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Autumn Elite

Autumn Elite

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Also the fighting between the generals in The Heart was never commented upon. This was a strong reason I wanted The Guardians worked on this quest. The Watch didn’t see it as important on release and left it vague. This would have been a great chance to tidy up the lore of the generals and expand upon the relationships, especially since the people fighting each other showed up together for the first time. Was really hoping Rowley would be able to repeat what he did with Nex in the original Fate of the Gods, expand upon the lore of a boss fight that brings interesting backstories linked to the Gods. This was a big missed opportunity to help an area that will likely remain vague for the foreseeable future. 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

03-Dec-2016 03:03:53

Autumn Elite

Autumn Elite

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Overall the quest was fine. The Watch are capable developers, I just believed and still believe it was a poorer choice. I wasn’t expected it to be literally unplayable, just not up to the standard it could have been. One reddit thread said “people who said The Watch can’t do quests will have to eat their words now”. I disagree. It was a fine quest with the ending chat and throne room being highlights. However the gameplay was flawed, most people agreed on the problems with it. It lacked a challenging atmosphere, there was a bunch of missed opportunities, nothing was done to foster investment or stakes in the characters, the player wasn’t really relevant, post quest dialogue was lacking and stuff like the Nightmare creatures felt tacked on to the narrative rather than enhancing it. The Watch made a fine quest with characters people were already interested it, this doesn’t particularly change my opinion and would prefer other teams on quests, especially introducing characters as I doubt this quest will have much long term memorable impact on me. It was a good quest but it was not a great one like it could have been. It did a lot better than other quests this year because it worked with less flawed characters people were already invested in, not the Myreque which I have make clear I never liked or the bugs of Nomad’s Elegy. But it did not build on the characters as strongly as it could have done; this could have been a utterly epic quest up there with the best. 2016 continues to lack a really great quest.

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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

03-Dec-2016 03:04:36

Rondstat

Rondstat

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It's that time once again - for a writing of thing! This will probably be particularly atrociously written.

Endgame! Good thing, bad thing!

Good writing! I have never been a fan of the prominence of the gods in the 6th Age, how their accessibility has rendered them petty and mundane, BUT, if you're going to include young gods, THIS is the way to do it. I loved the way they presented themselves within their bases - Zamorak's straghtforward presentation of his views, neither proselytizing nor sympathizing. Saradomin's deliberate remoteness and abandonment of human connections and morals in favour of a greater scheme that only he has the wisdom to enact (and finally presenting a compelling argument for himself as the 'true god'). And Armadyl. Oh my goodness, his story literally made me cry - first time that's happened in RS. More on that at 11.

Bad writing! Well, not bad, necessarily, but disappointing. So many of the god-to-god interactions, outside the Heart and within the Maze, just felt uninspired, and I thought spent far too much effort in reiterating the relationships that have already been well-established, without taking advantage of the opportunity to establish more subtle wrinkles in those connections - or at least something more than a like/hate binary. This said, I think I missed A LOT of cutscenes in the maze - most of the revelations folks are talking about I never encountered.

AMAZE-ING! I loved the general concept of the maze, the existence of an environment that appeared vast and daunting and endless, truly feeling small and overwhelmed in this world. I'm excited to see the mechanics explored here extended elsewhere in the game, see procedural puzzles on this order, or perhaps the 'skill/lore raids' Raven was floating. There is vast potential here.

04-Jan-2017 10:15:50

Rondstat

Rondstat

Posts: 2,770Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
LABYRINTHINE! But, I'm not so enthused about the execution. A huge maze like this, with its portals and puzzles that change random, unknown sections, does not really leave a lot of room for strategy. The biggest factors to solving the maze are not player ingenuity, our ability to recognize patterns or think critically. They're game mechanics - draw distance and minimap size. I'm a very immersive player, when questing. I find a low populated world, I walk everywhere, I close my chats, minimize every interface window, and try to lose myself in the game. A puzzle that relies on the client interface, particularly in the middle of an 'epic' story, is questionable at best.

