Pest Control (often known simply as PC) is a co-operative multiplayer combat Activity. Players must defend a non-player character known as the Void Knight from an onslaught of monsters, while at the same time destroying the portals from which the monsters spawn. The activity is played in the name of Guthix, to retain balance in the world which may be disrupted by an influx of monsters. It is run by an order of Guthix known as the Void Knights. Please note that this is a "Safe" activity. If you die, you will keep your items. Players will respawn on the lander and can rejoin combat immediately. Hitpoints, the special attack meter, Prayer Points, and run energy are restored at the end of each game. The activity is divided into three boats; access to each boat is determined by the player's combat level.
- 1 Requirements
- 2 The Outpost
- 3 Winning
- 4 Monsters
- 5 Tips
- 6 Rewards
- 7 Clan Benefits
- 8 Worlds
- 9 History
- 10 Trivia
The only requirement to participate in a game of Pest Control is a combat level of 40 or above. To use the Intermediate lander, a player must have a combat level of 70 or higher, and to use the Veteran lander, a player must have a combat level of 100 or higher.
In order to receive commendation points, a player must inflict 500 points of damage before the end of the game. Repairing a barricade or gate on the island awards the player 5 points, allowing players who may not be able to get the required points in the time allotted, or for players who do not want to train a combat-related skill.
A game of Pest Control can be played by five to 25 players. Multiple games may be played at once by many groups of 25 players. Anyone who wishes to play must board the lander. If the lander fills with 25 players, the game will begin automatically. Otherwise, players must wait five minutes for the game to begin.
Pets are not allowed on the island. Dwarven Multicannons and Familiars may not be used during the activity.
The Void Knight outpost from which games of Pest Control start can be reached by talking to the Squire at Port Sarim.
The Outpost is an island, with various utilities, including a bank, a general store, an anvil (Along with a smith who can repair Barrows armour) a ranged shop, and a magic store (Which stocks body, air, water, earth, fire, mind, chaos, and death runes). Harboured at the docks in the southwest corner of the island are three, LCVP-styled ships which a player must board to participate in the minigame. The ships carry a combat level requirement of 40, 70 or 100 to board. The ship must have at least 5 users on board before the minigame may begin. Packed worlds such as world 2 are difficult to enter, so players often avoid these worlds for minigames, hence the lack of players on the boat. Some worlds are more popular than others, such as worlds 78, 91, 99, 111, 116, 124, and 144, which are often designated the "PC World(s)", or worlds chosen by players or clans to gather.
The rules for pest control are simple. There are two ways to win the game:
- Keep the Void Knight alive for 20 minutes (very difficult) or
- Destroy all 4 portals before the Void Knight is killed.
There are several ways to defend the knight. Fundamental strategies are:
- A few players stay near the knight and kill shifters who attack.
- Close the gates! Most monsters can't attack through closed gates.
- Gang the portals and destroy them fast. Ends game faster, and heals Void Knight.
Each portal is weak against one or more attack style.
- East Portal/Blue - Magic
- Southeast Portal/Yellow - Slash
- Southwest Portal/Red - Crush or Stab
- West Portal/Purple - Range
Monsters are the beasts that spawn out of portals to kill players or the Void Knight.
Brawlers are the largest and most powerful creatures in the Pest Control minigame, and they defend the portals. They look like gorillas with spikes sprouting from their backs and a pointed snout. Normally they will not attack the fort, though they are still a match for any attempting to destroy the portal. Their combat levels can be 51, 76, 101 or 129 and their colouring is based on these levels. Brawlers are the only creatures that you cannot run through - they block your path in a similar manner to the barricades in the Castle Wars minigame. When you see one of these creatures ignore them, for they are the least priority to kill unless they're in your way.
You can use Brawlers as an advantage by making a Brawler attack, and follow you, to the steps where the void knight is. This way, no monsters can get throught the brawler to attack the knight, also, Shifters and Torchers will not be able to shoot over the brawler at the knight.
Defilers are fast, agile creatures in the Pest Control minigame. They have the appearance of the lower half of a snake, a humanoid top half and a face resembling that of a cat. They can throw barbs over long distances, can inflict a large amount of Range type damage with the barbs, and will actively attack the Void Knight. They can even launch their barbs over walls, though if they're in the spaces right in front of one of the three gates, they can't shoot over it, so keeping them closed will block those directly in front of it. Their combat levels range can be 33, 50, 67, 84, or 100 and their colouring is based on these levels.
