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Blog: RuneScape Annual Survey

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Mod Osborne

Mod Osborne

Jagex Moderator Forum Profile Posts by user
Hey all,

With the launch of the RuneScape Annual Survey today, I wanted to give you a bit more info about each of the updates.

Also, I wanted to clarify why the ingame poll is giving so little information about each update. This is because a vast majority of players come to an update without any information: only a smaller proportion watch livestreams, read blogs or watch Runefest to learn about an update beforehand. We wanted to see whether an update was interesting at face value, as if a player was coming to it from a banner image, or a single title on a newspost.

The website survey delves a little further, and this blog coincides with that survey, giving us a fuller picture of appreciation of each update.

As a note, not every update has been expanded on.

Skilling Updates


    Agility Overhaul
  • Not a full rework, but an update that addresses the core issues with Agility: a reason to train it beyond run energy (and we might even rip run energy out, dependent on player feedback), a way of making agility course training a bit more fun (D&Ds during the course) and an alternative training method that takes people out of courses, but doesn’t lose the identity of Agility.

  • Aquarium-like area for Hunter
  • Aquarium and Memorial to Guthix gave more ‘wow!’ moments to skilling; they made it feel like you were progressing more as you trained; and they gave rewards that allowed a player to finetune their training. We like that for Hunter, and would be eager to find an area on the surface world or POH to do something similar.

  • Dungeoneering Races & team-vs-team Dungeoneering
  • Dungeoneering has a lot of room to introduce additional scenarios or objectives. One we like is having teams racing to complete a floor first, with the winning team getting the bigger share of the loot

  • More Menaphos reputation unlocks
  • The aim of this update would be to make progression more satisfying, and allow players to unlock boosts to individual activities, so that the reputation gained is speedier.

  • Pickpocketing Summoners: Combat, Thieving and Summoning training
  • This is a genre of update that we wanted to test, and haven’t really tried before: cross-skill training. Summoners and familiars would appear on the game world in one location, and players could train pickpocketing on the summoners, combat/slayer on the familiars, and gain charms from both. It might be that the familiars the summoners summon are new, bringing in a new familiar.

  • Player as a Slayer Master
  • The player becomes a top-tier slayer master, able to assign tasks to themselves and others. Players would aim to become the best of the slayer masters, building their list of tasks.

  • POH Treasury, to show off wealth
  • Gaining wealth is not something we tend to recognise. This would be a POH room with a treasure pile that grows according to how much wealth the player has in their pouch and bank. This pile would give the player access to rewards, as they can climb the pile to reach higher areas. There would also be hotspots to showcase the highest-value items a player has

  • Skilling Raids/Encounters
  • Endgame skilling content in the style of traditional MMO dungeons. The player(s) are driven through a series of high-engagement skilling encounters by a strong narrative. This is high risk/reward encounters designed to bring the endgame to skilling, and be as engaging as combat with bosses and raids.

  • Two-player Agility Course
  • A two-player agility course where players have to cooperate to complete the course. Adds a social element to agility and feeds into one of the emergent gameplay elements of agility where people race others on the course.


Combat Updates


    Castle Wars 2: Co-operative sieges
  • PvP minigames always struggle to overcome problems of exploitation and boosting. This would distil the joys of Castle Wars by creating a new co-operative experience, with players facing off against NPCs in a siege.

  • Pest Control 2: Taking the Fight to the Void
  • Pest Control has a fantastic theme and has always been popular. The joy in this idea is that it takes the successful elements of Pest Control but switches the roles and makes the player the aggressor, which feels like it could be more fun.

  • Prayer Training via Combat
  • A way of training Prayer that isn’t purely a ‘skillers’ way of training it. Players should be able to ‘spend’ a lot of bones in order to gain as good, or better, efficiency, training Prayer by Combat

  • Seasonal Darkscape
  • Re-run DarkScape as a one-month long seasonal with a showcased finale. Before the competition, allow players to test out the balance of the new combat system quickly to suggest tweaks before it gets competitive.

  • Weapon Diversity: making weapons feel different
  • Scythes and halberds are able to make use their extra range when performing AoE abilities. This went down very well with the players - so well, in fact, that that 2h melee is dominated by it. We would like to extend this to as many weapon types as possible


World Events and Areas:


    Exploring the Wilderness before the explosion
  • There are time travel methods in RuneScape, so there is precedent for allowing the player to travel to previous ages. The idea would be to travel into the 3rd Age, the God Wars, and explore the Wilderness when it was Forinthry. This area was lush and populated, and wandered by armies of Zamorak, Saradomin, Armadyl and more.
    Giants homeworld: a small player in a giant world
  • A relatively new idea that came from the Art team, this is the simple joy of exploring a world where everything has been created for people much larger than the player. Basically, Honey I Shrunk the Kids in RuneScape form.

