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A Linear Timeline of Quests

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Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

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Do not confuse this with the List of Fifth Age quests thread, that is a thread to determine what quests are possible to be explained in the 6th age, and which must be considered 5th age.

This is one to determine, as accurately and as much as we can anyway, the most "canon" friendly timeline of quests as a whole. Please note the word "canon" is very loose in this case. Of course, any player can choose to do which quests they want in which order, so long as they have the pre-requisite quests and skills, RuneScape is very non-linear in that fashion and is arguably one of it's selling points, but here I ask the hypothetical question: What if it were linear? What order would the quests take place in?

You might ask: How can we determine this?

I will admit it is impossible to create a linear timeline for ALL quests, however there are a few great factors that can be used to determine many of the quests placement, outside of pre-requisite quest requirements.

This has been a pet project of mine and a couple other clanmates over the months. It is very time-consuming, but, I really enjoy it, for some reason. I don't really know why. It's like a big jigsaw puzzle, except all the pieces are a solid color, and not all pieces will fit together. The goal isn't to finish the entire puzzle, but to do as much of it as you can.

However, I did not just make this thread off of the top of my head to ask you a hypothetical question, there is a lot of tools created to help us out, and a rough draft version of it entirely, and throughout this thread I will share all of the fruits of the research with you.

I hope some of you will enjoy this theoretical puzzle as much as I have, and perhaps more progress will be made with more minds on t
You can only fully appreciate a story when you experience it through the eyes of one of its characters.

09-Nov-2013 22:10:36 - Last edited on 28-Jun-2015 15:18:27 by Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

Posts: 19,808Opal Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Table of Contents


Page 1

- Introduction
- Table of Contents
- Factors: Rules and Guidelines: #1 - Forced Quest Requirements
- Factors: #2 - “Should-be” Quest Requirements
- Factors: #3 - Dated Journals
- Factors: #4 and #5 - Timeskips and Immediate Progress
- Factors: #6 - Player Knowledge
- Factors: #7 - Quest References
- Factors: #8 - Location
- Factors: #9 and #10 - Quest Difficulty and NPC Relations


Page 2

- More Examples: “Should-be” Quest Requirements
- More Examples: “Should-be” Quest Requirements
- More Examples: Dated Journals
- More Examples: Dated Journals
- More Examples: Timeskips and Immediate Progress
- More Examples: Timeskips and Immediate Progress
- More Examples: Quest References
- More Examples: Quest References
- More Examples: Player Knowledge and NPC Relations
- More Examples: Player Knowledge and NPC Relations

Page 3

- A Complete Semi-Canonical Timeline: Introduction
- A Complete Semi-Canonical Timeline: Part 1 - The Adventurer
- A Complete Semi-Canonical Timeline: Part 2 - The Champion
- A Complete Semi-Canonical Timeline: Part 3 - The Hero
- A Complete Semi-Canonical Timeline: Part 4 - The Legend
- A Complete Semi-Canonical Timeline: Part 5 - The World Guardian
- A Canonical Linear Timeline Progress [Incomplete]
- A Canonical Linear Timeline Progress [Incomplete]
- A Canonical Linear Timeline Progress [Incomplete]
- A Canonical Linear Timeline Progress [Incomplete]
You can only fully appreciate a story when you experience it through the eyes of one of its characters.

09-Nov-2013 22:10:48 - Last edited on 09-Nov-2013 22:50:47 by Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

Posts: 19,808Opal Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
The Factors


If you were to think of this as a game of sorts, “The Factors” are basically the rules and guidelines of it. Some rules cannot be broken, and must be upheld by every cost – if you break them, then you lose, since the goal of the game is to make things chronologically fit, and breaking them means you basically created a paradox. Others, on the other hand are just guidelines, something to keep in mind and to use as a sort of “guiding line”. The more you stay close to the guiding line the better, but sometimes it will have to be breached.

I'll value the factors in terms of importance to uphold, from most to least important, and explain a bit about each of them as well as some examples. The first five would be the ones I'd consider “rules* that are utmost important to follow, and then the rest being just the “guidelines”, varying in importance.