Ravagers are short, humanoid creatures with large claws in the Pest Control minigame. Their appearance is closely related to that of a mole with over sized claws and red eyes. They are capable of tearing down the gates and so they must be killed to protect the void knight of dying from the torchers and defilers. However, they are relatively weak when it comes to direct combat. Their combat levels can be 36, 52, 71, 88, or 106 and their colouring is based on these levels. When attacked, a ravager will often continue destroying it's target (if any) before engaging in combat with the attacking player, and may also destroy anything nearby that gets repaired, and are the second priority to kill
Shifters are creatures that excel in melee combat and can teleport across the island and even past walls. For this reason, they're very dangerous for those on defence since they can teleport right next to the Void Knight and attack him. They have the bottom half of a spider with the scythes of a praying mantis (similar to the Abyssal demon). Their combat levels can be 38, 57, 75, 90, or 104 and their colouring is based on these levels.
Spinners are creatures that appear as spinning tops and float above the ground. They repair the portal on the island and must be defeated if the portals are to be destroyed, therefore you have to kill these creatures first before you pile on the portal. If the humans over power the portal and destroy it before the spinner can finish healing, it will begin to spin around and then explode hitting all players within a few squares with poison that hits 5s. Their combat levels can be 37, 55, 74, 87, or 92. They are the first priority to kill.
Splatters are creatures that appear like a giant ball with a single eye in the middle and liquid inside them. They will go towards the fort and detonate, causing big damage to all players, monsters, and objects in the immediate vicinity. This will also happen if they are killed, which is often easy since they're often low level and weak defensively. When a splatter "detonates" near another splatter, if the secondary splatters' Hit Points are low enough, the damage may cause a chain reaction, increasing the overall damage. Their combat levels can be 21, 32, 43, 54, or 65 and their colouring is based on these levels. If the opportunity arises, you can use the splatters sort of like a Void Seal by detonating them near large groups of monsters. This does not work on portals. Also, if you are fast enough, if you run away when you know they are going to detonate but have not started the detonation, like just after you finish them off, you can avoid the detonation. This is unreliable, however. Currently no prayer protection can defend against their "detonation". Players wearing Barrows equipment|Dharok's equipment may wish to kill Splatters to lower their health and activate the set effect to do extra damage. Killing them is a higher priority the closer they get to the gates, as their explosions can damage the gates.
Torchers are creatures that look like winged worms and will actively attack the Void Knight. They have a long distance magical attack which can harm both players and the Void Knight. They can even launch this attack over walls, though if they're in the spaces right in front of one of the three gates, they can't shoot over it, so keeping them closed will block those directly in front of it. Their combat levels can be 33, 49, 67, 83, or 100 and their colouring is based on these levels.
A portal is not technically a monster, but it is attackable by players. Each one has 250 health, or 200 in the level 40 boat, and will spawn monsters until destroyed. Players have to wait until the shield around it disappears before the attack may begin. Its defence is very high, so be sure to have a high attack and strength level when attempting to attack it. Using the dragon battleaxe's special attack, a strength potion, or attack and strength enhancing prayers can also be very useful. Upon the destruction of a portal, the Void Knight will gain 60 health back (50 on the level 40 boat). Beware of spinners, as they can heal the portals, and will poison all surrounding players if the portal is destroyed before them.
A common misconception is that using special attacks on the portals will cause Spinners to appear, but this is nothing more than a myth.
Pest Control Tactics
On 17 July 2007, as part of their update to the game, Jagex introduced a shield on the portals. Players are not able to attack portals while the portal's shield is up; all portals start with shields up, with the first portal's shield disabled by the Void Knight 15 seconds into the game. Every 30 seconds, another shield is disabled until all portals can be attacked 1 minute and 45 seconds into the game. This was introduced to counter the ability of high levels to play 30 second games and gain massive amounts of experience.
- Keep the gates closed. In the spaces immediately outside the gates, Defilers and Torchers can't attack the Void Knight. Instead, they will all line up outside the gate, waiting patiently for it to be opened or until they're killed. The defilers and torchers on either side will still attack through the air, but keeping the gates shut will completely stop those lined up directly outside of the gate. If a player really needs to get back outside the fort, check the East gate first, as it has a barricade that often protects the gate from attack for a longer time.
