This week's livestream focused on the Desert Treasure 2 rewards blog, as well as some general Q&A! Topics included:
- Birthday Event Q&A with Mod Other
- DK Rings as upgrade materials
- Plans for the new Prayer book
- The future of player suggestions
Thanks to Mod Goblin (Community Manager), Mod Roq (Upload Manager), Mod Other (Junior Content Developer) and Mod Halo (Content Developer) for their insights!
DISCLAIMER: Livestreams are a glimpse into the ongoing creative process at Jagex. JMods are speaking off-the-cuff and their comments are not intended to be read in the same way as prepared updates from the company. Please keep this in mind when discussing the Q&A!
Missed the live stream? Check out the transcript below!
Birthday Event Q&A
What was it like designing your first project?
In some ways, itís been absolutely terrifying! Thatís 10 years of stuff, and Iíve had to work out how Iím going to do my due diligence in honouring that weíve had 10 years of Old School, whilst making something that manages to feel fresh at the same time. Thereís been a fine line to walk, but hopefully, when people are in and playing the event, theyíre going to really think back to where they started.
That was a big thing for me - I wanted to look at where we should start, and what we should do, to bring that to the event as the heart of it. Developing my first actual project has been a real joy in all. Iím surrounded by people who have done dozens - if not hundreds - of projects at this point, so I always feel like Iím in safe hands.
Have you encountered any fun bugs yet?
Iím struggling to think of any. I tended to have a lot of the bugs beaten out of everything quite rapidly! As of yet, I donít think Iíve managed to break the game - which Iím quite proud of! I do look forward to running into fun bugs rather than anything game-breaking, however.
How hard was it to try and capture the essence of ten years of OSRS in a limited-timed birthday event?
There was quite significant pressure up front to come up with a design that could fit the space that we had. Itís been 10 years, and thereís a lot that needs to be in there. Things did get cut because thereís only so much we can do in a two-week lifespan event.
With the reward space; weíve got Jad Slippers, a Jad plushie, a stray dog plushie and the Gnome Child backpack. Thereís so much there to honour some really iconic parts of Old School.
That was it for me; that was us saying ďwhat is iconic? What do I want to be highlighting and drawing the playersí attention to?Ē. Hopefully, Iíve achieved that.
The bit Iím most excited to see the reactions on is the Falador room. People asked for us to update it every year and we havenít, so thatís on us. This is as perfect a time as any. Itís cool - especially having been around for so long - to see a lot of these projects go from just an idea into release and being revered as some of them are.
Itís really awesome to see that itís not just a history of my game - itís part of my working history as well.
From playtesting internally, Iíve done the event a few times now, and itís so good to see the story that Mod Other has chosen, as well as all the characters. It feels so nostalgic, and thatís something you definitely need for birthday events.
Any teasers you can share about the theme for the event?
Thereís not a huge amount that I feel I could tease. Expect it to be an immense amount of nostalgia bait, combined with a little bit of campy, lighthearted spoofery. I think thatís the best way I can tease the event without just revealing the entire plot of it!
DT2 and General Q&A
Is Virtus designed in a way not to devalue Ancestral, unlike BIS mage? Will the Ancestral be broken down to make the upgraded Virtus? If thatís the case, what will happen with the Twisted Ancestral Kits?
As it stands, Virtus is currently designed to not be better than Ancestral. Itís meant to sit between Ahrimís and Ancestral. After some feedback when the blog went out, maybe we need to go back to the drawing board; rethink the design a bit and see if players even want Virtus.
We can see if theyíd prefer another weapon as an alternate if a mage set thatís in between Ancestral and Ahrimís doesnít appeal to them. Maybe weíll go in another direction. It does have the niche effect of being way better with Ancient Magicks, but maybe thatís too niche.
For some context - the greenlight Poll is meant to go live tomorrow. Weíll probably have some updates in the blog based on conversations that weíve had about your feedback around Virtus and maybe a little bit of an identity crisis.
Thereís a lack of wiggle room between Ahrimís and Ancestral because mage accuracy doesnít matter. There are only 11 points of accuracy between, and Ancestral gives about 6% mage damage in general, so thereís not much room there - you might not even get a max hit. Mage damage in general is dominated by the occult, which is around 600k and gives 10% mage damage; it makes it difficult to find that middle room.
Weíve got some thoughts that weíll outline in our blog tomorrow, and we might take a bit of a different approach to questions around Virtus, so keep an eye out for that. Iím not going to go into all of them right now because we have a whole bunch of other stuff to go through, but itís been really interesting reading all of your discussions about it. Thereís a lot of food for thought that weíve had within the team.
