Wilderness Changes, Bounty Hunter and Clan Wars!

We strongly advise you to read this week's Development Diary and the 'Trade and Drop Changes' article before this newspost, so that you can fully understand why we have made these changes. In this newspost, we look at how these changes have affected the Wilderness.

The thinking behind the Wilderness changes:

As discussed in the 'Trade and Drop Changes' newspost (which you have hopefully just read), we have changed what happens to your items when you die with the introduction of the gravestone update.

If we had just done that on its own, and not adjusted the Wilderness accordingly, it would have meant that PKers could not get loot from their player kills. That would have solved the real-world trading problem, but it wouldn't have been much fun for PKers! So, we also began working out what changes were needed to the Wilderness.

The brief for this project was as follows: we wanted to make the minimal number of changes to the Wilderness so that it was still fun, had a similar feel, PKers COULD still get drops from their kills and real-world traders COULD NOT use it to transfer items reliably. This was not an easy thing to achieve by any means but, after MUCH thought, we have adjusted it as follows:

1) Fairly early on, we hit upon the idea of letting the players themselves disrupt attempts to real-world trade in the Wilderness. After all, you can attack other players in the Wilderness anyway so, if a trader goes into the Wilderness with the intention of transfering some items to a cheat, all we need is a nearby PKer to kill them both and it solves the problem nicely (as well as being good fun/reward for the PKer who gets the stuff!). The Wilderness is rather big, however, and it was possible for real-world traders to find a remote corner to commit their crimes.

We've actually been thinking for quite some time that the Wilderness was a bit on the big side, and it can get quite hard to find other players to fight. So, this added reason gave us the incentive to finally shrink it. Reducing the area makes it easier for the real PKers to find and fight each other, and simultaneously makes it a nightmare for the real-world traders. We've gone with three arenas which, combined, have a total area of about 40% of the original size. That's small enough to deny real-world traders a safe corner to exchange items, but big enough to have a decent area to run around in.

2) No legitimate PKer would have any reason to take unnecessary non-combat items into the PKing area. After all, who in their right mind would take millions of gold into the Wilderness? It doesn't help win a fight and there is a large chance that you might lose it! Therefore, we've changed it so that you can only take in items that you would have a good reason to take in. Again, this makes things considerably more difficult for the cheats who took these items into the Wilderness, purely with the intention of losing them, but this should not affect normal PKers at all.

3) To mix things up a bit, we've added a new mechanic which gives you a random 'bounty' target when you enter the PKing area. Unless you are a person’s specific ‘bounty’ (there's more on this later in the newspost) people can no longer randomly kill you, take your goodies and run away. Anyone doing so will find themselves labeled as a Bounty Hunter Rogue and get a three minute penalty. This achieves a few things: firstly, it means that sometimes you will be assigned a target stronger than you, and sometimes a target who is weaker, which means that you won't just get picked on by stronger players all the time. Secondly, it makes things harder for the real-world trading cheats because there will be players assigned to kill them - muwhahah! Thirdly, since this stops players simply collaborating to get a good score, it means we can finally do something else we've wanted to do for a while - adding two new PKing Hiscore tables.

4) Since the PKing area is now dedicated exclusively to PKing and isn't mixed up with other content - again, something players have been asking us to sort out for some time - players immediately get a skull upon entering the PKing area; after all, that is why they are there. Of course, we don't want to suddenly make other things in the Wilderness, such as the Abyss, ridiculously easy - they were in the Wilderness originally to balance their higher rewards. So, we have introduced the 'revenant' ghosts (more on that below).

5) Finally, we renamed the PKing area to 'Bounty Hunter', since it's now only one of many things in the Wilderness area. This also paves the way for PKing areas in the Wilderness. The plan is to move from one PKing area in the wilderness to a variety of different ones, all with different rules and tactics. In fact, we've already added the first new player-vs-player game, with the introduction of 'Clan Wars' (see below). Next year, we have planned a chase-based PKing game where some players are trying to survive/escape while others try to hunt them down.

