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Autumn Elite

Autumn Elite

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Onto fan service. This is a neutral idea depending on its implementation. It can be good or bad. Solomon in a bottle in Dimensions of Disaster is an example of good fan service. Consistency, makes sense and doesn't take away from the story are needed for good fan service.

Now I'd argue that the cameos in Missing Presumed Death do add something. It serves the purpose to illustrate the importance of the gathering, Zemouregal's denied access shows the extent of Sliske's power and the reason behind the mahjarrat not being at the battle of lumbridge is explained.

This was a meeting between the gods, all who have a strong faction behind them. It is very consistent that their followers would want to see them after thousands of years. It would be add new characters for a cameo or use existing well known ones who's absence would need explaining anyway. It made sense and was only a small part of the story so we weren't too bogged down by it.

Were the cameos fan service? Hell yes. Were these characters used to their full potential? Probably not, I doubt it was a section which dialogue was raked over for hours to perfect but it was perfectly serviceable. The mahjarrat plot was weak to me, it seemed like an half baked justification of why they weren't at the battle of lumbridge which we all know was gameplay reasons. Also I was very disappointed Hazeel had nothing to say. But overall this section of the quest was passible to positive.

Your theme talk all balances on your love for Ritual of the Mahjarrat and your desire for the contiuation of that route. Again this returns to expectations and size. Did you expect a third quest exploring those themes of the quality of those two quests despite the fact that this one is a smaller size?
Wake me up when Osborne resigns | Will not be renewing membership until Jagex deals with its toxic developer culture & has a new, better lead designer | *Soon TM” is not a fun joke, it is an admission the company is an embarrassment

11-May-2015 20:33:38 - Last edited on 12-May-2015 12:47:52 by Autumn Elite

Autumn Elite

Autumn Elite

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I remember reading an interview from the show runner of House of Cards on the divisive third season. His response was that it was better to try something new and not be totally successful than repeat what they had done before and have the audience get bored. A similar response was given by the show runners of Sherlock.

You point out how While Guthix Sleeps and Ritual of the Mahjarrat explored the adventurers humanity and fallibility. Do we need another quest to cover the same topic then? Especially if the developers have nothing new to say on the topic.

Just because something follows the format of something successful doesn't make it successful. Two things can be different but still both be good. Look at Captain America: The Winter Solider and Guardians of the Galaxy. Two completely different films in the same universe covering different topics, both are good. Daredevil and The Flash, two vastly different takes on a superhero show, both critically acclaimed.

Getting back to runescape, two of my favourite quests are Death of Chivalry and The Chosen Commander. Both have very little in common, tackling different issues in varying ways. Death of Chivalry exploring worthiness, the cost of following gods, whether anyone deserves the power to reverse death. It has a much more intimate feel with a smaller cast and is the beginning of a quest chain. The Chosen Commander explores destiny and the theme of free will, discrimination based on stereotyping, cruelty and understanding. It is more far reaching, a wider cast and is a finale. But both are still great.

The point I'm making is it is better to move on than beat a horse to death. New quests offer the chance of something new, if there is nothing more to say about the past themes, give it a chance. New themes do not trivialise the old and worshipping the past as perfect doesn't help the future grow. I'm saying this as a history student.
Wake me up when Osborne resigns | Will not be renewing membership until Jagex deals with its toxic developer culture & has a new, better lead designer | *Soon TM” is not a fun joke, it is an admission the company is an embarrassment

11-May-2015 20:33:46 - Last edited on 09-Aug-2015 22:16:32 by Autumn Elite

Autumn Elite

Autumn Elite

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Sorry for the long time it has taken me to resume my points. Been swamped with important urgent stuff.

I wanted to address some fifth age vs sixth age stuff.

Firstly I think it is stupid to group them like that. We never grouped quests as fifth age before this or complained about the frequency. I never heard someone go "Wow, we are getting way too many quest pushing the storylines forward. 2008 sucks!".

We group fifth age quests by series so why don't we do the same for sixth age? No-one would say vampires getting a quest means gnomes shouldn't be worked on as we have had our fifth age fill so why do people seem to have this attitude to the sixth age? We have had sixth age quests recently but specific areas e.g. Armadyl, the Godless etc have not been touched so I find the people saying we have gotten too many sixth age quests odd.

The reason we are lacking fifth age quests is a problem of growing scale. In previous installments, promises were made my the developers of certain things which they would have years before needing to develop. Now the time is up and they are struggling to deliver. The desert needs Menaphos, Vampires may need to update an entire region and have dialogue changes for any reference to the old regime if it falls, gnomes have a city ect.

Continuations are easier than finales. Think of how many really good tv show finales there have been compared to tv shows. So part of the reason fifth age quests are lacking is the difficulty to do them well compared to the simpler way to do a good sixth age quest. You can do a well received quest exploring Saradomin's relationship with the Icyene way easier than a desert series finale.

