This week's livestream covered Old School's newest minigame; the Giant's Foundry! Topics featured in the Q&A included:
- The future of giant lore in OSRS
- Why the bar box reward was removed
- Uses for the Colossal Blade
- How the smithing outfit works in the Foundry
- The potential future of Smithing
Thanks to Mod Sarnie (Community Manager), Mod Dylan (Senior Content Designer) and Mod Oasis (Content Developer) for their insight!
Missed the livestream? Check out the full transcript below!
What is the real explanation or lore for where the smithing gear came from? I'm not buying that Kovac got it from just "somewhere"...
So there are definitely hints. I say hints, it pretty much spells it out on the actual armour itself, on the examine text. It's half a "mystery box", where we're not 100% sure where it comes from. So it's up to your imagination to fill in the blanks. I mean, if you examine the Smith's Tunic, you should get a pretty strong idea.
It's probably best not to ask, isn't it?
Exactly. If you think about it, Giants aren't the best smiths in the world. But there is a certain race that is,so it might have come from somewhere else, and not in the nicest fashion…
Yeah, maybe this is why Kovac doesn't really want to go into too much detail. We'll let you figure that one out and leave it there!
The Sleeping Giants quest ends very suddenly. Could you perhaps add a bit of post-quest dialogue to Kovac?
Yeah, it does end suddenly. We had this idea for once you've finished making the sword, you have to take it over to Obor who'd use it to attack a spoofed player, like a final cutscene. But we ran out of time, and that had to be cut. Kovac's got a fair amount of dialogue on him already. Hopefully in the future we revisit Kovac and get some further growth of the character, so that more stuff gets fleshed out.
Is there a possibility for us to see a new questline coming along with the Giants or having the Giants tied to another questline - like the trolls were for the dwarven questline in RS3? I really would like to see more of Kovac, Obor, the hill Giants and the other ones.
We definitely want to see more giant lore! We've held our cards quite close to our chests for Sleeping Giants. It's not lore heavy, but it does hint at potential giant lore. Which is why we wanted a quest to go with the mini-game - not just to teach the player about how the Foundry works, but to also establish giants in the world as not just as an NPC that you can attack, but as actual characters with their own lore and dialogue. So this is hopefully the stepping point into future giant quests and more content released around giants.
It's also down to how much the players have got an appetite for it. If they show there's an appetite for giants content, then maybe we can do a lot more.
Yeah, and there are a fair amount of questlines that we've not finished. But it's a balancing game, right? It makes sense to tie up old questlines. But just because there's a couple that are still outstanding, it doesn't mean we can't start anything new off. Otherwise we wouldn't have any of Kourend, or Chambers of Xeric wouldn't exist! So you've got to balance it.
With the Quest Porting Survey we did, people were pretty keen to see a lot of middle ground to go back to old quests, which is exciting for us. But with the giant stuff, personally speaking for what I saw and what was discussed with the team, it's very interesting. I'm very, very keen. It might become my favourite in terms of rankings for me in race lore.
Who's your #1? You can't just say "up there" and then not tell us your #1 to compare.
It was the goblins! I love the goblins' quests and their lore. Maybe the bar is set a bit low, but I love it!
When we started doing this content, we never really thought about a pet, to be honest. And we stuck with that - we don't think every piece of new skilling content needs a pet. And it didn't really seem to fit the Giants' Foundry too well.
It's just my personal taste that human-based pets are a little bit weird. I've seen a baby version of Kovac and that's a bit weird… but yeah, it's got to fit the content, and it's got to make sense. I think we probably will eventually come back with more Smithing content in future, and maybe that's when we can do a Smithing Pet, if it makes sense. It just didn't feel right for Giants' Foundry.
I just want a small version of Kovac with a giant bobble head, that's all I really want.
How do you actually calculate alloy quality?
