Soul Wars and Minigames

Soul Wars and Minigames

We started talking about Soul Wars way back in March, with insight into a behind-the-scenes experiment to bring elements of RuneScape to Old School. There was a lot of love for the detail in the blog, and a lot of support for the return of Soul Wars (albeit with certain changes). So, we've kept at it! Based on your feedback, we've changed the content to fit Old School, and we think the time is ripe to present it.


We published the first draft of this blog on Friday October 2nd. We'd like to thank you for all of the feedback. There was a lot of it! We've collated some of the notable bits in the table below. We've also edited the blog with any content changes, and we've added poll questions.


Player Feedback and Our Changes
Your Feedback Our Actions
Soul Wars. Concerns that our proposal of ending the game when 50% of a team leaves could result in the match being sabotaged or manipulated for points. We're going to change the mechanic so that if a large number of your team has left the game then you won't be penalised for leaving it yourself. Normally, when a player leaves they're prevented from entering a waiting room for a few minutes.
You wanted to enjoy the thrill of massive fights without a player cap. The cap is necessary to ensure it runs without performance issues. We'll keep the cap but look at increasing it post-release if things look good on launch.
Consider having bandages available in the graveyards to make it more difficult to 'spawn camp'. Great point. We'll add them there in addition to the supply areas.
Concerns that the activity score could be manipulated, by doing things like setting up barricades and attacking them repeatedly. We'll make sure you only get a contribution for attacking barricades placed by the other team, and we'll keep an eye out for similar exploits.
The mercy rule and changing how it works, like having it based on kill differential rather than a static score. We like the idea of teams racing to the kill when the score is close, like 9-9. That said, we'll reconsider it post-launch if it proves to be annoying!
Consider only allowing players join the waiting room using the green portal (rather than choosing a team). We think it'd be a shame to lose the ability for groups of friends and clans to be able to play together. If our other attempts to ensure team balance isn't effective then we'll reconsider.
Soul Wars Rewards. Addition of Soul Capes led to you wanting more clarity on whether the Nomad quests would ever come to Old School, and what we'd offer as rewards. There aren't plans to release the quests, but if that changes then we'd likely tweak the quest reward to be an upgrade of the cape we're offering.
Last Man Standing. You wanted to be able to play non-competitive Last Man Standing on any game world, for clan events and competitions. We've edited the blog to offer the ability to play Casual games on any world.
Minigame World Restrictions. Reconsider the proposal to restrict minigame access to specific worlds, since it'd impact group events. We've edited the blog to state that we'll encourage players to use themed worlds, rather than restrict access.
Barbarian Assault. Concerns that the proposals for Take-hammer and the removal of the Block tunnel would negatively affect existing metas, like 9-9-9 food and using the tunnel click to path north. We're going to remove these proposals. We thought they'd be good QoL changes for inexperienced players but we didn't consider the impact it'd have on experienced players.
You flagged a number of needed bug fixes and tweaks, namely re-adding the ability to click through interfaces whilst on the cannon, fixing the issue of players being removed from the team if using the cannon at the end of the round, and investigating the bonus effects of Defender not working beyond level two. We'll investigate all of these and fix them if there's something broken.
Shades of Mort'ton. The initial Prayer Robes proposal was "here are some robes, here are some effects, what do you like the sound of?". Most of the effect suggestions were well-received, but there was a clear appetite for the resource-saving mechanic. We've edited the blog to confirm the effect of the new robes. The robes are a four-piece set (head, body, legs, and boots) with each piece offering a 1.25% chance of saving a bone or ensouled head.
Some players felt that the new robes should more closely resemble the Necromancer equipment from RuneScape. We would prefer to approach the Necromancer robes differently in the future (if at all), and tie them with the Dagon'hai robes.
Concerns about the Splitbark proposals. Namely that the Swampbark equipment might make the Standard spellbook too over-powered. We've edited the blog to reflect a decrease in the set effect of Swampbark. When comparing the Ancient spellbook to the Standard spellbook we also consider the risk involved (tome of fire, pages, the new armour set versus 'salad' robes, and the ancient staff). Our intention was to make the Standard spellbook compete with Ancients rather than best it.
Other RuneScape Minigames. Understandably a lot of you have been asking why we aren't offering Stealing Creation or Fist of Guthix or other things instead. Soul Wars was an experiment in how viable porting content from the other game to our game could be. We're not opposed to offering other minigames, or other content from RuneScape, in the future, but we aren't offering it now. We've built a short survey for you which asks about your reaction to RuneScape content: Porting Content Survey.


