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  • Accidental Innuendo: One-Eyed Willy.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Has Saradomin really taken a few levels in kindness and feels regret for his earlier arrogant actions? Or is he just trying to get on the Player Character's good side?
    • Does Zaros really have any interest in the benefit of mortals, or is he also just trying to make an ally of the World Guardian?
  • Anticlimax Boss:
    • Prior to the rework of the "Demon Slayer" quest, Delrithnote  had fewer hit points than a cow or an imp. In fact, depending on your combat levels, you were more at risk of getting killed by the surrounding Dark Wizards who, despite their relative weakness, could get quite annoying with their ranged magical attacks.
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    • Mother Mallum, the Sea Slug Queen, who turns out to be a Puzzle Boss who dies when a secondary character drops a pillar on her; your own character never battles her.
    • Tuska, the central focus of the third World Event — billed as an apocalyptic pig-shaped Eldritch Abomination — turned out to be one of the biggest laughingstocks in the whole game.
  • Anvilicious: Perils of Ice Mountain", so very much. Climate change is bad, we get it. The puns didn't help either.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Sliske killing Guthix with the Staff of Armadyl at the end of "The World Wakes" can feel like one of these, considering that by all indications, the Dragonkin had utterly destroyed the Staff at the end of "Ritual of the Mahjarrat".
    • Linza "betraying" the Player Character towards the end of "Kindred Spirits" can easily come across as a largely out-of-character moment simply thrown into the storyline for the sake of making her Darker and Edgier and to justify getting her killed off and turned into a Barrows wight.
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    • At the end of "Sliske's Endgame", just when you've finally bested him in combat, the eponymous Manipulative Bastard of a Mahjarrat conveniently gets both you and him impaled on the Staff of Armadyl and wastes no time in transferring his soul into the Player Character (complete with an Evil Laugh for good measure). The staff had been shown to be capable of killing beings and siphoning power from one to another, but not going so far as actual souls and consciousnesses. It just comes across as a blatant Sequel Hook towards yet another future plot still to be revealed.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • "Roving Elves" has shades of this toward "Waterfall Quest." The latter quest has you plundering a sacred tomb, which is rather awkwardly presented as a positive thing. Later, in the former quest, you meet the very angry grandson of the owner of that tomb, who demands you make things right.
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    • "The Mighty Fall" was very controversial on release, in part due to the way it treated Zanik. She was given a graphical update that made her absolutely hideous, and got an abrupt Happy Ending Override. In "Nomad's Elegy", however, she reappears with a vastly improved model, and can either be brought back to life as the Soul Wars keeper, or given the afterlife she deserves.
    • A patch in April 2016 removed the Rat Pits, an extremely badly regarded minigame of questionable morality (it's seemingly inspired by real-world dog fighting). The update was even worded as a Take That! to the minigame, stating that the in-universe reason for its shutdown was numerous health and animal welfare code violations.
    • 2017 and 2018 were rough years for Runescape. 2017 suffered with the controversial Menaphos update, the fanbase finally getting fed up with the constant pushing of Microtransactions, and a drought of new quests. 2018 started strong with several substantial updates, including an open beta of the rework to the Mining and Smithing system in Runescape, a Treasure Hunter promotion that most agree was very well-done in the form of the Faceless Assassin, the introduction of the Player-Owned Farm, and the Clue Scroll rework, which completely changed the way treasure trails work, but ultimately lost a lot of the built-up goodwill by the end due to many of the large updates being pushed off to 2019 or trapped in Development Hell, even fewer quests than the previous year (half of which were considered mediocre at best and failed to move the plot forward to any degree), a large amount of "patch weeks" where no new content was added and instead focused on bug fixes and minor quality of life changes, and a large number of recycled limited time events from previous years. The first few months of 2019, on the other hand, have been much better received, with the Mining and Smithing rework finally going live and eliminating several long-standing bugbears inherent to the skill, a pair of quests in the first two months, and several major overhauls (such as the retirement of the much-maligned Bounty Hunter minigame with the rewards being shuffled elsewhere) that were much better received.
    • "Salt in the Wound" was one of the first Grand Finale quests released, concluding the Sea Slug quest series, and quickly became infamous for its low difficulty despite that distinction and the anticlimactic showdown with the main villain the Slug Queen Mother Mallum, where instead of the Player Character fighting her, they are brainwashed by her, with control shifting to three supporting characters who ultimately kill the Queen by solving a series of relatively simple puzzles that result in a nearby pillar falling on her. Players became even angrier after Jagex defended their decision by saying they wanted a series that could be completed in its entirety by lower-mid level players; this failed to mollify the fans, who felt it was absolutely not worth foregoing a cool boss fight. Every finale quest since then has featured a direct showdown between the player and the arc's main antagonist, some of whom, such as TokHaar-Hok, Director Hreidmar, and Lord Drakan are considered among the most challenging bosses in the game.
  • Badass Decay: Guthix, Saradomin and Zamorak, coinciding with their collective retcon from abstract, nigh-omnipotent godly entities to essentially super-powered mortals. Similarly, protection prayers were nerfed from boss-dominating Game-Breaker abilities to be only 50% effective at best. Considering that they nearly wrecked the whole of Gielinor the last time they fought, Saradomin, Zamorak, Armadyl and Bandos are surprisingly small and unimposing in-game. Word of God confirms this is due to to them being Shrouded in Myth in-universe; they're legitimately extremely powerful, but being disappeared for millennia their stories evolved to portray them as even stronger, particularly Saradomin, whose cult evolved into borderline monotheism with Zamorak as an inferior Satan-figure. And despite this, the first major battle between Saradomin and Zamorak still managed to blow a large crater into what once was Lumbridge Forest. They could still destroy the world by fighting, only little-by-little rather than in one fell swoop — the God Wars did, after all, ruin Forinthry into the Wilderness, and it's far from inconceivable that the gods could eventually and gradually do the same to the rest of Gielinor.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
  • Best Level Ever: Several of the quests qualify.
    • "While Guthix Sleeps" is a quest that is near-universally acclaimed for the level of immersion featured in the quest and the impact on the world of Runescape at large. The fact that the rewards include 100k in four different skills and the ability to forge your own Dragon Platebody helps this as well.
    • Nomad's Elegy is the payoff for half a dozen NPC deaths over the course of the game's story. An entire Ensemble Dark Horse herd, consisting of Zanik, Xenia, Hazelmere, Brand or Astrid, and Jessika or Korasi join up with the player character to stop Nomad from trying to take over the underworld. Unlike several Nomad encounters, this is far less of a Goddamned Boss, and gameplay is changed up through you taking control of Xenia, Death and Icthlarin to defeat an artificial god! In Zanik's case, her Happy Ending Override turns into a much-deserved Earn Your Happy Ending, with players being able to choose whether she can go to her deserved afterlife, or come back to life, as it was not her time.
    • Beyond quests, several boss fights qualify. For example, the Queen Black Dragon, a monster so large that you only ever see her head and hands. It requires 60 Summoning to even fight her, and you have to do it alone. Being able to kill this thing is the mark that a player has mastered the game.
  • Broken Base:
    • In general, there sometimes seems to be an undercurrent of resentment in free-to-play (f2p) players against pay-to-play (p2p) members. Part of it was that members have hundreds of extra hours of content, with a game world several times the volume of the free-to-play zone. Several years back, there was even a page on the RuneScape wiki about free-to-play versus pay-to-play wars, all about how f2p tried to revolt to get more content.
    • The December 10th, 2007 updates tore the community asunder. In response to a downright massive number of gold farmers, macros, and websites selling Runescape gold and items for real world money, Jagex introduced several restrictions on trading and player killing (including the complete removal of player killing in the Wilderness) in an attempt to cut off real world item trading by limiting the ways that illegally purchased gold could be transferred to the buyers. Community reaction was split: Those against the changes pointed out that legitimate trade outside of the Grand Exchange had been crippled (as part of the updates included the inability to trade items or gold at a price that was outside of a very slim margin based on the market price determined by the Grand Exchange), that player vs. player had been largely gutted outside of minigames (particularly in the free version of the game), and that the Wilderness had been rendered largely obsolete (dangerous but well-rewarding Revenant monsters were introduced to make the Wilderness more dangerous, but they were easier and less rewarding than most player killing). Those in favour of the changes pointed out that the restrictions had greatly reduced the number of bots (which made a resurgence very shortly after the restrictions were eventually removed), stabilized the game's economy (which had suffered immensely under the inflation caused by bots harvesting logs, ore, fish, and other resources to sell to feed the gold sellers, drastically reducing the value of most gathering skills), inadvertently eliminated several types of player-based scams (as the aforementioned Grand Exchange-based margins prevented users from taking anything of value without giving their marks something of roughly equivalent value), and that the Wilderness changes solved griefing problems for Wilderness-based quests and activities.