Mod Roq, are there any interesting or unique polls, past or future, that you really wish would make their way into the game?
From a personal perspective, what I want to do is try at some point to get a QoL Poll themed around minigames in particular. I think there are quite a few tweaks that we could make to various parts; Tithe Farm could be a bit more interesting and actually give you rewards based on your time there, rather than having to spend an hour before you get one point.
Overall, with the amount of suggestions that the team goes through to read and quantify, there are so many different cool suggestions that people have that we would like to get out. Iíd like to be able to grow my fungi, which has been put towards a couple of Polls in the past, but because of the amount of effort it would take to make that, versus the amount of reward it would give, it gets culled pretty early on, which is understandable. Itís not a big ideal - itís purely an Ironman thing.
I want to really start digging into QoL this year - given how last year we spent so long on a singular QoL Poll - and just deliver a lot more of the little things that improve the gameplay that everyone does on a day-to-day basis.
I struggle to think of things in the past that I would really love to throw in on Polls. I would love to do a series of skilling overhaul Polls, to be honest. I think there is a lot of room within skills, we could just Poll a whole bunch of ideas and get some feedback on that.
I know weíve got the new skill coming, but sometimes it does feel like we have neglected the older skills. Perhaps itís a hot take, but for future Polls, Iíd like to see people demanding skilling stuff.
I donít think itís a hot take; Forestry is looking at Woodcutting through that lens and is aware that some skills could be modernised in a way that doesnít massively take away from their nostalgic elements.
Are you guys looking into the possibility to use the old DK rings as an ingredient to the new BiS ring upgrades?
Can you clarify the Freeze and Poison Penetration and whether each stat would extend to the player?
I assume that last bit is for PvP. In a nutshell, it basically means that you could potentially freeze or poison an NPC or boss that you couldnít have previously. Poisoning could be extra DPS for a boss that was previously poison-immune. You could freeze a boss that you couldnít freeze before.
In Grotesque Guardians, you could maybe freeze the melee guy so you can avoid the melee attacks. That sort of thing. It makes for some really interesting gameplay. Obviously, the poison is just more DPS. Iím unsure if this would apply to players. Maybe players want that, but Iím not sure how it would work.
I donít really understand how it would apply to players - you can already freeze and poison players. The example that we gave in the newspost was that if you have 20% Freeze Penetration for Ice Barrage, which is a 32-tick freeze if you hit, so you still have to roll mage accuracy, and this would freeze for 20% of that time. Because Old School rounds down, 20% of 32 is 6.4, so youíd get a 6-tick freeze.
I think some people thought that this wasnít too impactful. Weíve spoken a little bit more about that in the changes to the blog that weíll probably put out tomorrow. It was interesting to see what peoplesí thoughts were, and part of these earlier greenlight Polls mean that we can talk about things that are maybe a little more out there, and if people donít like it, thatís fine.
We can try stuff thatís a little bit different and see how people feel about it, rather than what happened before where weíd work on something and see if players liked it - theyíd say no, and it was a waste of time.
What is your opinion on making some big item grinds less dependent on RNG by dividing the item into smaller pieces like the Venator bow?
With the upcoming change to the Abyssal Dagger special attack, was removing the damage reduction considered to make it better than the Dragon Daggerís special attack?
I believe it was, however - because I believe that this was a near-miss question that we repolled - I think that with the near-miss, we wanted to repoll exactly what was polled, otherwise it kind of defeats a little bit of what the sense was.
Basically, a further change to it wouldnít absolutely be off the table. I think there is space for the Abyssal Dagger to go into, for sure, but not as part of what the intentions were with the last Poll that we did.
Does the Magic Secateurs update apply to Herbiboar, too? And if not, could it be?
I've checked and it does in fact work whilst in the inventory.
What is the general design philosophy the team is using when coming up with new prayer ideas for the new prayer book? What sort of direction/feel do you all want the new pray book to bring to the game?
How are the prayers meant to be unlocked? As a reward from completing the quest? As drops from bosses? A combination of the two?
Is the community responsible for the entirety of the Ruinous Powers or does Jagex already have some of their own ideas that'll be implemented in addition to community-made ones?
We have come up with some internally; some that players have already suggested to us, which is nice to see. I know Mod Bruno has been working hard on it as well. Iím hoping we can get a nice mix of our own ideas internally, with the communityís ideas and some hybrid ones.
At the end of the day, the players are going to want to have their say on whether they want to use them or not, so getting a lot of the communityís input would be really good with this. Thereís a hashtag to use on Twitter to submit designs too.
