2010: A Year of Controversy

posted by on 21st December 2010, at 7:52pm

This year had quite a few good additions as well as a few controversial updates.


Nomad’s Requiem
Jagex started the year off with Nomad’s Requiem, a Grandmaster quest and most prominently known as one of the hardest quests in RuneScape history. In it players had to fight a level 699 Nomad from Soul Wars capable of dealing over 750 damage with a single attack. Because of this many player’s have deemed this the most challenging battle in RuneScape, holding the reward as a sign of prowess even above the Fire cape.

The primary reward, the Soul Wars cape (which comes in Blue or Red), caused a bit of a controversy as it has a +12 prayer bonus, twice the bonus of the recently added Ardougne Cloak 3. Many players felt that this made the Ardougne cloak useless as it had held the highest prayer bonus for a cape(giving +6) for three months.

Barbarian Assault and Agility Upgrades
The 19th saw the addition of the Barbarian Assault Penance horn which allows you to earn potential experience with it instead of Honour points in a role while playing Barbarian Assault. The potential experience can be used to train Agility, Mining, or Firemaking. The Penance gloves were also updated to reduce even more weight and when the full set of penance armour is worn it will now slowly restore prayer points. The penance Trident, a staff type of weapon, was also added. It was the first weapon to give a chance of saving runes when casting spells while it was equipped. The ability to colour Abyssal whips Green, White, Yellow, or Blue at the cost of a few honour points was also added.

The 19th also saw more integration of Agility with other skills, specifically Fishing, Thieving, and Hunter. With the correct fishing level you can now catch two fish at once when harpooning, with the correct thieving level you can now steal double, triple, or even quadruple loot from most NPCs when pickpocketing, and finally the ability to catch butterflies barehanded with the correct hunter level.


Rune Mechanics
February started off with a bang with multiple updates on the 1st, the first of which was the addition of the Rune Mechanics quest which required the player to help a rather useless wizard in training create a Rune Guardian from scratch. The reward is decent experience for what’s required as well as a new pet, the Rune Guardian. Unlike most pets which require specific food, the Rune Guardian needs only to be brought to a Runecrafting altar to be ‘fed’.

Strykewyrms, Staff of Light & more
The 8th saw the introduction of the Jungle, Desert, and Ice Strykewyrms, a new kind of slayer monster. These new creatures are capable of dropping the new Hexcrests, Focus Sights, and Staves of Light. The Hexcrest and Focus Sight work just like the Black mask but instead give 15% accuracy and damage to Magic and Ranged respectively. They can also be added to the very popular Slayer Helmet to create a Full Slayer Helmet which has better magic defence and attack bonuses. The Staff of Light is a staff with stats equal to a Dragon longsword and a +15% magic damage boost. In addition to this it also has a 12.5% chance to save all the runes used when casting a spell.

Familiarisation and other small changes
The 16th saw the addition of Familiarisation, a Summoning related Mini-game, the goal of which is to collect raw spirit shards which can be traded in for summoning ingredients or a triple charm drop rate effect which makes the charm drops from most monsters be tripled for a certain amount of time.
The 1st saw the addition of progressive runecrafting effecting Law, Death, and Blood runes.
The trade limit was also raised between friends that had each other added for one, two, or three months, doubling, tripling or quadrupling your trade limit, respectively.
The Orb of Oculus, a tool which allows players to view the game from different camera angles, was also added on the 1st.
A Music Playlist was added on the 8th, allowing players to queue up to 12 songs in a looping playlist.
On the 22nd Darkbows were allowed to be coloured with honour points at Barbarian Assault.


Shattered Heart
The 3rd saw the release of a new Distraction & Diversion: Shattered Heart. Now, whenever you train Agility, Construction, Cooking, Crafting, Farming, Firemaking, Fishing, Fletching, Herblore, Hunter, Mining, Runecrafting, Smithing, Thieving or Woodcutting you have a chance of finding a Strange Rock. When you’ve found two rocks while doing the same skill you can bring them to the Varrock Museum and add them to a special plinth. Every time you add a pair of rocks you’ll get a decent chunk of experience in the skill you were training when you got those rocks.

