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Offseason Review Series: Day 7, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay BuccaneersDivision: NFC South
2017 Record: 5-11 (4th in the NFC South)
Subreddit: Buccaneers, MikeGlennon
2017 Key Statistics
|Category||2016 Ranking||2017 Ranking||Δ|
|Total Offense||5,542 Yards||5,816 Yards||+274|
|Total Passing Yards||3,926 Yards||4,366 Yards||+440|
|Total Rushing Yards||1,616 Yards||1,450 Yards||-166|
|Total Defense Allowed||5,887 Yards||6,049 Yards||-174|
|Total Passing Yards Allowed||4,012 Yards||4,169 Yards||-157|
|Total Rushing Yards Allowed||1,875 Yards||1,880 Yards||-5|
Introduction: There’s a Storm Coming, Master WayneWhen I wrote for this series one year ago, it was full of bright and bushy tailed optimism. There were many reasons to excited: we were coming off our first winning season since 2010. Jameis Winston was showing promise as a franchise QB. Our defense finished the 2016 strong and were going in a positive direction under Mike Smith. We had finally invested in skill position players to surround Jameis with more talent.
Though brimming with optimism, there were a couple of red flags I recognized, and it turns out, they weren’t only red flags, but Achilles heels:
Jameis’s decision-making and reduction of turnoversHe would wind up turning the ball over 18 times in 13 games (11 interceptions + 7 lost fumbles). Decision-making wound up being detrimental to the team in more ways than one.
the interior offensive line protecting him [Jameis]Our starting QB’s were sacked 40 times last season. Sweezy and Pamphile (both no longer with the team) provided sub-par protection throughout the season, and while Marpet grew as a Center, the team bounced him back to Guard where he’s a more natural fit.
a secondary that may not be poised to stop the powerhouse QB’s of the NFC SouthThe team allowed a league-worst 4,169 passing yards. Vernon Hargreaves III didn’t progress as much as the team hoped in year two, and while Grimes continued to play serviceably, our Safety play from Conte continued to be a plague. Injuries exposed our sheer lack of depth, and once again, we proved our inability to answer the age old question: “How do you stop a slant route?”
a huge question mark around Doug MartinAt one point in the season, he was suspended by the team (in addition to serving out the remainder of his PED suspension) for violating team rules. He wound up with 406 yards on the season (2.9 YPC). He’s now an Oakland Raider.
the circus of our competition for the starting Kicker job (aka Dr. Roberto’s Wild Ride).The Aguayo experiment ended in massive failure. Nick Folk beat him out for the job, only to do his best Aguayo impersonation. We replaced him with Patrick Murray, and now we’re replacing Murray with Catanzaro—our 6th starting Kicker in the last two seasons.
So are the expectations for the upcoming 2018 season? There’s a storm coming, Master Wayne, and I believe we are about to witness an end of Schiano/end of Raheem Morris level meltdown with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a regime change from top to bottom, and whatever promise we had last year is going to go full Hindenburg. Let’s talk about the landscape entering July:
The Jameis Winston Suspension: I’ve already opined with my thoughts on Winston, so I’ll do my best to take my bias out of this and look at it from an objective standpoint. There’s little argument that Jameis would have provided us the best chance to win, flaws and all. Winston’s three game suspension to start the season comes against the Saints, the Super Bowl Champion Eagles (I need a shower every time I type that), and the Pittsburgh Steelers—all of whom were playoff teams last year. While Fitzpatrick played decently during Jameis’s injury absence last year, these teams are simply too good from both an offensive and defensive standpoint. Starting the season 0-3 during Jameis’s suspension is a real possibility. So what happens next? Does the team rally behind his return? Does the negative momentum and bad morale continue into Week 4? Does a pissed off Jameis return with a chip on his shoulder and play the best football of his career? Or does he try too hard to put the team on his shoulders and continue with his propensity to turn the ball over? The suspension is the make or break point on the season. We’ll see how the team responds (or doesn’t).
Mike Smith is Still our Defensive Coordinator: The Buccaneers made a significant investment in free agency and via the draft to upgrade our pitiful defensive line that generated a league-low 22.0 sacks last year. We used our 1st round pick on Vita Vea, traded a 3rd and 4th for Jason Pierre-Paul, and signed Mitch Unrein, Vinny Curry, and Beau Allen. But when you have a Defensive Coordinator who tries to play a game of Checkers with the Chess pieces at his disposal, acquisitions that look good on paper may not translate to success on the field.
Smith has been running a variation of the Cover 3/Cover 4—a scheme that is predicated on the strength of the pass rush up front. Though injuries were aplenty last season, our defense was painfully predictable. Four man rushes were the norm; in fact, per Pro Football Focus (PFF), the Buccaneers only sent blitz packages on 18% of first downs, 19% of third downs. Quarterbacks looked relaxed enough to sit back, sip on a pina colada, and read the newspaper.
The Bucs don’t have an easy schedule, and with matchups against division rivals Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, and Drew Brees, as well as Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Wentz/Big Dick Nick, Eli Manning, and a bevy of other solid quarterbacks, one can’t help but have a foreboding feeling going into this season about Mike Smith’s gameplans.
Mike Smith is the type of Fortnite player who gathers a bunch of materials at the beginning of a match, hides in a Godbush, and then decides to go charge at a fully stacked fort at the end of a game with a grey burst assault rifle.
Linearity on Offense: Good NFL offenses thrive on unpredictability and innovation. And then, there’s the Bucs. If I were to describe our offense last year, I would call it “predictable linearity.” There was almost an “If A, then B, if B, than C” logic to our playcalling. If it was a first down, it would almost always be a handoff up the middle. If Jameis lined up behind center, it was almost always a run play. If he lined up in shotgun, it was always a pass play. When Charles Sims took the field, it was going to be a pass. You know that Geico commercial where the evil villain reveals in painstaking detail his plans, ruining the element of surprise? That’s our offense. It sucks, and even with the addition of Ronald Jones II and Ryan Jensen, I have no confidence things will get better.
All of this said, I predict the Buccaneers will finish 5-11 this year, last in the NFC South. Let’s talk about the offseason (both Free Agency and the Draft), what to expect, and looking at our team top to bottom.
