|Release date||13 December 2011 (Update)|
|Skills involved||Agility, Thieving, Herblore|
|In spotlight rotation||Yes|
|Next spotlight||6 October (wrong?)|
|Music unlocked||Flash Factory|
After the Imperial Guard took notice of the old Rogues' Den, Brian O'Richard shut down his maze and opened the doors to his Flash Powder Factory instead. Inside players can operate the factory, while dodging obstacles and the sneaky fingers of other players.
Some Thieving experience can be gained from pickpocketing other players as well as Herblore experience from mixing ingredients at the Factory. Pieces of the old Rogues' Den rewards can also be found lying around.
Although the format of this minigame is similar to that of the Agility Arena, it is not an actual Agility course. Agility experience is not gained for traversing obstacles in the Factory. Thus, the surefooted/greater surefooted auras cannot be used here to prevent failure like at other courses.
All games at the factory take place on an instance shard world - accessible from any server but actually taking place on another server.
- Stat boosting items cannot be used to gain access to the factory.
- Players cannot enter the factory with a familiar or pet.
Playing the game
The aim of the game is to make flash powder. The first step is to collect the two reagents known simply as "A" and "B". These can be obtained from the reagent machines A and B, marked with blue and yellow arrows on the minimap, respectively. These can also be located by checking the map of the Factory, which replaces the usual world map during the game. Each game takes 15 minutes, or until the player uses up all of their catalytic powder. Wearing a Factory top or Rogue top will grant an extra 2 minutes to the time limit per game.
Once both the reagents have been obtained, they must be taken with catalytic powder to one of the four mixer machines, marked by the dark red arrows on the map, to make the flash powder and gain points. This uses 1 dose of catalytic powder. Players start with 6 catalytic powder, although more can be collected from the catalyst machine (hopper) in the centre of the arena, or found in the fallen rubble.
A minimum of 100 points will be gained for each batch of flash powder made. Additional points can be obtained when making powder by having a bonus, provided by certain factors:
- Charge - funnel charge can be obtained through an active charge machine, marked with an electricity bolt on the Factory map. The machine will give a 10% bonus for 100 seconds. Two machines are active at a time and are unique to each player. After a machine is drained of charge, it becomes inactive and another one is charged up. The maximum bonus is 20%, achieved by charging two machines. Charging a third machine whilst already holding a 20% bonus resets the timer on the bonus obtained from the earlier of the two machines.
- Apparatus - determined by the number of refining apparatus in the inventory, a maximum of 6 can be held at one time for 15% bonus when making flash powder. Players will have three of these at the start of the game; more may be obtained by pickpocketing other players in the arena, but they may also be lost to other players who are pickpocketing. The number of apparatus each player has will be displayed as a number of green bars above their head. It is not possible to pickpocket another player immediately after they have pickpocketed the player, nor can a person be pickpocketed twice in a row. There is a slight delay in the ability to pickpocket if an attempt to do so fails. It is advised to click quickly to either escape pickpocketing or to pickpocket the other player before being pickpocketed. A good way to get pickpocket victims is to click on a player immediately after they cross an obstacle. There is no period of immunity in the beginning of a game, so players can pickpocket or be pickpocketed immediately after spawning in the factory. Since apparatus only gives a small bonus, it is generally better to focus more on getting to the correct machines.
- Residue - increases by 1% for every batch of flash powder made.
- Factory outfit - Wearing the full set gives an extra 10% bonus if the bonus by the above means is equivalent to a score of 120 or more when making the flash powder.
The bonus stacks additively - the individual bonuses will be added together to form the actual bonus.
Taking advantage of all of the bonuses, it's possible to gain upwards of 150 points for each batch of flash powder made.
To navigate the map, players must pass agility obstacles that separate each room. Some corridors, namely the diagonals and the ones coming from the centre room, also have pressure doors at each end of them, which are sometimes locked, making navigation more difficult. If a player is trapped in a corridor by two locked doors, they have a few seconds to step through one of the doors before they get teleported to a random corner of the arena.
