The Trailblazer League in Old School Runescape has been going for a week now. This is the first chance I’ve gotten to write about it because I’ve been so busy playing it!
The Trailblazer League is a limited time game mode that takes place on a handful of worlds for the next few months. Why would you want to play a limited time game mode instead of your main account? For cosmetics my friend! Oh and because it’s super fun too.
The premise of the league is every one starts in Misthalin and Karamja Progress through the league is split between unlocking areas and unlocking relics There are a lists of tasks to complete ranging from easy to “elite” to complete. Each completed task awards some league points which are a currency for your main account to buy limited time cosmetics and system that unlocks relics. After you complete a certain amount of tasks you can unlock another area.
What’s a relic? It’s an overpowered buff that’s unlocked on a tier basis that changes the way you play the game. For example, I took the Endless Harvest tier 1 relic that allows me to instanly bank items from woodcutting, fishing, and mining. On top of that I also get 2 times the resourses per action.
Everyone in the league is an ironman account which means there’s no trading between players, there’s no grand exchange to buy items, and you can’t pick up other players drops. Everyone has to be self sufficent and since the areas are locked it may be difficult to find the things you need.
I made some decent progress this week. I’ve unlocked 2 additional areas so far Asgarnia and Kandarin. I’ve also unlocked 4 tiers of relics. I plan on writing later posts all of this but I wanted to get a post out while I was in the writing mood!
Agility in Old School Runescape is an important skill. It let’s you use agility shortcuts to traverse the map quicker and directly affects your run energy regen. Without it, run energy can take upwards of 12 minutes to regen to full which is a pain when you’re short on Teleports and trying to get somewhere.
Training Agility starts over at the Gnome Stronghold Agility Course. Each obstacle on the course gives you some XP and completing the course gives you extra XP. So essentially, to train Agility, you run around in circles until you have a high enough level to go to another course to….run around in circles and so on and so on.
After hitting 10 agility in the Gnome Stronghold I headed over to Draynor Village to do the Rooftop Agility course there. The Rooftop Agility Courses differ from regular agility courses as they can spawn Marks of Grace. Marks of Grace are a currency used to buy the Graceful Outfit which is a very important set of equipment.
With a full set of Graceful run energy regens 30% faster and reduces the player’s inventory weight by 25kg. Since run depletion and regen are based on the weight the character is carrying this set let’s you carry more and run farther and more often. This especially comes in handy when collecting materials for skilling or just getting around the map in general. This became my first big goal of my account.
My strategy was to run the each Rooftop course until I was a high enough level for the next one. I was curious to see what level I would end up at when I was done collecting all 255 marks for the full set.
Now, I won’t lie, this sounds like an awful grind, but I found it quite relaxing. One of the things I like about OSRS is that it can be grindy and mindless when I want it to be but it can also be an active experience as well. I was in the mood for mindless and wanted to catch up on some episodes of the No Sleep Podcast and this was a perfect way to do it.
Runelite was also a big help here. The agility addin counts down the laps remaining for each agility level and highlights the Marks of Grace so you don’t miss them. I found myself saying “it’s only 20 more laps until the next level. I have time for that”
One of the nice things about training agility is that there’s no materials involved and no need to bank or store items. I found the levels went by pretty quick until about level 50.
50-60 Agility had me running around the Falador Rooftop Agility course. This course has more clicking than the Canfis agility course for sure. Luckily, my run energy was regening fast enough that by the time I completed the course I was back up to full. Which meant I could stay there from 50-60 and not leave to buy more Graceful pieces.
It was on the Falador Rooftop course at level 58 that I got the Giant Squirell agility pet. At first I was like, cool a pet. Then I took a look at the wiki to see if it did anything. Pet’s are cosmetic with no added abilities or modifiers. However, they’re apparently incredibly rare. On the Falador course at my level I had a 1 in 25,331 chance of getting the pet…should have played the lottery or something that day.
After hitting level 60 I had enough marks to buy 2 more pieces of the Graceful set. It was time to say goodbye to Falador and head over to Seers Village, a place I’d never been before.
The course here does not have unlimited run energy so I did have to walk a few laps every now and then. It also meant that leaving when I got enough marks for a new piece was a good idea. Once I got the Graceful top Seer’s Village almost had me at unlimited run energy.
Finally, at level 66 agility I had enough marks to buy the last Graceful piece and wear a full set. 66 was a nice level to end on because it’s one of the breaks for faster energy regen. The next break is at 71 and I’m not sure when I’ll be motivated to run agility again.
