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Why are staves necessary?

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Beowulfe
Feb Member 2017

Beowulfe

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This is basically a copy/paste of my thread on reddit.

This is not a suggestion for weaponless spellcasting, but something that's been on my mind for a small while. Why are staves "necessary" for the player character to cast most offensive magic?

We can cast entangle, teleblock, and stat reduction spells bare-handed albeit we can only do it at melee distance and will ALWAYS fail, but even at 99 mage we can't muster so much as a gust of wind without our staff doing all the dirty work for us.

We see less experienced dark and regular wizards shooting splashes of water and dirt like nobody's business. We see infernal mages peppering us with fire blasts without anyone batting an eye, yet they're most likely LESS experienced than us at magic? Ariane, kennith, and Xenia are shown this ability too, but since we're probably level 1 compared to them, I'll just make a note of their ability to do so here.

According to lore, any old idiot can pick up spells with decent training, and presumably do so with their bare hands. However, we're left dependent on a staff/wand for us to do anything offensively.

I mean sure, we can bare-handed teleport, enchant, heal, cure poison, place knockback hexes, etc. However, we're still too weak to cast wind strike independently. Why?

27-Mar-2016 16:43:48

Solanumtinkr

Solanumtinkr

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It's purely a game mechanic, though even back in the day, magical accuracy was always dependant on what we held. To go beyond that to weaponless magical combat, would still require some mechanic levelling the playing field to take the place of the weapon. The purpose of adventure is to shine light into dark places,
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27-Mar-2016 17:01:41

Aquamancer
May Member 2011

Aquamancer

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Simply put, because of Evolution of Combat. There's no lore reason for it, it is purely about the game mechanics. Combat mechanics needed to be balanced, and to ensure that magic is made equal to ranged and melee, we cannot cast spells without a weapon.

Do note that most of the NPCs you talked about were added before EoC, when players could do the same, and since EoC, new NPC* who fight with magic fight with staves and wands, rather than with bare hands, so it seems that a wand or a staff really is necessary for casting a spell: Jagex simply hasn't gotten around to make the new rules universal across all NPCs, because that takes development time, and isn't really that big of an issue.

27-Mar-2016 17:10:11 - Last edited on 27-Mar-2016 17:10:39 by Aquamancer

Beowulfe
Feb Member 2017

Beowulfe

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While I respect the "game balance" explanation. I'm not sure that's the answer either. Making staves a necessity was not the ONLY way to deal with mage. This leads me to believe there is an alternate reason.

Also, in heart of stone. Ariane is seen casting spells with her bare hands, which is post EoC.

27-Mar-2016 18:07:54

Ancient Drew

Ancient Drew

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That also reminds me, punching is negligible and ranged has always been impossible. If anything we should be able to pick up stones and throw them for ranged, and punches need buffing. While staves can bolster magic power and wands and orbs could increase attack speed, I still think barehanded casting should be possible. Plus I miss casting Ice Barrage with a dagger and switching combat styles with ease. Prepare for hell on RuneScape in Naval Cataclysm!

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27-Mar-2016 18:14:58

sir eos lee

sir eos lee

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A staff, like a bow or sword, is in the end, a weapon.
Weapons are used to harm people.
Entagle/binds and curses don't typically "hurt" people. At least not seriously.

For all we know, it's also for targeting purposes.
You cast a bind or curse on an area, and the spell is so raw, that the whole landing zone gets cursed or entangled by the same amount. (Like if you splash water, the whole area gets wet. It doesn't matter if it is little beads of water or the area is drowned ... it's all simply wet.) But a curse or bind spell doesn't matter how intense it is, you get cursed or tangled wit the same effectiveness whether it was a glancing shot or if you hit the person with 10 times the runic power.

An attack spell however, you want some degree of efficiency.
You want your fire surge to only hit that one target or the Ice Barrage to hit a specific area, with just enough force to harm or kill that target.

Solus Delgar, if you see him use that massive Ice Barrage, he wore himself out and had to resort to melee. It wasn't a very efficient use of his magic. Yes, he killed all the Temple Knight Rangers, but he missed the player.

In Rocky 3, Rocky Balboa vs Mr. T, his character was a heavy puncher who tried to constantly knock out opponents in 1 hit. Most of his fights, he won. His 1 opponent couldn't take the hits, fell down, than victory.
He could lose in 2 scenarios:
- Like when Rocky's character kept dodging or absorbing the hits. Yes Rocky took a lot of punishment, but in the end his character just ran out of steam.
- When fighting multiple opponents. If he had to fight 10 guys, he might be able to knock out 5 or 8, but in the end, he'd again run out before he could take out the last guy.
When you do a lot of combat training or slayer tasks, you can't KO everything. (Yes, Tuska's Wrath, or certain combos) but you can't keep the pace up 100% of the time*

**;dr
The Staff allows you to go around and wreck things more efficiently.

27-Mar-2016 19:04:22 - Last edited on 27-Mar-2016 19:04:57 by sir eos lee

Beowulfe
Feb Member 2017

Beowulfe

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Tlamovec said:
It's always better to write with a cheap junk pen rather than with your bare fingers soaked in ink, even if you have lvl 99 writing skill.


Granted, Ariane, wizards, dark wizards seem to fingerpaint just fine. So I wouldn't say that's the case.

28-Mar-2016 00:20:27

Half Centaur
Jun Member 2010

Half Centaur

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Beowulfe said:
Tlamovec said:
It's always better to write with a cheap junk pen rather than with your bare fingers soaked in ink, even if you have lvl 99 writing skill.


Granted, Ariane, wizards, dark wizards seem to fingerpaint just fine. So I wouldn't say that's the case.


With what spells exactly?

I don't believe they use combat attack spells without a staff... if they do it could be chalked up to part of their magical training- while they may not be perhaps 'high levelled' in the way the player is (ie. capable of using ice barrage and you know, annihilating a entire army if need be), they could have practiced that same spell thousands upon thousands of time, and worked out the accuracy so well, they don't need a staff to aim or channel the spell.


also, @ancient drew, you mentioned why we can't use small stones in ranged, we actually can if we use a charge bow (which used to be slings). Logically, you can't just shoot rocks with a bow, you need arrows due to their specific aerodynamic qualities, like normal archery.

This could also contribute to why some bows can't shoot some ammo, since some ammo may be to dense or heavy and the bow too weak and bendy to give enough elastic energy to effective propel it (without say, snapping if they tried to bend it enough)
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28-Mar-2016 04:32:04

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