Scope! This quest was ambitious. I can't imagine any other MMO would ever even dream of trying to pull off something like this. That in itself is commendable. I think it's fair to say the results were somewhat mixed. I was astounded by how much this quest took our choices into account, how vastly different other players' story beats have been. I'm a little uncertain how they'll be able to deal with that moving forward, but that's a concern for another time.

There's a part of me that adores this, who sees moments that were truly orchestrated by my decisions as a player, my actions as World Guardian, and finally feels like my character has shaped the world. Then there's a part that detests how, even after completing the quests, I'm encountering spoilers, how major lore was randomly and arbitrarily kept from me, or how on-rails it ultimately feels, despite the choices. That said, most of these concerns will probably be moot once it goes replayable.

04-Jan-2017 10:32:33

Rondstat

Rondstat

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One of the oddest things about this quest is its utter lack of resolution. Sliske's secret plan from Kindred? Nope, still don't know. The Kin and their curse? Kerapac manages to do something far beyond the capability of any of the young gods - destroying the most powerful object in existence - indicating some MASSIVE advancements have occurred off screen. Yet this is only addressed in one well-hidden piece of postquest dialogue. Eliminate Sliske, our major villain, once and for all? Nope! Everything is pretty much status quo at quest completion (even the waking Elders, which had already been established in Heart of Stone), and none of the lore mysteries raised in the 6th Age are answered.

Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. The quest takes no interest in answering questions, makes no asides that would deviate or distract from its plot, and at points seems to delight in being cryptic (which I can get on board for). There is one thing happening here, and no time to distract ourselfes with the world's minutiae. Still, for a finale, there's nothing particularly final about it.

The boss fight. I have issues with it. As I said, I try to maintain the same inventory throughout a quest - in my case warpriest, sharks, and a bunch of utility items. So, every time I died, I refilled my inventory to exactly what it was at the start of the quest (the canon I'd chosen for myself), and attempted to do better. Three times I took on the second phase, never even bringing a single one of the three bosses below 80% health before dying. The fourth time I wore full seasinger, a shield, and a yak of rocktails and portents. I did the rest of the fight (including Sliske) altogether in one go, with plenty of supplies to spare.

04-Jan-2017 10:45:50

Rondstat

Rondstat

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This is a problem. Quest bosses should be all about the mechanics. They should not be a gear check. They should not encourage us to prepare the same way we would for a standard boss. The metagame of prayerpoint and inventory management should never be a big thing. I feel like Elegy's Nomad is a fantastic recent quest boss. Sure, higher level gear and potions will make it easier. But standard attacks are a miniscule threat - the fight revolves around VERY high damage attacks that give visible warning, and the fight is all about knowing how to avoid or nullify them, positioning ourselves so we don't get caught vulnerable, and the difficulty quotient is not massively different with respect to our gear setup.

I also thought it was problematic how the boss fight (Sliske's in particular), instead of unique but highly visible mechanics, encouraged us to count the game tick, use the delay in our character's movement as a central part of survivability. While this is trivial to anyone comfortable with bosses of QBD or higher complexity, it's very much a combat boss mechanic, a meta mechanic, and not like the indicators that reward foresight and better suit questers that we see in Elegy, TMF, or DAT. This boss fight is simultaneously far too difficult and far too easy.

Jas! I adores her design. So completely alien, its animations unsettling in an undefinable way, its bizarre modes of communication. It's suitably grandiose, but I can't help ask myself - should we have spoken to Jas at all? Does it make any sense for an Elder to even have the capacity to notice, much less communicate with an entity that isn't transcendent? Does it make sense for her to use Sliske, or set us a quest? I'm not sure how to feel about the reveal - though, I choose to believe Sliske was not the 'agent' she meant.

04-Jan-2017 11:02:00

Rondstat

Rondstat

Posts: 2,770Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Now, I liked this quest. I liked it a lot. But, I think I also like it for its scope, for what it was trying to do, the lofty goals it aspired to (in advancing the story, enriching characters, raising stakes, and developing a plot without an easy resolution or cut and dry outcome), moreso than for what it actually achieved. I absolutely think it was a fitting conclusion to the young gods storyline that's dominated the 6th Age. It reached a heart-pumping climax that paid off beautifully, but was also frustrating in how little was resolved. Not the best quest of 2016 (that goes to Elegy), but still very, very good.

