Forum:Release dates for unobtainable items

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Forums: Redwood Grove > Release dates for unobtainable items

Recently, on discord, we realized the closure of the recent release dates thread was pretty ambiguous due to the simplistic way it was closed and it referring to an ambiguous secondary proposal. The ambiguity seems to stem from the term "widely available" which people took in several different ways. Some people think that means when an item was first made "obtainable" for item release dates, some people think it means when the item was added to the live version of the game.

Our previous thread on the matter was also closed without any real comment on what the new consensus was, although everybody that commented except the proposer did oppose release dates being set to the obtainable date.

My proposal is that items which are unobtainable by players, but visible in restricted areas, such as diamond or, from what people on discord have said, monkey skull, should have their release dates set to when they were added ingame and not when they were made obtainable for players. Our subject changes section should then state when the item becomes obtainable and of course whenever it's functions change.

This thread is not referring to items only in the cache, it is also not referring to items only in betas. This thread is referring to items in the live version of the game which cannot be obtained by players. "Obtained" in this sense means players are able to pick up or have those items in the player's inventory. Hopefully there's no ambiguity left here.

Discussion[edit source]

Support - If an item was added into the live version of the game, not in a beta or the cache, it should be considered released, regardless of obtainability by players. Any subsequent change to the status of an item's obtainability should be in subject changes. zTUG5mD.png Crow 653  00:06, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

Oppose - It seems somewhat farcical to have a forum discussion over the release dates on 2 (two) pages, but nevertheless;

The only items that fall under this category (originally you could see them in game but not pick them up, but now you can) are the Monkey skull and the Old key. Right now there are several dozen other items that you can see but not pick up which I have tried to document here. There are also several not on this list, including Blue hat (Legends' Quest), Tinderbox (Cabin Fever) and Rope (Olaf's Quest). Basically anything that has the Illegal item template that everybody seems to hate for some reason. It's also worth noting that a lot of these items could be obtained in some form.

The consensus supposedly reached in the last discussion on this was that "Where applicable, [we] use the date that content becomes widely available." I would argue that the point at which an item can be obtained by players, stored in a bank, or used for whatever potential uses it has, fits this definition far better than when the item can first be seen in game. Certainly it's the date that is most useful to players; if somebody wants to know when Monkey skulls were added, seeing 2004 at the top then 2015 only noted at the bottom probably creates more confusion than it solves.

Anyway as for the definition of "widely available" I interpret this as meaning that, every player had the potential to obtain the item through a method that was not unintended. So many of the items on that list have previously been obtainable through glitches, most notably the Blue partyhat and Zanaris choir, but also some of the fake items from Cabin Fever. But they are only bugs that a few people know, that were clearly not intended to be used to obtain that item. On the other hand with the Burnt oomlie wrap; the method (allegedly, I don't know it) is just one that is very obscure, but not something that Jagex explicitly sought to prevent.

To summarise, if a new quest was released tomorrow where the Wise Old Man gave you his partyhat as a reward, the release date should be 15 March 2021, not 23 August 2005 because you could see it briefly in the cutscene. The same in my opinion should go for the Monkey skull and the Old key. Hlwys (talk) 01:35, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

I disagree with pretty much all of these statements besides not defining obtainability as "obtainable with bug abuse".
This would apply to 4 pages that I know of, not 2. Monkey skull, old key, diamond, and gold bar are what I can think of right now. I think it's likely there's a lot more items that fall under this category that I'm unaware of though, and there probably always will be due to us not having a time machine and actually being able to look ingame to see if jagex added any funky inaccessible item spawns after every update.
When content becomes widely available to players should not be synonymous with the date items become obtainable. An item being visible, examinable, and in the live version of the game is absolutely something I would consider widely available, especially given the context of the thread that comment was made on was about closed-beta content, which an extremely limited number of players could see or interact with.
I disagree that the obtainable date is the most useful for players, an item's release date isn't very "useful" for players in the first place, I think it's akin to trivia for most players, they don't get any use out of it, but it's interesting and good to document when things were added into the game. I think players would be confused at having a release date after an earlier date in subject changes that says "The item was added to the game". If we added release dates to update history, you're saying that the order of events would be "The item was added to the game" and then "The item was released".. 11 years later in the case of the monkey skull, and that seems nonsensical to me. It's a contradiction from my point of view, how can an item be in the game, I'm able to view it, I can even examine it... but you're saying that item is completely unreleased because I can't pick it up?
Why would seeing a later date than the release date in subject changes confuse users? That is the case for almost every page that we are using subject changes, changes generally only happen after a subject's release date, although there are plenty of exceptions, mostly with cache dates, these 4 items and this general case doesn't seem to fall under the existing reasons for those exceptions. I don't really understand that comment at all.
I don't see how an item being useless before it being made obtainable matters in the argument of when something was released, in fact I'm confident in saying that obtainability clearly isn't an inherent trait of usefulness or vice versa, given there are useless obtainable items like tiles, and unobtainable items which we know clearly do or did have a use, like Guardian Statue and most dummy items used in chatboxes or as icons on skill guides, they clearly have a use that benefits the player in displaying an icon or making the minigame possible, or items being useful for plot points like Wise Old Man's blue partyhat during the bank robbery cutscene or the various items during My Arm's Big Adventure. I will give you that unobtainable items are inherently unbankable if we're applying the same restriction as it having to be "widely available", however I think we probably still would change the infobox to state an item's bankable if a jmod showed that there was no "you can't bank this" chat message when trying to bank an item that is normally unobtainable. A thread for another day perhaps?
I would agree that bug abuse shouldn't be considered when determining the date an item became obtainable by players, but that doesn't seem relevant to this thread anyways. I think it's pretty obvious we shouldn't say "this item is obtainable" when dealing with items only obtainable through blatant gamebreaking bug abuse like a noclip-esque glitch or something. This thread doesn't argue that, and I do trust at least User:Andmcadams and User:Cook Me Plox when they say that the burnt oomlie wrap isn't that, regardless of their reticence on actually explaining how it's obtainable despite the evidence otherwise.
Your example of a blue partyhat is sort of bad due to it being in a cutscene, that version of the blue partyhat will likely always be unobtainable inside of that cutscene through normal means, but I see your point and I still disagree with it, if it's the same item, and it was already ingame, then the release date should be the original 2005 date, regardless of if a player was able to obtain it, regardless of it not being anything more than a plot point in the original scene, I actually think it'd be extremely confusing for players to see us disambiguate a well-known item from a cutscene and change it's release date to be 2021 when it has been clearly visible to all players since 2005. zTUG5mD.png Crow 653  11:25, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

Support - per Crow Gau Cho (talk) 14:47, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

Support - In my mind, a "widely available" item is not necessarily obtainable. In the case of the monkey skull and the party hat, players could/can interact with them (via examine). To me, that constitutes being widely available. I agree with Crow that unobtainable items can have their use as decoration/teasers, and an item's use changing (ex. going from decoration to an obtainable) does not at all seem to me like the release of the item. Similarly, if an item like cutscene versions of partyhats/weapons/equipment became obtainable as a quest reward, it wouldn't make sense to me to set the release date as the change unless it was a different item entirely as per item id. I understand the point that some players might care more about the date that the monkey skull became obtainable, but I think it's a bit of a stretch to say that this is the only date people would care about. To me, this is a pretty clear example of something that should instead get logged in the changelog. Andmcadams (talk) 22:24, 2 April 2021 (UTC)