    • Like the 12-10-07 updates, the introduction of PVP Worlds in 2008 caused another rift among the player killing community. Some enjoyed the freedom of being able to attack other players nearly anywhere in the game world and always being on the lookout for trouble even in usually completely safe areas, and that the randomized loot upon a successful kill (which included some highly valuable, exclusive loot that could be earned if the player had survived in dangerous areas long enough) made for a more interesting reward for ambushing players who weren't equipped for a fight, while others felt that by turning the entire world into a PVP Area that it was too difficult to find a target aside from camping just outside of safe zones, that it was a pale imitation of the traditional Wilderness experience that had been removed nearly a year before, and that the randomized loot was rarely worth carrying around valuable enough items that could be lost on death in order to qualify for.
    • In early 2013, Jagex introduced dedicated "Old School RuneScape" servers, running a complete version of the game from back in August 2007. This went just fine until the divisions really kicked off with the announcement that a highly-anticipated and lore-critical Grandmaster-level quest (among other possible updates) was being pushed back, simply due to the sheer amount of resources dedicated to resurrecting the older version.note 
    • In early 2014, Jagex used the newly-implemented player poll system to float the idea of reintroducing old-style combat into the modern game (alongside the existing Evolution of Combat abilities). Naturally, this split the player base between those who want the change back to the older style, those who think it is a waste of time, and those who wish Jagex had made the announcement before thousands of players spent most of a year on the "Old School" servers to get away from "EoC" in the first place.
    • The base fragments yet again with the ongoing development of "Legacy Mode", which basically reverts the combat mechanics, interfaces and other elements back to RuneScape 2. There's division within the divisions with Jagex's developers noting that the Legacy Mode users will not be doing as much damage as the users of EoC, and therefore will not earn experience nearly as quickly as the former. On top of that, Jagex has also mentioned that game content will continue to be designed around EoC anyways, without much regard for Legacy Mode, meaning that the players in Legacy Mode will not be capable of doing all the activities, boss fights, and so on that EoC players will be able to enjoy.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • "Plague's End" has been called anticlimactic as a Grand Finale and as a Grandmaster-level quest, but after over a decade of waiting for this last act in the Elf and Plague series, it is downright awesome to personally curbstomp and/or actually kill off all of the Mourners, King Lathas and his numerous paladin bodyguards, Lord Iorwerth and his underlings, and the heretofore-unseen "Dark Lord" itself. It ends up as a subversion in the Dark Lord's case, as the Dark Lord is really just a warped fragment of Seren, who as an Actual Pacifist has done nothing to warrant your frustration. Virtually every other positive character in the series gets a chance to bite back at Lathas and Iorwerth, too. Councilor Halgrive, Lathas's deputy, after hearing of his King's wrongdoing makes you commander of the army. Bravek, the city warder of West Ardougne who'd been forced to keep up the lie also gives you his support. Elena and the other West Ardougne activists you've met get to lead a revolution. General Hining, the very angry best friend and right-hand-man to the betrayed and murdered King Tyras, gets to lead his army in an outright massacre of Iorwerth's. And finally, the Elven Elders, driven into exile by Iorwerth, get to activate the lock that seals their people's old enemy, the Dark Lord, away for good.
    • In the Sliske quest series:
      • "Kindred Spirits" finally lets you get in a few shots, verbal and physical, against Sliske. Early on, you're given the option to repeatedly punch him in the face while he's defenseless, and later, you manage to weaken his control over the Barrows brothers and learn something about his true plans, which really gets under his skin. While he still partially succeeds in the end, it shows that he's not as untouchable as he'd like to think.
      • And again in "Sliske's Endgame", only this time, you fight him up, close and personal after you deal with Nomad, Linza, and Gregorovic. The scuffle ultimately ends with his demise in your hands, using the Staff of Armadyl to finish him off for real.
  • Character Rerailment: This happened to Saradomin. In earlier quests during the Fifth Age, he was presented as a generally benevolent god who cared for his followers but was fairly ruthless toward evil. The more recent quests and Sixth Age storylines have played up his ruthlessness and pride to the point of portraying him as a Villain with Good Publicity. But in "The Death of Chivalry", he will openly admit to the Player Character that his past actions were wrong, hurtful, and motivated by arrogance. He admits that he still does do awful things, but he views them as necessary, and he does them so his followers won't have to.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Playing (the now-defunct) DarkScape? Odds are you're either using a two-handed sword or air staff. Maybe ranged weapons or armour if you're doing PvE, but almost never when doing PvP or just walking around.
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • In Dimension of Disaster, you travel to an Alternate Universe version of Varrock, where most of the citizens are dead, and those that aren't are zombified. The dead have various things written on their gravestones, from Party Pete playing with Icthlarin's torch to the point where he abandoned him halfway to the underworld, to Romeo and Juliet, sans heads. These include Gertrude's four children. One of them is completely unrelated to the others, but the rest:
    Shilop Fairweather. Mauled by a giant, sabre-toothed wildcat.
    Wilough Fairweather. Died laughing while watching his brother being mauled by a giant sabre-toothed wildcat.
    Kanel Fairweather. Tripped over his brother, who had died laughing while watching his other brother being mauled by a wildcat.
    • "One Small Favour" is a Chain of Deals that takes you halfway around the globe; it starts simple, grows annoying, and ends hilariously, as your adventurer grows more annoyed than the player, and actually seems like they might kill the quest giver just from how frustrated they are. And if that's not enough, a sequel to the quest is confirmed to be in the works. Rage quitting ensues.
  • Damsel Scrappy: Pauline Polaris, who runs the Livid Farm minigame. Livid Farm is already one of the most hated minigames in the game, due to it being an incredibly repetitive activity that takes a minimum of 44 hours and 50 minutes to earn all the spell rewards, which are required for the completionist cape. The fact that the minigame exists because Pauline bit off more than she could chew with a strain of fast-growing plants, and the fact that she needs constant encouragementnote  make her one of the most hated characters in the game.
  • Demonic Spiders: Has its own page here.
  • Designated Hero: The so-named Wise Old Man, although he seems to be an intentional example. He's remembered fondly by various NPCs in-game and is a key character in a few quests, but his pastimes generally involve abusing his powers to break into banks and rob or murder innocents just because he feels he got shortchanged for heroic deeds in the past.
  • Dork Age:
    • A regular complaint from segments of the Broken Base is that the latest update or rework has ruined the game forever and that some past era was always better. Between the Squeal of Fortune and the Evolution of Combat, however, this sentiment seems to have really come to a head during the 2009 to 2014 reign of then-Jagex-CEO Mark Gerhard. The sheer amount of player outcry prompted the creation of separate servers running an "old school" version of RuneScape dating from mid-2007, and online player counts were significantly down from historical highsnote . The active player population on RS3 did stabilize as the situation improved into 2015, but has slowly declined since then.
    • Averted, in contrast, in Old School where player counts have been constantly increasing — though an undeniably-sizable chunk is bot activity — so calls of the game being dead or dying have little meaning outside of RS3. In particular, Old School's player counts have really taken off since the launch of its mobile app in late 2018.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Some of the various gods' worst actions are ignored or poorly justified by players. The most common cases are Saradomin ripping off Garlandia's wings, Zamorak betraying Zaros, Zaros carving up sentient beings to create the Nihil and then abandoning them, etc. — although a good portion of this sentiment could easily be due to players' skepticism after only being told about the events instead of witnessing them personally, or otherwise could be Hype Backlash to Jagex pushing for the Godless in Sixth-Age quests.
