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Combat Beta Updates

Written by developer on . Posted in RuneScape News

Hey all!

There are A LOT of changes in this iteration, where quite a few are under the hood as we've rewritten core parts of every core ability, which means there will likely be some bugs!

That being said, we've also fixed a number of existing live issues along the way (a couple of specific ability changes listed below), so please do let us know if things aren't working as you might expect.

Please remember this is a work in progress, and as we're actively trying to get things into your hands as quickly as possible there may be elements unfinished or not yet the final behavior.

And as always, please keep the feedback and conversation flowing, as there's more to come. (Though there will likely not be a beta server update next week.)

We'll continue to be engaging on our usual channels through Reddit, Discord, and Twitter.

Mods Ryan and Sponge

Beta Patch Notes


  • Melee, Ranged and Magic abilities have been converted to use some behind-the-scenes advanced systems that Necromancy introduced
    • A first pass updating the tooltips has been completed for all of these abilities
      • This includes some additional improvements on top of Necromancy's foundations, such as displaying the adrenaline consumed for threshold abilities
      • Note: These will be iterated on further
  • Action bar improvements
    • Action bar slots that have no relation to the global cooldown will no longer display it unnecessarily (e.g. 'Surge' and 'Teleport War's Retreat')
    • Action bar slots will no longer flash unnecessarily when swapping weapons after having been used in the current play session
  • Critical Strike Damage
    • PvP: Reduced the damage scaling from 66% to 20%
      • E.g. 50% Critical Strike Damage is scaled to 10% in PvP
  • Buff icons for channeled abilities should hopefully be more in sync.

Damage Squishing

"Yes, that's the technical term... Because ability damage ranges so greatly in the live game (typically 20% fixed damage, 80% random damage) it meant that with the new critical strike system, players could roll low on a critical strike, and do less damage than if they had just rolled high. This leads to incredibly high variance, based on whether your critical luck lined up with your damage rolls. We've squished these ranges to be closer to 80-90% fixed damage, you should notice your hits are more consistent, play nicer with the critical strike system, and are less likely to hit the 30k hit cap. "

  • Squished the damage ranges for Melee, Ranged, and Magic.
  • The averages of several abilities will have changed slightly to use more digestible numbers.
    • E.g. 112% average → 110% average.

Linked Damage Abilities

"Some abilities generate their damage based on previous hits. For example Snapshot's second hit is determined by the damage of the first hit. Abilities like this can have unintended consequences, such as scaling additional effects oddly (a good example is Snapshot's second hit scaling up a ruby bolt's damage). In order to make combat easier to understand we're moving towards unlinking these abilities so the damage rolls independently. We haven't quite covered all of the abilities like this, but we'll be looking to complete the set in another beta iteration."

  • Snapshot, Greater Ricochet & Snipe (with Enchanted Nightmare Gauntlets) no longer scale damage from the previous hits, and instead do a separate damage calculation.

Damage Per Level (Potion Stat-boost)

"Let's try this again... In the live game abilities you cast do additional fixed amounts of damage if your combat stats are boosted above their base level. This is a triple problem: It leads to multi-hit abilities always being a priority over an equally balanced single-hit ability. It means boosting a stat essentially boosts your damage twice (once at the core making you deal the same damage of the level you've boosted to, and once by giving a fixed amount of damage). And, it means a player with 80 magic boosting to 90 magic would out-damage a player with 90 magic that isn't boosting. As a result, we're going to trial removing the damage per level granted by stat-boosting. With the other changes active in the beta, we hope you won't even notice it's gone."

  • Removed damage per level granted by boosting Magic, Ranged & Strength stats.
  • Rebalanced Magma Tempest to account for the loss of damage.
    • Now deals 15%-19% ability damage with each hit, up from 5%-19%.

Skewed Damage Rolling

"In the live game, some abilities have a heightened chance to roll their minimum hit, making them overly confusing as their displayed damage ranges can't be used to figure out their average damage. A good example is 'Dismember', using its tooltip you would assume its average damage is around 144% ability damage, however, it is, in fact, closer to 120% ability damage due to its increased chance to roll low. To simplify these abilities we're removing this skewed rolling, so the tooltips are a more accurate representation of the ability."

  • Removed skewed damage rolling from:
    • Dismember, Slaughter, Combust, Fragmentation shot
      • The average damage of these abilities will now be higher than in the live game.


