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Seers' Journal: 5th Edition


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[5th Edition] February 21st, 2010

 

}The New Skill - A Different Perspective by Terr002

}Player's Feedback: War of Legends by Unorclan

}Dyanamic Filtering, What Jagex Lacks by Terr002

}A Decision Making Guide {Review} by Omnitec

}Seers' Journal Staff

 

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Welcome to the 5th Edition of the Seers' Journal

 

The Seers' Journal is a Runescape newspaper created by Runescape players from many diffferent communities. We publish on a variety of different fansites and forums and we are always open to new places to post our editions.

For more information about the Seers' Journal or if you'd like to work with us, PM Unorclan or visit our forums.

 

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The New Skill - A Different Perspective

by Terr002

 

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It's been known for months - a new skill on RuneScape is being released this year. Millions of players have speculated, thousands of threads have been made, and yet here I stand, writing an article about the new skill. Am I late? Outdated? Ready for a new set of pink slippers? Perhaps, but I think you might find this article interesting nonetheless.

 

In the latest Q&A thread, Jagex answered a lot of questions about the new skill. Although Jagex is notorious for their vague and non-revealing answers, we were able to subtract a few criteria from their answers. With these criteria, we might be able to determine what type of skill it is going to be. Since no one really seems to know what the new skill is about yet, this might prove useful.

I have made a selection of details that seem most important.

  • The new skill was supposed to be a game on its own, but was changed to a skill later.
  • It is very unique, unlike any other skill in RuneScape. It cannot be compared with another skill, like Summoning could be compared to Herblore.
  • It will will introduce a whole new type of gameplay into Runescape.
  • It will be combined with all existing skills.
  • It will be used for both combat and non-combat.
  • Training it will not be money-driven.

Now, I have browsed the discussions and seen loads of suggestions, but none really fit into the details given by Jagex. For example, skills mentioned like Sailing, Necromancy, Bartering and so on don't really sound that unique in comparison with the existing skills. So what makes a skill unique? For that we need to take a look at the current skills and see what they have in common to check what might separate the new skill from the others.

At first, every skill sounds different. Woodcutting is for gathering wood, firemaking is for putting the wood to use, cooking is for preparing food, et cetera. What the skill is about is different for every skill. This is pretty logical. However, if you look at the training aspect, you'll see that they have one thing in common. When you want to train a skill, the best way to train it is through repetition. You don't kill one monster to level up attack, rather you kill hundreds and maybe thousands to level up. Of course, you could kill one monster of each kind, but that wouldn't be effective, would it? The same goes for all other skills. Whether you are cutting trees, mining ores, hunting salamanders, crafting runes, making summoning pouches or smithing cannonballs; training is always about repetition. It is no longer the wits and real life skills that matter when you're training in RuneScape. It all depends on how long you can do a certain task for. This is what all existing skills have in common and what the new skill might avoid.

 

This brings me to something I said a few months ago when Bachelor Fridge came out. With my friends I discussed the fact that Jagex was getting too excited about strategy games. A lot of new FunOrb games are about strategy. Some are successful, some are less successful, but it's a habit that Jagex has developed over the years.

I'm not saying that the new skill will be called 'Strategy' or something like that, I'm not even going to try to guess the new skill name. However, I do believe there might be some concept of strategy integrated into this skill. No more will people claim RuneScape is just a bunch of clicking and repetition! Strategy will have a skill on its own and yet have an effect on all other skills also!

I'll try to explain a possibility on how this could work. Since the new skill will benefit all current skills, I think there will either be parts of all current skills which will have a strategy option, or that you can 'learn' how to make and use new items. To illustrate the first example, certain tasks (such as cooking and mining) could have a Strategy On/Off button, which allows you to enable or disable strategy mode. Turning on strategy mode allows you to train the new skill too and will perhaps increase the quality/frequency of your product. It could also be that you'll have access to recipes and formulas, which will require a certain strategy to cook or produce.

 

So how could the new skill avoid repetition? Surely people would get the hang of it and go into a certain zombie state where they lifelessly train the skill without having to think? I think we need to realize that this 'strategy thing' will probably involve a lot of unique factors: different situations, timing, randomness, et cetera. The player will have to adapt to the situation, much like minigames such as the Burgh de Rott ramble and Barbarian Assault.

 

It is still a guess, although I am pretty confident that this is more likely than the other guesses. So far I haven't seen anyone guess anything that makes sense, so I'll just stick to my very own 'strategy skill'. I'm not a huge fan of anything involving strategy, but hey, anything is better than Sailing, right?

