Adding A New Skill: Introducing Sailing, Taming and Shamanism

Adding A New Skill: Introducing Sailing, Taming and Shamanism

It’s time to vote on Old School RuneScape’s first new skill! Which one’s your favourite?


Following our pitch at the Winter Summit, 80% of you told us that you’d like to see a new skill enter the game. Since then, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to bring you not one, not two, but three pitches, based on the results of the Community Consultation phase.

In the time between our previous update and today, we’ve received over 138,000 votes and 44,000 survey responses. We want to thank everyone who shared their thoughts and ideas – thanks to your valuable input, we have a much better understanding of the kind of new skill you’d all like to see.

So, without further ado, let’s introduce our potential new skills: Sailing, Taming and Shamanism.

If you can't see the video above, you can find it directly here.


Community Consultation Data




Polling Approach

Survey & Upcoming Events

New Skill Player Council Discord Server

Stage Three: Skill Pitches

Over the coming weeks we need YOU to pick ONE skill concept you’d like us to refine further. Once we’ve done that and showed you the results, we’ll move to the Lock-in Poll – and if the skill passes that, we’ll start work on the New Skill Beta.

However, don’t forget that we can also go backwards at any stage if we need to – nothing’s set in stone yet!

Community Consultation

Before we look at the new skills, let’s go over the results of the Community Consultation phase.

Firstly, we found that most of you are interested in some kind of Utility skill, so in line with that, we’ve ensured that two out of our three pitches are Utility skills. The third is a mix between Production and Gathering, with a reward space that offers various Utility benefits.

The second most popular skill type was Combat, although it was also the most polarising. Players are open to the idea that a new skill might enhance Combat, and it proved a desirable reward space, but not all of you were interested in a full-on Combat skill. Don’t worry – with this in mind, we plan to be very cautious with any changes that might affect Combat.

Another common theme was the desire to explore new areas with your new skill. Design-wise, if a new skill doesn’t have a strong presence in existing areas, it can feel a bit too similar to a minigame – so we’ve made sure that each concept has a good presence in both old and new places.

Unsurprisingly, you also wanted the new skill to integrate with your existing ones – although you don’t think that training it should be locked behind other skill requirements. All three of our pitches include multiple options for training methods, so there’s lots of integration to be had!

Gameplay-wise, you indicated you wouldn’t be happy if the new skill was buyable. An item sink was a benefit, but more of a ‘nice-to-have’ than a needed feature. The trouble here is that good item sinks are largely dependent on having buyables, so any skill with an item sink would naturally be buyable. Our third pitch presents a solution to this problem, incorporating the item sink into the reward space rather than the training method.

When we asked about what kind of wild, unique mechanics you’d like to see, the ones you liked most were ‘animal companions’ and ‘boats’.

In line with this, you also said you’d really like the new skill to have a ‘nature’ or ‘magical’ theme. We spent a lot of time trying to weave these ideas into our pitches, without coming too close to the existing Magic skill.

Multiple training methods (including solo'able and AFK) was also a must-have feature across the board for any type of new skill, so we'll make sure to keep this in mind especially during refinement. The next portion of the survey asked your opinion on polling existing skills from RuneScape 3 or from the selection we’ve polled previously.

Those of you who played in 2007 will be familiar with skills like Summoning and Dungeoneering. It turns out, these skills had some mixed responses. Rest assured – we’ve dug into your feedback and feel we have a good understanding of why these skills in particular aren’t the best fit in their previous iterations. Plus, we’ve applied those learnings to our skill pitches – so it’s a win-win!

When we asked if you’d like us to have another go at one of our previous proposed skills, one stood out far and above the rest. We reckon you can guess which one! Nevertheless, we’re aware that our past skill proposals come with a lot of ‘baggage’. There was an overwhelming amount of support for this skill, so please keep an open mind, read the pitch carefully, and vote as though you’re seeing it for the first time!


The ideas we’re presenting here aren’t yet set in stone. Any examples given in these pitches are simply to illustrate how concepts might work in-game. If you feel any of the examples given muddy the waters, or don’t feel right for the skill, please let us know – all your feedback is valuable!

