Behind the Scenes - August 2013

Behind the Scenes - August 2013

This August, as the Battle of Lumbridge rages, we've got a god-sized helping of content coming to RuneScape, including the all-new Divination skill, a knightly 6th Age quest featuring Sir Owen, and a huge update to the Members' Loyalty Programme!


Members' skill - levels 1-5 for free players

Divination - our first new skill in three years - is coming to you this month!

Orla Fairweather

Guthix's death unleashed divine energy throughout Gielinor, and the ensuing turmoil has also damaged the planet, causing the life force of the Anima Mundi to bleed out into the world. Orla Fairweather and her pioneering team of researchers are investigating these strange phenomena to determine what they mean for the world - and how they can be harnessed by its inhabitants.

As you train in this new art, you'll gather divine energy - a valuable new resource - from wisps: residual life energy made manifest by remnants of Guthix's power. These wisps have gathered into colonies around the world, the first of which you'll encounter right by the Lumbridge crater. Along with the energy you'll gather from them, you'll also find fragments of Guthix's memories that can be returned to the Anima Mundi for extra XP gain.

Much more than just a gathering skill, there's plenty you'll be able to do with Divination beside level and build up resources. Using the energy you gather from the wisps, you'll be able to make pocket-slot items called signs that activate automatically under certain conditions, granting you benefits - protecting you from killing blows, for example, or keeping additional items on death. There'll also be inventory-held items called portents that are also used under certain conditions - healing you when you fall below a certain percentage health, for instance.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of Divination is that it'll be a huge complement to your other gathering skills. I can't reveal too much just yet, but those well versed in the skill will have unprecedented access to gathering locations and high-end materials, and extra help with the logistics of gathering resources. I'll be revealing more in an upcoming BTS video, so keep an eye out for that!

Divination will be a direct companion to the new skill coming next year, so get ahead of the game early! The skill will come with a daisy-fresh hiscore table, so I'm hoping to see some healthy competition on the way to the Divination skillcape. Speaking of which, if you haven't yet voted on new skillcape's colour scheme you can do so in our poll.

If you're a free player, don't forget that - as with all members' skills - the first five levels of Divination will be available for you to try out. Be sure to give it a go!

The Death of Chivalry

Free players and members

We have a real treat in store for lore fans this month with The Death of Chivalry - a quest that sees the events of the 6th Age truly begin!

The Death of Chivalry

You'll join Sir Owen as he infiltrates the Black Knights' Fortress. Rumour has it that the Kinshra have located a powerful, magical weapon, and Saradomin himself has ordered Owen to get hold of it before they do - at any cost.

Along the way, there'll be swords, sorcery and a damsel in distress, but this quest's far from a fairytale. There's a dark mystery to unravel, and hard choices that'll make you question what you know - and perhaps even where your loyalties lie. Choices you've made at the Battle of Lumbridge and elsewhere in the game will be reflected in the content, and your decisions will affect the quest's ending. See if you can spot the odd nod to the Black Knights' Fortress quest - which this replaces - and to the RuneScape novels, too.

The fortress itself has never looked so impressive, and our art team have done a grand job, giving it a truly menacing atmosphere. The characters are fully-voiced - including Saradomin himself - and the orchestral music more than meets the precedent set by RuneScape 3's epic score.

Black Knights' Fortress

The quest's suitable for everyone as there are no entry requirements, the combat scales with your level, and is available to free players and members alike. Rewards include a unique shield with an emote, a choice of knightly titles and an item that lets you replay the quest's cutscenes. There are some cracking post-quest rewards for members too, including a full cosmetic armour override set, righteous helpings of Prayer and Combat XP and much more. The extra XP rewards can be claimed after the quest, once level requirements of up to 80 Strength and 65 Prayer are met.

Improved Loyalty Programme and Solomon's Store Merge

Loyalty Programme: members only

Solomon's Store: free players and members

Our Members' Loyalty Programme is long due an overhaul, and you'll see just that this month. First up, we're merging Xuan's Loyalty Store with Solomon's General Store. Not only will this keep your cosmetic items in one place and accessible through the Customisation Interface, but you'll also be able to buy many of the items currently available on Solomon's Store with your loyalty points!

You'll also be able to treat yourself to a selection of Loyalty Store items with Runecoins, if you wish, although auras and higher-tier Loyalty Store cosmetics will remain exclusively as loyalty point items.

Useful information about your Loyalty Programme benefits will be available through the newly unified interface, and existing Loyalty Programme cosmetics will get some graphical polish too.

We're also buffing up the number of loyalty points awarded each month to our long-standing members, and introducing yearly milestone item rewards, so staying a member will be more rewarding than it's ever been.

Xuan's store will close for a week before this update happens, but we'll keep you well informed in the run-up. Keep an eye on the news for more information!

The Battle of Lumbridge

Free players and members

The Battle of Lumbridge is being furiously fought right now, and it's only going to heat up in the weeks to come. There'll be more powerful combatants joining the fray, and new tiers of rewards on offer - more titles, more armour pieces and more rewarding XP lamps - so get involved! Fight or gather for your chosen side; help the Duke spend his cash on restoring Lumbridge as you see fit; play your part in the event that'll pave the way for the 6th Age!

Have fun!

Mod Mark
RuneScape Design Director

Discuss this here.

Behind the Scenes is a sneak peek at the planned game updates that we hope to launch in the coming month.

This, however, is only a plan - not a promise - that a particular update will be released in a particular way or at a particular time. To get you the highest quality updates as quickly as possible, we usually keep on tweaking and testing right up until the moment before release, so sometimes things change or take a bit longer than expected. We aren't afraid to change our plan if necessary, as we will never launch an update before it is ready.

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