Most of the doors may be opened by operating the nearby call buttons. When the buttons are blue, they can be activated, and they will open the passageway next to them while closing others that lead to the same room. All the buttons in that room will then become red, and cannot be activated until about 20 seconds later when they reset to blue.
The doors leading to the catalyst machine in the middle of the factory work differently. Instead of being affected by the call buttons, they change automatically every 20 seconds. At any given time, two of them are open and two are closed. The open doors cycle in a clockwise direction, so each individual door stays open for 40 seconds at a time and then stays closed for 40 seconds.
While traversing through obstacles fallen rubble can be encountered (at times it might be difficult to spot - it looks like a pile of grey bricks). Searching these can yield pieces of rogue armour, catalytic powder, sets of apparatus or flash powder (an average batch, a rather decent batch, or a very nice batch). It is also possible to find nothing (useless rock). Receiving a piece of rogue armour is considerably rare.
- Rubble does not appear on the mini map.
- Rubble only appears around the Reagent (A) (blue arrow machines) and Mixers (red arrow machines).
- Sometimes one set of rubble can be searched a few times (up to seven confirmed).
- All players can see the rubble, and it is possible for a few people to search it simultaneously if they are quick enough.
- In rare cases two sets of rubble can appear in one room at the same time.
- It is assumed that with more players present in the Factory, rubble is more likely to appear.
- Players who already have full Rogue armour can still obtain extra Rogue items in the rubble.
- Factory mask improves possible loot found in the rubble. The helmet reduces the chance of finding nothing in rubble by 15%, spreading that 15% around the other outcomes.
- The 20% charge bonus is worth more than one or two more apparatus; try and make sure you always have 20% when going to a mixer.
- It's advised to exit the Factory if a score of 1260 points is reached, because more points than this does not award more Brianpoints. See the section on Brianpoints below.
- If you want to avoid being stuck behind locked doors, stick to the outside where possible. This will take you past the charge machines, and also past more rubble spots. However, this also takes longer than the most direct route, which is usually through the middle. To maximise your score, you should look ahead and open or bypass doors to find the fastest path.
- When choosing between two paths that have the same length, take the one where the obstacles take shorter time to traverse, like the energy field and counterweights.
- Once you're efficient enough, you'll need to get more catalyst since the 6 you receive on entering won't be enough. You can only take 2 at a time from the catalyst machine (and can't take any more for another 1.5 minutes), so if the central machine is on your path and the doors are open, it can be better to restock right away so that you don't need to take a long detour later.
- The machines for reagent A (blue arrows) are on the outer ring, while the machines for reagent B (yellow arrows) are on the inner ring. Since the paths on the inner ring can change because of the doors, if you are at a fork and the way to the yellow arrow is clear, take that one and come back around for the blue one.
- Pickpocketing can be a waste of time, but if someone is standing still, or they are charging, it can be very quick to pickpocket them as you go past. Also the faster you move, the harder you will be to catch. The time it takes to pickpocket another player often results in potential lost points.
- During Minigame Spotlight, there are often people standing around the edges of the factory (farming thaler), who usually won't mind if their apparatus are pickpocketed since they aren't using them. Players who are running around or have the maximum of 6 apparatus are more likely to be annoyed.
- If you find your way blocked by a door that doesn't have an active call button, you will have to wait up to 20 seconds before you can go through. However, rather than wait, you can use one of the side doors that will always be open, which will only be one extra obstacle.
- The quickest way to leave is to abandon (drop) a piece of equipment.
Within the Factory the player raises his/her game score by making or finding flash powder. On exiting the factory, the game score is converted to reward points called "Brianpoints". Brianpoints can be used to buy rewards including Thieving experience, Agility experience, and pieces of the Factory outfit. Each piece of the Factory outfit offers benefits within the Flash Powder Factory; in addition, wearing any three or all five pieces of the full outfit outside the game offers Herblore benefits.