We began talking about Soul Wars back in March and we've worked on it since then, iterating on the design and making the visuals feel more Old School. We've seen a lot of excitement for Soul Wars, but also some trepidation. You mentioned things like rewards, saying they were either over-powered (lots of XP!), not fit for Old School (buyable pets), or not suited for Old School at all (Summoning charms). Those are problems we can solve. Expand the section below to find out how we've changed Soul Wars to make it fit Old School RuneScape!


Soul Wars Content Changes For Old School

    Those of you who played Soul Wars during its heyday will notice that the content we're proposing differs slightly from what you remember. In this section we'll highlight the notable differences:

    • The original version of Soul Wars only had one gaming running at a time. This meant sometimes you might face a long wait. We've changed this to allow multiple games to run concurrently, which should make it easier to find a game and more fun to play.
    • We saw a lot of discussion around how easily botted Soul Wars used to be. We've added entry requirements to mitigate this.
    • To make it easier to find people to play with (and as another bot mitigation step) you'll only be able to play Soul Wars on a small number of designated worlds.
    • To complement the match-making changes, and to help avoid the laggy games of yesteryear, we've implemented an upper cap of 60 players per team (120 players in total).
    • Avatars in the original version of Soul Wars would only attack one player. We've changed this to improve the multiplayer 'feel' of the minigame. They'll still target just one player, but their attacks can hit any players in front of them.
    • Game balancing used to be a big problem, particularly when a team would rush to a large lead early in the game, or when a team has a lot of its players leave (these two things were quite often linked to one another!). So:
      • Soul Wars games now last 10 minutes in total (down from 20 minutes).
      • A team reaching a total of 10 avatar kills will end the game early (similar to a 'mercy rule').
      • Players won't be penalised for leaving early if their team's player count drops below 50% of what it began with.
      • In the original Soul Wars there was only one exit point for the team graveyard. There are now three different exit points making it harder to camp opposing players as they respawn.
      • Originally, players on the controlling team could bury bones in a graveyard. Now both teams can, but the non-controlling team will only get 1/3 of the contribution.
      • Previously, only players on the controlling team could sacrifice soul fragments. Now both teams are able to, but the non-controlling team will only get 1/3 of the contribution.
    • Slayer was central to the gameplay of the original minigame. We've made a number of changes to remove the skill from Soul Wars:
      • Originally there was a Slayer level requirement to damage Avatars (which began at 100 and was reduced by using soul fragments on the Soul Obelisk). We've replaced this with a general damage reduction mechanic - all damage dealt is initially reduced by 100%, making them immune (this percentage is reduced by using soul fragments on the Soul Obelisk).
      • NPCs, which drop soul fragments, originally had a Slayer requirement to kill them. Now NPCs are no longer Slayer creatures, and Slayer requirements have been removed.
      • In the original Soul Wars you could purchase Slayer XP. As Slayer is no longer part of the minigame, we've removed this.
    • The original Soul Wars offered a host of rewards which just aren't fit for Old School (like Slayer XP, Summoning charms, and multiple pets). We're offering different rewards, and an entirely new way of rewarding players with Zeal (see the rewards section for more information).



Soul Wars


A mystical portal has opened in Edgeville, leading to the lands beyond Feldip Hills' western shore. Any players who venture through will find themselves at the site of Soul Wars - a new, members-only minigame involving fierce combat, and territory control! If youíve played Castle Wars, you will be on familiar ground with Soul Wars. Itís a quick, fun, team game... but itís three times the size! Soul Wars is also a safe game, so you donít have to worry about losing any of your favourite gear. Once you enter the Soul Wars area you will meet Nomad. He'll show you the workings of the Soul Obelisk, how the giant Avatars function, and the basics of territorial domination. Being something of an adventurer, Nomad is prepared to give rewards to players who get involved!


