Transcript of RuneScape: The Top 10 Quests of All Time

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[00:11] Hello! To celebrate the launch of the 200th quest,
[00:14] we thought we'd take a little bit of time out of our busy days to talk about your top 10 quests of all time.
[00:21] And to start with, let's talk about number 10, which is 'Missing, Presumed Death'.
[00:28] That was my first ever project. First ever piece of content, straight out of training.
[00:33] And I had to kick off the Sixth Age, basically, and lead on from 'The World Wakes'.
[00:39] And to me, as a person that was new to the games industry pretty much,
[00:44] I'd just done training, I was like...
[00:47] Okay.
[00:49] Seeing Sliske in 'Missing, Presumed Death' as a much more developed character,
[00:53] I had kind of a vested interest, and I was like 'Is it gonna be good?'.
[00:57] But then it was how I would imagine Sliske to be, so that was really cool.
[01:00] I think I was aware that you'd made Sliske a popular character in 'The World Wakes'
[01:07] and I was like 'Right, I've got to do this right.'
[01:10] The whole quest was a pretty cool experience in terms of starting off in a very small kind of way.
[01:16] What's going on? Why're these people dead?
[01:18] We didn't want to reveal that it was about the gods from the start,
[01:22] so the whole beginning of it was trying to mask that.
[01:25] And then suddenly you turn up at the Empyrean Citadel,
[01:29] you've got all of these important characters there and the gods are inside.
[01:31] I was trying to be like 'Bam! Look at all this!' and people'd be like 'Oh my God!'.
[01:36] The two main things I enjoyed about it were that you really nailed the character of Icthlarin.
[01:40] He came across really well, as like a hero god.
[01:43] But also the voice actor for Sliske. Just spot on.
[01:47] And it's helped to inform the character as he's been developed further as well.
[01:51] I know, I know. Sometimes, I impress even myself.
[01:56] Right. Number 9. 'Dragon Slayer'.
[01:59] Proper old school quest there, right?
[02:01] Free-to-play, something that meant a lot to all of us as noobs.
[02:05] A lot of people were probably quite young when they did this quest. It's a really, really old quest, back in the day.
[02:10] You get your 34 quest points. You already feel like a badass because you've got into the Champions' Guild.
[02:15] Start the quest, and then you aspire to kill Elvarg. Poor dragon. Killed by everybody.
[02:20] Gotta get that rune plate, right?
[02:21] But you aspire to it. You're a noob. You're wearing your full rune. You've got your adamant platebody on.
[02:24] And you feel like you complete it, you've done it, you've completed the free-to-play quest set and you're like everybody else,
[02:30] you get to put your rune platebody on for the first time.
[02:33] You waste your money and buy it off the dude for 80k.
[02:38] You get scammed. You want it quickly and you want it fast.
[02:41] I think 'Dragon Slayer' especially, an ultimate quest. An all-time favourite.
[02:47] Nailed it.
[02:48] First big bit of globetrotting that you get to do as well, really. It's quite limited at the start, and then you're going on boats, to this island where there's things to kill. It's awesome!
[02:58] Yeah, it's weird, isn't it? Like Crandor. That's pretty much the only purpose it had in the game,
[03:03] and actually when we rewrote the quest Crandor had a bit more identity.
[03:07] The idea of Elvarg ruling the skies and toasting all the boats.
[03:12] It's pretty full on stuff, really. It's quite epic. It was our most epic story, I think, in the early days, wasn't it?
[03:18] But it was also probably one of the earliest places that we were seeding ideas like the Stone of Jas.
[03:24] These really big story ideas that we had, even back then.
[03:27] Number 8 is 'Dishonour amongst Thieves'.
[03:30] I think that was another challenging one in that I was given the brief to do a big heist quest with a roster of all these major characters.
[03:40] So first off, picking them and getting the players to vote on them, which obviously saw the introduction of Nomad.
[03:46] Put him in a poll and everyone's like 'Oh my God!'. Just a landslide vote to win it.
[03:50] And then obviously we've had people getting involved with the costumes of Nomad and stuff like that as well.
[03:56] Just everyone's been loving his return.
