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In preparation to getting the full available rewards for The World Wakes , I’ve gone and done a different grandmaster quest, The Void Stares Back.  My only barrier now is getting the skill requirements to take part in the Ritual of the Majharrat.  This entry contains my thoughts on the final void knights quest.  It should be obvious that this will contain some spoilers, but I’m not certain this matters: unlike The World Wakes, spoilers will not (in my opinion) ‘spoil’ the quest.

First off, let’s look at the story concept. It’s a very strong idea: the void knights finally track down the source of the mainland void invasion, confront the perpetrator, destroy his weapon, and go home. On the way, they recruit the player to help them reach their final destination and also team up with the various knightly orders of runescape, including the mysterious and foreboding Kinshra. The final battle should be a tough boss fight involving all these orders teaming up to slay the Big Bad Monster. It’s also got great potential for future quests, which may or may not be used: the idea of an elite council of the four knight orders for when particularly bad things happen (see: fallout of The World Wakes) is a really interesting one.

However, this isn’t perhaps implemented very well. The void storyline is one I never felt a strong emotional connection with: Korasi is a distant and often forgettable character, while Jessika is a naive and irritating scientist. The villain, who turns out to be wizard Grayzag, is also revealed to be deeply mentally unstable, and almost accidentally trips over the potential to summon the Pest Queen. He himself is not threatening in the slightest, and appears in newbie’s wizard garb halfway through the quest to make strange statements hinting he had a master plan while proving that he doesn’t. So the emotional connection, somethng that can make or break a quest (see WGS for a brilliant example of an emotional ‘hit’), was somewhat missed. The protagonists are not lovable, the villains are not scary, and the knights behave somewhat oddly. Lord Daquarius makes some humorous and even sensible remarks (“yeah yeah, I get it, we’re all the balance…how lovely”), but seems to have little objection to working with his arch enemies.

The quest also suffers slightly from legacy issues, and I’ll explain what I mean. One particularly jarring point is that in the first half of the quest, you are given rigged black knight armour to disguise yourself. You go to the fortress, only to discover they all wear the old armour, so you stick out like a sore thumb. However, despite looking completely different, everything is fine. All the traditional knights wear old armour, while void knights have a mixture of old and new. Finally, the boss fight suffers from some real confusion, as you have to kick or bash the queen while wielding a sword to activate the special attack, but this is not made particularly clear, especially since one ‘stun’ ability (barge) is disabled in the area. Pest’s old, old graphics are once again highlighted.

Having said that, where this quest is fully up to date it looks great. The under-Taverley Black Knight’s Fortress looks superb, while the Pest Queen herself looks fantastic and thoroughly dangerous (though rather more like a slug queen than I had perhaps realised from pictures). The security systems and puzzles also seemed graphically competent.

However, the graphics don’t really make much of a difference to the overall feel of the quest. Runescape’s graphics are constantly evolving and this won’t be an issue long term. What was an issue, I felt, was the pacing. My big problem was that going through the Kinshra’s security system felt like it wouldn’t take long, but then seemed to be the meat of the quest retrospectively. The quest takes quite a structured order. 

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