As of Friday, August 15, 2008, there are 24 skills in RuneScape. Some support each other, like woodcutting supports fletching. Ever since RuneScape’s creation there have been ideas for many new skills to add, from Flying to Engineering to many others.
One of the most popular ideas was a Necromancy or Summoning skill, which was implemented in a way that many players were not expecting. What if some other commonly suggested skills were added to RuneScape?
Popular Idea Number One: Engineering or Mechanics
This is an idea for a skill revolving around designing machines or other such devices. It could add many useful items to RuneScape, such as the guns that dwarves wield in World of Warcraft. Some would say adding guns to RuneScape would detract from the fantasy theme, but WoW manages to pull off the idea of “hand cannons” quite nicely. Of course, it would have to be balanced like any other ranged weapon. Guns aren’t the only thing that could be introduced to RuneScape with an Engineering or Mechanics skill. It could support other skills (imagine machines that could help you with your skilling) but if implemented wrong could make the game “too easy”. Engineering or Mechanics could be a big hit with RuneScape players, but there is a fragile balance between helping too much and not helping at all.
Popular Idea Number Two: Sailing
I would personally love to see a Sailing skill. The general ideas vary, but it generally it involves having your own boat and sailing the RuneScape seas. This could add a huge amount of new explorable areas since the oceans now are summed up to a quick map cutscene when you travel. It wouldn’t necessarily have to be like fishing trawler, but it could have some elements of it. Based on the boat you sail, you could have to make a certain amount of repairs. It wouldn’t have the sheer number of holes and activity as Fishing Trawler, otherwise it would be too much like the trawler and not enough like a new skill.
Sailing is a skill so open to ideas that it could be a part of the game in many different ways. Could you have a fishing net? A crew? What about the opportunity to be a pirate and fight ships of other players, or fight the pirates and keep fellow players’ ships safe? Trade related ideas are plentiful; buy and sell things at the different ports you land at. Unless Jagex royally messes it up, Sailing has wonderful opportunity as a skill.
Popular Idea Number Three: Stealth
Stealth is a somewhat lesser known idea for a skill, but it has some potential. RuneScape doesn’t have to become Metal Gear Solid, but it could actually be a combat skill if implemented right. The combat triangle doesn’t have to be interfered with; each “class” could use stealth. Imagine sneaking up on an unsuspecting monster, then stabbing it with your sword, casting a fireball at it, or shooting it with no more sound than the twang of your bowstring. Stealth is a part of Oblivion, another RPG. In Oblivion, if you successfully sneak up on an enemy, you get a damage bonus on the first hit. This could integrate with the updates to PvP that Jagex plans on implementing, or if not a combat skill, it could work with Thieving.
Unfortunately, Stealth could be difficult to put into RuneScape. It doesn’t really have a lot of content, and an issue could arise with how to control the character to sneak up on something. Our characters have troubles just finding a path to walk on, nevertheless keeping to the shadows or hugging a wall to stay out of sight.
Popular Idea Four: Archeology
Archeology has also been suggested. Even though we already have Treasure Trails, Digsite related quests, and helping the Varrock Museum, an Archeology skill COULD work. Exploring new areas to dig up artifacts of the past, discovering possible usable items and history of RuneScape sounds interesting. There are, however, some issues with it. First off, we have the previously mentioned archeology-type things. Is there enough to make a whole skill after those things? Second, if you could dig up ancient bones, the bone market could be damaged, as they would almost certainly give more experience than ordinary dragon bones. I think that Archeology would work better as a minigame, quest, or possibly a long miniquest, such as the way you attain ghostly robes except more historically based.
If these ideas were implemented in RuneScape, they could be added and used in many different ways. It will be interesting to see the next skill that Jagex decides to add.