Earlier this year at one of our Patreon roundtables I wanted to surprise everyone. The roundtables are typically a open-ended discussion while we play RuneScape. One month I decided I was going to go kill Araxxor (big spider) after only reading the associated wiki page. I was successful and surprised everyone!
Prior to that most of my boss killing experience on RuneScape was limited to a few hours of the Queen Black Dragon and the occasional mass with friends at the God Wars 1 or God Wars 2 dungeon. This was an opening to daily Reaper tasks and finding my way around the combat system.
It was only a month or so later that the first Elder God Wars Front, the Nodon Front arrived. This brought a fight against Kerapac and on release week I decided that I would get a solo kill for the benefit of the podcast. In learning how to kill Kerapac I enjoyed the experience and refined tactics along the way with some great help that I will get to later.
This lead me down a PvM rabbit hole to the point where I have killed each of the three new combat based bosses for fun, numerous times. it has also lead me to upgrading gear and pushing myself further than I ever thought I would.
Now comes the part where I say that what I did would not be possible without the network of people (David & Thaxy on our production team) and resources that I have. The combat system on its own is only slightly confusing and resources at times are not the clearest.
The problem is that most PvM guides unless explicitly stated build for endgame best-in-slot performance. The reality of RuneScape 3 is that any boss in-game can be killed with tier 90+ weapons, tier 80+ power armour, and potentially a shield if you know what you’re doing. Unless you have someone guiding you about where to start, it’s going to be difficult.
I started small, with a 7 minute successful Kerapac kill. After this I focused on setting up my action bar properly and managing adrenaline by using food items that don’t lower adrenaline. Then it was time to purchase Corruption Shot (30m, Mazcab Raids). Then it was time to evaluate my ammunition, ruby bolts instead of just emerald (my budget choice). This got my times down to about 4:30 or thereabouts. After this it was time to dump the Yak and move to a Ripper Demon. I still wasn’t skipping lightning, after my Zuk failures and successes I added the Jas book and swapped to a Noxious longbow with Splintering arrows, which brought me down to 3:20 kills on average and most of the time skipping the lightning mechanic. This week I added Greater Ricochet, manual thresholds, and ultimates into the mix. This led my best solo time of 3:07.
I don’t expect anyone reading this to take all these steps in one day, not at all. I highlight the individual changes that I made in terms of methods and equipment to show that without understanding each one. And without being guided along the way, by someone or a guide, even a beginners PvM guide that suggests some of these things can seem horribly obtuse.
Alongside the Kerapac load out changes above I was also refining perk setups, becoming more comfortable with the combat tick system, and practicing at smaller bosses. The purpose of highlighting this step by step process is to show that while you can read or watch a guide that suggests tier 92 weapons, tier 90 armour, with variants of Aftershock and Biting… If you don’t start small you’re not going to have success.
Also, the so-called meta gear with meta switches and meta perks is wonderful but you can do 90% or more of what the meta does with more affordable options. I am not running aftershock (a topic for another day from someone else ;)). I have Biting 2, tops. Aside from Trimmed Masterwork, my best armour is tier 82 power armour. I set out to not break the bank while PvMing with a setup slightly more elaborate than what you can pick up off the Grand Exchange easily.
This summer and autumn created a perfect storm of RuneScape content for learning PvM. We’re on record as saying Kerapac is a boss for everyone. The Glacor is the most accessible PvM learning experience Jagex has ever produced. And, well, TzKal-Zuk was meant to be a challenge. Once comfortable with the basics of the combat system the Elder God Wars fronts provide a wonderful experience for pushing oneself further from normal mode to hard mode.
Having direct access to someone who teaches PvM helps a ton, and if I had a question about a specific thing, I could just ask without fear of judgement. It also means I didn’t have to parse through hours of videos or reading many guides. However, it also matters who you ask, by in large the PvM community will be helpful but there’s the off chance you will be greeted with elitism. I am so very grateful to two people, David and Thaxy, who answered my questions personally and made this journey possible.
It’s my hope that after reading this, the path is clear on transforming someone who ignored PvM to someone becoming a mid-tier PvM’er. It’s not something the game requires, but it can be an interesting endgame project in itself. Combined with some work on death costs and this year’s new content, PvM has never been more accessible.
The next question of course, is what should you do? Try a daily Reaper task. Start with God Wars 1 or God Wars 2 creatures, or maybe the Queen Black Dragon. From there get a feel for how far you want to go. Do you want to aim for the ultra high end? Or do you want to do just like I did and aim for the mid-tier area? If you have questions, join the RSBANDB Discord and either myself or someone else will try to help you out.