Free Agency and Trade Acquisitions – New Faces in the Red & Pewter
|Vinny Curry (DE)||3 Years, $27M ($10.5M Guaranteed)||This offseason, Jason Licht made a conscious attempt to overhaul our defensive line, and Curry was the first piece added to complete the (never-ending) puzzle. At 30 years old, Curry still has a few decent years left in him and should be an immediate starter at LE. It helps that he is a sufficient run defender as well, and should the team decide to move on from Willie Gholston, Curry will be able to step in and fulfill Gholston’s duties.|
|Ryan Jensen (Center)||4 years, $42M ($22M Guaranteed)||This acquisition tied with the Jason “Captain Hook” Pierre-Paul trade as my favorite move of the offseason, though it wasn’t without its downsides. Perhaps the greatest benefit of signing Jensen is that it will allow us to move Ali Marpet back to Guard where he’s a more natural fit and was showing All-Pro level potential before the team inexplicably bounced him inside. The ramifications of this deal, however, is that the Indianapolis Colts were the Bucs’ greatest competition to sign Jensen. By winning the Jensen sweepstakes, it made the Colts selecting Quentin Nelson at #6 overall a foregone conclusion. The Colts wound up with a player I coveted and who will be a generational Guard (I said the same of Chance Warmack. You can trust me). Nevertheless, OL was one of our many weaknesses heading into the offseason, and while our LT and RG situations are still glaring problems, Jensen at least provides an immediate upgrade.|
|Jason Pierre-Paul||Trade! Giants received Bucs 3rd and 4th Round Picks||Thank you Jesus. The Bucs had one of the most anemic pass rushes in 2017, generating a measly 22.0 sacks. The JPP trade made sense for both sides. Bucs snagged a 29-year-old DE still in his prime (with a potential out on his deal in 2019), and the Giants free $2.5M in cap while picking up an extra pick for a guy who wasn’t a good scheme fit for their new 3-4. A graduate of University of South Florida (USF), JPP returns to Tampa and will hopefully, maybe, probably, I pray to Glennon become our first 10+ sack pass rusher since Simeon Rice (I literally say this every time we get a new DE so I’ll be right, eventually).|
|Chandler Catanzaro (K)||3 years, $9.75M ($3.75M Guaranteed)||On the plus side, Chandler Catanzaro isn’t Roberto Aguayo or Nick Folk. On the downside, Jason Licht’s revolving door of Kicker strategy has come back to bite us in the ass. After the Folk debacle, the Bucs brought Patrick Murray who went 19/23 on FG’s last season (82.6%) and 21/22 on XP’s (95.5%). We let Murray become a Free Agent, replacing him with Catanzaro, who was 25/30 on FG’s (83.3%) and 100% on XP attempts. It’s a small upgrade over Murray, but was it really a necessary move? Will he be able to replicate his success in Tampa, or will our Kicker curse continues? Find out on this season’s Special Teams & Special Memes Twilight Zone.|
|Beau Allen (DT)||3 years, $15M ($7.25M Guaranteed)||There’s not a lot to dislike about this move. Allen is 26 years old, an adequate starter, and he’s going to do his job better than Chris Baker. Allen and Vita Vea will provide value on 1st and 2nd down and will be a valuable rotational player on the line—all at a reasonable price|
|Mitch Unrein (DT)||3 years, $10.5M ($4M Guaranteed)||Unrein may wind up being a surprise training camp cut, and this was a move I didn’t love, overall. Watching tape of Donovan Smith last year against the Bears, Smith not only neutralized Unrein throughout the game, but outright dominated him. And if Donovan Smith can shut you down, you need a come to Jesus moment. I don’t see a scenario where the Bucs keep McCoy, Vea, Allen, Tui’kolavatu, Ward, and Unrein, and if I were to guess, the last three games I named will be the odd men out.|
2018 NFL Draft Review –I came away from the last year’s draft with a bullish attitude, and I think you’re going to see some breakout players from that class (more on that below). My opinion is more bearish on our 2018 picks, and while we aggressively addressed some glaring needs on DL and DB, none of the picks wowed me like last year. I think this draft class will produce two quality starters in Vita Vea and Carlton Davis, and I’m on the fence about Ronald Jones II. More on that below:
|Round 1, #12 Overall||Tevita Tuliʻakiʻono Tuipulotu Mosese Vaʻhae Fehoko Faletau "Vita" Vea (DT – Washington)||After Quentin Nelson went off the board at #6 (Damn you, Colts), the Buccaneers found a trade partner with the Buffalo Bills and moved down five spots to #12 where we selected Vita Vea. I felt lukewarm about the pick at the time, wondering why we passed on Derwin James. After watching a few hours of tape on Vea, that feeling remains the same. Vea addresses a glaring area of need. Dating back to when Gerald McCoy was drafted in 2010, the Bucs have desperately searched for and failed to find a run stuffing complement. In effect, McCoy has been the only source of any disruption on the DL. Vea will most likely benefit playing in a rotation on 1st and 2nd downs. It’s a small cause for concern that Vea played 62% of Washington’s defensive snaps last season, given that he was presumably a centerpiece of their unit. Vea comes across on tape as an immovable object which will benefit the Bucs in run defense; however despite developing a reputation as a pass rusher, my takeaway watching Vea’s tape is his first step comes out slower than you’d like. His pad level is a tad high, and he tends to rely on driving with his arms more than his legs, but once he engages a blocker, good luck outmuscling him. I think the kind of value Vea adds won’t necessarily show up on the stat sheet. Look at this play, for instance. If you left him one on one with a blocker in college, he was going to stuff your run like a water buffalo. I think Vea projects to be an adequate starter in the pros who will be best utilized on obvious rushing downs. His pass rush and technique need work, but with proper coaching, he might become the disruptive phenom many believe he can be.|
|Round 2, #38 Overall||Ronald Jones II (RB – USC)||Ronald Jones is a blistering speed demon with home run potential. Once he gets into open field, good luck stopping that train. I happen to love his balance as well. Once he gets hit with initial contact, his low pad level and power often made him hard to bring down. The recurring problem I saw with Jones’ tape, however, was in his inability to let his blocks develop, and the lack of patience resulted in him running into the pile before his holes opened up. It doesn’t help that the Buccaneers OL hasn’t exactly been an opportunity creator for our run game, and that makes me worry about Jones’ transition to the NFL. Pass blocking is a huge area of work for Jones, and he’ll have to refine better technique than this play and this play, for instance. RB was a huge area of need for us with the decline of the Caged Muscular Rodent. Jones may never be Chris Johnson-type who he’s sometimes compared to, but projects to a decent pro back.|
|Round 2, #53 Overall||M.J. Stewart (CB – UNC)||There’s surprisingly little tape of Stewart out there on YouTube, so my analysis is pretty ill-informed. In four years, M.J. Stewart played all over UNC’s defense, flipping between CB and Safety and coming up as the 8th man in the box. Despite the versatility, Jason Licht has stated Stewart will be used “strictly” as a CB, and we need all the help we can get there. There’s two things that concern me in the limited amount I’ve seen from Stewart: 1. His lack of turnovers. In his final two years of school, he had 0 INT’s, though he did have 12 pass breakups in 2017. 2. Hip fluidity, or lack thereof. When he turns upfield, his break comes off slower than you’d like, and it allowed his receivers to separate Example 1 vs. Stanford.|
