So, we're about halfway through May, which means that, for RuneScape players, we're about halfway through the RuneScape Road Trip. Since I finished up my journal last night, I thought this would be a good time to take a look at how it's gone so far.
Challenge Mistress Fara
The Road Trip starts at the Challenge Mistress in Burthorpe. She gives you a journal with a set of challenges to complete ranging from dancing on certain bridges to simply burning logs. You can do one of these tasks each day and have another stamped for you by a moderator, letting you get the reward without actually having to do the challenge. The reward for each one is a lamp that grants experience in a chosen skill. As you complete more in the set, you begin to unlock cosmetic items and, eventually, a new animation and a pet monkey.
The Outfit and the Pet
Honestly, I think the rewards worked well. Experience is always appreciated. The lamps made a visible dent in what I was trying to raise (Ranged, by the way. I'm not fond of training it). This works out since you're getting so many of them over the course of the road trip. If they made them worth too little, it may not feel like it's worthwhile to do the tasks. If they made them worth too much, people would be gaining too many levels too easily. I can think of Spring's Guthixian Butterflies as an example of what I would call too much experience too easily. As for the outfit, it's a nice little addition. The backpack is particularly nice, since we're somewhat lacking in that kind of item. It made sense for it to be the last one unlocked. The monkey pet has a nice design that I hope will spread to the other monkeys in the game soon. The Party Hat Firemaking animation, though, is a tiny bit lackluster. You'd have to be paying attention to notice that the logs have been swapped out, so it's not as good an override as some of the others that are available.
Daemonheim, one of the locations visited for the tasks
Now let's discuss the actual tasks. If Jagex's intention was to get people to go off their usual routines a bit, I'm not sure it worked out so well. They posted a chart with what people chose to do versus what they got stamped here
and it looks like people weren't willing to go too far out of their way on some of these. Notably, their attempts to get people to play Heist, Cabbage Punch Bonanza, and Castle Wars seem to have fallen a bit flat, since players preferred to take stamps on those. That said, the stamps may have worked to get people familiar with the world a bit more, since players were being asked to meet with the J-Mods a bit off the beaten road, such as at Ardougne's Combat Training Camp.
The Combat Training Camp
Of course, once an update allowed mods to stamp more people at once, a player only needed to visit these places for a moment, and even before then, the visits were spent standing around waiting for a stamp, so I'm not sure how the Road Trip did when it comes to getting people to appreciate some of RuneScape's less-used areas and features. It seems, looking at the chart Jagex released, like most people just tried to fit it into their existing routine. Could they have gotten a better response if they didn't do the J-Mod stamps? Or should they have put more focus on the Moderator-Player interaction to get people interested in the locations? I would personally say that it may have been best to have the J-Mod stamps be a separate thing from the challenges so that people couldn't skip the minigames, but would still travel across the world and see new places for a reward.