Later in the thread will be more expansive lists of examples for some of the factors.

Also, feel free to disagree or go your own way with the order I put these factors in, how important they are is just my opinion.


#1. Forced Quest Requirements


Obviously, this is the most important factor since it's actually impossible to do a quest without the pre-requisite quests completed, regardless of the relevance to the quest that requires it. No theory involved. This means even Mourning's End Part 1 and 2 take place in the chronological timeline before While Guthix Sleeps, despite there seeming to really be no reason those quests were required besides “making difficult requirements.”

A simple concept on it's own, but when you have to work with the other factors included, it's sometimes too easy to overlook this, and that won't work.
You can only fully appreciate a story when you experience it through the eyes of one of its characters.

09-Nov-2013 22:10:53 - Last edited on 09-Nov-2013 22:34:40 by Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

Posts: 19,808Opal Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
#2 “Should-be” Quest Requirements


What I mean for this factor is basically those quests that don't have certain quests required, despite all forms of logic saying you should have done it before this one. Essentially any 6th age quest really, but this factor isn't exclusive to just 6th age quests.

This is a very potentially controversial factor, as I know there are many players who would be on the front line to defend the logic behind it not being a requirement. Other, non-6th age quest examples would be like While Guthix Sleeps being required to complete Nomad's Requiem, and Nomad's Requiem being required to complete Ritual of the Mahjarrat, or Hunt for Red Raktuber being required for Salt in the Wound, or the General's Shadow Miniquest for Ritual of the Mahjarrat.

Someone can always come along and say “but Lucien was still powerful before Temple of Ikov and While Guthix Sleeps, and Nomad didn't know that Lucien died, he might have still been preparing to defeat him” or “Captain Marlin was just insane, the sea slug wasn't actually controlling him” but in this thread we aren't trying to say that these quests should actually be added, in-game as requirements, only theoretically proposing what makes the most “logical sense.” We've seen many a case where quests that would logically take place before or after another quest aren't made as requirements so that the quests are more accessible to a wider audience of players, so while it works one way in that “if it's required it has to have taken place before”, it doesn't mean “if it's not required, it must be irrelevant to the plot advancements of this quest”

The other problem with this factor is determining whether it belongs in this “tier” of importance, or similar, less-important ones I call the “Player Knowledge” and “Quest References” factor.

I have a list of these later on in the thread, but it's definitely not a conclusive list, so add on to it if you know any more.
You can only fully appreciate a story when you experience it through the eyes of one of its characters.

09-Nov-2013 22:10:58 - Last edited on 09-Nov-2013 22:35:10 by Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

Posts: 19,808Opal Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
#3. Dated Journals in Quests


You may have seen me posting about this in other threads before, but there are actually several journals in-game that reference, explicitly, the adventurer's actions during particular quests, with a date on the entry. Other, similar cases are examples where an event takes place which is dated in a journal, and said event can only logically have taken place before when the adventurer would do the quest, for some reason or another.

Some may think time doesn't pass in Gielinor, but there is much proof otherwise that it does indeed move, we just don't experience it in noticeable ways. That being said, while there has obviously been a lot of things going on that it should logically be years ahead of 169, until we have any concrete in-game proof of the year changing (outside of the 6th age anyway), we have to assume that all dated journals that reference the adventurer's exploits to have been written in 169 of the 5th age. Well at least, if it's a 5th age quest.

Because of having to keep them all in year 169, that means if a quest has a journal indicating the adventurer doing said quest on say, Moevying 4th, and another quest has a journal saying the adventurer did another quest on Pentember 10th, the Moevyng 4th quest would, chronologically have to take place before the other, regardless of whether or not they are actually a quest requirement.

I've posted the full list of what I've discovered in journal dates further on in the thread.
You can only fully appreciate a story when you experience it through the eyes of one of its characters.

