Timb-err: Old School Runescape's new forestry update gets panned for being 'too convoluted for its own good'

A forester from Old School Runescape, contemplating life next to his pheasant friend on a green field.
(Image credit: Jagex Game Studios)

Forestry 2, the sequel to Forestry, is another expansion to Old School Runescape's woodcutting skill. If you assume that something like chopping down trees is a casual, uncomplicated, nice way to kill a few hours—you would be gravely mistaken. I'm about to try and break this down for you, but even just skimming the surface is giving me conniptions. 

Basically, you go grab what's called a Forestry Kit. This thing stores all of the odds and ends related to forestry, of which there are a lot. Like armour that gives you more cutting-down-trees XP while you're wearing it. So far, so simple. 

To buy most of this stuff you need Anima-Infused bark. To get that, you need to complete events. To get these events to trigger regularly, as mentioned in the "new events section" of the update page, you need to bring some special items. For example, you need a smoke canister for the Bee Hive event, a Pheasant Spoon for the Pheasant Control Event, and so on. These are all things you have to craft by the way. There's about ten of them.

So there are ten events, ten items with their own recipes, a bunch of rewards, several different currencies, a whole laundry list of items to augment your woodcutting skills or brew tea or get certain things to trigger—it's a lot to process, and it's getting panned by the game's community at-large. 

At the time of writing this, the 2007scape subreddit is flooded with complaints, suggestions, and wondering what went wrong. The official update post is only 36% upvoted at the time of writing and the comments match the generally rancid vibes.

"Forestry is too convoluted for its own good," writes user TakeYourDailyDose, "Was it really necessary to gate interaction with each forestry event behind a different consumable item? Did we need multiple new currencies, one of which has multiple different interactions with different items? Does skilling really need more charge-item maintenance for min maxing? It's all just annoying, gameplay wise."

B4sticks responds: "But what about eating rations to gain more leaves to brew teas to get more exp from passively burning logs up to a certain tier only while wearing the anima-touched flannel fur-lined jacket of pyromaniac influence, for a whopping ONE percent more exp?" to which another player replies: "I don't know whether you're joking and that's very concerning." 

Jagex isn't faring much better over on Twitter, either. "I still have no clue how forestry even works," writes one player, surrounded by a swarm of comments lamenting how they just wanted to chop trees, you know? I think, more than anything else, this one comment from that original Reddit thread summarises the cognitive load these poor lumberjacks are under:

"Does the sawmill voucher work with the plank sack? Can I bring 27 oak logs for example and the sack (and equipped vouchers in my forestry kit) and walk away with 54 planks 27 in my inv and 27 in the sack? Also if someone doesn't own the plank sack you essentially have to do 13 log trips or else it won't let you use the vouchers?"

I'm not sure what I'm looking at here. Granted, I might just lack the vocabulary to properly digest it, but considering how baffled the community is at large by the mechanics at play, I'm willing to blame my confusion on more than a skill issue of the brain.

It'll be interesting to see if Jagex adjusts its attitude towards updates going forward, or if Sailing, old school Runescape's first new skill, will require you to equip charge-based hoisting gloves and create the lobster king's cage to trigger the lobster siege event to get foam-charged shells to trade in for caviar supreme so you can create egg bait to trigger the—you get the jist.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.