The 3rd also saw the changing of the name of the hitpoints skill to Constitution and instead of a player’s hitpoints being directly connected to their hitpoint skill their lifepoints are now their constitution skill times 10. This change also made damage be multiplied by 10, so instead of hitting a 24 you would now hit a 240-249. Likewise food and other healing items have also been multiplied by 10, so sharks now heal 200. This was a very controversial update as many players didn’t see the point as it lowered the probability of hitting higher and didn’t help anything. Jagex’s explanation for the change was to allow lower leveled players to think they’re hitting more as now they would hit more 1-20s instead of lots of zeros and a few 1s or 2s.

Bonus XP Weekend
The 12th saw the first ever release of a Bonus Experience Weekend. During Friday morning until very early Monday morning the experience for doing almost any activity is multiplied by 1.1, or in other words, almost anything gives an additional 10% experience. During the first 10 hours there was a bonus above and beyond this 10% which started at 170% bonus (a 2.7 multiplier) and was supposed to go down to the 10% bonus after 10 hours. Unfortunately after about 7 hours the bonus had gone down to 10%, this was due to a rounding issue. A more in-depth article can be found here.

The Blood pact
Released on the 15th, The Blood Pact was the first Free to Play quest since Rune Mysteries back in December of 2003. It’s a very short and easy quest which gives good experience for new players. The Catacomb Dungeon which the quest gives access to is a good training spot for low leveled players as the monsters inside are not challenging and range from level 1 to level 20. Most of the creatures also drop items which sell well on the grand exchange or to shops, like gold jewelry.

The Blood Pact gives 1 quest point which brought the total quest points to 300 and also brought the release of the Helmet of Trials, a blue and white helmet given by Xenia in Lumbridge to those with 300 quest points or more.

Fish Flingers
Fish Flingers, a fishing D&D (Distraction & Diversion) was added on the 23rd. This brought an interesting new challenge to fishermen and fisherwomen everywhere. Roughly every hour and a half a Fisherman will appear in the Fishing Guild, outside of the Fishing Guild, and on Catherby Beach. They can teleport you to Isle Anglerine where you can play Fish Flingers. The goal of the game is to get 100% rating on all 6 types of fish. Awards are given to those who catch the heaviest fish, the most fish, and the largest total weight. How well you do determines how much fishing experience and tokens you’re given. After earning enough tokens you can buy a tackle box which can store fishing supplies. The higher grade tackle box the more supplies it can store.

Egg-streme Management
The 29th saw the release of the Easter event, Egg-streme Management, which required you to again get things running smoothly in the factory. Unfortunately most of the event was much like last year’s event.

Upon completion you would be rewarded with Squirrel Ears which allowed you to summon Charlie and Fluffy once every 30 minutes. They are basically pets which don’t require feeding. They are also available to any free to plays who completed the event. The Squirrel ears also allow a Juggle emote, which shows the player juggling a squirrel.

Runscape Lobby & Other small changes
On the 3rd the Runescape Lobby was introduced which allowed players to log out of Runescape but not fully logout so that they could change worlds without having to log in again. This feature was also useful when you had to get up from Runescape for more than 5 minutes as you wouldn’t have to type your information in again to login.
Smithing iron was also adapted on the 3rd so that every level above 15 would increase the success rate of smelting iron by 1%, maxing at 80% success rate at level 45.
On the 15th Free player forum access was expanded to allow anyone with 5 million total xp or more to log in and post.


On the 12th one of the most debated updates of the year was released, the long awaited new skill, Dungeoneering. Many had thought the new skill would be sailing or necromancy, both of which had been denied by Jagex multiple times. That, however, was not the most controversial and debated part of this new skill, the fact that Dungeoneering is the first skill to be wholly limited to being trained in one area was and due to this it has been dubbed a Mini-game by most, and not a skill. The limited training area combined with the ‘rewards’ system instead of direct bonuses regarding Dungeoneering the higher your level is also made it seem more like a Mini-game which helps you train like the Agility Arena or the Mage Training Arena.

