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For the minigame involving sailing, see player-owned port.
2014 April FoolsGower Quest

Sailing is an often-discussed, non-existent skill. It was among the most popular points of speculation as to what the then-upcoming Dungeoneering skill would be, and subsequently became a running joke amongst the RuneScape community. It is commonly referenced by Jagex, and has featured in some of their April Fools jokes.

History[edit | edit source]

Jagex posting on their Youtube channel that sailing will not be the next skill

Shortly after the beta launch of RuneScape HD on 1 July 2008, an image was circulated that apparently showed a new skill in the Hiscores called "Sailing".[1] It was featured in a YouTube video that was uploaded on 4 July 2008, and included other "evidence" for the imminent release of Sailing.[2] This led to a flood of related posts on the RuneScape Forums and fansites with supposed evidence the community found.

A post by Mod Mark H on 3 July brought attention to the new RuneScape website header image, showing a man on a boat watching a dragon attacking an island. Due to the faint resemblance of a boat skill icon on the man's cape, similar to the one in the fake Hiscore picture, the image was widely spread as evidence for the skill.[3] This was debunked in a Q&A on 10 September 2009, when Mod Mark clarified that the speculation about the mage sailing a ship were false and denied that the upcoming skill was Sailing.[4]

Due to similar leaks related to the release of Summoning and chain of two skills a year in 2005 and 2006, it was expected that another skill would be released in 2008. However, Mod Dave posted on the forums on 11 July 2008 to say: "I can conform[sic] that image that has been going around the Internet was spoofed and there is no Sailing Skill." Via in-game chat, Mark Gerhard said "no it will not be sailing unless of course I get sacked first :)" However, he later stated he was joking.[5]

Other supposed evidence consisted of the 2008 release of pirate implings with the Rocking Out quest, the addition of an in-game world map, and the Digsite barge prior to its use to reach Fossil Island, also known as Anachronia.

Legacy[edit | edit source]

Sailing skill appears on Hero tab.
"Skill mastery" at level 120. The Golden Cabbage Ammo further suggests this skill is merely a joke.

After Dungeoneering was finally released, much of the speculation over Sailing died down, although it remained an in-joke among both the RuneScape community and Jagex, and many updates are jokingly speculated to be "Sailing" before they're actually released.

Since then, Jagex have referenced Sailing many times, including:

  • In the April Fools Behind the Scenes in 2011, where it was briefly mentioned as an update scheduled to be released that month.
  • In the Cryptic Clue Fest III as the answer to the crossword clue "The skill that never was".
  • The lyrics of the Player Owned Ports Ahoy promotional video for Player-Owned Ports proclaim that "You thought that Sailing was a new skill, but no it's not that easy".
  • In Behind the Scenes Video 64, while in front of a boat at Tobacco Dock, Mod Mark states that the new skill is not Sailing, but in fact Divination.
  • In Behind the Scenes Video 65 a "breaking news" banner at the bottom left of the screen displayed the message "Sailing Skill confirmed!".
  • In dialogue with Tiny Lucien, he asks players "Sailing or Riding?", and regardless of the player's choice, tells them to be silent, as only he can decide.
  • Sailing was added to the skill level up guide on the Hero tab as part of the 2014 April Fools event, and was actually released as a trainable skill in Old School RuneScape at the same time, although only up to level 21.
  • Sailing is one of the available names for bank presets, which were released on 7 April 2014.
  • Jagex added Sailing as one of the skills on the skill level up guide section of the Hero tab for the 2014 April Fools. Level 51 in the fake Sailing skill unlocked both "8 crew members" and "10 crew members", despite this being an obvious contradiction.
  • Sailing is featured as a fictional, unreleased skill in the Gower Quest. To gain experience for Sailing during the quest, the player walks around a small room while wearing a small boat fighting battleships, discovering islands, and scavenging lost treasure.
  • For 2017 April Fools, a system-wide message was broadcast reading News: Mod Test01 has achieved level 99 in SailingLiveTest!
  • The examine text of a sail scenery object, released with the 'Accidental' Fletching and Firemaking update on 3 May 2022, reads "Sailing skill not confirmed."

Proposed skill[edit | edit source]

Sailing has on several occasions been up for debate on whether or not it should become a real skill. In 2015, Jagex opted for Invention over Sailing when deciding on the RuneScape's first elite skill. According to design proposed at the time, Sailing would've require at least two level 80 skills to unlock it in Construction, Fletching, Crafting, and Agility.[6]

Again in 2018, when Jagex were looking to release its 28th skill, Sailing was one of the alternatives to Archaeology and made it far enough in the planning process for Jagex to create a playable demo of the skill.[7] However, due to multiple flaws with its design, Archaeology was made instead.[8]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ A New Skill? Sailing?. Image Shack. July 2008. (Archived from the original on 2009-09-10.) "Skills: Sailing; XP: Not Ranked"
  2. ^ FangGallo209. A New Skill? Sailing?. YouTube. 4 July 2008. (Archived from the original on 2009-09-10.) "Qwertysumo screenied this on the runescape highscores, he found a new skill: Sailing. wtf? is this our newest skill?"
  3. ^ head_image.jpg. Jagex. 2009. (Archived from the original on 2009-09-10.)
  4. ^ Mod Fetzki, Mod Mark. "RuneScape Content's Answers." 10 September 2009. Developers' Blogs.
  5. ^ Mod MMG. "Answers from MMG - Live Q&A!." 6 August 2009. News & Announcements Forums.
  6. ^ Mod Timbo. "Dev Blog: Elite Skills." 24 June 2015. Future Game Updates Forums.
  7. ^ RuneScape. The Making of Archaeology - RuneScape Weekly Stream (April 2020). YouTube. 24 April 2020.*
  8. ^ Jagex. Mod Ryan's Twitter account. 2 December 2020. (Archived from the original on 26 May 2021.) Mod Ryan: "Yeah, there are a whole number of reasons as to why we chose Archaeology over Sailing (too many for a tweet). I would love to investigate Sailing more in the future though, and I know that @JagexRowley is interested in this too."