    • Judging from this forum topic, Sliske's managed to pick up quite a few fangirls.
  • Ear Worm
    • Many of the earlier music tracks are very catchy, especially the main theme, and some of the later ones too.
    • Bard Roberts on Mos Le'Harmless can sing you a shanty recapping any one of the pirate quests. This comes complete with voice acting.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • General Graardor has loads of fans, and it seems Jagex has picked up on this, as he functioned as the game's mascot for a while.
    • Zanik, heroine of the cave goblin quests. At one point, she was arguably the most popular NPC in the game, and is off having adventures of her own after her quest line is done, which include trekking through Morytania, attempting the TzHaar Fight Caves, and absolutely owning the Ranging Guild's archery contest, despite the guild members saying a crossbow isn't as good as a "real" bow. Sadly, this has been downplayed as of late due to The Mighty Fall giving her a... less-than-attractive graphical update, aligning her with divisive Godless faction, and giving the player the option to kill her at the end of the quest, which several players argue makes no sense why this choice was even given. They've been slightly redeemed, however, through Nomad's Elegy.
    • Brassica Prime (the God of Cabbages) was originally intended as an April Fools joke, but it became so popular that it's now an officially recognized part of the Gielinor pantheon, and even has a minigame based on it, alongside the ape goddess Marimbo.
    • In a similar vein, a new god, Loarnab was introduced in a lore book, meant as an in-joke (the name is a corruption of 'Lore-noob'). However, it too (despite originally being mentioned only by name) gained so much popularity among players that it got a full description in another lore book, and was apparently supposed to actually appear (albeit as a statue) in the quest 'Broken Home' before being cut due to time constraints. Loarnab's severed, petrified (and implied semi-conscious) head can now be found and interacted with during the quest Dimension of Disaster.
    • Prince Brand and Princess Astrid, the heirs of Miscellania whom your character becomes engaged to (Brand for women, Astrid for men) in "Throne of Miscellania." While in-universe the marriage is supposed to be a political one to legitimize your claim as regent of the eponymous throne, many players became legitimately fond of them and were genuinely saddened when both fall victim to the Cartwright Curse in "Blood Runs Deep." "Nomad's Elegy" provides some closure for them.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • After the release of "Salt in the Wound", a popular theory amongst the fanbase was that the entire quest was nothing more than a delusion brought on by Mother Mallum. This is because the fanbase refused to accept the events of the quest as canon and violently ridiculed it to the point where many believe the quest's developer left the company solely to avoid further ridicule.
    • A sizable number of players do not regard Dungeoneering as a "real" skill but rather as a glorified minigame.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: During the 2011 Christmas Event in relation to the 2010-released Grandmaster Quest "The Void Stares Back". For those who did the available-for-all Christmas event before one of the highest-requirement quests in the game, Wizard Grayzag mentions that he desires to become the greatest summoner in the world in a semi-joking way while he faces opponents in friendly Snowman-summoning battles. During "The Void Stares Back", it is revealed he has been killing Void Knights for 20 years through the pests to prove this. For those who did the quest before the Christmas Event, these lines are instead said by a Suspiciously Similar Substitute named Wizard Whitezag, serving as a Call-Back instead.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Ancient Effigies are sometimes considered this for skilling. They allow a player to gain 90k+ xp without training those skills at all, are semi-rare combat drops, and essentially allow player to train non-combat skills in combat. The fact that effigies require 90+ levels in pretty much every skill to be very useful makes this less of an issue to most people. However, this has since been nerfed to only being able to store 5 at a time in your bank, with each one reducing the drop rate of the next.
    • Halberds, for one main reason - their longer reach compared to other melee weapons. Impressive in its own right, but when you take into account that the extra reach applies to abilities as well, including the many area-of-effect abilities available to two-handed melee weapons, you have a weapon class that, with the right setups, can result in hundreds of thousands to over a million melee experience per hour in places with large amounts of monsters, such as the Abyss or Mazcab. There's a very good reason why the strongest of these halberd-type weapons, the level 90 Noxious Scythe, is much more expensive compared to similar level 90 weaponry.
    • A few other combat weapons and spells also came to mind, some eventually getting nerfed. Ice Barrage is one of the most memorable in its glory days for making any PvP game laughably easy, and Dragon Claws once went for hundreds of millions due to their special attack being essentially a one-hit kill if the user uses a setup focused on maximum strength.
  • Gameplay Derailment: Twice in Old School.
    • The first is prayer flicking, which is activating a protection prayer active on the same ticknote  an attack is considered "active" to negate the damage, then turning it off the very next one. This strategy is so effective that it actually turned very hard bosses into a much easier fight, and had Jagex require future bosses target tiles with some of their attacks to provide some semblance of challenge without entering Fake Difficulty territory by removing tells. This notably was around even in RS2, before Evolution of Combat (where it doesn't work due to the nerf to protection prayers) was created, let alone implemented, but a lack of understanding the game's mechanics made it very uncommon and more a gimmick.
    • The second is tick eating, or eating immediately after damage is registered, but before the game registers you as dead. Due to a quirk in how the game handles HP, you'll never drop below zero HP, meaning you're effectively immortal as long as your food stack lasts. Jagex has done nothing about this, however, due to the fact that it's so impossibly hard even while standing still, let alone while being able to fight back. There's only one player that's able to consistently do it in actual combat, and even then he's not capable of beating the hardest bosses in the game 100% of the time with it. It has to be seen to be believed.
  • Gateway Series: Many millennials grew up with this game around elementary or middle school, and this was likely their first encounter with the MMORPG genre ever.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Wild dogs in Brimhaven dungeon and Shadows in the Temple of Light. They're not difficult to take down, but they keep on coming, and they interrupt whatever else you're doing. Fortunately, their health is low, making them an easy One-Hit Kill.
    • Ghasts. When just crossing the Myre they sometimes destroy your food, and during Temple Trekking they have annoyingly high HP and drop little loot. You can kill them, and you'll actually get a small amount of Prayer experience for it, but doing so requires druid pouches, which can be annoying to acquire. Thankfully a permanent version of the druid pouch can be earned as a Temple Trekking reward, but it doesn't make them any less annoying to kill.
    • Vampyre juvinates east of Burgh de Rott. If you're trying to farm Vyre Corpses, get used to scrambling around to avoid them, because they're everywhere.
    • Almost everything in the Abyss. Even while having to deal with losing all of your prayer points and becoming skulled upon entering, they will almost never kill you unless you stay in the outer ring for more than a few minutes without doing anything.
    • Pretty much every normal monster encountered in Daemonheim while Dungeoneering counts, particularly when you're trying to do a puzzle at the same time. And yes, on some floors there are even literal bats.
  • Goddamned Boss: Quite a few.
    • Loads of these now exist in Dungeoneering. Astea Frostweb is relatively low-level, but she freezes you in place, making it annoying to fight her with melee, and puts up prayers that make her immune to certain types of damage. It doesn't help that she frequently summons ice spiders to help her, especially if you decide to alternate between ranged and magic.
    • The Fight Caves minigame has Tz-Tok Jad at the end, his attacks are fairly easy to dodgenote , but if you mess up, he can easily One-Hit KO you and you have to start from the beginning of the caves, which typically takes 2-3 hours to complete.
    • Plane-Freezer Lakhrahnaz's room is covered in Frictionless Ice. It has moderately high defence against rangers and mages, and it also has a knockback attack it loves to spam against melee warriors.
    • Fitting for The Scrappy, Yelps is not so much hard as just hideously annoying. Fought in The Mighty Fall, Yelps has a mountain of HP and can't be damaged until his goblin bodyguards are killed. He also has an immensely irritating special attack where he spins around with his sword and teleports around the arena. Getting caught by his spin attack does ridiculous amounts of damage, and it's hard to dodge. On the bright side, at the end of the fight, you finally get the chance to kill the little bastard. And There Was Much Rejoicing.
