This week's livestream was a general Q&A, with a focus on the recent PvP Arena rewards blog! Topics included:
Thanks to Mod Ayiza (Lead Community Manager), Mod Kirby (Junior Content Developer), Mod Tide (Content Developer), and Mod Bruno (QA Analyst) for their insights!
Before we get into it, we'd like to address the toxicity we've seen online after our Q&A.
Q&As are a fantastic way to keep us accountable and tell us what you think about the game. Your feedback is so important to us and really helps us understand what matters to you. We hope that our weekly Q&As will provide you, the players, with a link directly to the developers making the game you love. However, we are aware that when we discuss difficult topics, such as PvP, the conversation can often become divisive.
We don't want to shy away from such important subjects because we feel it's important to answer your questions about them, no matter how many opinions may vary.
No harm or offence is ever intended in what we say on stream. However, we are humans too. Q&As are held in a live format and it is very likely that we will make mistakes, or that sometimes we may say something that wasn't quite what we intended. Please keep this in mind as you read and discuss this transcript.
We shouldn't have to tolerate toxic behaviour aimed at J-Mods any more than we should if it is aimed at players. Sadly, if responses of this nature become the norm, we will likely avoid discussing sensitive topics in an open format in the future. As always, please do let us know what you think, but please do so in a constructive way.
Having said all that, check out the full transcript below!
Can you explain how the requirements worked? It says 20 wilderness kills or an LMS win. According to my collection log I've only played 8 games of LMS with 3 kills and 0 wins. And I don't think I've even killed a single person in the wilderness. But I was able to vote on all the questions?
Essentially, I pretty much just got the details wrong in the blog, so apologies on my behalf! So the criteria was 20 kills on PvP worlds or within the Wilderness (that also includes Bounty Hunter as well I believe), or one LMS win - that was actually that you just had to have participated in an LMS game. So if you've done LMS, you were more than likely able to vote and that's probably how you managed to get in on the vote!
In the PvP Arena Rewards summary blog, we go into a little bit of detail as to why we looked at restricting, and why we were quite lax on the restrictions. So I'd recommend checking that out for more info to save me going go for it now. But hopefully, that answers your question!
Just to add to that, I'm not particularly worried about the fact that we got the criteria wrong, because, from the looks of the data that is also presented in the blog, most of the rewards would have failed anyway, even if we had the restrictions tighter. So it's something we could take as a learning point going forwards - maybe we can restrict tighter, maybe we can restrict looser. Either way, these rewards were not "there".
Yeah, I mean it had an impact, but it still wouldn't have been enough of an impact to have been the ultimate cause of the rewards failing, which is why we're looking at reworking them. But there are some questions on that later on that we'll get to!
There were changes made to these rewards based on community feedback prior to polling, and they still failed the poll. Will you adjust how feedback is collected and used for changes made to these rewards?
Yes. In that same blog that we just mentioned, we talked about a PvP feedback Discord that we've set up, that is now live. In the blog you'll see a link to be able to join that. Anyone is able to join that server in read-only, but we have restricted discussion to a select few members that filled out the survey when we first said we were doing feedback.
What we're going to be doing over the course of the next few weeks is looking at if there are ways that we can either 1. rework the current rewards that we have, and their set effects and their stats, so that they're a little bit more favourable to everyone, or 2. looking at any alternative ideas for rewards that may utilise armour slots that we've already got some assets for that would also be fitting. We're going to handle that by initially gathering the suggestions from the PvP feedback Discord, then creating a blog based on what's discussed there, and then sharing that to the wider player base as we would with any other blog.
Essentially, what we're looking at doing is just having an extra step of validation for PvP specifically. We are pretty good when it comes to things such as skilling, PvM, and quests. They're all very well established within the community and we know exactly who we want to be looking at if we want very specific and focused feedback. It's not so easy for PvP. There are so many sub-communities within there, so many different opinions.
So we're going to use that as a way to validate any changes that we make, similar to how we would internally, and then post our blog and go through the normal feedback process of gathering feedback from the wider community. We'll then probably talk about that feedback again within the feedback Discord before we look at repolling. That's how we're adjusting the way that we collect feedback for PvP stuff, and these rewards specifically.
