Give rangers and mages a fighting chance – build a real combat triangle



Here is the last of my Og Blogs about the imminent launch of the Evolution of Combat Beta, in which I’ll be dissecting the final few challenges we set ourselves to address back when this whole project started. In many ways, we have saved the best till last!

Give rangers and mages a fighting chance – build a real combat triangle.

Perhaps one of the most contentious aims set out for the rework was to address the combat triangle. Firstly, it’s worthwhile pointing out that RuneScape has always been a melee-centric game, by which I mean that melee has always been the easiest, most accessible combat style to engage with, and 95% of the NPCs in the game are melee-based creatures. Rangers and mages have always had advantages in rare, self-contained situations in the game, but mostly it’s all about the melee combat. That’s our fault and it’s all about to change – but by raising the effectiveness of a ranger or mage to the level of a melee fighter; not by nerfing the melee user.

We’re also changing your base effectiveness against opposite points of that combat triangle, so – for example – mages will find themselves at a huge advantage over melee targets, both in PvP and in PvE. That’s the same for rangers vs mages and melee vs rangers. One of the great things about RuneScape is that it doesn’t force you to only adopt one combat style,and you should be given plenty of opportunities to make good use of each. We’re changing a huge number of NPCs to start using range or mage skills rather than only using melee, so, if you’ve got specific targets you wish to fight, you might want to change your combat style to be as effective (and efficient) as possible against them.

Of course, every player (with the right stats) will have access to every single ability and tactic available…it’s just up to you when and where you use them.

Fill the gaps in existing equipment tiers.

Without a doubt, this has been one of the most exciting areas to work on, with the aim to make sure that every combat style had a full range of gear to support practitioners of all levels. At many of the earlier levels in the current live game, some classes (especially mages) have a real shortage of gear to use, so we’re adding plenty of gear to plug the gaps. Also, with the introduction of the brand new dual wielding ability, huge amounts of new equipment for the off-hand have been added to the game.

Here are a few of our highlights. I’ll start by shouting loudly…


Yes – Bandos gear will be completed with the addition of a new shield, gloves and a brand new helm. Armadyl gear will get similar treatment! Rangers will find delight in the new cockroach armour; ranger “tank” bucklers; and awesome off-hand crossbows. Mages will find new safety decked out in spider silk robes and bat wing robes, while wielding new off-hand wands and orbs to increase their damage (or defensive) potential. The option to hybridise your combat technique by using multiple styles at once, by dual wielding, is probably my favourite. Anyone for dual crossbows, or an epic sword, crossbow and auto-cast spell triple-combo? Me, please! We’ve also made some changes to existing gear, modifying some of the wield requirements:rune gear, for example, will now only be available at level 50+. We’ve done this to spread out some of the gear at the lower levels, and to make progression through those levels a more balanced experience. Other gear has also been modified to work as an off-hand weapon, like the Enhanced Excalibur reward.