    • The eighth Barrows wight, Linza the Disgraced. It's similar to the other Barrows wights, but for whatever reason, it has over twelve times as much HP as they do, at 150,000 HP. Furthermore, the wight's special power can randomly reflect damage done back onto you, making it a hellish fight of attrition. Even worse, for whatever reason, Barrows amulets don't work on it. Thankfully, you never have to deal with her in the actual crypts by the loot chest.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: One of the leading Running Gags through out the Pirate/Rabid Jack quest series was animations of kittens popping up to hide scenes of horrific events. In Pieces of Hate, the text in the "censored" scenes switches from hilarious to threatening during the scene where the 'rum'-pumped crabs destroy the zombies on Braindeath Island, with whoever is provided the text saying that you cannot be saved from its horror. And considering that the kitten you encounter repeatedly in the quest is implied to be a manifestation of Xau-Tak, who's to say it wasn't talking to you in the other quests?
  • He's Just Hiding!:
    • Some fans still cling to the possibility that Guthix could come back in some way, despite the fact that he has been confirmed to be Deader Than Dead multiple times by Jagex and even stating himself that he wanted to die.
    • The same has been claimed by many players regarding Bandos, despite also being seen killed on-screen (and having his remains smashed by Armadyl) and Jagex's explicit announcement that the losing god of that battle would die.
    • Hazelmere has also been theorized to have survived Lucien's disintegration attack, due the fact he was known to be an excellent illusionist and could have easily faked his death — this despite the fact he foresaw his coming death and, when he had the possibility to evade his destiny via teleportation, he chose not to. His death, just like Xenia's, is confirmed in Nomad's Elegy.
    • This trope also applies to certain villains like Fairy Godfather and Wizard Ellaron; Word of God is that "they are dead unless it is later decided they are wanted to come back."
    • King Tyras, allegedly killed during the Regicide quest in the Elf series, is subject to this. Some players suspect that his second-in-command, General Hining, might actually be Tyras. Not only do you never find a body, you never even see Tyras directly — the Player Character's method of assassination is a napalm explosive launched at Tyras' closed tent, which is only ever seen burning from the outside. His death, however, was verbally confirmed in Plague's End.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • On June 6th, 2006, an infamous glitch took place in which a player became able to PK other players outside of the Wilderness, and they were unable to retaliate- this event was called the Falador Massacre. Almost exactly four months later, South Park released the episode "Make Love, not Warcraft", in which a player is able to PK without first challenging players to a duel, much like what happened here.
    • In July of 2013, the quest Bringing Home the Bacon was released in which the player builds a machine to train pigs for various tasks. The following month, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs became available for preorder.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Much of the history of Zaros is well known to those who care for the plot, despite much of it coming from Master-tier quests. Still, most Zarosian armour and weapons are never referred to as such, instead being referred to by the word "Ancient". Lampshaded in Movario's notes:
      First, we have Zamorak, the Mahjarrat god who wielded the staff to gain power and fight the 'Nameless One' (whose name is Zaros: doesn't everyone know this already?).
    • Guthix's death. Despite happening at the end of a grandmaster quest, due to being referenced in almost every piece of content since the start of the Sixth Age (including low-level quests accessible in the free part of the game), it's widely known.
  • Junk Rare:
    • It's possible, but extremely rare, to randomly receive 100 silver ore as a drop from most monsters with drop tables. Otherwise, silver ore is a common item, and even a hundred of them are only worth a few thousand gold in total. The dragon spear is obtained through a similar system (an extremely rare drop from the same wide variety of enemies) and is also very close to completely worthless. Other items on the rare drop table include stacks of 150 lobsters or 500 flax.
    • Clue scrolls occasionally reward the player with rare and valuable items... and other times, you get a handful of mundane firelighters, herb seeds, teleport scrolls to places that already have a lodestone nearby, biscuits, or purple sweets.
    • Fish masks. Despite being discontinued, due to being released long after other rares such as partyhats, it was expected that they would become as valuable as they were, and were thus hoarded in great numbers. Due to this, they are worth less than one million coins, even after almost two years after release. It's probably not helped by the fact that compared to party hats, they're incredibly ugly.
    • Tradeable holiday event items, such as the party hat and the Santa hat, are some of the most valuable items in the entire game, some of which have market values of more gold than the maximum amount possible. However, virtually all of them do not do anything to the player's stats when worn. Discontinued items are similar, very valuable, even though some of them are now completely useless.
    • Wilderness Slayer tasks in Old School have a very rare chance of dropping an enchantment scroll for the slayer staff, which increases damage done by Slayer Dart on Slayer tasks by your Magic level for 2500 hits (not casts, hits). It's almost universally seen as worthless, since it not only also increases the minimum level to use it from 55 Magic to 75 (at which point you'd have better staves to use), but Slayer Dart is a terrible spell for tasks to begin with. As such, despite its rarity, it's worth only just a little over a thousand gold and is often better left on the ground.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: The supposed penalty for losing the third World Event, "Tuska Comes", was the destruction of Gielinor. Literally no one thought that Jagex would actually go through with it, and some players even advocated for deliberately losing the event just to see what would happen. To their disappointment, we never found out.
  • Love to Hate: Sliske, full stop. On top of assassinating Guthix and converting many mortals into his personal wights, he garnered this reputation for his trollish antics, not only from pissing off his detractors as much as possible, but being secretive when questioned about his motivations while simultaneously enjoying the confusion as others try to learn what he's really up to. At the same time, though, plenty of players are just sick and tired of enduring him being a blatant Karma Houdini for years on end (until "Sliske's Endgame" came along).
  • Memetic Badass:
    • In-game, Thok of Daemonheim.
    • Within the community, Zezima has reached this level for being the player who held the global #1 spot on the High Scores list for several years until he retired following the release of Summoning. He still logs into the game from time to time, however.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The old Gnome Child chathead model, due to Gnome Children saying utterly bizarre things combined with a completely blank, slightly derpy-looking expression.
    • Pillars, after Mother Mallum's infamously anticlimactic death in Salt in the Wound.
    • This is not a dating site.
    • spin2win, also a reference to the meme from League of Legends.
    • "Gainz", referring to Level Grinding as the absolute way of life, either seriously, mockingly, or as Self-Deprecation.
    • Connection Lost. Please wait - Attempting to Reestablish.
    • "Zezima has logged in." "Zezima has logged out.", as players who had him added as a friend would see Zezima log in, take a few steps or do a few tasks, and then instantly log out. On a documentary, he would reveal that the moment he logged in, he would see a flood of messages from people asking him for things, and had to log out quickly to avoid being overrun.
    • Due to the rather aged and ragged look of their graphical update and their association with crystals, the elves in Runescape are sometimes referred to as drug addicts, particularly crystal meth. The fact that the Cywir clan on Tarddiad in The Light Within quest literally cannot live without crystals does not help this image one bit.
    • The phrase "buying gf"
    • "Joel get on Skype", originally a Twitch meme, has become popular at sinkholes.
    • "Naabe", a nickname used by the Gorajo, also tends to be spouted endlessly around sinkholes.
    • The Black Knight Titan, an otherwise forgettable enemy in an easy mid-level quest, became something of a running joke due to his simplistic, low-polygon model that the developers never bothered updating. He's the surprise villain of the 15 year Milestone Celebration quest, where he's angry about having never been updated.
    • A fan petition started after 'Sliske's Endgame' for renaming Akrisae The Doomed into Akrisae The Forgotten after it was revealed that the developers actually had forgotten about him. Hence why he wasn't in the quest or even mentioned for that matter.
    • "Spaghetti code" as an excuse for why old content is so buggy and/or can't be updated.
    • "I have defeated 0 the Magister" is a quick chat option often spammed at Soul Obelisks, notably before the Magister was even released.
    • On the Runescape subreddit in October 2017, there's an endless amount of snarky memes about the Treasure Hunter Loot Box system being skill-based as opposed to pure RNG, after Jagex released a statement to various charities saying that Runescape is a purely skill-based game.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Lucien murdering half-a-dozen of Gielinor's greatest heroes (which were close friends of the player character) and severely injuring two more of them.
    • Wizard Ellaron trying to use Ariane as the conduit for the destruction of the Wizards' Tower. He even gets mocked by the wizards he is supposedly avenging before their spirits transport him to the Abyss to experience the conflagration himself.
    • Amascut crosses the line when she massacres the desert monkeys and curses their goddess to lose three of her senses.
    • Sigmund's repeated attempts to commit genocide against the entire goblin race.