[03:58] I think it was also cool to see Jerrod, the werewolf,
[04:01] because we haven't done very much with werewolves, and seeing him as a major part as well was really exciting and nice for people,
[04:08] because there's quite a lot of interest for werewolves and we haven't fulfilled it so far, I think.
[04:13] It's nice to do something interesting with Zamorak's character as well, right?
[04:17] Yeah. I mean, back in the day he was just a name.
[04:21] He's the evil god, Saradomin's the good god. Very simplistic and one-dimensional,
[04:26] but I love all the stuff we've been doing with the Sixth Age in fleshing out these characters, and giving them more balanced personalities.
[04:32] Zamorak was missing that, I think, and this quest has really brought him more to life and explained a bit more about who he is.
[04:39] Okay. Shall we move on?
[04:41] So number 7 is 'Recipe for Disaster'. Which was, weirdly enough, our 100th quest.
[04:49] Our first attempt at a kind of multi-layered, multi-chaptered quest.
[04:54] All released in one go, all with different requirements, which is very similar to what we've done with the 200th quest.
[05:02] And all culminating in this weird experience with this crazy mage who uses food to do magic.
[05:11] About as RuneScapey as it comes, really, isn't it?
[05:14] I think so. Firing a giant, animated Christmas pudding...
[05:17] That's some pretty crazy stuff right there, right?
[05:21] I think it harks back to what you say about having individual developer stamps on things.
[05:26] The way all of those subquests were made by different developers,
[05:30] and each one of them has their own voice in that quest is a really nice touch, I thought.
[05:34] Certainly the 200th quest, I feel, is a spiritual successor to the 100th quest.
[05:38] -Certainly taking the mickey, but in a kind of lighthearted...
[05:43] Just celebrating quests, really.
[05:45] Just harking back to the past, and bringing those memories back.
[05:49] Number 6. It's 'The Branches of Darkmeyer'. Ana, all yours.
[05:54] It was my first big project.
[05:56] It was pretty swiftly after I joined. And I kind of fought for it because I was really interested in the series.
[06:02] And obviously Tytn was leaving, and everyone really loved him and loved the series, and it was a lot of pressure taking it on.
[06:10] I think one the main things I really liked about it was developing the character of Vanescula because so far she hadn't done that much.
[06:18] Kind of hinted. She was quite interesting, but there wasn't really much to her.
[06:22] Bringing her in and making a stronger character out of her was really cool.
[06:27] You have this choice, as I remember, of how much you get into the vampyre role,
[06:31] whether you're going to start randomly slaughtering people and things like that.
[06:34] A lot of the things that Branches brought into the series that we want to continue forward are those tough choices.
[06:41] How much you get into that vampyre role and how much you have to give up of humanity. The really dark edges.
[06:51] So that's, for me, I think, the really great thing that Branches brought to the game.
[06:56] Are we gonna see more of that, then?
[06:58] I'm not saying anything!
[06:59] Almost a teaser! Almost a teaser!
[07:01] Alright. Number 5 is 'Plague's End', the quest that you needed to complete in order to access Prifddinas, the Elf City.
[07:10] And the culmination of 10 years' worth of storytelling.
[07:13] There was a lot to bring into the quest, a lot that the elf series has left dangling.
[07:20] And John A did a fantastic job bringing all of those elements together and setting up the city as well.
[07:28] It was a big ask, but did a grand job of it.
[07:31] I want to just bring up the unicorn in 'Underground Pass'.
[07:37] Do you know that moment when you're up the top, you've got the boulder, you just push it off, and then you kill the unicorn in 'Underground Pass'.
[07:44] You don't even think about it, do you? You just push it.
[07:48] Kill the unicorn, there you go! That's the very, very, very beginning of the quest.
[07:53] I have to say that I was surprised that 'Underground Pass' wasn't on the list. Bit of a spoiler for the ones in the future.
[07:58] But I was surprised that 'Underground Pass' wasn't there, because for years that was the... I remember when we converted from Classic to RS2,
[08:06] that was the one everyone was excited about. How're you gonna do it, what's it gonna look like.