About bottle quests, I do agree with you to an extent. I do think more quests should focus on the little details - mortals, lands ect. However I do think we can fine tune this to a degree. Of the 200 quests, not all added much or were great. Worthwhile detail exploration quests are needed.
Wake me up when Osborne resigns | Will not be renewing membership until Jagex deals with its toxic developer culture & has a new, better lead designer | *Soon TM” is not a fun joke, it is an admission the company is an embarrassment

11-May-2015 20:33:55 - Last edited on 20-Jun-2015 23:13:47 by Autumn Elite

Autumn Elite

Autumn Elite

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Sorry it is taking ages for me to finish this but been swamped lately and writing a decent lengthy reply is something that takes a dedicated amount of time do to. Lets pretend it was intentional of me to wait until we had more details on the Seren quest :p

What I has going to say was not to be too harsh Ollie now Raven if the Seren quest ends up returning Seren as that was likely that was decided ages ago.

From my opinion, it has been obvious Seren was been set up to return for a while now. Think about it, why did they make it so Seren was shattered, not dead? Because shattered means the ability to return. This has always been with the higher ups, with talk of a Seren rebuildathon world event tossed around.

Recent events have made Seren's return even more likely. The Worlds Wakes killing Guthix leaves lots to explore with Seren and he feelings about this. The most obvious return sign was Fate of the Gods though. Baros returned from a similar situation. Plus everything he told us about the elders and only the Mah created gods being able to become elder gods sets the scene perfectly for Seren to return. With how quests are going, I could forsee a future elder god installment giving us a choice between how we deal with the elder gods - Zaros's way or Seren's.

What I'm saying is before the Seren quest you should probably prepare for the fact that Seren's return is likely and probably decided above the developers heads ages ago. Heck I wouldn't even be surprised if the way Seren returned wasn't decided by them.

When Dishonour amongst Thieves was released, I kept an eye on the thread to see the reactions. Interestingly before they played it An Aviansie (I think it was an, possibly the) posted a comment saying how much they disliked Zamorak and would have prefered any other poll option to win. A little while later, they commented again having done the quest with a negative review starting by saying they saw it as "one of the 5 worst quests ever"
Wake me up when Osborne resigns | Will not be renewing membership until Jagex deals with its toxic developer culture & has a new, better lead designer | *Soon TM” is not a fun joke, it is an admission the company is an embarrassment

11-May-2015 20:33:56 - Last edited on 31-Jul-2015 16:25:46 by Autumn Elite

Autumn Elite

Autumn Elite

Posts: 3,464Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
So across various threads, I learnt the issues An Aviansie people had with the quest. Some were fairly valid, others just limitations caused by practicality and then there was just weird gripes people tried to make mountains out of for some reasons I couldn't get to the bottom of. As the conversation went on, I pointed out the reasoning and other sides to people hoping to reach a sort of compromise on how the quest was.

But An Aviansie seem determined it was bad, dismissing highlights I pointed out like the terrific graphical work as me stretching minor details and keeping saying it was one of the five worst quests ever. I like to think I give content a fair thinking over but some people criticised things I never gave another thought (seriously, people were unhappy over a tree).

What I'm saying is it seemed quite picky and unreasonably harsh. I think the thread ended with none of my points acknowledged as a fair counter opinion. I'm not trying to dismiss An Aviansie here, maybe I was the wrong one. My point is I'm reasonably confident it wasn't in the five worst quests ever but he was insistent on it. Whilst some points he made had some merit, nowhere near enough to justify the statement of in the worst five quests. I might have believed him more if it wasn't centred on Zamorak, who he openly said to hate before starting the quest.

I think you have guessed my point. Seren is extremely likely to return but you can't say thats the quests fault or Ollie's as likely that was decided years ago. While you may not like that, that doesn't objectively make the quest bad or the sixth age worse than the fifth age or Ollie making a poor decision. I'd say before the release, come to terms with Seren's likely return and focus on other aspects.

So to conclude, give things a chance whether sixth age, no requirements or Seren's return. The old stuff is fine but to progress we need to experiment to see how to make things even better.
Wake me up when Osborne resigns | Will not be renewing membership until Jagex deals with its toxic developer culture & has a new, better lead designer | *Soon TM” is not a fun joke, it is an admission the company is an embarrassment

11-May-2015 20:34:05 - Last edited on 09-Aug-2015 22:24:30 by Autumn Elite

Eren Lapucet

Eren Lapucet

Posts: 1,636Mithril Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Just some quick thoughts on things lacking in new age quests: (sorry to intrude, Autum!).

1) Dialogue is embarrassingly scarce and/or not being done well (including post and pre quest dialogue).
2) Human/mortal NPC's are becoming more rare or less important. Without them for example, ROTM would actually feel like MPD.
3) Foreshadowing (which was significant to WGS's success) is being done less and less , or not as effectively.
4) Easy quest requirements make quests feel less important. I do understand your logic, and agree that you can't ie. just make every Sixth Age quest a TWW sequel. I'm just saying at the end of the day, it feels unsatisfying. And at times absolutely absurd (ie. Fot* not having a TaS requirement).
5) Weird, random, unnecesary stuff. Ie. Death's imprisonment/beggining section of MPD, and the whole Nomad-Death business/us walking in right at that moment, the entirety of we2, particularly towers springing from the ground (foreshadowing would have saved the day).
6) Quests being rushed. Particulalry Bot*, Plagues End, and Heart of Stone, although to a degree other quests too.
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14-May-2015 00:13:05

Rondstat

Rondstat

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Whew, a lot's been said over a long period of time. It's probably too far gone for any sort of rejoinder to land, but I promised I'd reply, so here we go!