|Round 2, #63 Overall||Carlton “It’s Not Unusual to be Loved by Anyone” Davis (CB – Auburn)||I dug the pick, and while Davis may never project to more than an adequate starter in the pros, adequate is good enough. Davis is a big-bodied CB who played against top competition while at Auburn. Watching Davis’s tape, I came away with the following observations: He can get a little bit too handsy and I worry about flag potential, particularly early on in his career (Example vs. Georgia). He’s insanely strong and does a good job in press coverage of forcing his receiver outside. He’s a good tackler and does a well shedding blocks on run plays. Watching his game against Clemson, he seemed to get burned on a number of slant routes. So how’d he do against a fellow top NFL prospect in Calvin Ridley vs. Alabama? Pretty damn well. He held Ridley to 3 catches for 38 yards and had him blanketed the whole game. I liked this pick, more than the Stewart selection.|
|Round 3, #94 Overall||Alex Cappa (G – Humboldt State)||Cappa played LT while at Division II Humboldt State, but will likely start the season at RG pending some unforeseen disaster. It’s difficult to evaluate tape of small school prospects, because the local TV stations will send out potato quality cameras, and secondly, watching them play against guys well below their level is like watching Mike Tyson box a toddler. So obviously, Cappa was a man among boys, and from the limited potato tape I watched, he’s quick off the snap, uses his hands well, and has that mean streak you want from an OL. I really have no opinion on this pick. It’s a gamble, as any small school prospect is, but it paid off with Ali Marpet and hope it will with Cappa too.|
|Round 4, #117 Overall||Jordan Whitehead (S – Pitt)||He’s the cousin of Buccaneer Legend Darrelle Revis, so clearly, he’ll have the same level of success in the pros. It’s a risky pick given some of Whitehead’s off the field concerns that led to a three-game suspension, but investing a 4th rounder was the point in the draft where the risk and reward ratio were even. In man coverage, Whitehead looks like a ballhawk, and I was impressed with his closing speed. Play recognition certainly needs some work. Look at this play, for instance. It’s a play action fake which you see him start to shadow his receiver but then realize just a moment too late the RB is in the secondary. Nevertheless, after his LB’s failed to stop the run, look how insanely fast he is to run sideline to sideline to tackle the RB. Whitehead could also sometimes whiff tackles. Deficiencies aside, it wouldn’t shock me if this pick ends up being a steal.|
|Round 5, #144 Overall||Justin Watson (WR – UPenn)||We now have three Ivy League players on our roster entering training camp! I was a big fan of this pick, and while Watson may never see the light of day on the field contending for snaps with Evans, Jackson, and Godwin, he adds solid depth to our WR corps which has become a strength for our rather thin roster. In the limited amount of Watson I saw, I liked his route running and footwork. He won’t have an immediate impact but has the chance to get looks in the event of injury.|
|Round 6, #202 Overall||Jack Cichy (LB – Wisconsin)||If Jason Licht has excelled in one area (and it’s probably the only area) of defensive scouting, he’s succeeded in finding talent at LB. Between Kwon Alexander and Kendell Beckwith, Licht has built one of the strongest 4-3 LB corps in the league. Cichy will have an uphill battle to make the final roster and will have to beat out Devante Bond. Based on watching Cichy’s tape against Iowa, his instincts and play recognition looked solid. I just really don’t like the name Cichy. Just look at it. Cichy. Screw his name. I hope he legally changes it to Ochocinco.|
Projected Starting Lineup & Analysis: OffenseQB- Jameis Winston (After Suspension): Last season, I was hoping to see a downward trend in turnovers. While his accuracy has crept up year-by-year, his turnovers are still downright stupid at times. Though Winston threw 11 INT’s last season, Football Outsiders speculated that Jameis had an additional 8 passes that should have been picks. These follies are not entirely his fault. Our OL was a complete mess last year, and despite the fact that we surrounded Jameis with more weapons, our offensive playcalling didn’t necessarily cater to Jameis’s strengths, instead forcing him to chuck a number of deep balls and higher risk throws that weren’t in his skillset. The Bucs would benefit from making greater use of two TE sets with Brate and Howard to capitalize on the shorter and medium routes. Bucs fans may not want to acknowledge this, but Jameis is playing for Koetter, Licht, and possibly his own job in the final 13 games of the season. The deeper a hole the Bucs get into this year, the more risky moves we’ll see from Jameis. It’s going to be an interesting ride. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 3,113 yards, 64.1% completion percentage, 20 TD’s, 16 INT’s
WR1 – Mike Evans: Evans has turned out to be a great pick. In each of his four years in the league thus far, he’s eclipsed the 1,000+ yard mark. He earned himself a well-deserved monster extension this offseason that will keep him with the Bucs for an additional five years (he won’t even be 30 by the time the deal ends). Despite the favorable stats last year, 2017 was quite possibly Evans’ weakest season to date. He had a well-documented sideline blowup against the Saints that led to a warranted suspension. And that’s my biggest concern with Evans, going forward. He’s showing a tendency to let the league’s top DB’s get into his head, and the angrier he gets, the sloppier his game is. Nevertheless, he’s the most important piece on the Bucs offense, and it’s not even close. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 84 receptions, 1,182 yards, 6 TD’s
WR2 – Desean Jackson: Desean Jackson played his first year in Tampa better than his 668 yards would indicate. I counted at least 5 or 6 deep balls where he had generated clear and significant separation from his defender, only to be overshot by Jameis. In all likelihood, this is Jackson’s final year in Tampa Bay. The Bucs will be able to cut him after this year with no ramifications to the cap. One player to look out for is Chris Godwin, who finished the 2017 season strongly and could be a legitimate threat to Jackson as our WR2. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 56 receptions, 703 yards, 3 TD’s
RB – Ronald Jones II: See above analysis. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 721 Rushing yards (3.8 YPC), 5 TD’s
TE – Cameron Brate (He Went to Harvard): Like Evans, Cameron Brate secured a monster extension this offseason. It’s been a good success story for him as a former UDFA who’s now among the league’s top paid TE’s. It’s a bit of a travesty that Brate and Howard weren’t on the field more together because of their potential for mismatch nightmares. Brate was on the field for 178 more pass plays than Howard, and while Howard obviously had a rookie adjustment into the pros, Koetter perhaps used him too conservatively. More Brate + More Howard = Recipe for Jameis Success, which is why I think we’ll continue using them separately. It’s a Bucs life. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 56 receptions, 627 yards, 5 TD’s and Probably Wrong Projected Stats for Oterius Jabari Howard: 51 receptions, 587 yards 5 TD’s
LT – Donovan Smith: At this point, I’m firmly convinced that Donovan Smith is one of the league’s worst LT’s and has been a roadblock to Jameis’s success. Last year I wrote of Smith: “Against middling pass rushers, Smith has shown the ability to compete, but match him up against the league’s premier rushers, and he looks like a Kenyatta Walker throwback.” Not much has changed, and there’s nothing worse than watching him in blitz protection. He tends to go into a panic and allow blockers to go untouched to wallop Jameis. His play makes baby Jesus Glennon cry.