Despite the very divided feelings and response of the Runescape population, Jagex has done very few updates to change the gameplay of the skill, though it is still limited to being trained in one area.

Dungeoneering Rewards change
To pacify the many players angry about the extremely high price of the Dungeoneering rewards, Jagex lowered the prices drastically just 8 days after release. This helped calm many players who said that the prices were way to high. Their claims were justly warranted, as before this update most items required so many tokens that the player would’ve gained a higher Dungeoneering level than was physically required to use the item. After this update most items could be used before they were able to be bought, like most skills. This quelled many of the angry players, though it did not stop players from calling the new skill a Mini-game.

Slayer Challenges
The next day, the 21st, saw the addition of Slayer Challenges to all Slayer Masters, including Turael. Originally only Kuradal had a special task which required the player to go into the fight cave and kill all the creatures leading up to the Jad and the Jad himself. If the player died before reaching the Jad or died while fighting the Jad the task would end and the player would only receive the experience awarded from killing any monsters they had killed. This did not count against their consecutive task total if they failed to defeat the Jad.

Upon completion of any slayer challenge the player will now be awarded bonus slayer experience in addition to the experience gained from killing the monsters they were tasked. In addition to bonus experience the player will also gained bonus Slayer Points for completing most of the challenges, Mazchna gives 3, Vannaka gives 6, Chaeldar gives 25, Sumona gives 30, and Duradel gives 35.

Thieves’ Guild
On the 28th the Thieves’ Guild was added along with the Buyers and Cellars quest. The quest focuses around the player helping a supposed rogue who claims to be the Master of all Thieves (despite wearing distinctly unstealthy armour and knowing very little about thievery) acquire the money and other necessities to build the official Thieves’ Guild. After completing the quest players will be able to enter a slightly larger Thieves’ Guild and be able to do the next ‘Caper’ (mini-quest). Each Caper has a higher thieving level requirement and requires the player to do slightly harder tasks. Upon completion of each Caper the player will be awarded a decent amount of Thieving experience as well as more access to the Thieves’ Guild.

Many players feel that this guild is more of a mockery or quickly thrown together guild than the other guilds as it has almost nothing useful in it, unlike the unofficial Thieves’ guild in the Rogue’s Den.

This is the first skill related guild to require a quest to be completed to access.


Fairy Tale III – Battle at Orks Rift
May was a fairly quiet month, starting off with the third and last Fairy Tale quest on the 13th, Battle at Orks Rift. In this quest players finally get to remove the Fairy Godfather and his orks from ruling Zanaris. After learn a bit about the dental profession players must fight the Fairy Godfather, his three Ork generals, and a few of their orkish minions. The fight is a decent one though not much of a challenge for players around 100 combat. The best part of this quest was that part of the reward allowed players to use the Fairy ring Transport system without needing to have a Dramen or Lunar Staff equipped. This allows players to easily teleport from fairy ring to fairy ring while wielding a weapon and having a full inventory (thus making it very useful for slayer and some quests).

In addition to the easier fairy ring teleports, players (especially those who enjoy Farming) will find that the Magic Watering can is extremely useful for watering plants because it never runs out of water.

Elemental Workshop III
The third Elemental Workshop quest was released on the 25th and with it came the ability to build and wear Elemental Body items and make Body armor out of Elemental bars. Elemental equipment, specifically Elemental Body equipment is best against Summoning though also has decent magic stats. The quest also gives decent amounts of smithing and defence experience.

Castle Wars Changes
The last update of the month was some changes to the ever popular Castle Wars Mini-game on the 27th. With this they changed the decorative Castle Wars reward armour from being basic red/blue, white/pastel blue, and yellow-green/dirty purple to being realistic metal-like colours. They also added a weapon to each set and added another, higher grade, set. These sets also now give a special bonus when worn together during a Castle Wars match. In addition to this they added the Faithful shield, a shield equivalent to a Rune Kiteshield but with an additional +6 prayer bonus. They also added some nice god-aligned halos in the colours of Saradomin, Guthix, and Zamorak. Each lessens the speed at which prayer aligned with them drain, as well as providing decent magic defence.


