Today’s update sees a rework to the very earliest portions of the game, plus a new feature called the objective system, which can be accessed via the new tab on the side interface (the signpost icon left of the Friends List).
The objective system allows you to set yourself an objective to work towards, be that a specific skill level or the completion of a certain quest. This can either be randomly generated or something of your own choosing. The system will then track how you are doing in meeting that objective.
It was initially developed with new players in mind, as it will give those who are boggled by the vast array of things to do in RuneScape something to focus upon, and provide some direction as to the sorts of things they could be aiming for. We have, however, designed it in such a way that we hope more experienced players will find of use, and that they too will enjoy setting themselves goals and tracking their progress towards them.
The previous tutorial and the Lumbridge tutors were not giving the best first impression of RuneScape to new players, nor were they the most effective way of teaching new players how to play the game. Much of the information they gave was not of interest to players until later on in the game, and came across as too wordy and boring. We've found that most players prefer to get stuck into the game and figure things out by actually playing.
As such, a lot of this information has been moved out of the tutorial, and the tutorial has been replaced with a slightly shorter introduction to the game, which focuses on the basic controls. Much of the information that was taught in the previous tutorial can now be accessed as mini tutorials, as and when players want to learn, through the new advisor system.
The advisor is a helpful old fellow by the name of Roddeck, who can be found by clicking on the new "question mark" button (next to the logout button). The advisor system works dynamically depending on where you are and what you are doing at the time. You can either do a mini tutorial (a much more interactive way of learning things) or "Ask Roddeck for advice" (if you just want a quick answer).
The advisor system currently only covers basic activities, but we are planning to flesh it out to cover more skills and activities.
We’ve defined an area of the game as the starting area, in which you can access the new tutorials, as well as making it a safer area for new players. There are guards and gates placed at the various entrances to the starting area, so new players can tell where the borders are. The area is quite big, covering Lumbridge, Varrock and Draynor.
The gates have been designed so as not to slow down more experienced players (i.e. everyone with a total level of 60 or more). Simply click on the other side of the gate in the game window (or on the minimap) and you will automatically walk through, without any more clicks than normal. Players with a total level below 60 will need to confirm that they really do wish to leave the starting area.
We’ve made various other changes due to the above:
As these mini tutorials are more interactive, they've rendered obsolete some previous features we had in Lumbridge for helping new players. These features had built up over the years and were making Lumbridge feel rather cluttered, so you’ll find that most of the Lumbridge tutors and the Lumbridge money making features have been removed from the game. The items which you could previously get for free from the tutors are now available as free samples from certain shops.
The Air Altar's location has moved to southwest of Varrock, next to the River Lum. It’s the same distance from Varrock’s west bank as it used to be from Falador’s east bank.