LG – Ali Marpet: I’m glad the Bucs came to their senses and put Marpet back at Guard, where he spent two years progressing very well before they inexplicably moved him to Center. Incidentally, Marpet did an AMA on Buccaneers this offseason that was downright awesome. He’s an absolute unit. Keep an eye on him.
C – Ryan Jensen: See above analysis
RG – Alex Cappa: See above analysis
RT – Demar Dotson: Dotson remains far and away our best OL and is one of the league’s underrated RT’s. At 32, he’s beginning to get into that “father time is undefeated” territory, and when the time comes that we part ways, our OL will be reduced to a pile of sad mush.
Projected Starting Lineup & Analysis: DefenseRE – Jason Pierre-Paul: See above analysis Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 11.5 Sacks
LE – Vinny Curry: See above analysis Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 5.0 Sacks*
DRT - Tevita Tuliʻakiʻono Tuipulotu Mosese Vaʻhae Fehoko Faletau "Vita" Vea: See above analysis Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 2.5 Sacks:*
DLT – Gerald McCoy: You know how the Cleveland Browns took a generational LT in Joe Thomas and failed to ever give him the winning team he deserved? That’s Gerald McCoy for us. It has been nothing short of infuriating to see a revolving door of coaches and incompetent defensive linemen around him while he continues to produce with consistency. McCoy just turned 30 this year, and at this point, he’s probably a longshot to make the Hall of Fame down the road, but he’s a lock for our Ring of Honor and will always be a fan favorite. I hope he gets the ring he deserves before his career is done—whether it’s with us or elsewhere. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 6.5 Sacks.
WILL – Lavonte David: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the most criminally underrated Linebacker in the game of football: Lavonte David. From my perspective, Lavonte took a huge step forward last year, his 6th season in the league. His instincts were spot on, and he seemed to always be penetrating the backfield before runs could develop, and he remained fluid in pass defense. Next to McCoy, he’s our most important player on defense, but you sons of bitches continue to ignore him because he’s a 4-3 LB who doesn’t get sacks. It’s your fault. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 3 INTs, 4.5 Sacks
ILB – Kwon Alexander: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you one of the most overrated Linebackers in the game of football: Kwon Alexander. Despite missing four games with a hamstring injury, Kwon Alexander was selected to his first Pro Bowl last year. Kwon is what I would still call a work in progress. Physically, he’s one of the most gifted LB’s in the game: he’s fast, his acceleration to the ball is quicker than most, and he can deliver some of the most punishing hits. He’s got a lot of work to do on the instincts/play recognition front, and it represents his greatest weakness. Kwon’s getting better every year and still has sky-high potential. Since he’s in a contract-year, I’m expecting a huge one for him. Probably Wrong Projected Stats, 4 INT’s, 3.5 Sacks
SAM – Kendell Beckwith: Beckwith has had two rough offseasons in a row. He was drafted in the 3rd round last year and started training camp on the PUP list while he recovered from a torn ACL sustained in college. This offseason, he was involved in a car accident and fractured his ankle. There’s no public timeline on his recovery, though the expectation is he’ll miss most of the offseason. I was impressed by his rookie season and thought he did a good job stepping into a new position (he played ILB in college) and adding value from the get-go. Our LB corps is our greatest strength on defense right now, and Beckwith rounds out the unit nicely. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 2.0 Sacks, 1 INT
RCB – Brent Grimes: Brent Grimes is straight up old at this point. In a week, he’ll be 35 years old, and while he continues to play decently, at a certain point “decent” is going to plummet to geriatric patient status. With our additions at CB in MJ Stewart and Carlton Davis, Grimes may wind up losing some snaps this season. It’s likely his last in Tampa Bay, and possibly the NFL. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 1 INT
LCB – Carlton Davis: See above analysis. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 2 INT’s
Nickel – Vernon Hargreaves III: After two seasons in the NFL, things are not trending well for Hargreaves, a former top 15 pick. Is all hope lost? Not at all. He had a four or five game stretch last season where we played him in the slot, and the improvement was noticeable, but that was a small sample size. Hargreaves has struggled to get the defense takeaways as well, with only one turnover in two years in the league. With the receiving threats in the NFC South, Hargreaves will have to have a huge year three to justify picking up his 5th year option. I’m not going to get my hopes up on this one. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 0 INT
FS – Justin Evans: Of all the young players on the team, none excite me more than Justin Evans. He had a surprisingly good rookie season where he played with confidence, intercepted the Super Bowl loser Tom Brady, delivered big hits, and seemed to be all over the field. Evans must improve on his missed tackles. It was a problem going back to his time at Texas A&M, and it crept into his rookie season. Regardless, I think he’s going to be a really good Safety in this league. He’s our defensive player with the most upside right now, in my opinion. Keep an eye on him this year. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 4 INT’s
SS – Chris Conte: [Sigh]. Chris Conte is one of the streakiest players on our team. Some weeks, he’ll get absolutely torched in the secondary, the next week he’ll make a clutch game-saving takeaway. He’s your definition of average, but average luckily comes at a bargain price. There’s not really a better alternative for us right now, and after the TJ Ward disaster, Conte will have to suffice. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 2 INT’s
Training Camp Battles to WatchDesean Jackson vs. Chris Godwin for the “Mike Evans’ Second Fiddle” Title Belt: As aforementioned, Jackson’s struggles on the stats sheet last year were caused more from Jameis’s inaccuracy on the deep ball than an actual decline in Jackson’s play. Godwin finished his rookie season with a spectacular TD catch to beat the Saints, and even prior to that point, he was beginning to develop a rapport with Jameis. I suspect Jackson will beat out Godwin as the starting WR2, but Godwin will transition into the starter by the end of the season. That will likely end in us cutting Jackson following the 2018 season, which would save the Bucs $10M in 2019.
Money in the Bank Match: Harvard Ryan versus not Harvard Ryan: The prevailing assumption is that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the de facto starter during Jameis’s suspension. Not so fast. Despite landing on IR in the 2017 season, the Bucs front office was high enough on “Not Harvard Ryan” (Griffin) that they were willing to extend him one year. There were whispers that Not Harvard Ryan was actually ahead of Fitzpatrick in the battle for backup QB before his injury. I think Harvard Ryan will beat out Not Harvard Ryan this time, but don’t be surprised if the Bucs keep Harvard Ryan on a short leash.