A QUICK GUIDE TO PLAYING SOUL WARS


  1. Log in to a dedicated Soul Wars world.
  2. Speak to Nomad to begin and complete the Soul Wars tutorial.
  3. Enter a team waiting room.
  4. Once you're in the minigame, you can fight NPCs, players, or the opposing team's avatar! Be sure to keep your activity bar up.
  5. Finish the game to be rewarded with Zeal and Zeal tokens, which can be used to purchase rewards.

ACCESSING SOUL WARS


The Soul Wars minigame takes place on an unnamed island near the Feldip Hills. You can access it via a portal in Edgeville. Alternatively, you can use a minigame teleport or a second portal in Ferox' Enclave.


All Members can access the island on any world, even if they don't have the requirements to play the minigame (which we'll talk about shortly).


Upon arrival, you'll find yourselves in the Soul Wars lobby on the southern side of the island, within which Nomad can be found. He'll explain the minigame to you, and allow access to the reward shop (we'll get to the rewards later). The lobby also has a bank and a poll booth, as well as the waiting rooms for the minigame itself.


A labelled map of the Soul Wars island, lobby, and battlefield.


You can enter a game of Soul Wars by stepping into one of the waiting rooms in the Soul Wars lobby. You won't be able to enter a waiting room until you've been through the Nomad tutorial. You'll also be unable to enter a waiting room if you don't meet the requirements to. Capes are given to you once the game begins, meaning that you'll be unable to take a cape with you.


The requirements to play Soul Wars are:

  • Total level of 500
  • 40 Combat level
  • Membership (needed to access the island)

You can access the Soul Wars island on any members world, but you'll only be able to enter a waiting room and play the minigame on a small number of designated Soul Wars worlds.


There are two waiting rooms on the island, one for each team (blue and red). You can pick which team you'd prefer to join, but if the waiting rooms are too imbalanced (if there are uneven numbers or if one team is comprised of players with much higher levels) then entry to the stronger team will be blocked. If you don't care which team you join, you can use the green portal to be placed automatically.


A game of Soul Wars will either begin every two minutes or when both waiting rooms have 60 players. When this happens, players will be pulled from both waiting rooms and into Soul Wars itself. There must be at least 10 players in each waiting room for a game to start. If there aren't enough players present, the two minute timer will be stopped and will restart from the beginning once there are sufficient numbers.


If one of the waiting rooms has fewer then 60 players, the number of players pulled from each waiting room will match the count of the weaker waiting room. For example, if the blue room has 40 players and the red room has 60 players, 40 players will be pulled from each room into the game.


If players are left in a waiting room after a game starts, they'll be given higher selection priority for the next game.


PLAYING SOUL WARS


Once the game begins, both teams have the same objective. Kill the opposing team's Avatar as many times as possible before the end! Games will last for 10 minutes, but they can end early if a team reaches a total of 10 Avatar kills.


Avatars


Blue teams - your avatar is the Avatar of Creation! Red teams - your avatar is the Avatar of Destruction! Both have the same stats and damage reduction mechanic. Initially, all damage dealt to them will be reduced by 100% (making them immune to all damage), but this percentage can be reduced to 0% by using the Soul Obelisk (see below).


The Avatars have low Defence but high HitPoints. This means even low levels can damage them, but they'll take some time to kill. They attack using melee and will try to target the player in their area with the highest offensive bonuses (who they perceive as the biggest threat). However, their attacks will also hit any other players standing in front of them. Prayer can be used to block damage from their attacks. Players who are hit will lose some prayer points, with the amount depending on damage done.


Upon dying, an Avatar will respawn after 20 seconds, and will respawn with the 100% damage reduction restored.


Left: Avatar of Destruction. Right: Avatar of Creation


Bases


Each team has a base, located on opposite sides of the map, which are visually different but otherwise identical. Each contains an Avatar, a Graveyard and a Supply Area.


All players begin the game in their team graveyard. The graveyard is safe, can only be accessed by members of that team, and is the place where players respawn. Additionally, players who die will appear there as ghosts and must wait for 15 seconds before leaving using one of the three different exit points.


Players can collect bandages from the Supply Area and from graveyards. These can be used to heal 10% of HitPoints, restore 100% run energy and cure all poison and venom, and aren't stackable. Bandages can also be used to heal other players on the same team.


