Update:Blog - Q&A: RuneScape Content's Answers

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This Developer Blog is copied verbatim from the RuneScape website. It is copyrighted by Jagex.
It is written by Mod Fetzki and is dated 10 September 2009.
RuneScape Content's Answers

Benno250 asks: Are you currently working on high level content (80-99) for skills? If so what are the skills that will be receiving this content? What I'd like to see is new content which gives us new REASONS to train skills, not just new WAYS of training them. For example an item or items which can ONLY be gained or used with high skill levels and are untradable, such as the Inferno adze.

Mod Mark: Yes. That’s exactly what we are doing. It’s going to frustrate a lot of players who are used to buying their way to high-level equipment, but we think it’s the right move to make.

Mod Fetzki: We are always looking to fill the gaps in training AND in rewards that are triggered by reaching a certain skill level. We have a mix of both in the bag, to be released this year.

Heavenlyevil asks: Which skills do you believe require elite level content the most?

Mod Mark: Those skills that offer no progression at the top levels or which fail to offer better XP rates at the top levels.

Mod Fetzki: Those skills where people only continue to train because of the number on the skills list and not because of what they unlock (like Prayer and Herblore, which respectively don’t have extra features beyond level 70 or level 82).

Andrey138 asks: - Exactly how long do you intend on primarily making/focusing on elite content for us? Three years? Two more weeks? Please give us the closest estimate you can. (It was stated earlier that there has been a shift to elite content. Of course there will still be lower things introduced but hopefully in visibly less proportions.)

Mod Fetzki: We think that we need to update this game for many years to come. Many skills have room for many updates in the higher regions and we don’t think that we will be "finished" any time soon, so it will probably take even more than three years.

Kaiba184 asks: Ok i really only got one question that has probably already been asked, but are you guys planning to introduce a dragon crossbow anytime soon?

Mod Mark: Yes, but not until we have rebalanced the combat triangle.

Lil Duck 99 asks: Will there be a ever be a Dragon Warhammer introduced into the game?

Mod Mark: Yes.

Australiank asks: Will there ever be Dragon Ore (or Dragonite)? Used to create Dragon bars, of course...

Mod Mark: Probably! Though the owners of such ore wouldn’t be too happy about losing it, and we wouldn’t like it much if they came looking for it...

Anuras asks: I know that J mods have acknowledged the combat triangle as not being as equilateral as it should be. Are there any plans to fix it, mainly with mage, and partially with range?

Mod Mark: Yes, we plan to fix it. It’s too early to tell how this will be done.

Villeh111 asks: I'd love to know more about your plans to rebalance magic in combat. Is there going to be a new spell-list for this rebalance ?

Mod Mark: Not likely, but that depends what we discover when we start to analyse things more.

Onewhisper asks: Many players, myself included, have asked for high level content, Jagex has confirmed multiple times that you will be creating this content soon. Any chance we can get a development diary about it?

Mod Mark: That is unlikely. The big problem about the phrase "high-level" is that it’s subjective - it means different things to different people. For example, the recent Agility course update was generally accepted as a high-level update, but the players on the high-level forum really felt that it wasn’t for them because it was lower than level 99. So, sometimes what we consider high-level is different from your definition. It can also differ from skill to skill - many players think that level 70 in Summoning is high-level, whereas level 70 in Woodcutting isn’t. This is because Summoning is a new skill, and takes a fair amount of effort and money to train, whereas Woodcutting is quite an easy, non-engaging skill to train. We have avoided talking specifically about high-level content in the developers’ blogs simply because of this reason.

Mod Fetzki: Skill-related updates are much harder to blog about without giving away too many spoilers, too. We can understand completely that you are eager to learn what we have planned for the higher end of the skills, but I can only assure you that there is at least one update aimed at the higher end of a skill in every month until the end of this year. We will also continue to fill out skills next year.

Andrey138 asks: As a result of new elite content (slayer creatures, new dungeon, etc.) will there be any new equipment released that would actually render things like a whip or godsword obselete in terms of stats/exp rates when training? (A suggestion would be to do so but restrict them from PvP usage because of high KO capability. They should actually be the only ways to stand a chance against future insane bosses and such.)

Mod Benny: We have a big set of equipment planned that will have level requirements ranging all the way up to 99; however, these will only be available within restricted settings. Releasing more powerful weapons to the entire game would have big consequences for existing content (especially PvP, as you’ve already pointed out), so we need to have a good look at the whole of combat before we can take items to such powerful levels that they would make current items obsolete.

Villeh111 asks: Also , about more powerful weapons and armour ... When and if more powerful & high-level weapons are released, there's a great chance that these are over-powered in the current combat system. To counter that : Will there be changes to existing combat system, For example, make defence skill also reduce damage taken ?

Mod Mark: Yes. We are unlikely to release the full range of 80+ equipment until (or after) the rebalance, though.

Mod Fetzki: You see how many things come together when we talk about the rebalance of the combat system. It links into everything that makes RuneScape, from boss fights in quests and how monsters react to player attacks to PvP combat and Duels. The task is immense and needs careful preparation, but we are committed to doing it sometime down the line.