Hell in a Cell Match: Brent Grimes vs. MJ Stewart vs. Vernon Hargreaves III vs. Carlton Davis for the “Julio Jones’ Supper” Title: We got a slobberknocker here, J.R.. What happens when you put Grandpa Grimes against a bunch of youthful DB’s gunning for his job? Well, you get some angry tweets from Miko Grimes (fun fact: Buccaneers actually has a rule dedicated to Miko-related threads. It just reads: “Nope.”) The four guys I named here will all make the roster, but it’s likely to put Javien Elliott, Ryan Smith, and Jude Achoo-Baromoomoo on the roster bubble.
|Week 1||@Saints||37-17 Saints (0-1)||Saints roster is as complete as it’s been since their Super Bowl win. I expect Brees to come out and have a typical big game at home, while our passing game will struggle against an improving Saints secondary.|
|Week 2||Eagles||30-20 Eagles (0-2)||I don’t see the Eagles getting a terrible Super Bowl hangover. At least, not at this point in the season. Too many good pieces on their team. I predict Nelson Agholor returns home to Tampa and has a monster game.|
|Week 3||Steelers||31-24 Steelers (0-3)||I’m expecting a shootout in this one that winds up a one-score game. Expect a 150+ yard game from Antonio Brown, because lord knows the only thing that’s going to stop him will be a giant meteor. There’s a joke to be had somewhere about Jameis playing Roethlisberger, but I can’t make that joke because Jameis will still be suspended at this point.|
|Week 4||@Bears||27-17 Bucs (1-3)||My own personal vendetta against Bitch Trubitchsky aside, I’m not as bought into the early hype train around him. In Jameis’s first game back from suspension, he’ll return to play a focused game and shred the Bears defense to put our first win on the board.|
|Week 5||Bye||5-0 Tampa Police (1-3)||HONK HONK!|
|Week 6||@Falcons||41-23 Falcons (1-4)||In our first game against the Falcons (who blew a 25-point lead in the Super Bowl), Julio Jones will do his usual dirty work on our secondary and put up another monster game. Fun fact: in 12 games against the Bucs, he’s averaged 7 catches for 118 yards per game. Until I see us stifle him once, I enter these matchups with the assumption bad things will happen.|
|Week 7||Browns||23-20 (OT) Browns (1-5)||Bucs have typically fared poorly against rookie QB’s in the past, and this may be the game that begins “the unraveling” in Tampa Bay. Expect an ugly game with a soul breaking outcome.|
|Week 8||@Bengals||21-16 Bengals (1-6)||I like the investments the Bengals have made in DB in the last couple of years, and Billy Price was a good pickup in Round 1. A lot of people are sleeping on the Bengals defense, but between their disruptive front 7, and an up and comer in William Jackson, I’m expecting this game to be one of those multi turnover head scratching games from Jameis.|
|Week 9||@Panthers||34-24 Bucs (2-6)||Panthers still have a solid defense, but their OL and receivers situation makes me think the Bucs stand a chance to wreak some havoc up front and make this a tough game for Cam. Series is typically split between the two teams.|
|Week 10||Redskins||21-17 Bucs (3-6)||I don’t really know what to think of the Cousins-less Redskins, but on paper this doesn’t look like a great roster. My best man and I have a tradition of attending the Redskins-Bucs game no matter the location and have lovingly referred to this game as “The Pooper Bowl.” It’s going to be one of the season’s uglier games. I think the Bucs will squeak out a win because Mike Evans has had a propensity to go HAM against the Skins.|
|Week 11||@Giants||41-30 Giants (3-7)||The Saquon Barkley hype is real, and OBJ is still a monster; not to mention, the Giants have a nasty defensive line. Expecting a shootout at the Meadowlands. I could see this going either way though. I don’t really trust Pat Shurmur as a head coach because he looks like Jim Zorn and a rabid Koala Bear had a baby.|
|Week 12||49ers||34-31 49ers (3-8)||I get that they’re named after the gold rush, but the name “49ers” is just stupid. It bothers me. Like the name Cichy. It’s gross. Anyhow, I like the identity Bucs God John Lynch is building with the 49ers, and while some of the free agent signings may have been above market value, they’re quickly building well on both the offensive and defensive fronts. I think this will be a shootout with the 49ers taking the lead in the 4th because that’s how we roll.|
|Week 13||Panthers||20-17 Bucs (4-8)||I like the chances of the Bucs to split the series here. I just want to say, as a Gators fan, I hate Cam Newton. I. Hate. Him. So. Much.|
|Week 14||Saints||21-13 Saints (4-9)||Expecting another defensive stifling game from the Saints defense. Bucs will respond with a few picks of our own, but Saints will hold the win in the end.|
|Week 15||@Ravens||24-21 Ravens (4-10)||I expect Lamar Jackson to be starting by this point. Hot take: I like him more than Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield in the long run, but Rosen’s my babe. Anyhow, I predict a monster game from Suggs and a lot of bad decisions from Jameis in this one.|
|Week 16||@Cowboys||27-21 Cowboys (4-11)||They’re going to hand off the ball to Zeke over and over again. I have no idea how the Cowboys are going to fare with their lack of receivers, but it doesn’t bode well for them. The Cowboys now have James Van Der Beek or whatever his name is on their roster. He sounds Dutch.|
|Week 17||Falcons||28-3 Bucs (5-11)||Falcons sit their starters in a meaningless Week 17 game where the Bucs rally for one final win. It won’t be enough. One day later, the Bucs go full red wedding on their coaching staff and management. I die inside.|
Non-Buccaneer Predictions for the Season
- Last year, I predicted we’d see a breakout year from Goff. This year, my guy is Patrick Mahomes, who I think will be one of the league’s most exciting QB’s for a long time. I’m all aboard the Mahomes canoe. If it tips, than you will too! Do you love Mahomes like I do? All aboard the Mahomes canoe!
- MVP will go to Aaron Rodgers. DPOY will go to Joey Bosa (dark horse: Myles Garrett). OPOY will go to Drew Brees. OROY will go to…HOT TAKE! Nick Chubb. DROY will go to Roquan Smith. COTY will go to Frank Reich.
- The NFC Championship game will be played between the St. Louis Rams and the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons will win. The AFC Championship game will be played between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots will win. The Super Bowl will feature an LI rematch, and Brady will win his final ring.
- Ben Roethlisberger will retire after this year.