Mod Dylan: It's something we want to keep secret for now. One of the things I like about computer games is exploration, and it's very difficult to create enough map and world to explore. So this is an area I think you guys should go and explore on your own. However, if someone publishes the correct algorithm, I will confirm that it is correct.
I will start by saying the first step of the entire algorithm is to put the bars that you used in "most used" order, so it will order the bars by most prolific first. That's part of the algorithm.
Will it be possible for future quest rewards or other content rewards benefit Giants' Foundry. Stuff like more moulds, or something to make the game feel more ingrained into the world?
Something we talked about in development was adding more moulds to other content in the game, whereby after finishing Doric's Anvil, maybe Doric might have a mould for you that you could use here. So we had considered that. The mould system actually does have space currently for yet higher tiers of moulds than are currently released.
So we could put more. As you've probably already noticed, you can't actually get that bar to 100% full at the moment, because there are extra moulds that could be released into the game. Watch this space for when they come!
Could we have the ability to store bars in the crucible and select an alloy ratio? For example 400 mith bars and 600 addy bars stored, smith a preform with a 14 addy, 14 mith alloy.
This is another thing we talked about during development and design. We didn't really want to make a place where you could just store hundreds of bars in a molten form, or just as a bar where you can just add 510 bars, or whatever. Also having an interface that might work nicely - to do that all, it got pretty complicated.
So the halfway point was the bank chest being really close by, and being able to take out however much is needed from the bank chest. You still need something nearby for pieces of armour and weapons, so it doesn't solve that issue. And we didn't want to just add another storage place… some players are for it, some are against it. They're not the most straightforward thing in the world.
What are some memorable bloopers or bugs during the production of this activity?
Development was pretty clean on the whole, wasn't it?
Yeah. Well, it feels like it was done in such a short amount of time, there wasn't a chance for things to pop up!
When we didn't have the assets for Kovac, I think I just used the old Fire Giant heads, so that was quite funny to see a big red face show up when you tried to talk to Kovac. There's also this weird bug that we always fix before it goes live, where if there's a piece of armour on the player that has the same colour value as the hair of the player, when you change your hair colour, it'll change the colour value of that piece of armour. The Smithing outfit is yellow-ey, but if you change to pink hair, it'll change all the yellow to pink. So yeah, these have some really weird effects! It's come up in the past, and that's the only major one I can think of.
I think for players, it's always quite interesting to hear what goes on behind the scenes in terms of funky stuff. There's always something funky that happens.
This was pretty clean compared to most, I feel.
Yeah. I feel like we need to do a small video about some of the funkiest bugs we've had. When I first started, the Spider Vampire stuff that happened in Morytania…
That was my fault as well! I remember logging into the world and just killing a bunch of vampires before they killed players.
The colours on the HUD seem too vibrant. Is there any way of changing this by turning the colours down slightly?
I expect that it won't be too long before Runelite has the dark mode version for the skin, so I imagine that will get replaced in the dark mode version…
The colours were chosen specifically by our art team to be the most user friendly to the widest variety of people to use - so that for certain colour-blind natures they come out with three different shades of grey, and for other colour-blind people they should work as well. They were chosen very specifically to be what they are. I appreciate that they are quite bright and primary, maybe even plastic-looking compared to other RuneScape things, but they were chosen to be those colours for specific reasons.
Awesome stuff. If there are any colour-blind people that feel like they are not quite as distinctive, please feel free to let us know, because we'd love to make sure that you guys can see it as clearly as possible!
For Giants' Foundry what level do you need to have to use different bars? Like is it based on your ability to smelt them? Like if I can smelt adamant but not rune I can only do up to adamant? Or can you just use rune stuff at any level?
You have to have the base level for each bar. So 85 for rune, 70 for adamant, etc. But when we were rebalancing the final experience rates, what's quite nice is in the Giant's Foundry, once you hit 85, you're already getting the best rates you can out of rune. Whereas in normal Smithing, you only get those best XP rates when you hit 99, which is a huge gap. Same for adamant, same for mithril; you come in at the start, you hit that level, you're guns blazing instead of having to work all the way up another 15 levels to get to the peak of that metal.
