News

Evolution of Combat Improvements

Hi everyone,

We’re three months through 2014, and the ambitious plans we announced for RuneScape’s combat at the start of the year are proceeding apace. Alongside my post about Legacy Mode, I wanted to let you know what we’re working on to make major improvements to the current combat system and revitalise PvP.

We’ve already released Revolution, Momentum Plus, ability queuing, ability bar sharing and bank quick presets, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg.

You’ll be aware of some of the key changes already from your votes in the Power to the Players system, but here’s a recap:

  • Special Attacks – If you’ve played the combat beta, you’ll know that all of the old special attacks are implemented and are now undergoing polish and balancing. This will add more diversity to viable gear and another notch of excitement when fighting.
  • 138 Combat Calculation – The community voted overwhelming to reintroduce this the 138 Combat Calculation. This is also available to test on the beta already, where we’ve got a tweaked version of the old formula that give Magic and Ranged equal contribution.
  • Monster Aggression – We’re making a change to monster aggro so the creatures across RuneScape are more aggressive; again, more like it used to be. Of course, the game is multi-way combat now, so we’re taking a new approach for aggro rules, but the end result will be that more monsters are aggressive and combat training can be slightly lower-intensity.
  • Interface changes – These are a range of smaller UI improvements, including allowing chat to stay in focus during combat, clearer target information and a reworked quick inventory feature. These all contribute towards combat feeling smoother and more intuitive.
  • Balancing – We’re making some important balance adjustments to certain aspects of combat, especially the defensive side of things. We’re making shields and defensive ‘tank’ armour more useful, and reviewing defensive abilities so more of them are important and relevant.
  • PvP mechanics - We believe the PvP scene will really benefit from all of the EoC improvements and introduction of Legacy, but we’re also working on specific initiatives to revitalise it. This means making changes to the combat system so it delivers more satisfying PvP gameplay, including XP for PvP, tuning ability damage and stun affects, rebalancing PvP Armour and improving click input recognition for faster responsiveness.
  • PvP content – It’s just as important to improve PvP-centric game content and how it’s accessed. This will include overhauling the Crucible and reworking a bunch of other PvP minigames, and creating a grouping system that makes getting into such content much quicker and easier.

Note that the many of the PvP mechanical changes and content listed above have entered the beta servers today. Read over the patch notes for full details, and give them a try in the beta!


When’s it Coming?

We’re aiming at the next big combat improvements batch to be in May and that’ll contain the majority of the features mentioned above. However, there are a few features we feel are best to roll out alongside the release of Legacy Mode, such as the 138 combat calculation and special attacks, so those will come a bit later.

As a summary, here’s our current plan for combat improvements:

  • April - Combat Improvements Beta update.
  • May – Release current batch of combat improvements.
  • June – Legacy Mode beta.
  • June – Release rejuvenation of PvP improvements.
  • Summer TBD – Legacy Mode, 138 combat calculation and Special Attacks.
  • Summer TBD – Grouping system & first batch of PvP content reworks.

Thanks for reading. Remember that your feedback’s a crucial part of all of this. Please do try out our latest combat updates on the beta servers, and let us know what you think over on the forums.

Mod Pips
@JagexPips
Executive Producer, RuneScape