Barricades can also be collected from the Supply Area, but only one barricade can be carried at a time. Theses can be placed to block player's paths. Each team can place down a maximum of 10,and some areas can't have any at all. Barricades can also be used on other players to trade them (normal trading is disabled in Soul Wars). Barricades can be destroyed by attacking them, burning them or blowing them up. Speaking of which...


Explosive potions can be collected from the Supply Area. These can be used on barricades to blow them up and, again, aren't stackable. Explosive potions can also be used on other players to trade them.


An aerial view of both team bases. Above: Blue team. Below: Red team


Graveyards


Along with the two base graveyards, there are two additional graveyards closer to the middle of the game map. These begin the game neutral but can be captured by either team. To capture one, a team must have more players in its area than the other team for a short period. Once captured, it becomes an additional respawn point for that team. If a team has multiple graveyards, upon death a player will be sent to the closest one. Once captured, a graveyard can never become neutral again, but it can be instead captured by the other team. As with the base versions, both captureable graveyards have two different exit points.


Players can bury bones in any graveyard. Doing so will increase the damage reduction percentage of their team's Avatar. If players bury bones in a graveyard their team doesn't control, they will only get 1/3 of the contribution. Bones can be obtained from fallen players or NPCs.


Soul Obelisk and Soul Fragments


The Soul Obelisk is found in the middle of the Soul Wars map. As with the graveyards, the Soul Obelisk can be captured by having more players in its area than the other team for a short period. Again, once captured, it can never become neutral again but it can be instead captured by the other team.


The Soul Obelisk can be used to weaken the Avatars by lowering their damage reduction percentage. As mentioned above, both Avatars reduce all damage dealt to them by 100% (making them immune to all damage). However, this percentage can be reduced down to 0%. To do this, a team must sacrifice soul fragments to the Soul Obelisk. This can be done regardless of which team controls the Soul Obelisk, but sacrifices from the team that doesn't control it are only worth 1/3 of the contribution.


Soul fragments can be gathered by killing various NPCs found within Soul Wars. Stronger NPCs drop more fragments. If a player is killed, they will drop all of the soul fragments they are carrying, allowing the killer to pick them up.


The Soul Obelisk in the centre of the Soul Wars battlefield.


Question #1

Should we add the Soul Wars minigame as described in the blog?




Rewards


REWARD SYSTEM


A lot of minigames reward players with a special currency - in Soul Wars' case, Zeal. At the end of each game, all players will be rewarded with Zeal based on their participation. Players who exit Soul Wars early will not receive any Zeal. In addition, an activity bar will be shown on screen - failure to participate in the game will cause the activity bar to drop to zero over time, and once there, it'll never go up again. Players who have zero activity will also receive no Zeal.


In the original version of Soul Wars, the amount of Zeal rewarded differed depending only on whether players won or lost. We've changed this and now properly reward those who contribute to the cause.


You can now grab Zeal, and contribute to your activity bar, by:

  • Killing opposing players: More Zeal is awarded for killing strong players, with little to no Zeal received for killing weaker players. Killing the same player multiple times will see the Zeal reward reduced each time in order to prevent the farming of kills.
  • Healing fellow team members: Note that it isn't possible to heal team members already at full health.
  • Burying bones: If your team's Avatar is at maximum damage reduction, then no contribution is counted.
  • Sacrificing soul fragments at the Soul Obelisk: If the opposing team's Avatar has minimum damage reduction, then no contribution is counted.
  • Dealing damage to the opposing team's Avatar
  • Capturing graveyards or the Soul Obelisk

The following will contribute to a player's activity bar, but will not be rewarded with Zeal:


  • Killing NPCs
  • Destroying barricades

Once a game ends, a player's final Zeal count will be modified depending on whether they won or lost, with the winning team getting a 10% bonus and the losing team a 10% reduction. If it's a draw, there is no bonus or reduction. For every point of Zeal earned, a player will also receive a Zeal Token. Like Zeal itself, Zeal Tokens are a virtual currency that can be spent on rewards in the Soul Wars Reward Shop.


REWARD SHOP


Players will be able to see their current Zeal and Zeal Token values when in the shop. The shop can be accessed on any members world, even if it isn't a Soul Wars enabled world.


