Runespan: Runecrafting (D)Evolved?Edit This Entity
Ever since its release, Runecrafting has been a two-faced skill. Praised for supplying invaluable runes used for all kinds of magical activities, and thus a source of good profits, but hated for its utter repetitiveness and slow exp gains.Therefore it is no surprise that over the years, many players have chosen to train it by resorting to non-traditional means such as trading in Penguin Points and opening ancient effigies. Heck, effigies actually caused an uproar earlier this year when methods of farming them more extensively than ever were discovered - thus leading to accusations that RuneScape was slowly turning into 'EffigyScape'. The idea that cumbersome skills such as Runecrafting could be levelled at incredible speeds without any kind of real work whatsoever. It is with the effigy farce in mind that Jagex have tried to completely revamp Runecrafting with the release of Runespan, an AFK'able way of training the skill - most importantly as some would say - 'legitimately'. However, is it really true that Runecrafting (in their words) has "evolved"?
The Runespan is a group of mysterious islands in the same realm as where the Runecrafting Guild has been built, as explained by the friendly wizard Finix. Quite odd, but luckily we don’t need to focus on details. There are 3 levels to the area, each requiring a higher Runecrafting level to access than the one below. The levels are further subdivided into collections of floating islands, inhabited by a plethora of strange creatures and concentrated energy nodes all of whom are composed of different runic materials - which you can siphon off for experience and runes at will (providing you have collected essence from their floating embodiments!). However the latter can only be used for movement between islands and supplying yellow wizards who might occasionally call out for help (more on that later), meaning Runespan is a non-profit activity. The animation for this is quite cool. You should also try to see if you can spot a dragon – I personally found it a good job of the graphics team.
But that is not all! Once in a while, a Runesphere will crash on one of the 3 levels of the Runespan. This activity can be compared to the Crashed Star activity. Even if you don’t want to look for the Runesphere, you will still profit from it: (higher-levelled) nodes will spawn in greater quantity. If you want even more, you can also search for a lost wizard in yellow wizards every 10 minutes, and receiving a small amount of Runecrafting experience (5k or so).
But what would an activity be without any kind of rewards whatsoever?! The points you collect from siphoning NPCs, redeeming runes when you leave, and so on can be used to purchase new staves and Wicked items. The well-known Wicked Hood is also for sale, which is kind of odd since you obtain it for free already. The Wicked set offers you a good amount of weight-reduction, making it a good alternative for Agile armour if you lack the willpower to master the skill Agility. And last but not least: the Wicked set also provided extra rune essence and rune withdrawals for the Wicked Hood! Wicked (pun intended)!
The reaction of the players was very positive, but there have already been made some complains about this ‘’evolution’’ of Runecrafting too. Many have already made the comparison with Choking Ivy for woodcutting: an easy, camp-able method that gives a lot of experience. And I admit, that is exactly what the Runespan will offer for most players. Unless you want to help out the wizard and travel to the island with the best nodes for the highest experience per hour, you will limit your roaming area to a few islands, camping creatures and nodes while helping out an occasional lost wizard if he managed to end up near you. Looking at the given situation like this, one would say that this update has DEvolved Runecrafting instead! A picture illustrates what is going on in the Runespan at the moment:
I wouldn’t say that the saying is completely true though. I do admit that this update enabled you to gain Runecrafting experience in much easier way, heck I even gained 450k experience myself already. But on the other hand, you make zero profit. Runecrafting has always stood as one of the more stable sources of income in the game, providing you had the right stats of course, and I think this update only compliments that. Whilst a great deal of 'Scapers are running off to the Wizards' Tower - those who decide to stick to the old-fashioned methods will ultimately start reaping in more money than ever due to the falling number of competitors in rune production. So, pick your path and see which one suits you the best!