In total it took me about a week of running roof top courses to get all the marks I needed. At my level and with full Graceful I’ve lowered my regen down just over 4 minutes so I’d say it was worth the grind. The only downside of Graceful being such a good set is that I now look like everyone else.
I have very little experience with the wider world of Runescape. There was a point in 2008 when a few friends and I got a membership for one account and took turns playing around with it. The only thing I remember doing was going to the HAM stronghold which is in Lumbridge. I don’t think I’ve ever been out of the free to play area before.
With the world finally open to me I wasn’t sure what I should do next. I didn’t feel much like skilling but I also didn’t know where I should be going for quests either. Ultimately, I decided to do the quests that I could around Varrock until I had a better idea of what I wanted to do.
I started with Gertude’s Cat. This was an easy quest where I was tasked with finding a missing cat and bringing it back. This didn’t take me too far out of Varrock as the cat ended up being in the lumberyard just north of the city. She also had kittens which I brought back to Gertrude as well. In the end, Gertrude gave me a kitten to take care of.
The next quests I took was Priest in Peril and Nature’s Spirit which led me to my first member’s areas: Paterdornus Temple and the Mort Myre swamp. Both of these were behind a gate that can’t be opened on a free world so I was in completely unfamiliar territory. Morytania is a spooky area. It’s filled with ghosts, ghouls, werewolves and the like.
Doing all of these quests really points out how tedious running back and forth to areas can be. Doing Nature’s Spirit I would have to run back to the bank every time I forgot to equip my amulet of ghost speak so I could even talk to the quest giver. In full plate armor, depleting all my run energy took about a minute maybe less. Regening takes around 12 minutes to get back up to full. This lead to walking around constantly which was annoying to say the least.
I had my first goal, level up agility for faster run energy regen. This would be the first members skill I would train. So I hoofed it straight across the map to the Gnome Stronghold to begin the agility grind.
Once inside the Crandor Volcano there’s a little dungeon here filled with skeletons. They do attack on site but aren’t hitting hard enough to be a serious threat. I leapt over a wall to face Elvarg himself!
Unfortunately for me, my combat stats were not high enough. I barely got a hit in, and when I did it was for very little damage. I go halfway through my food inventory before I bailed. Leaping back over the wall I made a mad dash for the entrance. Except I dropped into the top of a volcano apparently without a rope so I couldn’t escape the way I came. I ran further into the dungeon only to find more agressive creatures and even some level 82 lesser demons on the way. My food was running out and I was on the verge of dying.
I managed to find a safe spot in between two camps of creatures and used my home teleport to escape back to Lumbridge.I needed to level up my combat stats as 30 strength, Attack, and Defense wasn’t cutting it. I headed to the only place I knew to do some decent leveling, the Hill giant lair.
I ended up spending a lot of time here. I switched my attack style to controlled so that I would gain experience for attack, stregth, and defense all at the same time. The goal was to get everything up to level 40 so I could wield a Rune weapon.
I got everything up to 35 before I decided the controlled lifestyle was not for me. I know that I’m leveling 3 skills at once but it also feels painfully slow. I resorted to leveling up my combat skills individually. I started with Attack until I hit 40 and went over to the Grand Exchange to buy a Rune scimitar. I went back down to the lair to level up strength. Thanks to the increased damage from the rune weapon I was able to kill things more quickly and the last 5 levels of strength weren’t too bad. Finally, I finished off defense which went even quicker thanks to the rune weapon and increased strength. Runelite actually has a loot tracker which also counts the number of monsters you’ve killed. I ended up killing around 350 Hill Giants before I hit 40 in my melee stats.
I headed back to Port Sarim to catch my ride back to Crandor only to find my boat had another whole in it…I made some more nails got some more planks and went back. Only to find I can’t repair the hole so how do I get back to Crandor?
It turns out, since I ran so far into the Crandor Jungle I unlocked a short cut from Karamja to Crandor via the volcano in Karamja. I had to run past 2 lesser demons but they didn’t get a hit in before I lept over the wall to face Elvarg again.
With the higher combat stats and the upgraded weapon I was actually doing damage this time. I brought a full inventory of cooked lobsters which I was quickly eating through. I was getting down to my last lobster when I got the last hit on Elvarg. It was close but I got him!
