Writer’s Opinion: Underrated Defense

posted by on 30th September 2007, at 4:19pm

I decided to go pking not too long ago out of some sudden inspiration to go on Runescape. I set out to my favorite solo pking spot – Dark Knight’s Fortress. Unsurprisingly there were quite a few pures there, and one just so happened to be around my level. Without missing a second, I went to try for a kill. The pure was wearing the usual pure garments – monk robes, and amulet of strength, a rune scimitar, and an anti-dragonfire shield. Meanwhile, I had on full rune, an amulet of strength, and a rune scimitar.

One would think that I wouldn’t get hit too often or too high, considering my defense level was obviously at least 40 levels higher than the pure’s. However, not too long after we started fighting, I got hit consecutively with a 14, 9, 10, and 7. My hits were 0, 5, 8, 0. That surprised me and got me thinking – does defense really have that big of a role in Runescape, or is it mainly attack and strength that are predominant? After all, since my defense level was quite high, I certainly shouldn’t have been able to be hit so high and so much. If I do a 1vs1 against someone with full rune, even they won’t hit as much as the pure hit.

I do realize that if someone has a high attack they’ll be able to hit more often, and if someone has a high strength they’ll be able to hit harder. Those two combine to create the concrete foundation behind the reason of why pures exist. However, if defense comes into play, it should be able to somewhat lower the effects of the high attack and strength, especially if defense is on a 40:1 ratio.

I compare this to someone with a bulletproof vest on carrying a regular old pistol versus someone with no bulletproof vest and an AK-47. Obviously the pistol is outmatched weapon-wise, but the person armed with the pistol is also pretty well guarded. Even if the AK-47 hits, it shouldn’t do the amount of damage it would if the person didn’t have a bulletproof vest on. Meanwhile, the pistol, even though it isn’t as strong, would be able to hit the other person fairly well since they had no protection of any sort. In the end, the reasonable outcome would be that the person with the bulletproof vest and the pistol would be able to overtake the person with the AK-47.

Defense is rather underrated in Runescape. I’ve watched members pking before and seen pures hit 20’s on people heavily armored. Even if you had 99 defense, I doubt that you would be able to escape attacks from pures that easily, which is the problem. If you had 99 defense and were going up against someone with level 1 defense, who wins and who loses should be obvious. However, there are people with 99 defense who still get defeated by pures. The way I’d imagine battles to go between people with a high difference in their defense levels is similar to when you use a Protect prayer. Whenever I fight someone who’s using a Protect prayer, I find it much harder to hit as high and as constantly as I do when their prayer is off. This should be implemented to people with high defense; they should not be as easily hit or as constantly hit.

There’s a big different when you have 1 attack and 99 attack as well as when you have 1 strength and 99 strength. Back when you were a newbie and going through Tutorial Island, it would take forever to hit those rats for combat training. However, as your attack grows, you will find yourself being able to hit monsters much more frequently. The same goes for strength. When you have 1 strength, you’re only able to hit 1’s. As your strength gets higher, you will be able to hit higher numbers until you get up to 20-30. However with defense, if you have 99 defense yet you have no armor on, you will still get hit a lot. With 99 defense, the only thing that really changes and/or makes it better is that you can wear armor that gives you better stats.

I’m not saying that people with high defense shouldn’t get hit or get hit high at all. I’m just saying that if someone with a high defense is going up against someone with a low defense, they should be able to hit the low defense a lot more instead of the other way around. Instead, someone with a high attack and/or strength will be able to easily dominate the high defense. Does defense really account for anything at all then if you can still get hit constantly at a high level? Or is it just some skill that is rather useless if you get it up to 99?

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