Today we’re diving into Varrock’s sewers for an audience with the new king of PvM combat…
If you're reading this, the good news is that Rat Bone weaponry has passed, so any budding adventurers looking to train their Combat stats in a slightly more engaging way will be able to get their hands on Rat spines and make some purpose-built, rat-slaying weaponry.
While the poll was live, we went back-and-forth internally about the 3-tick vs. 4-tick debate. Many players pointed out that 3-tick weaponry isn't used particularly frequently and that where it is, it's for relatively niche purposes like bouncing between Nylocas as quickly as possible. With our aims being to get people comfortable with the rhythm of combat in Old School, we agree that it makes more sense to give players weaponry that more accurately reflects what they'll be using, since it gives them the chance to practise flicking offensive prayers or moving between hits in the same ways they might do in the future when using weapons like scimitars or the Abyssal whip.
With the above in mind, we're going to be adjusting these weapons to a 4-tick attack rate (this means one attack every 2.4 seconds). Without trying to give too much away about the fight, there are several segments of the fight where you'll be able to bounce between hits with no attack delay, which is one of the mechanics we're using to deliver a good portion of the XP/hr while fighting Scurrius, so this change isn't likely to impact your training in any significant way.
We hope this is a change that makes sense to all of you and better prepares up-and-coming adventurers for the challenges ahead. Thanks for voting and for reading, enjoy these updated animations of Scurrius looking majorly menacing to keep you up at night over the weekend, he's come a little way from our early concepts!
Thanks to everyone for your feedback regarding this rambunctious royal rodent. After discussing it with the team, we've made a few changes to Ol' Scurrius.
SUMMARY - CLICK HERE TO SHOW
- We've removed the charge system from the Rat Bone weapons.
- Spare Rat Spines can still be traded in for Combat XP Lamps.
- The Rat Bone Staff still requires 1,000 Chaos Runes to craft, but you will have 1,000 free casts of the spell following creation. Chaos Runes can then be added when further casts are needed.
- Rat Bone weaponry is now effective against all rat-type enemies.
- Scurrius now has an associated pet!
- Clarified that Scurrius is members-only content.
- Clarified that Scurrius will not drop irrelevant supplies for Ranged and Magic.
Rat Bone Weaponry
Your biggest feedback centred around the creeping influence of 'ChargeScape'. While you loved the core concept of the Rat Bone weapons, you didn't like the idea of having to charge them.
We included the charge mechanic in the original design so that Rat Spine drops would continue to be exciting no matter how many times players obtained one. However, we understand the community's objection, and have decided to remove the charge mechanic from these weapons entirely.
The Rat Bone Staff will however still require 1,000 Chaos Runes to cast, which will convert to 1,000 casts of its in-built spell. Further casts can be added with more Chaos Runes. Although this is still a charge mechanic, it's in line with how other staves with in-built spells behave, so we feel it's appropriate.
So, what are you going to do with all those extra Rat Spines? You can't pawn them all off on that weirdo near Paterdomus. Since Scurrius is all about combat XP, we've decided to allow players to trade their extra Rat Spines for XP Lamps redeemable against combat skills: Attack, Defence, Hitpoints, Magic, Prayer, Ranged and Strength.
Lastly, Rat Bone weaponry now works against all rat-type enemies, not just Scurrius and his brood.
Your second bit of feedback was that you really, really wanted to pet the horrible rat. While Scurrius himself may object to you sticking your greasy paws all over his silky fur, we've arranged for him to drop a pet!
We would like to explain our initial reasoning though. Generally speaking, we try not to attach pets to content where the addition of a pet is detrimental to the loot table. Pets are usually reserved for skills and high-level PvM, where the content is going to see plenty of activity without the addition of a desirable pet drop skewing the numbers. Initially, we felt that since Scurrius' purpose was to help lower-level players understand and train combat, a pet wasn't needed.
However, you've shown us the light and we're delighted to introduce Scurry, an adorable furry friend who will accompany you on adventures big and small – assuming RNG is on your side, of course.
Lastly, we wanted to clarify a couple of points.
Firstly, we saw a few comments worried that the drops from this boss would include runes and arrows that aren't relevant to the level of the content. We'd like to assure you this is not the case! Scurrius will drop death runes, chaos runes, adamant arrows, rune arrows and a bunch of other goodies.
Secondly, we have no plans to make Scurrius free-to-play or to introduce a Hard Mode. While both of these things would be beneficial for a number of players, we are not willing to alter the content that far beyond its original design. That's not to say we won't look to fill those niches in future – the takeaway is that Scurrius is a members-only training method for mid-level players, and we plan to keep him that way.
The Audio Read
Please Note this Audio Read might have some details changed due to our feedback changes above.
Beneath the friendly, familiar streets of Varrock stirs a lurking horror. Hidden away in the dark, dank depths of the city’s sewers resides something so terrible that even the bravest of the city guard refuse to venture in.
No, we’re not talking about Grimesquit and Phingspet – we’re talking about Scurrius the Rat King, a rodent of most unusual size. Are you tough enough to deal with him? Let’s find out…
During this year’s Summer Summit, we mentioned that we’d soon introduce a mid-level PvM update to bridge the gap between mid and end-game content. As you’ve no doubt read in the blog, Varlamore will introduce plenty of PvM options in the form of Perilous Moons and the Fortis Colosseum – but we’re not stopping there.
Scurrius The Rat King is designed to introduce core PvM mechanics and help newer players get to grips with combat. This rambunctious rodent and his pack will test your knowledge of overhead Prayers, your dodging skills, and your ability to manage multiple monsters during a fight – all things you’ll need to master if you plan to take on tougher bosses later in your adventuring career.