We're not being really precious over the rewards that are there. We put out what we thought a section of PvPers wanted. We're not "trying to force the rewards to come back in", it's just that we have them there and it's an area that we can talk about. If we're able to rework them great. If not, then we'll just make new rewards.
I would like to force the art in though because the art for the armours is really nice in-game. I want them to be used!
This is one of the things that happens with the way we handle content and the fact that we've got the poll system. Historically, people have wanted an idea of what the armours or weapons might look like before they get added into the game and before they're voted on. But that does come with a risk that if it was to fail, then it might have been time spent on something that won't make it. We have that now at least, so in the future, if we ever look at armours, we've got those to fall back on.
Could the arena still be released and have the completed rewards come out separately? This would at least allow for people to play the arena and give adequate feedback on the initial launch as you guys are updating the rewards.
Theoretically, we could just remove the shop in its entirety. That would probably just work, turning off reward points as well, that's also something I think we can reasonably do. So if everything fails then yeah, sure, we could still release it. The problem then is - is there much point in doing it if there's no payout? This is something we've been discussing internally as well. Having this PvP Arena with its ranking system is nice, but is there an intrinsic reason to play it? And does that maintain a player base for long enough the people are around to play it? Because there is a sort of "dead game effect" where players don't think they're going to get the game, so they weren't queueing for the game and the population continually decreases, and it just sort of dies a slow and pitiful death. I'm hoping we're going to avoid this, but it's something that's worrying me at least!
I'd probably still let them get their points. You are going to have the rewards eventually, and you don't want to have people play all this time and then they haven't got anything to show for it.
If we were going to do that, it's obviously a discussion point to have, I'm more in favour of what you've said, Tide - you can still gain your reward points to spend at some point. But at the same time, there'd be no point having reward points if there weren't any rewards coming out, period.
One thing I can say on this, though, is that the Arena itself is something that we said from the start, we wouldn't be polling. So the PvP Arena will come out even if there aren't any rewards for it. If we do get to that point where we can't rework them or find anything that's suitable to be added to it, we may well be in a position where the Arena does come out without any rewards, at least initially. We might spend some more time looking at adding some in the future, but the Arena itself will be coming regardless as the replacement to the Duel Arena.
The high barrier to entry of making some sort of PVP account has been brought up before as something that deters people from wanting to get into PVP. However, adding equipment that can only be used in PVP serves to fracture the game, and gives the perception that PVP is a separate game mode. Do you believe that the correct approach involves separating the reward structure of the two communities? Or do you think it will worsen the predator/prey problem, because anyone that's killing wildly bosses, or something non-PK is unable to use the new BIS or near BIS equipment that their stacker is likely to be wearing?
It seems that players don’t like the idea of restricted polls, will this change you might consider polling in the future?
What is the current status of the wilderness boss rework? We have heard no information since the summer summit on it and the roadmap had it coming out in June/July.
Can we please poll a buff to Thammarons sceptre, the laughing stock of the Wildy weapons? It's been suggested 20+ times with significant upvotes but never addressed by the team.
I'm going to say we've probably addressed it 20+ times. I, for sure, have addressed it at least a handful of times in my time at Jagex!
We know Thammaron's Sceptre isn't the best weapon, especially compared to the other Wilderness weapons. The thing is how do we go about buffing it? We have to make sure that it doesn't make other weapons useless, and still has good use in the Wilderness, which is a little bit of a hard thing to balance. Also, we're not overly happy about people merching them like they might be trying to do so here. The players themselves are also not huge fans of that! That's my take on it.
Yeah, we know it needs a rework. We know it needs addressing. It's just fitting it in. It just so happens there is a boss rework coming up soon...
No, we're not doing it then. If we say we're going to do it, then they'll start merching. We're not doing it!
I said maybe! I said maybe! If you're foolish enough to invest in them now, and then find that you're buying them at a high price because everyone else is doing that who is watching the stream, you're then gonna wait a few weeks or even a few months and be like "damn, I really shouldn't have done that, I need to have the cash", so you're gonna liquidate your Thammaron's Sceptres and you're going to lose half your gold.