I returned to Oziach with Elvarg’s head as proof I slayed the dragon. I can now wear the Green D’hide body and the Rune Breast plate.
With Dragon Slayer completed and no sign of my interest in Runescape dwindling it’s time to get a membership.
The next steps in Dragon Slayer is to find a boat to take you to Crandor where you can find Elvarg, the dragon. It just so happens there’s a man in Port Sarim looking to off load a broken boat. He’ll even throw in a Cabin Boy free of charge. For the low price of 2,000 gold I became the proud owner of the Lady Lumbridge.
Now, the Lady Lumbridge has one major repair to be done. There’s a hole in the hull so it’s not going anywhere until it’s fixed. Fortunately this only requires 3 wood planks and 90 steel nails to plug up the whole.
This is one of the points where I’m glad I’m not playing an Ironman accoutn. Steel nails aren’t hard to come by. I did need to bring my smithing up 3 levels to be able to craft the nails which was easy enough. But planks on the otherhand would have been terrible to get in free to play. They can only be found towards the top of the map in the Wilderness, an open pvp zone. So I opted to buy them off the Grand Exchange. With planks and nails in hand I went to fix the boat.
With a functional ship I just needed a captian to actually sail the thing. None of the captains in Port Sarim will go anywhere near Crandor. Lucky for me, there’s a retired captain, Ned, who now owns a rope shop in Draynor Village. He’s looking for any excuse to sail again and takes little convincing to take part in such a dangerous journey. I went back to the bank, took out an entire inventory of food, and set sail for Crandor.
On the way, we’re treated to a little cut scene. As we get closer to Crandor, fire starts raining down from the sky. The boat catches fire, the cabin boy is lit ablaze, and the ship crashes onto the shore of Crandor island. I quickly made the run to the top of the volcano Elvarg lives in and climbed down.
The cap stone goal and my personal requirement for subscribing to Runescape was getting Dragon Slayer done. Dragon Slayer is one of those Runescape quest that has many sub-quests to complete and fairly high skill level requirements. To even start the quest you need 32 quest points. Which means you need to complete almost all of the free quests.
I ended up completing all the free quest except for the Shield of Arrav. I skipped SOA for now because it requires another player to complete and I didn’t want to deal with that right now…a social gamer I am not right now.
The first task is to obtain the Anti-dragon shield from Duke Horacio in the Lumbridge Castle. This was simple enough. I talked to the Duke, told him I was going to Crandor to slay the dragon and he gave me the shield. Step one done.
Next, the Champions Guild Guildmaster task you with obtaining 3 pieces of a map that will allow you to navigate to Crandor by ship. These map pieces were split up and given to 3 different people so no one would be able to get there. One’s held Melzar the Mad, who lives in a maze, another held by Lozar who was unfortunately killed by goblins not to long ago, and the last held by Thalazar in a magic room beneath the Ice Mountain.
So I set off to Melzar’s Maze. The maze is in a building that requires you to kill monsters to get keys to go to the next room. Only one door on each floor is correct. If you choose the wrong door your sent back to the beginning. At first this was frustrating because I thought the keys were dropped randomly. But it turns out there is a special monster on each floor that looks different from the others. Like a rat with a long tail or a skeleton with a round shield instead of a square one. Once I figured that out it was mostly trial and error until I got to the bottom of the Maze. The toughest enemy was a level 82 Lesser Demon but it could be “safespotted” with magic by getting it stuck on the wall. Cheesey but effective.
Then it was off to the Goblin Village to see if they had the next piece of the map. Unfortunately, it’s held by a goblin that’s currently in jail in Port Sarim. So down I go to the port to speak with Wormbrain. He says he’ll sell it to me for 10k gold. That’s not going to happen since I have about 3k to my name right now. The other option is to just kill him but since he’s in jail I won’t be able to get the map piece he drops unless I have Teleknetic Grab. This is a level 33 Magic spell and my magic is currently 15. So I decided to leave this one and move on to Thalzar’s map piece for now.
Time to walk back up the map to Ice Mountain and speak to the Oracle. There’s a door that will need specific items to open in order to get to the chest this map piece is in. There’s a riddle the Oracle gives you to figure out the items needed. It’s an unfired bow, a Wizards Mind Bomb, a piece of silk, and a lobster pot. All of these are on opposite sides of the map. The Wizards Mind bomb can be bought at the pub in Falador. The unfired bowl can be made but it requires clay which is at the bottom of the map in Rimmington. I already had a lobster pot and the piece of silk was in Al Kharid to the far east on the map.
