The Rhythm of Runescape: How to skill in Runescape without really trying

By Mangleman

One of the questions friends and strangers always ask me is “How can you stand training farming? it’s so boring.” It is still an amusing question for me, because I always want to tell them the secret “I never really trained farming.” Well at least I never really set out to train it.

When I play Runescape I am a little obsessive about planning. I like to set up a sustainable plan that I can just blindly follow. To me the “Game” is finding the rhythm and coming up with a plan. The actual clicking, waiting, and graphics are secondary to the patterns, planning, and rhythm. Ok so if I haven’t lost you by now I will try to explain what I mean, by giving an example of how I “fell” into level 87 farming.

See, my original goal was to get level 69 herblore, we will get to the reason why in a minute. Anyway, I had always wanted to have “high” herblore level ever since the skill “herblaw” first came out. Finally years later farming was proving a cheap and effective way to get the expensive herbs that had kept me away from this goal for all these years. So I embarked on a plan for farming herbs. Not because I was particularly interested in farming, just because I wanted herbs. Well if you know anything about farming, you know that you have to find a task to keep you busy while your crops grow. I decided the perfect distraction would be stealing seeds, to both pass time productively and earn more seeds to further my herb farming efforts. So there I was with a well-planned framework for earning level 69 herblore without really spending any money. What I ended up with was level 75 farming and level 81 thieving by the time I reached my original goal. It is kind of funny, because although my plan was well laid out because I value total XP greatly, I never really counted on ranking so high in those other 2 skills. In fact by the time I was done with my “herblore leveling” I ended up at 87 farming. 84 thieving, and 73 herblore… The funny thing is I never really tried. By the end my plans included Kingdom Management a specific farming route, rules about how long I would thieve seeds, and rules about what items I would sell and what items I would keep. The point is, I never wandered aimlessly, I always worked toward my goal, but in the end, my well laid plan overshadowed my original goal and gave me some fairly impressive skills.

So how do you find your rhythm? How do you make a plan where you will end up surprising and delighting yourself? For me it is all about skill synergy. One skill makes something you can use to level another. Farming, thieving, and herblore are a great triangle… You steal seeds, plant them, then make them into potions. It is very pure, simple, and even pretty obvious; but there are other less obvious patterns to be found out and formulated by other players.

Things to consider:

How am I going to pay for it? - Is there something in my plan that will help me bankroll my whole operation? If not, then consider adding a free money maker to your plan, such as woodcutting, fishing, hunter, thieving, mining, etc.

What if I get bored? – Lets face it, there are parts of Runescape that get boring and repetitive, if you don’t plan on getting bored, you are lying to yourself. If you do not plan for this you could end up losing 10 hours to Castle Wars… If you have XP as a priority, you need to consider having options for things to do when you get bored because “wandering” (playing without focusing on a specific task) is a big enemy of XP building. For instance, any time I get bored with my current rotation I do a few rounds of Pest Control, hey I need combat XP and it is free to play.

What are realistic expectations? – I want to have 99 prayer… I am F2P and level 10 combat. Wish me luck! Yeah, good luck with that. It’s important to make goals that you can actually reach. While anything is possible, shooting straight for 99 isn’t going to leave you anything but disappointment or long thankless hours destined to make you hate Runescape.

So, I will get back to the reason why I wanted 69 herblore… I wanted to make Anti-fire pots… so that I could try out fighting this new cool monster “Iron Dragon”. If you know me, you know where this lead me. I started with just wanting to try killing a few dragons… it ended with a 99 magic goal (successfully achieved), and as a side-effect of good planning: 6 Hitpoints levels, and 11 hard prayer levels.

Currently I am playing out my well-crafted plan to level slayer. I still get asked how I can stand doing the same tasks over and over again. It is hard to answer that question point blank. But the truth is, I have Ranged combat goals that slayer helps me reach, Slayer generates a reasonable amount of money even at my level, and I have ready made diversions for when I get bored. I can hunt down my latest treasure trail reward, I can go on a farming run to earn some money, and occasionally I can still hit the rare round of pest control to blow off some steam.

The next time you think about training a skill… Consider finding a rhythm instead.

Last update: 01-Jun-2008
Log in to Global RuneScape