October - Pointy Ears
Check out our first ever October newsletter, which contains information about the Elf City, two lengthy opinion pieces, and a quiet introspection.
Table of Contents
- Around the Forum
- Around RuneScape
- The Glory of Fall
- Sal's Clan Chat Awards
- We forgot to release any guides this month
- The First October Newsletter
- Joke of the Month
Around the Forum
What is so sexy about this saxophone instrument anyway?
Have you ever wondered why the saxophone has become a symbol of sexiness? Maybe not, but Gary Oak sure has! In his blog post about the subject, he openly questions why the saxophone is a sexy instrument, and others try to theorize why culture has accepted this instrument as one that is sexy.
Member of the Month
... goes to -Leaf-!
On September 16th (Is this right? It seems that he deleted his previous status; the one concerning what happened after was posted on the 17th), -Leaf- undertook an ingenious and totally intentional enterprise: single-handedly recruiting five new members to the forums. Only his acumen could accomplish such a feat.
He began by announcing that, as a result of various circumstances, he had attained a number of beta codes for the new video game Super Smash Bros. As the fourth game in its hit series, it has gained ubiquitous hype, especially due to its earlier release in Japan.
It is therefore safe to conclude that these new members joined the forum merely to congratulate -Leaf- on his good fortune, just as he had anticipated. -Leaf- now has felicitous private messages and the coveted and long-existent title of Member of the Month!
The newcomers may have zero posts as of now, but they're just settling in, I'm sure! Expect new presence around the forums... any time now...
This was quite an eventful month in RuneScape, with a major city release and the departure of a CEO.
Prifddinas: Lost City of the Elves
For many years the gates of the Elven City Prifddinas have been closed, with no one being able to enter. Many have speculated about the city since its release in 2004. Those speculations... have been closed.
Welcome to Prifddinas! This city is rather large; it is quite easy to get lost. It also comes with hefty requirements: the completion of Plague's End is required for access, which in turn requires level 75 in 10 skills, such as agility, summoning, and construction. The lighting is also so bright that you may need a pair of sunglasses to play in high detail. However, these hefty skill, quest, and sunglasses requirements pay off in the end, as the Elf City contains:
- An Ivy-like rock with the best experience in the game
- Elves that can be pickpocketed without the need for constant clicking
- Elven Warriors that can be fought for decent loot
- A new Slayer Master that does not give Kuradel's frequently cancelled tasks
- Coal, mithril, adamant, rune, and enhanced gem rocks
- New farming patches, including a crystal and elder tree patch
- The ability to obtain new crystal weapons, including the crystal halberd
- Ivy, Yew, and Magic trees
- A trading area with a Grand Exchange and lodestone
- A guild for players with every level over 99
- Seren herself
- And much more!
Priffdinas is one of the most expansive updates this game has seen in quite some time, and it's not even done yet. Only the first half of the city has been released; the second half will be released in November. For those wanting to see more things about Prifddinas, Jagex has created a summary video here which contains descriptions and visuals of the city. General player feedback has been positive and players are looking forward to batch 2.
Mark Gerhard steps down as Jagex CEO
Earlier this month, it was announced that Mark Gehard, known to players as Mod MMG, will be stepping down as CEO of Jagex at the beginning of 2015. Gerhard has been CEO of the company since 2009. Gerhard expressed gratitude towards Jagex and the RuneScape community. He listed his major accomplishments as tacking gold farming and botting and getting more in touch with the community with poll-driven content. He admitted that he made mistakes during his tenure, but that everything he did was with RuneScape's best interests in mind.
Player response to Gerhard's departure has been mixed. Many players are relieved that Gerhard is going. Under Gerhard, extremely controversial updates such as the Squeal of Fortune, Solomon's General Store, and bonds have been introduced in the game. These updates more or less created a Jagex-endorsed system of Real World Trading, something that for many years has sworn they would never have done. However, some players do not believe this was Gerhard's fault and point towards Insight Venture Partners, a major investor in RuneScape that invests in other games which have introduced forms of RWT shortly after IVP became a major investor in them. These players argue that Gerhard was the last line of resistance to totally filling the game with RWT and without him the game could have been much worse. Since Gerhard was CEO before IVP became a major investor, the new CEO choice might be heavily influenced by IVP and could push even more of an RWT agenda (such as buyable experience).
Who the new CEO will be is up for question, but the Santafish Monthly will keep you up-to-date with any news (up-to-date as in within one month).
The Glory of Fall
One mid-October day during my Junior year of High School, I missed the bus. I didn't have very many good senior friends who had cars, so I couldn't get a ride home. This left me an hour to wait until someone I knew could pick me up at school.