- I love Jon Gruden. I love that man very much. But I think his return to the sidelines is one of the worst things that could have happened for the Raiders. I think the Raiders are an 8-win ceiling team this year with him coaching.
- The teams I think that have the highest potential to land a top 5 pick, in no particular order: Bucs, Jets, Dolphins, Bills, Redskins. I guess the Browns too.
- Coaches most likely to lose a job during or after this season: Koetter, Bowles, Jay Gruden, Hue Jackson, Marvin Lewis (it’s going to fucking happen one day), Vance Joseph, and dark horses: McCarthy, Harbaugh
[Table] IAmA: Hi, I am Phil Mansell, RuneScape’s Executive Producer – Ask Me (Almost) Anything!
Link to submission (Has self-text)
|I asked this question to Mark, and I'll ask it to you. There's a stigma against playing Runescape. Many people remember it as "that silly game everyone played in middle school." I think the game has matured a great deal in the past few years, but the gaming community as a whole isn't very aware of the changes. What will be done about this?||Maybe that was an issue in previous years, but I feel it's different now. Especially with the press outreach we did for RS3, I see RuneScape is considered a legit mainstream MMORPG in most places.|
|Much of the game revolves around grinding in one way or another. What is your take on grinding?||I'm not sure I totally agree with your premise. For some players, especially those striving for mega-efficiency or racing to 99, they choose repetition because of its speed. Believe it or not, not all players do that! With that said, we have tried do diversify the ways players can gain XP, especially through Distractions and Diversions, which have become a staple part of our content schedule in the last couple of years. We're also finding ways to make skill training more social (bonfires, nexus, etc), which also helps.|
|Will we see another game in the Runescape universe, like a mobile game or an update to Armies of Gielinor? (This doesn't include a mobile version of RS, which we know is coming).||Maybe ;)|
|As the game continues to improve, parts of the game that were once cutting edge will become noticeably outdated. How will Jagex avoid getting into a cycle of constantly improving a rapidly growing amount of content?||You're right to highlight this as a challenge. We've tried a few approaches: graphical reworks (e.g. GWD), full content reworks (Dorics quest, Prince Ali Rescue) and mini-reworks (demon slayer). I don't think we've found the perfect solution yet. Some of us are interested in removing old/dead content but that's surprisingly time consuming because how the game is all bound up together, plus it probably wouldn't be popular.|
|Will the world events be "functionally identical" to each other? That is, will all world events wind up being two gods fighting over a piece of land, and players must collect divine tears for a chosen god?||No they will be very different in theme, scale and function.|
|Why is Runescape a browser game?||Because originally the guy who created it (Andrew) wanted a game that could be played in the various different computer labs at of Cambridge University, without having to install it everywhere and carry around save files. Turned out he was on to something special and very prescient!|
|What are your thoughts on the concerns of players that RuneScape is becoming Pay-to-Win? With the cash shop that sells extra bank space to the Squeal of Fortune, what might the players see purchasable with real cash in the future? Gold, tradable cosmetic items, or EXP boosts? Is there anything you can tell us about the future of micro transactions in RuneScape?||I don't consider extra bank space as pay to win. Really it just lets you have a messier bank!|
|As we stated when we launched SGS, we have no intentions to sell wealth or XP, and we haven't.|
|What are your plans, if any (or more simply, do you have any?) to revive the wilderness, both for skillers and PVPers? The problem with attracting skillers currently is. The lack of worthy resources. The lack of defence, as pvpers tend to kill skillers just for 'the lolz' even if they're not a threat. So any plans to combat this? Posibly such as a bounty hunter faction that rewards players for tracking down skiller killers?||We do want to build up PvP again, and have put quite a lot of time into it this year - on-going improvements to EoC system balance, Demon Flash Mobs, Wilderness Warbands... We'll continue to explore ways of doing this. However we don't really agree with some people who say that simply adding high value resources into the wildy will fix the issue, it needs more than that.|
|Hi Phil, thank you for taking the time to do an AMA. Are there any plans underway to provide a better customer support team for Runescape? I've been playing quite a bit recently and I'm legitimately worried to spend too much time in the game and log in to find I've been auto_banned. It's no secret more than a few accounts have been banned by accident, which is fine mistakes happen, but it's worrying to know any kind of support ticket seems to have a minimum 2 week turn around. Are there plans for live chat or phone support being talked about?||I really don't think you've been banned for playing too much. We do not have any rules in place like that.|
|Yes are considering other ways of contacting our support department, but we're just in the early stages of evaluating it.|
|Will the next World event feature more or all factions (by which I mean being able to join those factions)? Or will it be 1 VS 1 again? I'm a Zarosian and I had to choose between Saradomin and Zamorak in the Battle of Lumbridge. Most Zarosians sided with Saradomin because Zamorak is a traitor. But I wanted to balance the fight by joining Zamorak and ensuring Saradomin won't get too powerful. Will Zaros(ians) react badly to this? Will the loser of the World Event die?||Wow, there is literally no way of answer any of those questions without massive spoilers for everyone! you'll just have to wait and see I'm afraid.|
|What do you think of this suggestion? It's awesome imo! Got it off the forums Imgur.||Hah I like it! I'll forward that over to the NIS team.|
|Hi Mod Pips, were there any projects or updates on RuneScape that you felt like they was rushed? If so, which ones? Edit: Also, can you give us any insight to why there are two new partyhat's in the quickchat; Garish-pink/off-whitepartyhats? If not, can you at least assure us that these aren't new tradable rares that we can get from SoF or cosmetic overrides on Solomons?||I'm guessing you are trying to lure me to talking about EoC? :) OK, I'll bite. EoC is an interesting situation because it went through a long beta last year and by the end of the summer the combat dev team had pretty much addressed all of the major pieces of feedback. But we learnt the hard way there is quite a difference between people playing on beta servers and playing properly, as a range of further improvements were needed. I think we're in a good place now, though.|
|And for your other question, I have no idea where those quickchat entries have come from, they are certainly not from SOF or SGS.|
|Over the last few years, runescape has become more about "who has the most money/best armour" than "who has higher skills". Is there any way for players who spend all of their money on skills instead of hoarding up the best gear to be rewarded? Some examples: Gear that requires high total level, high quest points, etc (similar to how the completionist cape has a lot of requirements, what are your thoughts on a full armour set like this?)||Part of the combat team's intention with EoC was to make fighting in PvE much more about skill and tactics than just gear. I think that's worked out pretty well.|
|Very interesting ideas for gear requirements - I'll forward your suggestion to the team who design that.|
|Just curious, what got you into working for Runescape? Did you always want to work on an online game?||I’ve always loved playing MMOs and being part of online communities. As a designer, social and persistent game mechanics are really intellectually intriguing! I also believe that future of games is online and I wanted to get into that :)|
