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Tip.It Times - 9th September 2012


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Time for a new release of the: >>>Tip.It Times!<<<

 

 

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- 99 fletching | 99 thieving | 99 construction | 99 herblore | 99 smithing | 99 woodcutting -

- 99 runecrafting - 99 prayer - 125 combat - 95 farming -

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i know this is the hideously unpopular and frankly blasphemous point of view, but i play runescape to experience interesting things and perhaps talk with people, not play spreadsheet simulator against thousands of other people who don't care about each other above the interactions of their own spreadsheets with others (which mostly involves finding new ways to screw each other over for better spreadsheets), and the rest of the stuff between is the means, not the end

 

then again maybe they should just go to eve online, or i should get guild wars 2, but i can't make my clan go where they don't want to

 

either way, i think this is why any kind of change that is remotely geared towards human beings, instead of bots, is purported to be "ruining the game" and "not fun" because it removes the horrible, paralyzing tedium that everybody else has moved past since the late 90s

 

frankly people who oppose eoc for the reason that it's "too easy" and "doesn't involve any skill"....well, i had written something extremely violent in this space, but the rest of it stills stands; the last seven years has been a mockery to the definition of the word 'skill'

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We all know high levels play for capes bring out a new cape for every Bil total XP and they'll never leave. I find it kind of hard to view Jagex as 'systematically devaluing' high levels achievements. 2/3 of the problems mentioned are down to the community's attitude rather than Jagex changing the game. Also a skill like Runecrafting that used to be around 40kexp/hr just put people off training it especially when it was no longer the best moneymaker in the game this just put a lot of people off training it which is not a good thing.

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Ts_Stormrage: I'll bet donuts to dollars that, somewhere, Duke Freedom is laughing.

 

I do have to concede that he's right. There are many, many adult players who spend many microtransactions on games. Saw plenty of people my age and older do it on Facebook without batting an eye, on games that were easily more banal. I myself will laugh even harder if RS players ragequit in their stubborn youthful idealism to be replaced by adults that really don't give a crap. Yeah, news flash: at least the ones I talked to really aren't that worked up about it.

 

On a more serious note, a friend of mine asked some questions, got a reply from MMG himself if I remember right, saying that the Loyalty Programme would be connected over to retired SoF rewards (so they could be obtained over time, not just merely by chance) and also that Loyalty Points would be converted to RuneCoin at some point. Jagex usually doesn't tell players stuff (that I recall) that isn't meant to be discussed but I guess it's worth waiting for an official announcement.

 

Still, just mentioning the Loyalty Programme makes me scoff all over again, listening to kids cry about how it was so unfair (having to quit to focus on school, etc.)... sorry kids, the adults with steady incomes get to beat you there again too. Seriously, though, thinking more over the horrid recoils over just the game card promos gives me convulsions. Such whining when kids used to have to look at mall gift cards or other less desirable payment options. I mean, really, the news media is starting to cut you Millenials a break, saying you're optimistic and hard-working, and then I come 'round places like here and figure plenty are still acting like spoiled, entitled, whiny ingrates. Guess what, kids, when you get real responsibilities-- a career (not a job), a house, maybe some kids-- all this whining over the fairness of a game is going to seem like creampuff stuff to the concerns and labor all the other stuff I listed brings. You'll likely be an office jockey to a company that does everything you thought Jagex did unfairly, and then probably more.

 

Edwin: qeltar had a great article called "Don't Resent My Toilet". Some of us really don't want to go back to training methods that risk RSIs (repetitive stress injuries). Dunno where you'd find that article since he closed Truthscape down. Maybe he's still lurking around here and he'll say more about it. Oh, and of course I would hope that while the Order of Cabbage has had a quiet decline, that they still stand as a shining example of players that had tons of fun fooling around which often had no effect on progress in the game except maybe some laughs and goodwill in the community. The article is still a negative observation and it tells us nothing really new-- that people eventually figure that stuff needs to get done and games are just a fun way of killing time, which is as it should be.