Runescape Classic Temporarily re-opened
The first day of the month saw the temporary two week re-opening of RuneScape Classic to members. Anyone who logged in during this period would be able to log in from then on. This was the second time Jagex had re-opened Classic and they plan to continue re-opening it roughly every six months.

Court Cases
Court Cases, a new D&D was released on the 9th. Bringing the more legal side of Runescape to the forefront of gameplay, players may be lucky(or unlucky) enough to find a summons to court when fighting certain creatures. To answer the call players must go to the Seer’s Courthouse and talk with the Clerk there. After this they must prepare a good, sound case to either prosecute or defend the victim. When a case is completed the player is rewarded either attack experience or defence experience depending on whether they prosecuted or defended the victim. In some cases you may also be awarded with special items or an emote, if you’re lucky.

Ancient Effigies
Ancient Effigies were released on the 15th. These statue-like effigies which seem to be of Dragonkins are found when killing almost any high level creature. When first found they are ‘Starved’ and when used will ask for information in two skills, one which is unassistable and one which can be assisted. This has made the assist system much more popular as it allows people with the proper 91, 93, 95, or 97 level in a skill to assist those who lack the correct skill level. The experience given for giving information to each type of effigy rises according to the required skill level, with 91 giving 15k, 93 giving 20k, 95 giving 25k, and 97 giving 30k. This allows players to help with one or two effigies a day due to the assist system’s 30k experience a day limit. Some skills such as Smithing and Construction can be very hard to find someone able to assist with and some people pay to be assisted.

After the effigy has been given information 4 times it will disappear and give the player a Dragonkin lamp which gives experience in any skill. The difference between this lamp and normal Genie lamps is that at higher skill levels the Dragonkin lamp gives distinctly more experience. This is why many players put their Dragonkin lamps toward hard to train skills like Prayer and Smithing.

Quiet Before the Swarm
The 24th saw the first release of the Void Knight quest series, Quiet Before the Swarm. This quest has some of the same aspects that the Lunar quests have, requiring you to go into someone’s mind and do activities in a Dream-like world.

Two gone, Two come and Rock Climbing Boots
The 24th also saw the removal of two age old classic quests that everyone enjoyed doing, mostly because of their simplicity and retro feeling, the Sheep Shearer and Witches Potion quests. They were not fully removed though, and are now considered Mini-quests. To substitute for the lost quest points Jagex made Swept Away and Myths of the White Lands be permanently Free to play. Sheep Shearer and Witches Potion may still be completed but instead only give experience, they do not give any quest points.

The ever popular +2 strength Climbing boots were changed to having no strength bonus and a new, identical pair of Rock Climbing boots were added. These new boots are exactly the same as the old boots but cost 75k from Tenzing instead of 12 coins like the old Climbing Boots. The reason for this change was to make the Climbing boots (which were very popular among low leveled players and Strength Pures for their +2 strength bonus) have a price more competitive with the Rune Boots obtainable only from Nechryaels (which required 80 Slayer). Previously you could buy Climbing boots for 12 coins or Rune Boots for over 90k, both of which gave a +2 strength bonus. This made the Rune Boots underused as few players paid the extra 90k for the small defence bonus the Rune Boots provided. After the update the higher price of the Rock Climbing boots made more people think about just getting Rune Boots instead as the cost difference was now much less drastic so the extra defence bonus was more appealing.


Love Story
July was a fairly quiet month, with only two updates, the first being the release of the new quest Love Story on the 5th. This quest never seemed to make much sense to me but maybe that’s because I haven’t completed it yet. In the quest, the player has to help the Wise Old Man navigate through his lost love Zenevivia’s POH dungeon and then defeat her. Afterward the player see’s the two, now reunited by love (or so it seems), attacking the Wizard’s Tower but fail to when they’re attacked by a Thingummywut summoned by Wizard Traiborn.

The quest has surprisingly good rewards for the strange storyline, giving 50k Construction & Magic experience, 40k Smithing & Crafting experience, 30k coins, up to 99 House tele tabs, the ability to make chipped house tele tabs, and an optional 10k experience in any skill over 60.