After a lot of trekking around I finally assembled all the pieces. Went down to the door in the dwarven mines put all of the items in. Or so I thought…I accidenty drank the wizards Mind Bomb instead of using it on the door. So one more trek up to Falador to get another one. Lucky for me, the items still counted as in the door when I returned. I was worried I’d have to go around and gather everything again which would not have been pleasant.
So now, I had one piece left which I needed either 10k or level 33 Magic to obtain. So I bought a whole bunch of Runes in Varrock and wend to the Wizards Tower near Draynor. And there I took potshots at a lesser demon in a cage for 18 levels along with 3-5 other people at any given time.
Now all of this may sound a bit annoying but this is something I actually like about Runescape questing. Every quest takes time, whether that’s travel time, time collecting items, or time leveling up to complete the next task. It makes each quest feel like it’s own adventure.
After an hour of 2 of leveling I went back, killed Wormbrain, grabbed the map, and assembled all the pieces. Now it was time to find a captain and a ship to take me to Crandor.
*I got done writing the post and realized I had 1 screenshot I could use….oops.
One of my first goals was to give myself a healthy dose of nostalgia by visiting my old haunts from 2007. Being a free player at the time I spent a lot of time a very small section of the Runescape map. Thanks to Old School Runescape I can visit these locations as they were and as I remembered them.
The Lumbridge Cow Fields
What I remember most fondly doing here is collecting cow hides and making the run to Al Kharid to tan them and train crafting. I didn’t care to do that this time around and used these cows to train my combat stats up to 30 or so. It’s a bussling hub on the Free Worlds where only the fastest clickers can claim a cow before the guy with the bow tags it. Looking at things now, I think the Lumbridge Castle Bank may have been a quicker run than going all the way down to the Al Kharid bank.
The Karamja Docks
For some reason I have a very vivid memory of spending a Thanksgiving morning here fishing for lobsters. I couldn’t be bothered to run all the way back to Draynor Village to bank raw lobsters so I’d wait for someone to start a fire and I’d cook them until I had a full inventory. Then I’d take the ship back to Port Sarim and sell them to the fish shop. It would net me a thousand gold or so and I’d rinse and repeat this to train fishing and make some cash. There’s now a bank deposit box in Port Sarim but I still used the old method for nostalgia’s sake and made me just enough money when I needed it.
The Top of The Wizards Tower
My go to place to train Magic. there’s a level 82 lesser demon up here that has quite a bit of health. The demon is locked in a cage so he can’t hurt you. Unfortunately, that also means you weren’t able to get loot unless you had runes for Telekenetic Hand. I once again found myself here not only for the screenshot but also to train my magic up for a quest.
The Hill Giant Lair
I used to stand int his exact spot, bow in hand, ready to click on the next giant to appear. They couldn’t get around the bones so I was free to hit them without any risk. I haven’t touched my Range skill yet this time so I’ve spent the majority of my time here training my melee combat stats to 40.
The 3 Coal Rock Spawn in the Dwarven Mines
I had quite a high mining level back in the day. I want to say it was around 70 but I’m not 100% sure. I mined mostly coal because it sold well and was relatively quick to get once my mining was high enough. I used to have to fight bots for every node and would usually mine it before them. It was then a short walk to one of the banks in Falador and then back to this spot. I made the trip here to get coal to make some steel items. The bots weren’t here and I could mine in peace.
The Willow Trees of Draynor Village
There’s no telling how much time I spent here. In fact, this is probably the place I spent the most time my first go round in Runescape. For whatever reason woodcutting appealed to me. It was my favorite skill in the game even though it was releatively hands off. The main problem in for free accounts and woodcutting is that once you reach level 30 there isn’t anything but Willows to cut until you hit level 60 and can cut Yews. Yews were my biggest long term goal because they sold really well. I funded all of my cosmetics from cutting yew logs. One summer, I decided I was going to get the Guthix Trimmed Rune armor set. I had to gather 1,000 logs to sell for enough gold. So there I was me and the bots cutting yew logs outside of Varrock.
I think I eventually figured out I could make more money cutting Willow trees than Yews because they were faster to collect and there was less time running to the bank. So back to Draynor I went and there I stayed until my last log out. By the time I stopped playing Runescape I had level 88 woodcutting. It was my crowning achievement of my account at the time. The Runelite Calculator says it would take 60k willow logs to go from level 60-88 from cutting willow logs. Like I said, who knows how much time I spent there.