  • Reclaiming barren parts of the Wilderness
  • The Wilderness is magically barren, with the power of the Stone of Jas stopping crops from being able to grow. But, perhaps, corners of the Wilderness can be reclaimed and built on or farmed. The players as a group would be struggling against this magic to see if portions of the continent can be reclaimed and maybe even made safe, while also finding relics of the 3rd Age. Would include opt-in PvP elements like World Event 2

  • Zeah in the 6th Age
  • We have been having various discussions recently about whether OSRS land masses or updates would be welcomed by the community. This is our way of testing that. Additionally, Zeah is relatively untapped in terms of the gods: would the gods find new followers in the Kourend?


Story Updates:


    Desert Treasure 2
  • The original Desert Treasure freed Azzanadra. This would likely focus on another trapped/missing individual from desert lore (story players will likely have some candidates in mind), and bringing them back through the help of Azzanadra, the mirrors and combat sequences. This would likely lead to spell rewards.

  • Dragon Rider Quest
  • Two of a Kind, perhaps? A quest that would focus on Hannibus and the dragon riders, including their determination to find a way to reproduce as a race, and bring that information to their world of Iaia.

  • Ernest the Longsword: Ernest becomes a levellable weapon
  • Alongside the Random Event quest, we wanted to see if there was still an appetite for more comedic-focused quests. Also, Ernest has largely been a forgotten character, but there is a lot of fun in putting his consciousness into other things. We talked about Ernest the Dungeon, Ernest the Dragon and more, but Ernest the Longsword is the one that stuck, as he could be taken on adventures and levelled up.

  • Quest list and journal rework
  • There are a few core issues with quests that we would love to resolve. One is that it is hard to keep track of which quests you are on, and which stage you are at. This would be an overlay on the game screen to keep track constantly. We also want to create ‘Quest Paths’ that guide a player through a suggested order of quests according to their themes, and we just generally want to improve the usability of the list and journal.

  • Quest Point Unlock Shop: rewards for completing quests
  • Quests require a deal more focus and dedication to complete than skilling and most combat encounters, so we want to introduce a meta-reward system that makes you feel like you are making progress whenever you complete a quest. Imagine completing a quest and finding out that you have unlocked armour that is better against quest bosses, or teleports to quest-starts, or rewards that can be used on other areas of the game

  • Underground Pass 2: Travelling to the base of Prifddinas
  • Iban is not a threat any more, but Underground Pass was more about exploring a long dungeon with a number of encounters, emerging at the other end with a new land mass to explore. That’s what Underground Pass 2 is about: navigating a corrupted cavern with mysterious origins and come out of the other side at the base of Elf City (and we’ve all wondered what is at the bottom, right?)

  • Wise Old Man quest, written in collaboration with Mod Ash
  • Threads popped up recently on OSRS about the degree of inclusion of Mod Ash. We will be bringing Ash into all of our pre-production meetings, so he can tell us where he planned to go next, and to brainstorm ideas, as well as make sure we got the character right. Then we would hit the ground running without a requirement on Ash, creating a story that focussed on WOM and Zenevivia’s early or twilight years


Other Updates:


    Decluttering of the Game World
  • The aim of this update is to make the game world, particularly those experienced by new players, less noisy, confusing and cluttered. This won’t mean a re-scaling of the game world to make it more spaced out (that project is simply unfeasible, unfortunately), but it would mean working with the community to identify things that aren’t needed and deleting them, relocating things that don’t need to be so prominent, and generally making the game world less messy.

  • Groupfinder System
  • We have a Grouping System that does a decent job for those people who have found a group, and want to get everyone in the same instance. But what about those players who do not have a group? We’re pitching a system where players can flag their interest in certain games, and be notified when others are interested in playing, quickly bringing those players together in a game.

  • Prestiging: using XP to level ‘minion’s, boss pets or skilling pets
  • Prestiging did not fare well in our last survey, but we have an approach that we quite like, that also doesn’t feel so essential that it becomes a moving of the goalposts. This update would allow the player to bounce any XP they would have gained into a different vessel: in this case, a new ‘minion’ character, or a skilling/boss pet that the player owns. Those vessels can then level up and perhaps gain cosmetic improvements that show off the player’s XP gain.

  • Remove Tuska from the surface
  • There are two versions of this update: one is to strip out Tuska completely, while the other is to reduce her footprint, letting her turn to stone and sink further into the sea, with all the functionality remaining. But why do this? To new and lapsed players, Tuska is unsightly (particularly on the world map) and we wanted to see how many wanted to remove her.

