Update on the status of 4taa

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Mod Pi

Mod Pi

Jagex Moderator Forum Profile Posts by user

In general, I have refrained from commenting on 4taa (4 tick auto attacking) post RuneFest as I am a firm believer in only commenting when I have value to add. Otherwise I just sound like a broken record spouting the same stuff again and again.

However, the power and concerns over 4taa have been gradually increasing, and you have been asking for answers. Every other Friday the combat council get together to discuss hot topics and last Friday the current state of 4taa was back on the agenda as the state of it has evolved since we spoke at RuneFest.

The status of 4taa and immediate plans

Prior to RuneFest 4taa was something that only the elite were using and the numbers cited were around that of a 7% DPS increase. We all agreed that in its current state 4taa was not something we wanted to officially support, due to its obscurity and exclusivity between the styles. We did see value in a high mechanical skill based DPS increase, and the difference at the time was comparable to a style having a top tier weapon equivalent and the other styles waiting for the release of theirs. Since the DPS increase was modest, we prefer not to take away your toys, and the skill ceiling raising gameplay was desirable, we decided to keep it in game - until we could find a suitable replacement, and a way we could offer comparable gameplay to the other styles.

It is clear to see the state of 4taa at RuneFest is different to the state of it now. It is now an accepted part of the meta meaning a lot more players are doing it, the honing of it has jumped the DPS increase from 7% to 15% thanks to c4taa. Finally, and perhaps the most worrying for us is that 4taa has gone from something the best players do to squeeze out more DPS to something that is required to join PvM teams. This means that magic is the dominating style being used in group content and that 4taa is affecting the skill floor as well as the ceiling. Upping the skill ceiling and adding depth at the top is great, but not when it negatively effects the entry requirements for getting in to PvM. This shift in how 4taa is being utilised moves it from a nice addition for the top end, to a source of toxicity in the community. It is for these reasons that the council has re-considered our stance on leaving it in the game.

The outcome of the meeting we had is that **we will no longer fully support 4taa in the game while we wait on the new additions**. We feel that the current downsides of 4taa now outweigh the upsides of leaving it in the game.

The planned changes are:

  •     1. No longer allow your auto attack swing to be reset or more accurately go backwards outside of legacy mode. If you perform an auto attack with a rate 6 weapon it will take 6 ticks before you can auto attack again, regardless of whether you change weapon. This prevents the most glaring bug with 4taa in that you can perform auto attacks with staff damage at the same rate as a wand.

  •     2. Performing an ability will delay your auto attack swing by a minimum of 5 ticks. Just preventing the auto attack reset will not stop 4taa, only nerf its damage. You would still be able to delay by 4 ticks with a wand and then auto->ability on the same tick. By delaying autos by this much you miss out on adrenaline and DPM if you delay for the auto but still allows back to back auto->ability combos should you want to.

We have chosen not to add an auto attack ability to provide auto attack forcing to other styles as this leads to homogenising the styles and a flatter combat system overall. This would also mean adding a meta in to the game we plan on removing which feels like an incorrect approach.

Adding more interactive combat in place of 4taa

The idea of adding more interaction with the combat system for a small but notable DPS increase is not dead. We still plan on adding more interactivity in to the combat system and are very interested in your ideas on how you’d like this to manifest. It’s awesome to see some ideas coming from the community and I would encourage you to keep brainstorming with each other over subjects like this. We get a great deal out of hearing your ideas and they have a very real effect on our designs while they are in progress.

Since RuneFest in my spare time & TAPP I have been designing a suitable replacement for 4taa and have prototyped a few. The most extreme of these range from a simple buff that allows you to detach auto swing from abilities via manual input all the way to a crazy Osu inspired overlay which would allow you to auto-attack via high mechanical input. The initial prototyping is done and I can reveal some of ideas.
The following is our current plan for adding more interactive methods to all three styles. This is all subject to change and I implore you to give feedback and suggest ideas off the back of this post. They do not have any definite numbers as they are all subject to balancing during development. I promised you at RuneFest that I’d let you know with enough time to give feedback so here we go!


  • - A new ability will be purchasable though the shattered worlds shop.

  • - This will be a new magic threshold with a dual wield requirement.

  • - When activated your basic abilities will reset your auto attack swing allowing you pop off spells in between your abilities. On top of this you will gain a bonus damage on your auto attacks for each unique damaging spell you use while this buff is up. The passive effect will not be removed if you switch to a staff.

  • - The aim of this is to retain magic’s ability to utilise spells during combat but to also actively reward more interaction during the uptime of the effect. Requiring an adrenaline cost and linking it to an ability allow us to fine tune the cost and reward of this extra DPS. This also offers a magic ability alongside the existing ranged and melee abilities to fill out a full set of abilities from shattered worlds.


  • - With Solak a new ranged ability will be dropped.

  • - This will be a Ranged ultimate available to all ranged weapon styles.

  • - When activated your global cooldown is lowered from 1.8 seconds to 1.2 seconds for a short time. The cooldown of this will be longer than death’s swiftness, since you are mobile during the uptime and this isn’t just an increase in damage, but also an increase in adrenaline gain.

  • - Note: Revolution will not speed up while this buff is active.

  • - The aim of this is to bring back the feeling of 2 tick abilities in a more structured and more balanced way. If done right we expect you to alternate between this and deaths swiftness.


  • - Bladed dive will be able to damage an opponent when used during GCD. This was something we previously removed from the game but with a change in approach to combat comes a change in our approach to this. It was an enjoyable interaction before we removed it so I look forward to it coming back. Note: The amount of damage will not necessarily be the same as when it is used off GCD.

  • - We will also be releasing our first update for weapon diversity. All stabbing weapons (dagger, short sword, spear, rapier) have a chance to not incur GCD at all which will allow you to instantly attack with another ability.

  • - Note: Revolution will not instantly trigger an ability if this effect is applied.

  • - We will also convert the Kopesh of Tumeken to a stabbing weapon like its t82 counterpart.

  • - The aim is to provide melee with a way to unlock it from the shackles of GCD and to reward those that are paying attention.

I look forward to your feedback on our current plan and we’re excited to provide you with what we hope are the beginnings of a more interactive and interesting combat system.

The Combat Council

The Combat Council is a part of the RuneScape development team that dedicates some of its time to trying to improve the health of both PvM and PvP. We are Mods Chaose, Daze, Deg, Harrison, Hunter, Iago, Pi, Ramen, Ryan, Shauny, Shogun & Timbo.
Senior Gameplay Programmer
Combat Council Member
Check me out on twitter @JagexPi

16-Jan-2018 16:21:19 - Last edited on 16-Jan-2018 16:26:55 by Mod Pi

Feb Gold Premier Club Member 2013


Posts: 649Steel Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Pretty darn excited about all of this! Especially the new abilities and weapon diversification implementation. My only concern is that soooo many weapons are getting lumped into this one weapon diversification class meaning there's still really no place for a high level dagger or really any multiples within the class unless they are unique in their own way.

Any ways just happy to see some interesting stuff happening with new abilities!

16-Jan-2018 16:36:48

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