Greater Fury

"Greater Fury's Critical Strike effect could be considered overly complicated and low value in rotations, so since it's a beta, we made a simple change: locking it to melee abilities and giving it a buff."

  • Critical Strike Chance: 10% on next ability → 100% on next melee ability

Blood Tendrils

"Blood Tendrils was just a little outdated with how it functioned, we gave it a little bit of a facelift whilst rewriting it. In particular, it would get confused if the player was using a spear of annihilation, placing little hits before the big initial hit. "

  • Cleaned up how self-damage was calculated.
  • Hits added through the spear of annihilation now get appended to the end of the ability, instead of placing them in front of the double damage initial hit.

Greater Barge

"No... Always you..." "Greater Barge has a lot of 'niche' side effects, which is often the cause of confusion for developers and players alike. We're trying to clean it up slightly to make it less of a pain. In particular, it would change the attack timings of channeled abilities that were changed to damage over time through its effect, making the timings feel slightly off."

  • Greater barge no longer forces channeled abilities to attack every four cycles. It instead uses the same rate the ability would naturally do.


"Berserk was calculated differently to other damage-boosting ultimate abilities such as Death's Swiftness and Sunshine, so we've moved it over."

  • Updated to be a multiplicative modifier as opposed to an additive modifier


"Flurry did reduced damage in AOE scenarios, resulting in clunky gameplay where you'd occasionally be trying to move back into single target to get your full damage, as flurry is less used than other abilities we're trying out just removing the reduced damage"

  • Now deals full damage in both single-target and multi-target scenarios


Greater Dazing Shot

A couple of effects that happen 'on next attack/ability' are misleading and this ability was one of those. The hit chance debuff was only active on the target for a short duration of time with the assumption that they will attack it before it expires. We've felt that a debuff like this on the target could be improved - so, that's what we did!

  • Hit Chance Debuff: Now active for the full 4.2s and is not cleared on-attack
    • E.g. Any attack from the target within that duration will have its hit chance reduced
  • The hit chance debuff is now reapplied when the ability is used as previously it wouldn't which meant it could time out
    • E.g. Player 1 applies the debuff, then player 2 uses the ability after 3.6s at which point it wouldn't apply the debuff as it was still active on the target for another 0.6s


  • Modified to deal the correct amount of hits and scale appropriately.

Death's Swiftness

"Visual clarity is important, and there are a lot of improvements that need to be made to combat. Using Death's Swiftness as an example, the area in which you benefited from the buff was much larger than the visuals so we've updated it."

  • Reduced the range of the area from 7x7 → 5x5 to better match the visuals


We're dipping our toe into giving the core foundations of the Combat Triangle the Necromancy treatment, and we wanted to see how much work it would be to implement proper AOE targeting into Ranged - Bombardment is the ideal tester for this.

  • Now hunts for enemies around the target as opposed to from the south-west tile
    • E.g. If the target is size 3x3, a hunt range of 1 will cover a 5x5 area using the target as the centre
  • Area-of-effect Target Count: 8 → 9
  • Area-of-effect Target Behaviour: If there are more enemies than the target count, enemies will be hit at random.



The 62.5% increase didn't look right in the tooltip, so we're changing up the

  • Increases the damage bonus from 62% → 66% (PvP: 31% → 33%)


Much like Death's Swiftness, the area of the buff has been updated for better visual clarity.

  • Reduced the range of the area from 7x7 → 5x5 to better match the visuals

Weapon Special Attacks

"I've got 99 problems and Seren Godbow is all of them..." "We didn't quite get enough time to modernize and squish all special attacks, so we focused our efforts on the most commonly used ones right now, so we can get a better idea of how the bigger combat beta changes affect them."

  • Updated the following special attacks to have squished damage ranges and partially updated tooltip systems (more changes to come):
    • Dragon Halberd
    • Dragon Claws
    • Dragon 2 hand sword
    • Dragon Dagger
    • Ek-Zek-Kil
    • Guthix Staff
    • Armadyl Battlestaff
    • Darkbow
    • Bow of the Last Guardian
      • (Does not include passive)
    • Seren Godbow
      • This one required slightly more reworking, due to how it only previously scaled the random damage portion of the ability with multiple arrow hits. It now scales the entire damage range, but the balancing remains roughly the same.

- The RuneScape Team

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