- The gates can all be broken by ravagers or splatters. When the gates are damaged, they can become unmovable until repaired. At the East and West gates, the pests only fire if the gate is breached or open. East/West side pests do not shoot at the Void Knight from the sides of the gate. This is why it is important to attack the South portals first whenever possible. South side portals are the portals that spawn the pests that kill the Knight quickly. As long as the East and West gates are kept repaired and closed, no damage to the Knight occurs from the sides.
- A common reason for losing a game is a spinner getting trapped in front of the portal, and one or more Brawlers blocking access to the spinner. When this happens, attack the Brawler until it changes its focus from the player who caused this problem to you. Once the brawler is facing you, walk backwards and the brawler will chase you. When the brawler does this, the logjam will free up and people can then deal with the spinner. If there are multiple brawlers, repeat until the problem is resolved. This usually happens on the Purple portal when someone keeps pushing the monsters toward the portal rather than killing them closer to the gate.
- Rangers and mages are particularly useful for drawing spinners away from portals as spinners will follow but only if there is nothing blocking them from the attacking ranger or mage.
- If you want to be on defence, there are four places you should look at. They're set in order of importance.
- 1. On the platform with the Void Knight. This is a good place for lower level players. You are within easy range of the lander in case you die, and there's always plenty of Shifters attacking the Void Knight.
- 2. Outside the South gate. From here, you can close the doors after all those people who refuse to close the gate. You can also kill all the defilers and torchers that are firing over the walls. Do not waste your time on those who are stuck outside of the gate and can't fire unless there are no other tasks that need your attention. Make sure to kill all splatters and ravagers as soon as they show up, or they will damage the gate and make your job a lot harder! The South Gate is always more important to defend than the east or west gates because the pests from both the southeast and southwest portals will attack from there.
- 3. The East or West gate, if it's broken and you didn't bring an axe and hammer to repair the gate. Stand just at the gate on the South square. You'll block the Defilers and Spinners entering the area. The rest will line up in a polite little line waiting for you to kill them. If you stand in the right place, only the one in the front will be able to attack. If someone is standing in front of the line, hit each other monster in the line so they all start attacking you. Then when the first in line dies, all the rest are attacking you instead of the Void Knight.
- Consider wearing dragonhide armour to the game. It blocks magic, melee, and range in good amounts. This is useful since all three styles of combat are seen in Pest Control.
- An effective strategy to reduce the damage on the knight is to deliberately distract every monster you can. If you can hit the pest before it "sees" the Void Knight and starts firing, the monster will shift its attention to you - which means it is ignoring the Knight. Protecting the Knight is the objective, not protecting yourself from dying. Meleers covering the south east and south west portals should attack ranger pests before they start firing at the knight, if done right, they will attack the meleer instead of the knight.
- Try different attack styles on each type and strength of monster. Most of the monsters are much weaker to the defence style than to attack or strength.
- Turn off auto-retaliate in your attack options. If the option is on, your character will run around randomly responding to being hit through the air. This makes your character much harder to control, should several monsters attack from different directions.
- When attacking a portal, stand in front of it but one step to either side of the exact centre between the portal and the Void Knight. As enemies spawn, they will cluster around the portal unless they have a clear path towards the fort. If a player is anywhere but at this location, they won't be able to fight their way there to attack any Spinners that appear. Even if the player manages to kill surrounding monsters blocking their way, there will be half a dozen others that have spawned while the player was fighting that will swarm into the open space. The player will then just watch helplessly as the Spinner(s) heal the portal and the player's Void Knight's health gradually deteriorates. Standing on the centre square hides the spinner from the other players, and the player will be unable to attack the spinner unless there is an open square next to them. Standing behind the portal is effective at protecting the player, as long as another player is properly positioned in front and doesn't die.
- Use prayer bonuses appropriate to the style of combat used. In an offensive game, it helps to equip gear that increases offensive capabilities at the expense of defence.
- Use the special effect energy. The Dragon Battle Axe (in combination with a restore potion), Dragon Dagger, Dragon Halberd, Dragon Two-Handed Sword, the Composite Magic Bow, and the Magic Shortbow all have special effects that can be of helpful use in offensive PC games.
