@Dracae "Gods and Humans": Sorry... this article felt like it stumbled and wandered a little bit. Compositionally speaking, I mean.
The concept isn't a bad one, though.
Maybe this is just me being weird and blurring the line between a game and real life to much. After all, it is just a game and who cares?
I think a philosophy student would care, since it's a metaphysical discussion of sorts. I've been a bit obsessed with Joseph Campbell lately: his whole idea of The Hero's Journey/Monomyth. I speak generally-- his broader notion that we still enjoy storytelling, and our mass multimedia draws still from the old stories-- even if scholars disagree if we all follow that monomyth cycle retelling those stories or not.
I'd say Jagex was drawing pretty heavily from Greco-Roman concepts of gods being petty and greedy, and a friend of mine (she's around here now and then) agreed. Another aspect is that the world is seen as harsh and unforgiving when controlled by more raw forces of nature (titans/elementals), but Jagex puts a twist on this: Gielinor is largely peaceful, but is slowly overrun by denizens of another world which has that harsh, chaotic existence.
In the old days it was simple to me, Saradomin was good, Zamorak was bad and Guthix kinda indifferent.
My friend suggested this was Andrew and Paul's influence. They've moved on to a certain extent, so newer Jagex employees fleshed ideas out in a different but interesting way. I still say Jagex has got too much Catholicism/Anglicism on the brain, because so much that's connected to Saradomin has those tired old stereotypes. They also echo Neil Gaiman's suggestion that justice is fled from the world (Justice was an absent personification in Gaiman's Sandman, Jagex has Armadyl get trounced). I digress and drift off-topic, though.
Is there anyone on RuneScape who does not use prayers because they hate Saradomin, or refuses to activate curses because they stem from Zaros? I dare to claim that even with so many players having a favorite god, their real allegiance is to themselves.
Well, that's what Ash was poking fun about in Love Story. The interactions between Dionysius "The Wise Old Man" and Ze... (not going to try to bother spelling that odd name) were a lot of satire and chariactures about player behavior. The real Kathy Corkat (yeah, the NPC was based on a player) told me that she figured Jagex was moving to new ideas of play... but that players hadn't really changed. To wit, one of those points was the average Runescape player wasn't much of a roleplayer-- they just liked whatever seemed "cool". Ms. Z claimed herself she had no loyalty to Zamorak (referencing when we still had the spell Flames of Zamorak before the god spells were streamlined to "Divine Storm"). Yep, she's a satire of PKers and combat monkeys, basically (we didn't have much bossing yet at the time).
I will grant that the way the quests lay out, the player as adventurer doesn't seem to have any real loyalty to any deity. I personally don't think that's very fun, and Jagex did seem to hint that we would have some in-game benefits to aligning to a particular god-- TWW quest apparently is the beginning. I started before that, myself-- when quests had dialogue options that didn't necessarily affect your rewards xp or stats wise, I chose options consistent with how I saw the game.
I realize that really doesn't matter to some. I started online gaming at the end of the pure text days, with Multiple User Dungeons (MUDs). My quick observation was when more graphics started coming along (Everquest and the like), players seemed to roleplay less. That's a discussion unto itself, though.
To cut more to the point-- I'm not sure if you're arguing that the story doesn't matter by the way players play in real life, or if the way Jagex is depicting the players in their story-- that god affliation doesn't matter much. Perhaps you might clarify?
@The Floating Pen "Just a Taste"
Thank you, thank you, thank you-- it is such a welcome break from a stream of "Jagex sucks" and general suggestions that Yelps is hellspawned and Squeal of Fortune is an evil Mr. Moneybags "Bleed them kids dry of cash" demonic scheme. Tip.It still will have to do a lot to get back into Jagex's good graces, though... if that's possible. *sigh* I'm stooping so low, but I looked around, and I mean, really... RuneHQ has got the Platinum "Supa Special" badge now. I'd like to think this community can do as well IF it was really wanted. This is a good start, but I'd say dozens more articles like this would be needed. (*grumble grumble*yes the tired old story about Andrew threatening to sue*grumble grumble*)
@Arceus and "No Small Problem":
Okay, I'm tipping my hand a bit when I say stormveritas is a friend and I can still remember the backlash on some of his articles speaking out against minigames. But the points he had brought up makes this article's premise very germane: a lot of the minigames NEED to be fixed. They had problems even before the EoC. Do I understand correctly the numbered points are Hawks' edit work? Either way, wonderful formatting, and I think they line up a nice list of how some minigames have been subverted to beat the grind. I'm talking about non-combat Stealing Creation, "suicide" grinding Siege at Mobilising Armies, 50/50 games at Great Orb Project, "horn fillers" grinding waves 1-5 at Barbarian Assault, and so on. I don't think Jagex is yet doing enough to rebalance mechanics to better suit their players' style and regular habits... of course there's no dearth of arguments here about how their fixes seem like swatting flies with sledgehammers.