As I had nothing to do, I walked out the back doors and sat down on a bench facing the senior parking lot. This was the first time in my life that I saw what Fall really is: the breeze, the colors of the leaves, and the quiet serenity.
Fall gets considerable slack for being the end of Summer and the start of school. If you were to ask people on the street what their least favorite season is, Fall would likely be the most popular choice. In Summer, there isn't any school and the weather is warm. In Spring, the weather is getting warmer and green is beginning to return to the environment. Winter has Christmas and the New Year. Fall has nothing.
But maybe Fall doesn't need any of those. Maybe the reason Fall doesn't have any extras is because Fall is good enough on its own. Sure, Fall is not perfect, but no season comes quite close to the beauty of Fall.
So, I'd like to ask all of you to spend just a minute this month to find a quiet place all alone, with plenty of flora and fauna around and to do nothing but sit. Enjoy the sights. Enjoy the silence. Perhaps it will make you think twice the next time you decide to complain about the weather getting cooler. It sure did that for me.
Sal's Clan Chat Awards
This past month we held clan chat awards, to see who was really the best of the best. Well, the results are in! Out of all the people, Supersal69 won the most awards with five total, such as "Nicest Member" and "Best Chat Mod." Leo604 strangely won both "Best PvPer" and "Worst PvPer." Micael Fatia fittingly won "Biggest Noob." And unsurprisingly, Wilson won "Richest Member."
If you would like to see the full list of awards, check out the topic here. If you are interested in joining the clan, check out the Sals Realm clan chat (not friends chat) and ask a rank about joining.
Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear our opinions about random things, that may pertain to you in no way whatsoever!
Opinion on the Mod Infinity Fiasco
Early in the month, there were many controversies surrounding the Mod Infinity, a Jagex Mod. Although the whole thing has died down considerably, I thought I'd talk about it here anyway.
First, let's fill in some background details to those who have not been following the whole thing. Mod Infinity is a community moderator for Jagex. Up until recently, he handpicked every new player moderator, established relations with community outlets, gave fansites their rating, and a few other general things. He is not the main community moderator, but is a major community moderator.
Another interesting thing about Mod Infinity is that he founded and still runs the fansite RuneZone. I wrote about this in a blog post here, and assailed Jagex for hiring a bunch of RuneZone staff members (Infinity isn't the only Jmod from RuneZone), as this would lead to a conflict of interest when dealing with fansites. However, I didn't criticize the RuneZone staff members-turned Jmods themselves, more the people who decided that it would be a good idea to hire a bunch of members from only one fansite. Shortly afterwards, on Reddit, a fansite admin (on an unnamed site, presumably not here) discussed the suspicious relationship between Jagex, Mod Infinity, and RuneZone (which was getting a lot of Jagex attention at the time). The topic received quite a response and brought Mod Infinity into a bad light to the main RuneScape public for the first time.
Then the storm came. Mod Infinity was linked with many controversies; mainly it was shown that he forged a legal document to shut down a rival fansite and that he bought and sold accounts before becoming a Jagex moderator. These revelations led to a rather angry response from the RuneScape community. Some players even asked Infinity to step down or for Jagex to fire him. This has not happened, although Infinity has temporarily taken a step back with his duties and no longer is the one who picks Player Moderators.
Although the revelations that Infinity not only broke in-game rules but also the real life law is appalling to me, I can't say I'm a big fan of the anti-Infinity movement. To me, the whole situation has witch hunt painted all over it. Instead of looking at a person's actions before they became a Jagex moderator, I would prefer it we looked at a person's actions after they took the job. Since Infinity has become a Jmod, he has had a relatively good tenure. Okay, there was a period of time where RuneZone got way too much attention, but that has since died down after player complaints. Some players criticize Infinity for kicking players from the Zezima friends chat, but kicking delinquents from a friends chat is hardly a crime.
The only thing that has angered me from this whole situation has been Mod Pips' (the head of RuneScape) reaction to the controversy. He blames the revelations on a vindictive campaign orchestrated by fansite admins. As a person who is more or less a fansite admin (I did put this newsletter on the website - HA!), I personally was upset that Pips had either blamed it on people like me or even me. In reality, the only person who is at blame here is Mod Infinity; if he didn't have a dirty past it never would have been uncovered. It's also been made clear that the people who are surfacing this information are not actually fansite admins. In other words, Pips has no idea what he is talking about and is only straining relationships towards people with whom he is supposed to have a good one.
I realize I took a middle-of-the-line stance here, and that some of you may disagree with me. If you do, feel free to post in the announcement topic and sound off.
