Behind the Scenes - January 2014

2014's kicking off in style, with a massive update to Player-Owned Ports; a re-imagining of our Giant Mole boss; Hati Wolf; Slayer updates; and the launch of our Power to the Players poll system!

Power to the Players

Members only

This year, we're giving you the power to decide what content we make, how we make it and when with Power to the Players - our new poll system. We’ve talked about it at length in our RuneScape 2014 - Power to the Players news post, but - in summary - we're going to give you multiple polls each month, where you can vote on a range of upcoming content, from the hugest updates of the year to fine-tuned usability tweaks.

The votes will be members-only and will appear in-game and on the main website. Crucially, the winning option of each poll is guaranteed to make it into the game! We’ll also keep you informed as development continues on each of the projects, so you're involved and can give feedback as it's built.

We're starting as we mean to go on in January, and running six polls on a range of hot topics:

  • Which do you want us to work on first: Elf City or the Invention skill?
  • What sort of new dragon would you like added to the game?
  • Which groups of creatures would you like to have reworked drop tables?
  • What should our Easter holiday event be? Traditional eggs and bunnies, or a fun 6th Age event with cabbages vs monkeys?
  • Should we make some changes to our world lists?
  • Which map would you like added to our special secret 2014 minigame?

This is the most important update of the year. You're RuneScape's heart and soul, and in 2014 and beyond, its future is in your hands.

The Wolves and the Valkyrie - Hati and Sköll 2014

Members only

The legendary wolves Hati and Sköll return, once again determined to ravage the Fremennik tribes. If you haven’t faced these beasts before, head to the lands north of Seers‘ Village later this month, where combat and skill-based content await! Take down Hati using your combat might, and drive Sköll from the lands - building a bonfire and calling great meteors to vanquish this fearsome foe.

This year, the brothers and are joined by Eir the Valkyrie, whom some of you will have met during Blood Runs Deep. With the gods returning, Eir suspects the End of Things may be upon the world, and wants you to help her prepare by finding her spear and helmet. These can be gained either from Hati and Sköll, or from the Fremennik province divination colony. Each player can earn multiple copies on one of those pieces, and will need to trade with other players for the other.

Hati and Sköll are aimed at players with mid-to-high combat levels, but busy worlds are often used by those less blessed with awesome combat skills to get all the rewards, which include cosmetic items, bonus XP in Combat, Woodcutting, Agility and new equipment rewards, plus bonus Prayer and Divination XP from the newly added Eir content.

Ports - Batch 2

Members only

Think you've seen all there is of the Wushanko Isles? Think again! Two new zones - the Shield and the Loop - are opening up to intrepid explorers this month, complete with new resources and trade goods. In these distant lands exist scrolls containing the knowledge of the powerful reefwalker's cape, Leviathan ring and Death Lotus darts - level 85 armour and thrown weapons.

Ports Batch 2

Three new adventurers join the Ports cast: the Trapper, the Chef and the Architect. Each comes with their own fully-voiced story, and can be accessed with at least level 90 Hunter, Cooking or Construction respectively. New crew, new ship components and a new random event round out the line-up for the easternmost parts of the Wushanko Isles, and the newly-arrived Trader will be on hand to convert excess resources into valuable trade goods.

Ports 2 Trader

In total, there are over 300 new voyages being added across all of the zones, so there’s never been a better time to get your port up and running.

The Giant Mole

Members only

Veteran players will be well aware of the Giant Mole - the lurking menace that has terrorised Gielinor for many a year. However, we know many of you are yet to encounter the beast, and we want to be sure she's ready to face you. Let’s be honest – while the mole's "mud to the camera" special attacks are kind of fun, and the baby moles are undeniably cute, the content's pretty old and isn't up to our high, modern standards.

All that changes this month. Very soon, the Giant Mole will be something you can really sink your molars into!

Giant Mole

Prepare to encounter the all-new, re-imagined, never-more-vicious Giant Mole! We've entirely reworked the graphics, combat mechanics and drops of this encounter - rebuilding the whole thing from scratch to make a boss fight worthy of today's RuneScape. We’ve listened to your feedback, reducing the amount of running required and added far more variety to the entire fight, giving the subterranean psychopath more attacks to play with. The fight is intended as an introduction to boss fighting, balanced around groups of players of approximately combat level 110, and offers a hard mode for three-man groups, or for solo players of considerably higher combat levels.

Those who stand victorious can expect upgrades to the anti-dragon shield; farming potions which speed the growth of patches; and consumable roots which can remove nasty damage-over-time effects from their user.

Slayer Updates

Members only

Our intrepid Ninja Team are releasing a bunch of smaller, everyday changes to the Slayer skill this month, mostly focused around the slayer helmet and co-op slayers. All of these changes have been inspired by your posts and comments from our forums and social media.

Many of these improve the slayer helm. First up, we're adding slayer gem functionality to the basic slayer helm. You’ll also be able to upgrade your slayer helmet to a level 70 item - with stats to match - and fuse slayer rings and ferocious rings to it to enjoy those handy teleports at your convenience.

You'll also be able to get new skins for Freezy, adopt a brand-new, slayer-inspired pet, and unlock many new perks to enhance your co-op slayer kills. We’re also removing Smoking Kills as a requirement to earn Slayer points and access the Slayer Reward Shop.

And More!

Free players and members

It's another great month for costumes in Solomon's Store, including my personal favourite: the Grim Reaper's armour! We’re also adding costumes and teleports themed around the Bird and the Beast world event, and throwing some new retro armour into the mix as well.

Make sure you’ve picked your side for the epic battle between Bandos and Armadyl, and do check out the RuneScape Companion app if you’d like to keep in touch with your friends when away from your PC. Take a look at this Silent's Spotlight video if you want to see it in action!

Have fun!

Mod Mark
Design Director - RuneScape

Discuss this on the forums.

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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