Are the commissions we get purely random, or are there weights on which can show up?
There aren't any weights as such, but it is designed so that you will never get a "light, heavy" sword for example, or a "spiky, straight" commission. There isn't any weighting towards particular sets.
Can you make the Foundry UI smaller in fixed mode? Right now it takes up 1/3 of the screen.
Could we get a better indication of when states are changing, with maybe a bit of leeway? Currently it feels very punishing, you can't look away for even a second because you have to click on basically the exact tick where it goes over or you'll get damage. It's fine while this is a fun novel activity but it's gonna get old fast.
My position here is - maybe trying to be 100% effective with your temperature boundaries isn't actually the way to be 100% efficient in the game. And I say this, not only from your experience here, but also, imagine if you're approaching the boundary of your heat range and you have that sweet spot kick in, you're going to miss it because you're right on the edge. So it's probably better going for reheat a tick early, or going for a cooldown a tic early, rather than trying to get it bang on that 100%, "I want to be as efficient as I can", because it's going to make you less efficient.
Why is there a penalty for perfectly positioning the preform right before the sword transitions temperatures? Currently, if you are about to swap from one temperature to another, and the yellow box appears to gain double completion, if it ticks over into the next temperature, you will lower the quality of your blade.
I'm a bit confused here. I think there may be something that we've not seen in testing that people are seeing. Because if you're losing quality, and you're using the right tool - i.e. the tool is lit up correctly and you are using the right tool within the right temperature, you should not be losing any quality.
So I think maybe there might be something really rare, or you're missing a click. We'll look into it on our end, but if you could give us more information about that, exactly how often you're seeing it, because I don't think that should work like that.
The sweet spots can also appear when you've done your last action with a tool and that pushes you into the next tool that you need to use. A sweet spot can appear when it's gone over, which just means you're going to miss it. We talked about trying to avoid that, but the code for how those sweet spots work is already really complicated. Having something that steps in to avoid it, like a buffer around the end of each tool, will just complicate it far too much. So if it appears at the end, unlucky!
Yeah, but the actual loss of quality sounds like an issue. You shouldn't be losing quality from it. As long as you've got the right temperature highlighted, and the right tool highlighted, you should not lose any quality, so that may be something.
If anyone has any clips of it, just so we can do a proper deep dive into it, please feel free to @ me with your clips, because we want to make sure that this isn't a big issue, and we aren't missing something major.
Whether it be via variable gameplay (i.e. spiked swords requiring an extra step in their creation) or via visual design (i.e. having a different preform shapes based on your mould), was there a point in development when there was more to the mould mechanic? If not, would you like to expand upon it in such ways?
I've seen a few people comparing this to Ceremonial Swords in RS3. And to be fair, that's kind of where the idea started from. We wondered if we could do something similar to ceremonial swords, and then we just got further and further away. We want it to be a far more interactive thing than just clicking on an interface, and that's why you're running around the Foundry.
The mould setup is that part of it is still where you have to set up your sword and go from there. But having different preforms based on your moulds - there's about 30 moulds, and 3 parts, so it's 30 cubed. So it needs 27,000 individually complete swords (well, maybe not that ludicrously high a number) just to represent every possible sword combination you have. And when we add more moulds, that just makes it even worse.
Maybe there's a middle ground where it's like: okay, this is a spiked sword, this sword is mostly spiked, so we'll have a preform to shape it. But projects have a limited art budget. We couldn't put 1000s of hours into a relatively medium sized skilling update where it could have been spent better elsewhere (AKA: Raids 3). So that's why there's only the one preform.
Any chance we can get rid of the animation at the end of smithing the sword? It's a little annoying having to wait on that to finish before you can turn in the sword.
