Adding A New Skill: Sailing Refinement Kick-off

Adding A New Skill: Sailing Refinement Kick-off

Today you値l get your first look at how we plan to refine the new Sailing skill!




Contents


Introduction

Refinement Explainer

Core System and Gameplay Loop

Navigation and Map/Sea Scale

Reward Space

Integration & Lore

Refinement Survey






Introduction


The new skill pitches poll was one of the most exciting in Old School RuneScape history. Over 178,000 of you had your say, and we appreciate each and every one of you for taking the time to vote. If you were there, give yourself a big pat on the back - go on, you deserve it!


When the votes were counted, Sailing took the crown as the community痴 favourite skill. Thousands of you loved the idea of exploring new areas, taking down scary sea monsters, and upgrading your very own boat. No matter what kind of player you are, Sailing has a little something for everyone!


Over the next few months, we値l work with you to transform ideas into formal designs. We致e got loads of fantastic concepts to show you, and soon you値l be able to tell us which ones should be part of the new skill.





Refinement


Our journey to the Sailing design blog starts by covering four key topics, each of which will get around 2 weeks worth of feedback time:

  • Core System and Gameplay Loops
  • Navigation and Map/Sea Scale
  • Reward Space
  • Overall Game Integration and Lore

Once we致e discussed these topics thoroughly, we can move on to a longer, detailed design for you to vote on.


Now, a few ground rules when it comes to discussion! Over the next couple of months we値l be addressing each topic in order, and we壇 prefer if you all stuck as closely to the current topic as possible. You might have great feedback in mind, but please keep hold of it until we池e ready to discuss the relevant topic.


You can look forward to a dedicated blog and a Discord 全tages call for each topic which will be used to explain and share what the team has been working on. To kick us off, we致e got a survey in this very blog post where you値l get the chance to tell us your thoughts about our initial ideas. We値l follow up with the usual array of feedback changes and then move on to the next topic. Savvy? Savvy.


Once we致e discussed all four topics, we値l present a detailed design blog with everything we致e learned. Remember, nothing is locked-in until we致e run the 70/30 poll which lets us start work on the Beta, so there痴 still plenty of time for us to take your feedback on board.


Lastly, we want to reassure everyone that your feedback is incredibly valuable to us. If you didn稚 vote for Sailing, you池e still very welcome to participate in discussion. In fact, your ideas might be the most valuable of all we池e hoping to improve Sailing based on your feedback, so dissenting opinions are really important! Together, we can make Sailing the best skill it can be.


And remember, once we致e fully explored Sailing we also plan to revisit the runner-up skill, Shamanism! We池e really looking forward to exploring not one, but two fantastic new skill ideas.


For now though, it痴 time to hoist the anchor and start refining Sailing!




Topic #1: Core System and Gameplay Loops


Mid May


As you know, Sailing will be an open-world skill, allowing brave buccaneers to explore the seas of Gielinor, engaging in various maritime activities and upgrading their ships to better withstand the challenges they値l face in open waters.


We池e kicking off the refinement stage by discussing the Core System and Gameplay Loops in detail. It痴 a critical topic, because we know your biggest concern with the skill is that it might feel like a minigame. This topic will help us steer away from that outcome.


We need your help to choose the best skilling methods for Sailing share your favourite ideas with us, so we can create an exciting gameplay loop that feels 100% 前ld School! During refinement, we値l iron out what we reckon are the best, most enjoyable training methods, whether they be solo, group-based, high-intensity or AFK-able.


Another question we池e interested to hear the answer to is: how much time you壇 like to spend actually out at sea, instead of exploring the islands you値l discover on your adventures?


That question, and more, will be answered in our first refinement phase!




Topic #2: Navigation and Map/Sea Scale


Late May


With the core gameplay nailed down, we can start thinking about another key aspect of the skill: how players will navigate the seas, and how big those seas are supposed to be!


The navigation interfaces you池e familiar with from quests like Bone Voyage and Enlightened Journey might be a fantastic nostalgia trip, but they池e a bit clunky. We want navigation to feel enjoyable, a fun way to travel for mobile and desktop 全capers alike. Obviously, you値l be spending a significant amount of time moving your boat around while Sailing, so this is a real cornerstone of the design.


As Sailing will not be an instanced skill, we also want to discuss how the world of Gielinor will expand with this new content. We want to add loads of new islands and hidden secrets and of course, the new world map must be large enough to harbour hundreds of players (and their ships!) on the open sea. We池e considering some kind of prototype to help us gather more accurate information about this topic following your feedback.