  • Interface simplification and sharing
  • At its core, this update would look to address some of the issues with the default RuneScape interface. We recognise that many new and returning players struggle to learn this interface, yet these improvements can also be a benefit to all players. Whilst we will look to fix this over the coming years; we’d like to gauge player interest and see if this is something you’d like as a bigger overhaul.

  • World/server reduction
  • World Reduction is always going to be controversial, as players have favourite worlds, and there are concerns of lag. But, as we optimise for Mobile, the lag becomes less of an issue, and there is a very real social benefit to having the game worlds feel popular and busy. We would likely also introduce changes that make competition for resource less of a factor.

27-Feb-2018 16:23:15 - Last edited on 28-Feb-2018 09:56:16 by Mod Osborne

Blackwing
Nov Member 2012

Blackwing

Posts: 34,714Sapphire Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Mod Osborne said:
an alternative training method that takes people out of courses, but doesn’t lose the identity of Agility

You described silverhawk boots, so does this mean they'd be made even cheaper to use? No thanks. > )

27-Feb-2018 17:58:20

Tagakhlo
Sep Gold Premier Club Member 2014

Tagakhlo

Posts: 868Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Mod Osborne said:
Decluttering of the Game World
The aim of this update is to make the game world, particularly those experienced by new players, less noisy, confusing and cluttered. This won’t mean a re-scaling of the game world to make it more spaced out (that project is simply unfeasible, unfortunately), but it would mean working with the community to identify things that aren’t needed and deleting them, relocating things that don’t need to be so prominent, and generally making the game world less messy.


Pity.

I'll agree that expanding the map, and repositioning many of the things on it, would be a lot of work - the main issue I see is you would have to change a lot of clue scrolls - but while it would take time, I wouldn't have thought it was infeasible.

And in the thread where some people asked for RuneScape to be "rescaled", I think they were thinking of something else: having more detailed objects and characters, and a normal point of view closer to one's character, so everything looked bigger, giving a more immersive world.

EDIT: How about a compromise: relocate some of the things that could be less prominent to a new empty continent? Or have two of them (or a barrier down the middle splitting it in half like Karamja) so that F2P items can get relocated too, since it is really the F2P part of the world that is the most cluttered.

Surely if you can update the game to add new continents full of exciting stuff, an empty continent to which existing content is moved shouldn't be too much to ask.

...oh, and one other thing. Don't be afraid to include a new lodestone on that new continent, although one would have to take a boat to get there the first time.

27-Feb-2018 19:41:21 - Last edited on 27-Feb-2018 19:47:44 by Tagakhlo

Chaos Lupus

Chaos Lupus

Posts: 9,633Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
I'd love to see more of Forinthry in the Third Age and all the cool character interactions that transpired. I wouldn't want it to be anything our character had an effect on, though. It's important that major historical events occurred without our influence. Viewing memory cutscenes could be epic, though. I certainly wouldn't say no to another Tales-styled miniquest.

I really don't like the idea of going back to older quests and tacking a "2" onto the title for what seems like not much good reason, especially when those resources could be used on other quest content.
The strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack.

27-Feb-2018 22:58:49

Alioth
Apr Member 2011

Alioth

Posts: 3,202Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
With the beta mine & smith update that's currently in progress and the fact that mining spots wont deplete, could also be used as a start on "Decluttering of the Game World" with reducing some mining spots, and maby removing others that are far less used.
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28-Feb-2018 00:24:36

Lions RAWR
May Gold Premier Club Member 2016

Lions RAWR

Posts: 8,488Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Mod Osborne said:

Zeah in the 6th Age
We have been having various discussions recently about whether OSRS land masses or updates would be welcomed by the community. This is our way of testing that. Additionally, Zeah is relatively untapped in terms of the gods: would the gods find new followers in the Kourend?


Please for the love of Sliske Do Not do this update. Keep things in OSRS in OSRS. Having Zeah come to the main game would bring about so many issues. Not only from a lore side of things but also the heat from Osrs players would be mind boggling.
My Goals Lions Goals

28-Feb-2018 01:18:25

Wolfblue42
Aug Member 2018

Wolfblue42

Posts: 3,439Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Weapon Diversity: making weapons feel different
Scythes and halberds are able to make use their extra range when performing AoE abilities. This went down very well with the players - so well, in fact, that that 2h melee is dominated by it. We would like to extend this to as many weapon types as possible



Would be nice especially with the mining and smithing update, and how there exists daggers,claws,longswords,scimitars yet some go unused.

28-Feb-2018 02:28:08

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