Experience


XP can be purchased in Attack, Strength, Defence, HitPoints, Ranged, Magic and Prayer. Players can only purchase XP for skills in which they are level 30 or above, and the higher the level, the more XP is given. XP can be purchased in bulk, but doing so will not grant any modifiers (buying 10 lots in one go is no different to buying one lot 10 times). We're aiming for XP rates to be comparable with Pest Control (we're basing this comparison on the Intermediate lander, including XP from gameplay as well was rewards).



Question #2

If Question #1 passes, should the Soul Wars Reward Shop sell Combat XP (Attack, Strength, Defence, HitPoints, Ranged, Magic, and Prayer)?


Imbues


Players will be able to use Zeal Tokens to imbue specific items (mainly rings) and improve their effects. These will work identically to the ones at Nightmare Zone. However, to prevent a player buying them at one shop and selling them to the other, they will be separate items. Imbues will be priced so as to ensure they take a similar amount of time to earn in both minigames. The available imbues are identical to those offered in the Nightmare Zone store. Note that the Nightmare Zone imbues won't be changed in any way.


Question #3

Should the Soul Wars Reward Shop be able to imbue equipment, like the Nightmare Zone reward shop does? The Nightmare Zone shop won't be changed in any way.


Soul Cape


Players will be able to buy a Soul Cape. This cape will look like the one worn during the minigame and can be freely switched between blue and red. It will require level 70 Prayer to equip and will provide a +8 Prayer bonus.


Question #4

If Question #1 passes, should the Soul Wars Reward Shop sell the Soul Cape, as described in the blog? You can freely change the colour of the cape, it requires level 70 Prayer, and provides an +8 Prayer bonus.


Ectoplasmator


Zeal Tokens can also be spent on an Ectoplasmator. When carried in the inventory, this item will grant Prayer experience whenever ghostly creatures are killed. The XP given will scale based upon how many HitPoints the creature has (similar to how Slayer XP is given). Buying this will require 40 Prayer.


Question #5

If Question #1 passes, should the Soul Wars Reward Shop sell the Ectoplasmator, as described in the blog? This item grants Prayer XP whenever ghostly creatures are killed.


Lucky Dip


This will give a random item from a new Soul Wars loot table.


Question #6

If Question #1 passes, should the Soul Wars Reward Shop sell a Lucky Dip, as described in the blog? This would be similar to the Barbarian Assault Gamble option.


Avatar Pet


Whenever buying a Lucky Dip, there is a rare chance that the item given will be an Avatar pet. This will work like all other pets and can be freely transmogrified to look like either the Avatar of Destruction or the Avatar of Creation.


From left to right: the Ectoplasmator, Soul Cape, Avatar pet.



Other Minigame Changes




Last month we announced that, in response to your feedback about things like the Fishing Skill Boss and Soul Wars, we'd like to make some quality of life changes to existing minigames. Now we'd like to give you the opportunity to vote on the suggestions we received! You'll notice there's no Fishing Trawler changes currently being proposed, but don't worry - some of these will be offered alongside the Fishing Skill Boss poll later this month.


Not every change mentioned here will be polled alongside Soul Wars, but we expect to be offering them in the near future. If polled and passed, we'd expect the content to be released in a staggered manner across the rest of this year and early next year.


LAST MAN STANDING


As we mentioned in June's Gazette we'd like to add more variety to the gameplay of Last Man Standing, namely adding new maps and new 'loadouts'. The reception to the Wild Varrock map we proposed was particularly positive, and we expect to iterate on this further. We'd also like to add 'Zerk' and 'Pure' styles to fight with in the minigame. We'd also like to allow players to arrange and play friendly games of Last Man Standing by making Casual Last Man Standing (which don't offer rewards) available to play on any game world. Lastly, we'd like to make equipment imbues available in the Last Man Standing reward store. The available imbues would be identical to those offered in the Nightmare Zone store. Note that the Nightmare Zone imbues won't be changed in any way.


Question #7

Should the Last Man Standing Reward Shop be able to imbue equipment, like the Nightmare Zone reward shop does? The Nightmare Zone shop won't be changed in any way.



