It's finally time to tell you about Necromancy, and boy are we excited about it. Later this year, you'll be diving into a brand new stand-alone combat style that has something for every type of player.
Building on our learnings with Archaeology, the journey to become a master Necromancer is rich with variety - a whole new combat style to learn, equipment to upgrade through gameplay, a stunning new location, numerous new Necromantic quests, non-combat rituals, new Runes, an epic storyline to save life (and death!) on Gielinor and a whole lot more.
Check out the video above and read on for even more expanded details on what to expect when Necromancy releases later this year. If you want to see more Necromancy gameplay and impressions from other RuneScape players who recently playtested the skill, expand the box below for a whole host of videos to sink your teeth into!
Check out all these creator videos!
Check out all these creator videos!
Master RuneScape's New Stand-Alone Combat Style
Necromancy is entirely independent from existing Combat Styles, sitting outside the existing combat triangle. This fully-fledged combat system includes its own dual-wield weapons, armour, abilities and incantations - while supporting skills and items that work with other combat styles today. Something we're particularly excited about is that you can take this skill anywhere across Gielinor - face off against bosses you haven't touched in years or level against some rats in Varrock Sewers. The world is your oyster.
As a Necromancer, you'll mix two types of Necromantic power. Necrotic attacks - which are channelled with your Death Guard - focus on using Necromatic power to damage, debuff or afflict your foes with a variety of effects. Your other weapon, the Spirit Lantern, is used to fulfil that Necromancy fantasy we all have of conjuring the dead! As a Necromancer, you'll conjure your undead allies to fight in battle alongside you and enhance their capabilities with various abilities earned as you level.
On top of all your Necromantic abilities, you'll also have access to Incantations - a Necromantic spellbook that forms part of the unique combat experience. Incantations provide spells that support the skill, like Bone Shield, which enables you to use defensive abilities usually requiring a shield without having one equipped.
In a RuneScape first for a Combat Style, this skill goes all the way up to 120 - with free-to-play adventures gaining access to the first 20 levels of Necromancy too.
'Approachable And Deep' Design Means Combat For Everyone
Combat in RuneScape can be difficult to master, so from the ground up, we've approached Necromancy with a single vision in mind - straightforward to learn, highly rewarding to master.
For the less combat-experienced, this is the perfect time to get to grips with it. Through an extensive tutorial, curated quests and clear challenges, Necromancy will guide your growth both in power and in skill to help you take on the best combat experiences RuneScape has to offer. With its unique design emphasizing auto-attacks as a potent baseline, you'll be able to fully focus on using your powerful abilities at the right time - and as you learn at your own pace, begin experimenting to get the most out of your abilities.
For the combat experts among you, this is where you can leverage your knowledge, skills and abilities to their fullest extent. You'll need to re-master all combat challenges Gielinor has to offer in this new style (plus a few new ones), discover new optimal rotations and explore Talents (more on those later) to maximise your Necromancy capabilities. We've set out to make each ability you earn valuable and viable - all killer, no filler - so you'll have plenty of experimenting with.
In another RuneScape first, Necromancy armour and weapons will also be upgradable without the need to chase drops. As you complete quests and challenges, you'll be able to use new materials to upgrade your armour all the way up to Tier 90 - enabling you to have the gear to take on the toughest enemies in RuneScape through the skill experience.
Journey Across Gielinor and Its Underworld in The City of Um
Of course, any great journey in RuneScape needs a great story - and you've got plenty of that coming up in Necromancy.
Necromancy takes place in a moment of dire times as The First Necromancer makes his move. Biding his time since the First Age, The First Necromancer has been plotting to seek to end death itself, and with the Gods gone from Gielinor, his opportunity has come to strike. The First Necromancer has taken over the Underworld City of Um and enslaved the Undead who are waiting to pass on. He seeks to end the cycle of death on Gielinor and destroy all life in the process.