09-Nov-2013 22:11:02 - Last edited on 09-Nov-2013 22:35:59 by Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

Posts: 19,808Opal Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
#4 Timeskips


One might think that, chronologically the adventurer would just do a quest series all in a row rather than separated between quests, because they're already in that area. This is not always true, timeskips are when an NPC references that an amount of time has passed since your last involvement with them in a previous quest. For example, Monkey Madness has several NPC's that indicate it's been a good amount of time since the events of The Grand Tree quest, so chronologically the adventurer likely wouldn't do Monkey Madness immediately after The Grand Tree. Another example is The Giant Dwarf to Forgettable Tale, where at the end of The Giant Dwarf the Red Axe boycotts the Consortium, but at the beginning of Forgettable Tale it's said that they've now left the city completely.

This has to be one of the most numerous factors involved in determining the order of quests. It's also one of the most difficult to work with, since it relies on direct transcripts of the quest and NPC dialogues. You really have to delve into it to find them.

A good rule of thumb is that, most quests that start with the same NPC that you talked to end the previous quest, is likely a timeskip of some sort. Not always, though, which is what brings me to my next factor.


#5 Immediate Progress


While a lot of quest series will have timeskips between parts of their series-based quests, some actually have indications that the next quest in the series would have to take place immediately after ending the last one. These are a bit easier to find than Timeskips, since the only places these indications could be are during the end of the previous quest and the beginning of the next.

Some examples include Mourning's End Part 1 and Mourning's End Part 2, Rune Mysteries and Rune Memories, Shattered Hearts and Diamond in the Rough, In Search of the Myreque and In Aid of the Myreque, Jungle Potion and Tai Bwo Wannai Trio, among several others.
You can only fully appreciate a story when you experience it through the eyes of one of its characters.

09-Nov-2013 22:11:06 - Last edited on 09-Nov-2013 22:36:38 by Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

Posts: 19,808Opal Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
#6 Player Knowledge


Sometimes the adventurer will reference things in quests that they learn in a separate quest, despite that quest not being required for the one they're doing. For example in Darkness of Hallowvale the adventurer brings up Zanaris, despite Lost City not being a requirement. I also include rare cases of things that show the adventurer's level of knowledge of a subject, or whether or not said knowledge should be revealed at this point in time.

It's rather varied, this factor is. Perhaps a couple examples would help...

In The Feud quest, the adventurer comments on getting fed up with two rival gangs in Pollniveach and says something along the lines of “I have this irrational hatred for megalomaniac zealot cultist groups, prepare to meet Icthy-Larry-Inn or whoever!” to me this would indicate that the player doesn't know too much about Icthlarin if he/she can't even say his name right, so I'd say this happens before Icthlarin's little Helper.

Post-quest dialogue with Char after completing Firemaker's Curse indicates that the player never told Char about how we've worked with Azzanadra before because she was too busy trying to kill us during the quest. This, to me, indicates that the player already has helped Azzanadra (Temple at Senntisten) before doing Firemaker's Curse, rather than helping afterwards, because then you can't really say “I didn't say it then because the others were watching and you were trying to kill us”, it would be “I didn't say it then because it wouldn't have been true at the time”.

Post-quest dialogue with Elder Kiln talks about the Stone of Jas, and, while this one's a bit iffy, I really think the Stone of Jas should be only first mentioned explicitly in While Guthix Sleeps. It kind of kills the dramaticness if you've heard the name of it beforehand, when in While Guthix Sleeps the main point is trying to find out that the Stone of Jas is actually the Fist of Guthix and Eye of Saradomin.
You can only fully appreciate a story when you experience it through the eyes of one of its characters.

09-Nov-2013 22:11:09 - Last edited on 09-Nov-2013 22:37:17 by Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

Posts: 19,808Opal Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
#7 Quest References


Some quests have mandatory references to other quests regardless of if you've completed them or not, but they might not always be direct. For example, One Small Favour could be argued to be referenced in many quests whenever a chore of sorts is brought up to the adventurer making a big deal about it, other times it may seem like a more direct reference to one small favour like “Oh, it's just one small favour.” “Where have I heard that before...”