Random disappointment: no SoJ stone-touching flashback.:( This is what I was most looking forward to.


But for me, the best part of the quest was Armadyl in his tower. My god, what a beautiful character. The story of his family is profound in its banality and beauty. The acceptance of loss, and the tragedy of his estrangement from the mortal cycle brought tears to my eyes as I read about the death of his daughter, or the feline race. The fate of his second husband gives much more significance to some of his behavior, and makes his errors more understandable, without feeling emotionally manipulative.

Armadyl's greatest weakness, as a character, has been his indistinctness, his status as a boring, milquetoast Saradomin. This quest turns it into the character's greatest strength. While Saradomin has outright rejected his mortality, and the morals and vulnerability that go with it, Armadyl is earlier along on the same path. He speaks of a greater good, using Saradomin's MO, but also acknowledges the danger of vengeance vs justice. There is a conflict of ideals, when one has the ability to so mundanely violate them. He is self aware, and despairs as he tells us how he must remind himself - 'we are part of the tribe, one of the people.'

He's a god struggling to hold onto his humanity, and this, I think, is a unique strength and opportunity in RS's mythos.

04-Jan-2017 11:22:28

Rondstat

Rondstat

Posts: 2,770Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Hmm, I skipped over a lot of major thing in that review. Feeling pretty loopy when I wrote it. Meh.

Anyways, for better or for worse, Endgame is now RS's big culmination quest (like RFD, WGS, and RotM before it), so it seems apt to update my top ten.

1. One Piercing Note
2. Birthright of the Dwarves
3. Lord of Vampyrium
4. Ritual of the Mahjarrat
5. Dimension of Disaster
6. Branches of Darkmeyer
7. While Guthix Sleeps
8. Underground Pass
9. Death of Chivalry
10. The World Wakes

Still, nothing even comes close to approaching the storytelling, production values, assets and execution of One Piercing Note. Well, Birthright surpasses it in terms of storytelling but, you know, more than its fair share of flaws elsewhere.

Just for fun, I decided to mark out my favourite quests by year. It's surprising to see just how rich certain years were for questing, and not always the years we think of. 2009, 2011, and 2013 in particular (which is especially weird in how simultaneously awful a year it was for quests).

2001 Dragon Slayer
2002 Biohazard
2003 Underground Pass
2004 Monkey Madness
2005 Desert Treasure
2006 Darkness of Hallowvale
2007 Land of the Goblins
2008 While Guthix Sleeps
2009 Temple at Senntisten
2010 The Void Stares Back
2011 One Piercing Note
2012 The Elder Kiln
2013 Birthright of the Dwarves
2014 One of a Kind
2015 Lord of Vampyrium
2016 Nomad's Elegy

07-Jan-2017 06:24:44

Lord Drakan
Sep Member 2010

Lord Drakan

Posts: 6,781Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Will read your reviews later. To be antithetically brief about it, I found Children of Mah exceptionally boring on playthrough and just when I got the feeling "Hah, it's finally getting started!" the quest ended. I'd rate it somewhere around 6/10.

Sliske's Endgame, on the other hand, hooo boy, it beat a five-and-a-half-year-record formerly held by Salt in the Wound for Worst Quest Ever. Which is impressive. But gadzooks was it terrible.
Bizarre Boron Fusswell, scryer extraordinaire. Minigames & ninja fixes & achievement ideas!

Perhaps you're half right; perhaps we can't win. But we can fight.
— Zanik

08-Jan-2017 08:35:56

Lopendebank3

Lopendebank3

Posts: 2,453Mithril Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
I go with The Chosen Commander, mostly becouse no mather to who you talk within Dorgeshkaan, they all talk about the quest, unlike the later content where gods are destroying the world and no one talks about it. EXP is not important, it's important to have fun and play with your friends.:) -Lopendebank3

08-Jan-2017 12:26:58

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