These FAQs were announced on 13 March 2012. An archived version can be viewed
This sticky has been created in response to the most commonly asked questions regarding the most recent game update.
Whilst we continue to gather feedback, we will add any other frequently asked questions regarding this update to this thread - you may wish to check back every now and then.
What is the main reason behind the introduction of the Lodestones Network?
Mod Srowley: The main reason was just to give all players a way to freely access the most-visited parts of the game, to enable players to get to gameplay content with fewer barriers. The lodestones should prove to be useful teleport options in a pinch, or if you don't mind 'taking the slow route' (as normal teleports are still the quicker and more useful way to get around). We wanted to also give some added appeal for higher-level players in the form of the Lunar Isle and Bandit Camp lodestones, and by making all activated lodestones accessible from all three spellbooks. This reduces the 'faff' of how spellbooks are changed - a good example of removing a barrier to content - which will hopefully encourage more players to experiment and swap between the three spellbooks.
Will we be seeing more Lodestone Network teleport locations in more remote areas in the future?
Mod Srowley: I wouldn't rule it out, but there are currently no plans to do so. Remote areas are better candidates for unique teleportation objects (like the ectophial or enchanted lyre). I can perhaps see new lodestones being added as rewards for quests, much like the Ancients and Lunar options were. Thematically, I'd personally always link lodestones to major/popular cities and towns, though, not out in the wild. It's like BT or AT&T - they only lay cabling somewhere when there's enough demand from the local residents to warrant the cost of them doing so. Note that the majority of lodestones are within the free area or just outside it - the core areas.
Why was it necessary to add the lodestones since it seems to be devaluing current teleportation methods (as well as quest rewards)?
Mod Srowley: While some of the lodestones do lessen the value of certain existing teleport options, we've made sure to minimise this as much as possible. The lodestone teleport animation is comparatively very slow (even slower than it was before, thanks to the added arrival animation), and can be interrupted by combat, the Home Teleport spell gives no Magic XP, and the lodestones are not placed as near to useful areas or resources as 'normal' teleport spells and jewellery. Ergo, the 'cost' of using lodestones is time. There are also only 15 lodestones, yet there are many more places where existing teleport options can take you. The lodestones will lessen players' reliance on law runes and teletabs to some degree, but higher-level players will find their existing spells and jewellery are always the more efficient choice.
With this update, we did actually improve the value of certain teleport options on the games necklace, combat bracelet, necklace of skills and the camulet/cramulet, to give them more worth than any nearby lodestones. There is perhaps more we could do for other teleport jewellery and spells. That said, for example, how much better could the Edgeville option on the amulet of glory be over the Edgeville lodestone than it already is, without making it too overpowered? There's only so much we can do without completely changing its destination.
Since unlocking the lodestones say that they are part of the "Easy Lodestone Tasks", does that mean we might receive future lodestone locations with perhaps a quest or Achievement Diary based around them?
Mod Srowley: The only reasoning behind adding these tasks was so that players could set them as active tasks to get a hint arrow pointing towards their locations. And they're only 'Easy' tasks because, well, they're easy to find and activate. That's not a suggestion there will be 'Medium' and 'Hard' Lodestone Tasks in future. We'll be changing the message when you complete these tasks to a more generic one (probably with the next update). That said, there's no reason that a new lodestone destination could not be considered as a reward for a future set of Area Tasks, but, to me, new lodestones would make more sense given as quest rewards.
Will the Fairy Ring network and Spirit Trees receive a similar style of choosing where to go? For example, a map just like the Lodestones Network.
Mod Srowley: I'd like for us to get more use out of the lovely new stylised world map graphic that's used in the Lodestone Network and Runecrafting Altar Locations (in the Runecrafting Guild) interfaces. I like that the Fairy Ring 'dialler' has its own style and feel, but I can also see the advantages of moving that over to something like the Lodestones interface - there might be too many closely-packed fairy ring destinations to fit them all on to one interface, though (might look a bit cluttered). It definitely makes more sense for the spirit trees (and other transport options), though - there aren't too many of those. I can't imagine this would be a priority update, though, as the existing functionality for fairy rings/spirit trees, etc already works well enough. The fairest answer is: 'Maybe one day.'
Will we be getting more ways of earning more loyalty points soon?
Mod Raven: I am not aware of any plans to provide alternative ways of earning loyalty points.
Will we ever be able to trade in/refund loyalty items we don't want anymore?
Mod Raven: I'm afraid that's unlikely due to technical limitations. The loyalty system doesn't work like an ordinary in-game shop, so it's not really possible to refund or exchange items via the shop.
Due to some items being reduced, will we also see similar point refunds in the future?
Mod Raven: If, like we did with the updated auras, we were to change the permanent price of an item (not the price of items on sale) then there's a good chance we would consider a refund. However there are no current plans to change the price of any items, other than via the special offers we periodically run.
Why have you not implemented a preview option yet? It would save a lot of frustration.
Mod Raven: It's not as easy as it sounds and there are quite a few barriers in our way. That's not to say that we'll never do it, but it's no small task and would take a not unreasonable amount of development time that we could better spend on other updates.
How many more batches are you planning? Is there a limit or will we always see new ones arriving?
Mod Mark: The original plan was to have 4 batches planned over a 12 month cycle, with one batch every 3 months. We have finished that now, so there is nothing specific planned for 3 months time. However, we do have lots of other aura and cosmetic ideas so who knows. I’d certainly like to keep adding things to keep the variety high, an aura for each skill etc. Also, Mod Poppy has been talking about recoloured camo gear for AGES (pink no doubt), so perhaps we will see something else loyalty related this year.
Why do the eyes not show up in our forum avatars? Is this possible for a future update?
Mod Raven: Alas it's simply not technically possible to get the eyes to show on forums pictures, we looked into it, but it's simply not possible.
Have you considered adding an “aura bag”? Destroying and reclaiming isn't a viable option as it puts them on their maximum cool down, and players usually don't have the foresight to plan hours in advance.
Mod Mark: I’m not sure I understand your suggestion. What would the bag do, just allow me to store them? How would that effect cool down? Post some more suggestions and I am sure our resident forum monkey (ook-ook) will pass them onto me ASAP. :)