Right Click Examine: Future Skilling Content - News - RuneScape - RuneScape (2024)

Welcome to our next Right Click Examine (RCE) developer blog!

In this blog format, we open the floor to our J-Mods as they look to involve you in their development - whether that's content already in production, potential concepts for the future or anything in between. Whenever you see Right Click Examine (or RCE for short), prepare to share your thoughts and help us shape the future of RuneScape together!

Right Click Examine: Future Skilling Content

J-Mod Author: Mod Jack (Lead Designer) & Mod Breezy (Game Designer)

Project: Skilling Content (2024+)

Feedback We'd Most Love To Hear: Skill Level Raise // Mining & Smithing Content

Hello everyone, Mod Jack here.

I'm sure you've seen our roadmap announcement by now. One of the more cryptic inclusions were a pair of skilling updates for Mining & Smithing and Woodcutting & Fletching. While we talked a bit about the content for Mining & Smithing, there was a pretty glaring elephant in the room. Is this a level cap increase? If so, why not say so?

Improving Our Skilling Content

Skills are the backbone of Runescape. While PVM is the most rewarding and intense gameplay, skills in all their forms have been the core of progression in the game since launch. Back in the day, 99s were a distant dream, but nearly 25 years of content updates bringing bonuses, faster methods, events and everything else have made them more achievable than they once were. As it happens, the majority of active players still aren't maxed, but more are gradually reaching it every year.

If skills are the backbone of Runescape, then content updates are its lifeblood. A big part of our commitment in the new roadmap is recognising that stuff to do every month is what we're all here for. Looking back historically, while bosses and quests make for flashy and exciting moments, it's the steady rhythm of skilling updates that kept the game going in between. New training methods, new rewards, plugging gaps in the skills.

Back when I joined Jagex around the time DG released, the starting point for every project was Mod Mark sitting down with the player data and identifying "sticking points" where players were clustered.

"No one wants to level Farming beyond level 63, let's add something there." This basic approach kept us - and you - rich in updates for literally decades. But you know what? While there's still a lot we could do in some of the skills - I'm looking at you, Agility - one of the tricky challenges we face when making content is that the players who most want new stuff to do are the players who have already completed everything. Adding an incentive at level 63 isn't really doing much for them anymore.

The Mining & Smithing Rework was a passion project for me, and I'm very proud of what we delivered, but it definitely could have offered more for players who already had 99 in those skills. If we look at Fort Forinthry, it's a similar story - there's some really great skilling content for the game in there, but some of our most engaged players have told us that it didn't provide enough to do. Why is that?

Because the bespoke gameplay in each Fort update relies on unlocking it through existing Construction levels. If you're a low or mid level player, this works as intended and provides a much better incentive than before to level through the skill. If you've already maxed Construction though, you're done pretty quickly.

So what's the answer?

Regular, Satisfying Skilling Content

Our new approach is to raise the level cap of skills to 110 as part of our future skilling content updates - potentially covering all currently 99 skills over the course of the next several years.

The plan here is for something we can deliver consistently across multiple skills throughout a year - providing 11 new levels with plenty to do, that make all your XP bonuses continue to feel meaningful beyond 99. This creates a solid baseline of new stuff to do, without blocking other content from getting on to the schedule as well, leaving plenty of room for quests, combat and even other skilling updates.

A typical 110 would come with 11 new levels and a new tier of content to unlock and train with, and a good new reward to unlock at 110. For example, Mining & Smithing has a new tier of metal and items to make out of it. You'll find a complete description of the upcoming 110 Mining & Smithing update later in this very blog.

You remember Woodcutter's Grove? You know how it came with an awesome new hatchet which was fun to collect, but nothing to really do with that hatchet? Well what if it had also come with a new level cap, a new tier of tree, and a decent reward at the end? Sounds like an even better update to me.

We realise this might be a bit unexpected, hence this blog to explain our thinking and get your feedback. If that all makes sense, then great - skip on down to the Mining and Smithing segment. If you're still unsure, there's a whole lot more blog to go.


Why not 120 though?

The simple answer is that 120s take much longer to make, which means less content updates, as well as less variety.

