Petscape – Mini bosses, Many consequences
Petscape – Mini bosses, Many consequences
General Graardor at Prifddinas? Har-aken in Varrock? What madness is this?!
By now, most anyone logging into Runescape will have noticed small companions resembling noteable boss NPCs following players around the world of Gielinor. In fact, I’d be surprised if you haven’t seen one yet as they are almost ubiquitous in every world. In Jagex’s annual manifesto, they promised us a full year for 2015 in terms of delectable updates that would satisfy scapers everywhere. However, I don’t think many players anticipated that one of the biggest updates would come so soon. On January 5th 2015, The Ninja Team released boss pets into our lives. This might seem like a rather small update, but it is an update that I believe has had a permanent effect on the game as a whole and has already proven to be the biggest game-changing update of 2015.
Let me just start by saying something specifically to The Ninja Team at Jagex – well done. This was a very smart move. According to a quote in 2009 by Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard, the average player age was 16. Now, we all know that Runescape does a pretty good job of retaining players, but suffers a little at gaining new players. By this logic, the average player today in 2015 would be around 22 years old. This is the prime demographic for players to have also been exposed to Pokemon games as children. Go ahead and admit it – we’ve all played Pokemon at some point or another. I for one remember how frustrating it was trying over and over to capture Articuno with an ultra-ball, when all the while the master ball tempted me in my inventory… Pokemon hit the nail on the head when they discovered how addictive it is to capture and control your own little beasts. For whatever reason, it’s extremely satisfying to capture a mythical creature, and now thanks to The Ninja Team, we can do that with our favorite boss monsters of Runescape. The update didn’t take a vast amount of development resources and was generally well received by all of the Runescape community.
But have these tiny bosses had an effect on the game as a whole? Already eight months since their release, I would argue that these rarities have had a permanent impact on multiple facets of the game. Prior to the introduction of boss pets, several bosses in the game were dead content. Why would you waste time killing the Giant Mole of Falador Park? Certainly not for growth potions or clingy moles. Why spend time killing Har-aken repeatedly in the fight kiln when you already have all three of your Tokhaar capes? Why risk your items venturing into the wilderness to take on the Chaos elemental? By introducing an extremely rare unique drop that can be flaunted around with pride, the boss pet update has completely revitalized content that was of little use to anyone in the game. Other than the Final Boss title, introduced in 2014, there was very little reason to battle these forgotten bosses of old. Jagex used a lot of cunning to restore what was essentially decrepit content.
Of course the restoration of dead content is always nice, but let’s also take a look at the ever so fragile Runescape economy. With people re-exploring dead content, and new players looking to start PvMing for boss pets, it tips the balances of supply and demand. More bosses killed means more unique-to-boss items coming into the game. Under normal circumstances, most end-game content PvMers wouldn’t be bothered to take on God Wars Dungeon bosses for example, but with the addition of boss pets, we have lots of efficient warriors returning to these “low level” bosses.” Bosses that were created with t75 weaponry in mind, are now being camped for extended periods of time with overloads, t90 weapons and armor, and in fast spawn instances no less. With correct ability rotations, 80+ General Graardor kills/hr is not unheard of to do solo. Now, let’s look at raw statistics. Below are prices listed of unique boss drops; the first number is the price as of January 1st 2015 (just before boss pets released) and the second price is as of today:
Bandos chestplate: 4,052,488 – 1,730,796
Garb of subjugation: 6,398,874 – 3,808,521
Armadyl chestplate: 6,234,750 – 4,083,313
Dragon hatchet: 1,468,841 – 321,099
Noxious staff: 299m – 188m
Torva Platebody: 28.7m – 18.1m
Drygore longsword: 45.3m – 30.7m
Now obviously these prices are not solely dropping because of boss pets, but to deny the influence of increased PvM activity in response to boss pets would be naive.
In addition to revitalizing otherwise dead content and having an effect on the Runescape economy, it is my personal opinion that the introduction of boss pets has had a large effect on the community as a whole. Recent reddit posts, forum posts and in game chatter have all been changing lately – have you seen it? You can hardly walk around Gielinor without hearing something about an aspect of PvM. Almost every other reddit post you see is someone asking for tips to take down their favorite boss adversary. Not only that, but there are more and more developing PvM FCs for masses and teaching bosses. Because of the larger numbers of people jumping on the PvM bandwagon, there are more people willing to teach others the mechanics of these bosses. This, in turn, is bringing things to an equal playing field and making the community less elitist. Even our very own MageBit is taking on bosses he never dreamed of! Prices of individual unique-to-boss items may be going down, but PvM is far from dead. Even with the decrease in prices, bosses almost always rake in more money than skilling.
So here we are 8 months later with a decent view of how these tiny cosmetic pets have affected the game of Runescape. I, for one, am thoroughly impressed by this update’s simplicity and cannot wait until Jagex enables boss pet familiar overrides. Just picture going into combat with a little Nexterminator at your side! The boss pet update entered the game right as I finished obtaining my completionist cape, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I was worried that I would be bored of the game after comping, but with boss pets and the thought of obtaining the Final Boss title, I ventured into PvM. Since January, I have obtained nearly 16k boss kills, 2bil gp profit (not gross), 6 boss pets and the Final Boss title; although the latter was sadly stripped from me on the release of raids. There’s no more satisfying feeling than seeing a giant loot beam over your pet drop you’ve been working so hard to obtain. I wish everyone the best in their pet hunting, and now there’s only one thing to do…
GOTTA CATCH’EM ALL!!!
– WeigukenPosted on: August 17, 2015, by : magebit