Missing, Presumed Death: First Impressions (No Spoilers)

The latest quest in RuneScape had just been released yesterday, and if I can describe it in one word, it’s fantastic. It’s a fantastic quest that delivers in almost all fronts, with a few stumbles here and there.

The presentation was handled fairly well. My favorite part of it was with the sound direction. Ambience noise feels authentic, and the new songs had great note composition and choice of instruments. The graphical grunt leaves a little to be desired, however. The new area visited doesn’t really stand out, and feels rather bland when compared to Zanaris and Kethsi, two quest locations which shows how creative Jagex can be. Aside from that, though, everything in the quest sounds like it belongs in a new direction for a progressive RuneScape’s questing.

Story, however, is always one of the strong points of RuneScape quests. It involves quite a bit of classic characters, so completion of certain quests unlocks new dialogue options among characters you interact with. This neat little touch really sets this quest apart from others, where choices you made prior to The World Wakes makes subtle differences within quest dialogue. Without going too much into detail, my favorite part of it was a nice little reference to Ritual of the Mahjarrat, only for the exclusive players who finished the quest before starting Missing, Presumed Death. What made it special was that it was a seemingly insignificant choice to make during Ritual of the Mahjarrat, and only makes for more possibilities of quest branches with new content made.

There lies one misstep, however, and it, regrettably, involves combat. Now, let’s put it into perspective: the last Novice quest, the Death of Chivalry, introduced to quests combat scaling. It was a neat idea that managed to breath new possibilities to Novice-leveled quests. Monsters aren’t immediately one-shot by maxed combat players, and instead gives reasonable challenge for all, regardless of stats (well, for the final battle at the end, the henchmen at the beginning could had been given buffed damage as well). Missing, Presumed Death, however, fails a little in this regard. The enemies in this quest don’t take advantage of combat scaling much at all; they can barely hit anything against players with gear at their level (somewhat, I charged in with God Wars Dungeon armor), nor are their health and defence scaled to your levels adequately. In short, the combat could have been better, and it really didn’t impact my fun factor, but it was something worth brought up. Combat scaling for quests is relatively new, so we’re going to have to go through it ourselves for it to bloom into something special.

If you’re interested, below is a video of my entire quest footage. The quality is pretty horrendous, though, so I’m trying my best to find a good program to record gameplay footage without resorting to Fraps and its enormous file sizes and compressing it to terrible quality to maintain a reasonable size.

Aside from the combat, Missing, Presumed Death was time very, very well spent. It’s another stepping point to a brightening future for RuneScape quests and it has an intriguing plot for what its worth.

~ Evil Lucario

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