Devilkin30 asks: Do you have any plans on making new end game type dungeons? I'm talking about raids, more team effort orientated battles, perhaps new spells to go along with that.

Mod Mark: Yes.

Basillisk198 asks: Are any high level dungeons (typically to rival the lvl's etc in the GWD) under development? And if so can you let us know the rough theme behind them/what section of RS are they linked to? (If you can for the second part.)

Mod Mark: Yes. How they are linked to the game would say too much about what they will provide, though, so I can’t elaborate further than that.

Andrey138 asks: What is the progress on the current high level dungeon? Does it have more to do than the Godwars Dungeon? Is it more challenging and poses unique things to do like in Corporeal Beast and Tormented Demons?

Mod Mark: It’s full of unique challenges and boss fights. I read through one of the design briefs for the boss monsters and the death mechanic was very... different. Some of the biggest NPC hitpoint counts in the game will exist here.

Og Gangsta66 asks: Will the next GrandMaster quest have requirements that make it this grade (as you did with Curse of Arrav, where the requirements made it a Master quest), or will the gameplay and the puzzels itself base it on its GrandMaster grade?

Mod Mark: We are currently planning a Grandmaster quest that will have several level 80 requirements*. I know to some people that is still low-level, but over the last year we have raised our top quest requirements significantly, and will continue to do so over the next year.

*Please note that this might not be the next Grandmaster quest we release.

Xscoobyx2 asks: Only one content question- When are we getting access to Prifddinas? Even though I can't access that area over there yet, some people wanna know.

Mod Mark: It’s another one of these "massively huge projects" we want to do. It will require a huge amount of our resources, and right now we’re focusing on content like the new skill. There will be at least one more elf-related quest before the city is opened, though.

Mod Fetzki: The elves are among my favourites and I am so glad that we will be developing more content for them.

Gj117974 asks: Are 99 Summoners (Such as myself) going to ever be able to talk to our monkies, dragons, pack yaks, tingers, etc?

Mod Mark: You might have noticed that you can understand creatures at 10 levels above the level you need to summon/rear it. When we add a way to raise your Summoning level above 99 (say, with a potion) then you’ll be able to speak to them. Of course, that’s not what’s stopping you talk to monkeys, which you can do right now, given the right equipment. You might even want to try that when you’re in a different form... It’s something we must do soon - pack yaks certainly do have a lot to say. I’m in no rush to talk to the corporate monster that is the iron titan, though!

Sammy Tee asks: Are 90+ Slayer monsters planned for this year?

Mod Mark: No.

Mod Fetzki: We do have a small Slayer update planned, but that concentrates on the training aspect of the skill rather than the reward aspect.

Sammy Tee asks: Do you have plans to connect Prayer into skills, and not only Combat in the future? Ex. Blessing your Crops via Prayer.

Mod Mark: Cool idea! We do see Prayer as mainly a combat skill, but ideas like this are possible. That kind of ability would make more sense as a one-off spell rather than a prayer, though.

Sportdude521 asks: Has there been a time when a quest has been taken from the forum and used as a quest in Runescape? If so, which quest(s)?

Mod Mark: Never an entire quest, but ideas mostly. Some of my favourites have come from speculations about future developments to storylines that we have read, thought "Yeah, that’s much better than what we had planned" and changed our ideas because of the forum posts. I just chatted to Mod Nancy, the penguin quest writer, who tells me that she is definitely going to name the next quest in the series after the amazing name suggestions we had after Hunt for Red Raktuber ("Goldflipper" being her favourite ;)).

Ledzeprox99 asks: First of all, will there be any NEW Dragon items looming anywhere on the horizon, of this year? I.E. Dragon Pickaxe, Dragon Crossbow, Dragon Kiteshield? Secondly, should we be expecting a relatively large udpate focused toward the betterment of the magic skill, and it's training methods? Lastly, are there any thoughts as to what might become of the soul alter area in the Abyss, and what about Kudos Island?

Mod Mark: Yes. By the time you read this there will already be a dragon pickaxe in the game. We’re looking at some high-level spell additions now, but, currently, these are more cosmetic than damage dealing abilities.

Mod Fetzki: We have a small update planned for this year, but the large update that you are talking about will have to wait until a later date. For now, we are just are looking at additions. We rather want to do this properly and look at everything that is involved: cost, time to train, balance against Ranged and melee, speed of training and, of course, the immense power that some of the Ancient Magicks have. We have, therefore, reserved a large chunk of time for it further down the line.

Mod Mark: The so-called Kudos Island has the beginnings of an awesome idea that Mod Maz and I had a few years ago. I have every intention of producing that island...one day. It’s just that our plans right now are quite big and it’s just not the right time to start designing. It is pretty cool, though. Maybe after the Mahjarrat storyline is complete... As for the Soul Altar: when we need more soul runes!

Zameruz asks: Will there be a new Elemental Workshop quest, because there's a kinda gate with a body symbol on it?

Mod Mark: Yes, it’s being concepted right now. I would expect to see it sometime next year.

Wort274 asks: When are you going to make a skill that everyone will love training?