You will be tasked with harnessing the art of Necromancy to free the Undead and put a stop to The First Necromancer. As a hero of Gielinor, you won't be enslaving the dead - you'll be allying with them! As you grow stronger in your Necromantic powers, you'll be able to free more of the residents of the City of Um, who will not only support you in combat, but also repopulate the City as it comes to... uhh... life, once more.
Necromancy includes numerous quests on release that will take you across Gielinor, including two which culminate in epic boss fights - Hermod, the Spirit of War, and The First Necromancer himself. Each boss can only be faced with Necromancy as a test of all the skills you've learned - and each can be fought as a fully-fledged Boss once conquered in the quests, including the chance to chase Tier 95 Necromancy Weapon and Armour drops from The First Necromancer.
Feed Your Power with Rituals
Rituals are how you will commune with the undead and fuel your power. These skilling-style experiences allow you to acquire XP and new items/materials to help with other parts of the skill, such as Combat, RuneCrafting and Equipment upgrades. Rituals also attract more Spirits to the City of Um and free them into the Well of Souls (which is required for unlocking Talent Tiers).
In Rituals, you'll draw glyphs, place light sources and use a focus object to begin one of 12 Rituals. Once the Ritual begins, you'll spend time channelling Necromantic energy into the Ritual until it completes. As the Ritual progresses, random events will occur that you can interact with for a boost in XP - allowing you to actively engage for bigger benefits, or sit back AFK-style to take things a little easier.
Rituals are an important part of progressing your Necromantic power and freeing the souls of the undead - or if you're more the trading type, acquire materials that can be sold on the G.E to others. For the less combat curious, Rituals can be also used as a non-combat method to level Necromancy.
Enhance Your Abilities With Talents
Unique to Necromancy are Talents, a new system that grows your power as you increasingly use Necromancy in combat.
Talents add new or upgraded abilities as permanent unlocks for combat. As you earn Necromancy experience by using it in combat you'll earn Talent Points to spend in the Talents system - which you spend to unlock your chosen Talent. The available Talents are spread across 8 tiers and levelling Necromancy and performing communion rituals will allow you to gain access to each new Tier.
After the first Tier, each further Tier has multiple Talents on offer to choose from - but with no ability to re-assign your Talent points, you'll need to carefully choose the Talents that appeal most to you through your Necromancy journey. Do you chase the highest Tier talents every time? Or do you invest in other Talents at lower tiers you really want? These are your choices to make as you forge your own path to mastering Necromancy!
Have no fear though - while you'll have to make tough choices as you level, as long as you're regularly gaining Combat XP, you will be able to earn all Talents by the time you hit the heights of 120.
RuneCraft Powerful Runes for Incantations
To use Incantations, you'll need Necrotic Runes. Necrotic Runes are split into four types - Bone, Spirit, Flesh and Miasma.
After converting Rune Essence into Impure Essence through Rituals, you can use your hard-earned Runecrafting skills to visit the altars in the Underworld and craft these Runes for yourself. Use them to self-fund your Necromantic Incantations, or trade them to other players.
Designed To Evolve With Players
At its heart, Necromancy has been designed as a skill that evolves with all of you. Being a combat skill that touches 22 years of content, we want to make sure it feels perfectly placed in RuneScape's overall experience - and your feedback will be our north star in making sure it achieves that goal.
We've already started our efforts to bring player voice into shaping Necromancy, with Content Creators from across the RuneScape community invited to Jagex to test the Skill at an earlier development phase. Their feedback is already driving improvements to Necromancy that we can make in time for the final release, as well as giving us early indications on how we can evolve the skill further post-launch. Each Creator has also been invited to share gameplay and impressions from their experience, which you can find at the top of this article.
While Creators speaking for their own communities is a small step we can take today, the journey together really begins at launch. We'll be monitoring your feedback closely to guide further refinements and improvements to Necromancy post-launch for months to come, including a content-sized chunk of development time set aside for the first month of release to enable us to fully focus on your feedback straight away. We can't wait to see your feedback on Necromancy and work together on making it even better in the future.
Even More To Come Post Launch
While we're releasing Necromancy as a full-experience later this year, the Necromancy story doesn't end there.