    • Sliske may have used the heroic Barrows Brothers for his own personal gain, but he crosses it big time in The World Wakes by murdering Guthix. He continues merrily frolicking deeper and deeper into this territory as his "game" progresses, murdering innocents and heroes alike for kicks and coming out a Karma Houdini every single time to keep his quest line running, until the finale, Sliske's Endgame, when he finally gets his comeuppance at the player's hands.
    • Bandos crosses it in his backstory when he murders his sleeping deity to become a god despite knowing it would wipe all life on his home world.
    • Lord Iorwerth and King Lathas crossed the line when they tried to slaughter the entire population of West Ardougne to fuel the ritual to restore the Dark Lord.
    • Lord Drakan created magical storms to turn the once beautiful Icyene kingdom of Hallowvale into the haunted swampland of Morytania.
    • Zamorak crossed this at the end of the God Wars when, as he was facing defeat from the combined forces of Saradomin, Armadyl, and Bandos, he essentially nuked Forinthry with the Stone of Jas, turning it into what eventually became the Wilderness. The resulting loss of life and damage to the planet's Anima Mundi was so massive that it woke Guthix from his original slumber and caused him to banish every other god while preventing them from returning until his death removed those protections.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The "level up" fireworks, and the fanfare that plays when you advance a Combat Level. Also, the fanfare and fireworks you get when you reach level 99 in a skill.
    • The fanfare that plays whenever you reach a total level milestone.
    • The Grand Exchange update jingle. There's nothing more satisfying than knowing that your items have been sold.
    • The trickle of coins when your Ring of Wealth affects a drop. Interestingly enough, this can also become a Most Annoying Sound while fighting Cave Horrors, since it plays after every single kill, regardless of the drop's value.
    • The sound of a fire spell. Doubly so for ice spells... unless you are on the receiving end. Sadly, the iconic ringing sound is no more, though.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • After "Ritual of the Mahjarrat", some NPCs will talk about how they were at the battle, just at another part of the plateau. Kuradal takes the cake, having slain a few hundred Glacors (very powerful ice elemental bosses who summon minions) after chasing one of the Mahjarrat's minions into a cave.
    • Player Owned Ports pretty much define this trope. The premise is that you, the portmaster, send ships to the Eastern Lands to trade. You don't interact with the Wushanko Isles themselves, you just send a crew there to spy on Purist thugs or fight fire breathing turtles. There are also some NPCs who can do special voyages, some of which involve backstory on the Isles. It culminates in the Whaler (using his talk to sea creatures ability to get Shuma the whale to fight with him), the Occultist ( who is immortal thanks to her time as the Dragon ), and the Assassin attacking Quin, who may or may not have an Elder Artefact that she uses to command an army of monsters, and winning. That sounds, if possible, better than the Ritual of the Mahjarrat fight, and it all took place off screen.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: A segment of the player base feels the game simply hasn't been the same since Insight Venture Partners bought out Jagex and the Gower brothers left the company. In particular, it was only after this point that microtransactions were implemented — something the Gower-era administration explicitly promised not to do.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • While on the "Desert Treasure" quest, you'd better bank those Diamonds of Azzanadra until the final part of the quest. If you don't, you may get randomly attacked by a stranger with a poisoned dragon dagger. He CAN and WILL use the special. And yes, this can happen in your house.
    • The Wilderness. A huge, desolate, mostly empty area, where you can be attacked by other players at any given time.
  • Player Punch:
    • Players who have become fond of Hazelmere the ancient gnome mage, Cyrisus the fighter, Ghommal the giant door man, Sloane the Strength master, and the Slayer Masters Duradel and Turael may feel like they've been punched in the gut when all of those people die confronting Lucien during "While Guthix Sleeps".
      • Again in the quest's sequel, "Ritual of the Mahjarrat", where Jhallan, Idria and Akrisae are killed by Lucien, the Dragonkin, and Sliske, respectively. Sir Tiffy and Thaerisk also die during a nightmarish vision, in which all the aforementioned characters make an appearance just to die again, but the former two get better.
    • Likewise, people who became fond of Princess Astrid and Prince Brand may feel like crying after they die fighting the Dagganoth Kings in the "Blood Runs Deep" quest. It doesn't help that you married one of them a few moments before!
    • The deaths of Thaerisk Cemphier, Fiara, Cres and Guthix in "The World Wakes".
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: It's common to find players with this attitude, clicking rapidly through all the dialogue in quests and consulting a fansite Walkthrough instead so they can get the rewards as quickly as possible without bothering with the storyline.
  • Quality by Popular Vote: Tends to be claimed by both sides in the "RS3 vs. OSRS" debate; OSRS fans claim that their much higher player counts in recent years are proof of higher quality, while RS3 fans often point to the botting problems in OSRS (or this trope) to counter those assertions.
  • Saved by the Fans:
    • The Golden Chinchompa promo in September 2013, wherein players could win the pet at random from the Squeal of Fortune and would have to feed it food specifically from said wheel. The goal was to feed the creature until it exploded into gold, and more morbidly, a grave complete with the animal's personalized name, free to place in your player-owned house. After a wave of outcry for the fuzzy creature, Jagex added it as a permanent pet for members to obtain from Solomon's General Store (either free for members, or a number of RuneCoins for non-members.
    • The Teddy from the 2014 Halloween event was an item that reduced the player's fear whilst busting ghosts, but was initially not available outside the event. After players mounted a campaign, it was eventually added to Solomon's General Store as an offhand Magic cosmetic override in November 2014.
    • The Juvenile Wolves from Carnillean Rising were eventually added as post-quest pets in January 2017; that said, Rover and Spot each required 200 and 400 Quest Points respectively to claim. It helps that they are both essentially large puppies, wearing Dragon heads over their actual heads, adding a kind of Badass Adorable vibe.
  • The Scrappy:
    • The Sawmill Operator, for the exorbitant prices he charges.
    • Zachary Bragg of the Temple Trekking series. For one thing, he's the escortee in an Escort Mission, and his accuracy is laughable. It takes fifty levels (compared to the usual twenty) for him to learn an attack that regularly hits, meaning he's a chore to train. He's a Miles Gloriosus, despite being a nerfed version of his counterpart, Pazuzu. The best part? In order to get one of the best shortcuts in the game, you have to get him to level 99. Even the Runescape Wiki makes fun of him. This was probably intentional, though, given that he's an Expy of Zapp Brannigan.
    • Random event NPC's were widely hated before an update that made events less frequent and more rewarding. They're still not exactly fan favorites. The lone exception is probably the Evil Chicken.
    • Yelps, the former host of the daily Squeal of Fortune game. Plenty of players hate the minigame because he is essentially the poster image of Jagex beginning to add features that result in higher profit and that the wheel has a habit of rarely rolling on something good, usually giving players trash items on a regular basis. It does explain why (and makes it that much more satisfying when) the goblin looks like he is bruised and beaten when the character does happen to get a rare or super rare item. The wheel eventually got some of the rewards adjusted, but people still have a disliking to the goblin mainly out of the former.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Emote clue scrolls require you to perform an emote with certain items equipped. Obtaining said items is annoying to begin with, but some of them, like metal boots and snakeskin armor, are especially irritating due to not being sold by NPC's and rarely being sold on the Grand Exchange, which means you'll also probably use up a bank spot to hang onto them for the next time you get that clue. However, an update to revamp the clue scroll system included the ability to add hidey-holes to store items near emote sites. Of course, if you forget to put the items back into the hidey-holes after you use them, you only have yourself to blame.
    • Coordinate clues require you to use a very clunky navigation interface to find a spot to dig. What's worse, some of them send you to dangerous places like the Wilderness where stopping to use said interface would be problematic. Many players regard these as de facto Guide Dang It! moments.
    • The inability to play music of your choice in Daemonheim. Don't like the ambient soundtrack or the battle songs? Too bad, whatever you put on will get cut off in a few seconds and replaced with the Daemonheim music.
    • The Livid Farm. If you want to unlock all the Lunar spells, you have to play over forty hours of an incredibly repetitive and dull minigame that takes tons of runes and has lousy XP rewards. To make matters worse, a lot of the spells are virtually useless. Teleport to South Falador? Okay...or I could warp to the Port Sarim lodestone and run for three seconds.
