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Design Doc | Bounty Hunter & Deathmatch PvP

Written by Rider on . Posted in RuneScape News

Hey there,

I'd like to introduce you all to a couple of PvP updates coming to RuneScape in the near future: Deathmatch and Bounty Hunter. The designs for both and posted below and we are eager to hear your feedback on what we have planned for you.


Welcome to Deathmatch


Deathmatch is a safe death free-for-all arena that takes place in the Crucible arena. Up to 30 players will join the arena and they will all have 10 minutes to kill as many of each other as possible. Once the game is over players will receive reward points based on how well they performed during the fight. These reward points can be spent on untradeable items in a reward shop, which will help gear up into entry-level PvP.

Getting into the Game

Waiting Area

Deathmatch will replace the Crucible arena. To get to Deathmatch, use the trapdoor in Edgeville to be teleported to the waiting area, which is a floating island above the Crucible arena itself.

This is a sharded area, which means the trapdoor on all worlds will transfer everyone to a single world akin to the clan portal. The waiting island has:

  • A portal to return back to Edgeville
  • A bank
  • A sign up board

There are only two brackets, above combat level 100 and below combat level 100. Those below combat level 100 can join either. Upon signing up, players can join a game in progress immediately or wait for the next game. There should be more time fighting in Deathmatch than waiting.

Game Mechanics

Game Mechanics

At the start of the game, players will be all be teleported into the arena randomly placed near the middle. They will all be able to see each other and a countdown will appear on screen. During this countdown the players are immune from attacks, stunned and bound in place. As soon as the countdown is completed all players will be un-stunned at the same time and can attack each other.

The game will last 10 minutes. A kill is awarded through a player in the arena dying. The player who did the most damage will be awarded the kill. All other players that did damage over a threshold are awarded an assist for that kill. Around the arena there are power ups which help players do better by killing the most other players possible in the time given.

When a player dies, they will respawn in one of the four bank areas in the Crucible where there will be a bank, a supply table of bandages and the crevice to re-enter the arena at a random exit crevice. This will confer a short period of immunity to prevent crevice camping.

At any point a player can leave the game using the exit crevices, which will take them to the bank area. Once in the bank area there is another crevice that will take you back to the waiting area.

In-Game Overlay


During the game, the following information is displayed through the in-game overlay.

1. Game Timer

The game timer can be found in the top left of the overlay. This displays how long is left until the end of the game. When it reaches 0, the game will end and players will see a scoreboard showing how well they and their opponents did.

2. Important Messages

Important information is displayed to the player though overhead info boxes. This is so the player doesn't have to look at their chatbox while fighting, they can keep their focus on their character at all times. These can be toggled off in the settings interface however.

3. The scoreboard

This displays how you and your opponents are doing. Your score is the number shown in the large globe. To the right of that, you can see how well the top 5 players are currently doing so you always know how you compare to the best.

4. Kill feed

Whenever a player dies in the arena the name of them and their killer is shown in the kill feed alongside a picture of the weapon that killed them. This not only shows all kills made in the arena but it keeps the screen from looking stagnant if a player isn't fighting.

5. Power up information

In the bottom left you can find power up information. At the bottom you can see how much armour you've have left. Above that you can see how long you have left on your active power up. More on power ups below.

Power ups

Power Up

Power ups are an important part of the Deathmatch arena. Aside from being fun, they provide mechanics for both new and experienced players.

For new players, power ups are a chance to even up the playing field. Picking up the right power up can easily help them defeat even the most experienced PKer, which helps a new player's early PvP experience feel less punishing on them.

For experienced players, the power ups add a new way to raise their game above just being good at PvP. The position and respawn times of the power ups are fixed, with the exception of the super powers ups. This means that an experienced player will need to learn to time where to be at the right time to get the power up if they are going to complete against other experienced players.

Power ups all sit on the same base, so they have a common visual theme. To pick up a power up, all a player needs to do is run over it. When they run over it the power up spot will turn into an empty container and the player will benefit from its effect. After a period of time, the power up will become active again, ready to be picked up.

The power ups break down into two categories: regular and super.

  • Regular powers ups have fixed and relatively short re-spawn times, and are active at the start of the game. These tend to give a player a helping hand, but won't make the player a killing machine.
  • Super power ups have a variable and long respawn time, are not active at the beginning of the game and can be as over powered as we are willing to make them.

All power ups except Armour (see below) are active power ups. Only one power up can be active at a time, and picking up another active power up will override any currently active power up.

Regular power ups


Armour pick ups come in two sizes: a large gold-trimmed pick up which is on a long respawn and gives the player 100 armour, and a smaller untrimmed pick up which is on a shorter respawn which provides 50 armour.