Brianpoints are calculated by multiplying the player's score by 0.1428 (1/7th of the score) and rounding down to the nearest whole number. For example, a score of 1,000 would award 1,000*0.1428 = 142 points. However, a maximum of 180 brianpoints can be obtained per game. Thus, scoring above 1,260 does not improve the end reward any further. A Quick Chat phrase can be used to check your total brianpoints.
Brianpoints can be used to buy rewards from Brian O'Richard. The rewards that can be bought are as follows:
- Thieving experience - 175 XP per reward point (in 10, 100, 1,000 and 10,000 lots - there is no bonus for trading in the higher amounts)
- Agility experience - 95 XP per reward point (in 10, 100, 1,000 and 10,000 lots - there is no bonus for trading in the higher amounts)
- Rogue kit (multitool) - 35 points
- Factory outfit (10,800 points total), which provides benefits inside the Factory:
- Factory mask - 2,025 points - increases the chance of finding useful items in Fallen rubble.
- Factory top - 3,150 points - gives an extra 2 minutes in the game.
- Factory trousers - 2,475 points - gives an extra 3 Catalytic powder on entering the game.
- Factory gloves - 1,575 points - increase the chance of successfully pickpocketing players by 10%.
- Factory boots - 1,575 points - reduce the failure rate on obstacles.
- Wearing 3 out of the 5 Factory set pieces gives a 1/10 chance to make 4 dose potions instead of 3. This effect even works with some untradeable potions, such as Extreme potions and Overloads.
- Wearing the full Factory set increases experience gained for making unfinished potions, equal to the amount gained for cleaning the herb used to make that potion.
- Botanist's outfit (5,000 points total), an experience boosting set, giving up to 6% extra experience in Herblore.
- Botanist's mask - 1,000 points - gives a 1% increase to Herblore experience.
- Botanist's mask add-on - 1,000 points - gives a 5% chance to make a duplicate potion and 150 noted vials of water a day when used on an botanist's mask to create a modified botanist's mask.
- Botanist's top - 1,000 points - gives a 1% increase to Herblore experience.
- Botanist's trousers - 1,000 points - gives a 1% increase to Herblore experience.
- Botanist's gloves - 500 points - gives a 1% increase to Herblore experience.
- Botanist's boots - 500 points - gives a 1% increase to Herblore experience.
The Flash Powder Factory awards moderate Agility and Thieving experience when played efficiently. Using obtained Brianpoints, approximately up to 70,000 Agility experience or 130,000 Thieving experience per hour can be purchased. Playing the game does not give experience on its own. Exchanging points for experience uses up accumulated bonus experience.
- On the day of release players received the message "The instance you tried to join is full. Please try back later." This was due to a bug limiting the number of instances and the huge volume of players trying to access the minigame. Players on foreign servers did not have this problem.
- Brian O'Richard opened the factory; a quote of what he said: "Depressed. My wonderful Rogues’ Den is full of cooks rather than thieves, using the everlasting fire to burn lobsters. It is hardly the purpose I had in mind for my wonderous cavern." (From RuneScape "Behind the Scenes December" News)
- It is possible to get the Flash Powder Factory as a Daily Challenge when you do not have the required levels to do it.
- There appears to be a connection to a television programme 'The Crystal Maze' which was first aired in 1990 in the UK. The first presenter of the show was called Richard O'Brien, and it seems that the name 'Brian O Richard' was based on this. The track 'Flash Powder' that plays in this minigame appears to have some similarities to the actual theme tune of the programme also.
- After an update on 11 January 2012, players were penalised for leaving more than two minutes before the end of the game. This penalty was set at 50% when time remaining on completion showed 8 minutes or more and decreased as follows: 46% penalty for 7 minutes remaining, 40% for 6 minutes, 33% for 5 minutes, 26% for 4 minutes, 20% for 3 minutes, and no penalty for 2 minutes or fewer. The penalty was later removed and the Brianpoint calculation formula altered to its current form as part of an update on 20 October 2014.
- Players are not allowed to enter the factory while skulled; attempting to do so produces the message: "You cannot enter the factory skulled."