    • The Treasure Hunter minigame and its predecessor, the Squeal of Fortune. Both are widely reviled by the player base for essentially allowing players to spend unlimited amounts of real-life money to buy "keys" or "spins" which usually give in-game rewards including (but not limited to) immediate experience boosts, bonus experience rewarded while training, sacks full of thousands or even millions of coins, experience-boosting equipment, "lucky" versions of powerful high-level gear, unique cosmetic equipment or useful in-game goods and items. Rarely does a week go by without Jagex running and advertising a new promotion to entice players to spend money on Keys, and they resolutely ignore or dismiss any negative sentiment that players express about it.
    • Solomon's General Store is a milder example — while many players do resent it for being emblematic of Jagex's ever-increasing emphasis on microtransactions (including NPCs whose only function in-game is to constantly advertise for it), it isn't generally as loathed as Treasure Hunter or the Squeal of Fortune, since almost all of the merchandise in the Store is cosmetic in nature.
    • Stuns. During the early days of RuneScape, they were actually a mildly annoying mechanic to deal with, as they simply prevented you from moving or attacking. Once the Evolution of Combat came around, however, they became much worse and are one of the main sources of complaints about the combat system, particularly in regards to PvP. Now in addition to stopping you from moving or attacking, they prevent you from eating, teleporting, changing prayers, and even changing your gear, all while your chatbox gets spammed with "You can't (walk/eat/teleport/change prayers/do that/whatever) while stunned.". The worst part about this is, NPCs that already could stun you were retrofitted with the new stun mechanics. Fortunately, Jagex has shown some mercy on this mechanic by including ways that you can render yourself temporarily immune to or even release yourself from stuns, but those abilities have long cooldowns and you'll find yourself stunned with no way out more often than not against certain foes.
    • The new death system as of June 2015. Gravestone timers were reduced from a maximum of an hour to three minutes. That's five percent of the original length. Items that used to increase grave timers now increase it by seconds at a time. However, you can still pay Death to get your items back; this is an attempt by Jagex to get money out of the game, but players argue it doesn't work, because the players with the most money are the ones least likely to die because they are generally higher-leveled and have access to better equipment. On the plus side, paying Death for your items prevents degradeable ones from losing their charges.
  • Seasonal Rot:
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Where would the MMORPG be without games like this and EverQuest? This isn't counting the fact that it started off as a MUD.
  • Sequelitis: Several quest lines have gone downhill spectacularly.
    • "The Chosen Commander" was the finale for the Dorgeshuun quest series, and is generally considered one of the finest quests in the game. "The Mighty Fall", billed as another Dorgeshuun quest, naturally would have some big shoes to fill. However, it fell short in nearly every regard, featuring a Happy Ending Override for "The Chosen Commander", some of the cheapest boss fights in the game, and possibly the ugliest graphical update in any game ever. Fortunately, the Happy Ending Override was itself overridden in "Nomad's Elegy."
    • The slug questline started promisingly, with "Sea Slug", "The Slug Menace", and "Kennith's Concerns" setting up the slugs and their leader Mother Mallum as a major threat to the whole of Gielinor. "The Hunt for Red Raktuber" even implies that the slugs have gained control of advanced penguin technology. Then came "Salt in the Wound". Widely considered one of the worst quests in the game, "Salt in the Wound" throws out a lot of plot points from previous quests, shoehorns in Dungeoneering for no reason, is absolutely packed with plot holes and out of character moments, reduces Mother Mallum to an absurd Anticlimax Boss, and introduces a lot of humor (mostly in the form of bland pop-culture references) into a previously very serious questline. To date, a sizable portion of the player base refuses to acknowledge it as canon, or believes that it was all a delusion caused by Mother Mallum. Word of God stated that the intent behind this quest was to create a series of quests that could be completed in its entirety by lower-middle level players, but the majority of players felt it wasn't worth it at all.
    • Sliske's quest series, which reached Spotlight-Stealing Squad status through most of 2016, quickly got tiresome and irritating for plenty of players, considering each new quest reached new heights of That One Level, involving confrontations with That One Puzzle and That One Boss (or several at once). Meanwhile, there was no actual payoff at any point, as Sliske always had a way to come out a Karma Houdini to preserve his Joker Immunity, even in "Sliske's Endgame", the alleged Grand Finale of his series, where yet another Sequel Hook ensued as Sliske transfers his soul into the World Guardian via the Staff of Armadyl while dying and being Taken for Granite.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Several of the quests made earlier in Runescape's history get this reaction, especially Free-To-Play quests. Nobody can say with a straight face that they remember anything about the Clock Tower quest, other than the fact that it would be made much better if Scissorman made an appearance.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Tuska's theme is very, very similar to Leaving Earth from Mass Effect 3.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • With the retirement and replacement of Yelps and the Squeal of Fortune, Jagex issued a player poll to decide the goblin's fate. Some of the options included peaceful retirement, completely removing him from the game, and using him as a target for sharp thrown objects in a minigame. The winning option, however, was one in which players get to kill Yelps in a messy way in a future quest, which turned out to be "The Mighty Fall".
    • After his removal as a random event, the Drunken Dwarf showed up in several quests, usually annoying an NPC and getting maimed for it.
    • Pauline is the NPC in charge of Livid Farm, a tedious mini game that, though a good source of magic xp, requires an extensive amount of time to unlock anything in. During the "Dimension of Disaster" quest, her Alternate Self is one of Zemourgal's living prisoners. You have the option to give sarcastic versions of the encouragement you give her in the minigame, her examine text says it would be harder to break her free than it would be to complete Livid Farm, and there is an NPC throwing tomatoes at her, saying "This is for Livid Farm!".
  • That One Achievement:
    • There are a number of particularly infamous Dungeoneering achievements:
      • The fittingly-named "Up to the Gods" requires you to offer frost dragon bones on an altar. Frost dragons can only show up on the first eleven floors, and are a very rare enemy. There are players that have gone through over a hundred frozen floors and not seen a frost dragon.
      • "And I want it now!" asks you to complete a solo floor in under six minutes. This is entirely dependent on the game being nice and putting the boss door close to the starting room, and then giving you a boss that doesn't have Puzzle Boss elements or long invincibility times. Mitigated by the fact that you can do this on a small floor.
      • "Port Enter" requires you to make a Portent of Passage V or above, and use it to pass through a skill door you otherwise couldn't. This is easy enough... unless you've got high skill levels, in which case crafting the portent is easy, but finding a door you can actually use it on becomes nightmarish.
      • Finally, there's "Kinprovements". This requires you to wear a Ring of Kinship with a fully upgraded role. Maxing out a role takes a humongous amount of Dungeoneering tokens, with over 200,000 being required just for the jump from rank 9 to 10. For reference, if you start at level 1 Dungeoneering and dump all your tokens into ring upgrades, by the time you get enough for rank 10, your level will be in the eighties.
    • Beyond Dungeoneering, the Elf achievement tree requires you to go through the Underground Pass and stop by Klank to talk about his gauntlets. Yes, that one, the one filled with more traps than any hunter area in the game, full of multiple examples of That One Puzzle. The kicker? This is an easy task. Somewhat mitigated by the fact that you can complete this while doing the Underground Pass quest in the first place; as long as you use the shortcuts required by the achievement along the way, you'll complete it as soon as you talk to Klank as part of the quest.
    • Completing the Hard and Elite Task Lists for the Kharidian Desert requires completing "Nipped in the Bug" and "Sun Shade". Both achievements require an incredibly long grind in the Dominion Towernote , forcing players to slog through a ridiculous number of replays of previously cleared boss fights. While many of the fights are very easy for a player that's a high enough level to be attempting to finish off the Task Lists (including some that should be a Zero-Effort Boss at that point, such as Count Draynor and Melzar the Mad), it's an incredibly tedious, time-consuming, and otherwise not very rewarding process to earn enough wins to finally meet the requirements needed to complete the Tasks. For many players, these Tasks are the very last ones they complete in the entire List.
  • That One Attack:
    • If you have a slow internet connection, any attack that requires you to dodge projectiles can turn into this. Particularly nasty examples include the Luminescent Icefiend's icicle rain and the Spirit Beast's magical attacks.