 

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Player's Feedback: War of Legends

by Unorclan

 

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In late January of this year, Jagex Publishing and a partnering company called UltiZen, launched one of their latest games - War of Legends. It is a real time strategy game with excellent graphics and interesting gameplay involving alliances, cities, wars, exploration, ect! But how did Jagex fans react to it?

Let's look at what a couple players had to say...

"An alliance can repeatedly attack another player, ruining their gaming experience and I don't think that's fair."

Yes, it's true. New players have 7 days after joining to build up their cities, but unless they push themselves and find their way into a powerful alliance, they easily become prey for stronger and more experienced players and alliances.

 

"Just like other similar games, it becomes a chore to play and update everything. Progress is slow and there is honestly nothing to actually do with what you gather."

This is a common complaint about the game. In order to keep up with your neighbors, you have to check throughout the day to keep upgrading your city, army, defense, ect. If you leave it for to long, you waste time and your city sits their basically doing nothing, just waiting to be attacked.

 

I'll just let my good friend Max explain it better: "The actual gameplay is designed for hardcore gamers because you have to login throughout the day. You don't have to be on every waking moment, but you have to be on this game some part of everyday to keep up with anyone else who is competitive. The top scores feel as if they are purely reserved for those paying and playing all day long."

 

I also asked many players - Do you think War of Legends will be successful? They all had varied responses, but most answers consisted of the same basic idea. War of Legends is nothing special, there are many games just like it on the internet and already well established. But does that mean it will be a failure?

 

"Evony, Civilization, The Sims, and other games that are similar are successful so this game should be as well."

That's one way to look at it! Enough players to go around!

Or how about another perspective?

"No it won't be successful. Considering how many games like this already exist, there is really nothing separating this game from the other games. It has a very limited approach to combat, with a "scissor-paper-rock" systems which allows for little strategy."

 

After the release of War of Legends, Jagex shocked everybody by supporting what they call "JCredits". In other words, you pay real world money to get an advantage in the game. To many players, this seems to go completely against their normal policy about what they call "real world trading". In-game items for real world money. Apparently Jagex likes the idea, just as long as they get the money.

What do players think about JCredits?

"I'd much rather see the game require a small payment and recieve member benefits than have Jcredits purchase in-game items."

Just like Runescape membership where how much real money you have to spend doesn't effect your in-game advantage.

 

But let's finish this with a final word about JCredits that I personally find fitting:

"I find them ridiculous because Jagex tries to force you to spend real money to get anywhere. Although it's okay to have micro-transactions within game for an advantge, Jagex have stepped it up a notch: making you pay to chat, free your city from enslavement, finish tasks and in general, advance at all. Without JCredits, the game is utterly boring."

 

A slight exaggeration, but overall it is true.

So what do you think of War of Legends?

 

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Dyanamic Filtering, What Jagex Lacks

by Terr002

 

Last Friday, Jagex announced that they would make a compromise for those who had 93 Slayer but were not able to get a Fire Cape from the Tzhaar caves. Before, players were only able to kill Ice Strykewyrms if they owned a Fire Cape. After the update they would have to spend a fair amount of Slayer points on the ability and would have some disadvantages, while those who did own and wear a fire cape would have some advantages. I, along with quite a few others, have mixed feelings about this.

On the one hand, I do think this is a fair compromise when it comes to the advantages of having a fire cape. Some of you might disagree with me, but hey, an opinion is an opinion. On the other hand, however, I do wonder if there was any need to 'nerf' this elite content, since it was entirely optional. Making elite content easier kind of destroys the point of 'elite content'.

Despite my mixed feelings, the main point today will not be about Strykewyrms or what Jagex should have done in this case. Instead, I'll be discussing how Jagex takes care of certain situations, what is wrong about it, how they should have handled player feedback and the Fire Cape issue.

 

I personally believe Jagex did not handle the situation well when it comes to user feedback. I'll be explaining this by an example from real life.

Imagine waking early in the morning. Once you get out of bed, you'll turn on the light. You are used to dark instead of light, so you'll partially close your eyes, letting through just as much light as you can handle. While you are getting used to the light, you'll slowly open up your eyes more, until you can fully handle all the light that the lamp shines upon you.

Imagine it being a very sunny day. Once you come outside, you will again be blinded by the sunlight. Again you partially close your eyes and keep them that way, or you will put on some sunglasses. Whatever you choose to do, you will always keep back some of the light that's shining into your eyes.

In the above example, you will open or close your eyes depending on the situation. The amount of light you filter is dependent on the amount of light that is available. This is a concept I call dynamic filtering, and it is a concept that can be recognized in nearly every aspect of life.