[08:11] Number 4 is 'Fate of the Gods'.
[08:15] Zaros, up to that point, had just been an idea, a notion, and he was this really popular character who wasn't actually a character.
[08:23] So, being given the chance to bring him to life and have him live up to, hopefully exceed, player expectations...
[08:34] It's my favourite moment at the company.
[08:36] It wasn't just Zaros though, was it? You've also got Elder Gods, you've got all sorts of stuff going on there. Pretty big stuff!
[08:42] It wasn't enough bringing Zaros back.
[08:44] We snuck a bit of Seren in there, just dropped an Elder God in as well, and like the end of the universe too.
[08:52] We can't forget, though, the way in which Zaros gets his armour at the end where it flies on.
[08:58] For me, that's one of the favourite parts of it.
[09:00] We toned that down a lot.
[09:03] I gave a lot of feedback on that. Yeah.
[09:05] There's also when you get the shard of Zaros as well, so you're gonna get to talk to him again, and there's gonna be more in the storyline. At some point.
[09:14] I got a lot of stick for that from our QA team, just Zaros giving you a little part of himself. We were joking.
[09:21] Internally we were referring to the quest as 'Fifty Shades of Purple'.
[09:26] Nice.
[09:27] I can't wait to see the moment where Zaros and Zamorak meet again.
[09:31] That's just going to be incredible.
[09:32] That will be an epic cutscene.
[09:34] I will fight whoever wants to do that.
[09:37] Let's go, Steve, me and you.
[09:40] A throwdown.
[09:42] I've got this idea that Sliske appears in the middle with the Staff of Armadyl and he throws it in the middle and he's like 'Go!'.
[09:49] Thought you were gonna say he just holds it out and they both just run into it!
[09:53] Nice! Impaled!
[09:56] Let's talk about number 3.
[09:58] Number 3. Well, one of my favourites, I've gotta say.
[10:04] In terms of cementing the Dragonkin forever in the history of RuneScape.
[10:10] Number 3 is 'The Ritual of the Mahjarrat'.
[10:14] At the time that we launched it, we had two or three quests all come out at the same time, combinating in 'The Ritual of the Mahjarrat'.
[10:23] Actually working with the Mahjarrat, working out what's going on, and watching them rejuvenate and come back to life with that killer cutscene right at the end.
[10:33] That's great. When you see them all team up, and it's not just like one of them, just they literally chuck him between them and slam him on the floor. And it's just... That was badass.
[10:42] Pretty brutal!
[10:42] It's almost like WWE, you know what I mean? It's like orchestrated, like, three person attack. It was proper brutal!
[10:50] At the time, I was amazed that the graphics guys had managed to do something like that because it was quite intense.
[10:56] It was right at the top of what we were capable of doing right then.
[10:59] It's always nice looking back at quests and seeing how our technology has improved and the new kind of toys we get to play with these days.
[11:06] Part of the quest I remember is running. Do you remember when you're running through the jungle and the flaming rocks are landing?
[11:13] At the point that it was released, everyone's trying to do it and loads of people are trying to do it first.
[11:17] People hiding behind trees, all your friends are dying.
[11:22] You're on comms with them on Skype or something and they're like, 'Noooo!' and you're like 'Hahaaaaa!'
[11:27] You get to pass the part of the quest, like, camping out behind a tree.
[11:30] What's he called? Sir Tain Death?
[11:31] -Sir Tendeth.
-Sir Tendeth!
[11:33] It was great. He's just hanging around at the front, got nuked by a fireball.
[11:38] There's something about that quest as well, at the very end you've got Sliske, and I can't remember his exact line,
[11:44] but he says something which, when we were making 'The World Wakes', we were like 'Yeah, he's the interesting character'. It was that line at the very end.
[11:52] He tries to turn you into one of his wights.
[11:55] Barrow wights! That's right, because he gets Akrisae, doesn't he? Who just heroically throws...
[12:00] He was after you, which is why we were like...
[12:03] 'I'm gonna add you to my collection,' or something like that.
[12:07] Number 2. Almost at the top spot. So close, yet so far.