    • In its heyday, Ice Barrage was this to players who played Castle Wars and other PvP minigames. A lot of Ancient Magicks users were usually trash-talked by those on the receiving end of such attacks.
  • That One Boss: Has its own page here.
  • That One Level:
    • The snake event in Temple Trekking / Burgh de Rott Ramble is generally accepted as the hardest challenge to take a hard-tier character through; without a certain amount of luck, the snakes will aggro your character and kill him or her before you can kill off the snakes. Oh, and good luck trying to attack all of the snakes before they focus on your escort; they're a pain to click on.
    • The gnome tunnel under Ape Atoll, if you attempt "Monkey Madness" at a low level. Hundreds of aggressive, powerful skeleton gorillas and zombie monkeys, poisonous floor traps, and constant damage from falling rocks, all on the epitome of a Space-Filling Path.
    • Icthlarin's Little Helper is a quest that requires all of two other quests to do: Diamond in the Rough and Gertrude's Cat, both very easy quests, all things considered. So this can't be too bad, right? HAHAHA No. The majority of the action in this quest happens though a Whole Episode Flashback as it comes to light what your adventurer did something under the influence of a malevolent deity that majorly pissed off a ghost and most of Sophanem. "Highlights" include a pyramid filled with deathtraps often obscured by a rotating "filter" indicating that it's in a flashback, dying in the flashback being no different than a regular death somehow, and the ability to lose your cat if you answer a Sphinx's riddle wrong.
    • The Underground Pass quest is a struggle to get through for just about anyone. The titular location has enough traps that it's surprising that Iban's not wearing a Hunter skillcape at this point. The only concrete requirements for this quest are Level 25 ranged and the completion of two easy quests, meaning that this is Schmuck Bait for lower-level players. This isn't helped that, the first time through, your chatbox will be spammed by game messages from a dark presence.
    • The Firemaker's Curse quest is interminable. It has no less than ten instances of That One Puzzle. Half of those are due to the way that Runescape's pathfinding system interacts with the firemaking skill— every time you make a fire, you move west until you hit a wall. Other instances of That One Puzzle include figuring out who in the room is possessed, or else someone in the party dies (which is a Guide Dang It! in and of itself), a section where you have to click on hard-to-see hands of shadow to drive them away using light from a torch or else take heavy damage, and the Puzzle Boss fight against the antagonist of the quest. The fight against Char is a Goddamned Boss for two reasons: 1) you do damage proportional to the number of fires you have lit in the arena, and 2) Char does damage to you proportional to your max lifepoints, and seems to do even more damage when you're wearing armor. At least the boss fight is safe, so you don't lose items when you die. And you will die.
    • The Lava Flow Mine sequence in Birthright of the Dwarves. You have to dodge cannon fire from five dwarf multicannons, which can hit up to 5,000 each, and at at least two points, you'll be attacked by two at once. Protect from Missiles/Deflect Missiles only protects for half of the damage unless the Devotion ability (which has a cooldown of one minute) is active, which is still about 2,500 each. You can hide from cover, which breaks in one to two hits, and you can sabotage the cannons, but if you're within a certain distance of a cannon as it explodes, you can take over 6000 damage. Surge and Escape are, naturally, disabled. Oh, and it's an Escort Mission too— if Veldaban dies (which he will), you have to start the entire thing over.
    • Summer's End can be immensely frustrating. As part of the opening stages of the quest, the player has to lure the Spirit Beast over top of various platforms by using Summoning Familiars as live bait, then dismissing them before the Beast eats them in order to injure it. Due to the size of the platforms relative to the Beast's size, the timing is surprisingly tight, made worse by the game's inherent lagginess. Later stages of the quest also require completing tasks while dodging area-of-effect attacks from the Beast, which is also made more challenging by the lag and the sheer power of the attacks being strong enough to kill all but the highest level players nearly instantly.
  • That One Puzzle:
    • The sliding puzzle in "Elemental Workshop 3". Tricky to figure out, your view is obscured by an odd angle (plus a pillar), and there's little margin for error, due to a limited number of moves unless you complete optional routes with the sliding puzzle, which are equally as difficult, and the sheer length of the puzzle— later stages require nearly 40 moves at bare minimum. It's telling that the light and logic puzzles in "Elemental Workshop 4" are significantly easier in comparison.
    • The Temple of Light in "Mourning's End Part II" due to the high-level agility it requires. The shadows hit rather hard if not having prayer on and that said agility level? You were likely to fail the obstacles... a lot. Light puzzles in general are sure to have one pulling hairs; "Mourning's End Part II" is easily the worst of the bunch, but "Within the Light", "Plague's End", and "The Light Within" all have their own pain in the rear light puzzles. These are all part of the same quest series, by the by, all dealing with elves.
    • One Cracked article lists the accordion puzzle from "Rocking Out" as #1 on its list due to extremely vague details and the general absurdity of the solution. You would have to be capable of thinking outside the box on a grand scale to consider figuring out using a mixture of an accordion, a seagull, and paper instead of doing something mundane. Justified, as it's intended as a homage to the Monkey Island series.
    • "Monkey Madness" has a sliding block puzzle that's so frustrating that the developers intentionally added in a way to bypass it by paying one of the quest NPCs a large amount of gold. Many players take them up on that offer. This is mitigated in more modern times, as there's both a fairly straightforward solution and an overlay program called Alt+1 which can make these puzzles much easier.
    • "Recruitment Drive" is a quest that is literally and intentionally made of frustrating puzzles— it's the entry exam for the Temple Knights, who by profession need intelligence and creativity as well as strength.
    • Half of the puzzles in Dungeoneering qualify. For instance:
      • One puzzle tasks you with catching a pondskater with a key in its mouth. Simple enough, except Runescape's pathfinding system acts oddly when you click a moving, interactable object that can't be reached all of the time. This can lead to minutes of waiting for the pondskater to get in range so you can grab the key out... despite the fact that you a fishing rod to get it out!
      • Another puzzle has you charging four lodestones that power an obelisk; the energy they emit is desyncrhonized, so you have to stand on pressure plates in order to stall the power and then release it in time with the rest of them. Unfortunately, Runescape's engine has a built-in delay, which can make timing this aggravating.
      • There is a puzzle which tasks you with getting multiple colored ferrets onto the correct platforms so the door will open. You have to spook the ferrets into moving, at which point they move randomly away from your character, usually within a space of the pressure plate, before you have to scare them again, which will cause them to move away from the plate. Many a lock melter is used on these rooms.
  • That One Sidequest: Several of the game's quests can be fairly aggravating, but the unmarked miniquests are often worse.
    • "Mahjarrat Memories", the followup to a very short and simple miniquest. Kharshai asks you to find lost memories of his fellow Mahjarrat, and gives you a device to do so. The device has to be charged, and doing so requires 500 divine memories of vibrant or better quality. Not divine energy, note, but divine memories. It takes about half an hour to gather enough divine memories to give the device one charge, and you have to charge it sixteen times to get the full rewards. So you pump up your device...now where do you get said memories? Thankfully, most of them are located in spots related to the Mahjarrat and thus easy enough to find if you remember the lore associated with them...with a few exceptions. Zemouregal's memory is the worst of the bunch, located deep in a dangerous quest dungeon that you've probably forgotten about by the time you're attempting this sidequest, but some of the others are tricky to find as well. On the plus side the total experience rewards are about twice the experience you'd get for converting the 8000 divine memories normally so it's worth doing.
    • If you intend to acquire a Completionist cape (or even the trimmed version!), some of the requirements involved certainly count. Special mentions go to the following:
      • The Champion's Challenge, dear lord the Champion's Challenge. Thirteen types of monster have a chance of dropping a scroll where the 'champion' of that particular race (from imps to hobgoblins to mummies to demons) challenge you to a fight with certain modifiers— no off-hand weapons, no magic, no inventory, etc. So far so good, right? Except that the scrolls have a 1 in 5000 chance of dropping from that particular monster. That's the same drop rate as most boss pets, but unlike those, there's no threshold multiplier applied to the scrolls.note  People have literally played the game for over a decade and not seen a single scroll!
