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It goes without saying but these are just my thoughts and opinions, and so they won't be representative of everyone or anyone else, necessarily.

The Good:

Lore

So. Much. Lore. Lore wise this quest was well and truly beyond. It covered absolutely everything and more, including things I was worried had been forgotten. Erebus, Xau-Tak, Mah, Zarosian free mason group, Guthix, TokHaar, Sliske, etc. I was totally engrossed the entire time I was doing this quest, didn’t want to even get up to pee.

Plot Twist

The twist was absolutely out of this world, I don’t think I took a breath from the moment we left the Elder Halls to the end of the quest. I definitely didn’t see it coming and it felt fantastic. There's little which I enjoy more than a good plot twist.

World-Trekking

The majority of my favourite quests (eg. While Guthix Sleeps, One of a Kind) have lots of world trekking, and when it’s done well it feels excellent. Sometimes I think it has been to the detriment of other quests to take place entirely in bespoke instanced areas which we never return to. There are obviously exceptions to this though, such as The World Wakes and MPD.

Length

I was a little worried the quest was going to end in a few places, but then it turned out there was another section. I'm always going to be in favour of even longer quests, but Azzanadra's Quest didn't feel too small.

Enjoyment

Prior to this quest series starting (pre-Desperate Times), I didn’t feel particularly great or all that excited about the upcoming narrative. However, I’ve been entirely hooked since then, and this quest was no different. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m excited to see what comes next. 'Elder God Wars' as a whole seems like it'll be brilliant.

P.S.

THIS QUEST NEARLY DIDN'T HAPPEN. IT WAS CANCELLED LAST YEAR. THANK GOD WE GOT [email protected]@@@ (City of Senntisten next pls)

What could be improved:

Again, these are just my opinions. Something which I’m not a fan of won't necessarily be a negative in anyone else’s experience (could very much just be things that only I wasn’t a huge fan of). It looks like there's a lot here, but it's always easier to point to potential improvements than what's positive about the quest. Mod Raven, Jack, Shrew and Ramen really knocked the quest out of the park - and the lore council specifically has really turned questing around for me over the last year or so. I'd lost a lot of interest post-Sliske - so it's nice to be able to enjoy lore and questing again. Not just in quests but content like the Orthen Dig Site.

Graphics and Animations

Something which Desperate Measures absolutely knocked out of the park was resources spent on graphics. Desperate Measures had Kerapac's Laboratory, an update to the Dragonkin, Hannibus, Thok & Charos in the prior quest, the Nodon hibernatorium, the animation when Kerapac was cursed, animations for the NPC's during the tower defence activity, etc. Azzanadra's Quest didn't really have anything like that, especially not to that extent. That's fine too, not every quest needs a massive Dragonkin laboratory - but I was surprised to see that some of the easier to update assets weren't updated. Especially due to this being the "first" of the Elder God Wars marketing strategy. For example, the 'Pontifex observation ring' re-uses the 'Pontifex signet ring' inventory icon, the engram re-uses one of the existing engrams, and this is essentially the case for every other inventory icon in the quest. This is despite recent (mini)quests such as Heartstealer, Violet is Blue Too and Tortle Combat having a surprising amount of unique inventory icons and models. Just seems like these assets should have been prioritised for the next major narrative quest. It doesn't feel very good to interact with things and them not change appearance (whether that be an object in the world or item in the inventory), etc. Admittedly, this may be a really minor issue for most people, or a complete non-issue. But something such as Azzanadra using the mahjarrat teleport animation (which mahjarrat use in previous quests) rather than using the clan citadel teleport animation would have gone a long way for me. Equally, I'm not sure if I'd rather have had the final battle as an art cutscene. It can feel strange when a combat encounter cutscene looks visually worse than another combat encounter cutscene from over a decade ago. Something like a retexture to Zaros or Trindine would also have gone a long way, given every god except Zaros (2014) was updated in 2016 and Trindine uses a recoloured model of Enakhra. Especially considering recent graphical updates to Death (previously updated at the end of 2016), Hannibus (2014), Thok, and the Dragonkin.