Mod Fetzki: We hope that this will be the skill we are working on now! That’s why we are taking our time with this skill: we want to make it really good, which is why it won’t be ready until (hopefully) sometime in 2010.

Marry0100 asks: are there ever going to be white dragons?

Mod Fetzki: But white dragons don’t exist... ;)

Mod Mark: Potentially. We have all sorts of future plans to do with dragon variants.

Snrubnayrpk asks: Why do the updated mahjarrat have Green gems on their head?

Paul: Not all of the Mahjarrat wear gems. In fact, I only know of Jhallan and Lucien who do. Zemouregal certainly doesn’t. I don’t know if anyone has dared ask those two Mahjarrat why they’re wearing green stones. It might just be some sort of Mahjarrat fashion statement, or they might be enchanted gemstones to enhance the power of their skulls.

Villeh111 asks: Will magic armour finally be effective melee defence ?

Mod Mark: Tough question. Magic "armour" is rarely tough and bulky, and comes with sparkly bits and soft flimsy robes. They traditionally offer little defence from the blade, relying on the spell-casting prowess of the wearer to soak up damage. It’s more likely we would reinforce the damage prevention side of Magic rather than cover mages in armour; however, this is purely speculation and it’s really too early to tell.

I Pixill I asks: Probably a question you saw coming - Can you shine anymore light on the new skill that's coming?

Mod Mark: Honestly, it’s not the Sailing skill. That was a crazy rumour based on a picture of a mage on a dock, who apparently is sailing a ship. He isn’t, and there is no Sailing skill. Interestingly, several of the team here at Jagex love sailing, so it did give us some cool ideas for the future. Oh, and the new skill is far better than sailing.

Mod Fetzki: We couldn’t believe it when we saw the fake Sailing icon that someone had put on to the highscore list, but the community identified it as a fake very quickly.

J J762 asks: As we've had so far a lot of information on a huge host of Gods including the mysterious Zaros and the Mahjarrat, when will we be getting information on Armadyl? Who exactly is he? Is he good or bad? What has become of his other followers?

Paul: He is a god who was active during the God Wars. He was sometimes known as the god of the skies and many of his followers were flying creatures. Since then, he has largely disappeared and, as a result, his following has waned. Some creatures of Armadyl, such as the aviansie, were wiped out during the God Wars. Other followers just stopped following him when he disappeared.

Since the end of the God Wars, some gods have taken less interest in RuneScape and turned the majority of their attention elsewhere. Is Armadyl one of these or are there other reasons for his inactivity? (Haha, now I’m the one asking the questions!)

The few followers of Armadyl who remain maintain that he is a good god. We’ll have to think about doing some more Armadyl specific plot one day, as there does seem to be interest in him from quite a few players.

J J762 asks: Will Magic be getting an update? All the other skills seem to be getting more updates and are more powerful, whilst Magic hasn't seen a decent Magic update in over 2-3+ years. Are you going to try and sort the problem with Warriors simply wearing dragon hide so our freezing spells splash and then get piled by them? They receive no negative melee bonuses from wearing dragon hide yet they end up with the upper hand over Mages, something I believed wasn't supposed to happen?

Mod Mark: Indeed, what you have described is a tactic used. Many would argue that the area effect spells mages have access to are far too powerful and affect multiplayer games in a far greater way than a group of melee users in dragonhide. I do agree that, 1-on-1, the effect of dragonhide in the hands of the melee user is something I would like to examine.

Bentleyboy72 asks: Will you ever update the Stealing Creation minigame for farming?

Mod Fetzki: We already have a lot of skills in this minigame; the addition of any other skill would significantly increase the minigame’s complexity, so probably not.

Law Kingdom1 asks: Could we expect pets to become more useful?

Mod Fetzki: I’ve always enjoyed pets for what they are: a companion who loves a little bit of attention, but doesn’t do much else than being there whenever you need a little cheering up.

Mod Mark: Pets are only meant as a cosmetic benefit and to show off your Summoning level. Any useful functions tend to be designed for familiars. The main reason for this is that we can predict how long creature familiar will last for and, therefore, give appropriate rewards for the activities it engages in. Pets are for fun, not for training!

K Ous asks: I would like to ask preciesly how monster drops are calculated.

My questions are:

  1. Are monster drops to a specific type of monster(I will use Tormented demons for this example) determined as soon as it spawns, during the curse of the fight, or at the end of the kill?/
  2. Is it calculated with factors like damage dealt, damage received, speed of the kill and others like the drop rate of a specific item(Dragon Claws), LSP* and ring of Wealth? does it use factors at all? and if so what are they? (*Loot Share Points)
  3. Every monster spawn at a particular spot wich is diferent from other monsters in the same area, is the drop calculated as a total of all the monsters killed in that server? For example if whoever kills the 300th monster of that particular species gets the rare drop that we were all fighting for. or is it calculated for each individual spawn?
  4. Does the number of monsters you have killed add to your lsp, even if its not the same type of monster?

Mod Benny:

  2. The number of kills you have gained is irrelevant. Only the loot affects your LootShare Points (LSP), but loot from one monster does affect your LSP in all situations, regardless of whether or not you are fighting the same type of monster.