Armour provides active damage reduction against all damage types. A player receives 0-33% damage reduction for their first 100 armour and 33-100% damage reduction for the next 100 armour. Armour will max out at 200 which provides 100% damage immunity. As a player takes damage, their amount of armour will degrade based on the amount of damage they would have taken before it was reduced.

Healing over Time

The Healing over Time power up will give the player a constant healing effect akin to the enhanced Excalibur special attack. It lasts for 45 seconds and will heal 10% of a player's maximum potential life points every 3 seconds.

Super power ups

Super power ups are the ones that players will strive hardest to obtain. The super power ups are not active at the start of the game and have a variable respawn time. Currently they respawn between 2.5 and 3.5 minutes.

When a super power up does spawn, all players will be notified through the Important Information box. There are multiple super power up spawn locations, spaced out far apart from each other.

When a super power up spawns, a player doesn't know which of these locations just became active. This is deliberate as it funnels players to 3 areas instead of just one, which could get rather too chaotic with 30 players.

When a super power up spawns, it is a random one from a pool of given power ups. When a super power up is picked up players will be told who picked up the power up and what they picked up through the Important Information box.


Overpowered will cause all attacks performed by the player to do 4 times the amount of damage they would normally do for 30 seconds. Either run away or work together to kill its user quickly...your choice. Either way, if you don't have it, you're probably going to die.

Cabbage time
Cabbage Time

This turns all food in the inventories of all other players in the arena into cabbage for 20 seconds.

After 20 seconds the food will return to your inventory. Eating cabbage will not use up the food you previously had. If you don't have space in your inventory after the time is up the food will be banked. If it cannot be banked it will be dropped on the floor and the player will be notified though the important information box.

This not only means the powered up player can easily outlast and KO anyone in the arena, but it also causes a large amount of deaths in the arena and causes the scores to not be as stable as you may have thought it was!

Chicken Army
Chicken Army

This grants the ability to call upon a chicken army. For every successful hit a player makes with this power up active, a level 198 chicken will spawn and attack your opponent. Each chicken is the equivalent of a maxed level player fighting alongside you. These chickens will continue to be added up to a maximum of 10 chickens at a time. These will last for 30 seconds or until the player dies. Once the power up is done, the chickens will disappear in a puff of smoke.

There are plenty of other power ups still in development, such as Vampyrism, Adrenaline Boost, Cooldown Removal and Call upon the Ninja Te…..I mean Death Lotus Assasins!

The power ups are arranged in such a way that they are not too close to each other, but are close enough for a player to easily run between them.

Regular power ups are placed inside areas that provide good cover and places that can be used to block attacks to kite other players.

The 100 armour and super power ups are deliberately placed in choke points and regularly traveled areas between the easily controlled areas.

Supreme Hunter

Supreme Hunter

As the game progresses, the supreme hunter mechanic will come into effect. This is a tribute to the original Crucible, and also a mechanic to enable PvP hotspots and more fun/tension in the arena. Provided 20 or more people are in the arena, the "Essence of death" will spawn in the arena and all players will be informed.

When players enter the proximity of the Essence of Death, they'll have a new bar above their head that fills up as the player remains near the essence. The first person to fill the bar will become the Supreme Hunter. As everyone's bar is displayed - players can see the current "leader" and aim to kill them to stop them becoming the Supreme Hunter. Further to this, if you kill someone who is standing near the essence, you'll get half of their bar should you kill them. So if Player A has 80% full and Player B has 10% but kills Player A, Player B will go to 50% for killing them.

When the Supreme Hunter is assigned, they'll be given the weapons for the role and everyone will be told who the Supreme Hunter is. The Supreme Hunter can attack anyone and be attacked by everyone.

To prevent them being piled and killed by everyone who isn't the Supreme Hunter they can use the special attack on their supreme weapons: "Supreme Defenders" which requires 75% of the special energy (Adrenaline).This special attack will summon 10 souls from beyond the grave that will fight for the Supreme Hunter, following them around and killing players on their behalf. For each soul that is alive, the Supreme Hunter will have 10% damage reduction. So while all the souls are alive, the Supreme Hunter is invincible.

As the players kill the souls off they reduce the Supreme Hunter's damage reduction. The Supreme Hunter should be focused on generating special attack energy/adrenaline to keep performing the attack and keeping their damage reduction up.

The end of the game and the scoreboard

At the end of 10 minutes or once a player gets 30 kills, the game will end and show rankings for all players who took part in the game. For each player it will show:

  • Their rank in the game.
  • Their name.
  • How many kills they were awarded.
  • How many times they died.
  • How many assists they were awarded.