 

The problem I see with certain communities of this day is that they create a policy or "filter" according to the current situation and stick to it for a long time. The reason why this is a problem is that the situation changes very quickly and community leaders do not adjust their policies to the new situation. In Jagex's case, they have set up a user-friendly policy and stuck to it, while (as a result of this policy) the amount of users and feedback increases enormously. You can compare it to Jagex widely opening their eyes and not closing them when a huge bundle of light is shone upon them. This causes them not being able to effectively review all feedback and comply with all wishes.

Jagex is not the only community that I see this problem with though. In fact, when community leaders choose co-leaders to help them lead the community, they are encouraged to create some policies so confusion can be avoided. This is how such policies usually start, but as you hopefully understand now, sticking with a policy or filter for a long time has a lot of disadvantages. Sometimes, when activity decreases, sites keep filtering the same amount of 'light'. This causes huge inactivity and not enough site content being submitted.

I'll use a personal example to help explain more fully. Whenever I moderate a Clan Chat, the way I talk and behave is dependant on the amount of users in chat. When there is just a handful of players in CC, I try to actively talk with players, have fun with them and just be silly. However, when there's about 15-20 people in the chat, I automatically become a bit more serious (still friendly) and don't become as personal as normal. This is because I have to moderate a Clan Chat that is more full and therefore more likely to contain some trolls. Dynamic filtering is there too.

 

In my opinion, Jagex has kept the user-friendly policy far too long. When they change a policy, the community on which that policy is based will change as a result, and therefore a new policy is needed. A policy (or a filter, as I call it sometimes) has to be dynamic in order to be effective. If the amount of feedback increases, Jagex needs to filter out more feedback in order to only use the feedback that is useful. This is where Jagex lacks.

I will explain how Jagex (according to me) should have handled the situation about Ice Strykewyrms. Personally, I still wonder why they have the rants forum, recent updates, feedback, et cetera. There are just too many topics (of which a lot are rubbish) for them to read. First thing, they should shut down the rants forum. Second, they should announce that they will not use feedback put in the Recent Updates forum, so that forum is discussion only. Recent updates should come along with a topic in the Feedback forum, allowing players to give feedback on the updates. The topic should also have a sticky called 'Discussion Request'. In this topic, players can request topics so they can discuss (or rant about) things that, according to them, require changing. Any rants or feedback put in wrong forums to get Jagex' attention should simply be hidden by Forum Mods. This is a massive filter that helps prevent the mass topic spam and allows Jagex to analyze the problems in the game that actually need attention.

Okay, so that's all fine, but how should Jagex have handled the Ice Strykewyrms problem? The answer to that question is that they should not have bothered with reading posts in topics at all. They should have created a poll instead, allowing members to vote whether there should be a compromise or not. While this is done, they should filter the votes like a maniac. They should be able to check what certain groups voted, these groups being:

  • Members without 93 Slayer.
  • Members with 93 Slayer and without a Fire cape.
  • Members with 93 Slayer and with a Fire cape.

These groups would require some coding, but it certainly would be possible. Once a few thousand players had voted, they should have checked the results and decided whether they should have made a compromise or not. This is the way it should have been.

 

It is required that Jagex, as a professional company, should review their policies and make sure they do dynamic filtering. They should set up a policy according to the current situation and change it every month or so. It is very much required that they change the policy they have now. Because currently, it's not the ones that are the most important that get heard, but the ones who yell the loudest: the whiners.

 

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A Decision Making Guide {Review}

by Omnitec

 

Having opened up my laptop to delve into the world of the wise that is Tip.It’s Archive of Wisdom to sample and review a guide, the amount of choice I had struck me. What I was really looking for was a guide on new ways to have fun on Runescape, but having no such luck; I delved into the Beginning Guides to see what had promise to make me look again when it was completed.

 

The first few guides were all relevant to some objective or goal I had yet to complete, and continuing down the list it seemed that they could all be of use in some way, shape or form. Then I came to a thread aptly named “A Decision making guide”. Having found exactly what I needed, as well as providing me with a little chuckle; I’ve decided to do this guide the honours of my appraisal. Here is the link to “A Decision making guide”.

http://forum.tip.it/topic/247185-a-decision-making-guide/

 

The first look of the guide currently is scarce, with attempts to colour the contents to provide a nicer read. Though understandable that guide content should go first, then looks later; I fear that the little gems and gold dust in the guide may be overlooked as a result of the off putting look. I urge you not to fall for this, as this book should definitely not be judged by its cover.

