Getting from level 73 to 99 took about two months. Though this was by far my quickest 99 ever, mastering a skill still requires lots of grinding. I'd like to thank my friends for their encouragement and everyone who sold me supplies. There are way too many people to name, but you know who you are. :-)
While I haven't decided on my next goal, I'm considering going for 70 smithing and 99 woodcutting after my membership expires. In the meantime, I'll likely work on slayer or farming. However, I don't think I can do so much clicking again anytime soon. :-)
For those of you who also have 99 fletching in mind, I've written a guide that you might find useful.
1. Logs to use
From my experience, the most efficient path to 99 fletching is as follows:
- Level 1-10: bronze arrows
- Level 10-25: regular longbows (u)
- Level 25-40: oak longbows (u)
- Level 40-70: willow longbows (u)
- Level 70-99: yew longbows
The reason I stick to willow longbows is that willow trees are extremely common. Chopping your own logs also results in a substantial amount of woodcutting XP. On the other hand, purchasing supplies can greatly speed things up. You can often find cheap logs in general stores, especially in free worlds.
2. Profiting while training
Fletching is one of the most profitable skills in the game. Yew logs can be bought for 300-330 GP each while bow strings are around 200 GP each. Completed yew longbows are worth as much as 600 GP on the street. To maximize profits - or at least minimize losses - avoid stringing anything other than yew or magic longbows.
3. Optimizing clicks
Organizing your inventory can save considerable time in the long run. While it doesn't take long to move the cursor across the screen, the overhead adds up when you do the same thing over and over.
Because inventory items are consumed from the top down, I use the following arrangement: any placeholder item, 13 sets of bow strings and unstrung bows, and another bow string. You can then combine the last bow string with an adjacent unstrung bow with minimal mouse movement. Repeat this 13 times.
That should leave 13 empty spaces. Take out 13 more unstrung bows from your bank using the Withdraw-All option, deposit the completed bows and withdraw 13 bow strings in the same manner. This avoids the more cumbersome Withdraw-X option that requires entering a number.
4. Improving morale
Last but not least, don't give up on your goal. Level 99 skills require commitment, dedication and patience. Listening to music and chatting with friends can make the task less tedious. If it gets too boring, take a break and do something else. The required XP may be daunting, but you'll eventually get there. Good luck!
April 12 update:
Currently listening to: "Don't Stop" by ATB
1. This guide is obsolete, but the unofficial RuneScape wiki has an excellent one here.
2. The video is no longer available as Sarah took it down. Sorry about that. :-(