Barbarian Assault is brought bang up to date in today's RuneScape update – inspired by PrimalMoose's winning pitch at RuneFest 2013.
There's an all-new hard mode, where you'll rally your friends to take down the terrifying Penance King.
Existing rewards that you know and love have been revitalised, and we’ve added some new rewards into the mix.
The new rewards include four pocket-slot insignias - granting benefits to combat, gathering and healing - and a lore book revealing the origins of the Penance and their king.
There are also charged versions of the insignias which are even more powerful, but must be kept charged with an insignia recharge – a rare reward from the Penance Queen, or looted from the Penance King.
Finally, there's a graphical rework of the Penance creatures, plus countless fixes, tweaks and quality-of-life improvements.
Read on for further details, or log in now and head over to the Barbarian Assault HQ, far north of Ardougne.
What's Barbarian Assault?
Barbarian Assault is a safe, team-based minigame where you'll help the Fremennik hold back an onslaught of extra-dimensional horrors: the Penance.
You'll take on one of four roles - Attacker, Defender, Collector or Healer - and work with your teammates to survive ten waves - facing the deadly Penance Queen at the end.
Succeed, and you'll receive honour points to spend on rewards. These include Penance-themed armour and weapons, plenty of bonus XP, and a whole host of new rewards released today.
If you've never given Barbarian Assault a go, now's the time. The best way to get into the game is to head over to the Barbarian Assault HQ - accessible with a games necklace, or a walk north of Ardougne - and speak to Captain Cain for a full tutorial.
The core element of the pitch was a hard mode, aimed at challenging high-level players with top-end gear, where you'd encounter the mighty Penance King. That's exactly what we've brought you today.
While setting up, the group leader can switch between normal and hard mode on the Recruitment interface, or through a right-click option on the recruitment scroll – you can only access this by right-clicking on the recruitment scroll. Everyone in the team must have defeated the Penance Queen since the rework to be eligible for Hard Mode.
The first nine waves will be significantly more difficult than before, with larger swarms of Penance creatures, all with upgraded abilities and stats improved over their normal-mode counterparts.
If it gets too difficult, you can switch back to normal mode during any wave. However, you forfeit the option to fight the Penance King in the final wave.
Please note: we will not be publishing any information on the Penance King's mechanics on our wiki until Thursday the 28th of August.
This rework wouldn't be complete without some sweet new rewards:
- Penance insignias are powerful pocket-slot items that provide benefits related to the Barbarian Assault player roles outside the minigame. Each has a permanent passive benefit, which can be temporarily increased by applying insignia recharge tokens.
- Attacker's insignia: gives a chance to apply a damage-over-time effect in combat.
- Defender's insignia: increases your armour bonus.
- Collector's insignia: increases your luck with drops, as well as Agility and Barbarian Firemaking XP
- Healer's insignia: increases your prayer bonus and health restored by food.
- New titles, including 'the Penance Slayer' - for defeating the Penance King - and one for mastering each of the roles. We now have two tiers of role titles; a basic version and a mastered role.
- The Account of Aesa Fellsdottir is a lore book chronicling the fevered dreams of its author, in which she discovers the origin of the Penance and their king. You can purchase it from the reward shop alongside other rewards.
We've also updated many of the existing rewards:
- The Penance trident still has a chance of saving at least one rune when casting spells, and the Penance master trident has a greater chance. The tridents now also act as water staves and possess a special attack called reap which does up to 200% damage of your active spell.
- The Penance horn and master horn are now just cosmetic items, as the double XP they used to give is now given through the bonus XP system.
Barbarian Assault is one of RuneScape's longest-standing minigames, and it was important to bring it in-line with today's game:
- All Penance creatures have received a gloriously slimy graphical update.
- Shout actions previously performed from the Penance horn are now abilities, and can be activated in the action bar.
- Penance combat stats are buffed to make them a challenge appropriate for today's game.
- The green and blue eggs have been made more useful
- Action bars can be set up in the waiting room.
- Poison food and lures now stack in the inventory.
- The hammer from the tool belt now works within the minigame.
- Wave tickets now stack, grant access to lower-numbered wave rooms, and are tradeable.
- Interfaces have been polished to make them clearer and easier to use.
After a great player pitch and a ton of your feedback, Barbarian Assault's back with a vengeance. We can't wait to hear all about your exploits over on the forums.
Mod Wilson, Mod Ollie, Mod Nexus, and the RuneScape Team
In Other News
- Two new seasonal hiscores start today: Total Penance Queens Killed and Total Penance Kings Killed.
- There's a range of cute - if disturbingly appendaged - Penance pets now available from Solomon's Store.
Read the patch notes for other updates released today.