Some quests, on the other hand, have optional references to other quests, that only appear if you've actually completed them or not, like Rune Mechanics referencing The Golem quest if it's been completed, or Digsite being referenced if you do that before What Lies Below. It's nice to gather as many quest references as possible with this linear quest order, but sometimes they have to be disregarded for more important factors.

There is at least one case where a quest will reference another quest, and that quest referencing the other quest depending on the order you do them in: Swan Song references My Arm's Big Adventure if you've done that before, and vice versa. I feel that was just a joke on Mod Ash's part.
You can only fully appreciate a story when you experience it through the eyes of one of its characters.

09-Nov-2013 22:11:14 - Last edited on 09-Nov-2013 22:37:51 by Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

Posts: 19,808Opal Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
#8 Location


We're getting into the very unimportant factors, these are merely guidelines to work with now, but one factor I like to heavily consider when figuring out a full linear working list (for other purposes) is the location between where quests start and end, relative to where other quests in the area begin.

Basically, when you start out as a very inexperienced adventurer with little means of travel, it's likely this inexperienced adventurer wouldn't travel far before they run into a quest, rather than jumping over to Morytania instantaneously. So when I work on full linear lineups, I usually have my map open, think about where quests start and end, and connect the dots. Of course, I have to keep all of the above factors in mind when doing so, so I can't just go down south of Burthorpe after the tutorial and do Witch's House quest because it's close, because due to the journal dates, Witch's House takes place after the Hand in the Sand quest.

So rather than a line it becomes a circle all around Gielinor, usually looping over and over due to the timeskips everywhere, trying to stay within a good close distance to another quest to continue my trail, or keep some means of stationary transportation nearby to explain that they used that.

Oh, if you do plan to use this factor often, do remember that quests don't always end where they start. Temple of Ikov begins in Ardougne and ends in Varrock. Cold War begins in Ardougne and ends on the Iceberg. Rocking out Begins at Mos'Le Harmless/Port Phasmatys but ends on The Rock. It may even be useful to use those quests as ways to head in a different direction if you're nearing the end of a quest area line.

But, again, there's nothing saying the adventurer can't just go miles away to do a quest somewhere else first, and if the above factors make that seem more likely, then you should go with that instead.
You can only fully appreciate a story when you experience it through the eyes of one of its characters.

09-Nov-2013 22:11:18 - Last edited on 09-Nov-2013 22:38:16 by Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

Robo Hobo

Posts: 19,808Opal Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
#9 Quest Difficulty


I value this very low on the scale, but I also keep it in mind. It's not impossible to just go off and help some guy with his pig problem right after battling the generals of the gods themselves and watching Guthix die first-hand by a Mahjarrat, but when possible it'd be best to avoid those situations if it's within reason of explanation. It's all about keeping a good balance, a good mix of things.

But if we're to look at it from a very wide perspective, generally, things would get more difficult over time.


#10 NPC Relations


This is the lowest factor on the scale in my opinion, but, it's worth mentioning regardless. Very rarely there are some cases where in a quest an NPC will act rude to you or act like you've not helped them before, when you should, logically be known in that area by that point in time. Some examples are Tai Bwo Wannai Trio if you've already done Shilo Village, the beginning of the quest has Timfraku a bit annoyed with your presence, when, dude, you just like took care of some crazy necromancer on Karamja. Be nice! Sir Amik doesn't recognize you during What's Mine is Yours regardless of if you've done quests involving him before. King Roald calls you names and threatens to have you beheaded during Priest in Peril due to what you did, regardless of how many times you may have helped him out prior to that quest.

In Missing, Presumed Death, the Odd Old Man has his bonesack talking during the dialogue if you haven't finished the skeletal horror miniquest, and he acts like he's still being controlled by it regardless of if it was fixed or not...but that's 6th age, so, as you can see. Not every case of this can be made to 'fit', due to more important factors.
You can only fully appreciate a story when you experience it through the eyes of one of its characters.

09-Nov-2013 22:11:23 - Last edited on 09-Nov-2013 22:39:03 by Robo Hobo

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