By now, regardless of your standards, the Quest Cape has graduated from being a well-accepted, commonplace item to a cape of some relative esteem. Regardless of what you enjoy in the game, the collection of the quest cape requires a combination of multiple elements of the Runescape Experience. This can be summarized into a few key categories:
- In Game Skill Levels
- Combat Skill
- Logical Puzzle-Solving Skills
The first and most obvious determinant to the Quest Cape’s “worthiness” is simply the prerequisite levels needed to obtain it. For some time the most difficult level to obtain was 65 smithing to complete “Devious Minds” however with the outset of “While Guthix Sleeps”, the new skill levels are in face now much more challenging to reach. This will always be a matter of relativity, and it is safe to expect the barriers to entry will continue to grow ever higher.
Combat skill is perhaps the most hotly contested facet of the game when it comes to the ongoing dispute of what’s truly difficult. While old-timers like me often lack the quick-click dexterity to swiftly fell the baddest of beasties, many of the hypercompetitive members of the PK community won’t hesitate to mention how easy EVERYTHING seems to be. The Troll Queen fell in a few swings, the “Contact” Scarab monster barely breathed twice. The Desert Treasure bosses hardly scratched the skin. The Balance Elemental is a joke, and Nomad was little more than a quick five minute mini-quest.
These responses draw more sets of rolled eyes than “oohs” or “aahs” (as they were intended to harvest), but nonetheless draw people to consider other elements of the quest log which may test the senses more acutely. Puzzles quickly pop to mind.
Puzzles are another divisive issue, as the ego massaging associated with trivializing a puzzle is often too much for players to overlook. There was a time, we remember, when many decided to payout to have the “Monkey Madness” puzzle solved for them rather than go through the “tireless” efforts of actually completing the slider. Since then puzzles have become FAR more difficult, including the outrageous multi-floor light alignment array in the Temple of Lleyta. Some will argue this puzzle is easy; I counter that those people are “cheating” by simply relying on guides.
Not to be outdone, Jagex upped the ante on puzzles with the recent quest, Elemental Workshop III. This quest includes a three dimensional, challenging sliding puzzle which operates on a move-timer. The timer ensures that a user doesn’t accidentally trip over the solution through luck, but rather works their brain into a fuzzy grey matter mess before eventually triumphing and emerging with the illustrious Body Body. Naturally, there are those whom describe this puzzle as being simple, straightforward, or easy. I would posit these people are egomaniacal fools who simply need to be told how smart they are. Pass them along with a little pat on the head as you laugh internally at their silly display of bravado.
Lastly, we have determination. For anyone whom wears the Quest Cape must have invested some serious time, and no doubt howled with irate frustration at quests such as “One Small Favor”, or, dare I mention… “Rat Catchers”.
It is often discussed that the Quest Cape is more difficult to earn than Skill Cape X, yet still easier to earn than Skill Cape Y. While somewhat interesting, I’m more interested in the direction of the future challenges, and what the top-line level of difficulty will eventually be.
While I’ve already been humbled by some of the challenge (I’m looking at you, Nomad), it is certain that a time will come when I can no longer claim the title of quest master.
No more doubt lies in the fact that some will dismissively refer to the feat as “Easy”, driving the apparently inept like me to gnash their teeth in fury.