 

sacker3: good on you... the Times hasn't had enough fictional work lately, I take it you'll have more with "Part" in the title.

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If the idea of 'Accomplishments' is to be taken from the view of 'other people's eyes', then yes, I'd agree that Accomplishments are losing their value, but it is bound to happen as time goes on, on the very simple fact that more and more people will eventually achieve that accomplishment. Sure, speeding up XP rates via game updates or getting XP via illegitimate ways (either directly or indirectly) will speed up that process, it is bound to happen, as it does so in real life. And one have to remember that, this game, given all it's credit, is over 10 years old, no other western MMORPG have ever ran this long and still being able to at least retain some of the appeal, something even WoW have to stand up against. Whether desirable or not, I don't think anyone in their capacity can do anything about. Is this a bad thing? It depends on your definition of 'Accomplishments'. If it is solely to show people off your 99 cape, your 200M xp, whatever, then yes, it's bad. Can anyone do anything about it? Not unless you want to anger more people than you satisfy...

 

If the idea of 'Accomplishments' is to be taken to a more personal level, as in the feeling of accomplishment after setting your target, be it 120 Dungeoneering, 91 Runecrafting, or even simply Agile Top and Bottom, unless there was a new way to completely trivialise XP gains, then I don't think having a better way to train XP is that detrimental to that process, at least in my case (I cannot say much about other people as this issue is seldomly discussed). I personally level skills so I can achieve my own target of being able to do this, or being able to do that, ultimately ending the journey of being able to do everything, and that, for me, is very difficult for me to devalue.

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Here's a solution to people so attached to "who got there first when it was harder" mentality: Archived High Scores. Put in a month and year, and you get the ranked members from that time. Now, does Jagex have the ability to do this? No clue. Still, it would be nice to peak back at 2006 and see how people stacked up.

 

On leveling competition, personally, Jagex needs to raise the skill cap on the high scores table. Skills go up to 120 (maybe even 126) for ranking purposes allowing for a more varied top 20 (or top 200 for that matter). No impact on game since anything above a 99 you know is just a 99. On top of that, it gives those that are competitive a reason to level more of their skills prior to going for 200 mill xp in any one of them.

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I think that could be interesting.

 

I would very much enjoy a proper jagex equivalent of runetrack with the fancy graphs especially if they have that data going back farther. It would be nice to be able to see update for individual characters as well as for as see the highscores of the past. (Even if they don't have the data, just being able to start storing the data would be nice!)

 

Runetrack sort of works right now if both players are on the tracker services you can look up their history (as long as they were being tracked from that long ago..)

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Guest jrhairychest

This isn't a critique, or a suggestion of how to ameliorate this. This is simply an analysis. It comes with the implication that we have to come to terms with the fact that Jagex is systematically devaluing our accomplishments to attract new customers. And it is up to us collectively to reconcile this fact with our motivation to play.

 

I liked the article but I disagree with the conclusions it draws. At least equal blame should be pointed at the community. There are many on these forums who justify aspects such as cheating or whinging because of so-called grinding. These players aren't new to the game. They just wanted an easier, quicker ride to 99's or other accomplishments. If the alternatives given don't give more xp than traditional methods they're derided.

 

I would conclude that Jagex is doing what the community wanted it to, even if a small minority of us liked the idea of accomplishments that take a while and considerable effort to achieve. The trouble is the community now must face the fact that their accomplishments are now meaning very little.

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The trouble is the community now must face the fact that their accomplishments are now meaning very little.

I'd have to disagree with you there. Perhaps members have a different mindset, but I feel that my accomplishments have value, at least to me, because I know how much work they took and personally have enjoyed the faster xp rates that updates over the last couple of years have brought me. Our accomplishments are only as valuable as we perceive them to be, and I feel that you shouldn't try and achieve something simply to impress others.

 

I don't feel the gains I'd made in Mining were diminished when they released first the resource dungeons and then the unrs (I was at level 97), instead I enjoyed the fact that I could achieve higher xp rates without losing all the ore. I wasn't upset that it took me what felt like forever to reach 50 RuneCrafting so I could access the guild and play GOP, and now it can be done in a day. Instead, I'm glad that new players, perhaps with less drive to reach goals, will no longer become frustrated with the game and quit.

