It really is the most impossible of impossible missions: how do you follow the graphical improvement of an entire game? Have a nap for a month or two? Boogie with Party Pete? Go on holiday to Brimhaven? Well, we've taken a different approach, following RuneScape High Detail with some updates that have been anticipated for a very long time...
Take your bank, for example. Many players have called for a better way of managing it, to help sort and organise the mess of herbs, long forgotten quest objects and holiday items. So, this month we will be adding a few features, the most prominent of which will be a new tabbing structure. This will allow you to order your bank according to categories that you define: you could gather your runes together on one tab, for example, and food on another. There will also be a search button and extra options for banking and removal that will aid you when moving quantities of items about.
'Moving items about' leads us neatly to our second anticipated feature: Item Lending. This superb service will allow free players and members to use their own wealth for the benefit of their companions by lending them handy items, powerful weapons, valuable armour and a few fancy hats too. Only one item will be lendable at any time, for a number of hours up to and including 24 hours, or until either of you log out. More information on release!
It's at this point in the month that we look back with rose-tinted glasses and get a little nostalgic. Do you remember your first days in RuneScape: leisurely wandering round Tutorial Island, making bread, catching fish and firing arrows at rats from behind a fence? Good times! A wind of change has been blowing about Tutorial Island, however, and it's brought a whiff of danger with it...
The next update will move the Tutorial from Tutorial Island to a quarantined Lumbridge, where a three-headed dragon will be terrorising people and generally being a nuisance. Luckily for the citizens, a passing White Knight, Sir Vant, will be on hand to hold back the beast. Far from being able to handle the situation on his own, he'll be after a willing adventurer to keep him supplied and do a spot of fighting.
The new Tutorial will be more quest-like and exciting, giving players a reason to create a new character and give it a go. If that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, any player will be able to collect the new Tutorial's reward - two experience lamps - whether they have completed it or not.
The Tutorial is not the only planned improvement to Lumbridge. There will be the Lumbridge Achievement Diary, packed with Beginner, Easy and Medium tasks. High-level players will have no trouble completing these assignments, but there are certainly some interesting rewards to be had. Be prepared to craft, mine, explore and tan your way to success!
You thought Lumbridge was only for learning the ropes, respawning and chefs with cake issues? Well, you'll find that there's more to the running of Lumbridge than meets the eye, as a number of NPCs will be looking to employ hard-working and diligent low/mid-level players with their day-to-day tasks. Deliveries need to be made, goblins killed and resources gathered, all in the name of a decent wage.
Our final update this month will be a first for RuneScape: a Wilderness quest. You'd be forgiven for thinking that means relentless combat, stark landscapes and the odd revenant sending you back to Lumbridge (to complete some Achievement Diary tasks, perhaps?); rather unusually, it centres on a small girl, who will have other ideas.
Beginning in the Wilderness but then moving to a parallel realm, Spirit of Summer will require you to meet the young girl's family and prepare them for their first holiday in decades. There's the small issue of a neighbour who's reluctant to let the family leave, but you've dealt with larger problems before, right? A charming adventure awaits, with a few surprises thrown in.
Less of a surprise will be the website updates. The traditional Players' Gallery and Postbag from the Hedge will be on hand, with a wallpaper that shows some RuneScape favourites in a different light.
So, you thought July was only about the graphical updates? It would seem that RuneScape
has other ideas..