- Spinners will quickly heal the HP of a portal, and must be dealt with as fast as possible. It is not necessary to kill the Spinners - only get them to shift their focus to attacking players instead of healing the portal (remember that any spinners on a portal that is destroyed will explode and poison nearby players). If the portal is regaining health, it means there is a Spinner that hasn't been dealt with yet. Spinners also make a specific sound with healing the portal, even if there is no spinner in sight. Use Right Click menus to pick the spinners out of the hordes of monsters that often accumulate in front of the portal.
- Ancient Magicks are very useful, since you can target multiple enemies with some of the spells. This is particularly useful in situations where Spinners are out of reach from melee players. However, the runes required are very expensive, and you only get half the normal amount of experience during Pest Control.
- Ranging with Chinchompas is very effective at Pest Control as it hits multiple targets in multiple squares. Like Ancient Magicks, this is very effective in dealing with Portals with piles of enemies. Also like Ancient Magicks, the high cost of obtaining them and the reduced experience you get from pests make this a tactic only for the very rich player.
- The towers are rarely used in this game, but the ideal team will have 6 high level mages or rangers in the towers to pick off unreachable spinners or brawlers. Also a thing to do is to get a magician to kill a splatter that is near a monster to kill them both (make sure no players are around), have 3 high level melee players with the Void Knight, and the rest of players attacking a portal (attack them all together).
- Being a monster itself, each portal has a weakness which makes attack easier. The blue (East) portal is weak to Magic attacks. The purple (West) is weak to ranged attacks. The yellow (Southeast) portal is weak to melee. The red (Southwest) portal has a balanced defence.
- In an offensive PC game, monitor your hits and keep an eye on the other portals. The main point is to reach 50 hits before the game is over. When large numbers of high level players attack the portal, switching to another enemy may produce enough hits to reach 50, without adversely impacting the time to close the portal.
Pest Control Clans
- Pest Control Clans are a group of players that play the mini-game as a group. The style of PC game depends on the offensive capabilities of the team, so PC clans tend to cluster around a certain range of combat levels.
- When the balance of a PC clan is disturbed, such as when a group of lower levels wanting to play the game, the players of a clan tend to "hop" to another world. Usually the clan uses a scout to select a world and all players migrate to the new world. Communication between clan members used to be very low to non-existent. In those cases, the private messages are turned to friends and even can be completely off when the Pest Control clan uses another communication channel (such as IRC) to announce world changes. After the clan chat update this problem has been fixed.
- The landing boat lands on the North Side of the island! New players are often confused and don't realize that South is in front of the boat, People are instructed to "Go East" or "Go West", then people go in the opposite direction. Telling people colours of portals is less likely to cause confusion.
- Not all players are experienced in the game. Give them advice if they ask.
- A lower combat player in a purely offensive game still can help by dealing with spinners around the portal. This can allow the attackers to concentrate on the portal.
- It is important to note that since the update experience is gained at half the usual rate in game. Because of this loitering around portals killing monsters is no longer as effective in terms of XP gain. The experience gained from the reward usually beats the experience gained during the game from "portal hanging" therefore a player should play "for the win" rather than letting others deal with portals while zeal is gained.
- Using Pest Control to gain experience in ranged, strength, magic, attack or defence can leave a player with less Hitpoints experience than usual. When considering gaining experience in any of these skills using Pest Control if you are planning to remain at a "normal" Hitpoints level you will need to use roughly 1 point on HP for every 3 used on any aforementioned Combat Skill.
- If prayer is trained using pest control saving the money gained in game can supplement your prayer experience if buying Dragon bones with the money gained. This method can almost double experience gain for prayer provided that the player wins most games
Winning players are rewarded with Coins and commendation points.
Depending on your boat, you will gain a different number of commendation points upon winning a game:
- Boat #1: 2 points per game won.
- Boat #2: 3 points per game won.
- Boat #3: 4 points per game won.
If the player's team destroys all of the portals, they will receive coins equal to 10 times their combat level as well as the commendation points.
If a player trades in 100 points in one go, they get an extra 10% experience per point. If they trade in 10 points, you get an extra 1% experience. Some players save points up to 100, then trade in, and repeat because of this "bonus" experience.