So, that's the reasoning behind the changes and what we are trying to achieve. The rest of this newspost goes into more details about the adjusted PKing area (now called Bounty Hunter), the first new PKing game (Clan Wars), and the Wilderness 'revenant' ghosts.

Wilderness 'Revenant' Ghosts:

If you are thinking that crossing the Wilderness, outside of the PKing zone, will be too easy then think again! 'Revenant' ghosts of creatures - as diverse as dark beasts, vampires, werewolves and cyclopes - will be harrying you as you trek across the Wilderness. They will do anything in their power to kill you, and their powers are impressive.

They are far more dangerous than their Combat level suggests, as they can attack from all three points of the combat triangle, freeze you, teleblock you, travel in packs and even 'steal' you from combat that you have initiated with another creature! Beyond that they can heal themselves, cure themselves of poison and are very aggressive. It's time to beware the Wilderness, because the revenants are here and looking to wreak terror on the living...

To read more about this Wilderness update, visit the Knowledge Base page.

Bounty Hunter:

In the centre of the Wilderness lies Bounty Hunter. This is a dangerous activity, in which you will also be skulled, meaning that you will lose all your items if you die. As described above, this is essentially the original PKing game that has always been in the wilderness, but is now in its own dedicated area, along with a few twists and changes.

The Bounty Hunter volcano is split into three craters, separated by Combat level, in which you will be given the name of a random player. This player is in the arena with you, and you have been tasked with killing them! They are unaware that you are hunting them, but no doubt they soon will be! Track them down, surprise them and then kill them to nab their items and prove yourself to be the bounty hunter of all bounty hunters.

What is so dangerous about this, you ask? Well, someone else in the arena is after you, too! Your name will have been given to another bounty hunter, and you will be firmly in their sights. Can you kill your target before you get killed yourself?

When players enter the Bounty Hunter area, a skull will appear above their heads, variously-coloured to represent the market value of their carried items. It may be tempting to attack any wealthy players who are not your bounty and pick up their items. This kind of non-bounty killing will give you a three minute penalty, during which you CANNOT leave the Bounty Hunter area - making you a tempting target for other players!

A good, clean kill - taking down a player who has been set as your bounty - will gain you Bounty Hunter points, which you can look up on the Bounty Hunter table in the Hiscores section of our website. Killing anyone else will give you Bounty Hunter Rogue points, which can be checked on their own Bounty Hunter Rogue Hiscores table.

Bounty Hunter is only available on certain worlds. To see a full list of themed worlds, visit the Knowledge Base page.

To read more about this update, visit the Knowledge Base page.

Clan Wars:

A short distance east of the Bounty Hunter volcano lies Clan Wars, a battleground for the many clans of RuneScape.

Starting a clan war is easy; anyone in a Clan Chat channel who has a 'Captain' rank or higher can right-click another clan's captain (or higher) and 'Challenge' them while in the Clan Wars challenge hall. That opposing clan member can then choose to accept the challenge or slope off to fight another day.

Once accepted - after all, saying "no" would not be the mark of a true warrior - the two players are taken to the Clan Wars arena, where they await their clan-mates. A red message will appear in the chatbox of these clan members, telling them that they have two minutes to join by entering a portal in the challenge hall. Once those two minutes are up, the battle is on!

The combat is 'safe', which means that you will not lose any items when dying in a clan war. Instead, those defeated will find themselves in a viewing area, where they can choose to watch or leave the war.

Battle continues until one side loses all of its players and none remain to fight. Will you be a member of the winning clan? Or will you be watching from the viewing area, observing the battle through viewing orbs and chatting to your team mates about what went wrong?

Unlike Bounty Hunter, Clan Wars is available on every world. To see a full list of themed worlds, visit the Knowledge Base page.

To read more about this update, visit the Knowledge Base page.

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