    Most drop tables are completely random in that they have a long list of possible items with different odds attached to them, and a random number is generated to select one of them. Some items, such as charms, are dropped separately from the monster specific item table Drop tables that are affected by other factors, such as the ring of wealth, may have this random number modified to improve the likelihood of better items being chosen. The ring of wealth, in particular, is not a wide-ranging factor, but only used in manually selected drop tables, so, in some cases, the ring of wealth may have an impact, and in other cases not.
  3. Each drop is calculated individually. You are just as likely to get a specific drop on the first kill of a monster as you are on the 1,000th kill, and so on.
  4. Yes.

Pur35 Ownage asks: Would it be possible for all mini games to provide runes and bolts which vanished at the end of the game. The reason for this is currently in mini games the combat triangle is favoured towards melee, due to melee not needing resources where as in pvp you get good loots so mage and range is used. I think equiping magers with runes and rangers with ammunition would really help to even up the combat triangle for mini games. So would it be possible to do this?

Mod Mark: As you know, in some minigames we are allowing the use of Ava’s Accumulator. For other games, there may well be other changes made to make it less expensive. As I mentioned above, though, the effect of things like Ancient Magicks are so great in terms of damage and XP in multiplayer games, we are unlikely to change the way they work.

Taco 50 asks: Are there plans to release another boss monster? The last ones were Tormented Demons sometime in November 2008. Also, will it be as easy as the GWD bosses, or a bit more challenging like Corporeal? 2009 is the year of upgrades. As one of your goals for this year, you wanted to take some of the less used content and breathe life into them. What I have in mind is the Chaos Elemental and Kalphite Queen. Are there plans to improve these bosses?

Mod Mark: I have some crazy ideas to do with a Kalphite King and Queen Black Dragon. ;) We do want to improve the drops on some of the older bosses, but it’s unlikely we would change how they behaved. Many players like the less challenging monsters, so we want to provide a mix. Certainly, most of my clan mates in-game find the God Wars bosses quite challenging!

Taco 50 asks: Are you going to fix "crashing"? This is when a larger / stronger team finds a world with a smaller / weaker team at a boss, then "crashes" their trip thanks to lack of empty lootshare worlds. A common suggestion I've seen is to give clans their own area to kill the boss (multiple copies of the boss room on each world), though this alone would probably hurt the prices of rare drops. As a suggestion, you could do this, but improve the "normal" boss drops, then make the rare ones a bit rarer.

Mod Mark: You’ve identified the biggest problem right there - drop rarity. Creating the ability to fight infinite boss monsters would either have to cost the party money (i.e. investing in the potential drops) or nerf the drops. Either way, I would wager that players would still prefer a standard world for a standard fight. Competition in MMO games is part of the game. If you want to stop being defeated by bigger opponents - whether that’s competing for magic logs, fighting duels or dominating training areas - get bigger or try somewhere else.

Destro311 asks: Please explain exactly how the Ring of wealth works. Which drops are classified as 'rare'? Is there a certain value range to which an item is 'not rare'? Or have you defined every single monster drop in the game either as 'rare' or 'not rare' from every single monster? It would be great if you could clear this and maybe even add the information to the manual. Then players could decide if it's worthwhile using the Ring of wealth or not.

Mod Mark: You are right; the secrecy around the ring of wealth should end. I have asked our Knowledge Base team to add something to the Game Guide as soon as they can.

Mymagerules asks: Will you ever release untradeable drops, similar to BoP (Bind on pickup) in WoW? I do understand that you don't want to copy other MMO's too much, but BoP items are a really good way to give high level players some individuality.

Mod Mark: We tend to give untradeable rewards out for quests rather than via monster drops, but what you’re talking about isn’t impossible.

Snrubnayrpk asks: I Counted the areas of runescape that could be grouped into a achievement diary, there are too many areas to reward a item for each equip slot, Will you just release more sheilds and rings or get more creative with the reward items?

Mod Mark: Not all areas need to have an Achievement Diary. Interestingly, we do plan to have an Achievement Diary set with a potential set bonus. Who’s to say that there won’t be more areas, or indeed more slots, in a few years’ time?

Sproeipoep69 asks: I have heard rumors that in the future we will be able to go above lvl 99. is the true?

Mod Mark: It is possible to do - 99 is just a number we picked - but we currently have no plans to go above that.

Sir Sral asks: Being a fan of the rs music, I'd love to see many of the awesome and creative tracks made into very high quality versions available for download. Do you see something similiar to this as a worthwhile addition at some point in the not too distant future?

Mod Ian: This is something we would love to do in the Audio team. There are some practical considerations to consider such as the sheer number of songs available that would all need reworking, but we are doing some work on redesigning a higher quality bank of sounds, mainly to test out the feasibility of this kind of exercise and if the management team like the results. Perhaps this could go ahead in the future, but, at this stage, we can’t make any promises.

Some of you will be familiar with the reworked version of "Temple Desecrated", which we are using on our splash page when you first log into RuneScape. This is an example of what we can achieve without totally rewriting existing songs, but still get a reasonable increase in the overall sound quality.

