Group Ironman – The Dev Blog

Quick find code: 16-17-729-66019713

of 11
Mod Ramen

Mod Ramen

Jagex Moderator Forum Profile Posts by user
This development blog has been a long time coming! It’s time to start talking about the Group Ironman update; What it will involve, how it will play and what we need to get right for it be a success and feel fair.

We recently put a poll out to get a general feeling about several topics in relation to the update, so the first part of this dev blog I’ll go over the results and breakdown my thoughts on them. From there we can start a discussion and ensure we’re moving the correct direction.

Before we jump straight into the poll questions, we need to address the ETA for Group Ironman.

When we announced it at RuneFest we said it was an active project that was being worked on and, with an ETA being within the 6 months after RuneFest, as we’re now in June this clearly didn’t hit the goalposts we wanted. Sadly we’ve run into some roadblocks with the engine work needed for this project to work. As it currently stands we do not know how long it will take to work around or through this issue but please understand we’re trying our best!

Do you plan on playing Group Ironman when the new mode releases?

A pretty simple question that doesn’t need much air time! We asked this question to allow us to filter out results from players who plan to play the game mode and those who don’t.

What is your desired group size?

Probably one of the most important questions when it comes to this update is; ‘How many players should we let people team up with?’

This isn't a simple task as there are pros and cons to each group size, I'll elaborate upon this below;

- 2 Players – Keeps the group small, allowing a pair of friends to play as they see fit at their own speed.

- 3 Players - One person is alone. Two people are a relationship pair. When it comes to three, there is a big leap in perception. Within the three, there is a greater sense of cohesion and collective power.

- 4 Players - Personally when we reach 4 players there is more of a chance that someone within the group will fall behind if they are unable to play as much as the other 3.

- 5 Players – Five players is a good clean group size but it also makes it hard for players who struggle to find that many people for a group.

Based on these results, your thoughts as well as internal discussions we realise it’s not needed to set a single hard group size. You, the players should have the freedom to group with however many people as you see fit or desirable.

Friends who want to duo together WILL have that option, they shouldn’t be locked out of content due to a minimum group size.

Once a group has been created they will be classified into their group size: 2, 3, 4 or 5.

Each group size will have their own chat badge, whilst still looking similar, it will be a way of differentiating their chosen group size. The Ironman armour set will also be available to Group Ironmen, displaying the relevant icon based on group size.

Regarding hiscores, if the current engine job allows us to split them then we can have highscores for each of the group sizes.

Should a Group Ironman be able to group up with other Ironmen for bossing purposes?

One of the biggest topics when it comes to Group Ironman mode is how will Group bossing work? Will Group Ironman be able to group with other Irons in order to gain gear?

Poll option 1 gauged if players were okay with Group ironmen teaming up with Ironmen or HCIM. Going by the general reaction from various platforms such as; the forums, Reddit and Twitter this is an absolute NO!

If we did allow GIM to team with seasoned Ironmen, this will allow them to boost quickly for better gear whilst skipping over a significant aspect of their chosen group; relying on members of your group for progression.

Poll option 2 comes in at 36% whilst this seems like a reasonable option, it still runs into the issue of boosting down the line.

Poll option 3 seems like the most ideal, however adding a cap to group sizes could cause issues with bosses that require higher group sizes such as Raids which is aimed at 10 players.

As gear progression and resource gain from bosses is such a key part of RuneScape and account progression this is the topic I’d like to generate the most discussion on.

What should happen if a member of the group leaves?

If a group has progressed their accounts as a team but then one of them decides ‘Right, they’ve carried me this far, now I can make it on my own' and then decides to leave the group they would expect to just be downgraded to a solo Ironman account.

However! They would be wrong, this will not be happening, if a member of a GIM group leaves the group they will be downgraded to normal account with no ironman restrictions. Simple as that.

The reason for this decision is so we can retain the effort current Ironmen have put into their accounts as solo players. It would be very unfair for that to be devalued by a dodgy rule of GIM; they will have traded.

If a group member does leave, can we recruit a new one?

If a member of your ironman group leaves then it seems appropriate to allow the group to recruit a new member. The best way to do this would be to allow groups to recruit ONLY fresh group accounts from the recruitment room.

Whilst this does have the argument of ‘boosting’ it does still follow the ruleset as the other members of the group have progressed with their original chosen group size.

