But It’s Not How *I* Wanted!

posted by on 19th July 2014, at 10:01pm

“Runescape was once something really unique and was a great game. It was never supposed to have action bars.” – Cyanerdx

While the above quote may not fully pertain to this article, I felt I should add it because it is true nonetheless – Runescape was never designed to have an ability/action bar system. This is one, if not the main reason why the Evolution of Combat (EoC) is one of the most disliked updates in the history of Runescape.

Today I was perusing the Runescape Official Forums (RSOF) and noticed there was recently, just over the past 3 days of Legacy’s existence, a nerf to Legacy damage. How did this happen? Why did this happen?

From what I gather players were complaining that Legacy was ‘WAY’ more powerful than EoC and did ‘WAY’ more DPS than EoC. It seems the first nerf cut the damage of Legacy to somewhere around 60%, then it was buffed the next day to be about 70% of original.

My question though is, “How did an issue like this get past the beta?”

Well quite simply it was because not enough people played the beta and gave input. This, in fact, is half of the importance of the Legacy update; it should fit and play smoothly alongside EoC, not underneath it or above it. The input of the community as a whole is required to achieve this goal. Instead we have this new system which was supposedly ‘WAY OP’ to begin with and is now ‘WAY UP’. In other words, it made EoC worthless before and now Legacy is worthless. This is the extreme side of the balancing coin and the reason why I hate any nerf or buff.

The problem I see on the forums is there is too large a pool of players giving input on a topic that reaches far beyond their realm of reasoning. I do not mean this in a condescending way, but rather as most players are only speaking from their point of view and do not look beyond and think about other situations. Hence ‘OP’ for slaying could be way underpowered for bossing, vice versa, could be OP/UP for minigames, etc.

“you shouldnt have to need the best rotation for the best dps to compete with legacy though imo, legacy should be somewhat less than what the average player can get from full manual for it to be balanced. For the amount of effort and some planning that eoc combat takes, you should be rewarded with being able to deal slightly more damage.” – 4 I am King

Legacy should be equivalent to a player using abilities. Equivalent not greater, not lesser. Also note I said ‘using abilities’, not ‘an experienced player using the optimum rotations and exclusive/quest reward abilities’. If you balance Legacy to be equal to the best players in the best situations, then of course it will be over powered for most players in most situations. Likewise if you make Legacy less than the average player using normal abilities than it will be less than equal in all instances.

One thing people need to remember is that damage with EoC is dynamic and depends on which abilities you use while damage in Legacy is constant except for when you use a special attack.

EoC will always start off doing less damage because the very nature of EoC and any ability system relies on the concept of continual combat. Runescape’s previous combat system did not rely on such a thing. You were just as effective after 5 minutes as you were at the beginning (actually if you had certain special attack weapons you were most powerful when the battle began, this is the exact opposite of EoC). In EoC you are most effective after you have been in combat for a bit as you then have access to thresholds and ultimates. It is because of this, the very concept of which EoC runs on, that EoC should always be better in long fights and Legacy should always be better in short fights. So yes, in Slayer Legacy should win hands down in most instances and when Bossing EOC should win hands down in most instances.

One of the best posts on the forums I’ve seen is this:
“This was the reason I was against legacy. It was built to work with the EOC. Or at least they tried to.
What I wish would happen is EOC gets exclusive worlds and legacy gets exclusive worlds, where you can hop between the two with the same account but can only use the EOC or legacy depending on the world you’re in. That’s how it should be, then BOTH sides don’t have to be affected by the other combat system.

EOC worlds would be able to move on with EOC as it is, and legacy mode players would get to use old combat.” – Ming N Excal

This I think is one of the best solutions. If people would accept the facts I previously stated we wouldn’t have an issue, but since we all know they won’t, this is the next best thing. There is no honest reason that I can think of that the two systems need to interact side-by-side or against each other. This is no excuse for one system to be far and away better than the other, otherwise people will go to one world for one thing and another for a different thing.

Which actually brings me to another point I hadn’t thought of but is quite relevant.

Only the Min/Max’ers will really care to switch between systems.

If it takes me two seconds longer to kill something, does it matter? No, and it won’t matter to most of Runescape either. From what I read on the forums there was a difference of 2-3 seconds between the two combat systems. That is 1-2 extra hits. For 1: randomness alone could account for an additional hit, for 2: one more hit will not be the end of the world. The average player won’t even notice. Most players are going to choose which system they prefer, not which is more efficient.

And lastly, a thousand players (though I doubt it was that many) whining Legacy is ‘OP’ or EOC is ‘OP’ is not a good focus group. On issues like this the dev team needs to have a group of in-house testers who can give things like this an honest, well-rounded, evaluation with characters of all levels and in instances of differing types. Since they could rig their characters to have any skills or gear they can check a large variety of instances, including just out of tutorial, middle casual, and upper end-game.

What are your thoughts? Not on which system you like, but on the issue of handling the balance and effectiveness of the two systems.

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