In RuneScape Classic[edit | edit source]
In the early days of RuneScape Classic, rocks looked the same whether or not there was ore in them, so the only way to tell if you could mine it was by prospecting. After the release of RuneScape 2 the feature was retained to give newly established players information on what ore they would get from different rocks. For more experienced players prospecting became a fairly useless feature, as they were more capable of determining what ore a rock contained by its colour: tan for clay; grey for silver and tin; orange for copper; brown for iron; black for coal; dark blue for mithril, green for adamant and light blue for runite. The sound of prospecting was identical to the sound of mining a rock without ore.
Following the mining rocks' graphical update on 19 April 2011, the majority of rocks could no longer be prospected, with the examine text of the rock now containing information of the contents of the rock. For example the examine text for a coal rock would now be "This rock contains coal", rather than the old description "A rocky outcrop". Only the following things could still be prospected:
- Living rock remains
- Mineral deposits in the Living Rock Caverns
- Crashed stars from the Shooting Star Distraction and Diversion
- Magic stones from Tears of Guthix
- Rune essence rocks
- Rocks in the Dorgeshuun mine
- Rocks in the Abandoned Mine
- Rubble in the Burgh de Rott old pub basement
- Gold rock veins in the Arzinian Mine
- Daeyalt veins in the Meiyerditch Daeyalt Mine
Post Mining and Smithing rework[edit | edit source]
In RuneScape 3, prospecting was reintroduced with the Mining and Smithing rework, alongside a rework to the Mining skill and the introduction of new mechanics. Prospecting a rock works similarly to how it used to work prior to its removal, but can now be used to examine the contents of an ore rock and how difficult it is to mine.
When prospecting an ore rock, a player will gain info on the statistics for that type of rock (a Copper rock will always have the same stats as another copper rock):
- Level requirement is the minimum mining level required to mine ores from the rock.
- Hitpoints, also known as Durability, is the maximum hitpoints of the rock. Mining a rock will damage it, depleting its hitpoints with each swing. This value is the same for the type of rock being mined, even when mining a different rock of its type. When a rock has been fully damaged, one ore is gained and the rock's hitpoints reset to its maximum value.
- Hardness is the ore rock's resistance to damage from mining. A player will damage a rock less if the rock's hardness stat is greater than the penetration stat of the pickaxe being used.
- XP Multiplier is the modifier for determining the base experience gained per swing when mining. The formula for determining the experience earned for a swing is: