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Salt in the Wound葉he problems

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LordDrakan
Sep Member 2010

LordDrakan

Posts: 6,438Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
HELLO,
food sacks. Because I don't have enough threads that I need to regularly bump, I decided to make another one. Today, we closely examine what exactly is wrong with Salt in the Wound.

Salt in the Wound, released in July 2011, is the unanimously hated finale to the Sea Slug quest series. But why is it disliked so much to the point that it's the stereotype of a bad quest (one would think Doric's Quest was worse)? Well, various reasons. Let's take a look.
Bizarre Boron Fusswell. Minigames&ninja fixes&cheevos&comp cape

Perhaps you're half right; perhaps we can't win. But we can fight.
Zanik

05-Apr-2015 13:55:29 - Last edited on 05-Apr-2015 14:01:39 by LordDrakan

LordDrakan
Sep Member 2010

LordDrakan

Posts: 6,438Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
1) Ignores the plot

This is probably the most profound problem with Salt in the Wound. Thing is, SitW would be an okay quest if it weren't the slug finale because, unfortunately, it ignores pretty much the entire plot that was set up by its three prequels.

A very brief summary of SitW would be: "You, the grown-up Kennith, Eva and Ezekial acquire a seeker gland from Daemonheim and make an anti-mind control serum, infiltrate the Slug Citadel and make your way to Mother Mallum's chamber, where she is squished by a large pillar being dropped on her after a brief struggle."

But where'd the existing plot go? We know Mother Mallum's plan was to take over RuneScape by once again possessing the minds of various world leaders with her slugs. Now that you released her from her prison, she was at large once more. I highly doubt she'd just sit in her lair and do nothing...

A characteristic of (good) series finales is that the situation becomes really really dire before it is resolved. In Plague's End, we narrowly managed to prevent a West Ardougne genocide and, at the end, the Dark Lord herself appeared; in The Chosen Commander, Zanik succumbs to Bandos' possession and the god himself returns through an avatar and presents the Dorgeshuun with an ultimatum, after which Dorgesh-Kaan enters maximum panic mode; in The Void Stares Back, Grayzag actually succeeds in summoning the Pest Queen; in Blood Runs Deep, Rellekka is quite literally invaded by hordes of Dagannoth; heck, even in Shadow of the Storm, a finale to a really tiny series, Agrith Naar is liberated and unleashes a devastating sandstorm upon the desert. I think I made my point: what the slug finale really needs is the world leaders being possessed before Mother Mallum is defeated.
Bizarre Boron Fusswell. Minigames&ninja fixes&cheevos&comp cape

Perhaps you're half right; perhaps we can't win. But we can fight.
Zanik

05-Apr-2015 13:55:37

LordDrakan
Sep Member 2010

LordDrakan

Posts: 6,438Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Other than that, there are more plot points not dealt with as well. The possessed giant lobsters, Kennith's terrifying evilness and apparent connection with Mallum, mayor Hobb saying that the slug prince will be reborn, Captain Marlin's slug... The latter, for example, was worked around by the statement that Marlin only thought he was being possessed (in the GUFAQ). Sure, that could work...but I doubt it was the original intention, and it's certainly a very cheesy exit clause. Bizarre Boron Fusswell. Minigames&ninja fixes&cheevos&comp cape

Perhaps you're half right; perhaps we can't win. But we can fight.
Zanik

05-Apr-2015 13:55:46

LordDrakan
Sep Member 2010

LordDrakan

Posts: 6,438Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
2) Dei ex machina

Yes, plural. Let's take a look:

- The ingredients to the anti-mind control serum include the gland of a stalker. A stalker. A creature from another world that only happens to be on RuneScape because Bilrach took up digging in the Fourth Age. The Temple Knight seers just happen to be able to somehow identify all the ingredients, including this one why didn't they do that during Mallum's first invasion?

- Kennith's growing up. Now this was fairly ridiculous; one moment he's revealed to have some kind of magical power and appears to be in league with the slugs. Or not; either way, something mysterious and ominous is happening to him. Now, he's all normal and "just grew up because he felt like it", not to mention he's able to use magic without runes. And without explanation.

- The pillar. A large monolith with weak base conveniently located behind Mother Mallum is used to kill the queen of slugs, something that the entire Temple Knight organisation couldn't do, only able to imprison her.

- And then there's stuff like the very unconvincing way in which we convince Maledict to open the door.
Bizarre Boron Fusswell. Minigames&ninja fixes&cheevos&comp cape

Perhaps you're half right; perhaps we can't win. But we can fight.
Zanik

05-Apr-2015 13:55:57

LordDrakan
Sep Member 2010

LordDrakan

Posts: 6,438Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
3) People acting out of character

There's Kennith, whose whole I'm-evil-die-Kimberly-die incident from Kennith's Concerns is apparently forgotten. Ezekial is fine in this respect, but Mother Mallum herself... Oh Loarnab.

If there's ever been a clich馘 villain dialogue, it's in this quest. The Slug Menace and Postbag from the Hedge 40 clearly establish her manner of speech and general behaviour. Nope, not here. Compare:

Original message details are unavailable.
After millennia, this husk is almost spent and requires replacement. Yes, you will make an excellent host. [...] Yes, that's it, fight, fight with all your heart. It's always so much sweeter when they resist us.
Original message details are unavailable.
Do not worry, for it will not take long. And, once I have a perfect mirror of your surface world one slug for each carrier above we will unite and become family. It makes me happy to think of that new world, and you will no doubt understand my happiness completely, and soon.


And then we get this:

Original message details are unavailable.
Haha! You are fools to come here! You have spirit, but what could you possibly hope to achieve? [...] And you underestimate me!