Woodcutting doesn’t interest me as much this time around. There’s so much more I want to explore once I get a membership. But I did get my woodcutting to 30 just so I could take a screenshot in Draynor Village.
Runescape has always been a game about setting your own goals. It does very little in the way of telling you what to do. There are some “Adventure Paths” in the beginning that give you some ideas but for the most part it’s up to you.
To keep everything managable and relearn the game I decided not to get a memebership off the bat. While the free to play version is a very tiny percentage of the total game, there’s still a lot to do. Plus, holding off on the membership let’s me see if this is a passing interest or if this is something I want to stick with for a while. So far, I can say it’s the latter.
My goals before I subscribe are to complete all the free to play quests and visit all the old locations I remember from back in the day. I have the most nostalgia for the free to play area a that’s where I spent just about all of my time as a kid. I figure, if I get through all of that and still want to play then I’m actually interested and not just riding the nostalgia train.
There is a fantastic wiki for Old School Runescape that is helpful beyond belief. It even rivals the amazing Warframe wiki. Even so, I’m trying to complete quests without going straight to the wiki. Runescape’s quests usually have a lot of moving pieces and items to gather to complete them. However, it’s also notoriously obtuse sometimes. If I can’t figure something out in a resonable amount of time I’ll go ahead and use the wiki.
Without any prior knowledge, it leads to a lot of walking back and forth between spots of the map. This can be a pain when you get an item walk across the free to play map and then are told you need another item form the place you just came from….But it also adds to the sense of adventure! At least for me.
The last goal is to play the way I want without looking up to many guides. I have a bad habit of rushing to a games subreddit and sponging up all the knowledge there on how to “play correctly”. OSRS is more about the journey than the destination, as it were, because reaching end game takes so dang long.
In the back of my mind, I keep thinking I should have made an Ironman character. This limits you to not being able to trade with others and you have to do everything yourself. But at it’s core, I have fond memories of trading and selling materials in Runescape so playing without trading just wouldn’t be the same game. For now, I’m playing a kind of semi-ironman. Gathering most of my materials but buying things from the Grand Exchange that I either can’t by from a shop in the free to play areas or would take to long to get my skills up to craft myself. So far I’ve only bought an adamant platebody and a rune scimitar. I enjoy the crafting skills in Runescape so it’s not a chore to gather and craft my own materials most of the time.
I’m enjoying my time in OSRS much more than I thought I would. I have a habit of playing something heavily for a week and abandoning it. But with OSRS I feel like I’ll be playing for quite a while.
I’ve decided to start up and try out Old School Runescape again. I had previously made an effort to play earlier this year and bounced pretty hard off of it. I meant to write a post about it but never got around to it. This time, I was told by a friend that if I was going to play OSRS I really should use the Runelite Client.
Runelite is a third party, open source, client for OSRS that adds a ton of quality of life features to the game. I haven’t had a chance to dig into a lot of them and some of them may not even be relevant for me until later. My favorite so far is the XP Tracker. It’s simple, a bar that shows how far you are in a level and a tracker that displays XP/hr and how many actions are left until the next level. If I’m being honest, this is the thing that’s hooked me back into the game. Watching numbers go up is one of my favorite things in gaming.
There’s also the Skill Calculator which shows you how many actions you would need to perform to achieve a desired level. There’s the Grand Exchange tab where you can search an item and see the average price on the exchange. There’s the World Hopper that will let you sort not only by player number and region but also ping. There’s also a screenshot button to take screenshots easily which will automatically take screen shots of completed quests and levels up too.
Runelite comes with a ton of plugins that add a ton of information to the game as well. Looking through these plugins there is a ton that Runelite’s doing out of the box that’s not in the actual game. Simple things like overlays on fishing spots that tell you what kind of fish are there, adding additional information to the World Map, showing hit points of enemies you’re fighting, showing item stats and prices in your inventory, and labeling items on the ground. There are plenty more and even a plugin hub for player created plugins.
I’ve been playing Old School Runescape pretty much every day this week and I do not feel like I’m bouncing off of it this time. I know part of that is fueled by nostalgia but the QoL improvements Runelite brings to the table help me stay engaged with the game. So if you’re thinking about trying out Old School Runescape I would recommend using Runelite.