Using that, send your ideas that way, or @ me on Twitter. I hope as a team we can get a mix of the two.
Itís been quite validating to see some of our early ideas also be things that come up quite a lot in player suggestions; things like recoil and run energy. Itís been good to see that weíre not wildly off base.
Any thoughts on making any of the post-quest boss variants available to be killed as a group? Appreciate that some mechanics may become trivial in a group setting.
As a team, weíve discussed this; it has come up before. We havenít really come to a decision yet - weíre still ironing out the boss designs and we donít want to feel like we have to shove a group mechanic into the bosses. We want them to feel really good on a solo and maybe expand on that. Itís something that has come up, and we havenít really decided on it.
Even if itís something like duo against one of the bosses, that might be an option. I donít think itís high on the priority list for now, but it is in the back of our minds for sure.
Iím not opposed to the idea. I think itís exciting to consider having traditionally solo bosses be something that could become group content, but I do agree with Halo in that quest bosses really should be designed around being a bespoke, solo experience more than something that is set up so that we can easily say ďbring a friend to farm this boss!Ē. That should certainly be a lower priority, but more group bosses in general, throw them in!
Iím a mixture of how everyone feels. My favourite bosses are ones like Corp where you can chill out with your mates in a group environment as opposed to how you solo Corp. For quests, I feel that they have to be solo-able, but thereís nothing to say that in post-DT2 we couldnít have a gauntlet where youíre running all the bosses as a group to create a cool, funky way to be able to incorporate things. Both have got places in the game, so we could do either, really.
It would be interesting to find a formula that works because itís quite cool that quests now have introduced elements of PvM, but questing is so solo-tailored in Old School, whereas in other MMOs like WoW and Lost Ark you can party up and progress at the same time.
In Old School, quests are a solely solo experience, so maybe it would be cool to think about ways we can still deliver good solo experiences and still make them groupable afterwards because itís an MMO at the end of the day. Itís more fun to do stuff with friends than solo for some people. It would be nice to get better at affording players that option.
Any plans to fix the healer poison mechanics at Barbarian Assault in the near future?
We do know that there are still issues with the content. I believe the issue specifically plaguing at the moment with the healers is more related to an engine change that weíve made. Engine changes do unfortunately take a little bit longer for us to get out than content changes do, but rest assured we are still working on it and weíre looking to get it out as soon as we possibly can.
Itís due a fix and weíre aware of it, but itís not a content-side fix. Whenever we get an engine change, hopefully, it should be fixed.
Will the resources dropped from the new repeatable bosses be as abundant as Phantom Muspah? Following the release of Secrets of the North and the drop rate changes, it seems that there is a lot of incentive to fight the boss purely for the resources and not as much for the unique items.
Thatís a good question! Drop tables are fun. With all these new bosses, weíve obviously shown some of the reward designs. There are quite a lot of them if you think about it - if each boss drops a prayer scroll, a piece of the mage armour and the weapon pieces as well. Thatís already four uniques per boss, including the Rings as well.
I feel thatís all going to fill the drop table quite a bit. I think that as a team, weíre still sort of gauging drop tables as a whole, and we probably should do a better job of it with these bosses. Iím hoping that we can do a lot of iteration on it and hopefully nail it for launch. Thatís a big aim for us.
I think that thereís enough going on that we could end up with a Nightmare-esque table without it feeling too bad, but again, the more we take different approaches, the better we get at figuring out what works for certain content. Itís optimistic, but I think there are enough good uniques that I donít imagine it would wind up looking the same as Muspah to be honest - I could be wrong - but I donít get that sense from the team.
Will there be a defence req to complete DT2? If not, are you envisioning many def reqs for the Ruinous Powers?
I donít think so.
Would it be possible to reorder 200m ranks on the Account Build HiScores based on the ranks on the normal HiScores, this way people are ranked in the order they achieved 200m?
Our HiScores are unique - thatís the word I would use to describe them. Theyíre also not handled and modified by the development team; theyíre more handled by the platform team, who deals with things like web, etc.
We have heard the calls to want this change, but unfortunately, itís going to take us a little bit of investigation into what we can do and when weíll have the time to do it because ultimately the new HiScores weíve entered work like every other HiScores do. Theyíre not necessarily great at being able to take massive modifications at the moment, which is why we never got HiScores for the Speed Run times to count from the fastest to the slowest times.
Itís not as easy as I wish it was, so unfortunately until further notice, they will have to remain as they are.