At the other end of the scale, please remember that these are just concepts, not finished products. If something seems vague now, remember that the nitty gritty details will be ironed out in the next stage of the process – and they can change depending on your feedback.

Is this Old School RuneScape's first and only new skill?

We’ve seen this idea a lot, and just want to reassure everyone that this is not an ‘all or nothing’ vote. There’s absolutely no reason we can’t poll more skills in the future, so please don’t let this mentality influence your vote!

Your favourite skill might not make it this round, but that’s not to say we won’t develop it later, if that’s something the community seems interested in – and we’ll do all we can to avoid getting stuck in ‘development limbo’.

So, without further ado – let’s see the pitches!


Whether you’re an explorer setting foot on unexplored territory, a fisherman hoping for a monster catch, a pirate looking to sink every ship in sight, or even a courier looking to move goods from A to B, Sailing has something to offer everyone. So, acquire a vessel, set forth, and travel Gielinor like you’ve never travelled before!

Core Gameplay Loop

  • Navigate to a Port.
  • Obtain a Ship.
  • Engage in fun activities at Sea.

Increasing your Sailing level allows you to explore more dangerous and exciting areas.

To get started on your Sailing journey, you’ll need to make your way to a port. Luckily, we have loads of those in-game already!

Next, you’ll need to obtain a ship. You’ll have plenty of options to choose from, whether you want to hire one, purchase one, steal one – or even build one from scratch. The quality of the ship will impact how far you’re able to sail, and how you’ll fare at sea - although you’ll need higher Sailing levels to command the best quality vessels.

Once you’ve obtained your ship, you can set sail and start doing seafaring activities! This could include searching for an elusive sea monster, finding a new Fishing spot, or just seeing what else exists across the far-reaching seas of Gielinor.


Feedback on our previous Sailing pitch in 2015 told us that some players view Sailing as a 'meme' due to historical baggage within the community. As such, we've completely redesigned the skill’s training method. We’ll ensure that the majority of your XP comes from enjoyable seafaring activities, not building boats.

We’re also aware that you don’t want to see timegated content, so we’re not looking to introduce a copy of RuneScape 3’s Player Owned Port system.


So, what can you do at sea?

We plan for seaborne activities to make up the bulk of your Sailing training – and it also makes up most of the reward space for the skill.

We’d like to focus on navigating as a core mechanic. This will be a huge part of the skill, so it’s important that it feels natural – the current click-to-move system might feel weird on the open sea! We’ve been toying with a few options, like a unique pathfinding algorithm, keyboard entry controls, or a special navigating interface. This is one of many things we’d like to focus on during refinement, and you can bet you’ll get lots of opportunities to try this mechanic in the Beta.

But navigating would be a bit boring if the sea maintains its current copy-pasted blue texture. With this skill launch we’d fully update Gielinor’s oceans with deep waters, coral reefs, sea currents, storms, and loads of other new content for you to discover.

We don’t like the idea of giving you passive XP for navigating around aimlessly – after all, you don’t train Agility by walking! Instead, we plan to introduce a variety of activities you can take part in. This will be the bread and butter of the skill, the means by which you’ll earn the vast majority of Sailing XP. Our current suggestions include:

  • Deep sea fishing
  • Hunting elusive sea creatures
  • Navigational challenges, where you navigate the ship across some sort of obstacle or threat
  • Delivering packages from A to B
  • Uncovering new islands to explore

Lastly, we’ll throw in some passive gameplay – things you can do alongside training the skill that give small amounts of XP, such as recording your adventure in the Captain’s Log, or dealing with random encounters. Just like the rest of the world, the sea is alive and full of danger – be on the lookout for bad weather, strange creatures, and ships full of vicious pirates!

Reward Space

The intrinsic motivation for training this skill – getting access to a big, awesome boat and exploring the ocean – is also a major part of how you’ll train it. Bigger, more awesome boats will of course get you access to more content – so we’ll be adding a monumental amount of stuff for you to do, including new islands to explore and bespoke training methods, activities, and minigames to try.

