Alex’s Analysis – The Guide to Saving Your Hide!

posted by on 25th May 2009, at 6:20pm


Have you ever died just because of poor decision when placed in a situation that can more or less be described as a “State of Screwed”? Have you ever lost control of your reactions and could do naught more but pray you don’t lose your stuff? Or have you simply regretted losing items or money so hard you’ve decided to go so far as to quit Runescape?

No worries, these things happen! It’s unfortunate when they do, but they still happen nevertheless! Not just to you, but almost everybody who has ever ventured outside of Lumbridge! Trust me when I say it’s easy to die. Players always seek a greater challenge then they are capable of to get themselves the better stuff all the time. Sometimes, they succeed, sometimes they fail, and sometimes, if they’re lucky, they lose more then they gain as a result (there really is no discernible difference between “lucky” and “unlucky”, so don’t look at me like that). Ah, but when you have fun doing it, it’s always worth it.

Unfortunately, there are people in this world whose level of patience and sanity is far less then a zombie on steroids, sugar withdrawal, and a caffeine high all at once, so I’m going to have to write a guide now that will help you die less and live more so you’d have to spasm less and … live more.


One of the more common reasons a player dies is lack of preparation (second only to “luck”). Players can only ever die to either NPC creatures, other players, or dangerous traps that appear during certain quests. Either they are not prepared in a proper sense to directly combat the creature or traps befalling them, or they are not prepared in the sense that they have absolutely no idea what the creature/traps are capable of doing.

One of the ways I’ve died once was fighting against some creatures in a hall with a trap. I tried to retreat, but my auto-retaliate made my character run back to the enemy as I tried to get away, all the while triggering a trap under me several times and ultimately leading to my death. Annoying and inconvenient.

To counter this, you need to prepare yourself. Before you can prepare yourself to live, you also need to prepare yourself to die.

When you first try fighting something, go the first 3 trips or so with cheap, effective items. Some of my favorite items include black dragonhide or adamantite/runite armor, some quest items like the Neitiznot helmet, proselyte armor, and some achievement diary items like the Rellekka boots and Falador shield, which upon completion of the diaries are free to obtain, and well worth your time.

They won’t last you very long, but that’s not the intention to begin with. You need to prepare yourself in such a way that you are almost intending to die and lose the stuff. Upon doing so, you won’t lose very much at all. Follow the 3-best-item rule with an effective weapon and a couple of pieces of good armor, but bring food items you can fish, an emergency teleport, and whatever other equipment you require to effectively deal damage against the creature should it have special requirements (anti-fire shield and potions for dragons, for example).

This is to get you to understand what you’re facing. You can read what enemies are capable of doing all you want, but until you actually fight them, you’ll never be able to tell that to yourself. Face-off against the creature and hold off for as long as you can with the stuff you bring. If you die, no big deal, because you’ve prepared yourself for it.

Again, repeat this step a few times, or at least until you can fight it without dying so easily. Once you’ve devised your own strategy to fighting the creature and are able to survive on these cheap items, then you may start bringing in more effective items to get more kills. That’s why your weapon is the only thing you should bring that stays as the best you’ve got.


Now, if you’re not willing to follow the advise above, or you’ve already entered a State of Screwed before reading, or you’re simply paranoid. Not to worry! I’m here to help! I get myself in those situations too!

First off, before you even think of facing off against the creature, learn a key fact: the creature’s maximum hit strength. There’s a Lunar spell that will automatically tell this to you if you cast it on the creature. Once you know the maximum hit, now you prepare yourself by setting an appropriate marker for where you will allow your hitpoints to drop.

Usually, I like to think that should I fall below the half-health mark (with 93 hits, that would be 47 [rounded]), it’s time to devote myself to healing momentarily. This will not only guarantee that you won’t get slain as you attempt to heal, but it will also give you time to stop what you’re doing, get yourself into a safe position (by switching prayers, getting some distance, or hiding), and switch to your inventory screen. Once this is done, take the hits as you heal yourself until you are full-health, then focus on maintaining your defense as full health will provide a safety net as you recover from the healing stage and go right back into battle.

Otherwise, if you think you can go for a bit longer, then only go up to the point where your hitpoints are just barely above the creature’s max hit. This will guarantee that it will not immediately kill you. This way, should it hit you again, you’ll have the pause between its attacks to get yourself healed up.

Now, should you get hit to a point where your hits are below the creature’s max hit, this means you’re in the Danger Zone. You are running a gamble, because the creature CAN KILL YOU in the next hit. If this is the case, you have a choice to make. If you can eat 1 food item and get yourself back up to the point where the next hit won’t kill you, you can survive. Otherwise, if the creature hit you above the amount food heals, or you’re fending off multiple creatures without prayer to protect you, then get OUT of there. Teleport by whatever means you can (a one-click, like an ectophial or house tablet is recommended as an emergency teleport).

This is an optional strategy, of course, but if you practice and follow it, you’ll find that you’ll die a lot less more, and the less you die, the more you receive from the creatures you’re trying to fight.


One of the things I sometimes do when I enter a State of Screwed is that I panic. I make irrational decisions, I use too many resources, and I sometimes even get myself killed by forgetting to recharge what I need to or I waste valuable seconds by “misclicking”.

Panicking will get you killed 80% of the times you actually die. Avoid it at all costs. Believe it or not, it’s quite easy to do. Allow me to give you a few pointers as to how to do this.

First off, don’t surprise yourself. If you suddenly realize your prayer or hits are incredibly low or (in prayer’s case) out, you’re more prone to panic then if you gradually see the creature lower it. Focus on trying to keep an update on your hits and, preferably if any, your prayer every 15-30 seconds as you fight the creature. When you see it start to get low, you don’t even have to panic. Follow the instructions in the previous chapter to this guide, and you’ll avoid the need to panic altogether.

However, if you’re in the State of Screwed, the best thing to do (as I’ve found) is to talk to yourself. That’s right, sacrifice your sanity momentarily. Say “No, I’m not going to die. You’re not going to kill me.” to yourself over and over. With your mind too distracted to panic, you’ll make much better, instinctive reactions.

If you’re in the State of Screwed:

– Start off by clicking on the mini-map to get some distance from the monster. Try to aim for an obstacle if you can.
– As you run, click on some food to get yourself healed to a state where you’re less likely to die.
– Turn of auto-retaliate and click the map again to secure your distance if the creature ranges and if you stop. This will prevent your character inadvertently running back towards certain doom.
– With a good distance form imminent danger, proceed to heal yourself or change/recharge prayers.
– Once you’re back to full health, turn auto-retaliate back on and use that to allow your character to automatically attack the creature again while you ensure your health and prayer stays at a good level while you return to the fighting procedure.

(Note: This method hardly ever works with Tz-Tok Jad. Instead, if you’re hit, focus on switching prayers and only heal yourself if the Jad uses the same attack twice [so you won’t have to switch prayers]. Since the attacks themselves are slow, it will give you plenty of time to heal yourself before the next attack, to which you’ll have left the panic state well enough to focus on returning to prayer-switching.)

If you can, practice this procedure a few times before you actually go to fight the creature so your body will automatically know how to do all this if you lose your mind.

That’s all the advice I can give you without destroying the challenge behind all these poor creatures. Have at thee!

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