Note: The most commendation points a player can have at any time is 250. If you board a boat while holding 250 points, a warning will be given to the player to trade the points in. If a player continues to play with 250 points, subsequent games will not award any commendation points. You will also get a warning if winning the next game would result in wasting points, for example if you had 248 points and you were playing in the Veteran boat (4 points per game). In this event, winning the game would only take you to the maximum 250 points, wasting the other two. Many players find that the items you get from the 200 points are very rewarding, such as the void knight mage helm.
Commendation points can be traded in for:
- Experience in any combat skill that is equal to or greater than level 25. The formula, if a player is using Excel, is "=CEILING((Level+25)*(Level-24)/606,1)*N", where N is 18 for prayer, 32 for magic and range and 35 for all others. The experience this generates is summarised below:
Void Knight equipment
- Void Knight mace
- Void Knight top
- Void Knight robe
- Void Knight gloves
- Void melee helm
- Void magic helm
- Void ranger helm
- Void Knight Deflector
- Void Knight seal
Packs contain an assortment of grimy herbs, for example a set of 2 Harralander, 3 Ranarr, 1 Toadflax, 3 Irit, 4 Avantoe and 2 Kwuarm. Your mileage may vary.
Mineral (ore) packs
Packs commonly contains 25 Coal, 18 Iron ore
Commonly contains a number of seeds.
Many clans like VMC and soulfire were created to make Pest Control more faster and easier to gain points. Those types of clans rarely lose. They usually change worlds when the world gets crowded with lower levels and they start to lose. These clans are usually 115+ combat level.
The official worlds to play Pest Control on are:
- World 53 (Usualy the best world to play in)
- World 69 (usualy empty)
- World 115
It is not required to use these worlds, and they often have many inexperienced Pest Control players, which can be frustrating for players trying to get commendation points. However, landers in most other worlds are usually empty, unless a PC clan is present.
As of July 2007, there have been four updates concerning Pest Control.
- The first was the release of the game on 18 April, 2006. Initially, players of all levels were allowed into games, and there was no damage requirement in order to receive a reward.
- This was changed on 16 May, 2006, along with a game engine update. Players now needed a combat level of 40 to enter the game, and must do 50 damage to monsters or portals to receive rewards. During the first few months of the game's existence, players gathered on world 78 to play Pest Control, often bringing the player count to server capacity. Within a few months, however, higher levels established "PC clans", and began playing on other worlds, in order to reduce the number of low leveled players in the games. This led to very fast experience points for the players in the clans.
- On 19 February, 2007, pet cats were blocked from entry into the mini-game.
- On 17 July, 2007, Jagex launched a new update to the mini-game.
- Pest Control was split up into three boats, one for each levels 40+, 70+, and 100+, a feature long requested on the official forums.
- Monster and portal difficulty was adjusted so that the lower level boats were easier to play. The three boats now give two, three, and four points as a reward, respectively. However, each point now only gives 35% of the experience it used to. Rewards for Magic and Ranged were reduced a further 10%.
- In order to balance the effects of this, players were allowed to run through all monsters without being blocked apart from Brawlers, and Jagex introduced a "shield" on the portals, effectively making the shortest games two to three minutes long, instead of the thirty seconds possible before. Many players viewed this as unfair, and launched the World 99 riot in response. In addition, up to 350 players were simultaneously on the rants forum the day of the update.
In total, Pest Control has been a source of two controversies. Before the July 17th, 2007 update, some players claimed that it was too easy to raise combat, and had coined the term "PC product," which was usually used as an insult.
Jagex has made references to the "PC product" label in the TokTz-Ket-Dill quest. If you choose the plot option where a human defeats the TzHaar criminal after training with the Void Knights for several months,[TzHaar-Hur-Brekt refers to them as "Void Knight Products".
After the update, there was more outcry from players who trained this way.
There have been many debates about the experience cap being lowered and on the day of the release of this cap, some riots sprouted up in Falador and the Ice Plateau on World 99. Originally the game calculated this as your level squared, divided by 6 (or 12 for prayer). Jagex decided that was too generous, and changed the way it was worked out. Players who had pest points left over after the update had to spend all of their points to be able to get more, but they still had the more beneficial formula.
- After the second Pest Control update, the music was accidentally changed from "Pest Control" to "Chef Surprize" (from Recipe for Disaster). It was later fixed.
- After complaints that cats made it harder to click to board the lander (because players would click to "pick up" others' cats), they are no longer allowed on the island.
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