Also, to anyone suggesting to make it best-in-slot in the Wilderness - does it really make sense to make it best-in-slot compared to something like Nightmare Staff? Because that's pretty damn expensive, and it definitely should be better than a Thammaron's sceptre. We're kind of asking the question "how do we go about balancing this without making the other items, which are supposedly meant to be better than it, not as good as it?"
Well, don't tell Bruno - we have a few ideas that we need to go through. But not on the stream! We definitely have addressed it before, it's just not been something that we've put to paper and committed to fully. But keep an eye on news in the future.
People keep complaining about the wilderness being "dead". Why not move risk fights and pking that exist in pvp worlds back into the wilderness by removing pvp worlds?
Are there any plans to design any new Wilderness bosses that aren't in Multi combat? It would be nice to try something new but without the risk that a team could jump me. Don't mind the solo PKer interruptions.
This was something that is being considered, we're still looking at the design again. There's some discussion about if could we do this. What would it look like if we were to move existing bosses around into singles or multi? How can we play around with the brackets and give each boss a different experience? We have options available to us, but do we think they're worth using? This is all very "We could do this!" because we haven't decided yet. Sorry!
We could though, right? It's one of those that we do need to have a discussion around and really figure out. I wouldn't mind seeing maybe one of the bosses in non-multi, but to take them all out of multi would be a bit of a shame, even though we are reworking them. They're technically going to be the same, but different.
So we probably could get away with it. But that would be quite a blow to the multi-community, which hasn't had any content their way for probably longer than any other community in the entirety of Old School. This could be the point of revival or bring some new life to the multi-scene at least, which we've also got to be cautious of. So as Kirby said we might, we also might not.
Can you remove the number of players required for a High-Stakes LMS game to start? As it stands, you need 24 players to start a game and they never start anymore. Can you drastically lower it?
That doesn't sound particularly high stakes...
Even if we did have it, would that really make enough of a difference to get it going again? And that's aside from the thinking that, if there are only 12 people in a game, and you have 5 friends, the odds of your friends winning the game are going to be a lot higher. This is why it's 25 right now, so it's not as easy for you to rig the game if you'd like. Yeah, that's my main question - would this actually help? Because I don't see that many people doing high stakes LMS.
I don't really see what it would do, apart from, as you said, helping out for those that want to play a smaller amount of games, or potentially launder gold. I guess, realistically we could so maybe there's something to look into to make it started earlier. But there would be some considerations, as Bruno said, for the fact that teams could weight the games and it could also be used to transfer money in a different way.
Will we get to see another Deadman Mode along with the re-run of the finale? The Last iteration was one of the best yet (aside from the finale issues).
I wouldn't hate doing another one. They get numbers on twitch still, which is nice! It just depends on if we can do another one that's as re-inventive as the previous one was - I think that would be a nice benchmark to set. We have time pencilled in to try and do one, but we'll see what happens.
That's pretty much all we can say on it, really. It's in the roadmap for this year at least. It's something that if we can make happen, we will.
I'll just quickly add in my take - I love doing this, don't I? I think if we're going to continue doing Dead Man, and for it to continue being a success going forward, even though there's been a considerable amount of time, energy and effort put into the anti-DDoS protection that our team have been working on, and it seems to be really, really robust - the proof will be in the pudding in a rerun, right?
But even with that in place, there are still so many inherent risks with running a tournament of 2000 people online and not having them all in a LAN environment. Whether that's individual connections that then could put a bad image on the event or connections to the servers as a whole, or just technical issues. There are so many problems that could be brought up with it.
If it was a choice between like having the 1v1 stay or never having Dead Man, I'd rather get rid of the 1v1 so that we can still have Dead Man, and then we saw the finale as something else. Whether it's this 1v1 that's just not a tournament and live-streamed event, or whether it's just a crazy last hour that happens and it's almost like the apocalypse coming down upon Gielinor.