Lastly, we want to ensure Sailing seamlessly integrates with existing locations and travel methods. A player should expect to be able to sail right up to Catherby beach and ask the players there about their Fishing levels! While this is something we値l touch on in this topic, we値l come back to it when it痴 time to look at Topic #4: Game Integration and Lore.




Topic #3 Reward Space


Mid June


While the core concept of letting players traverse the sea and explore new destinations is an awesome reward in itself, we want to offer more from Sailing including an array of utility benefits for your account, and the ability to own and upgrade a ship of your own!


Obviously travel is a key reward space from Sailing, but we don稚 want this skill to just be a more in-depth alternative to Charter Ships and Teleports. Instead, we want Sailing to be a free-form exploration method which lets you go wherever you want, rather than a pre-defined, speedy route to a destination. In this way, we池e also ensuring that the reward space doesn稚 crowd out existing travel options.


So instead, let痴 think about all the unique items, resources, and treasures you may find out at sea and yes, that may well include pirate cosmetics!


While discussing this topic we値l also consider how rewards can enhance existing skills and other gameplay, ensuring that Sailing has a meaningful impact even when you池e not at sea.


As always, we池e also mindful about power creep. It痴 important that we get the right balance for these rewards to ensure they feel motivating enough to grind for without disrupting the game痴 delicate economy.




Topic #4: Game Integration and Lore


Late June


Sailing has to feel like it's been a part of Gielinor since the very beginning, so our last stage of refinement will explore how we make this new skill blend seamlessly with existing skills, lore and areas.


For example, we already have loads of ports in the game but what purpose might they have in Sailing? Your input will decide whether they serve simply as a place to dock your boat, or whether they値l serve a greater purpose.


There痴 also tons of existing lore dealing with sailing and the sea. We know we致e got some budding lorehounds out there, and we壇 love to hear from you about how we can tie existing lore to Sailing.


As you explore more of Gielinor痴 ocean, of course, you値l meet new NPCs and travel to exciting new places so this is also your opportunity to tell us which as-yet-unvisited lore you壇 like to encounter.


Visuals will also be a big part of this topic, so you can look forward to feasting your eyes on some nautical mock-ups!




Refinement Kick-off Survey


This is your invitation to join us on our Sailing journey and pitch in to help this skill be the best it can be.


You can expect dedicated blogs and Discord 壮tages calls for each of our four topics in the coming months, giving you ample opportunity to have your say. If you haven't already, you can join the Discord Server via this link. We壇 like to reiterate that we壇 prefer if feedback was limited to the current topic, to ensure that we池e able to take all your feedback on board properly.


Each topic will have a minimum of two weeks design and discussion time with the community, so here are some approximate dates to bear in mind:


Date (Approximate) Blog/Topic
Monday 24th April Sailing Refinement Blog #1 and Kick-off Survey
Explains how we'll be handling the Refinement stage and gives you the chance to tell us your initial feelings about Sailing.
Early May Sailing Refinement Blog #2
Explains the results of the Refinement Kick-off Survey.
Mid May Sailing: Core System and Gameplay Loop Blog
Presents initial ideas, may include a survey, and can be updated following feedback from the community.
Late May Sailing: Navigation and Sea/Map Scale Blog
Presents initial ideas, may include a survey, and can be updated following feedback from the community.
May include ways to prototype various navigational mechanics.
Mid June Sailing: Reward Space Blog
Presents initial ideas, may include a survey, and can be updated following feedback from the community.
Late June Sailing: Game Integration & Lore Blog
Presents initial ideas, may include a survey, and can be updated following feedback from the community.
Mid July Sailing: Refinement Summary Blog
Summarises the result of refinement, including what changes were made. It's uncertain at this time whether we'll be in a position to present the full detailed design blog, but hopefully we値l be nearly there!

Community feedback, staff absence, holidays or other events outside of our control may alter the dates provided.



Now to get the ball rolling with the initial refinement kick-off survey! While this won稚 include everything we need to know from you, it痴 intended as a springboard that will help us understand your initial feelings about the skill.


Adding a new skill to Old School RuneScape is a big undertaking, and we壇 like to thank our wonderful community for being so passionate and so engaged. Old School RuneScape wouldn稚 be what it is today without you, and you池e all superstars in our hearts! We池e committed to working closely with you as we refine our new skill and creating content that surpasses your expectations.


For that reason, we want to reiterate that all feedback is valuable. Whether you池e a Sailing sceptic or a Sailing superfan, we want to hear all you have to say.


So, what are you waiting for? Make your way to the Sailing Refinement Survey, and let痴 get going!




You can also discuss this update on our official forums, on 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.


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