It is written by Mod Frantic and is dated 21 May 2009.
On another cold morning in the Jagex office, deep in the Wilderness, we were offered the prospect of working on a slightly different project from normal. Run energy is seen as a stumbling block by new players. No one likes to see their run energy drained and be forced to run-walk to their destination, so we were determined to make sure the new improvements would benefit the average player.
Before beginning our full test cycle, we had to ensure we understood the content as much as possible by reading through the design documentation and also having face-to-face meetings with the developer, Mod Chihiro. This was the ideal opportunity to outline any aspects of the project that needed to be given more careful consideration. The main issue that arose was that some balancing had been done, but that the numbers were not final. This meant that the time it took for run energy to recharge while resting, either anywhere or at a specified rest spot, was not finalised and liable to change.
We tackled this issue with a variety of in-game scenarios, such as running through the major cities from point A to point B. Additionally, we set up a testing map square, which was designed to more accurately reflect the advantages gained by someone using the new rest system over someone who wasn't.
Our lead balancer had toyed with the timings and had an idea of how she wanted things to work. What she wasn't sure of, initially, was how this would 'feel' in-game. After recording countless hours of tests, we fed our results back to the lead balancer. The figures were altered and we began testing the timings again.
While we waited on the new run energy balancing figures, we continued with the general functionality tests. This included:
- Re-testing the current in-game run energy boosts, such as potions and familiars, to ensure that the changes had no adverse affects on existing content.
- Ensuring that the music played by each of the musicians was reflective of the instrument they use. We especially liked 'bad' music Mod Bond composed.
- Graphical testing in both Standard and High Detail modes. Unfortunately, the lying down animation shown in the previous Development Diary had to be removed, as it was causing excessive graphical bugs with clothing items. This has been replaced with a slight variation of the sitting down animation.
- Making sure the changes to the run energy button on the main interface didn't cause any adverse affects.
- Checking each of the musician’s chat and possible issues that could arise with their positioning. Mod James H even introduced a couple more musicians to areas he felt would benefit from the new system.
Once the numbers have been completely balanced and finalised, we will need to ensure the recharge rate is working as expected for both normal rest and in musician rest spots. Due to the nature of QA, we are now knee-deep in other upcoming projects while we await the final figures. Meanwhile, it is being edited, translated and the Knowledge Base entry is being written.
We hope you will find the new system as useful as it is intended to be. Bangin'.
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