Firstly, to Autumn Elite. Your counterargument is mostly a misunderstanding of my points, so I'll try to keep it brief(ish).

-I'm not railing against low quest requirements. As a matter of fact, I fully support quest accessibility, and I'd gladly see all future quests given no requirements if it means a bigger questing budget. I was just pointing out that people judge certain quests unnecessarily harshly because of their high requirements, while a quest like MPD, which contains a confluence of story elements that go back as far as a decade in the game's history, gets a pass, despite its disregard for much of the canon.

-I think you have a very specific concept of what a sequel entails, so let me elucidate my thinking. There are three big issues left open at the end of RotM: the fate of the Stone of Jas, the impending doom of the Dragonkin, and the imminent arrival of Robert the Strong. Two of the three are directly addressed in MPD (you might even say they're the central focus). It may not have been marketed as a sequel. But it is a direct continuation of these story lines, and as such, I think, ought to respect the narrative. That doesn't carry any expectation of size or impact, merely internal consistency.

-I didn't want MPD to retread the thematic elements of RotM - I wouldn't want any quest to do that. However, I do want it to have SOME sort of deeper theme. The best stories always reward multiple readings. They're not just narratives of events - they have a message. Death of Chivalry had that. Fate of the Gods had that. MPD does not. It's weak writing, and poor storytelling.

04-Jun-2015 00:22:40

Rondstat

Rondstat

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Fusswell, it's so gratifying to see someone else who shares these opinions. And who, you know, can actually organize them instead of just verbally expectorating onto a keyboard. All very good points.

I admit, I've been pretty harsh on Ollie, and while I've said it elsewhere, I haven't expressed it here. I do think Mod Ollie is a very talented developer. As you said, the vault sequence was fantastic, the most memorable, enjoyable puzzle sequence in years. Broken Home really expanded players' (and I think Jagex as well) conception of what a Runescape quest could be, and I certainly don't think we'd have had DoD without Broken Home breaking that ground. Shadow Over Ashdale is fantastic, one of the most underrated quests in the game, and, though the lore gets dodgy, The Mighty Fall is one of the most enjoyable RS questing experiences I've had in the past couple years (and I know Ollie contributed to the mechanics there).

The thing is, Ollie just doesn't have a talent for storytelling, and that's not a skill that is easily or swiftly learned. I'm sure he's a huge breath of fresh air for Jagex, and I'm eager to see him do more. It's just, effective writing, character development, nuance, are not among his talents. No one can have it all. Look at Chris L - one of the best developers at Jagex by far, he's played a huge role in keeping the game relevant. AND he recognizes his talents. He's not off writing an extensive backstory for Arraxxor, because he doesn't need to. He's about combat and mechanics, and he does a stellar job.

So, it's more of a puzzle, than anything, that a guy with as much talent as Ollie, is being kept in an area of development where he has such a conspicuous weakness. I hold that story is the most important aspect of quests. As you said, there is little more memorable than 'maybe we can't win, but we can fight.' I'm sure far more players remember that line than anything said in Nomad's Requiem.

04-Jun-2015 00:42:32

Rondstat

Rondstat

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I've been thinking about writing lately.

Playing through the Myreque series, one after the other over the space of about a week and a half, gives me a much different perspective on the series than the first time around. Darkness of Hallowvale in particular plays out as a much more atmospheric, immersive type of quest, with the challenges of navigating the ghetto building the aura of oppression and decay that seeps into our experience of the game world. I think the momentum from the prior two quests, with their multiple allusions to the horrors of the Sanguinesti region, help build up a particular frame of mind, which isn't as strong when they're not done sequentially. Darkness comes across as having the best gameplay of the series.

Branches, by contrast, has much shallower gameplay than I remember, and I realize that a large part of my initial reception was the experience of this new, fantastically rendered (it still puts some 2015 environments to shame), brooding city. But, I still found what made Branches my favourite quest in the series - the writing. The Myreque series as a whole has a big focus on exploration - Branches included - but the Tytn quests were never very big on characterization. It was always much more about the adventurer, our own ingenuity, feeling like the trailblazer who uses their wits to uncover long-buried secrets.

While Branches gives less agency to the adventurer, it also gives us much more of a character-driven story. The vyres all have great chat, and Vanescula is a fantastically-written character; I love the way Branches leaves us guessing about her, Safalaan, the true motives. When it's so much easier to write something broad and transparent, she treads the line between sardonic dismissal, playful chiding, and lurking malice. It's impressive, especially when you realize how little dialogue there actually is. I realize now that the REAL reason Branches has stayed with me, beyond its predecessors, is the writing.

18-Jul-2015 22:49:52

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