Behind the scenes

Nothing is simple! For this project we’ve had to request some significant engine changes and support to actually allow this project to work.

Currently we’ve had engine jobs come back that makes some changes to the backend systems of Clans to allow us to create a second ‘hidden clan’ which we will use to track and keep GIM players grouped. The other job will allow us to select a lower maximum size of a clan.

This does mean we need to give players a way of chatting without giving you the ///// or /GIM chat commands… with Ninja recently releasing some tweaks and QoL changes to the friends chat system it seems sensible to push players back towards that system.

Will group banking be available for groups to use and share resources easier?

As of writing the answer is no as the engine support required for this would push the ETA for this project well into 2019.

Will GIM be able to trade untradeables between each other?

This question has been thrown around quite a bit, understandably too as it’s quite cool change in gameplay if we allowed untradeables to be traded between members of a group.

Technically, as it stands this can’t be done, but that does not mean we will not attempt to explore other routes or methods of doing so.

This is where you’ll help, if there is a certain set of items YOU think should be traded tell us! Otherwise allowing all would be gamebreaking (like trading away quest items early, trading XP lamps from quests, etc), knowing what you want to trade may help us decide if it’s feasible or not.

Onboarding: How will I make a group?

To create an account eligible for the mode, you will need to create a new account and select the ‘Group Ironman mode’ drop down on the character creation screen when you first log in.

Upon creating your character with the drop down selected you’ll be sent to the Ironman guild!

From here you’ll find yourself in the group creation room, you won’t be able to leave this room until you have got your group and are ready to venture into the wider world as a team.

From here you’ll have the option of being thrown straight into the world or to go through the tutorial. Though if you’re playing Group Ironman I expect you’ve done the tutorial before!

The Ironman Guild!

We’ll be moving Mr Ex and the Ironman highscores to a themed location, a central place for all things Ironman related.

We do not currently have a location in mind so if you’ve got any ideas for where you’d like the Ironman guild to end up and any ideas for what content you’d like to see inside the guild please do let us know!
This project needs your feedback and input, so please take the time to let us know your thoughts!

Much love!


15-Jun-2018 10:58:13 - Last edited on 15-Jun-2018 11:07:31 by Mod Ramen

Big Storms
Dec Member 2005

Big Storms

Posts: 3,893Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Though I am not one who sees much appeal in making an ironman account, this mode looks more interesting than I previously envisioned. Having the group size be variable is nice since it allows for a lot of different playstyles. Though I wonder what would be the cap: would this be 5 people as the poll suggests or could it be higher? What kind of issues could higher caps have from a technical and game breaking perspective?

I do see boosting as an issue when it comes to bossing with ironmen that do not belong to the same group, especially normal ironman which have had way more time to progress their character. At the most I'd suggest the option of doing certain bosses like AoD and raids by merging 2 or more (similarly sized?) ironman groups. Yes potentially this allows for boosting, but no more than the bossting that recruiting new members after a person leaves does.

Which brings me to the subject of recruiting new members: yes I think this is a compromise necessary to make the mode viable. Undoubtedly players might leave a group due to real life, quitting the game, or having issues with other players. If the ironmen can not recruit new members to replace the one that left, then they would likely fall apart. So recruitment of new members is necessary.
Still this does not solve the entire issue: suppose one of the members leaves the game but forgets to leave the group? This means the group (or remaining person in the worst case) is left with very few options. I would propose that a certain duration of inactivity of a group member enables other members to remove him from the group. If the group consists out of 5 members, then there should be a vote for this (for which either the majority counts or the decision needs to be unanimous).

Regarding the trading of untradeable resources, I think most people would be interested in trading weapons or weapon parts. For ironman it can be difficult to get weapons such as noxious equipment, ascension crossbows and telos weapons.
"One should not mindlessly follow gods or the godless:
~Big Storms

15-Jun-2018 11:13:55 - Last edited on 15-Jun-2018 11:37:06 by Big Storms

Jimi Blue

Jimi Blue

Posts: 9Bronze Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Are you really considering using developing time on game content who 60% of your player base don't want to use? And how many of that 40 % will play this mode longer than 6 months? How many Ironman started and stoped within 6 months?

It is a nice idea - but please be honest I don't think you should continue development on a project that cost that many time and has that little interest. There are really more important things to do.