 

The game is going to evolve and change, and if it changes in a way that helps it last longer then I see that as a good thing.

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Guest jrhairychest

The trouble is the community now must face the fact that their accomplishments are now meaning very little.

I'd have to disagree with you there. Perhaps members have a different mindset, but I feel that my accomplishments have value, at least to me, because I know how much work they took and personally have enjoyed the faster xp rates that updates over the last couple of years have brought me. Our accomplishments are only as valuable as we perceive them to be, and I feel that you shouldn't try and achieve something simply to impress others.

 

I don't feel the gains I'd made in Mining were diminished when they released first the resource dungeons and then the unrs (I was at level 97), instead I enjoyed the fact that I could achieve higher xp rates without losing all the ore. I wasn't upset that it took me what felt like forever to reach 50 RuneCrafting so I could access the guild and play GOP, and now it can be done in a day. Instead, I'm glad that new players, perhaps with less drive to reach goals, will no longer become frustrated with the game and quit.

 

The game is going to evolve and change, and if it changes in a way that helps it last longer then I see that as a good thing.

 

I'd have been with you had this been a sandbox game where players only play for personal achievement. However, this is an MMORPG where players play for the competition and the kudos of getting one over others. It's not something many like to admit, including yourself by your stance, but it's the truth. Yes, people will yada on about the 'community' thing but in truth they enjoy the competition of the game with others. That's being lost. We can add RC to the rest of the non-entity skills whereas once it was respected but now it's just another level 3's cape.

 

I also disagree with your other points. You make a game shorter by making it easier and therefore less of a challenge. It doesn't make the game longer. If the challenge wanes then players are more likely to quit because there's nothing left.

 

Those who get frustrated with the game because of the time it takes to level etc. are simply the wrong players for this game. I don't see how players with 'less drive' are beneficial for the game. They're the same players who also bot and buy gold because they've no patience. What next? Shall we just spoonfeed a 99 to a player because they can't be arsed? Please. They're not the type of players that RS needs.

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I'd have been with you had this been a sandbox game where players only play for personal achievement. However, this is an MMORPG where players play for the competition and the kudos of getting one over others. It's not something many like to admit, including yourself by your stance, but it's the truth. Yes, people will yada on about the 'community' thing but in truth they enjoy the competition of the game with others. That's being lost. We can add RC to the rest of the non-entity skills whereas once it was respected but now it's just another level 3's cape.

 

I also disagree with your other points. You make a game shorter by making it easier and therefore less of a challenge. It doesn't make the game longer. If the challenge wanes then players are more likely to quit because there's nothing left.

 

Those who get frustrated with the game because of the time it takes to level etc. are simply the wrong players for this game. I don't see how players with 'less drive' are beneficial for the game. They're the same players who also bot and buy gold because they've no patience. What next? Shall we just spoonfeed a 99 to a player because they can't be arsed? Please. They're not the type of players that RS needs.

On the contrary, there's such a thing as 'too much'. If players have a problem with grinding, it's not the fact that it exists, it's that there's so much of it for very little reward.

I'd agree that it shouldn't be spoonfed, but it also shouldn't be torturous.

 

Runecrafting really exemplified the worst of it. It was the slowest skill in the game, required constant attention and action, and for the last few years had a negligible reward. To put it simply, it just wasn't worth the effort. It was respected, sure, but only because nobody could bear to train it. It's just not a good design.

 

This is relevant.

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Given how many bots are in the game, and how many people are profiting off of those bots, I don't think "the right players" have been around for a long time, nor are there enough to actually support the game on their own.