On top of refining and tuning the skill based on your feedback, we'll be delivering even more after launch - including new quests that continue the story of Necromancy, player-events and even a brand new boss. As with any combat style, you can also expect new Abilities and equipment that change the way you play in the future.
Preserving the Leveling Experience
One of the best parts of a new Skill release is that special journey of discovery all the way to level 99 and 120.
A new combat style presents a unique challenge to RuneScape, as existing Combat XP rates across 22 years of content open up a host of opportunities to fire through the levels far too quickly. We want to preserve the journey as best we can to ensure Necromancy delivers that Archaeology-level feeling of progression and variety we know you valued so much. We also want to make sure abilities are presented at a good cadence to give you ample opportunity to learn what each one does.
For that reason, Necromancy has Combat XP rate reductions tied to levels. At Level 1, XP will be earned at a reduced percentage of normal Combat XP - incrementally increasing at certain level milestones all the way up to Combat XP you're more familiar with at Level 120. Through these changes, we've seen a much stronger experience in longevity testing that will truly let you explore how you want to level the skill and take the time to learn each new ability.
Beyond that, there are no limits to your experience. Chase those power-leveling combat spots you know and love, revisit old favourite enemies you haven't seen in years or try something new for the first time. Everyone's journey to mastering Necromancy will be different, and deeply personal to you. It's your adventure, your way.
(And yes, ED3's XP rates - which we're aware of and are reworking! - will be fixed in time for launch to match the other Elite Dungeon XP rates).
Existing Items Used By Necromancy
Since we've had a number of Creators on site to playtest pre-launch, we've put a number of provisions in place to ensure fairness among the community - including placing restrictions on merchandising existing items related to Necromancy for those Creators until today's announcement.
Now that Necromancy has been revealed, we also want to make sure all players have equal access to information on items used in Necromancy. Below are a list of various items used in Necromancy that you can access today in-game, so you can begin stocking up together on a fair playing field.
These items are:
Click for a full List
Click for a full List
- Pure Essence
- Overload Potions (premade Overloads will update to include Necromancy boosts - ones made after the update will require Extreme Necromancy Potions to make)
- Ashes (New)
- Big Bones
- Baby Dragon Bones
- Wyvern Bones
- Dragon Bones
- Dagannoth bones
- Airut bones
- Ourg Bones (update- includes from Graardor & Ogre Coffins)
- Hardened Dragon Bones
- Dragonkin Bones
- Dinosaur Bones
- Frost Dragon Bones
- Reinforced Dragon Bones
- Subjugation Chest/Head/Legs/Boots/Gloves (updated to include Gloves/Boots)
- Spectral Spirit Shield
- Draconic Visage
- Spider Silk Chest/Head/Legs/Boots/Gloves (updated to include Gloves/Boots)
- Mystic Chest/Head/Legs/Boots/Gloves (updated to include Gloves/Boots)
- (Only the Blue Variant is currently used.)
- Algarum Thread
- Wool from Player-owned Sheep
- Metal Bars (From Bronze up to Bane)
- Igneous Stone (New)
- Praesul Codex
Necromancy XP Embargo and Grace Periods
Necromancy will launch with an embargo on any experience bonuses (such as Lamps and Stars) for the first six months after release.
Our plans for grace periods (such as Completionist Cape requirements) have yet to be locked at this point in development. We'll make sure to update you on any grace period news closer to the launch.
A Final Note From The Team
That was a LOT of words. Thanks so much for taking the time to learn about Necromancy - we hope you're as excited about it as we are.
We still have plenty more to reveal about Necromancy over the coming months. On the road to launch, we'll be giving you deeper looks at the skill, across the board - from combat to lore, rituals and more. As we close in on the final stages of development, we will confirm the launch date so you can begin planning your skilling time in. Yes, it's still very much in 2023.
On behalf of everyone working on Necromancy, thank you so much for your excitement, speculation and cries for more information over the past few months. Building a skill like this is a huge, multi-year labour of love - and every comment has been a boost to us as we work super hard to bring you something special. We truly appreciate you all.
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