Skills: How Balanced Are They?

By Polaki

Skills, there are twenty-three of them each important and valuable in their own way. As I gaze down the list I cant help but notice that some of my skills are essential to me, and some skills have absolutely no experience in them what so ever. This provokes some questions: Are all the skills equally important? Are they all necessary? Why are some skills easier to level than others?

Ask the average player on world 1 and he will most likely say Strength! Or perhaps he doesn’t favor combat as much he will probably say mining, fishing, or woodcutting. Why do people lean to these few skills? Are they more important? Definitely not but people usually focus on the thing that makes real life click; money. Why should a game be different? Since the basic premise of the game is to make money, advance your skills, and obtain the best possible armor of the game, I think Jagex chose the skills that produce raw materials to be more experience friendly then the skills that don’t produce the same capital. For example, a level 40 fisherman has access to lobster fishing and each lobster caught yields 90 experience. That is absurdly high compared to other skills. The best common item in the crafting skill is the black dragon hide. Crafting one of those dragon hides yields 86 experience and requires level 79 to craft the most basic dragon hide item.

The question is why. Is there some sense of balance? I truly believe there is. It is true crafting may be harder to level then fishing but the ability to mold the rewards from Tzhaar Caves into onyx jewelry and to turn the remains of dragons into a valuable commodity there is definitely a balance. Some may argue that agility is a useless skill that doesn’t have many benefits. It’s hard to level, it doesn’t produce money, the training areas are in hostile areas, and the skill can’t be bought. I pity the poor fools who make that statement. As anyone who’s been to the high level dungeons know, agility can save you worlds of hurt. It also directly translates to stamina recovery which is a constant effect even in free-player worlds.

Ironically the least leveled skills yield the greater rewards. How often do you see people wearing farming or herblore skill capes? Rarely if never. These skills however are two of the best money making skills on the list. It all comes down to balance. Is construction a useless skill aimed to remove money from an inflated economy? The second part may be true but Lil Mcginley will tell you that the gilded shrine is a life saver.

By now your eyes are tired and you’re looking for the broad summarizing point. Don’t judge a skill because it doesn’t make money. The only exception to that rule is firemaking but since it’s so easy level who really cares? I know you guys are used to Gamer H writing articles and I have been critical on his work. I think it’s only fair I give him a shot to hand out some licks. Well that wraps up this article and don’t count on seeing another. I wish you all well one player to another so everybody, Happy Scaping.

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Last update: 28-Feb-2007
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