 

Frankly, it's sort of backwards to think that in a true multiplayer game, the main focus of the gameplay is to focus on your own goals and only limit interaction based on how those goals measure up to other people, instead of allowing as many people as possible to enjoy the content on a widely accessible medium, and to share those experiences with each other. It's basically like playing on a flash game portal with a chatroom, where the only connection is empty banter and ignoring the chatroom to focus on whatever single player game you're playing. On some level, you're playing a more interactive funorb, but with all boring games, and sometimes other people can enter and screw with you for the hell of it.

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Guest jrhairychest

On the contrary, there's such a thing as 'too much'. If players have a problem with grinding, it's not the fact that it exists, it's that there's so much of it for very little reward.

I'd agree that it shouldn't be spoonfed, but it also shouldn't be torturous.

 

Runecrafting really exemplified the worst of it. It was the slowest skill in the game, required constant attention and action, and for the last few years had a negligible reward. To put it simply, it just wasn't worth the effort. It was respected, sure, but only because nobody could bear to train it. It's just not a good design.

 

This is relevant.

 

I would disagree with those statements. The reward was the kudos of the cape and obviously before things like the botting epidemic, the ability to make a lot of money. I'd say that it was worth the effort. What exactly is up with a skill that requires attention? Personally I play games...well....to actually 'play', not pretend to play by being AFK for most of the time. If someone isn't prepared to give it attention why bother?

 

I also disagree that it was badly designed. There was at least some excitement in possibly getting killed while doing it. That sure beats the hell out of bank skills e.g. fletch, herblore etc.

 

Sorry haven't time to look at the link properly but I'll take a look when I've got more time.

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I would disagree with those statements. The reward was the kudos of the cape and obviously before things like the botting epidemic, the ability to make a lot of money. I'd say that it was worth the effort. What exactly is up with a skill that requires attention? Personally I play games...well....to actually 'play', not pretend to play by being AFK for most of the time. If someone isn't prepared to give it attention why bother?

 

I also disagree that it was badly designed. There was at least some excitement in possibly getting killed while doing it. That sure beats the hell out of bank skills e.g. fletch, herblore etc.

The problem was how monotonous it was. It required constant attention (As most games do) but did very little to keep you engaged, and it became overshadowed by other moneymaking methods over the last few years. It was still one of the 'prestigious' 99s before Runespan, but people preferred to train it through effigies. I would say that it was badly designed when the primary training method of the past didn't involve training it - it's not the right thing for the target audience.

 

If you're familiar with Richard Bartle's four player archetypes, you won't have to read the link. If not, it comes down to this:

Diamonds, AKA Achievers: These players go for the goals of the game themselves. Gaining Character Levels, getting a High Score, slaying the Bonus Boss, and so on. Also called power gamers or raiders. A subset of these are the kind who like collecting rare items.

Spades, AKA Explorers: These players like to explore the game world itself. They're the ones hunting for the Easter Egg, Sequence Breaking just because they can, and being the first one to write a complete Walkthrough.

Hearts, AKA Socializers: These players play to hang out with other players. They play because their friends play, and if their friends all packed up and moved to another game, they would too.

Clubs, AKA Killers: These people play to have an effect on other players. Sometimes, this can mean healing, buffing, and generally being helpful, but most often, it means kicking their asses. These are the ones most likely to engage in Player Versus Player content.

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i know this is the hideously unpopular and frankly blasphemous point of view, but i play runescape to experience interesting things and perhaps talk with people, not play spreadsheet simulator against thousands of other people who don't care about each other above the interactions of their own spreadsheets with others (which mostly involves finding new ways to screw each other over for better spreadsheets)

I agree; I too play Runescape for the experience. I hate grinding, and I'm the proud owner of a quest cape. Except I don't like the EoC because I find it too laggy to be viable; it really has no place in a browser-based game.

 

Anyway, I thought the first article, by Ts_Stormrage, was very well-written and provided a nice recap of the dark road Jagex have been heading down since the loyalty shop and exclusive membership card promotions came about.

I will also add that really, IVP are to blame, since it wasn't until Andrew Gower sold his shares in the company to Insight Venture Partners (giving them a controlling interest with 55% shares) that all these cash-grabbing initiatives came into play. Jagex employees have actually expressed their disapproval at the new direction of the company on the official forums (in polite terms as necessitated by their position), so I suppose you could infer that Jagex really aren't holding the reins anymore.