Another major thing for me here is that if we make a simple assumption that 10 levels = 1 tier, 20 levels means 2 tiers. The 100-110 tier is just something you race through to get to the 110-120 tier. If we're going to make two tiers worth of meaningful content, isn't it better to make one Smithing tier and one Fletching tier, so that each stays relevant for longer? This also has a big impact on combat balancing - taking one manufacturing skill to 120 while the others stay at 99 would be odd.

Thinking about players who aren't currently maxed, 120's are also a much bigger target than 99 - the equivalent of 7 more 99s worth of XP. For some that's an exciting challenge - but for others, it's a bit of a brick wall to even get started in the first place. 99-110 is a bigger chunk of XP than 90-99 (about two and a half times), but especially combined with a new tier and a better XP rate, it feels a lot more approachable as a goal.

There's a delicate balance of providing goals which are large enough to get your teeth into, but not so large that you might not even get started in the first place.

What about 105?

On the other hand, we feel 105 is honestly just a bit small. One of the things raising the skill cap does is create room for more rewards and content in the future. I often get asked why we don't create more active skilling methods (things like Big Game Hunter) and one of the main reasons is that after Prif passive skilling was so fast that there just isn't much room for active skilling to be as fast as it would need to be. Raising the skill cap gives us that "runway" to make XP matter again, and 110 just gives more runway to work with. When we look at the balancing (and taking into account that we all want a nice round number after 99 at least) 110 comes out pretty much perfect.

What about non-skill options?

We have tried other approaches in the past to providing long, satisfying grinds and rewards. Menaphos brought the reputation system and the Sandy title, Anachronia had the base camp, and even Ports had a whole progression system completely unlike anything else in the game. Updates like Garden of Kharid and Het's Oasis implemented reward shops which required a lot of work. Some of these approaches were better received than others, but they just weren't skills. Levelling up isn't like other grinds - it's not the same as a reputation bar or reward currency. XP is unique.

Half the game's systems are built around XP or skilling, and they don't work on other types of content. I'm not ruling out this kind of content for the future, but based on the feedback we've consistently had over the years, I don't think we can consider them a substitute for skilling updates.

Will we see 120s in the future?

The first stage of this was to sit down and map out what this looks like over time. With this approach, where we'd update a skill or group of related skills on a solid regular cadence, we're looking at 2-3 years to get everything up to 110.

Once we're there, we can start taking everything to 120 in the same way - so maybe 5-6 years to 120 all. Of course, we could also try something different, like taking some skills to 120 before getting them all to 110. It very much depends on what works, what you guys are enjoying, and just keeping flexible to make sure we're always doing the right thing for the game. That said, that's all down to how you enjoy these updates, how they might change with feedback and if you decide further down the line we should look at something different for a while.

Would it come with a new training method?

Kinda. 110 Mining & Smithing comes with a new rock and tier of metal, but metal is metal. If by "new training method" you mean a brand new kind of gameplay, then the default answer for us is no. The main reason for this is just keeping the size of the updates under control, so we can meet our goal of regular releases that provide new aspirational skilling goals. New training methods can be fantastic, but they can also be controversial too.

That said, it does depend on the skill. Adding a new tree or rock is fairly predictable, but some skills don't necessarily work by just adding a new tier of an existing thing (Agility seems like an obvious example). What that looks like we'd have to think about when we come to designing for that skill.

This isn't to rule out the idea, though. The intent is that 110 is the baseline, leaving room for more, and that more could be a new training method if that's what's most needed at the time.

What about capes?

Given the current cape definitions, the max and master max cape would remain the same - being 99 all and virtual 120 all respectively. The tricky question would be comp, which currently requires the maximum non-virtual level in all skills. This could be quite intimidating, because if we're releasing new 110s fairly frequently, you'll only just have re-comped before you immediately lose it again.

The obvious answer to me seems like a generous grace period, but we'd love to know what you think is the right approach here. Over the last few years it feels like comp has turned into a bit of a "yes, dear" meme where we tell you what you have to grind this month. I'd really like to break out of that pattern and get back to the situation where you're excited to log in because you have a lot of interesting goals to choose between and strategise for.

Why are you doing Mining & Smithing first?
Doesn't it need it the least?

There are two main reasons to look at Mining & Smithing. The first is that because of the rework, the skills are in a good place to add additional content. This makes it a good test case before jumping into one of the more difficult ones.