We're going to trim it down and make it a fair bit shorter, I hope. And we're only going to play it if you make the perfect sword, which ideally would happen every time. But hopefully, it only being like one or two server cycles shouldn't be too annoying and hold you up too much. Just to show your efforts and give you that satisfied crunch at the end of making that sword!
I might even be able to walk merge that animation if we cut it down enough!
Right now, some moulds are just straight upgrades from others - I obtained the Defenders' Tip for example, which is just better than the Saw Tip I had. Could the upgraded moulds replace the existing one, instead of having them both show in the list?
I wouldn't like to hide any of the moulds that are on the list, personally. But scrolling down to the bottom of the list to find the ones that you want could be a bit annoying every time you go through the list. So we could make the list in reverse order so that the highest level are at the top and the lowest level at the bottom. If there's an appetite for that, that's just one action less during the setup process. It could make it a little more streamlined for you.
Yeah, I'm seeing a lot of "Yes" popping up there in chat. So okay, we'll be doing that then!
Yeah, chat really agrees!
That looks like a definite "Yes", so that will be expected next update then.
Why was the bar bag that holds 27 bars scrapped as a reward idea? Any chance it'll be added later or to different content?
When we sat down and actually did the maths for the interactions of the bar box and just going out and smithing, it actually turned out to be negligible, if not slower, to use the bar box. Whereas if you just manage your inventory better in the long run, it's more efficient.
But that being said, I think it could be used somewhere else. To be honest, most people have been asking for an ore box, so that you AFK mine for longer, which I think is a better reward, but not a reward that should have come from Giant's Foundry. Giant's Foundry is very specifically Smithing, but the second half of Smithing which is the production side. So getting mining rewards didn't feel quite right. But it's definitely something for the future, just in the bag to hold onto for another piece of content.
As costed at one catalyst per bar, it's just too expensive to go out of your way for. Is the team considering buffing the Catalyst or are they happy with where it sits?
I think once the dust has settled a little bit from the release, we'll have a little look at how it's balancing out. Maybe we could look at the cost of it for the Giants' Foundry points, but I'm pretty happy with how it works, as in how it physically does its job in-game. It's just maybe it's a little bit too much work to get one. But we'll have a little look at that after the dust is settled, and we can see what's going on.
Can we please get the ability to trouver parchment the Colossal Blade, or the ability to buy it back from Perdu?
I've actually finished coding that today, so hopefully it'll be in next week's update. We'll go with the Perdu side - in my opinion, the Trouver system is one of the worst systems to tie it into. So you'll be able to buy it back from Perdu when you lose it, or you can go to the Foundry and earn another if you lose it. It'll be a little more expensive than the barrelchest anchor, because I think 60 attack makes it actually the best-in-slot air weapon. So that's why it's going to be a little bit more expensive. But yeah, we're doing it!
Could we give the Colossal Blade an extra tile range like a halberd? Right now it doesn't feel all that "colossal".
If we gave it a tile range, like the halberd, and then you look at what the special is, which is hitting effectively one extra hit for every square, isn't that the dragon halberd? Or what the dragon halberd was originally, I think, as I understand it's changed over the years and it's just a double hit now. But it would actually make the dragon halberd completely useless. So let's keep the dragon halberd having its own unique use, and in fact I think halberds in general having their own use.
Yeah, we've got the scaling attack based on NPC size, which makes it the "giant killer", which is where the name "Colossal" comes from. And unless we introduced some crazy AOE attack as a special, but that's probably going too far as well. It's quite cool where it sits right now, and it'd be interesting to see how it goes, if there's any tweaks that need to be made to it along the way.
I think I've referenced this in either a Gazette or one of the iterations of the Giants' Foundry poll blogs, but consider where we came from with this weapon, which was just the cosmetic override for the hill giant club - now see it as its own standalone thing with a special effect, it's quite interesting to see that leap.
And also best in slot for certain things as well!
Where does the team believe that the Colossal Blade is worth using?
It feels like spending 4000+ points on all the moulds is redundant when you can just spend those points on rewards instead (as far as I understand it's about 15% more points with the best moulds?). How were the mould prices decided on?
