RuneScape Wiki Post – Issue #1: Think Again
Written by: Tienjt0
This is more of a factual article than an editorial, but you may still find it an interesting read, assuming you do not get bored reading long articles.
Whenever you want to get level 99 in a skill, you must decide between two methods of obtaining the 99: reaching it quickly, which usually provides a loss or no profit at all, OR reaching it slowly, which typically rewards you with millions of cash by the time you achieve level 99.
Many players prefer training skills the slow but profitable way. For example, cutting yew logs all the way to level 99 Woodcutting gives you 30 million coins: who wouldn't want that? The only downside is that cutting yew trees are fairly slow, providing only about 35,000 experience per hour. But these people usually think, "Well, I’ll have 30 million by the time I finish,” which motivates them to keep going.
Of course, there are some players who like to power-train. Those who like to train skills quickly will find that they either make nothing, or lose tonnes of cash in the process. But these players do not care about money; as long as they achieve their goal in the shortest amount of time possible, they are happy. Power-training Fishing by catching leaping fish, for example, grants the player over 55,000 experience per hour, but they gain no money from it.
Which sounds more appealing: profit or speed? Naturally, each method has its pros and cons. But surely one option is better than the other? Let us evaluate them.
Note: This following section contains mathematical calculations. If you experience nausea when you see numbers, you may want to stay healthy by skipping the next couple of paragraphs.
Take Woodcutting, for example. I have mentioned earlier that cutting yew trees rewards you with 30 million coins once you reach 99. How did I come up with that? Simple: I divided 13,034,000 (the approximate amount of experience needed for 99) by 175 (experience per yew log) and got 74480, which is the number of yew logs needed for 99. Multiply that by 450, which is the approximate price of yew logs (at the time of writing), and you get 33,516,000, which is how many coins you will get when you sell the logs. But wait! Yew trees can only be cut at level 60 Woodcutting. To be honest, that does not affect anything because level 60 Woodcutting is a "grand" total of 274,000 experience, which is a very small amount compared to 13,034,000 experience.
Of course, we need to factor in the amount of time that would take. Yew logs offer around 35,000 experience per hour. Suppose you play 2 hours a day, which means that is 70,000 experience a day. Divide that from 13,034,000 and you get about 186, which is the number of days it will take to get level 99 Woodcutting by cutting yew trees.
186 days for 30 million coins: not bad, huh?
Now, we can evaluate power-training. Cutting teak logs offer around 70,000 experience per hour. As you can see, that is twice the speed of yew logs. Since no money is gained from power-cutting teaks (you drop the logs when power-cutting), we can easily say that it will take 93 days to obtain level 99 Woodcutting by cutting teak trees.
The arithmetic effect is now over.
Well, there it is. It takes 93 days, playing two hours a day, to get 99 Woodcutting by cutting teak trees. On the other hand, it takes 186 days to achieve level 99 Woodcutting by cutting yew trees, playing the same amount of time per day. But with yew trees, you also get 30 million coins; with teak trees, you get nothing. So, it seems that cutting yew trees is more worthwhile than cutting teak trees because of the large profit you will make.
Most players, however, fail to realise just how much can be done with 93 extra days. 93 days is a lot of time. Assuming you have a method of making 600,000 coins a day (300,000 coins an hour), that means you could make over 55 million coins during those 93 days you saved cutting teak trees instead of willow trees. However, we must accept the fact that there are players who cannot make 300,000 coins an hour. Assuming you make 200,000 coins a day (100,0000 coins an hour), you would only get 19 million coins.
So, which method is better? Simple. If you can make enough money per hour during the period of time you saved by power-training to surpass the total amount of money that you would make with a slow, profitable method, then power-training the skill is actually more efficient. If you are a poor moneymaker, then go ahead and choose yew logs over teak logs.
Money is power. But so is speed. The next time you try for a level 99 skill, such as Mining, be sure to calculate not only the money you would make from “profitable-training,” but also the difference in speed between the two methods and how much money you could make with the extra time power-training would give you.
Money-sink skills like Construction are a different case though, but that's a story for another time. ^.^
You are not entitled to view the results of this poll before you have voted.