The second is to do with the way skills interact. For example, I would agree that Woodcutting & Fletching "needs" an update more, but for example if we want to add a new type of hatchet, it would make sense for that hatchet to require the new tier of metal. That metal doesn't exist until the Mining & Smithing update exists, so doing it in this order makes sense.

Should I be excited?

I think skills and levels and XP are pretty exciting, and new tiers of hatchets and mining picks and player-made equipment sounds awesome. If you're more interested in PVM or quests or some other element of the game, that's absolutely fine. Part of what I want to achieve here is making sure there's a regular rhythm of new skilling content coming into the game in a way where we're still spending time on those other things as well.

Obviously a plan is just a plan until we ship some content, so I'll pass you over to Mod Breezy who will go into more detail on what you can actually expect from the upcoming 110 Mining & Smithing update.

Right Click Examine: Skilling Update 1: Mining & Smithing

J-Mod Author: Mod Breezy (Game Designer) & Mod Jack (Lead Designer)

Project: Skilling Content (2024+)

Feedback We'd Most Love To Hear: Colour & design for Primal Weapons and tools

Hey everyone, I’m Mod Breezy and it's time to talk about the 110 Mining & Smithing update. We’ve been delighted to see your excitement, anticipation, and theory-crafting since we announced these skilling updates recently in our 2024 road map livestream. Today we’re here to talk to you all about it and get you involved!

Update Overview

Let’s start by talking about what this update is! 110 Mining & Smithing plans to deliver a new tier of items to mine and smith. We’re introducing this new tier simply as an extension to how both skills currently work mechanically, and we want it to feel like natural progression beyond Elder Rune. So, what does this mean?

Currently Mining & Smithing have a new tier of metal every ten levels. At each milestone you’re introduced to a new metal from which you can create everything straight away. Between these milestones are levelling benefits that affect your speed and progression with the metal. With 110 Mining & Smithing we’re doing exactly that and we’re doing it centred around Primal armour…

… Yes! That Primal from Dungeoneering. For the first time you’ll be able to create Primal equipment and do it on the surface world outside of Daemonheim’s chilly depths. Let’s get into it.

Daemonheim Mining

With this update we’re bringing the Daemonheim ore rocks to the surface world. With level 100 Mining you’ll be able to mine all ten ores - from Novite to Promethium - and combine them together to smelt into the new ‘Primal Bar’ with level 100 Smithing (more on that in a bit).

These new ore rocks will work exactly as current core ores do, so expect to see higher durability and hardness stats when prospecting them - and of course be sure to keep chasing those rockertunities! Similarly, new ores will also work just as expected. You’ll be able to trade them, store them in a new ore box and in the metal bank, or, if you’re a power mining enthusiast you can throw them on the ground…

No new mining update would be complete without Stone Spirits of course, so expect to see new Primal Stone Spirits obtainable via geodes and drops. These new stone spirits will work on any of the ten Daemonheim ore rocks rather than requiring a specific one for each.

Primal Smithing

With level 100 Smithing and one of each of the ten Daemonheim ores, you’ll be able to smelt Primal bars. We understand this can feel quite involved since other bars simply use one or two ores, so instead of just making one Primal bar, you’ll be creating five at once! These Primal Bars can then be used to create Primal armour and a Primal 2-handed sword.

All Primal armour, tools, and weaponry will follow the same precedent as other smithable equipment. These can be upgraded from base to +5, made into burial armour, are unaugmentable, and degrade in combat. Just like all other smithable core equipment, Primal armour is melee tank armour and has lesser stats - starting at tier 85 at base and upgrading to tier 90 at +5 upgrade.

Powerful new ore rocks require a powerful new tool. Make way for the Primal Pickaxe, the best new smithable pickaxe upgradeable from base to +5. You'll want to grab this pickaxe as soon as you can to mine Daemonheim ores efficiently.

Elder Rune vs Primal Pickaxe stats:

Upgrade Level Penetration Minimum Progress Maximum Progress Average Progress
Base 225 275 45 50 135 150 90 100
+1 225 275 46 51 136 151 91 101
+2 225 275 47 52 137 152 92 102
+3 225 275 48 53 138 153 93 103
+4 225 275 49 54 139 154 94 104
+5 225 275 50 55 140 155 95 105

But where will you store all these new ores? In a Primal ore box of course! Don’t chuck out your Elder Rune one just yet because you’ll need it to upgrade into a Primal one.

