One of the things that people who play Runescape and are interested in new updates most like to do is to speculate. Particularly on forums, such as the Runescape Official Forum or our own Tip.It Forums. I've noticed that people love to take shreds of information together and piece it into a theory for an update. Or, they might take the week's Twitter hint from Jagex and make a wild guess at what the update will be. More often than not people will either come to the conclusion of the update being the new skill to be released this year, or Fairy Tale Part 3 and the Zanaris graphical upgrade. There are two main things that I want to discuss regarding speculation - the upcoming skill and the instance of Strange Power & the new landmass that has appeared in the wilderness.
Since it is likely to be the biggest update this year, at least that we know of, the new skill is a hot topic of speculation. For quite a long time now, I think it's safe to say every update or hint from Jagex has been hailed to be related to the supposed skill of Sailing. Nowadays it is more likely to be made as a joke than as serious speculation, since it's been said more than once by Jagex staff members that Sailing will not be the new skill. There is very little known about the skill to come out this year. It is a F2P and P2P skill which will open up new land areas for both F2P and P2P. The new skill is something that could have been a game in it's own right, however Jagex decided to incorporate it into Runescape. According to Jagex Q&A sessions though it does influence every skill that we have, the new skill will be nothing like we already have in game. It is not one of the popular ideas or themes for skills that currently exist in the world of MMO gaming; it is apparently something that has never been done before. Of course the fact that nobody has ever done it before and that it isn't the sort of thing you might normally come up with doesn't stop everyone from speculating. The most popular idea for the skill at the moment seems to be the idea of an 'instancing' dungeon. For people who don't know is sort of like a private area that is created for say, only you. This sort of thing works well in quests, where you have your own area to fight a monster or deal with a puzzle separate from anyone else doing that part at the same time as you. Instances might be used to create random scenarios to work though, for example. However the fact that it's an idea that's been done before makes me question if this idea of an Instancing skill is credible as it tries to be. It may not be a 'skill' in any game but the idea has certainly been done many times before. Though really, the reason for 'Instancing' being hailed as the new skill is because of the new area of the Wilderness that was added along with last Monday's update to Impetuous Impulses.
A large area east of Clan Wars in the Wilderness was added. It's snowy with a large castle. It's guarded by Fremmenik soldiers so you can't enter the area (unfortunately!). They tell us that this place is the source of the Strange Power felt a month ago and that right now other Fremmeniks are risking their lives to end this unknown threat. As a point of interest, it was exactly 30 days between the rush of 'Strange Power' across Runescape. Players from all worlds, P2P and F2P jumped up, surrounded by a red mist. People faded in and out of view, and some players (such as those at the Grand Exchange) pointed in a direction towards the Wilderness, what we can now safely say is the new castle area that appeared this week. Towards the east of the new land there is what looks like a place for a dock or barge to land (no, it's not sailing!), however in a Q&A session it was stated that a ship will feature prominently in the new skill. Nowadays almost all hints or unknown content are manipulated into some theory or another about the new skill, but this one might be slightly more compelling.
The facts though are that we really don't know. We've had a Strange Power and new castle appear. It's probably a dangerous area considering how the Fremmenik soldiers were risking their and might be linked to a boat somehow. F2P and P2P can access it as well. Some of this links towards the new skill, but really no matter how much you can guess and theorize you're unlikely to get it right. It's amazing sometimes how the people of Runescape can speculate and become so determined that they know what will come out, when in fact we know extremely little. All we're doing is going nowhere fast.