[12:13] Number 2 is 'The World Wakes'.
[12:16] Getting the core aims for this project, I think it was from Mod Osborne, and it was basically like 'Yeah, we're gonna kill Guthix.'
[12:22] And it was like 'Okay, no pressure at all!'
[12:26] It's only the entire storyline so far of the edicts and stuff like that.
[12:30] 'Never mind all that, we're just going to kill him'.
[12:33] 'Great. This is gonna go well.'
[12:35] We needed that drama, though, to kick off the beginning of the Sixth Age.
[12:39] We wanted that turmoil, that concept of the gods coming back and fighting over the earth that all our players move around on.
[12:49] We wanted that drama. It felt good, right?
[12:52] No! See, this is what the, it's really weird. When I started, I wasn't particularly, I didn't particularly like Guthix.
[12:58] And during the quest I started to feel really sorry for him.
[13:02] So when I was writing the actual trying to kill him, I felt really sad doing it.
[13:11] I really liked bringing all of the characters together. Big characters, like Nex, all the Mahjarrat.
[13:17] I think we hadn't really done that all that much before.
[13:20] Obviously we'd done it a little bit, but getting them all together for this massive battle.
[13:25] Zilyana's trying to come in, and K'ril's there, and it was quite exciting to do that.
[13:30] But also kind of nerve-wracking. Dealing with so many developers' characters it was quite... I didn't want to mess anyone up!
[13:37] I loved the sense of escalation of it as well.
[13:39] The whole sort of going down the rabbit hole, basically, and discovering more and going 'Oh, okay, this is what's going on'.
[13:45] And also being almost out of your depth in this situation where the world is basically on a knife edge.
[13:51] It's just pretty damn good.
[13:53] For that to happen in the space of one narrative arc, that's pretty awesome.
[13:58] Number 1.
[14:03] Number 1 is 'While Guthix Sleeps'.
[14:07] Probably the most epic piece of content that we have ever launched at that point in time.
[14:13] The longest development period that we've ever had for any single individual quest.
[14:19] It was the most momentous quest when we did it.
[14:22] A lot of the quests today, we see the gods changing the Sixth Age.
[14:26] Back then there wasn't so much real change, and 'While Guthix Sleeps' was a momentous quest at the time.
[14:32] You rounded up a lot of NPCs from the game that you'd interacted with.
[14:36] They were slain. Lucien was involved. The Stone of Jas. There was real development on the Stone of Jas, which is one of the biggest elder artefacts. Really interesting.
[14:44] Again, there was content at the end with tormented demons,
[14:47] and as a whole it was a large quest and it had real impact on the game.
[14:51] The dolmen in 'While Guthix Sleeps', when you're doing all the stuff with the herbs.
[14:57] And there's this massive sundial effect and it suddenly spins round and the whole thing lifted up.
[15:03] For me, it's one of my favourite puzzle moments in the game.
[15:07] You get lots of things where you're like 'I've fought a big monster'.
[15:10] And a nice, shiny cutscene, but this was like something done from a puzzle. That was pretty cool.
[15:15] Working on 'The World Wakes', we were always very conscious of that it's kind of the sequel to 'While Guthix Sleeps',
[15:22] and it kicked everything off, really. It's like the very first steps, I think.
[15:28] It's interesting how many of these storylines are influenced by the Stone of Jas, isn't it?
[15:33] And how important it is to the narrative.
[15:36] It's our One Ring.
[15:37] It is. You're right. You're right.
[15:40] Yet it's only one of, who knows how many elder artefacts?
[15:43] Well, we know, obviously, but we're not gonna tell you.
[15:48] Listen. Thanks very much for spending some time talking about your favourite quests.
[15:54] I'm sure we'll all enjoy playing through the 200th quest live on our choobs as soon as possible,
[16:00] and thank you all for listening to us going about our favourite stories.
[16:04] And thanks for contributing to the top 10.
[16:07] I look forward to being here and talking to you about our 300th quest, hey?
[16:12] Right. I think it's worth raising a glass to that one.
[16:15] Cheers!
[16:16] Cheers!
[16:17] Thank you very much RuneScape!