...yeah.
Bizarre Boron Fusswell. Minigames&ninja fixes&cheevos&comp cape

Perhaps you're half right; perhaps we can't win. But we can fight.
Zanik

05-Apr-2015 13:56:18 - Last edited on 05-Apr-2015 13:59:20 by LordDrakan

LordDrakan
Sep Member 2010

LordDrakan

Posts: 6,438Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
4) Forced dungeoneering

To this day it continues to baffle me why this quest featured Daemonheim. Maybe because the developer also worked on Dungeoneering, maybe because the core aims simply said so. At any rate, it doesn't work. As I said, it makes no sense whatsoever that a Stalker's gland is required for the potion. Everything just screamed that Daemonheim was included for the sole reason of including Daemonheim. It contributed nothing to the story whatsoever.

Now, we know that Mother Mallum invaded other worlds before RuneScape. It's entirely possible that something on one of those worlds, perhaps even the Stalker world, could be of aid, but at least explain it. Currently, you need a seeker gland because their hive mind counteracts the mind control well, why wouldn't void pests or penance work? And why the Seeker of Truth and not, for instance, Haasghenahk?

I'd be fine with a Dungeoneering requirement if its purpose was to "use your knowledge of dungeons to safely enter the Slug Citadel" or something like that, but Daemonheim itself definitely shouldn't feature.
Bizarre Boron Fusswell. Minigames&ninja fixes&cheevos&comp cape

Perhaps you're half right; perhaps we can't win. But we can fight.
Zanik

05-Apr-2015 13:56:27

LordDrakan
Sep Member 2010

LordDrakan

Posts: 6,438Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
5) Anticlimatic

Now, this was briefly covered in point 1, but, apart from ignoring the plot of the rest of the series, the plot of SitW itself is...boring. I'll be the first to say that recent quests are trying too hard to have an "epic" plot, but in the case of a finale to a very interesting and unique series, a pinch of "epic" is desirable.

The original Sea Slug curator, Mod Chris LC, envisaged the series ending with a huge battle between Temple Knights and Mallum's thralls on Tutorial Island, with both sides showing the absolute worst of themselves. I'm not saying this should be literally done, but certainly something along these lines.

As I said, have Mother Mallum take possession of some world leaders. Amass a Temple Knight army; involve Sir Tiffy, Sir Vey Lance, Savant, lead the second crusade against the sea slugs. Don't just have Mallum sit there... And certainly don't kill the mother of all evil that nearly vanquished the Temple Knights with a piece of rock.

It's a finale, so get some people from previous quests in there as well, if only as cameos. Kimberly and her parents, Kennith's parents, Col. O'Niall, Holgart, Jeb, Marlin...
Bizarre Boron Fusswell. Minigames&ninja fixes&cheevos&comp cape

Perhaps you're half right; perhaps we can't win. But we can fight.
Zanik

05-Apr-2015 13:56:34

LordDrakan
Sep Member 2010

LordDrakan

Posts: 6,438Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
6) Lack of lore

I'll also be the first one to say that not every quest needs lore. In this case, however, some is definitely needed. All we'd learnt so far is that Mother Mallum first emerged from the seas "centuries ago" after invading other worlds and the Temple Knights only barely managed to seal her after she took control of the minds of several important and influential political figures, and now the Mahey'ish Medron is back! (and on the attack, to secure a mark from Redb-- wait what?)

Some insight into the nature of the slugs would be nice, Mother Mallum's history, details of her first invasion (a more precise date would be nice), etc.
Bizarre Boron Fusswell. Minigames&ninja fixes&cheevos&comp cape

Perhaps you're half right; perhaps we can't win. But we can fight.
Zanik

05-Apr-2015 13:56:41

LordDrakan
Sep Member 2010

LordDrakan

Posts: 6,438Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
7) Lacking rewards

Okay, I'll again be the first to say rewards are the least important aspect of a quest, and I'll never include them in my judgement of a quest in a negative way. But in this case... we slew the Mother Mallum. Ancient evil and the worst enemy the Temple Knights have ever faced, right up there with Solus Dellagar and Lucien. Releasing her by accident got us proselyte armour.

...why weren't we promoted to Acolyte?! D: To be fair, when SitW didn't get us acolyte armour, many thought that RotM would, but no. Wonder if it's an "oversight" or Jagex were planning something different?
Bizarre Boron Fusswell. Minigames&ninja fixes&cheevos&comp cape

Perhaps you're half right; perhaps we can't win. But we can fight.
Zanik

05-Apr-2015 13:56:48 - Last edited on 05-Apr-2015 13:57:00 by LordDrakan

LordDrakan
Sep Member 2010

LordDrakan

Posts: 6,438Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Fin

That's basically it, unless I forgot something. We all want Salt in the Wound reworked, but time and money and insufficient amount of new quests and blah blah blah, so it's unlikely to happen. Still, I like to think it'll be done some day. When that day comes, not making the same mistakes as SitW is pretty much a guaranteed win.

SitW did have some good aspects though. Eva, for example, is a great character and I'd definitely like to see her kept. Controlling Eva, Ezekial and Kennith was also fun, although I think a bit overused in the quest. And Ezekial fashioning explosives out of all the rubium is pretty neat too. I also liked Bailey finally being possessed; 'twas bound to happen eventually. Oh, and, on a final note, I'd give the hypothetical SitW rework a different name. 'Salt in the Wound' is actually a pretty good name, but it has such negative connotation now that it should not be used...

Anyway, I'm done. Here's hoping something useful will come out of this thread. Comment, voice your thoughts, et cetera. The Slug Queen will come for you...
Bizarre Boron Fusswell. Minigames&ninja fixes&cheevos&comp cape

Perhaps you're half right; perhaps we can't win. But we can fight.
Zanik

05-Apr-2015 13:57:06 - Last edited on 05-Apr-2015 14:00:24 by LordDrakan

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