A long awaited update to the Herblore skill brought in nine new high-level potions. These potions are only for the most experienced in the skill, with level 84+. The main draw of these potions is that they are extremely powerful. But in addition to being extremely powerful, they cannot be traded or made using the assist system. This means that only the person with the level to make the potions can use them.
The first potions that should be looked at are the Extreme attack, strength, and defence potions. For time’s sake I’ll refer to these as an Extreme Set. These potions, like the Super Sets, raise the level of the corresponding skill to the potion drunk. The extreme set potions boost your attack, strength, or defence level as little as 5 levels to as many as 26 levels depending on your base level. They eventually settle back down to your original level after 5 minutes or so. The only drawback to the extreme set is that you must add an extra herb to the super potion to make the potion an extreme one. In addition, you must have 88-90 Herblore to make an extreme set. The main difference between the different sets is that the extreme one boots almost 7 more levels if the corresponding skill is at 99, which is like 3-5 levels if it’s lower versus a super potion. This begs the question, is it worth making an extreme set rather than just having a super set? My answer is yes. All the herbs required to make an extreme set come at a very low cost, enough to outweigh the few extra points that it boosts. Those extra points can make you hit higher damage, hit more often, and block more attacks than normal, which makes for extremely fun combat.
Another potion released was the Extreme Magic potion. The funny thing about this potion is that unlike its counterpart, the Magic Potion, it does not boost any levels. What is the point of boosting beyond 99 Magic anyway? You won’t hit much higher. Instead, this potion boosts the offensive potential of your spells by 40%. This means that a single magic spell could hit up to 40 damage. This was the first update that the Magic skill has gotten in a very long time, and it started to balance the combat triangle again. However, changes were made to it that will be discussed later.
The Extreme Ranging potion was a formidable potion released, because it boosted the player’s range level 4-23 levels. With range already being able to hit very high, the drinker of this potion was very dangerous indeed. The only thing that balanced this very powerful potion was the ingredient that needed to be added to the regular ranging potion to make it extreme. It required 5 Grenwall spikes, which come from a hunting animal. These are not exactly rare, but hard enough to come by to make the Extreme Ranging potion more inconvienent to make.
The second highest level potion that was introduced was the Super Prayer Potion. I would like to first say I think it’s funny that this potion was just called super. Because if you look at the Extreme magic and range, they jumped straight from regular magic and range, to extreme. They skipped the super part of it altogether. Anyway, the draw of this potion is that it restores between 7 and 41 prayer points, 10 more than the regular Prayer Restore. This potion would probably be a lot more popular, but the ingredient needed to make it super is Wyvern Bone meal. Wyvern bones of course come from a Skeletal Wyvern which requires level 72 Slayer to kill. After getting the bones, they must be taken to the Ectofuntus and put through the bone meal grinder. After this hefty process, the Super Prayer Potion can be made. But even so, in a pinch, these potions can really be a lifesaver when battling tough enemies. But even as powerful and difficult as this potion is to make, it is not even close to being as powerful or difficult to make as the Overload.
The Overload potion is the most powerful potion in the entire game. Coming in at Level 96 Herblore, it is an extremely difficult potion to make. It is the combination of all the Extreme Potions, with a Torstol added just for flavor. There are a few extra features that are of benefit for making the Overload. First it is the fact that it is 5 potions in 1. You save 4 inventory spaces just carrying one of these bad boys. The levels that are boosted because of the Overload stay at peak position for the 5 minutes they are affected, then jump back to normal. So instead of steadily decreasing over time, it stays at that maximum the whole time. To balance the great benefits of this potion, it will hit 50 Hitpoints on you when a dose is drunk, in 10 hp intervals. So this potion must be drunk with care. But as a plus, the 50 Hitpoints that are hit on you are returned after the 5 minutes. So it will be like healing 50 Hitpoints all at once after 5 minutes. Almost like an investment. Potions like the Extreme set and the Overload were great combat potions, and certainly gave an advantage to anyone who used them, and that is why they had to change how they behaved in Player Versus Player situations.
For two glorious days, the herbalists of Runescape went out and gave pures and rushers a run for their money when player-killing. With their boosted skills, and supreme competitive advantage, they killed everyone who stood in their way. In response, the avid player-killers took to the forums. They complained that these potions were too powerful, and that these high-level herbalists were everywhere, and that why should they have to train a non-combat skill to gain an advantage in the battlefield. Jagex listened to this very select group of players, and destroyed almost the entire point of these potions. The potions are not allowed to be used in any player versus player situation. They can only be used when killing monsters. Not even in safe mini-games, like Castle Wars can the new potions be used, which has made many people who were going to raise their Herblore level decide not to. Even I started to raise my combat to try my hand at player versus player combat, with this great advantage, only to have my dreams crushed by the people it seems Jagex only listens to.
Not only were the Herbalists upset by this, but also the mages as well. They have waited months for an update to Magic, and now finally they had something that could make magic competitive in the combat triangle again. But alas, they can no longer use them when trying to kill players, and Magic has once again sunk to the underpowered position it has occupied for so long. The biggest problem that most have had with the whole ordeal is that it was never officially announced. One would have to look at the Recent Updates section of the Runescape forum to even know that the new potions aren’t allowed in player versus player situations. And after making the thread about the changes made to how the potions behave, not one statement has been made backing their decision. They only say that they need time to figure out a solution to the problem.
All in all, this was the first of many great high-level skill updates, to a skill that needed it the most. Chances are that in all the next high-level updates, the lower level people will complain and the update will have to be tweaked in some way. That will just have to be seen when the time arises. All I know is that, as an herbalist, I am excited by these updates. Even if I can’t kill players with these potions, I can still have a great advantage when fighting bosses and high-level monsters. More of an advantage than most of the people I happen to be killing things with, and that is almost enough of a reward in itself.