 

The Author (Sharpeyex) uses existing Economics to describe and explain how to go about making decisions of how to make money, and the best way to decide what to use money on training. He uses extremely well researched examples and figures in a case study of using Red Chinchompas versus Yaks to achieve 99 Ranged, which gives an accurate example for the reader to ponder on whether Money spent is worth time saved.

 

From the guide, I believe I was given the support to think exactly how I wanted to use my time for XP or money, by the authors two sided view of the arguments for and against using time for later gain and using time for immediate gain. However, the thing I like about the guide is I feel we are never spoon-fed. The author does not tell you how to make your decision, or leave you in the dark about options and how to go about them. It makes sensible, justified arguments that are generalised into an example we have most likely heard before. It’s especially helpful for those who the examples apply directly to; for example, if a reader was wondering whether to “Chin” their way to 99 Ranged, or train on Yaks.

 

I recommend this guide to the power crunchers of XP and the wishers of wealth that are at ends to decide the best way to achieve, economically and time-wise. However, I feel the guide does verge slightly on the point of “No dinner be a winner”. It was disappointing for a fun-player like myself who trains and gains occasionally to be told playing the game for fun will “cost me 300k”.

 

My conclusion? This is a guide well worth checking out and keeping tracks on for us who don’t know which decisions to make. However, you may find that your decision isn’t swayed by the self thought methods of writing, thus bringing you back to where you started at the beginning. I hope to see this reaching completion and submission for the Archive of Wisdom in the near future so many more can benefit from its teachings.

 

 

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Seers' Journal Staff

Founder Junka666

Editor-in-Chief Unorclan

Columnist Terr002

Columnist Cosmic

Columnist Mdeoxys

Columnist Dev

Community Insight Omnitec

[/hide]

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Hope you enjoy the 5th Edition of the Seers' Journal!

 

Oops!

We're writers, and certainly all human. If you find a spelling/grammar mistake or our information is slightly off, please report it by PMing Unorclan or maybe joining the team as an editor! :lol:

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It's a wonderful surprise to see the Seers' Journal back up! Keep it up!

 

In response to Dynamic Filtering:

 

I was honestly surprised to see that much fuss kicked up over the Fire Cape requirement. If a player has 93 Slayer, then I'd suspect they have the skills needed to beat Jad. All of the excuses I heard about human and computer limitations preventing them from beating Jad was garbage, and I personally believe that would represent a negligible amount of players. Okay, so they "fixed" the Strykewyrm requirements, but that wouldn't solve their real problem would it? Jagex apparently still has this huge mini-game that's inaccessible to so many high-level players. Shouldn't they work on that now? Maybe it needs to be nerfed. Seriously, I don't believe it makes much difference with or without the fire cape requirements.

 

Even so, Jagex was in a damned if you do/damned if you don't situation. When they don't respond, then players get angry and yell that Jagex is out of touch and doesn't listen to its fans. When they do respond, Jagex is blamed for "caving in" on the pressure from fans.

 

I would argue that Jagex has changed their policies though, and in some instances quite dramatically. Just a few years ago Jagex was looked upon as an ever-silent figure who never responded to any criticism. What you almost seem to be suggesting is that Jagex should return to that role. They did at one time remove the Rants forum completely, only to apologetically give it back. They've already removed other options of contacting the company. It would appear that Jagex is intentionally trying to funnel players to the forums to communicate.

 

It's also a general rule of thumb that you will read more complaints than compliments, because the ones who are satisfied are too busy playing the game to write on the rants forum. Sure, there is plenty of nonsense posts, but reading through a few well-written ones gives context that you would lose from just polling the community. It ain't always pretty, but I appreciate that I still have the option to voice my opinion freely if I choose to. The dynamic filtering approach means that some people just don't deserve an opinion. It may be easier to deal with some of the feedback, but wouldn't it make the company appear aloof and out of touch? (Click on 'Request' and humbly request an audience with her majesty....What?...Denied?) Would the end results be any better?

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It's a wonderful surprise to see the Seers' Journal back up! Keep it up!

 

Thanks jp!

 

And so, Brigham Young stated his words are as good as scripture. Later Prophets say no they aren't, and here is why... So, Brigham Young wanted all the people to take all his sermons as scripture even though he didn't have authority or revelation to tell him to do so.

 

What?

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ATENCION

ATTENTION

 

If anyone is interested in submitting a Guest Article, or content (ex: pictures, cartoons, quotes, information, links, ideas, ect) just PM Unorclan right away!

 

Thanks!

 

Also:

The 6th Edition will be published soon!

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