Original Post — Direct link

The Pickaxe of Earth and Song requires a Crystal Pickaxe and Imcando Pickaxe to make, plus a Blast Fusion Hammer.

According to the Wiki, the requirement to make the Imcando Pickaxe using Blast Fusion Hammer was removed due to it requiring completion of While Guthix Sleeps. This was presumably done because after completion of Birthright of the Dwarves, you had all the means to get the Dragon Pickaxe (from Chaos Battlefield) and Imcando Fragments (Lava Flow Mine). The Crystal Pickaxe can also be created immediately following the quest which gives access to it and its components (Plague's End). If playing Ironman mode however, the Crystal Pickaxe will inherently require completion of quests in the Dwarven questline. This makes sense as the Pickaxes inherently are bound through a similar set of Quests.

There is no reason for the Pickaxe of Earth and Song, which is a conglomerate of the two Pickaxes, to require an item only offered following While Guthix Sleeps. While Guthix Sleeps has no connection to either the Dwarven or Elven Questline (neither Birthright of the Dwarves nor Plague's End is a requirement for While Guthix Sleeps). The Blast Fusion Hamer was, for years, solely used to forge certain Dragon Items until 5 years later it was proposed to be used for the Imcando Pickaxe. This was scrapped, and 6 years later with the Mining Smithing re-work, it was made an "ingredient" to the Pickaxe of Earth and Song.

The addition of the Hammer as a requirement, and subsequently requiring a unique slew of Quest and Skills to obtain, doesn't make sense. It does not follow the path taken by similar items (i.e. Mattock of Time and Space) that follow a similar construction methodology but have a tertiary ingredient obtainable without an alternate Grandmaster quest (Meteor Shard obtained via the same means as the two components i.e. Archaeology).

Even though this is a really small change and most won't even read the post, it would be really nice to either have the Hammer accessible to people that have completed BotD/Plague's End, or allow us to pay 1,000,000 like with the Imcando Pickaxe. Offering this access offers no advantage to the player aside from potentially being able to craft a piece of Armour that is extremely outdated and often skipped over (aside from the obvious sensible ability to construct Pickaxe of Earth and Song following obtaining it's two components). I am not an Ironman, but thinking from their perspective this seems pretty strange.

External link →
20 days ago - /u/JagexJack - Direct link

The requirement is there on purpose to make the BIS pick more challenging and rewarding to obtain. It's not trying to follow any particular logical precedent beyond "this is an expensive and difficult to obtain item which fits thematically as a component".

The philosophy here is that in general, the M&S rework didn't gate core content behind quests even when it might have made narrative sense to do so - for example, banite isn't quest locked, and we added sources of animica outside Prif.

However, that same attitude doesn't need to exist for the best rewards, especially the BIS. The POEAS isn't in any way required to progress in the mining skill, and the elder rune pickaxe +5 is vastly more accessible.

I find the phrase "It does not follow the path taken by similar items (i.e. Mattock of Time and Space)" very strange given that the POEAS was implemented first.

20 days ago - /u/JagexJack - Direct link

Originally posted by KBMonay

Yeah then perhaps it would have been better for me to say “it’s strange that future BIS Imcando/Crystal fusions didn’t get locked behind equally as difficult content”, as MOTAS is much easier to obtain and not nearly as Quest-Gated. Someone else commented and actually gave a fair lore explanation as to why it works out too (the two picksaxes technically being a form of Dragon Item and smithing them together requiring Dragonkin Knoweledge or some substitute for it). But your answer was as clear as could be and I appreciate you taking the time to give it!

I think that probably reflects the major design ethos differences between the two projects. M&S was about plugging into a hundred different existing systems and pieces of content. We had to make a lot of decisions about what would and wouldn't be "required" (like for example Family Crest retained its status as being very significant) and generally I err on the side of "less required". With the top pick, that was an opportunity to add something that really pushed the reqs.

Archaeology by comparison was a new skill, without a huge number of pre-existing rewards. It wouldn't make any sense to me to go back and add an archaeology bonus to an old quest, and they had their own progression and reward structures worked out much more coherently from the start because it was designed in whole from scratch.