|1.In 2012 we had eoc in 2013 we had rs 3 What will be the next big project be for 2014 will it be the move to mobile devises or something else ?||Yes we're making a tablet version of RuneScape, that one of our next big things.|
|This year theres being a certin lack of quests will we see the reagularity of quests return ?||Yup, many more quests in the second half of the year.|
|Will the upcoming construction rework let us make villages with friends or is this something for the future ?||That's yet to be decided. Summoning rework is unlikely to be this year.|
|Will the summoning rework allow NORMAL pets to have abiltys or will this remain a purely soloman thing also will it be in 2014? 5.With the move to html5 the map feel so small is there any plans to streach out the land a bit?||We're considering it but it requires a massive update to move everything around and keep all of the content working, and I'm not sure it's worth the effort (we could be using that time to do cool new content!)|
|I would like to add to this question. Does Jagex have any plans to begin READING ban and mute appeals anytime soon?||We try to when we can, but to be honest our priority it on things like account recovery.|
|For this matter where are the rest of the Gods?? at this point we are only seeing 2 of the, what, 6 or 7 we were recently introduced to. What was the point of the emissary's if we were still only going to be allowed to pick between Zamorak and Saradomin?||We designed the Battle of Lumbridge to be a focused and intense battle, so a 1-on-1 battle suited this best. The other gods will definitely get their time in the spotlight!|
|Your Emissarys choices will be used in future content, don't worry...|
|As an aspiring Game Designer, and in my 3rd year of Game Development at a University, what can I do to buff up my resume and prepare for the real world, finding a job and such? Thanks in advance for this bound-to-be awesome AMA!||You need to be able to show employers your skills. You need to make something to prove your talents. And if you're getting in to design, you need to both show your process, documentation and ideally something playable. Good luck!|
|So, I used to play back in classic. Are you guys proud of the progress it's made since Jagex was just one guy making it in his basement?||Yes, super-proud! Rather than "a game that is 12 years old" I see it as "a game 12 years in the making".|
|When did you start working on Runescape?||I played RuneScape for a while back in 2008, around the launch of RS HD. I resumed playing again when I joined Jagex a couple of years ago.|
|Does your character get any special perks being owned by a developer?||In terms of staff perks, we get membership for free and automatically get access to all of the cosmetic items in Solomons Store.|
|Hey Phil, with the release of RS3, can you tell us what kind of changes you're planning on making with the game that you couldn't do before. You've told us already that the gods will play a more prominent role with shaping the future of Gielinor, but what other changes are possible, and that you intend to do?||One of our big themes for the year is increasing player influence and giving you more choice. So far, this has manifest in a few different ways, such as the dwarf/gnome/pirate quest vote, the fully customisable interface system... from small things like player choosing the Divination skill cape colour to massive things like deciding the direction of the overall story via the world events. We really believe this is good for the game and the community.|
|We want to carry this concept of player empowerment even further, both in terms of how players can shape the story and even shape the world (remember we've got a construction skill rework coming later this year...).|
|I'm planning on getting my max Cape on August 3rd, should I be worried about Divination coming before then? Any plans to add a timer in game to help us track how much longer some potions will last such as overloads? Any plans for a type of api for us to create our own RS plug ins?||Divination will be mid/late August. No plans for API.|
|Any plans for seperate transparency on differant interfaces? E.G Bank, Chat, Inventory or Equip interface?||That our long term plan, but before that we want to overhaul the Quest Log, Bank and GE interfaces.|
|What´s the process when you hire someone? Like what qualities/personality are you looking for on a person that wants to work on Runescape?||Aside from role-specific skills, we look for people who share our values of being passionate about the game, working well with others and taking pride in their work.|
|There is a long-held "no assholes" policy for recruitment here :)|
|How many people are typically on a dev team for medium sized updates?||Normally 1-2 content developers, 1 designer, 1 audio designer, and anywhere from 5-10 QA testers and 5-15 artists (concept artists, UI artist, animators, environment modellers, character modellers).|
|Do you think RuneScape is going in the direction you want it to? If so, what things are you most happy about? If not, how do you think you will change it?||Broadly yes. I think we needed to try some big ideas, like the world events and player-influenced story. I think the increased focus on a central story will allow the team to flex their creative muscles more, too, because there is some amazing talent here.|
|This year in particular we've tried hard to listen more to the community and I'm proud of how that has worked: we did the '07 poll, we outlawed chance games, we became even more aggressive against bots, we made the NIS is a very open and collaborative manner.|
|In terms of things we could have done better, because RS3 got delayed we struggled to fill some weeks early summer with strong content updates. In retrospect we shouldn't have spread ourselves so thin.|
|Are there any plans to release an official soundtrack with the new RS3 tracks?||Check out the RuneScape Soundcloud page, Mod Lord has put a bunch of the new music there, plus entries from our recent competition.|
|Link to soundcloud.com|
|We talk on-and-off about a more 'official' soundtrack release but have no firm plans at the moment. I'd suggest using the play list feature in the game :)|
|1) Can you give us more details on the battle of lumbridge? Listening to Mod Crow's stream and he mentioned that something will happen, care to explain?||I don't want to spoil it, but there will be things like evolutions to the event over time.|
|2) Will divination be more complicated rather than just collecting tears simply?||Yes, it's a full skill!|
|3) Will we see all of the gods featured in-game soon (this year)||Yes, although whether you'll see ALL of them THIS year I'm not sure, I don't know the full details of what the team have planned, and indeed some of that will depend on how the Battle for Lumbridge concludes.|
|4) The 6th age quests sound fantastic, any idea on when these will be released?||The next one is in 3~ weeks.|
|6) Do you know anything about the 2nd gold membership email? It should be released before august.||No.|
|7) Will we, the player, ever have a choice to rise to godhood using the power Guthix has gave us. If not, what is this power going to be used for?||Should be coming really soon.|
|For the next 10 weeks will this be the only godwars event to take take place? How long will each of these events last? How long will this sixth age godwars last? Will they be around a year or even longer?||We’ve not decided how long the next event will last for, but it is likely to be in roughly the same range.|
|We’ve got around 2-3 years of story very lightly pencilled in, but because so much of how it evolves will be based on player decisions we’ve not gone into much detail yet.|
|How do you plan out your day, week, or month with everything you're responsible for as an executive producer?||Great question. I'll try answer it succinctly: -I have goals for myself and my team at weekly, monthly and quarterly increments. These help stay on track when there is lots going on and distractions are vying for attention. - I try to be ruthless with how I allocate my time. - I’m lucky to have a strong team, so we support each other if one person is getting overwhelmed. - I do a lot of time planning and sometimes Outlook’s calendar can feel like a game of Tetris, organising time and meetings in the most efficient way!|