Maybe we look at taking the top people that qualify - we could split the 1v1s up to multiple 1v1 arenas and then take the top 10 people that won those 1v1s and invite them to an in-house tournament that's hosted at Jagex, for example. Something like that probably would be better. But I would love to see Dead Man continue. I think it's great!
Has there been any discussion about expanding the places we can unlock the wilderness weapons? The rev caves are the only place you can get them and being a 1/20k drop while being risky isn't the greatest. Can we spread the three weapons across the 3 main wilderness bosses with a better drop rate so we have more options?
Do you think we can see a day where people can freely bring items into the wilderness and be safe? They would have to put money in a coffin to increase drop rates, skilling exp or barriers to entry to certain content. That way more people will bring fully geared armour into the wilderness at the cost of what's in a coffin for PvPers to be rewarded with instead of equipment and inventory loot. So we can change the wilderness into a situation where anyone can be prepared for PKing each other.
New designed areas always have single path tracks that are frustrating and reduce immersion. Darkmeyer, Shayzien, Prifddinas, Necropolis all look nice but are awful to navigate due to a lack of gaps in the obstacles and landscape. Compare this to Misthalin/Ardougne/older areas. Could we consider reducing the object bloat in these areas and freeing up more space to run around?
I somewhat agree, but at the same time, I disagree. If you look at some of the older areas, they're really not very well designed. Some of them actually feel kind of barren. A good example of a poorly designed area is Draynor village, where if you want to go from like the middle bit where the house is, to say the market you have to go all the way around, which makes no sense because you just expect to be able to take a shortcut in between the houses.
Then you have places like Varrock where most of like the southern parts feel kind of useless aside from a couple of NPCs, whereas places like Prifddinas has things happening everywhere. As we can see in Ayizas background. It's very pretty and it's very busy right now. In Darkmeyer, while it is kind of like a one-way route, there are things to do throughout the route. You have the Daeyalt Essence Mine house, Hallowed Sepulchre, as examples. I agree that it is kind of one way rooted but at the same time, I don't think it's for a bad reason.
I will say something that works against Prifddinas because Prifddinas mapping is actually fairly open it just feels really congested because there's a lot of verticality going on. There's more stuff on your screen at once. This makes it so feel a lot more clumsy than it actually is. Which is something we could potentially design around going forwards but it's not that actually that bad mechanically.
This is probably not a great reason but it is a reason for the design. It depends on what's in the area as well because say for instance, you have the sawmill for example in Prifddinas you don't want to change any EXP rates
I think you can go the other way around where where the areas are too barren. For example, if you think about early days of Kourend and it was a very big landscape, but there wasn't really much to it aside from a few activities and favour stuff which I think we've improved on now. Everything is a little bit more packed in and obviously it's a busier area, but it's not as barren and big which is great.
Can we remove the dialogue options you added to NPC Contacting the Dark Mage in the abyss to repair pouches? Before you could just hold a spacebar as long as you had gotten the book, now if you have the colossal pouch (and I think even without it) it has options you have to choose. I thought the point was to remove monotony?
Sure, it would be nice!
I haven't actually done Guardians of the Rift yet...
I don't runecraft anymore, I'm done with that thankfully! But yeah, if there's now two options you have to click through them manually. Even though it is jsut holding 2 or 1, or whatever it is on your keyboard to get through it quickly, I get that it is annoying compared to what it used to be. I'd be happy to make it more streamlined compared to what it was before.
It also depends on how much space you have. I haven't exactly seen the dialogue, maybe it's not got any to space to use it. I'm not 100% sure.
Could twisted tales include favour certificates that apply to any house like Client of Kourend does? Small ones would incentivize people to play the quests to avoid doing some of the favour grinds people dislike like mining sulphite, making shayzien armour, healing soldiers, etc., and would make a great quest reward IMO
This sounds like a really nice idea! You're helping out the citizens, so they've gone off to their leader and said "this guy's all right, let him skip this!"
I can't believe favour still exists in the game, to be honest with you...