Masterwork 2-Handed Sword

We know how much you love Masterwork equipment. The Mining & Smithing rework introduced Masterwork armour, and Archaeology introduced the Masterwork Spear of Annihilation. Next up, it's time to deliver the Masterwork 2-handed sword into your hands. Those of you with keen eyes may have spotted this hidden somewhere before…

For reaching level 110 Smithing, you’ll be rewarded with the ability to create the Masterwork 2H Sword. Put on your best Smithing outfit and gear once again to hammer-out some glorious bars (see what we did there) and follow a lengthy and complex process to make this bulky sword.

Expect to follow a similar process to that of the Masterwork armour, mixed in with a new process for creating sword parts. Stock up on some more Primal bars because you’ll need those for this sword too!

As with Trimmed Masterwork armour requiring essence from Malevolent and Torva, the Masterwork 2H Sword will require essence from the likes of Twin Furies’ Blades, Chaotic Weaponry, and Drygores. This is intended to maintain the value and relevance of less powerful weapons at nearby tiers, as well as function as another use for those Dungeoneering tokens you’ve got stocked up.

The Masterwork 2H Sword has no special attack or passive effect, will require level 99 Attack to wield and will act as a tier 100 weapon which can be augmented!

New Augmentable Pickaxe

Although the Primal pickaxe +5 is the best new smithable pickaxe, it has one drawback which is that it can’t be augmented. That’s where the other new pickaxe comes in!

You’ll be familiar with tier 70 Crystal and tier 80 Imcando tools for skilling, combining both to create the likes of the tier 90 Pickaxe of Earth and Song and tier 99 Mattock of Time and Space. It’s time to introduce the next level of tools, this time at tier 100.

You'll need to bring your Pickaxe of Earth and Song and delve into the Underworld to follow another lengthy process to obtain this new best-in-slot pickaxe - perfect for smashing away at Daemonheim ores. Although it shares the same stats as the Primal pickaxe +5, this one can be augmented, making it an obvious choice for expert miners.

Don’t worry about losing your item level and perks on your current augmented Pickaxe of Earth and Song. Upgrading to this new pickaxe will retain both! The tier 100 pickaxe will require 100 Smithing to create, and 100 Mining to wield and use. This item is not tradeable.

Pickaxe Penetration Minimum Progress Maximum Progress Average Progress
Pickaxe of Earth & Song 225 45 135 90
Primal Pickaxe +5 275 55 155 105
Tier 100 Augmentable Pickaxe 275 55 155 105

Update Summary

That’s everything we’re introducing with this 110 Mining & Smithing update! We hope you’re as excited as we are, but we’re not finished just yet.

First though, let’s recap everything this update is bringing:

  • Mine all ten existing Dungeoneering ores, Novite to Promethium, on the surface world with level 100 Mining.
  • Combine one of each ore to smelt into five Primal bars with level 100 Smithing.
  • Double your ore gains with Primal Stone Spirits which work on all 10 new ores.
  • Smith iconic Primal armour and the Primal 2H Sword to train the skills, and don’t forget to get your hands on the Primal pickaxe.
  • Hold on to your Elder Rune ore box and upgrade it to a Primal ore box.
  • Combine Masterwork processes with Primal Bars and other resources to create the Masterwork 2h Sword with level 110 Smithing.
  • Upgrade your tier 90 Pickaxe of Earth and Song into the new tier 100 Pickaxe.

Primal Equipment Concepts

We know Primal armour and weapons are an iconic part of RuneScape’s history, and they look cool as hell. With this update allowing you to create them we want to remaster them to match our modern graphics.

Below you’ll see the concept art for Primal armour. Our primary objective here was a ‘faithful remaster’ of the armour to maintain as much of the aesthetic as possible – similar to how we’ve remastered the likes of Sirenic, Tectonic, and Rune God armours in the past. These new graphics will also replace those items in Dungeoneering.

Now let’s talk about Primal weapons. Unlike the armour, Primal weapons use a black and grey colour scheme. The materials are glossy and reflective, giving them a unique look. With this update we’ve explored some avenues of remastering the Primal 2H Sword and what this might mean for the Primal Pickaxe which requires a new model.