Games 'Zone' (or Games Room Anywhere)


We'd like to add a new area to the South Western corner of the Grand Exchange called the Games Zone. Here you'll be able to play at games tables offering each of the four Games Room minigames. We'd also like to add these games tables to various pubs around Gielinor!


Question #8

Should we add a Games Zone to the Grand Exchange and various pubs across Gielinor, as described in the blog? In these areas you'll be able to play minigames found in the Games Room.


TROUBLE BREWING


It can sometimes prove difficult to find like-minded adventurers who fancy a game of Trouble Brewing. So, we'd like to remove the completion of Cabin Fever and the Level 40 Cooking requirement so more people can get involved. We'd also like to add a bank to the Trouble Brewing game lobby. We'd like to encourage players to hop to the designated world when attempting to play the minigame on other worlds (meaning that you'll be prompted to hop worlds to World 304).


Question #9

Should we change Trouble Brewing's requirements so that completion of Cabin Fever and Level 40 Cooking are no longer needed?


FEROX ENCLAVE


Some worlds can be quite laggy when engaging in PvP combat, so we'd like to add designated Ferox Enclave worlds which restrict players to content within the Enclave. Players won't be able to leave the Enclave in any way, and will be able to play Clan Wars, Last Man Standing and other content which may be added to the Enclave in the future.


BARBARIAN ASSAULT


We received a lot of Barbarian Assault suggestions, and we'd like to offer the following.

  • Re-model the eggs to be more colour blind friendly.
  • Add Fake XP drops, since no regular XP is gained.
  • Allow players to 'call' whilst interacting with machines.
  • Remove delays when repairing traps.

Question #10

Should we allow Barbarian Assault players to 'call' whilst interacting with machines?


Question #11

Should we remove gameplay delays when repairing traps within Barbarian Assault?


CASTLE WARS


You sent us a lot of Castle Wars suggestions, and here's what we'll be offering this time around.

  • We'd like to add a new potion to the supply table in the Castle Wars bases. It doesn't have a name yet (how does Super Hybrid Minigame Combat Potion sound?) but it will have the boosting effects of a Super Combat potion, a Ranging potion, and an Imbued Heart all-in-one.
  • To help make it easier to find matches, we'd like to add two new NPCs to the Grand Exchange. The Saradominist and the Zamorakian Recruiters will advertise upcoming Castle Wars matches and teleport players to the Castle Wars lobby.
  • We'd like to add new Full Helm and Boots to the existing Castle Wars armour sets as additional rewards.

Question #12

Should we add a new potion to the supply table in Castle Wars bases, as described in the blog? This potion will offer the boosting effects of a Super combat potion, a Ranging potion, and an Imbued Heart all-in-one.


Question #13

Should we add two new NPCs to the Grand Exchange to recruit players to play upcoming Castle Wars matches? The Saradominist and Zamorakian Recruiters will advertise matches and teleport players to the game lobby.


Question #14

Should the Castle Wars Reward Shop sell new Full Helm and Boots rewards? These items will be themed to the existing armour sets sold in the shop.


PURO-PURO


Puro-Puro is a magical realm, but the truth is that it's bit annoying to travel there! When wandering around the world and noticing a crop circle, you'll probably going to ignore it since it's unlikely you've got your Butterfly Net or Jar on you. And even if you decide to travel there, getting around Puro Puro itself can be a pain too. We've got a host of Puro-Puro improvements to suggest. We'd like to:

  • Add a new effect called Farmer's Affinity, a 30 minute buff which is granted when accessing Puro Puro through a surface crop circle. The buff will allow you to push through wheat far more easily.
  • Allow Elnock, found within the centre of Puro Puro, to store equipment used there.
  • Allow Elnock to sell a small number of impling jars.
  • Allow you to combine Jar generators so that they can store more charges.
  • Ad various new fields with crop circles around the entire world.
  • Add new impling spawns around the entire world, particularly in areas where they aren't currently found.
  • Reconsider the Strength XP gained by pushing through the maze, by allowing players to toggle any XP gain.

Question #15

Should we add new crop circle locations around Gielinor, as described in the blog? These crop circles teleport players to play the Impetuous Impulses minigame on Puro-Puro.