Yeah, that's what I was going to say. It doesn't sound like a bad idea, but at the same time it does feel a bit weird that if you help some farmer south of the Farming Guild with a bear, he'll give you some favour for... I'm guessing it'd be for a specific house so it would give it to Hosidius in this case because that makes the most sense. Even then, it's a bit random, and I don't think 5% really does that much for you. I don't think it'd be the thing stopping you from doing the favour. To be honest, I wouldn't mind just getting rid of Favour altogether if we, do a big update for Kourend again one day.
I guess in general, just more quests in the Kourend area could potentially look at Favour, it's one I would need to run by Mod Ed. But I'm not going to say no, I hate favour.
So for the favour for Architectural Alliance, you can just have a task list that you have to complete by helping out citizens around the area!
Could the team look into improving shooting stars to encourage group participation? Current experience rates right now are fine as is, but in non-total worlds Clans and Discord communities constantly pile every star, penalizing everyone else and solo scouters.
Everyone else and solo scouters, damn. Solo scouters are getting double dipped there.
So long as helping those people doesn't it make it much better than it is right now. As long as we don't end up buffing the XP rates without trying to book the XP rates I'll be fine with it. It feels to me like the mother lode mine veins upstairs, where if you have more people he doesn't matter. I'd be fine with that.
When can we expect endgame mainscapers to get some love again? Aside from raids 3, which is long overdue and was announced ages ago, it's been (and going to be) nothing but content for ironmen, mid game players, and content creators.
Yes, that famous mid game boss Nex.
My thing about being wrong is that Tombs of Amascut is most definitely aimed at endgame players just as much as anyone else, more so than anyone else. It's going to be more accessible because of the invocation system in there. Mid game and mid to late game players should be able to at least participate and get completions. It's very much an end game content aimed towards end game players with very end game rewards.
I wouldn't say exactly long overdue. We're not too far away from when we initially announced it in terms of its potential release date.
Can we expect endgame MainScapers to get some love again, generally speaking. It would depend on whatever we got coming out in the roadmap that might might help with that. I guess it really depends on what what would you categorise as end game MainScapers?
Maybe there's a chance that you can ask the question next week as well to go into more detail, because I would argue that even Guardians of the Rift was suitable to end-game MainScapers, especially those of you that maybe didn't quite finish out getting 99 in Runecraft or wanted to get some extra rewards for example. It wasn't entirely focused around them, granted.
I do think that the next big thing is going to be the Wilderness Boss rework and then the Tombs of Amascut would be the most end game related and suitable pieces of content coming out anytime soon.
What about that Black and Blue area from Gamejam?
Oh yeah, we did we show the Tasakaal Trials yet so that's a potential too.
Any eta on when the “smaller” rewards will be polled for Raids 3 as per March’s Gazette?
There's no date set. We've got a couple of things that we need to get out of the way first. Number one is we've got Giants' Foundry that we're gonna be looking to poll soon. Then depending on how everything goes with the reward feedback with PvP Arena that may come next, if not, then it's most likely going to be a Raids 3 rewards after Giants' Foundry and then we'll move into the PvP rewards.
Hopefully, it will not too long to have to wait.
We actually went over them today in a meeting and it seems pretty cool. I'm excited and hope you will be too.
How does the Nex drop chance actually work? There has been a lot of discussion around it. Does everyone who has met the damage threshold have the same chance of getting the drop? Or does it work like this: you deal 400 out of 4000 total hp to Nex, and you have a 10% chance of getting the unique? Does contribution% actually matter? Because I feel it should be the second option. If you deal 10% total damage then you should have a 10% chance of getting a unique.
I assume if you do 2000 out of the 4000 damage, you'd have more chance to get the drop and the unique in that case compared to someone who's on 400 out of the 4000. When they say the chance of getting a unique they mean if the unique gets dropped, not just the 10% chance of getting the unique.
I don't think it's 10% chance you need one in 10. Let's go.
I'm pretty sure we've actually gone into detail about Nex drop tables when we first looked at like the Nex rebalancing tweaks. It might be worthwhile checking back on the news post from January because I think we put the drop rate formula in there just about two weeks after Nex was out. The Wiki already had drop rates that had been crowdsourced. You should be able to find the formula in there. In terms of how it works. I just can't remember off the top of my head.