Early Concept art for Scurrius, The Rat King - the art team are finishing up the final touches on the new concept and we'll update it here once it's ready.
We recommend that players have at least 43 Prayer to unlock Protect from Melee before venturing into Scurrius’ lair, but there are no other requirements. This encounter is designed for combat levels 60-90 – although it’s more about mastering mechanics than relying on chunky stats.
Players can choose to face Scurrius alone or group up with friends to take him down. If you’ve got mates who are new to Old School, this is the perfect way to introduce them to the joys of boss combat – or, if you’re new to the game yourself, this encounter serves as an opportunity to learn alongside other players at the same skill level.
On that theme, we’ve made it super easy to gear back up and get back into the action. We don’t want newer players to feel too frustrated while they’re trying to learn!
To be absolutely clear, if you already have PvM experience you’re unlikely to find Scurrius to be much of a challenge – but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing here for you! Let’s look at what magnificent treasures Scurrius is hiding…
Often, when we talk about rewards for bosses, we end up with the usual suspects: cold, hard cash, fancy new uniques, and a few supplies to keep the streak going.
Given that Scurrius targets an extremely broad level range, it’s difficult to pinpoint a reward that’s exciting for both level 60 beginners and level 90 players about to take on tougher foes. That’s why we’re trying something totally new (and a bit scary!) – the primary reward from the Rat King will be Combat XP.
We’re not talking Lamps or other trade-ins. We said we’re trying something new, and we meant it!
Usually, players gain the bulk of their combat XP (except Prayer) passively while training Slayer, or at AFK spots like Sand, Rock, Ammonite or Swamp Crabs and the Nightmare Zone. This boss represents a big departure from that model and provides an opportunity to train combat in a more engaging, rewarding, and exciting way. You’ll be able to track your gains during the fight, and you’ll be rewarded for choosing more intensive combat methods.
As a ballpark, you can expect low-level players using Rat Bone weaponry (ooh!) while fighting Scurrius to receive significantly more XP than passive options like Nightmare Zone and Crabs. Higher-level players will likely be better off training combat as they always have – Slayer, other bossing, and other more efficient methods.
We're still in the process of fine-tuning the balance for XP rates and Rat Bone weaponry, so while the aims outlined in the paragraph above are what we're working towards, we're going to steer clear of including any specific XP rates at this stage since they're very likely to change.
Also, as an additional extra you'll be able earn your own little rat companion in the form of the pet dropped from Scurrius, Scurry.
Now, you’re probably wondering what on earth ‘Rat Bone weaponry’ refers to. If you are, thanks for setting up the perfect segue!
Rat bone weaponry
In short, Rat Bone weaponry lets you double down on those XP rewards – but you’ll need to get a bit crafty first. Please note: these weapons can only be used against Scurrius or other Rat-type enemies and won't work against any other NPCs.
Defeat Scurrius, and you may obtain the uncommon, untradeable Rat Spine. Lovely! Combine that with a Rune Mace, Yew Shortbow, or a Battlestaff and 1,000 Chaos Runes to create the Rat Bone Mace, Bow, or Staff. You’ll need 35 Smithing, Fletching or Crafting, respectively.
The Rat Bone Mace is a faster version of the Dragon Mace. The Rat Bone Bow is essentially a Magic Shortbow, where Ranged strength depends on the tier of ammo you’re using all the way up to Rune. The Rat Bone Staff has a Magic bonus equivalent to the Mystic Staff, and its own built-in spell that requires 1 Chaos Rune per cast, which can be added directly into the Staff.
These icky armaments are specifically designed for fighting a huge rat as you'll have the potential to add up to 10 damage to your current max hit when using the Rat Bone weaponry against this critter! If you were smacked with a giant version of your own spine, you’d feel pretty demoralised too! This shakes out to significantly more XP per hour. You’ll want to grab yourself a spine and start swinging as soon as possible!
Each Rat Bone weapon requires 50 in either Attack, Ranged, or Magic to wield. You can see their stats in the image below:
But wait… there’s more. For any spare Spines you receive you'll be able to trade this in for an Experience Lamp that will allow you to give a certain amount of XP in the following skills; Attack, Defence, Hitpoints, Magic, Prayer, Ranged & Strength. The Rat Spine is not especially rare, although it’s not a guaranteed drop. Don't worry if you don't get a Rat Spine straight away, the other drops on offer ensure you’ll still have a healthy handful of spending cash to go improve your gear – a great incentive to go try some other content before descending into the sewers again.
Should we add Rat Bone weaponry, new weapons that can only be used on Rat-type enemies, as described in the blog?
Other drops include the odd Rune item, your bog-standard supply drops, and plenty of Magic and Ranged ammunition suitable for the level range this encounter is designed for.
Aw, rats! That’s all we’ve got for you today. We’ll be polling the Rat Bone weaponry in the near future, so keep your eyes boggled for that. As always, we look forward to your feedback – but do remember that Scurrius is aimed at mid-level players with zero combat experience. Fight Caves, he ain’t!
With this in mind, we’re especially interested to hear from lower-level players, or those of you who aren’t yet comfortable with PvM. If the thought of Jad has you quivering behind a boot-shaped rock or the idea of venturing out into the Wilderness to face the multitude of bosses and players alike terrifies you, we want YOUR feedback!
Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have a sudden hankering for a big block of cheese…
You can also discuss this update on our official forums, on the 2007Scape subreddit, the Steam forums, or the community-led OSRS Discord in the #gameupdate channel. For more info on the above content, check out the official Old School Wiki.
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