The Kourend Rework that we implemented in late 2016 helped tackle the issues of Zeah's overall shape, the lack of bodies of water and the absence of castles. What it failed to do was address the issue with building size as this would have required tweaking the wall kits, which at the time, was way beyond the scope of the project. If you take the area of all banks in Old School RuneScape, you'll find the largest on the mainland is Varrock west (not including the Grand Exchange, of course) with an area of roughly 165, while the biggest bank on Zeah is Arceuus bank at an area of 324. That's almost twice the size of Varrock west. The size of a bank may not mean much to you, but think of it this way - when 5 people are stood in Seers' Village bank, it seems busy. However, if you have the same amount of players stood in either the Arceuus, Shayzien or Hosidius bank, the place seems empty. This perpetuates the idea that Zeah is a ghost town and that nobody is there, when in truth there are plenty of players there (as much as many other places in OSRS), it's just that they're incredibly spread out.
Another issue that didn't get addressed was how bloated a lot of the houses feel, which is a side effect of the building sizes.
In this blog I'd like to go through some proposed changes to the design of the Hosidius House in particular. Your feedback will help shape any changes that are made, so please use the links found at the bottom of the post to send anything you'd like, or you can find me on Twitter @JagexWest.
The Tithe Farm is currently the central location of Hosidius House and fills an entire map square for very little reason. Firstly, the Tithe minigame is instanced and a single player (after a fair amount of practise) can at most plant 20 fruits simultaneously, which equates to 5 patches. There are 31 patches - that's about 26 too many. Secondly, the location makes traversing Hosidius House a pain, as there is always going to be at least 1 map square you have to run around to get anywhere else. In my proposal, the Tithe Farm has been shrunk to accommodate 34 plantable locations (compared to the roughly 122 that are currently in the Tithe Farm) and moved to the south-eastern corner of Hosidius House, where there is currently a farming patch and some cows.
Also, a notable change is the lack of Logova Gricoller's Cooking Supplies store, or by its more known name, "Xeric's Glade". Now that the farming patch has been moved, the only notable feature here is the Tithe Farm, which has its own minigame teleport so the need for a teleport to be here is reduced. Logovas' store has been moved into the main town market, while the building and teleport have been moved to the north of the Vinery. If you feel the glade should remain in its current location and there is a genuine reason for it to be so, I'm not against swapping it with the ruin.
Once the Tithe Farm has been moved, a large area of land will have been freed up to be utilised in an interesting way. What's more interesting than a new town!
Most buildings seen in the image above are not new, but rather relocated, and in some cases have had their layout changed. The only new buildings are the ones directly north of the Farmers Market and the rounded building east of the market, which are a Corn Exchange and a Granary respectively. The house of Lord Hosidius has been moved from its previous location east of the Vinery, the chapel has also been moved over and a ruin has now appeared in its wake. Other notable features are the moving of the main bank and the pub, as well as the appearance of a Farmers Market.
There are a few new additions around the outskirts of this town too. To the south is the new location of the farming patch, to the east is Xeric's Glade, to the west is a ruined temple and to the north there now features a flax field, some cows and chickens.
Western Hosidius is now far emptier due to the houses being moved into the town, giving more space for the cookhouse, as well as reshaping of the Mess to have a smaller footprint. Another notable change is Watson's house - he's had a bit of an upgrade.
The first large room that lies within the Hosidius Dungeon is a large Red Spider nest that contains 21 Red Spiders and Abqar, a 5x5 giant red spider that fires highly accurate ranged attacks.
In the second room you'll find an injured Saradominist Monk called Brother Aimeri who, once healed to full health, will give the player valuable information about the dungeon. In the adjoining room, 6 Undead Druids can be found around an ancient clay stove.