That being said, the few bespoke locations that were created for this quest looked great. Elder Halls was really nice and had pretty lighting, and the Temple Knight HQ looked good too. Loved the small details such as the flapping fish in the background and the crown of the (dead) King Vallance.

Gameplay

Azzanadra's Quest doesn't really have any gameplay aside from collecting divine energy at a few locations. I'd rather have seen a bit more, but it's not the biggest concern to me because I adore lore, and this quest very much felt like a lore love letter. I could see this being an issue for people who really enjoy the gameplay aspects of quests, and it'd be an issue for me if every quest was like this. I think we'll, hopefully, continue to always get a mixture of quests though. Some mechanic heavy, some not-so mechanic heavy, some with bosses, etc. Something like fighting TokHaar Hok, or fighting Helwyr alongside Gregoravic and Trindine would have been awesome, I guess. Perhaps more involved gameplay wise in finding the Elder Halls would have been nice too.

Requirements

Obviously requirements are a fairly controversial issue when it comes to quests. My personal opinion is that having 'Sliske's Endgame' or 'Ritual of the Mahjarrat' as a requirement would obviously be unfair for a core narrative series, especially when the last quest had level 50-ish skills. However, to only move two quests forward since the 'reset' in 2019 feels not particularly great to me. Same with going to Freneskae without requiring Fate of the Gods, etc. I can be completely okay with this and understand it if Desperate Measures is reintroduced as a requirement at a later stage, if/when Kerapac returns to the narrative - but I'm not totally confident that will happen. In my opinion requirements are something which, like many other unique aspects of the game, define RuneScape. This is probably why they continue to remain on OSRS. I also think there's something important about setting goals for players to aim towards and accomplish (whether this is a skill level, quest, item to purchase, pet, etc). Additionally, I think content which the player completes should feel like it matters. E.g: I think people would dislike working towards unlocking a piece of content and then that content be given to everyone (whether that be a yak, castle wars cape, overload, skillcape, and so on). At the very least, it would have been nice to see more recommended quests such as Endgame, Brink of Extinction, etc.

Timeline

This isn't so much a problem of Azzanadra's Quest, but a minor issue with the series as a whole. Canon lore and timeline points being in difficult to reach places might be a little confusing for players. E.g: How many people know about the Lore Hunter canon lore, the Archaeology pre-release or the Raksha D&D livestream being canonised?

The Verdict:

An absolutely fantastic and out of this world quest. There's so much lore to talk about and speculate on, the twist was an awesome surprise. I enjoyed it just as much as Desperate Measures, just for different reasons. I'm totally hooked on the story and can't wait to see what's next.

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Originally posted by CrownedCaribou

I don't mean this to diminish the great work done on this quest, but as a compliment: this is essentially a bottle quest on steroids. Minimal new assets but taking us to a lot of spectacular places and using them very well for a fantastic lore dump.

Honestly I get a little frustrated with seeing something like Desperate Measures and knowing how much of the work that went into that will never see use again, and it does feel wasteful.

Typically Bottle Quests like Evil Daves Day Out or UR IT feel like it, and kinda leave me feeling a little bitter when there's so few quests going around already. Leave me feeling like 25 Buttholes: "What? That's it?"

So far this year has been extremely promising on that front though! If they can keep up even half of the pace they've been going we're on track to have the most significant year since 2016, not even including the miniquests.

I do miss feeling challenged by quests though, but i understand them not wanting to lock quests behind combat barriers. But they could certainly introduce repeatable bosses like Nomad's Requiem, and/or lock primo quest rewards behind substantially challenging post-quest hard modes of bosses.

Honestly I get a little frustrated with seeing something like Desperate Measures and knowing how much of the work that went into that will never see use again, and it does feel wasteful.

Just a small note on this. The work that went into DM did see a lot of reuse, in the effigies D&D, Orthen dig site, the Raksha area and something else. It's not overly obvious due to how things were reused, but we did get a lot of use out of especially the environment work done for DM (which itself built on what was already created for Anachronia).

Taking your more general point, we have taken learnings from Anachronia that we're hoping to apply more in future. We'll see how that goes...






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