|Hey Phil, how do you find time to make or design games as an EP and find time to play other games?||I don't play as many games as I used to - or want to!|
|I feel it's important that if you make/design games for a living that you stay up to date with whats going on and what your peers are making. It's a professional obligation that keeps you sharp and inspired.|
|What would be the name of the second skill we're getting? (; How much different will gielinor become in the next 10 weeks?||Lumbridge and it's surrounds will never be the same again!|
|My question is: How long did it take to create RS3? Was it a secret project before its announcement for many months or did you guys start at relatively they same time it was announced? Additionally, I love RS3 and all of the customizability as well as the world events. Can we expect more community involvement with the mods in the future?||Really glad you like it! We started work on it long before it was announced. The initial discussions started last summer, with planning and some preproduction development work taking place throughout the 2nd half of 2012. It's been in "full production" mode for most of 2013.|
|Any release date for Divination yet? Or even better, any hints on what the second skill will be? ;)||Mid/late August.|
|Hey, is there any news on a estimated full release date for HTML5?||It very much depends on how quickly the browser manufacturers make progress on full HTML5 and WebGL 2.0 implementation.|
|I'd be surprised if that was in the next couple of months, but hope it's before the winter.|
|Do you know how long it takes for a display name to be released into the wild for anyone to take? I am asking this because I use the alias OverDoseDx and would love to use the currently inactive, non-member display name someone has under the alias OverDoseD.||They get purged occasionally for long-term inactives, if I recall correctly. Or if the account gets banned.|
|Who do you support in the Battle of Lumbridge?||Zammi! Gotta support the underdog.|
|Do you think Guthix will return, if so how?||How can he return if he's dead!?|
|How challenging is it to encourage, motivate and keep the creative juices flowing for your Runescape Team?||We're blessed to have a very talented and creative team. Part of what makes developing RuneScape special is the team have creative freedom to explore their own ideas and have a real sense of ownership over content they produce.|
|What is your salary?||Hah!|
|Hi! First of all, thanks for RS3, graphics are awesome! gameplay, while confusing at first, it's really easy to manage once you know where things are. Question is this: in South America at least, there's been problems with log in, as it now requires an Axeso5 account (site i've never heard of, beign chilean). The problem is, me and, as the rorums say, a lot of people used to log in with their facebook account, option now disabled. Is there any way to revert these changes, or at least make it so one can log in using all three ways: mail, facebook, or axeso5?||I believe you should still be able to login via email? If you never connected your Facebook to an actual email-based RuneScape account you may need to contact our support department to help recover it.|
|Hi Phil, thanks for doing this AmA. How does Jagex deal with negativity from people who can't adapt to new systems? As a 7 year RS player I enjoy the EoC update and RS3 is coming along nicely. Also, how do you guys approach suggestions made on the forums when considering updates?||As mentioned in another answer in this AMA, it is certainly a challenge to find the right balance between keeping the game fresh and updated with interesting content whilst also not changing it too much for those who like it how it is. We try to get the best of both worlds, such as putting old-style presets in the NIS. Sometimes we're quite cautious - we built an improved camera for RS3, but decided to keep the classic camera as the default for existing players (you can try the new camera by turning it on in the options menu).|
|Mod Raven has mentioned that you guys may implement a way to receive the other set of armour from the Battle of Lumbridge after the event is over but he didn't mentioned unlocking the other emotes or the weapon overrides after. Will there be a way to unlock these after the battle or are we forced to switch back and forth every time a new tier of rewards is unlocked?||I'll ask him. Note that it may not have been decided yet. The world events are a new style of content for us, so we're trying not to be too prescriptive too early.|
|This question isn't really about the game, but do you have internships at Jagex? I really want to get into game development and it has been a question in my mind for a while.||Yes, in fact this year we're restarting an internship program. Check back regularly with the Jagex careers webpage.|
|Any specific Divination release date?||Yup, we already announced Divination was 4 weeks after RS3 release.|
|Can we expect the battle of Lumbridge to become more dynamic in the coming weeks, or is it just a resource race until the end?||The Battle of Lumbridge will evolve with changes it's duration, both in terms of reward tiers and gameplay additions.|
|With the introduction of RS3, we're getting a ton of ability to customize the game to how we want it. Do you think there will ever be a possibility in the future of allowing players to create add-ons to the game that in no way control the game, but interact with the game to create custom interfaces?||I don't think so, sorry. That sort of thing needs the game client to be architected around that sort of functionality, which ours isn't.|
|In the longer term, we want to upgrade the NIS with features like UI skins and maybe even sharable layouts.|
|Do you have any plans on making the bank a separate window for the transparacy setting?||We're putting back in back transparency soon. This was actually already in the beta but the feedback consensus was for it to be removed...|
|Why haven't the cash pouch and hp bar glitches even fixed yet? Try are both very small and assumedly easy to fix, and the hp bar one completely makes pvp and difficult Pvm near impossible.||I believe these were fixed earlier today - certainly the 0gp glitch was.|
|off I am relatively new to the RS world so if my "concern" may seem laughable to some here bear with me... What justification is there to have everything so bloody expensive. to need 1 or 2 million gp for what should be simply the next step in your armor or weapon when you aren't even above a 100 Combat is ridiculous and only encourages people to bot the place up. I mean I have been trying real hard to be honest and it isn't getting me anywhere at all. I refuse to bot or try to use the wildy as a place for quick loot but I cannot find a way to obtain enough gp for even simple upgrades. Why do you allow it to continue to be so grotesquely expensive?||RuneScape is one of the few MMORPGs with a very open market-economy, and that brings with it lots of really cool gameplay dynamics (such as the ability for players to be merchants), but also has drawbacks such as what your describing. Were we (as the games administrators) to exert more rigid control over the economy, the overall game would be weaker for it.|
|Hello Mod Pips, what do you think about the current status of player support? There seems to be a lot of issues not being looked at for a lot of players.||For the RS3 launch they're prioritising account recovery because there have been a lot of ex-players coming back. This will eventually go back to normal and they'll catch up with the other support issues.|
|If you want to do a real expansion I advise making the eastern lands. That would be real marketing. Runescape: The Eastern Lands. Meaning you actually make the place, full of quests, new skills, equipment and methods of training etc.||We toy with this idea a lot! Eastern Lands vs. Elf City is a recurring debate at the office :)|
|Please allow us to have the old tab stones back. With the new interface that is. its annoying to hover through buttons to get to something as simple as the inventory. This was not practicle.||We're going to continue to improve the NIS and we want to find ways for it to feel more familiar for those who really liked the old system. I'm going to do a forum and/or news post on the main site soon about it.|
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