Sir Sral asks: On a similiar topic, do you often find the requirement (correct me if I'm wrong) to keep file sizes low very restrictive?

Mod Ian: Certainly, when it comes to orchestral music, the file sizes are very restrictive, as it’s difficult to squeeze an articulate, emotional instrument out of a tiny amount of data, but not so much the actual writing of the songs themselves. Contrary to popular opinion, MIDI isn’t actually a very restrictive format, though we still have to ensure the amount of MIDI data is kept to a minimum, and huge gains could be made simply by changing the instruments themselves into much higher quality versions. File size restrictions will certainly mean we have to simplify things. When I rewrote the theme tune and produced "Scape Main" it was originally three times its file size and required a lot of "trimming down" so it would fit within our constraints.

Sir Sral asks: Do you think that making some things (like perhaps sound effects/graphics) available in "higher quality" versions as optional downloads would be a worthwhile addition to any of Jagex's games?

Mod Ian: Again, it’s a matter of opinion: can we justify spending quite a long time reworking all the songs if the overall impact is not what players expect? Will they actually want to download a large file so their music plays in higher quality?

Also, we have to consider the increased data the server will have to hold and the potential impact of very large files being downloaded from it. Obviously, as audio developers, we do think it would make a worthwhile difference, but we don’t have the luxury of DVDs full of song data to utilise! Reworking the sound effects would be a mammoth task as there are literally thousands of sounds included in the game, but, again, there are certain techniques we could use to increase quality, etc, which could be used at the expense of a larger download size and more of your computer’s processing power.

Varundala asks: All of Jagex's music is Synthetic from a computer. Would you ever be looking into a reordered orchestra to play the piece? I am sure thousands of players would love to try and get there local orchestra to maybe try and get it reordered? Maybe just the main RuneScape melody?

Mod Ian: I’ve already discussed this with Andrew and the management team to an extent and they liked the idea, but there are lots of practical considerations, not least of which would be transcribing the music into a format suitable for sheet music. We will certainly be revisiting the theme tune again to see where improvements can be made, but I expect that the more players that ask for this, the likelihood of it becoming a reality would certainly increase!

Pkdevol asks: will music and background sounds get an update?

Mod Ian: Music and sounds will always be getting updates as far as the Audio team is concerned. A lot of the work we do is behind the scenes and we’ve worked on quite a few updates to sounds recently, some of which have been released, some of which haven’t. Some are more noticeable than others.

The main issue for us when doing updates is the sheer number of things that require attention - if we change one single sound effect we have to ensure it will work in all the scenarios where it is used, that nothing gets forgotten, and that it doesn’t cause any unpleasant side effects as a result.

At the moment, we are concentrating on making existing sounds as good as they can be with our current audio system, adding in more variation to repetitive sounds, and trying to improve them rather than just increase their quality (and, therefore, file size).

There has been much discussion regarding if and when the sound quality in the game will be updated. This is something we will certainly be looking into, to see how practical it would be to accomplish.

Wig Wig Wig2 asks: Are you going to Intruduce Time into runescape? It would go acording to JaGeX time because who cares if towmorow is today?

Mod Fetzki: Andrew covered this in his Q&A, in response to questions about night and day: "Not at the moment. While it would be graphically attractive, it wouldn’t really give more than a few minutes of enjoyment if it was purely cosmetic."

Issachunt69 asks: Do you plan on releasing more Developers blogs on other development projects such as item development and what-not.

Mod Knox: Thanks for your question. As we have mentioned in various replies to blog-entries, it can be difficult for us to go in to detail about some projects because, as has been shown during the unfolding of the latest dwarf quest, we change our minds quite a bit throughout the production process. So, with items, skills and anything else that has numerical values and strong in-game effects, it is always going to be difficult for us to say anything without creating false assumptions, which can ultimately be damaging within the community.

That said, we do try to keep the content of blogs varied, so, over the coming months, we will strongly consider which projects we do and do not reveal details about. As always...we hate spoilers!

Yet An0ther asks: Runescape has evolved dramatically since 2006, do Jagex recognise that fundemental "old" skills are actually a hinderance for players these days - eg. HP cap of 99 is preventing the release of NEW weapons for 70+ combat etc

Mod Mark: I disagree. This assumes that weapons of higher level would have to do more hitpoint damage. Aspects like damage prevention or, indeed, types of damage (we only use poison and disease, which relate to hitpoints anyway) like elemental or stun damage are all options we can consider when rebalancing the combat triangle. It doesn’t mean we have to raise the cap.

Mod Fetzki: There are several possibilities: create better armour, add tactical choices to attack and defence, give melee its own combat triangle, etc. And this is just what we are thinking of BEFORE we start. Thinking outside the box is what being at Jagex is all about, so I am sure we will come up with many more ideas.

Damork 14 asks: Are you currently looking into or even working on ideas from threads that still today are on the suggestion forums, and if so how many?

Mod Mark: Our developers are always inspired by what they read on the forums - it’s like our muse - however, it’s impossible to credit specific posts or even hazard a guess at how many ideas are inspired in this way.