At the bottom of the score board they will be shown their personal stats and how many reward points they earned to be spent at a reward shop.

Reward Points

The amount of points awarded per game depends on a player's personal performance. The rank and performance of others does not affect their reward - beyond whether or not they gave the player in question a hard time! A player is awarded for both kills and assists and for not dying.

Bounty Hunter

Bounty Hunter

Bounty hunter is an extension to the Wilderness, which themes it up with a minigame. Players are periodically assigned a target to kill and gain rewards for killing that target, known as a bounty kill. While waiting for a target players are welcome to kill anyone they see that isn't their target, this is known as a rogue kill.

Bounty Hunter Worlds

Bounty hunter will be restricted to two worlds: one Legacy only and one EoC only. Legacy and EoC get separate worlds since they cannot competitively fight each other, and the number of worlds will be restricted to get good volumes of players together.

On bounty worlds, players will only be able to enter Edgeville, Varrock Grand Exchange and the Wilderness. All other areas of the game will be restricted.

The Bounty System

After a short period of being logged in to a bounty world, two players will be assigned to kill each other as bounty targets. It is down to those players to find and kill each other. A hint arrow will show on screen what direction their target can be found at, and an unlockable spell will offer a teleport directly to their bounty target.

Getting a target

The time it takes to get a target varies but should take around 15 minutes on average. While waiting, players are encouraged to fight other players waiting for a target and will be rewarded for doing so.

After a short minimum waiting period a player is added to a queue and match made against other players. Matchmaking is matched on a new rating system called Bounty Rating. The difference between a bounty targets ratings depends on how long they have been waiting, the longer a player has been waiting for a target the larger the difference between theirs and their opponents rating can be.

Bounty Rating

Bounty rating is an Elo-based rating system. A player's rating is defined by their rating bracket and their bracket rating.

A player's bracket groups them with a large amount of players of a similar skill and are primarily matched up against those. The brackets for bounty hunter are named after the revenants:

  • Imp
  • Goblin
  • Icefiend
  • Pyrefiend
  • Hobgoblin
  • Vampyre
  • Werewolf
  • Cyclops
  • Hellhound
  • Demon
  • Ork
  • Dark Beast
  • Knight
  • Dragon

Inside each bracket a player has a rating number. This number compares them to every other player in the bracket. Brackets will be re-calculated once a week. Initially, only Imp bracket will be live. New brackets will be introduced once a week until all brackets are introduced.

Gaining or losing rating

Rating is gained or lost when a player is killed on a bounty world. The Bounty Rating system uses an Elo-based system. When two players fight, the amount of rating they can gain or lose from the fight depends on their opponents rating. Fighting an opponent with a higher rating awards more rating as a reward and means losing less rating from losing. Fighting an opponent with a lower rating leads to smaller rating gains for winning and larger rating losses for losing a fight.

Getting Bounty Rewards

Rewards for bounty hunter will be taking inspiration from old school in that we will be using emblems which trade in for points in the reward store. Emblems will come in 10 tiers and your first tier emblem is guaranteed on a bounty kill. After that a bounty emblem needs to be held in a player inventory when a kill is made for it to upgrade. Statistically it is always worth upgrading an emblem as the amount of bounty reward points it is worth is higher than the chance for it to upgrade.

The chance for an emblem to upgrade is influenced by the following things:

  • Rogue kills do award emblems but a bounty kill is far more likely to upgrade an emblem.
  • A bounty emblem knows how many times it didn't upgrade; the more times it didn't upgrade the greater the chance of it upgrading.
  • Killing an opponent of a high rating increases your chance of upgrading an emblem. Killing an opponent of a lower rating lowers your chance of upgrading an emblem.


A hiscores table for ratings will not be released alongside the bounty hunter update. We do plan to release then around the time that Dragon league is released. In the mean time you will be able to quick chat your rating and show off your league with one of the rewards detailed below.


Rewards are split up in to two categories:

  • Death Match Rewards – These are untradeable and limited to entry-level PvP rewards
  • Bounty Hunter rewards – These are mostly tradeable and have no limit on how powerful they can be

Below is the current list of rewards for Bounty Hunter and Deathmatch. Please note that these rewards are still subject to a balancing pass, but will be as close to as described as it can be.

