Oldschool Runescape has had a mid-sized quest speed running scene for some time now, so much so that quest speed running because an often requested feature in Q and A’s and on the game’s extremely active subreddit r/2007scape. Although OSRS quest speed running is a fairly niche activity, Jagex have tried their best to make it something accessible to the average player, with rewards to match that goal. So, how did they do?
The mode is designed to be accessible by everyone. Simply log on to one of the new quest speedrunning worlds using your normal OSRS account and select a quest to run from the new interface. You will be teleported to the quest start location and all of the appropriate items will be provided for you.
Every quest has target times for bronze, silver, gold and platinum trophies, and each trophy you earn will provide points used to purchase speedrunning themed cosmetic rewards.
In terms of accessibility, Jagex have definitely made it easy for the average player to take part. There is no need to make a new account, you can run each quest as many times as you want, and you can reset the quest whenever you want. The pre-set items do provide a solid foundation for completing each quest, and should be more than sufficient to earn each quest’s platinum trophy.
The game mode will feature 5 quests on launch, and 2 new quests every month for the next 5 months.
The quests available on launch are:
- Cook’s assistant: Bronze – 3:30, Silver – 2:45, Gold – 2:15, Platinum – 2:00
- Earnest the Chicken: Bronze – 7:00, Silver – 5:30, Gold – 4:30, Platinum – 4:00
- Demon Slayer: Bronze – 14:15, Silver – 11:15, Gold – 9:15, Platinum – 8:15
- Vampyre Slayer: Bronze – 6:15, Silver – 4:45, Gold – 3:45, Platinum – 3:15
- Dragon Slayer: Bronze – 36:00, Silver – 27:00, Gold – 21:00, Platinum – 18:00
Further quests are to be added each month, including some far longer and more complicated entries:
- Month 1: Prince Ali Rescue, Beneath Cursed Sands
- Month 2: A Taste of Hope, Sins of the Father
- Month 3: Below Ice Mountain, Temple of the Eye
- Month 4: X Marks the Spot, A Kingdom Divided
- Month 5: Black Knights’ Fortress, Dragon Slayer II
All rewards are cosmetic and can be used on the main servers. These rewards can be purchased using speedrunning reward points, and include:
- A Wieldable trophy for getting a certain rank in every available quest.
- The Adventurer’s Outfit, a cosmetic graceful override themed with the colour scheme of the quest cape.
- The Speedy Teleport Scroll, providing a new unique home teleport animation.
- The Giant Stopwatch, a massive wieldable stopwatch reminiscent of the heavy casket rewarded for completing 200 elite clues.
My Thoughts and Feedback
The Game Mode Is Excellent For Newcomers, But Will The Existing Speed running Scene Actually Use It?
Two of the most popular current speed runs for OSRS are the new account to champion’s guild speed run, and the tutorial island speed run. Neither of these are possible with this new system as you can only complete a single quest at a time. This could leave quest speed running in OSRS in an awkward spot where the real competition for the game still takes place on an external site, and the in-game implementation becomes a rarely used minigame.
To be clear, I expect the speedruns of the longer quests to be popular with the existing community. There was previously no way to do those quests in a reasonable time frame, so there is no alternative. It is unlikely that the previous categories will be abandoned however, so we may end up with a strange situation where only half of the records are on the in game leader boards.
There are several issues and suggestions surrounding the gear pre-set system.
Limited routing decisions
Limiting the players to a single set of pre-determined gear will make the mode much more accessible for new players, however in the long run it will lead to very stale and “solved” routes. The longer quests like Dragon Slayer II and Sins of the Father excite me the most, as they have the most room for skill expression through routing decisions, but with limited gear there are only so many options. I wonder what items they will provide in the pre-sets to complete such long quests? Will they provide way too much so that only the most skilled can get it done? Or too little to challenge the hardcore players?
Either way it just seems antithetical to such a complex game to me. Everyone will have done these quests using different gear and different strategies. Why not allow players to choose the gear they want? I would be interested to see something like a pre-set “budget” for items to complete the quest. This would allow you to customise your loadout so long as you did not exceed a certain gp value. This would allow strategic innovation, and routes to evolve over time by making use of different item setups.
The Gear is Not Best in Slot
many players are disappointed that the gear and stats given to complete these quests will not be best in slot. I see the reasoning for this, as it would again limit routing creativity, however I also see the opposite side of the argument. Many players see speedrunning as completing a game as quickly as possible, using any means possible, and in theory that should mean using the absolute best gear. I personally think it would be the best of both worlds if there was some kind of toggle which enabled best in slot gear for these speedruns with a totally separate leaderboard, similar to the split between any% and new game+ in many existing speed games.
OSRS is a multiplayer game, and although Jagex is trying their best to make sure that other players do not impact your quest speedrun, there are always things that seem to slip through. For example, currently the best way to complete every quest speedrun is to have an alt account at every single door you go through in the run, making sure it is open at all times. It is also beneficial to have an alt talking to any NPCs, as this prevents them from roaming. These are easy to fix, just make doors locked in the open position and NPCs unable to move, solved right? Well… no. Most monsters can’t walk through players, so you can safespot pretty much every non-instanced boss monster by just having your friend (or your alt account) stand between you and the boss. Is this okay? This cannot be fixed without changing some of the fundamentals of the game’s combat system.
Beyond that, the game is old and the code is extremely complicated. You only need to look at videos like Rendi’s to see that the game can be broken in ways far beyond what the average player can comprehend. These weird mechanics are bound to have an effect on speedruns at some point. Jagex has to decide what they want to do about it. Are they happy for the world records to make use of these weird mechanics, when it would make such a record completely inaccessible to the average player? I don’t know what the answers to these questions should be, but they do need to be answered. If they aren’t, the community will answer them for themselves and move back to an outside site with their own clearly defined rules.
So What Do I Expect From the OSRS Quest Speed Running in the Long Term?
This really depends on how committed Jagex are to maintaining it. If they continue to add new quests and features such as multi-quest runs, then I can see the ingame system completely obsoleting any outside leader boards. This would make Jagex the exemplary case in how to maintain a speed running community.
Do I think this will actually happen? No. To give Jagex credit where they are due, they are extremely responsive to community feedback. Far more so than other developers, which is something that this community is extremely lucky to have. That said, I don’t think some of these problems are fixable without extensive changes to existing mechanics, which will never happen for such a niche activity.
Should it even happen? Maybe not, and this is coming from someone who loves speed running in general. There has been much complaining in the community lately of “mode creep”. there are so many new game modes coming out that players are worried that it takes away from development of main game content. Jagex insist that this isn’t the case, but in this scenario I think the community is right. Jagex has hired more developers, but that doesn’t change the fact that those developers could be working on something else when they are working on these new modes. New modes are great fun, and they should definitely be made, everyone loves leagues and the occasional deadman mode! That said, ongoing maintenance of them is probably not something that is going to benefit the majority of players. Most players would prefer more PvM and skilling content, as that is where they spend most of their time. New modes have their place, but not at the expense of content for the main game.
At the bare minimum I expect the mode to be some good fun with some cosmetic rewards. A few more quests will probably be added after the original 5 months, then the mode will be largely forgotten other than for the most die-hard speedrunners.
What do you think? Has the mode got a long future or is it dead in the water? Would you like guides showing how to speed run these quests? Let me know in the comments.