Damork 14 asks: Also, is there a way of knowing wether your idea is going to be implemented or not if it has had mod support?

Mod Mark: Erm, play the game? If you see your idea, then feel proud! It’s often the case that several people come up with the same idea, but it doesn’t matter who it came from, does it?

Mod Fetzki: We know that you and many others who are busy suggesting new ideas would love more feedback as to why some aspects of it might not be possible, or why other ideas would perhaps create side-effects that you hadn’t thought of, and we are trying to do this wherever we can, but the sheer amount of suggestions forbids us from doing this in the majority of cases. Many ideas are great and we love looking through them, though.

Amirul179 asks: Will you update the magic animation to make it more unique and powerful? as the old one doesn't fit RuneScape HD anymore.

Mod Mark: Yes, we plan to add particle effects and bloom aspects to pell animations, bringing them up to standard. Our artists mention it weekly!

Mod Fetzki: It is a massive task and a unique challenge to get this done to a high standard, in both Standard and High Detail modes. The early prototypes look great, though!

Mussa50 asks: When creating a quest, do you mainly focus on:

  • Rewards?
  • Story/Gielinor History?
  • Music/Sounds?
  • Graphics?
  • A Mix of the Above?

Mod Mark: A mix. We try to make sure that updates to the game support the ones released around it, so if we do one quest that focuses more on storyline than on unique rewards, we redress that balance by creating other quests that focus on the opposite.

Andrey138 asks: Care to elaborate on whatever you personally are most excited about that is under work at the moment and has a high likelihood of being released by end of 2009? (Without revealing any major spoilers.)

Mod Fetzki: I am most looking forward to the Slayer update, which will bring a small, but nice, item with it. That said, I am really biased, since Slayer is among my favourite skills.

Mod Mark: There is some huge storyline development planned for next year which we have been paving the way for in the last year. It’s storyline I have been involved with since I started here, so it’s exciting to finally see some of my ideas come to light.

Andrey138 asks: How big of a priority/focus are you placing on finishing up the epic and most famous storylines as soon as possible and when can we expect to see them? (FairyTale, Myreque, Mourning's, Dwarf, etc.)

Mod Fetzki: Each of these storylines deserves to have top priority and it is a huge challenge, but we have made progress and one of the storylines you mention is nearing its completion. Others will continue to be updated for months and probably years to come. The dwarf quest series is the one we are currently focusing on (Forgiveness of a Chaos Dwarf was just released), but we are planning on new entries for all these storylines in the foreseeable future.

Snrubnayrpk asks: Will you ever add slots for belts and bracers? Or mutiple Rings?

Mod Mark: I’d like to. I also always liked the idea of a tattoo slot where the player can get a runic symbol emblazoned on their body. It’s certainly in keeping with the style of the game and there is room in on the "paper doll" (the thing in the Worn Inventory interface).

Tygirltaco asks: Have you ever considered doing something funny with all those boxes, drawers and bookshelves that have 'nothing' or 'nothing interesting' in them? For instance I've seen in other games where the player looks in a cabinet of a male NPC's home and there was something akward like pink leotards inside.

Mod Mark: Haha! Have you been looking in Mod Fetzki’s wardrobe? *ducks* :) Originally, many of those kinds of locations gave random, useless items like buttons and bits of roofing. We decided to remove that feature because it was just clogging up people’s banks with chaff (pointless bits of, erm, stuff). There are some locations in the game where you can obtain strange costumes from searching in dodgy wardrobes, though...

Evil Yanks asks: What percentage of RuneScape updates are based on player suggestions??

Mod Fetzki: We don’t distinguish between player suggestion updates and non-player suggestion updates. Our developers get their inspiration from many different sources, one major source being suggestions from players, but also from playing RuneScape themselves, playing other computer and board games, reading books and many other sources of inspiration.

Hmmmmads asks: It's been a while since I started playing RuneScape. I've witnessed all the changes; the good ones, and the less good ones . This game started off as an 'Medieval-based Fantasy-Game'. So my question is; Don't you feel the game is drifting off a little too much towards 'Fantasy' and forgetting about the 'Medieval'? I would like to hear Jagex's opinion.

Mod Mark: We have always had a healthy mix of the two, and even the idea of "fantasy" strays quite far from the Tolkien-esque standard we tend to associate with computer games. Looking back at the early game, we always had quests like Earnest the Chicken supporting the more recognisably fantasy stylings of Dragon Slayer, Hazeel Cult, etc. We do have some quests coming up that do feel less fantastical - hopefully, they will redress the imbalance you perceive.

Firststrike4 asks: This year was quickly defined as the year of upgrades, however certain parts of runescape continue to be deserted. For months now, duel tournaments have been deserted, and registrars 4 and 5 haven't been opened in ages. Can we expect any longterm solutions to this problem?

Mod Fetzki: It quickly became apparent that we couldn’t just do upgrades and that we needed to add new gameplay as well. As soon as only one update within two months was a quest, we received quite a bad reception from our player base, so we made sure that we put a bit more emphasis on additions to the game than the "Upgrade Year" would suggest.