Weíre aware of it. Iíve seen someone mentioning the Singles Wildly bosses - Artio, Calvaríion and Spindel on HiScores. I think that is coming, so keep an eye on it.
Are there plans to make at least one of the 4 bosses really difficult? People may struggle a bit on DS2's final boss, or SOTE's, but I'm talking about SOTF-level boss difficulty here. This is a new Prayer Book so we should be made to really work for it!
As a team, we want these bosses to be hard, but not have one thatís harder than the others. Weíd like for them to be equally hard, but maybe harder in different ways; mechanical ways where maybe one fight is harder with movement while another is hard with prayer-flicking, gear management and that sort of thing.
A guide would be that each of the bosses is probably going to be at the level of Galvek, if not harder, but this could all change. It might not oneshot you like Galvek does, but it might do.
I think with there being four bosses that have different identities, there are things that people are going to be better at, and things that people are going to be worse at, so I think naturally there are probably some that youíll struggle with more even though you were a perfectly well-rounded player, or maybe then youíll find all of them equal.
I fully support a quest boss that you canít just walk in with a generic setup and clear first try. Introduce elements to it to make it harder; make it something worth learning. Muspah for example, I cleared that in the quest with the worst setup I probably could have brought for it, because I just walked in blind.
I thought that was a lot of fun, and I probably shouldnít have ended up clearing it the way I did. There was a lot to learn about it, to then go back post-quest, and I think we can bring that learning forwards to the quest itself. It doesnít necessarily have to be through making bosses into a giant stat stick with a huge amount of health that punishes mistakes.
Thereís a lot of room if we say ďyeah, letís make harder bossesĒ. Thereís a lot of room to do interesting things with that.
Why is Dragon Scale Dust still unbuyable from NMZ for Ironmen?
Because you should go and pick it up off the floor.
I do believe that we should perhaps have a way to do it, but Nightmare Zone would not be where it comes from, and I wouldnít do it in a way thatís easy like ďuse knife on blue dragonhideĒ.
Iíd like to see an engaging way of getting it, but if we go near Nightmare Zone again for anything, I hope it would be to delete it.
Iíll say that with nightshade in Poll 78, we made it a bit easier to harvest and pointed out that it wasnít particularly fun to just hop around and pick it up off the floor. I think we have something in the Player Suggestion Sheet for next Monday to maybe discuss again the idea of maybe scraping some scales off blue dragonhide - maybe itís something that scales with crafting quite intensely so thereís a chance you just get none.
Thereís a concern that depending on a fixed value, youíd just tie their value entirely to blue dragonhide, which is tied to alchs, and thatís not very interesting either. Weíre aware that blue dragon scales arenít fun to pick up, nor is that kind of gameplay particularly fun anyway, but maybe we can come up with something a bit more exciting. On the flip side, Nightmare Zone also isnít particularly fun.
What can we expect when it comes to player suggestions for the future?
What are your thoughts on repolling Amylase Packs or Marks of Grace to Hallowed Sepulchre?
Sepulchre is good enough already, so no, I don't think it needs it whatsoever. Sepulchre does a lot of things well already; it's mainly player interaction and gives you a fun way of training Agility. If you want amylase, go run laps, or weíll find another cool way of doing it. Ultimately, if we would make amylase come from other areas, then rooftops are absolutely dead. Whether that's fine or not isn't necessarily up to me to decide, but amylase from Sepulchre, for me, is a definite no.
I'm biased because I just hate rooftops! I think the Brimhaven Agility dungeon is more interesting. I'd like to see it come from more places, but maybe not Sepulchre.
I'd go for Brimhaven over Sepulchre every day. I just don't think Sepulchre needs anything more added to it to make it even better than it already is.
Personally, there might be a good balance that we could achieve in that maybe from Sepulchre it's not optimal by any means to get amylase - you're just getting them passively, whereas rooftops, it's super optimal to get them. That might be a nice balance.
Mod Other, give a really controversial take - just say the most insane thing imaginable, even if itís not your opinion!
Give a high-rarity, single drop of one amylase crystal occasionally in Sepulchre, and completely overhaul rooftops, such that they're more like running through Meiyerditch for all those quests. Nice complex, hard-to-follow routes!
It's an odd one; I honestly get the request, and as much as I don't like it, if we could do it another way to kind of keep rooftops in a position where it is - like Halo said - but find another engaging way that isn't necessarily Sepulchre in order to get them, then I think we should go for that route instead.
Just to clarify, I literally deliberately asked Mod Other for the most insane take - if you're reading the transcript, please donít just flame her all over the internet!
Player Creations of the Week