(Reference: http://massively.joy...x-a-us-company/)

 

And one last thing... "If you do take that extra step, if an XP item, a bag of GP, or even an untradeable non-cosmetic item is ever for sale directly, through whatever means, a new record for subscription cancellations will probably be set."

So, "Buy membership for August and September and we'll give you 1M XP for FREE!" probably doesn't quite qualify, but it's damn close.

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Guest jrhairychest

The problem was how monotonous it was. It required constant attention (As most games do) but did very little to keep you engaged, and it became overshadowed by other moneymaking methods over the last few years. It was still one of the 'prestigious' 99s before Runespan, but people preferred to train it through effigies. I would say that it was badly designed when the primary training method of the past didn't involve training it - it's not the right thing for the target audience.

 

Again I'll disagree. You think RC as it was was badly designed, I don't. Enough said about that part. In my opinion, bad design involved bringing in effigies and Runespan xp rates (no problems with the runespan itself, just the AFKing it promotes and the ridiculously high xp rates). It encouraged lazy gamers to become lazier and devalued the game for the high achievers. It also devalues what's left of the high scores. If this type of thing continues to be encouraged we will have very little left in challenging gameplay and by encouraging players who have no sense of competition and little patience to play runescape instead of playing something aimed at much younger players e.g. 7-10 age bracket. Don't be suprised to soon see a flurry of level 3's wearing slayer capes.

 

If you're familiar with Richard Bartle's four player archetypes, you won't have to read the link. If not, it comes down to this:

Diamonds, AKA Achievers: These players go for the goals of the game themselves. Gaining Character Levels, getting a High Score, slaying the Bonus Boss, and so on. Also called power gamers or raiders. A subset of these are the kind who like collecting rare items.

Spades, AKA Explorers: These players like to explore the game world itself. They're the ones hunting for the Easter Egg, Sequence Breaking just because they can, and being the first one to write a complete Walkthrough.

Hearts, AKA Socializers: These players play to hang out with other players. They play because their friends play, and if their friends all packed up and moved to another game, they would too.

Clubs, AKA Killers: These people play to have an effect on other players. Sometimes, this can mean healing, buffing, and generally being helpful, but most often, it means kicking their asses. These are the ones most likely to engage in Player Versus Player content.

 

I'm not familiar with this but it looks like some sort of academic exercise to put players in their respective boxes, which I don't really buy into as most people would say they are characteristic of more than one. However it did leave off the last part so just for fun:

 

The Joke®s - These players want everything now but put in no effort. They whinge that RS is a grindy game but don't seem to be able to leave and play something else....so they whinge some more. They want the game changed to suit them instead of going along with the game. This player is hard to communicate with as they're often AFK, botting or whinging on some forum that RS is too grindy :razz:

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I'm not familiar with this but it looks like some sort of academic exercise to put players in their respective boxes, which I don't really buy into as most people would say they are characteristic of more than one.

It actually manages to avoid that. Modern interpretations state that players fit all four archetypes in different amounts, so you're not just an achiever, but something like 65% achiever/45% explorer/34% socializer/12% killer. At the very least, you'll be ranked in the two highest.

 

Only brought it up as an explanation of sorts for the kinds of players that are in it for the levels as opposed to others. Players that oppose grinding do so because they find other parts of the game fun, and there are plenty of other things to do: Roleplayers don't need high stats to enjoy the game, a lot of players collect items and outfits, questers only grind as much as they have to, metagamers have high stats as a result of perfecting their training methods, and so on.

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Guest jrhairychest

I've no problems with what you're stating as probable facts. However, if players oppose grinding because they find other parts of the game fun then they should look at the way they play the game rather than expect the game to change for them, particularly as an excuse for making the game faster for them. Considering most aspects of RS have some sort of repetition in virtually every skill it's pretty lame to start pointing at only a few of those skills and cry about it because they take longer.

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