You’ll also get to customise your ship and show off your Sailing achievements, potentially in similar to the way we currently let you decorate your Player Owned House if we can. Of course, some of you might prefer to just focus on having the most efficient vessel possible – and that’s fine too! We might even look into the option of having multiple ships for different purposes.

Perhaps the most exciting part of Sailing, though, is that you’ll finally be gaining access to a part of the game that’s been blocked since you left Tutorial Island. Ever wondered what’s beyond the little bit of coastline you can see from your favourite Fishing spot? Well, wonder no more…


Sailing is a support skill which lets players command their own seaworthy vessel to unlock, discover, and experience new content on the seas of Gielinor. It provides a wealth of opportunities for us to generate a huge variety of content, no matter what kind of player you are.

Most importantly, Sailing will let us expand the world of Gielinor beyond what you’ve ever imagined, with an entire new sea map filled with danger and excitement.

Sailing represents a huge opportunity for us to bring new types of content to the skill at a later date – there’s always more to discover on the open sea!

We've partnered with community creator GentleTractor and community artist Volcaban to create a digital representation of our Sailing pitch. Check it out by expanding the section below!



Discover new and existing creatures around the world and tame them into friendly companions! Earn their trust and take care of them, and in return they'll aid you on your adventures.

With your new Taming skill, you’ll be able to befriend creatures around Gielinor and take advantage of their unique abilities to explore the world in entirely new ways. Deepen your bond with your new companions by training them up to make their abilities even stronger!

You’ll be able to tame both existing creatures and new ones that we’ll introduce through the skill. Each one will have unique abilities to help you on your journey… if you can convince them to help you out!


We know what you're thinking. Animal companions, special abilities... is this Summoning? The short answer is no – we intend to make Taming feel entirely different.

Here’s the longer answer: we know that many of you have reservations about Summoning, but Community Consultation revealed that you lovethe idea of animal companions. We’ve looked into what you didn’t like about Summoning and made sure that Taming approaches things differently. For example, we've nixed any kind of Charms system. The core training loop of Summoning is in fact very similar to Runecraft, so we've had a hard look at how to make the core loop of Taming feel completely different.

Another big difference is that Summoning is a skill where your creatures are nothing but temporary tools. In Taming, your companions are the permanent product of your efforts to train and befriend them. You can really get to know these creatures!

Taming also allows you to level up while interacting with your companions, and you’ll gain XP as they level up and use your abilities. The specific nature of these abilities will be decided by the community should this pitch progress to the refinement phase.

We’re aware that Summoning casts a looming shadow over any kind of animal-based skill, but we’re keen to work with you to ensure that Taming goes in a different, more welcome direction.

Core Gameplay Loop

  • Domesticate a creature in the open world.
  • Care for it by providing food, a home, and enriching activities.
  • Train and level your new friend.

Increasing your Taming level grants access to new areas and new tameable creatures.

The core feature of the Taming skill is the strong bond between you and your animal companions. It’s not about Hunting a creature down, or releasing it as soon as it’s done your bidding – you’ll need to care for it and build its strength so it can assist you on your adventures.

Once you’ve tamed a creature, the main part of the skill will be looking after it. You’ll need to provide it with its favourite foods, build it a cosy new home, and keep it active with lots of training. Do all this, and you’ll have a loyal companion to accompany you on your journey.

The actual Taming process differs depending on which creature you’re trying to tame. Lassos, different kinds of food, and even toys might all be useful. Taming a creature this way would give some XP, but the bulk of your training will come from caring for your companions and levelling them up.


Training an animal companion will increase its level, meaning that its unique abilities become stronger. Some of them might even unlock new abilities at higher levels!

We’re offering a huge variety of abilities to train – some will help unlock new areas, some will help with existing skills, and some might even help you out in combat – although as we said before, we’re treading very carefully when it comes to combat impact.

Ultimately, the abilities we choose will be ironed out – with lots of community input – during the refinement phase.