      • The Shattered Heart Distraction and Diversion. This involves grinding in non-combat skills until you acquire strange rocks, which are needed to construct a Statue of Dahmaroc in the Varrock Museum (requiring 15 pairs of strange rocks to complete), which upon completion explodes and leaves you with a replica statue piece to build a replica of the Statue of Dahmaroc in your own POH, and must be completed again for another replica piece. To make matters worse, you can only complete the statue in Varrock Museum once per week, and to fulfill said requirement for the trimmed Completionist cape, you need a total of 15 pairs of replica statue pieces to complete the replica statue; in other words, you need to grind for 450 pairs of strange rocks, and require at least 30 weeks before you can complete the requirement. Making matters worse, with the release of Prifddinas, there's a second, completely separate version of this, requiring even more rocks (though, mercifully, lacking the weekly cooldown).
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • The 12-10-07 updates, for the reasons under Broken Base above.
    • Then there was PvP Worlds that appeared from late 2008 up until the 12-10-07 update was reversed on the account the drops ended up inflating the economy to ridiculous proportions.
    • The introduction of microtransactions and particularly the associated changes to the rules and terms of use were poorly received.
    • Every update gets this reaction from at least one section of the Broken Base. Some being reasonable, others not so much.
    • The early reaction by most of the Broken Base to the Evolution of Combat Beta.
    • Naturally, the Runescape 3 update is subject to this. Probably the biggest controversy is the new interface system, which despite allowing for more flexibility in how players view their interface while playing, is also not quite intuitive enough to edit, and the default layout is different from what people were used to.
    • An especially notable example is the graphical update of skillcapes. The moment they were implemented the players went berserk, criticizing the textures, the new icons, and the different coloration. Players who played with graphics at low settings were especially angry as the low detail capes resembled "bland sheets." The outcry was so violent and incredible that Jagex had to rework the new capes again and provide a toggle so people could switch to the old capes; those updates quieted many of the haters. The kicker, however, is that the original update was polled in-game weeks prior; the poll showed images of what the new capes would look like and linked to the official forum discussion of the rework, and as many as seventy percent of the voters chose the new look.
    • The May 2016 patch that nerfed Dreadnips, the Heal Other spell, and the Barricade ability due to making multiplayer bosses such as the Mazcab Raids villains much harder. Many players felt that this was a cynical attempt by Jagex to convince people to utilise the disliked Invention skill, as new Invention devices with similar effects to all of the aforementioned had recently been released.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • The general consensus on the Fremennik hero-god "V" is that he wasn't properly established before his demise. His existence as a historical figure was mentioned briefly in one or two quests, but the only quest that really establishes his character and nature and sees him return to Gielinor is the same that sees him killed almost unceremoniously by the Dragonkin.
    • The six Signature Heroes were billed as NPC adventurers whose own journeys would frequently intersect with the player's, developing the world of Gielinor from more perspectives than the player's alone. The Raptor, Sir Owen and now Linza only have one quest each, and both Sir Owen and Linza's featured quests see them killed off and returned as either partially or fully undead. Only Ariane, Ozan, and Xenia have any significant amount of development — and still not nearly as much as most quest NPCs — and even then Xenia gets killed off in "Heart of Stone" and only briefly reappears in "Nomad's Elegy" before returning to the afterlife once again.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: In "Hunt for Red Raktuber", you infiltrate the 'Pengmersible', a rogue penguin submarine, and discover that the captain of the sub, Captain Marlin, has been taken over by the sea slugs, and is planning to join forces with Mother Mallum to take over humanity. This provides a very interesting potential crossover between the sea slug questline and the penguin questline...that never came to fruition. Instead, Pescaling Pax recaptures the sub, "Salt in the Wound" happened, and Word of God says that the sea slug was dead and Captain Marlin was just insane.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The snaggle-toothed bug-eyed Extreme Omnivore baby troll.
    • Sneakerpeepers, a pet based on the Stalkers of Daemonheim. They're giant living eyeballs with little stumpy legs, and their examine text is "Isn't it abhorable?"
    • Zanik's first design, where she sported a hunchback and Big Ol' Eyebrows but was still pretty endearing. Her second design was just plain ugly, and her third just plain cute.
  • Uncanny Valley: Several of the newer character models look far too detailed to the point where they look wrong, to the point where some people prefer to play with the graphics on lower settings to make the models not look incredibly ugly and weird. This especially works well for Zanik's graphical update.
  • Values Dissonance: "Tower of Life" has you strikebreaking, which is frowned upon in a number of developed countries and illegal in most others. The strikers are all also strawmen versions of strikers who don't want to work, rather than people who want to be paid fairly.
  • Vindicated by History:
    • The 2007 Christmas Event. The community was in a ranting mood thanks to the recent Wilderness and Free Trade changes, the event itself was extremely short, and the reward wasn't wearable, so it was very swiftly harshly panned. However, it included a post-event activity that gained some popularity, and the snow globe that was rewarded could be used to quickly generate snowballs for several of the future events which other people had to get gradually. It is now considered by many to be one of the best holiday events ever.
    • The Pest Control change, which greatly lowered the possible experience gain for high level players (but increased it for low level players). It was one of the first seriously controversial updates of RuneScape 2, and triggered many in-game riots. However, thanks to the addition of Void Knight Helmets, and other training areas being released, it has been considered an alright update.
  • The Woobie:
    • "The World Wakes" gives us, of all people, Guthix. Not only he does he die, but his backstory shows he came from another world that was destroyed by an unknown war between gods. He knew all along his Edicts wouldn't be enough to save Gielinor from the same fate that befell his homeworld. He personally shows us all of this before lying on a bed in his desolate home (in the memories of his home world, that is).
    • Poor, poor Zanik. Thanks to her adventurous and reckless spirit, she was ostracized by the cave goblins from a young age. When the cave goblins make contact with the surface, she repeatedly gets tangled up with the H.A.M. cult and their schemes, and at one point is savagely beaten and left for dead. After she is revived, she finds out that she is The Chosen One...of Bandos, whose plan involves turning her into a mindless puppet-general and taking over the world. Thankfully, she and the player manage to overcome both the H.A.M. cult and Bandos, and Zanik is free to explore the world...until The Mighty Fall. Bandos' followers show up on the cave goblins' doorstep, blaming Zanik for their god's death and threatening to destroy her people. Also, since she was connected to a now-dead god, Zanik is slowly dying as well. At the end of the quest, you can either allow her to go off into the ruins of Yu'biusk to die, or execute her yourself. And we're not done here. In Nomad's Elegy, you meet her in the Bandosian afterlife, where, as apostates of Bandos, she and the other cave goblins exist to be brutally beaten to death, over and over again, forever. Thankfully, at the end of all this, she finally gets a happy ending: either she's revived and takes over Soul Wars, or she gets to go to her own afterlife, freed from the influence of the gods.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • You, the player, can be one if you decide to insult Jas at the end of Sliske's Endgame. This instantly kills you, and counts as an unsafe death; Jagex actually intended for an event to occur for the first Hardcore Ironman to die to this, where everyone on the server would turn to face the Heart of Gilenor and simultaneously facepalm, but this sadly never came to fruition.
    • The "Rune Memories" quest reveals that the fire that burned down the original Wizard's Tower was caused by a magical ritual gone wrong.note  The ritual required the co-operation of eight wizards (two wizards from each of the four schools of thought from the tower, representing worshipers of Saradomin, Guthix, Zamorak, and assorted other gods/nonreligiously affiliated Wizards, respectively) in order to contain the sheer magical power that the spell was trying to focus. Halfway through the ritual, the two Saradominist Wizards learned that one of the Guthixian Wizards, who had proposed the concept in the first place, had in fact stolen the idea from a Zamorakian Wizard and that the spell was entirely of Zamorakian design, and decide to leave in a huff despite repeated warnings that leaving the ritual circle would cause the spell to go haywire (as well as the fact that, as highly trained Wizards, they knew better). The end result? The Tower was burnt to the ground and 6 of the 8 Wizards at the scene were killed and fragments of their souls trapped until the end of the quest, all because two Wizards let their distrust and anger overcome them at the wrong time. The blue apprentice was one of the two that lived and founded the new order, the other being the red Apprentice.

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