One of the major points of the Evolution of Combat is that it balanced RuneScape’s combat system. When talking about balancing, many people jump right to the combat triangle, completely ignoring the other parts of the system that need to be balanced. Things such as effect of your combat skills and prayers, Two Handed versus Dual Wielding, weapon speed, and effects on accuracy are all things that must be taken into consideration when attempting to balance the combat system. Last month, I did some tests on the Evolution of Combat to see what parts of it are balanced and which parts are not. We found that combat skill levels and active prayers do not have a great enough effect on your damage output, and prayer had no effect on it. Since then, some changes have been made to the Evolution of Combat with the intention of giving your combat skill levels more of an impact on your damage output in combat situations. In this article I am going to show the results of a few more tests that I performed to test the Evolution of Combat, more specifically the recent update to it.
The tests in this article were performed the same way that they were in my last article. I am using weapons that are all on the level 80 tier, and I am using the basic damage over time ability that is uniform across combat styles. As long as the same buffs are in effect, and the same tier of weapon is used, these abilities will deal the same amount of damage for each hit of the damage over time effect. The abilities are Dismember for melee, Combust for magic, and Fragmentation Shot for ranged. This consistent damage output across combat styles makes these abilities a very reliable way to test the Evolution of Combat.
On April 30, an update was made to RuneScape that made some changes to the Evolution of Combat. A part of the update read as the following: “Finally, this update means that potions that boost your combat levels have been given a new lease of life – the increased benefit of levels meaning they’re more effective than before”. This lead me to believe that If I went and did some more tests at the combat academy like I did for my last article, If I compared fighting the dummies with a stat boosting potion to fighting them without a stat boosting potion, the stat boosting potion would make my damage output higher than it did before the update. Here are before and after pictures for the effect that your combat skills have on damage output.
Before the EoC Changes
After the EoC Changes
Well isn’t this awkward, the stat changes had the same effect on my damage output as they did before the Evolution of Combat changes were made. It clearly said in the news post about the changes: “…this update means that potions that boost your combat levels have been given a new lease of life – the increased benefit of levels meaning they’re more effective than before”. Clearly, this did not happen, and this is a problem. Not only is it a problem that Jagex said they changed something that they didn’t actually change, but the problem of your skill levels not having enough of an effect on your damage output still persists. This is bad. It has been over six months since the Evolution of Combat has been released and this problem is still not fixed, even after they said it was fixed. I also performed the same test with prayers, and it still had zero effect on your damage output. I dealt the same damage with Turmoil active as I did with it inactive. This lead me to believe that your combat stats now have an effect on something else other than the damage you deal. With that, on to the next test.
When I re-read that news post about the Evolution of Combat changes, I noticed that they updates the hit chance system with this update as well. I thought to myself that maybe your boosted attack level will have an effect on your hit chance. Testing accuracy is something that I could not come up with a decent way to perform, but lucky for me, Jagex put a nice little calculator on the combat equipment screen, that calculates your hit chance at that very moment. I do not have anything to compare these results to because I did not test hit chance before the changes, and the hit chance calculator did not exist before these changes. I decided to test attack level at the three levels I did for the strength level comparison, and to compare the hit chance with Turmoil active and inactive.
From these tests, it is clear that your attack level actually has a significant effect on your damage output. For a person at level 99 Attack, drinking and Overload Potion raises your hit change by 6-11% depending on what combat style you are attacking. However, having turmoil active still has no effect on hit chance, meaning that turmoil is a pretty close to useless for offensive benefits. Now we know that our attack level has a nice effect on our accuracy, enough to make using stat boosts worth it. Now all of the time and GP that people put towards getting Overload and Extreme potions now has some payoff.
So what does all of this mean. From these tests we found out that your strength level still does not have a significant enough of an effect on your damage output to actually mean something, but your attack level has a very significant effect on your hit chance in combat situations. Strength level barely has an effect on your damage output, but Attack can greatly determine your ability to even deal damage to your enemies. The situation with the strength level is a problem that is far past due to be dealt with. The effect of offensive prayers is still a major problem. Using them does not give you any offensive benefits, to attack nor strength. All of the money that people put towards training their prayer level to have access to the high level curses is currently wasted money. This is one of my biggest concerns with the Evolution of Combat.
It has been more than six months since the Evolution of Combat went live, and we are still dealing with problems as serious as these. With Jagex saying that skill level boosts boost your damage output, and the effect of your strength level has not changed since the Evolution of Combat changes, I am worried to if this is a problem that will ever be fixed. We can only hope.