oday, you can see someone with a Skillcape almost everywhere you go. It makes you wonder, what was it like before "Capes of Achievement" were released? Let's take a look back.
Before Skillcapes were released, far less people had a 99 in a skill. Many people complained that all the work that goes into getting a 99, was not worth it. There were only a few skills worth the time and effort.
Combat skills, such as Attack and Magic have always been valuable, because they can help you maximize your damage potential. A common dream was to get 99 Smithing so you could make Rune Platebodies yourself. Construction has high level rewards, like the Magical Cape Rack.
Many other skills were not worth getting to 99, because they had no further rewards else past a certain level. Such skills like Fletching, which after 85 to make Magic Longbows, it was not needed to get to 99 for anything new to fletch. Cooking, which after you could cook a shark without burning it, there was not much need to get it to 99. Runecrafting, especially, because after they could runecraft laws many people did not seek further rewards.
Jagex wanted people to be rewarded for getting a skill to 99, since it took so much time and effort. So on October 18, 2006, Jagex released the "Capes of Achievement" for those players who got a particular skill to 99. To get a skillcape, first you have to get 99 in a skill, and know where to find the master of that skill, and pay him 99k. Also, they created a "quest Cape", which is a reward for completing every quest.
These capes not only look awesome, but each cape has a special emote. When you click "Operate" on the cape, it temporarily raises that skill to 100. Also, if you get two or more 99s, you are rewarded with "trimmed" Capes of Achievement, which carry extra bonuses.
So when this update came out, there was a new and exciting reason to get 99 in each skill. So people started to fish, cook, fletch, and more, to get that prestigious capes. There is a cape for every skill, so there is one for every taste. People find their favorite cape and go after it. Players who are rather new to the game tend to hunt down people with skillcapes and incessantly ask them to display the skill emote. Initially people with these capes could not take 5 steps without being asked for the emote.
This also had a big impact on the trade market. Since many more people were going for 99s with new found determination, that created a much higher demand for skill leveling items. The prices on logs, bones, raw food, and other items shot up considerably. As a result of this new market more people started cutting trees, killing Dragons, and more because of the high demand.
This has been a great thing for Jagex, because people are playing more than ever, trying to reach that 99 as soon as possible. Many people use the phrase "no-lifing", meaning playing many hours on end to reach 99. The visible status symbol of the Capes of Achievement encourages all players, but especially newer players to play more, and raise levels more.
Over 1 year later, Capes of Achievement are more common. Like I said before, you can see people with a cape almost anywhere in a members world. People even started calling some of the capes "noob capes" because they are pretty easy to achieve. Every time a new skill comes out, people are especially excited about what the Cape of Achievement will look like, and what the emote will be.
It is a big celebration when you get a 99, because it means you put the time and effort into a skill, and that you maxed it out. There is nothing like putting on that Cape of Achievement for the first time. And there is nothing like having a party after getting 99 Slayer, and bragging to your friends how you got the 99 before they did.