Below you’ll see 3 different variations of these.

  • Variation A is a direct and faithful remaster using the black/grey colour scheme.
  • Variation B is a direct and faithful remaster but uses the Primal armour colour scheme.
  • Variation C is slightly closer to a ‘rework’, but we still wanted to maintain the Primal aesthetic.

We’re handing this decision over to you and would like you to let us know which of these avenues you’d like us to go down with these remastered graphics.

  • Should we keep the dark colour scheme as faithful as possible?
  • Should we use this as an opportunity to make the colours consistent with the red-ish armour?
  • Should we use this as an opportunity to slightly rework the look of weapons and tools?
  • Maybe you’d like to see a combination of various elements? Let us know your opinions.

Remember, whatever decision you make will apply to all Primal weapons or tools, not specific ones. This includes any Primal equipment we may add in the future!

That’s everything from 110 Mining & Smithing, we hope you’ve been keeping up! Thank you very much for taking your time to read through this dev blog and give us your feedback, we greatly appreciate the passion and excitement you’ve shown and continue to show for these updates. See you again soon,

Mod Breezy and the Pioneers (Mods Stu, Mickey, Gunner, Taelae, Tiger, Bak, Fox, Dragon)

Thanks Breezy!

So that's the plan. With the context of our intent around going to 110, and a good picture of what each Skilling Update will bring with that, we want your thoughts on it. Are our priorities in the right place? Are there obvious alternatives we should be considering instead?

As usual I'll be around on social media to respond myself but we'll all be looking closely at your feedback on the subject. The best way to give long form feedback is listed below by CM, and the best way to interact with me personally in conversation are the design channels on our Discord. Even if I'm not able to respond personally, CM will be gathering everything up for review.

Thanks for taking the time to dive into this long blog. We're excited to hear what you think.

Mod Jack

Get Involved

Now you've heard from Mods Jack and Breezy, it's time to hear what you think.

We'd love to hear about your general impressions of our Skilling Update plans, with a level cap of 110 combined with content similar to what we've outlined for Mining & Smithing. Does this feel right to you? Does it feel like we're missing anything? Should we be tweaking some of our approach slightly? Details on how to get involved can be found below.

On top of feedback on the Skilling Updates themselves, we're also looking for your vote on which Primal Weapon style to take forward.

Direct Feedback

In our Discord, we've launched a new section called 'Right Click Examine' as the home for post-blog discussion. Head on over to #rce-chat to see what is being discussed and #rce-dev-questions to add your thoughts to ongoing questions from the development team. Click the button below to join today!

Live Discussion

Join Mod Jack, Mod Breezy and Mod Hooli for a Livestream today at 4pm Game Time on Twitch

We'll dive into this blog and answer your questions. Can't make the stream? Look for the VOD here after its concluded.

Community Conversation

While Discord is the main focus of our development feedback, there's still plenty of conversation to join throughout the community - and we'll be reading as much as we can.

  • /r/RuneScape
  • The RuneScape YouTube Category
  • The RuneScape Twitch Category

Thanks for joining us for this edition of Right Click Examine! We hope you loved this more personal format, and do let us know your thoughts so we can make it even better in future. See you in Gielinor 'Scapers.

- The RuneScape Team

Mods Astar, Azanna, Bakzinga, Balkan, Bam, Blkwitch, Boko, Brat, Breezy, Brig, Camel, Chaose, Dark, Daze, Desert, Doom, Dorn, Dragon, Drew, Drewid, Easty, Echo, Fallen, Forza, Fowl, Fox, Frosch, Grace, Helen, Hooli, Ink, Jack, Keyser, Kitsune, Kristy, Luma, Lunatear, Lykos, Lynx, MIC, Mickey, Morty, Muse, Nemo, Neong, Nixon, Noms, Pearce, Pebble, Phoenix, Pigeon, Rain, Ramen, Rowley Ryan, Samy, Sakura, Shrew, Shrike, Skyefall, Soul, Sponge, Spyro, Stead, Stu, Sukotto, Taelae, Tiger, Timbo, Titus, Toebeans, Tri, Vegard, Volta, Who, Wov, Yuey & Zura

Right Click Examine: Future Skilling Content  - News - RuneScape - RuneScape (2024)
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