The schedule is as follows:
- Week 1: December 6th - 12th
- Angel of Death, Barrows, Rise of the Six
- Week 2: December 13th - 19th
- God Wars Dungeon (Graardor, Kree'arra, K'ril and Zilyana), Heart of Gielinor (Gregorovic, Helwyr, Twin Furies and Vindicta), Nex and Telos
- Week 3: December 20th - 26th
- Dagganoth Kings, Kalphite King, Kalphite Queen, King Black Dragon, Queen Black Dragon, Rex Matriarchs and Solak
- Week 4: December 27th - January 3rd
- Dragonkin Laboratory, Temple of Aminishi, The Shadow Reef, The Magister and Raksha
"But wait a second," you may say. "Didn't Jagex run free death weeks for ALL bosses very recently in Elder God Wars Dungeon?". And you'd be right! We've been offering these free deaths effectively as an admission that our death system doesn't really work that well, especially when it comes to learning tricky new bosses. Death is not only a problem in terms of costs for the top PvM players, it's also a barrier to casual or mid-tier players trying PvM, as they either don't understand how death works or worry about losing money.
We want to tackle all of these problems, but doing so requires the right data. We don't want to do anything until we're confident we fully understand all of the issues involved. Free death weeks have given us a good amount of data already, but thus far they have been fairly scattershot. Frank's Free Deaths changes that, allowing us to target different bosses and difficulties, while also looking at what sort of players are taking part and how they're playing. By the same token we can also see what content you engage with less.
The bosses for each week have been selected to offer varying difficulty, rewards and areas to play in, with the hope that (almost) everyone has an opportunity to fight a free death boss each week. Indeed, we'd love to see players who may perhaps not normally tackle bosses get stuck in - and perhaps even fight new bosses for the first time.
Because Elder God Wars Dungeon recently had a number of free death weeks, we've decided to leave it out of this event this time. Plus, the data we already have for that will serve as a great comparison for us to learn from.
This is the first step on a long journey toward understanding all of the complexities around reworking death in RuneScape. And it's a journey we've been on for a long time, as we've been working through a ton of players feedback on the issue. The more we learn, the better equipped we will be to provide a solution.
While some may think that the answer is quite obvious (just cap death costs!), death has far-reaching consequences for our economy and newcomers to PvM. Any changes must be considered very carefully. We're sure you appreciate the delicacy!
We hope that this helps you understand our current thoughts, and explains why we're cautious about making changes that will have a huge impact on the game as a whole. As explained above, Frank's Free Deaths is the beginning of some targeted data collection around this subject, and it's likely that you'll be seeing Frank's face again...