Last week’s blog mentioned that Nightmare Zone is in testing. (It’s progressing nicely by the way; the testers have had their first multiplayer session and found a few issues, but nothing we can't fix.) We also mentioned that we’d had a bit of time to start thinking about what could come next. Obviously anything we do discuss or suggest would be subject to a poll passing, but we'd like to throw some ideas around, and see which gets the most interest.
Speaking of ideas, one of those ideas was actually announced in a news post waaaay back in April 2006. Actually, if this is 2007, it’s technically not that long ago! At the time, we even said it was said “coming soon”, before putting it "on hold for the moment", so let's take another look at... drum roll... Wildy Tag!
When we started talking about this from a "What was it supposed to be, and can we do it?" perspective, Mod Tim overheard us and he kindly unearthed some of the old design documents from 2006, showing the original plan for this minigame.
The idea was that some “posts” would be added to various locations in the Wilderness that could be “tagged”, hence the hugely imaginative name Wildy Tag. Players would enter the Wilderness, run around and tag as many posts as they could without being killed, like in the Brimhaven Agility Arena. Players would be rewarded with combat XP or similar; the more posts they tagged, and the more dangerous the locations, the more reward they’d get. The original design documents even have a map of the Wilderness showing where the posts would have been located, with 3 levels of risk, with the higher risk ones being further into the Wilderness.
The reward was designed to draw a typical player into the Wilderness with the typical risk vs reward gameplay. This would then draw lone PKers or small teams to hunt down and kill these players. This would then draw larger clans and organised groups to hunt the smaller groups and the cycle of death in the Wilderness would be complete.
Having looked at this concept, we came up with a few ideas of our own. Our first thoughts were that we could ramp up the rewards significantly for tagging increasing numbers of posts. For example, let's suppose you tag 1 post and get 1 “token”. You could leave the Wilderness immediately and hand in the token for your reward. Alternatively you could go on and tag another post (without leaving the Wilderness) and get 2 tokens, and each subsequent time would increase the rewards just for spending a little more time in the Wilderness and risking a bit more for a much bigger reward.
Now let’s make it more interesting and say that these tokens would be dropped on death so PKers could hunt players who were collecting them. Assuming the PKer could then escape with the loot, they could hand in the tokens to take the reward for themselves, if another PKer didn't come and loot it off them first!
The original reward was going to be combat XP each time you tagged a post. In our version, however, we think that perhaps it would be more interesting if the posts gave out tokens that could be exchanged for coins or other material rewards instead, so that PKers would have something to loot, and to make the increase in the rewards more exciting. Imagine facing the decision of handing in your tokens now for 500k, or staying in the Wilderness to risk it all whilst going for 1 more post to double it and get the million!
Next we thought about how to give some variety for the players playing the game, as well as for the PKers hunting them. This could be done by having the “posts” move around slightly, still within a reasonable area, but enough so that it’s not in the exact same place each time. Tagging would require the player to search a bit, but it also means a PKer wouldn’t always know exactly where players would be. We could even send different players to different posts, making the players' movements harder to predict.
It’s just a thought, but we hope it would offer offer something that’s quick to learn but requires a variety of skill and tactics to do well. Can you outsmart the PKers and tag your way to victory? Perhaps you think you could stalk the taggers and make them cry? Maybe you think your clan is bigger and better than everyone else’s and can just stomp everyone in the Wilderness, who knows!
If Wildy Tag is something you'd like us to add to Old School RuneScape in some form, please share your ideas about how you'd like it to work.
In the days when the Wilderness contained revenants instead of PKers, the PVP worlds allowed players to fight each other almost anywhere they liked. With no free trade in the game, the PVP worlds had a complicated system that tried to track how much wealth players were risking, and calculate rewards accordingly. This was, of course, quite open to exploitation. Players would gather in quiet areas with an inventory full of junk letting their Earning Potential (EP) accumulate.
Old School RuneScape doesn't have that sort of trade restriction; if we did PVP worlds now, we might not need an EP system because the PKer would be able to pick up items dropped by their victim. An EP system would be problematic anyway, since OSRS doesn't have a Grand Exchange tracking the values of all the items. While we've seen quite a few threads suggesting EP designs, the game's lack of price data makes most of them unsuitable. In summary, if we were to do PVP worlds, we would prefer the PK drops to consist of the items dropped by the victim.
While the ability to fight people all over the world might be fun in itself for a while, there'd need to be some kind of incentive for people to train on PVP worlds so that PKers have some prey to kill. It's been suggested that there could be an XP uplift for training certain skills on a PVP world, perhaps restricted so that people can't alch or fletch for hours in a hidden place that no-one can access to kill them. Additionally, we could reintroduce brawler gloves as a reward, or maybe valuable statuettes.