The Grubby Chest
At the end of a long corridor is a locked gate that can be picked with 57 Thieving. Behind the door lies the Grubby Chest, to unlock it, use a Grubby Key on it. The Grubby Chest contains an assortment of foods by rolling 4 times on the table below. This means the most food that can be obtained is 24 (healing a total 192) and a minimum of 8 (healing a total of 152)
This room contains 4 Undead Druids and various bookshelves that can be searched for Ancient texts, these describe snippets of lore about the ancient religion of the sun that is practised in the southern Kingdom of Varlamore.
A large room containing 9 Red Dragons. The west entrance leads to the Library while to the north lies a shortcut that requires 75 Agility to navigate. There is also a corridor to the north-west that leads to the Sacrificial Chamber - but the door needs to be unlocked from the other side.
Altar of the Sun
This room contains an NPC called Olbertus and an Altar for recharging prayer points.
Crypt of the Moon
This large room has 8 Undead Druids and a stone relief depicting Ralos & Ranul, the opposing forces of an old druidic religion.
Eodan the Tanner has set up a miniature tanning stall within the chamber, he charges far higher prices than other tanners. In the center of the small room is a Bone Burner, this can be used to sacrifice bones for a 3x experience multiplier. There is also a chance that rewards will appear on the plinth, including the Temple Key.
A monk who decided to research the history of the temple but has managed to get stuck after narrowly escaping from the Spider's Den. If you give him some food, he will tell you information about any items you find within the dungeon.
A shady character with something to sell...
Eodan the Tanner
He can be found in the locked ritual chamber, he offers an expensive option for tanning any leathers you happen to have with you. The price is based on the usual tanning costs multiplied by 10. So for example, Tanning dragon leather will cost 200gp per hide.
A key that is dropped from the monsters within the Hosidius Dungeon that can be used on the Grubby Chest - A chest that contains an assortment of various foods.
The key used to open the shortcuts within the Hosidius Dungeon, it can be retrieved by sacrificing bones to the flame in the sacrificial chamber.
The Old Fort is a relic of old Kourend, a stronghold that was utilised during the war of the five houses. After King Kharedst I rebuilt the kingdom, he demanded all strongholds be abandoned and a single castle would be built on the fields of war where the main battle took place. Before the war, Hosidius House was built around a Saltpetre deposit - this invaluable resource is what made Hosidius House the powerhouse of farming trade that it still is today. However, the old town is now occupied by a small company that operate the Saltpetre distribution to all of Kourend.
Due to the moving of the bank, you'd imagine this may make collecting saltpetre a hassle, but worry not! The structure in the centre of the 5 saltpetre deposits has a deposit box. The reason for not adding another bank here is because it isn't necessary and adding banks for the sake of convenience is, dare I say it, easyscape.
The shortcut has been moved farther north and the shortcuts old location now houses a bridge. This improves the flow of the area and puts the spirit tree almost as close to the farming patch as the house portal.
Within the Old Fort there are various creatures:
- Skeletons (Level 45)
- Giant Bats (Level 27)
Kourend castle has always felt like part of Hosidius House, this is likely due to it sharing the same style of paths. These paths don't really fit the Hosidius House all too well due to being a house that focuses on farming, not Roman roads.
Now that Hosidius town has all the houses that used to take up this space, opportunities for parks and houses for the council arise, creating a small central town of its own. This helps to create a buffer around Hosidius house, avoiding Kourend looking like a kingdom sized city. This will be explored further with Arceuus house and Lovakengj house.
This is a personal project of mine, meaning I mostly spend my free time working on this type of stuff. Because of that, don't expect this in a timely manner, especially as I want to incorporate your feedback as much as possible. It's also important to highlight that the other projects of mine haven't been abandoned, I'm just being more wary on what I can do in the time I have and the impact it will have on the game. While I'm a big fan of my other designs, I feel this needs to be done sooner rather than later as it impacts future additions to Zeah which we're very much interested in making.
Mods Archie, Ash, Ayiza, Bruno, Curse, Ed, Gambit, Ghost, Kieren, Lenny, Lottie, Mat K, Maz, Munro, Roq, Ry, Stone, Sween, Weath, West & Wolf
The Old School Team