Back in August 2018 for our first Monthly Bit we talked about the Evolution of Combat 6 years later. It was a frank discussion and one that lead to some surprising conclusions for us all. Was the Evolution of Combat truly needed? Find out!
Hosts: Shane, Tanis, Cireon, and David Duration: 1:25:12
In May 2012 the initial posts regarding changes to the RuneScape combat system were made. The game’s combat system had largely remained the same since the launch of RuneScape 2 in 2004. The combat beta ran through most of the summer and into autumn 2012. The new combat system was released on November 20, 2012. The system included:
A rebalance of the combat triangle, melee was often more powerful than ranged or magic.
An interface rework to make it, “more fluid, interactive, and exciting for everyone.”
A focus on player skill rather than knowing which interfaces to pop open.
Changes to encourage a use of a variety of combat equipment.
An action bar which could be used for combat but also skilling.
Introducing keybinds and less dependency on the mouse.
AoE for melee and ranged
Why was EoC needed?
The legacy system was old, boring, and required you to navigate the interface to be successful (i.e. prayer flicking)
The legacy combat revolved around preparation for the battle (equipment & items) and not the battle itself. Also limited future combat updates (before: equipment only, today: equipment & abilities)
Made combat more skill-based rather than luck-based
Unbalanced combat triangle, many used melee. Ranged and magic were forgotten at times.
Food markets were mostly shark but sometimes monkfish, lobsters for F2P. Constitution level up to a maximum governed how much food healed.
The PvM community thrived for several years as a result of EoC. Combat that required voice chat and coordinated teamwork was only made possible by the added complexity of the new combat system.
Changed how bosses could be designed-lots of mechanics that require specific abilities to deal with could not have existed without eoc, and combat today would be extremely stale
Memories of old school RuneScape combat: what did we like or dislike?
How has EoC changed RuneScape?
Action bars used for combat can also be used for skilling, making keyboard gameplay feasible (i.e. teleports, Runecrafting runs, Firemaking, etc.)
A whole variety of combat methods from AFK to full lean forward interactivity, with room for expansion.
EoC added in a factor of skill to combat. It requires active input (at least in full manual, but even in revolution), rather than passive standing by. Combat is no longer about just buying the best gear (either the best stats or the best special attack), it is about knowing what to do with it, with your abilities, and with the combat system in general.
Shifted focus from weapon-diversity to ability rotations.
Brought all 3 combat styles to “equal” ground. Missing tiers and styles of weapons, armor and prayers were introduced (batwing, ranged buff-curses, etc).
Old School RuneScape: EoC was the jumping off point that was largely responsible for the launch of OSRS. Where would we be without OSRS?
The animosity resulting from the seismic shift that was EoC resulted a lack of trust both in the community and within Jagex. The solution: polling updates. Where would we be without polling for better or worse?
If the old combat system remained, would the game have fewer players now? Or perhaps better asked, has EoC increased the RuneScape playerbase?
The Pro PvM Community:
Has the size of the PvM community increased since the release of EoC? Would it exist without EoC?
What would boss encounters look like without EoC? (Kalphite King was first EoC exclusive boss, QBD was released while EoC in development)
Would the old PK’ing system have remained if not for EoC?
Revolution++: A boon or detriment? Mixed bag-it’s fantastic for most people for most purposes and makes the combat system dramatically more accessible. On the other hand, it can make the highest levels of PvM much more difficult and also teaches bad habits detrimental to achieving the highest levels of DPS, particularly in instances that require utilizing defensive abilities e.g. bomb tanking vorago, high enrage telos. On balance it’s probably good, but becomes a problem when people expect it to be efficient in all instances.
The tick system: a bottleneck or the gateway to more DPS (thinking in increments of 0.6s, 4TAA, etc.)
The combat triangle and its uses, is it balanced?
Evolving The Evolution of Combat:
Make action bars easy to set up, by services or by ingame guides, and allow the player to know what is optimal.
How do you bring the fun, enjoyment, and precision that experts feel to the traditional player who doesn’t have hours of experience?
Allow the combat academy to touch on the previous point.
We run through Jagex’s past history of beta content, what the EoC beta meant for RuneScape, RuneScape Test Servers, in house player testing, and set up the Mining & Smithing Beta. And, does building a better beta start with better feedback?