We STRONGLY recommend that, before you go anywhere dangerous, you check the 'Items Kept on Death' interface to see what you'll lose should you die. Remember: Grand Exchange guide prices change daily, so whatever was your most valuable item yesterday may not still be your most valuable item today.
We have made some major changes to what happens when you die in RuneScape. Previously, you'd respawn with the three most valuable items you were carrying, chosen according to their shop prices. Those shop prices seldom corresponded to players' perceived value of their items, and most people were respawning by Lumbridge Castle, which isn't always a convenient place to respawn.
From now on, if you die outside of an area that has its own death mechanic – e.g. the Wilderness or an activity – you'll be taken to a safe place and presented with a menu, from which you'll be able to select what items you want to keep. As with the old rules, you'll be able to keep three items (or 0 if you were 'skulled' at time of death), with an additional one item if you had the Protect Item prayer/curse active. Your most valuable items will be selected by default, but you’re welcome to choose differently.
The menu will then offer you a choice of respawn point. Lumbridge Castle will still be offered to all players, but members will have additional choices if they've completed certain quests – i.e. Falador (Recruitment Drive), Camelot (King's Ransom 'Knight Waves') and Soul Wars (Nomad's Requiem). You will also be offered the chance to respawn in the last 'hub' you visited; hubs include Ardougne, Canifis, Edgeville, Etceteria, TzHaar and Varrock, with more possibly being added in future updates. The 'Items Kept on Death' interface will note the last of these hubs you passed through.
Once you've made your choices, you'll be respawned and any items you weren't able to keep will be placed under your gravestone wherever it was you died. The gravestone timer will be counting down while you're looking at the death interface, so don't dawdle. We’ve not increased the durations of gravestones in this update to compensate for the time you spend in the menu; gravestone durations have already had a large increase this year.
This menu will not appear if you die in the Wilderness, since PKers won't want to wait for their loot to drop. If you die there, you will respawn immediately in Edgeville by the bank, and your protected items will be chosen automatically by the game. This is exactly how Wilderness death drops were handled before this update; the only difference is that an item's value is now determined by the Grand Exchange guide price, not shop prices.
Some items are now always kept when you die, and do not count towards your three protected items. This applies mostly to basic tools, coins, costumes, quest-specific items (but not including reward weapons!) and low-level equipment. (Note that a borrowed item is always prioritised over any other items.) This automatic protection is completely ignored in the Wilderness, though, so you still shouldn't take anything in there that you aren't prepared to lose.
The game is now using Grand Exchange guide prices to determine your most valuable items in all cases. If an item is not enabled for trading on the Exchange, the game will look up some alternative price. For example, the values of degraded Barrows kit and Fist of Guthix rewards are calculated from the values of the tradeable versions of these items. Where no equivalent item exists, the game will use the shop price of the item, although we have overridden this for especially high-profile items such as Dungeoneering reward weapons.
We STRONGLY recommend that, before you go anywhere dangerous, you check the 'Items Kept on Death' interface to see what you'll lose when you die. Remember: Grand Exchange guide prices change daily, so whatever was your most valuable item yesterday may not still be your most valuable item today.
Good luck, and have a nice death.
Senior RuneScape Content Developer