Mod Mark: Upgrading everything was not achievable in one year, and, frankly, defining a whole year as a year of upgrades was an overstatement. There are many things we are yet to upgrade that were right at the top of our list, like Duel Tournaments, Gnomeball and Barbarian Assault. We haven’t forgotten them.

Mod Fetzki: Certainly, we have a solution to the Duel Tournaments problem finished in code, but we still need to make sure the solution is sound.

Slayerx9999 asks: Can we expect to see the mightily elusive and mysterious Sliske to feature in his own quest any time soon?

Mod Mark: Not his own quest, but you may well call on his support in the near future. He is one of my favourite characters, actually, along with Rantz. :)

Atilla 2691 asks: How do you plan to develop some of the more esoteric parts of runescape's lore, such as Planar Theory?

Mod Srowley: Developers often try to include new information about RuneScape’s back story in new content - a good recent example being the Mahjarrat quests. RuneScape’s history has already been extensively mapped out, as has a proposed future story arc, which helps us to make the universe more consistent and believable - we don’t just make everything up as we go along, honest.

Sometimes, though, when we want to fully explain something, or give lots of details (which would break the flow of content like quests), we can add something to the website - in the Lores or Postbag, for instance, or as a wallpaper.

Bentleyboy72 asks: Construction. The Money Sink of the game. This skill was designed to take massive amounts of money out of the game. With only around 5k people with 99 construction why is it that when you go into a 99 level POH it almost looks the same as every other one?

With this low amount of people with 99 and the massive amounts of money it takes to acheive 99 what are you going to do in the future to make construction more of a personal skill?

Maybe differnt color designs for items? More designs for scenery in the houses? More items to build? Anything to make your house more personal and different from everyone else?

Mod Mark: Nice ideas. The main kudos of 99 Construction is the big throne and the skillcape, but you’re right, we could do more.

Bigbertha Xl asks: Will you guys be bringing out more development diaries so we're not completely in the dark as we are now?

Mod Fetzki: We always try to keep the balance between not giving away any big surprises and keeping you informed about what we are planning to do with RuneScape. Take the latest dwarf quest, Forgiveness of a Chaos Dwarf: while we wanted to tell you that we are working on this storyline, we didn’t want to spoil the surprise that it would come with the dragon pickaxe (Mod Mark: or the hand cannon), a level 90 pick-pocketing update, a mine cart expansion to the Grand Exchange, a new combat/Mining area... Admittedly, we are aware that we can get much better at this and are aiming to talk about more projects in developers’ blogs in future.

Extra Happy asks: Why are the weapons ugly now?

Mod Fetzki: Firstly, that is just an opinion; we prefer the new look. If we never updated the game at all, it would look very dated. Since the launch of RuneScape Classic in 2001, we have constantly updated the graphics and will continue to do so to reflect that our tools become much more powerful and that we can do effects now that we could only dream of in 2001.

Ktell360 asks: are ice giants supposed to have beating hearts? If so, are they supposed to beat momentarily faster each time you hit and why did you put beating hearts in?

Mod Mark: Various animations run on the ice giants and the speed of those animations does change during combat. It is not specifically designed to beat faster as the fight progresses, though. I don’t actually see them as beating hearts; they are more like pockets of elemental energy trapped inside the shell of the beast.

Lpfreaky90 2 asks: Are there plans to get more land? A lot of recent quests have nice dungeons, but they can't be seen on the world map. It would be nice (in my opinion) that there is more land on ground level

Mod Mark: At the moment, we are focused on populating existing land masses and finishing off the coastlines of the existing continent before we create too many new islands or start any new continents. There are some areas that we have pencilled-in outlines of future plans. In fact, there are some very interesting maps around the office with plans etched all over them...

Tw1nk M3 0ut asks: This may be a long question, but I would like to think it as being well thought out.

Its been a while since the old "Pking" wilderness has been around, and there have been many rumors by J-mods that new pvp updates will come out, but none really will fill the void (In terms of profit) that old pking had taken up. In recent updates, JaGeX had removed some loot in Bounty Worlds that was unfair and usually extreamly valuable (Drag Full/ DFS).

I guess the true question is: Will there ever be a pvp update that is as profitable or even half that of what the old Wilderness was? Or was this BH World update ACTUALLY what pvp profits had intended to be in the first place?

It just seems that making small profits with such large risks makes it near impossible for some of us players (those of us challenged with patience) to afford high end weapons or even party hats?

Thanks in Advance

Mod Fetzki: We feel we are close in getting the balance right between skilling, PvE and PvP content. With the addition on bounty hunting on PvP Worlds we have given PKers a good source of income, and we think that it compares well to the income you can generate by killing NPCs or by using your skills.

Deathirst1 asks: I wondered if you might start doing special events for more "holidays" I thought of perhaps Chinese New Year or something, that could really be cool in Runescape.

Mod Mark: We might do some more, yes. Last year, we added something small for Thanksgiving, and also the French "Fete du Travail" festival this year with the lily.