As for training, we expect this will be done via multiple exciting activities around the world. An idea we’ve played around with is having your animal companion help you track things down. A flying creature could find hidden treasure in high places, while a more grounded one could help you dig up buried artefacts.

Once you've tamed your companion, the fastest way to train it will be by testing its mettle at dedicated Taming activities around Gielinor. Some companions may find joy in running specific obstacle courses. Others may find the sense of danger thrilling and would want to navigate elaborate mazes and traverse dangerous dungeons. Some may just want the cosy bonding time from playing good old "fetch"!

Reward Space

Companions’ abilities let you interact with the world in whole new ways. Fangs, fins, gills, wings… these are all tools animals have that we don’t. With their help, we can unlock new areas and new skilling methods. Exciting stuff!

All that aside though, animal companions are cool, cute, and fun. They’ll let you express your character’s personality in new ways – who doesn’t want to accessorize with their own black dragon, or an adorable herd of chinchompas?


Taming is a utility skill which lets you seek out creatures to tame. Over time, you’ll build a unique bond with your new companion and train it so that it grows even stronger.

Taming will let you make friends with existing creatures and introduce some new ones. Each one will have special abilities to help you on your journey – but remember, these are creatures with their own free will, not summoned slaves to throw away when you’re done with them. Just like a real pet, your care and persistence will pay dividends in rewards.

Take care of your new friends and train them well, and you’ll unlock unique ways to interact with the world!

We've partnered with community creator GentleTractor and community artist Volcaban to create a digital representation of our Taming pitch. Check it out by expanding the section below!



Study the magical power of nature through Shamanism and unlock the ability to perform rituals. Gather components, perform rituals, and infuse objects with the magic of the Spirit Realm. Create powerful items like Tikis, Totems and Poultices, and augment your own equipment with powerful new effects.

Your mastery of Shamanism will let you unlock your third eye and gain access to the Spirit Realm and communicate with spirits lingering between the two worlds.

Core Gameplay Loop

  • Forage for Natural Components throughout the world.
  • Gather Spiritual Components at Disturbed Sites.
  • Draw a Ritual Circle anywhere in the world.
  • Create powerful shamanic items through Rituals.

Increasing your Shamanism level grants access to more rituals and deeper parts of the Spirit Realm.

At its core, Shamanism is trained by gathering components and using them to produce new things.

You’ll need to gather two kinds of components – Natural and Spiritual. Once you have enough, you can create a Ritual Circle and start crafting powerful shamanic items. That’s where the bulk of your XP will come from!


This is our wildcard pitch. Instead of being a utility skill, it offers utility through the reward space. The core gameplay loop, however, feels definitively ‘Old School’, with a mix of gathering and production activities.

Community Consultation revealed that you had a strong desire for a skill that enhanced existing items as part of the reward space. Combining elements of magic and nature, we took our learnings from the survey results to come up with something unique and fun. While this pitch is certainly the wildest of the three, we really think you’ll like it. It’s about finding the magic of nature all around you – and we think it could have strong ties to the ongoing lore of the game…


As we said before, you’ll need to gather both Natural and Spiritual Components to power your Rituals. Naturally, you’ll need to use different methods to gather each.

You can forage Natural Components from… nature! Look for new nodes scattered across Gielinor and use your Shamanism skill to harvest the goods. You’re looking for things like mushrooms, roots, bark, leaves, berries, and other nature-y stuff.

Shamanism also lets you gather valuable reagents from beasts around the world. Bring your Carving Knife to pick up valuable components from your kills, like Giant Bone Marrow, Hellhound Blood, Giant Frog Spleens, and more…

As for the Spiritual Components, you’ll gather these from special nodes called Disturbed Sites. These are places where the veil between the Spirit World and our own is thin, and careful adventurers can get their hands on Spiritual Components – physical manifestations of magic that are essential to shamanistic rites.

We imagine that most of the gathered items would be untradeable, as to avoid the skill being buyable in response to community concerns mentioned at the start of this blog.


Here’s where it all comes together. Bring your Components and combine them into powerful new items in a Ritual Circle!