I think that if you're just here at the Giants' Foundry, and all you want is to get the best kit so that you can get on with whatever it is you're doing - if you're already level 99 and you probably just want to get back to your 3.5k an hour XP somewhere else - I think realistically there, you just want to go for the kit. The moulds are there for people who want to take part in this content repeatedly and get the most out of this content every day. If that's not you, then maybe you should go for the kit and go for the cannonball ammo mould, and get cannonball making.
As to how the prices were come up with, we kind of came up with an amount of time for all of the rewards, and how much time we expected a player to put in. We thought that about a quarter of an hour per mould seemed like a reasonable time for a player to put in, to unlock something that's going to make their game experience a little bit more rewarding over time.
Can we get clarification on how the smith set works inside the minigame? I have 2/4 pieces and it doesn't seem to do anything.
Is there any possibility to add more rewards in the upcoming weeks? Right now I have 8k points on the day of release, I'm gonna get my outfit and cannon mould tomorrow likely and then I have no reason to ever come back to play that minigame because there aren't any rewards and I get better XP doing other methods of training.
Could ore packs scale with your miner level and give ores accordingly? There's already tons of ways to get coal, would be nice if the ore packs were a bit more rewarding.
I think the most important thing with these ore packs is that we didn't want the Giants' Foundry to be a self-fuelling piece of content, wherein you make a couple swords, you buy some Ore Packs, and now you have enough to make more swords and buy more ore packs, and keep going and going on. Originally, in all honesty, they were just intended as a way for players to spend those extra points and get some value back, and get a little bit of GP on top of the GP you get from the game.
The thing to compare against is the supply boxes from Mahogany Homes; similar functionality from those, so no, we don't plan to add scaling. We could look at the ratios of which ores are given out in the future, if they're not generous enough or if it feels a little bit lacking from a basic standpoint, but scaling is something I don't think we want to approach.
Could the Colossal Blade be made tradeable?
I've got a note that says "NO!" here! Our thinking here is that the Colossal Blade is a reward for people participating in this content. If you're not participating in this content, then you shouldn't really just be able to buy it. It's something for people who are playing!
Could you please add the moulds to the Collection Log? Feels weird they aren't in there but purchasable in the shop.
We thought about it. It's a bit weird; they don't actually exist as items anywhere, and the Collection Log only takes items. So we'll have to come up with a generic item. As long as you're happy with looking strange in the Collection Log book - they won't look like they do in the nice interface that we've got showing them off. They'll be pretty generic, but I reckon we could probably add them to the Collection Log. If there's appetite for that, why not?
We'll see if we get any more feedback around that, because it would be nice to know how many people want them in the Collection Log, versus "no, the items we have in there are fine".
All of the things that are really important are in the Collection Log, like the kit, the ammo mould and stuff like that. They're all in there. I guess it gives those people who just want to get their kit and then get back to what they're doing, it gives them a chance to get back to what they're doing without having to work too hard and get a lot of stuff that isn't going to make a difference to their gameplay.
At the last Giant's Foundry Q&A, Mod Oasis mentioned that this was the smaller of two skilling updates planned for the year, and how Giants' Foundry helped the dev team consider ways to rework Smithing. Is there anything you can share about the potential larger update, and possibly your plans to address Smithing on a larger scale?
Is the team still reviewing the recycle mechanic to allow for some items to be more efficient to melt than to alch (for mains or irons)?
Do the devs ever consider creating a new method for skilling that actually ends up as best XP per hour? We've seen PvM introduce new best in slot gear, but skills get mini games (some very fun) that are never meta-defining outside of Hallowed Sepulchre.
Is it possible if, when putting platebodies and other stuff into the crucible, the all option could maybe be replaced with a "fill" option, or the "x" option would remember your previous amount?
Yeah, sure! I can make the "x" option remember the previous amount pretty easily so yep, we'll do that.