Deathmatch Rewards

Wilderness slayer assignment enhancer Buffs slayer XP in the Wilderness for your current assignment
Small rune pouch Holds up to 16k of 2 types of runes. Held in inventory.
Scroll of intimidation Makes NPCs in the Wilderness non-aggressive for 1 hour.
Unlock ancient teletabs Unlock the ability to make ancient teleport tablets in the POH.
Ancient warrior gear drop enhancer Increases the chance to get ancient warrior gear from revenants and the chaos elemental.
Ogre flask Holds one dose of one of the Og'loog pools. Destroyed on use.
Preserved sharks A pack of untradeable sharks
Superior rock-shell armour set 5 pc, untradeable, degrade to dust, t65 melee armour
Superior spined armour set 5 pc, untradeable, degrade to dust, t65 ranged armour
Superior skeletal armour set 5 pc, untradeable, degrade to dust, t65 magic armour
Unlock a Crucible title Unlock one of the Crucible titles. Useable everywhere.
Unlock Crucible death taunt Unlock one of the Crucible death taunts. Useable everywhere.
Supreme Champion's helm Same as existing, will still require you to have been the Supreme Champion to buy.
Corrupt rogue gloves All existing rogue gloves will convert to these on release.

Untradeable tier 65 hybrid gloves:
  • Provides LP boost of 50
  • Provides tier 50 armour
  • Provides tier 50 power armour strength
Nasty rogue gloves Must have bought corrupt rogue gloves

Untradeable tier 70 hybrid gloves:
  • Provides LP boost of 100
  • Provides tier 55 armour
  • Provides tier 55 power armour strength
Malicious rogue gloves Must have bought Nasty rogue gloves

Untradeable tier 75 hybrid gloves:
  • Provides LP boost of 150
  • Provides tier 60 armour
  • Provides tier 60 power armour strength
Loathsome rogue gloves Must have bought malicious rogue gloves

Untradeable tier 80 hybrid gloves:
  • Provides LP boost of 200
  • Provides tier 65 armour
  • Provides tier 65 power armour strength
Atrocious rogue gloves Must have bought loathsome rogue gloves

Untradeable tier 85 hybrid gloves:
  • Provides LP boost of 250
  • Provides tier 70 armour
  • Provides tier 70 power armour strength
Bounty Hunter Teleport Spell Unlock Allows use of Bounty Teleport spell.
Teleports your within 5 tiles of your bounty target.

Bounty Hunter Rewards

Brawling Gloves (random) Untradeable - Gain a random set of brawling gloves
Brawling Gloves (choice) Untradeable - Gain a set of brawling gloves of your choice
Rune Pouch Tradeable - Holds up to 16k of 3 types of rune. Equipped to ammo slot.
Ancient warrior gear upgrade patch Upgrades a piece of ancient warrior gear to tier 88.
Patch is tradable, gear is not.
Wilderness Hilt Upgrades a D dagger/D claws/D long/D mace/D scimitar to tier 70.

Degrades back to base after a short period or a set number of special attacks.
Adrenaline crystal Tradeable - added to an adrenaline potion it upgrades it to a superior adrenaline potion

Also upgrades a Replenishment potion if added directly.
Upgrades pots to provide 30% adrenaline
Amulet of the forsaken Tier 70 amulet stats

Buffs/add-ons to the effects of the original 6 Barrows armour sets:
  • Dharok – Dharok's scales from full health rather than half health
  • Torag - Gain 2% adrenaline/spec on activation
  • Guthan - Boost Guthan's healing by 10%
  • Verac - Resets attack swing/gcd on activation
  • Ahrim - Also debuffs the opponent's melee damage by 10% on activation
  • Karil - Also debuffs the opponents magic damage by 10% on activation
Crucible weapons Choose one of the three crucible weapons to take. Will have tier 87 stats with the following special attacks:

Decimation – Bow:
Locate - Your next attack/ability hits all enemies within 3 tiles of you

Annihilation – Maul:
Gravitate - Each attack does 5% more damage until you miss, capping at 50%. Will have a time cap on it to stop this from being infinite.

Obliteration – Staff:
Devour - Steal your opponent's buffs, including things like Vengeance and Stun Immunity and Overload.
Revenant Pet The revenant you show off is the bounty hunter league you're in.

Release Date

So, when is this all being released? Well the sad news is that it has been pushed back to later in 2016 as more time was needed to make the Elo ratings and matchmaking server. This is an essential part of creating a non-abuseable reward system for Bounty Hunter and to finally offer you an more accurate representation of how skilful PKers are.

The good news is that in place of Bounty Hunter's August release date we will be releasing a whole host of updates to the Wilderness along with a Wilderness Task Set to introduce them all to you!

Please give us as much feedback as you can on the listed design and we will take everything on board to make Bounty Hunter and Deathmatch the best experiences we can!

Mod Pi and the Ninja Team