Dungeoneering Update
The 19th saw quite a few useful updates to the Dungeoneering skill, the first of these being Hidden resource Dungeons. These caves are scattered all around Runescape and are accessible through distinct Daemonheim-looking doors. Each cave requires a certain Dungeoneering level to enter. There are a few Free to play caves but most are Pay to Play. Jagex added these to try to deny the fact that Dungeoneering is a limited area skill and to try to broaden the skill’s use. Though most of these caves are useful, most players still deem Dungeoneering as a Mini-game due to it still being only in a limited area.

To make Dungeoneering easier with friends, Jagex added a Group gatestone, a Group gatestone teleport spell, and a Group gatestone teleport portal in the main room. When the spell is cast or the portal is entered the player will now teleport to the group Gatestone or next to whoever is carrying it. This allows players to quickly reach each other. The Group Leader always starts with the Group gatestone.

They also added a special hotspot where the new Group gatestone portal is to allow members to use construction to change the portal into a photo booth (for taking pictures with Dungeoneering armor), a farming patch (because it can be hard to find one in a dungeon), a range(same reason), a prayer altar (ditto), and a skillcape stand, to show off your mastery of Dungeoneering(if you’ve mastered it).

In addition to this they also added a new feature allowing players to upgrade their Ring of Kinship to have special bonuses when in a Daemonheim dungeon. The ring can now add damage or accuracy when meleeing, ranging, or maging depending on how it’s upgraded. It can be fully upgraded to give all the bonuses though the wearer will have to choose which bonus it will give. The other bonuses are not lost, but only one may be active at a time. The bonus may be changed at any time during a dungeon.

They also changed the system so that if solo dungeoneers are kicked out for up to 10 minutes they may log back in and be in the same dungeon exactly where they left off.


Elite Treasure Trails
Possibly the biggest update of this month was on the 4th when they added Elite Treasure Trails. These clues, like the level three (also called ‘hard’) trails, require the player to track down where each clue goes. Unlike the other three levels of clues, however, the majority of these clues are puzzles and require much more work on the player’s part rather than just looking at a guide.

Along with these new clues comes some new rewards, of course. These come in the form of Trimmed Rune Armour, Dragonhide, and Vestment stoles & Croziers in the colours of the three lesser known gods Armadyl, Bandos, and Zaros. A new set of prayer robes, the Third Age Druidic Set, was also released. Special god bows were also released which have a special attacked based upon which bow is fired. Special animal aligned staves are also released as well as cosmetic Dragon masks.

A Void Dance
On the 10th the second quest in the Void Knight Quest series was released, A Void Dance. In this quest the player must solve a few puzzles and follow some clues to ultimately deal with a Black Knight and another Void creature. The reward is decent with a fair bit of experience in multiple skills.

Dungeoneering: The Occult Floors
The Occult Floors as well as 9 new challenging rooms were released on the 19th in another Dungeoneering update. This brought the total amount of floors to 47. They also added new rewards such as Herbicide which is an herblore acid that erodes chosen herbs upon picking them up, this gives double the cleaning experience but destroys the herb.

Other small changes
On the 4th both Members and Free to plays were given the ability to permanent add 10 bank spaces to their accounts by registering their e-mail addresses to the account.
On the 19th the Archeologists working on the statue of Dahmaroc will now give you a bag to hold all your strange rocks.
Thessalia was given a large amount of new clothing designs and colours on the 25th which she let players try for free.


Bonus XP Weekend
September started off with a bang as the second ever Bonus XP weekend started on the 3rd and lasted until the 6th. Instead of a smooth, gradual, decline as was planned for the first weekend Jagex instead chose to have the set the modifier every half hour after the first fifteen minutes. This prevented any rounding bugs like what happened last time though some players felt it cheated them out of some bonus experience.

Elite Achievement Diaries
Only 1 day after the Bonus xp weekend was over the Elite Achievement diaries were released, on the 7th. This update added around 6 Elite tasks to every Achievement diary, much like the tasks already in the Ardougne diary. These tasks require very high skill levels (including level 95 Prayer and Summoning!).

