Monday, 12 August 2013

Was the latest trend in rare spawns positive for the OSR Community?

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Just last night the final spawns of Santa Hats wrapped up and we moved onto the Rubber Chicken and 2005 Christmas hats.  Similar to the Easter Egg spawns a few weeks ago, we once again noticed a relatively easy way for the community to get their hands on these items instead of the old method of camping spawns or playing and randomly bumping into an item that had spawned.

Santa Hats used the party room as one mechanic
of distribution, alongside of the regular spawns.
The Santa hats had an interesting mechanic using the party room, allowing a player to put items into the chest and the chest would spawn Santa hats, with the number of hats spawned depending on the total worth of the items placed in the chest.  This met quite a bit of opposition and acceptance.  Those that thought the rares should stay rare didn't like this as the hats were easy to get, and those that wanted the items but weren't able to get their hands on one enjoyed this mechanic for the same reason, as the hats were easy to get.  In this particular case however they may have been just a tad bit too easy as it was easy for someone to continue to place enough money in the chest, drop the balloons, pick up all of the items including their money and walk out with quite a few Santa hats should they have been quick enough (which I'm sure that they would have been, as with a group of two I was able to pick up quite a few hats without too much effort on my part).

Town Square Q&A, a weekly community event group,
goes on an Easter Egg hunt with attendees.
The Easter Eggs used another tactic which I personally think was the better option here - each day an Easter Egg was placed at a permanent spawn with a cryptic clue being placed on social media outlets for Old School RuneScape, allowing players to decipher the clue to determine the location and then receive one item as a reward.  Both tactics were much more community oriented than the traditional "find a spawn" technique, which I thought worked out much better, especially for those of us who don't get as much time as others to play or just haven't been lucky enough to be in the right spot at the right time to manage to pick up a rare.

Although much different than the previous weeks, I do believe that this tactic of having a community friendly spawn was a good addition.  For example, with the week of the Easter Eggs, the Old School Town Square Q&A team which I lead decided to go on an Easter Egg hunt, and brought along a few attendees who had never gotten a chance to get a rare (and a few who were just coming along for the taxi to the daily spawn for that night).  It was really a great experience getting to see so many happy folks receive an item that they probably had never gotten a chance to have back when Easter Eggs were dropped back in the day.  Many were ecstatic (a few a bit too much as they accidentally ate their eggs D:) and the thrill of getting to see this was a really pleasing feeling, getting to know that the community really appreciated the efforts that the group put in.  Additionally, I know that one of my friends managed to pick up a few Santa Hats and one of his good friends was extremely thrilled when he received one as a gift, something that might not have been easily possible if the only way to get a hat was to either find one at a spawn or purchase one for a sum of money from another player.

With the final few holiday items dropping in the next few weeks, will we be seeing this sort of approach again?  I'm really hoping so, as I personally think that making it so that there's a way for those of us who can't be on too much or just are never lucky enough to get our hands on the items are able to retrieve the items can only be a good thing and will make quite a few folks very happy.