August brings a wealth of updates to the sunny shores of RuneScape, although, for many characters involved in updates this month, sun is the last thing they want to see! Into the limelight comes a dramatic gameplay and graphical rework of Temple Trekking, plus Branches of Darkmeyer, the next bloodthirsty addition to the vampyre/ Myreque questline.
You can also expect your senses to be overloaded with graphical updates to the Grand Exchange and Edgeville, and audio improvements across the game. If that’s not enough, we’re adding exciting cosmetic and gameplay rewards to a variety of minigames, including a pet Jad and necromancer gear...
New Grand Exchange
Ever felt that the Grand Exchange was simply too crowded? We’ve been planning a change to the layout of the area for a while now and, this month, we will be releasing the new Grand Exchange building. The area itself will be split into four different booths rather than one central building, spreading the demand out and making the area a pleasure rather than a chore. The central area will become a place to meet, chat and even shout about the wares you’re trying to sell. We’ve also reworked the main entrance points to the area and added new trees (including the spirit tree) to support the environment.
Everything sounding good so far? It will sound even better after a large update to magic and agility sounds, as well as the atmospherics found within RuneScape. We will be overhauling the majority of spell sound effects, including all elemental spells, spells from the normal spellbook and all Ancient Magick spells. You may also notice that our improved agility sounds will be based on real recordings of people traversing agility courses (we had fun doing that).
Included in this update is an atmospheric sound update, which continues to add immersion to the game world, particularly to areas such as Morytania swamp, dungeons, cellars, tropical zones, islands, jungles and wide swathes of Misthalin and Asgarnia.
Temple Trekking rework
Later this month, we will be completely changing the way that Temple Trekking works, while also adding some new rewards. You’ll quickly notice the biggest change: each of your Temple Trekking partners will level up and gain XP as you successfully navigate them about the swamps! So, while they may start out weak, your partners will become more and more efficient at defending themselves, until that moment when you turn around to find a lean, mean, abyssal-whip wielding machine fighting alongside you! That’s right: as your partner levels up, they will unlock rewards for both themselves and you. You might even find that they become an adventurer as fearsome as yourself...
The AI of your partner has been vastly improved, with your partner eating, trading, hunting foes and even skilling as if you had taken a real-life friend along for the trip. You might even be able to chat to them, to get a hint of what’s coming round the next corner. Each trek has been streamlined, with better interaction and two new trekkers to keep the variety high. After all that, you’ll be able to choose your rewards rather than be at the mercy of a random drop.
Branches of Darkmeyer
Darkmeyer concept art.
It is a dark time for the Myreque. Vanstrom has been tasked with wiping them off the face of RuneScape, and he is taking his job very, very seriously. Supply routes have been cut, innocents killed and some have even seen Vanstrom himself on the outskirts of Burgh de Rott.
There’s no more time to waste. An unexpected informant will lead you into the city of Darkmeyer, home to the vampyres, where you will hunt for the fabled Blisterwood Tree. Feared by the vampyres who have spent centuries trying to kill it, the immortal tree has plagued Drakan to such an extent that he has simply built a vault around it. Now is your time to access that vault, make weapons from the tree and take the fight to the vampyres, and more specifically Vanstrom.
Cast any fears you have to the winds as you explore the huge area of Darkmeyer, gaining enough status to be recognised as a vyrelord, and shedding vampire blood in our latest master quest. Come out alive, and you’ll get access to new vampire-beating equipment and an item that can teleport you across Morytania, including the Barrows.
Requirements for Branches of Darkmeyer:
- 76 Woodcutting
- 70 Fletching
- 70 Magic*
- 67 Slayer
- 64 Crafting
- 63 Farming
- 63 Agility
- Legacy of Seergaze
- Legends' Quest
* This requirement was added on 5th August, after the release of the Behind the Scenes. This is a necessary addition, and we have made sure to check that over 99% of all players who have completed Legacy of Seergaze already have this requirement.
Edgeville gets a well-deserved makeover from our Graphics team this month, adding new roofs, trees and ruins to this much-visited village. You’ll also notice new lighting schemes, props and a massive improvement to the general 'feel' of the place, just as we did earlier this year to Draynor Village.
Additional Rewards for Minigames
Finally this month, we will be releasing a wide range of updates to our minigames, giving new rewards to the most hardened of players. For some rewards, eager gamers will be able to earn points now, in preparation for buying them on release (marked below). For other rewards, you will not be able to put work into unlocking them until the update itself.
Here are a few of the objects you could start earning points for now:
- TzRek Jad, a pet that will require 99 Summoning, 99 Slayer, 100 zeal points AND you will have to hand over a fire cape. Obtained from Soul Wars.
- Master runecrafter robes. These will provide a boost to Runecrafting XP when worn. Obtained from the Great Orb Project. These robes will be for members only*.
- New Livid Farm spells, including new teleports, access to new patches and the ability to add specific non-lunar spells to the Lunar Spellbook.
* Addition to the BTS made on 8th August.
Below are a few rewards that you CANNOT work towards until they are released:
- Level 85 Hybrid Armour from a variety of minigames.
- Necromancer gear. These magical robes offer an increased prayer bonus for budding sinister sorcerers. Obtained via Shades of Mort'ton.
- Skull staves. A cosmetic reward obtained via Shades of Mort'ton
- Shadow wraps. Kharidian-themed thieving gear, providing a constant boost to Thieving XP. Obtained from Pyramid Plunder.
Now, how will I fit in a holiday with all of that going on?
Lead Designer – RuneScape