There would have to be some safe areas, such as banks. Any XP uplift or other incentive would have to be disabled in safe areas, and possibly for a period of time after a player has been in a safe area; it'd be frustrating for a PKer if their prey were dodging in and out of a safe area while still earning rewards for doing so.
Some kind of immunity timer might need to be added for players who've just achieved a kill, allowing them a grace period to pick up their loot in peace; we've seen quite a few complaints about "pjing" in RuneScape in recent years. Any immunity timer wouldn't necessarily have to be just for PVP worlds, though, as we could install one for the Wilderness on the existing worlds if you liked.
We'd still have to decide what to do with the Wilderness on PVP worlds, and whether or not to use a PK skull system to determine how many items are kept on death. If PVP worlds are something you'd like to see for Old School RuneScape, we'd be glad to hear your views on all these questions.
In RS3, Clan Wars has two forms. Firstly there's the challenged battles, originally launched in late 2007, which use teams that are defined by the chat-channel system. Secondly there's the free-for-all arenas, both safe and dangerous. We're ignoring Rated Clan Wars for the moment because Old School RuneScape doesn't have the formal clan system.
It's been a source of concern for many players that the free-for-all arenas would discourage people from using the Wilderness. We originally developed the free-for-all arenas in the days when the Wilderness didn't permit PVP combat, and before PVP worlds were available; Old School RuneScape does allow Wilderness PVP, and we think we could give you PVP worlds if you liked, so perhaps there's not so much need for the Clan Wars free-for-all arenas in OSRS.
That brings us to the challenged battles. We're a bit limited here by what the game engine can do for chat-channels; most of the systems we used to write Clan Wars were originally added to the engine for the development of LootShare, late in 2007, so they're not available in Old School RuneScape. Instead, we could write a version of Clan Wars that identifies teams by some other criterion, such as the capes they wear.
With the teams no longer linked to the chat-channels, clan leaders might need some alternative way to prevent gatecrashers from interfering with their battles. For example, players entering the arena could be held in a lobby until the clan leader accepts their request to enter.
Another technical difficulty in implementing Clan Wars is the lack of a suitable arena, since the original Clan Wars arena hadn't been created in August 2007, and we haven't had a map editor that could work on the 2007-format map files. However, some of the tricks we invented while working on Nightmare Zone could be applied here to make a basic arena for Clan Wars, and once we're working with our long-awaited map editor we could quickly create you a better choice of arenas, like RS3 has.
If you'd like Clan Wars in Old School RuneScape, and you'd be prepared to accept a version that didn't work off the chat-channels, we'd be very happy to work on this for you.
The God Wars Dungeon
Firstly, we should clarify that we are not yet in a position to deliver the GWD. However, with RS3 out, it's looking increasingly likely like we could get the full panoply of dev tools and compilers required to do the job in the coming months. With the GWD remaining one of the hottest topics on the Old School forums, with both fans and detractors, it seems inevitable that we'll put it to a poll once we've got everything we need.
In the many, many threads that have sprung up about the GWD, people have raised concerns about the godswords being overpowered, or being too melee-centric, and about the monster loot devaluing existing training methods. We'd be willing to do some rebalancing if you liked, and if you could come to some consensus about what changes are needed! People have suggested simple changes such as adjusting stats and loot a bit, and far more radical changes such as turning the Zamorak and Armadyl godswords into magic staves.
There are also some changes that we'd be obliged to make, such as adjusting the doors of the four boss rooms to inhibit safe-spotting; that was a major problem in the initial launch of the GWD. Some of the monster AI needed to be adjusted after the initial launch too, since there were server load issues due to inefficient code.
This is still some way off, but we would like to encourage you to keep posting your views on the matter. Remember, although there are a lot of strong feelings about the GWD, we still haven't got everything we need to deliver it, so we might end up undertaking a different project first, such as PVP worlds or a small minigame. That wouldn't mean the GWD idea had been abandoned, though; when we've got what we need to deliver it, we'll be able to write up a proposal for what balancing changes we'd make (if any) and open a poll. So do keep discussing it.
Something else entirely
Along with the requests for features that have been in RuneScape before, various creative players have submitted their own ideas for new updates. Thanks, guys, especially those of you who've recommended which graphics we can re-use to create them! Some of the ideas about a Kraken were really fun to read.
In previous discussions about new updates for Old School RuneScape, we've deliberately favoured features that have existed in RuneScape before. The idea of adding something completely new to the old-school game was quite controversial, and it's still something we wouldn't want to do without clear support from the community that plays the game.
Anyway, if you would prefer something new over any of the other ideas we've outlined above, we would be happy to have a go. With Nightmare Zone coming soon, offering multiplayer player-vs-monster encounters, it might be good for the game's variety if our next big project offered a means for players to compete against other players instead, either through PVP combat or through non-combat skills.
So, it's up to you: What shall we do next?
Mods Ash & Nexus
09-Aug-2013 12:23:14 - Last edited on 09-Aug-2013 12:25:21 by Mod Ash