You can create a Ritual Circle anywhere in the world. Just like fires are used for Cooking, Ritual Circles are used for Shamanism – and much like fires, they can be drawn in most outdoor areas.

You’ll be able to produce new items like Tikis, Poultices, Oils and Totems – but you’ll also be able to augment your existing gear with powerful magic bonuses.

The Spirit Realm

The Spirit Realm is an alternate reality populated by… spirits! Skilled shamans can tap into the power of this realm and use it to power their abilities.

Disturbed Sites are places where the veil between Gielinor and the Spirit Realm is especially thin. You already know that you can find Spiritual Components here, but here’s something even more exciting – you can use Disturbed Sites to cross over into the Spirit Realm, and explore this mysterious new area…

The Spirit Realm is a mirror of the Gielinor you know and love, but it’s subtly different. A locked door in our world might be open in the Spirit Realm, or vice versa. Mastery of Shamanism will let you navigate the game world by jumping between the two, unlocking new paths and revealing hidden secrets.

We don’t quite know what the Spirit Realm will look like at this early stage. Should Shamanism move through to the refinement stage, we’ll be sure to discuss our ideas with you.

Reward Space

The biggest reward from Shamanism is the ability to create potent magical items. Poultices, Wards, Oils, Incense, Salves, Idols, Relics, Tikis, and Totems are all on the table. While we won’t decide the exact effects until the refinement stage, we’re aiming for these rewards to provide valuable utility. Perhaps a special Oil that makes tools better, or a quirky Relic to provide magical support. There’s a huge variety of potential uses for this stuff, and we’re excited to narrow it down.

On top of this, we want to let you augment your existing items. Shamanism will provide new and exciting ways to improve your gear, whether that be a stat increase on your armour, a new damage type for your weapon, or more efficient skilling tools. This is another thing we’ll properly iron out during the refinement phase.

Finally, as your Shamanism skill increases, you’ll be able to delve deeper into the Spirit Realm. Who knows what you may discover?


Shamanism is a combination Gathering and Production skill that lets you harness the power of nature to create powerful utility and support items, while upgrading your existing equipment and exploring the mysterious Spirit Realm.

Shamanism’s core gameplay loop is quintessentially Old School, a familiar process with a magical twist.

Ready to perform some rituals? Grab your fellow shamans and let us know!

We've partnered with community creator GentleTractor and community artist Volcaban to create a digital representation of our Shamanism pitch. Check it out by expanding the section below!


Polling Approach

We’ve presented our pitches – now it’s time for you to pick a favourite and tell us which one we should refine further!

We genuinely can’t predict the outcome of the poll at this stage. Even internally we can't decide on a favourite and so it’s anyone’s guess which idea will come out on top!

Only one of these pitches can advance to the refinement stage. We need you to cast your vote and tell us your thoughts so we can make this tough decision together.

Unfortunately, our polling system doesn’t have the option to let you rank the pitches in order of preference – so these are the questions we’re going with:

(Multiple Choice) Question #1: After reading the New Skill Pitch blog, which concept(s) for a New Skill in Old School RuneScape would you be happy to see refined further? Select all that apply.

  • Sailing
  • Taming
  • Shamanism
  • I didn't like any of them
  • Skip

(Singular Choice) Question #2: Which New Skill Pitch is your favourite?

  • Sailing
  • Taming
  • Shamanism
  • I didn't like any of them
  • Skip

Question #3: Would you be interested in filling out a survey to provide additional feedback?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Skip

Additional polls may be necessary to decide which skill should move forward to refinement. For example, if more than one skill proves popular, we may poll them against each other in a single question.

We’ve also accounted for the small possibility that the community's 'favourite' skill could have scored negatively in other parts of the poll. If this happens, we’ll consider choosing a close-second favourite for refinement – provided that’s more agreeable, of course!

As you’ve seen, each pitch has plenty of concepts to iron out in the refinement phase, and we’re sure you’ll have lots of ideas to share with us! Luckily, we’ve got various feedback channels at our disposal, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on all of them over the coming weeks.