Question #16

Should we add Farmer's Affinity, a new 30 minute buff, which is granted when accessing Puro-Puro through surface crop circles? The buff allows you to push through wheat more easily.


Question #17

Should Elnock, the gnome on Puro-Puro, allow you to store Imp catching equipment?


Question #18

Should Elnock, the gnome on Puro-Puro, sell a small number of impling jars?


Question #19

Should we add new impling spawns all around Gielinor, with a focus on areas which currently lack spawns?


Question #20

Should we allow you to choose whether or not to gain Strength XP whilst navigating the maze on Puro-Puro?


And lastly, and perhaps the most significant minigame changes...


SHADES OF MORT'TON


Mortíton was once a quiet market town that specialised in death - the natural caves beneath the town made for great catacombs. However, in the 23rd year of the 5th age a fallout from whatever dark experiments the scientists of Darkmeyer were working on have cursed the townsfolk with a horrible affliction. Mortíton was built upon a ruined town known as Flamtaer which was destroyed by Zaros in the 2nd age, the only remaining part of this town is the ruined temple. Whether Flamtaer was a Saradominist town seems debatable as some locals suggest the temple was created by Pagans, which seems to be the only reference to a pagan religion in Gielinor.


Shades of Mort'ton is a minigame that calls upon your crafting and combat skills. If you're unfamiliar with the minigame, here's the gameplay in a nutshell.


Repair the ruined Flamtaer temple. Kill loar shades haunting Mort'ton and take their remains. Pour sacred oil on logs to create pyre logs. Burn shade remains on these pyre logs for a chance at a key. Use this key to access stronger shades and unique rewards. Kill these stronger shades and sacrifice the remains for a chance to unlock another key which allows access to even stronger shades and more unique rewards. And so on!


We've got a lot of ideas for you which we think will improve Shades of Mort'ton, and will also have a greater impact beyond just the minigame!


Shades and Mort'ton Catacombs


Urum shades (referred to as Uarum shades in the images below, but ignore that - we changed our mind on the name) are the new highest tier of shade. Burning Fiyr remains will have a small chance of yielding a golden key required to access these new golden shades. Burning Urum remains will always yield a golden key. Urum shades will be based in a new area of the catacombs, which houses new golden chests that offer improved standard loot.


Each room within the catacombs now contains a stone coffin. These coffins have a chance at spawning another new shade, the Diyn shade, when opening chests. Diyn remains can be burnt on the Altar of the Damned, which charges the altar to allow it to be used for prayer restoration (until the charges have depleted). Diyn remains are untradeable, and so must be gathered by the player wishing to use them. Diyn shades have a greater chance at appearing in the higher-tiered areas.


The changes described above will mean that a rework of the catacombs layout is needed. Here's our rework proposal:


At present the Asyn shades occupy a large (mostly empty) area. We think this space could be better used, so we'd like to move the Asyn shades into a more compact area which would allow for more space for the newest tiers of shades and chests. We've also looked at adding more ambience to each of the catacombs sections whilst retaining their essence. The mapping rework could happen in one of two ways, and we'd love to let you decide which we should implement.


  • Option A: Change the structure of the dungeon whilst retaining the 2004 style assets.
  • Option B: Change the structure of the dungeon, and replace the current 2004 style assets with the assets used in other nearby dungeons in the swamp area. The Haunted mine, Meiyerditch labs, Barrows, and Slepe's dungeon all use assets from the 2007-era.

Ultimately we'll be polling the visual direction of the dungeon, but our preference would be that we replace the assets with the ones used in other dungeons nearby (the 2007 option) which we think look a lot better than the garish assets of 2004.


From top to bottom: an overview of the current map and the two proposals, the reworked catacombs in a 2004 style, and the reworked catacombs in a 2007 style.


Question #21

Should we rework Shades of Mort'ton as described in the blog?


Question #22

If Question #21 passes, the Mort'ton catacombs would require a layout change. In the blog we offered two visual styles. Do you prefer option A or option B? The most popular choice will be implemented.


Rewards


As we mentioned above, the new chests offer improved standard loot, but we've also got some new unique items to offer.


Wearable Coffin


The first of these is the Wearable Coffin. This is a wearable item that fits the cape slot, and can be used to store a range of shade remains to help with inventory management. The coffin comes in a range of sizes reflecting the catacomb and chest tiers from which it can be found: Bronze, Steel, Black, Silver, and Gold.