The most of the Elite rewards are good but one thing I disliked was the fact that the Level 4 equipment was exactly the same (statistically speaking) as the level 3 equipment. I was hoping the defences and prayer bonuses would be higher on all of them.

Gunnar’s Ground
This new Free to play quest, released on the 21st, is the replacement for the old and classic Romeo & Juliet Quest. Instead of a rather dumb man courting a caged young woman, Gunnar, a Dwarf, is lovesick over a Barbarian Chieftain’s daughter. You must help him earn the trust of her father to allow them to be together.

There’s a few things I didn’t like about this update: the first being the removal of a staple quest, the second being a dwarf-human relationship, which is only ever seen in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, and thirdly the fact that they gave an ancient village a new name(they renamed the Barbarian Village to Gunnar’s Ground).

Despite the annoying changes, the reward is decent for it being a quick free to play quest.


The Void Stares Back
Released on the 6th, The Void Stares Back is the third and final quest in the Void Knight Quest series. This is probably the quickest Jagex has started and finished a quest series. This quest is also one of the few Grandmaster quests, requiring fairly high skill levels as well as good puzzle solving skills. Having arguably one of the best rewards, the Korasi’s Sword is as fast as a dagger and Abyssal Whip but capable of doing stab as well as training strength, making it almost the perfect weapon for strength training. In addition to the nice sword, the quest also gives 20k experience in Crafting, Construction, Firemaking, Magic, Summoning, and Smithing.

Make-X and Charm Sprites
On the 12th the Make-x option was added most common skill training methods, making many skills considerably easier to train.

Charm Sprites were also added on this day. These are a new Hunter Creature which allows primarily non-combat oriented players to collect charms for Summoning, albeit at a slightly slower rate.

Partying is Such Sweet Sorrow
The 18th saw the release of the Halloween event on Runescape. This year players had to mix a beverage for some werey singers, round up some skittering musically disinclined spiders, and speak with an arrogant and stubborn ghost, all in preparation for a party at the Grim Reaper’s house on Halloween.

Those who survived to tell the tale were not without reward, and were promptly turned to piles of bones upon wearing the broach given to them by the ecstatically thankful Grim reaper.


Warped Floors
The 2nd saw another Dungeoneering update which brought the arrival of 13 new Warped floors, 6 new bosses, and 8 new challenge rooms. In addition to more challenging dungeons, they’ve also added 8 new rewards.

Bank and Equipment Screen Update
The 9th saw a very useful update to the bank and equipment screen. Players may now wear items in their inventory while viewing their bank. They can also click a new button in the bank interface which will bring them to the worn equipment screen so they can see how they look. Clicking the button again will return them to their bank. In addition to this there is now the option to view the stats or compare the stats of two items. Doing this will show the attack bonuses, defence bonuses, strength bonuses, prayer bonuses, weapon speed, and weight (only those stats were are applicable for that item show).

Players may now also eat and drink consumables while viewing their bank, allowing a player to cure poison quickly or heal when down a few points. Slayer’s will also be happy to know they can check their Slayer Gems while viewing their bank to see how many kills they have left.

Herblore Habitat
On the 24th a new way to train Farming, Herblore, and Hunter simultaneously was added in the form of the Herblore Habitat. The Herblore Habitat is situated south-east of Shilo Village or directly accessible by teleporting using a Juju teleport spiritbag (bought for 2k from Bettamax in Taverly). The herbs, bushes, and vines grown in the special patches are used to lure and trap Jadinkos, special dinosaur-like creatures which can be hunted in the southern part of the habitat.

Of particular interest to farmers is the additional normal fruit tree patch located inside the habitat. Since the Juju Spiritbag can teleport a player directly to the habitat farmers may find this is an easy fruit tree to harvest from or replant. This fruit tree patch brings the total fruit tree patches in Runescape to 6.