15-Jun-2018 12:44:32 - Last edited on 15-Jun-2018 12:46:17 by Jimi Blue

Mar Member 2014


Posts: 6,572Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
If this will be difficult to develop then just don't do it. We already have ironman and hardcore ironman. We don't need an easy ironman mode. The brightest ideas are the most undervalued.

15-Jun-2018 12:57:52

May Member 2007


Posts: 109Iron Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
I was looking forward to this update as I have 2 other friends that were going to group up with me. What is now putting us off is the fact there will be no group banking and only certain things possibly being allowed to be traded between members of the group. We had already discussed assigning specific roles within the group and then trading those resources to one another. For example I would concentrate on farming, herblore, mining, slayer and other gathering skills, while another member would then turn those commodities into items for Invention disassembly, high alchemy, cooked food, potions, summoning pouches etc, while the last person would concentrate on the bossing side of things for weapons and armour. As this update doesn't sound like it's going in that direction we will not bother creating new accounts. If things do change then count us in. I just hope OSRS doesn't come out with this mode with the ability as I've mentioned when they release group ironman or we will be doing it on there instead. RS3 doesn't need to lose more players to OS because they cater better towards what the players want.

15-Jun-2018 12:58:43



Posts: 16,052Opal Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Looks good, surprisingly well thought out.

The most important "untradeables" to be able to be traded are stuff like high level potions such as overloads, sets of equipment like superior ports gear that are otherwise untradeable, maybe even defenders.

Maybe instead of attempting to give everyone one bank, why not have the basic bank available and a separate "group bank" accessed at the ironman guild? Doesn't OSRS have something similar with some sort of group chest at raids?

Even if the group bank implementation delays the content, it would be a worthy investment since the tech could be useful for creating clan banks as well.
Don't forget – RuneScape members get TWO free spins a day instead of the usual one!

15-Jun-2018 17:02:59

Lions RAWR
Sep Member 2019

Lions RAWR

Posts: 8,765Rune Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
While this content had me a bit excited, reading this Dev blog has shattered my expectations.

Mod Ramen said:

Will group banking be available for groups to use and share resources easier?

As of writing the answer is no as the engine support required for this would push the ETA for this project well into 2019.

In other words it may be another bank rework/ M+S situation and take forever to come out. I understand that it takes a bit of work but look at the trend. It seems that the engine is an huge issue ( thus delayed content). Can Jagex work on the engine first before they get these hyped posts out?
My Goals Lions Goals

15-Jun-2018 17:09:35



Posts: 5Bronze Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Looking forward to the new content! I agree with 99% of this dev blog. raids are endgame content and I feel that it doesn't nessecearly have to be something you would develop from the start. I believe untradeable items being able to be traded between group ironman accounts is good but i also believe this would cause for glitches and other problems along the line as people with find ways to abuse this feature. I liked the bank sharing idea but i see that it doesn't nessecearly have to be implemented as we can already trade with one another inside our group and are not able to trade the untradeables anyway. Allowing bank sharing would just be pointless. The fact that we can have groups of different size's and there is no definitive number of players is also great. overall, i look forward to this update and the increase in game-content this will bring me and my friends!

15-Jun-2018 18:05:28



Posts: 2Bronze Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
I love the fact that you'll be able to choose your group size.

It'll propable take a few months before a team will need a group for end game bossing like solak or raids, use those months to come up with a solution for that.

making untradeables tradeble would be to op.

I'm looking forward to group ironman.

15-Jun-2018 20:16:02

Jan Member 2018


Posts: 33Bronze Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
I can't wait for group ironman mode! I'm glad we can have different group sizes since I'm not sure how many people I can get to join in

On the topic of bossing, what if there was some kind of a daily/weekly limit on how many times you can group up, and/or you can only group up with teams/players at a similar combat/skill range than your own?

I love the idea that if a person quits a group, they become a normal account instead of a regular ironman! It doesn't devalue all the work ironmen have done on their own

As for Mr Ex and the GIM guild, how about somewhere in/around Varrock? Varrock lacks activity imo and it's close to Edgeville and the wilderness so it wouldn't disrupt players too much who use Mr Ex for other stuff like skulling

And as for untradeables, I agree with what Miu said. High-level potions should definitely be tradeable since I wouldn't want to force a 5-man group to all have 90+ herblore just for overloads when the point of the game mode is that people share what they specialize in

16-Jun-2018 12:46:21

Quick find code: 16-17-729-66019713Back to Top