I'm also not 100% on what I have said. I am sorry if I'm wrong. I expect the wiki to have correct information since we did share it.
How do we shift from the reliance on Dragon Warhammer/Bandos God Sword for bosses and incorporate the magic spells for reducing attack/strength/defence as a way to kill bosses?
You make bosses that you can't melee.
We'd also need spells they're more effective as well though.
Yeah, this is something that Mod Arcane has mentioned before and the more I think about it, the more I'm starting to agree with his vision that there's magic in the game and it's kind of bad in that it is just a different flavour ranged. It feels really bad when you have all these spells that you could be using that have really interesting effects but no one does because they are all kind of garbage
Magic is just one of those attack styles which is either this is the best thing for it or I probably shouldn't really bother. And when it comes to comparing it to something like a Dragon Warhammer or Bandos God Sword it's almost always I shouldn't really bother because Dragon Warhammer and Bandos God Sword are so strong already.
The recent addition to the Level 65 attack Tier, the Keris Partisan, is super nice and very welcome! Could we see some additional T65 weapons in the future?
Yes, if the content allows it. Beneath Cursed Sands allowed it to fit into account progression where it's the last sort of quests you do and at that point, you're progressing past to 60 So 65 does kind of feel like a nice fit for that reward. If we do more content around the area, we can add more rewards to that area.
I think it's important to note that the reason the Partisan is okay at level 65 is that its main use is like a niche item, which lets it compete with some of the level 80 at weapons or whatever.
Whereas if it was set at level 80, there would probably a few fewer people will be using those items and it wouldn't really make sense because it's only useful at those places.
You know the Giants' Foundry has got the new sword and that's currently 50 attacks. What if it was 65?
I wouldn't mind, it looks cool so it would be nice if it got good use.
I think it's because the current plan was originally going to be a cosmetic but people wanted it to have stats and not be cosmetic, but from what I've seen very first-hand, is that now players saying "Oh, this weapon doesn't have very good stats, we're probably not going to use it other than as a cosmetic". I think we could look at having different stats that people may then say "We're cool with it as long as it fits somewhere very similar to how the Keris Partisan did."
Has there been any discussion for a new higher level slayer boss yet? Maybe a level 97 unlock?
Don't believe so? Eventually, yeah, it'd be awesome to have a level 97 Slayer boss, when the time is right, and where we can fit it in. So far though, I don't believe so.
I love the way the current meta for high-end items is to dismantle Bandos/Armadyl parts for the new tier 80 armour. Do you think we can see this concept return for lower-tier items to create much-needed item sinks for new items?
Yeah, we need to figure out what items we want. What items do we want to sink, does it thematically make sense? Does it mechanically make sense? I believe the current ones are just essentially upgrades for that.
We'd need to figure out, how do we design this so you're essentially only dismantling your item to upgrade it? We could mix and match components. We could combine your Bandos and Armadyl components to make some weird melee range hybrid armour, which I definitely just haven't designed on the spot.
Maybe there could be another way to remove items from the game like a mini-game or something like that.
That's also something that we do pretty often these days, at least when we introduce a new best in slot item, for example, in all of the Cerberus boots you're going to need the previous best in slot item to make the new best in slot item. Same thing with Torva, in this case with Bandos. I imagine it will be something that we will carry on doing so we don't devalue the previous best in slot items too much.
I think there's just overall been less interest in doing it for the lower tier items because they don't really have that value. Even if we were to sink them, the value still wouldn't really hold because their use is somewhat limited. For relatively experienced players, at least you're going to surpass the requirements to use that gear and replace it relatively quickly, so not as many people care. That doesn't mean that we can't look into it at least and see those options.
That being said though, we literally did propose this before with the sword from Giants' Foundry being an upgrade to Obor's Club and the feedback suggested that wasn't really that welcomed for the lower tier items. It might be a bit of an edge case because Obor's Club is obviously gated behind keys that you need to get and obviously get the drop.
It's something that we'll need to look into a little bit more but I like it as a concept and I think upgrading old items is quite cool.