Other small changes
On the 2nd the black mask was given a ‘decharge’ option, allowing players to remove the charges from their blackmasks to make them sell easier on the Grand Exchange.
The Herblore merchant at the Grand Exchange will decant noted potions for free, as of the 2nd.
On the 24th the Achievement Diary system was changed to a ‘Tasks’ system and a few low level tasks were added.
The Graphics options were also changed on the 24th, causing many players to experience occasional black-screening or browser freezes due to a fault in Jagex’s code.
Picking up items when many people are standing on them was changed so that a new menu would appear when the item was rolled over.


Do No evil
Jagex started December off by monkeying around in the desert with Do No Evil on the 1st. In this quest the player has to persuade King Awowogei to start a colony of monkeys in the desert, but some monkeys don’t like the idea. After you’ve dealt with the monkey business you’ll be fairly well rewarded with 50k of each magic and thieving experience as well as 40k crafting and 30k construction experience. Aside from the decent chunk of experience, you’ll also be rewarded with a new magic carpet route to the colony, a multi-lingual cramulet (don’t ask me where the cram comes from), an upgraded Ava’s Accumulator, the ability to pickpocket some knife wielding monkeys, and a new place to fight kalphites, as well as access to the new colony, of course.

Players may also run special quick-melting chimp ice to King Awowogei on Ape Atoll. This is an extremely tedious task which I won’t go into detail here about except to say that rapid-transit isn’t allowed when ferrying the ice.

Damage Soaking
Undoubtedly one of the most controversial updates of the year, the Damage Soaking (AKA, Absorption) update was released on the 14th. This update is the first of many Jagex said they will add in an effort to rebalance the defence skill. From now on, most of the basic helmets, body armours, legs, skirts, and shields (melee, range, and magic) will give a percentage of absorption. The way this absorption works is any damage you take over 200 will be multiplied by the amount of total absorption you have. This number is then removed from the total amount you were hit for.

Example: You’re hit for 300. The first 200 is ignored for the purposes of absorption, that leaves 100 that is affected by your absorption. Let’s say you have 28% absorption. 100 X 28% = 28, so 28 is removed from the total damage. The total damage was 300 so 300 – 28 = 272, the amount of damage you actually take.

Many players, mostly pures who rely on doing lots of damage in one hit, were outraged at this update as they felt it overpowered defence. Most normal players, however, saw the usefulness and validity of this change and welcomed it with open arms. This new absorption factor makes fighting high hitting bosses drastically easier because now when a boss would normally hit a 500 they might now only hit a 400, which is a fairly significant reduction.

For pures who want to go around this update there are two plain alternatives, Use max hit calculators to build your character and equipment to have a max hit no greater than 200, or, To use weapons like Dragon Daggers which do multiple smaller hits in a short amount of time.

Unfortunately this new absorption factor was only added to the majority of basic armour. More exotic armour, such as the Slayer Helmet, were neglected. Hopefully this will soon be fixed.

Specific Hitsplats
The 14th also saw the addition of special hitsplats which would show what type of damage a creature or player is taking, whether it be melee, range, or magic. Whenever a player or creature misses the target see’s a blue shield appear and observers so nothing appear. When a player or monster hits their max hit or above their max hit they will see a more brightly coloured hit splat.

O Little Town of Daemonheim
Finally this year we see the arrival of a Christmas themed Dungeon. O Little Town of Daemonheim, a play on the old Christmas song O Little Town of Bethlehem, was released on the 20th. This year Santa (or Thorvar Crittersmash) was trying to bring some Christmas cheer to Daemonheim posed as a Fremmenik when the Fremmeniks there challenged him to a Dungeon in Daemonheim. Apparently there was some Christmas magic in the mix because this dungeon, despite being tricky to navigate, is not at all dangerous. Instead of battling for you life you have to use your brains to get through five challenges to retrieve San-Thorvar Crittersmash’s equipment. Upon completion you’ll be rewarded with a new emote to show your Seal of Approval, a cool emote-inducing trinket, and a queer hat that I’d only wear in a pinch.

You’ll also be given access to the Heimland games which bring back the ability to do some of the funner Runescape Christmas activities such as snowman/snowfort building, ice skating, and snowball throwing.


Have a Merry Christmas! and a Happy New Year!

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