Plague's End: The Quest that Could Have Been
As stated earlier in this page, the finale to the Plague City (AKA Elf) storyline came out earlier this month. It was one of the longest-running storylines in RuneScape. The first quest, which was Plague City, was released in the summer of 2002. To put that into context, let's talk about a few things that happened that year. The (physical) Euro was introduced, A Beautiful Mind won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and the Winter Olympics were being held in Salt Lake City. And (most importantly) gas was $1.61 a gallon. Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end, we'd sing and dance forever and a day... whatever. We all remember those events, but it still seems like a while ago. Needless to say, this storyline has been around for quite some time now, at least in RuneScape terms, so the finale to this quest had to be awesome.
Needless to say, I'm disappointed. I don't want to get into the specific details of what happens in the quest because I don't want to spoil it for anyone. (psst: The good guys win!) I'm not particularly saying this quest was poorly written, bad, or would make for a poor motion picture. I'd say it was good. The quest ties up all major plotlines, except one.
As many of you may recall, there is a side quest in the storyline called Sheep Herder, which involves herding diseased sheep into a furnace where they would be incinerated. Thrilling really. Although it's a minor quest, pretty much everyone remembers doing it. The reason why? Painful memories stick better than unemotional ones. Prodding the sheep has been an annoying task, so annoying that earlier this year Jagex decided to change the quest mechanics and make it easier to get the sheep into the furnace. The thing is that this particular quest leaves so much mystery. How hot was the furnace? Did it run on coal or natural gas? What did the sheep count when they couldn't fall asleep?
These unanswered questions lead me to believe that the sheep standing so innocently north of Ardougne had more to do with the rise of the Dark Lord than most people thought. The night before, I did some serious thinking about the subject and came up with a prediction of how the story might go.
After a brief run-in with the Elves, the player discovers that the Dark Lord is to be summoned in the middle of the Grand Exchange (go big or go home). What's worse is that no weapon on RuneScape can even hurt the Dark Lord. The player teleports straight to the Grand Exchange and discovers that they are too late. The portal to the Dark Lord's realm is about to spawn, and anyone standing where the portal is about to open will die. Conveniently, all of the signature heroes are standing right there when the portal opens, so they all die (except for the Raptor. He becomes a total bro in future quests). Right after that, the Dark Lord appears. Who is the Dark Lord exactly? It turns out the Dark Lord is just like the large intestine: he is inside us all. He is different for everyone and represents the most terrifying thing imaginable to you. Some people might see the Dark Lord as a large spider, others may see Father time. S_U_O_M_I would see a Guthixian butterfly.
When the player overcomes their biggest fear, they finally face it... by crawling under the hole in the Grand Exchange wall and running to Edgeville. When they finally get there they look over at the nearby monastery and discover that all of the sheep have turned into black sheep! No, not the 1990's hip-hop duo, but darkened sheep! After a quick word with Farmer Brumty and Fred the Farmer, it is reported that every sheep on RuneScape has turned dark. This can only mean one thing: each sheep is imbued with the power of the Dark Lord, and to defeat the Dark Lord you must prod each sheep on RuneScape into the Dark Lord's realm.
Through much tribulation, the player is able to distract the Dark Lord by positioning a television near him and putting on the Lifetime network. The player then begins with prodding the Lumbridge sheep, the Edgeville sheep, etc. Of course, prodding the sheep is a completely frustrating activity. Once you prod the sheep, they begin to move completely randomly and you often lose progress you made over the past 10 minutes. And let's not forget how many sheep there are on RuneScape: each one needs to be prodded to the Grand Exchange. The quest finishes when the player realizes he/she has wasted hours prodding sheep on a completely meaningless computer game, at which point his/her Internet cable comes loose and rips off his/her right index finger.
After reading that, I know what you're thinking: How can his ideas be so smooth? Well, I don't want to take credit for this all by myself. I'd like to thank the Sal's Realm clan chat on August 10th for pitching in ideas, particularly PlayTilIDie who brought key thematic elements into the story. I'd also like to thank Bwauder for insinuating that I was on drugs while writing this. I couldn't have done it without you.
We forgot to release any guides this month
The First October Newsletter
Even though the Santafish Monthly has been running since July 2013, this is actually our first October edition. We had an October 2013 edition, but well... you'd have to read the November 2013 edition to understand.
Well anyway, we hope you enjoyed it. It took around an hour for us to get that Prifddinas HTML5 picture together, so we're expecting lots of compliments on this one just because of that.
Joke of the Month
What do you call the catacombs beneath Senntisten?
Writers: Sobend, Guitarguy