override the extremely short puzzles/plotline enough to qualify it as a grandmaster quest. I personally believe that such quest bosses should have strength relative to each player's levels, perhaps with a slight curve, although that's another story. Bottom line: the questcape is a privelege, not a right, and even if Nomad took you several tries the quest was quite straightforward, short, safe, and easy.


I'm surprised you don't bring up more issues with Nomad's Requiem... Numerous combat maxed (and even fully skill maxed) friends agree with me that the grading of a quest should not solely be based on a rather pointless fight. In this instance, if you took the fight out of the quest it would most likely barely even qualify as a Hard quest, which then begs the question be asked what does a Quest Cape signify? The storyline was completely lacking, springing out of nowhere with seemingly no direction at all. I should just add that the people whose opinions I refer to (including myself) are all holders of the Quest Cape and have beaten Nomad some way or another.

I would point out that Nomad's attacks are in some way related to player level, if in no other manner than his -1 attack, and having spoken to lower levelled players they seemed to find it easier than I did. Of course, it's a hard one to prove, but there you have it.

#39
Troacctid
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  • Clan:The Farming Guild

Numerous combat maxed (and even fully skill maxed) friends agree with me that the grading of a quest should not solely be based on a rather pointless fight.

What's this supposed to mean? Max combat and skills makes you automatically the perfect judge of difficulty? :huh:

In this instance, if you took the fight out of the quest it would most likely barely even qualify as a Hard quest, which then begs the question be asked what does a Quest Cape signify?

Yes, you could ask that. If they took the boss fight out of the game. Which they didn't. But of course, if they did, you could ask it, and the answer would be that it still signifies the exact same thing it always has, which is 100% quest completion. But that's if they took out the boss fight. As it is, it only signifies that you singlehandedly took down the toughest monster in the game. Oh, and every other quest. Don't forget that. :rolleyes:

#40
zotto
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zotto

    Scorpion Pit

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Regarding the 2nd article, I think the author is a little biased.

Especially regarding this statement:

A majority of players that I have interacted with related me that they’ve never been in any clans. The reason that is most commonly given reason is because of bad experiences with clans.


1) If players have never been in any clans, how would their reasoning be that they've had bad experience with clans, considering they have never been in any clans? How can you say you don't like something if you have never tried it.


If the mere thought of joining a clan is already a negative one, then indeed we did have negative experiences with clans.

But I think they might mean that they have dealt with people who are part of clans. And this experience was bad.

I'm a dinosaur btw.





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