The coffin allows you to store shade remains and has no stats.


Question #23

If Question #21 passes, should we add the Wearable Coffin, as described in the blog, as a possible reward to the minigame? This item fits within the cape slot, and can store shade remains.


Prayer Robes


The second unique reward we'd like to offer is a prayer robes set. This set is based on a player-designed concept by MaximasRS. These robes will only be found in gold chests. Whilst we're big fans of the concept, we expect to deviate from the design, for example we're offering only a four piece equipment set: helm, top, legs, and boots. The robes themselves would be untradeable, they won't offer any combat stats, and they'd have the following set effect: each item piece offers a 1.25% chance of saving a bone or ensouled head (with the full set giving a 5% chance). This effect would be stackable with the Wilderness Altar's bone-saving effect.


A player-designed concept of prayer robes.


Question #24

If Question #21 passes, should we add the prayer robes, as described in the blog, as a possible reward to the minigame? These untradeable robes don't offer combat stats but offer the unique effect of saving bones and ensouled heads when training Prayer.


Splitbark and Others


Fine cloth is used in the creation of splitbark armour, and it's a reward from Shades of Mort'ton. Last year we polled Warding and new bark-based armours which would be craftable, alongside splitbark. The polls failed, but we've seen a repeated desire for us to reconsider the armours in another way, perhaps with the Runecraft skill rather than Warding. So here we are!


Splitbark armour can be made beginning at level 60 Crafting and gives similar XP as crafting green dragonhide armour does. Crafting the armour requires the same amount of bark (b) and fine cloth (fc) as would be needed when having the armoured wizard make it (helm: 2b 2fc, body: 4b 4fc, legs 3b 3fc, gauntlets: 1b 1fc, boots: 1b 1fc).


Swampbark armour can be created by using a piece of splitbark armour on the nature altar and will cost a specific amount of runes.


  • Gloves and boots require 100 nature runes and 42 Runecraft.
  • The helm require 250 nature runes and 46 Runecraft.
  • Top and legs require 500 nature runes and 48 Runecraft.
  • XP gained be minimal - itís not supposed to be a training method.

The proposed stats (below) offer a defence similar to Mithril and a magic bonus six greater than splitbark. In addition to the stats, we'd like to offer a set effect which buffs binding spell effects by 2 ticks per piece.


  • Bind: 8 ticks (4.8 secs) -> 13 ticks (7.8 secs)
  • Snare: 16 ticks (9.6 secs) -> 21 ticks (12.6 secs)
  • Entangle: 24 ticks (14.4 secs) -> 29 ticks (17.4 secs)
  • For comparison: Ice Barrage: 32 ticks (19.2 secs)


Bloodbark armour can be created by using a piece of splitbark armour on the blood altar and will cost a specific amount of runes.


  • Gloves and boots require 100 blood runes and 77 Runecraft.
  • The helm require 250 blood runes and 79 Runecraft.
  • Top and legs require 500 blood runes and 81 Runecraft.
  • XP gained be minimal - itís not supposed to be a training method.

The proposed stats (below) offer a defence similar to Adamant and a magic bonus five less than Mystic. In addition to the stats, we'd like to offer a set effect which buffs ancient blood spell effects (blood rush, burst, blitz, and barrage).


  • Increased heal percentage of 1.5% per armour piece equipped.
  • A full set bonus of 32.5% hitpoints restore.


We don't have finalised designs for these new splitbark variants, but they will look different to the Warding proposals. This bloodbark set is based on a player-designed concept by grind24_7 and it's a proposal we're big fans of!


A player-designed concept of bloodbark armour.


Question #25

Should Splitbark armour be made to be craftable, as described in the blog? Currently only an NPC can create the armour.


Question #26

Should we add the Swampbark armour set, as described in the blog? It's a variant of Splitbark, created using the Runecraft skill, which offers Magic and Defence equipment stats and a unique binding-buff set effect.


Question #27

Should we add the Bloodbark armour set, as described in the blog? it's a variant of Splitbark, created using the Runecraft skill, which offers Magic and Defence equipment stats and a unique buff to blood spell effects.



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