The Needle Drops - A fun quest but pretty bad writing
Note: First of all, this post contains spoilers for the most recent quest The Needle Drops. Also, as I didn't unlock every single word in the Needle shard, I may be missing crucial information that completes the quest's story. If this is the case, disregard my complaints. The wiki page for the quest is totally incomplete (it doesn't even have all the mandatory words listed) which is odd considering the Runescape wiki is usually very quick to fill out new quest pages.
Whatever. On to my complaints:
So the quest was okay. It wasn't much of a "murder mystery", though. I was enjoying the story and where it might've been going but things became less clear rather than more clear as I went along, and as you reach the quest's final conclusion, you're thrown a bunch of stupid curve balls. There's an actual demon who possessed Megan? Gail is Primrose? Why?
-Nevermind, I wasn't recalling that "the demon fed on misery", so it was trying to make the family miserable. Still a pretty weak story element, however. "A demon makes them miserable" is, on its own, not very good writing.
Did Megan stab Gail out of anger, or was it due to the possession? When did Megan become possessed? Why did a demon possess her? Was the demon somehow trying to get the Needle? Why has no one known the Needle was just sitting there this whole time?
Gail was dead in the present before the quest began, but when I returned to the present time Gail was alive?
I won't go into more detail on anything since some of these questions might be somehow answered if I fully filled out all the words (I got most of them, but not every one). Feel free to explain anything if there are actually answers to them that I hadn't unlocked.
Other than that, while the music was really good and I enjoyed the random inclusion of a new voice acted quest (after some four or five years of not doing them anymore) the voice actors lacked a lot of direction. Megan in particular, while I liked her voice, the actress never conveyed much agony or sadness in her more emotionally-charged lines. It felt more like Megan was mildly annoyed more than anything else, though I sort of chalk this up to it being a 'memory' state, so full emotions are dimmed by the fact that nothing is happening in the present reality.
The quest was also a bit boring from a mechanical standpoint. It isn't a mystery so much as it is just inputting whatever random word you think has significance to the story, which got a little boring pretty quickly (through Chapter 1 I was trying to do the quest all by myself and put the pieces together but it wasn't much fun just hunting for random important words so I eventually used the wiki's incomplete guide). The quest boasts comparisons to Murder Mystery and One Piercing Note and while both of those quests weren't very fleshed out mysteries either, they were much more mechanically fun and engaging, and more RuneScape gold. A lot of The Needle Skips is literally just you standing there, trying to think of a word important enough to unlock more voice lines.
Not a terrible quest, but I feel it falls short of being a good one, despite how good its positive qualities are.