If all goes smoothly, we’d like to open the Skill Pitches Poll on April 4th!

Upcoming Events and Feedback Survey

First impressions are important, and we hope you like what you’ve seen today. If not, the good news is that our new polling approach gives us loads of flexibility to make amendments!

We’re dedicating the next week (and beyond) to listening to your feedback on each of our proposals and clarifying points where needed. To help you get involved, we’ve created a survey (your favourite!) which will ask for your thoughts on the three pitches above.

We're also holding events to establish touchpoints with the community on the new skill process:

Event Purpose Date Platform
Skill Pitches Survey Tell us your thoughts about Sailing, Shamanism, and Taming! You’ll also have the opportunity to submit your questions for our stream later in the week. March 27th Survey
Pre-Recorded Q&A Stream (2 hours) A pre-recorded stream made before this blog released, where we sat down to discuss questions we thought you'd have after reading the blog. March 28th, 16:00 BST Twitch/YouTube
Stages Discussion with Mods Kieren, Curse, Ayiza, Light and Elena (1 hour) We’re experimenting with Stages, a Discord voice platform where we can jump into a channel, invite questions and speak with the community directly. This would be more informal than our regular Q&As! Likely to be Wednesday March 29th, but we’ll confirm the exact time and date in the Discord server. New Skill Player Council Discord
Live Twitch Q&A with Mods Kieren, Ayiza, Light and Elena Answering top questions from the community as part of a scheduled Q&A. Questions will be gathered from top social threads as well as the survey linked in this blog. March 30th, 17:00 BST Twitch/YouTube
Reddit AMA with Mods Elena, Curse, Ayiza, Light and Kieren Ask us anything about the new skill pitches! TBD Reddit
Data Stream (Community Consultation) Discussing the results of the Community Consultation in a dedicated data stream! We may also decide to present this data in a blog. TBD Twitch/YouTube
Community/Creator Roundtable Discussion Hear what top community members and content creators have to say about the new skill pitches! TBD Twitch/YouTube

Events marked 'TBD' are dependent on how community feedback evolves over the next few weeks

New Skill Player Council Discord Server

Selected applicants from the Community Consultation survey have been (or will shortly be) assigned a ‘General Contributor’ role in the New Skill Player Council Discord Server. They’ll be able to give feedback on the three pitches from this blog. We’ll be keeping a close eye on discussion over the coming weeks, and opening and closing channels as appropriate to ensure the server is being used in a constructive way.

Participating players were selected using account-based criteria from the in-game poll. We wanted a range of opinions and felt this was the fairest way to handle the applications, since so many of you were up for sharing your feedback. If you haven’t been selected, you’ll still be able to join the Discord and read and react to what’s being said by clicking this link.

It’s likely that we’ll add more contributors in future, but we’re not sure when or how we’ll do that just yet.

We’re working towards weekly check-ins and Q&As to keep the Discord engaged. Discord is a new platform for us, so we’re excited to experiment and discover what works and what doesn’t.

As always, we welcome your feedback, and we can’t wait to see which skill pitch you like best!

You can discuss this update on our official forums, the 2007Scape subreddit, the Steam forums, or the community-led OSRS Discord in the #gameupdate channel. For more info on the above content, check out the official Old School Wiki.

Mods Arcane, Archie, Argo, Ash, Ayiza, Boko, Bruno, Chilly, Crystal, Curse, Daizong, Dylan, Ed, Elena, Errol, Fed, Gecko, Gizmo, Goblin, Grub, Halo, Hend, Hornet, Husky, Jalo, Jerv, Keyser, Kieren, Kirby, Kurotou, Lenny, Light, Mack, Manked, Markos, Maylea, Meat, Moogle, Morty, Nin, Nylu, Other, Pumpkin, Redfield, Regent, Roq, Ry, Sarnie, Shroom, Sigma, Skylark, Sova, Squid, Starry, Stevew, Surma, Sween, Tide, Titus, Torrance, Tyran, Veda, Vegard, West & Wolfy

The Old School Team.