Por Mexico2 asks: Will Jagex ever release some sort of in-game function that tells the players how much LSP they have? LSP as in Loot Share Points/Potential.

Mod Mark: No. This kind of data would be more frustrating to have than useful.

Heavenlyevil asks: What do you believe makes a piece of content great?

Mod Mark: Excellent question. Here are my top five things content must have to make it great:

  1. It’s got to be fun.
  2. It must be something you want to experience again.
  3. It must fill a gap rather than occupy a space filled by other content. That applies conceptually, geographically and economically.
  4. It has to be "easy to grasp, but tough to master".
  5. It has to have the right team making it and for the right reasons.

Mod Fetzki: The relationship between being innovative and practised needs to be balanced, the same as with the relationship between technical restrictions and creative freedom. There needs to be time for polishing too, but you need to know when it’s done and not take all the edges off the end product.

Adogg24 asks: One question that i think ALOT!! of people want to know... Is there ever going to be more than one grand exchange? Maybe like one over in the members part of the world? EX. Because right it is really inconvienent that if im in Tree Gnome Stronghold and I get enough money to get a Dragon Axe i need to run all the way to the Grand Exchange and run all the way back... trust me it is not fun.

Mod Mark: It was a deliberate move to only have one Grand Exchange. We wanted to replicate the feel of the busy Varrock trading worlds we had in the past rather than segregate the goods community in different Grand Exchanges. However, it’s likely that we will provide other options to some players in the future. Nothing as drastic as allowing GE purchases to be made from the bank, though.

Tedaus asks: How often can we expect the "Animation packs" to come out? In Pack 1 you said that emotes would be updated. However, they were left out and everything else in the pack was updated. Will they be updated in the next pack?

Mod Mark: We hit a bit of a snag with the animation packs. As you know, we’re working on new technology that will allow much of RuneScape’s graphics to run smoother, faster, at a higher definition, and which gives us many more options for the future. We thought we had finished with all the technology relating to the animations, but we weren’t, so rather than rework things (like emotes) now, then finish the tech and have to rework them again, we’ve decided to wait and just rework them once. That way, we can save time and use it to work on other things.

Aessa1 asks: We all know that Runescape is original but how much of the game is truly original? I was reading Harry Potter and it had a person with the last name "Aubury". There are many other links to various things such as the herring cutting down the tree from Monty Python etc etc. So how much was taken and how much was borrowed or uses ideas from other books, movies etc. Just wondering about that really, if you can answer that maybe in the future we could have a list of all cross-links in the Knowledge Base? Would be great to see them all.

Mod Srowley: I believe the character you’re referring to is Bertam Aubrey (mentioned in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but never introduced as an actual character). That’s in no way linked with the RuneScape character called Aubury, aside from having a name that sounds similar.

Mod Fetzki: We are pretty confident that we can claim our Aubury was there first. :) He was (and still is) an NPC in RuneScape Classic, which was first released in 2001 (Half-Blood Prince was released in 2005)! But, of course, creativity does not mean that we have to invent the wheel over and over again. We are taking inspiration from everywhere and we hope we give something back to the creative community.

Mod Srowley: Even so, how many pieces of media are there with characters who share names with people in RuneScape? If you go looking: loads! There’s a character in a Star Wars book with the name of Reldo. There are even restaurants in Canada and Ireland called Evil Dave’s (they both do a lovely STEW of DOOM...probably). :)

We do often include references in the game and on the website, from blatant things like lines from Monty Python to much more subtle things like the time on Catherby bank’s clock (10:04/Back to the Future). That said, you can find links between almost any two things if you go looking for them, even if they’re not intentional. Sometimes, though, a name is just a name.

Sproeipoep69 asks: Will players ever been able to redo a quest (without getting the reward again) because they are so fun to do and you made a few changes on them?

Mod Fetzki: We’ve always wondered how many players would actually go back and reply any quests without getting an additional reward...so we tried it out. With the recent Fur 'n' Seek quest, we have made it so that you can repeat the boss fight and also get a little bit of experience while doing it, but the feedback was that if the XP rates don’t make this more attractive than skilling, then most players wouldn’t bother going back and doing a fight again, so I am not sure that a big project for us like this would actually find a lot of approval in our playing community.

Whenever it comes to topics like this, I feel how hard the job of prioritising projects really is. Is it really worth committing development time to give players the ability to experience something again or use that time to develop something new? We think that there are many other things that we should do with quests, such as looking at some rewards that are ridiculously low or increasing the quality of the cutscenes - things that more players will get enjoyment out of. We will definitely keep the idea of replaying quests in mind, though.

Mod Mark: Some quests like Dragon Slayer have been changed massively since they were first released and I too would like to experience that on my ch00b account. :)

98monkey1 asks: I consider this question to be RS content, so here it goes. I'll keep it short and simple.-Will the new tab be revealed by September? Thank you.

Mod Mark: Yes.

Mod Fetzki: It will be a small, but nice, feature.

Frog Prince0 asks: Hello Jagex, it is I, Frog Prince0, returning once again.

I was reading up on some info on the history of Runescape, and found this. Are you aware of it?

Between recorded points, RuneScape is about 52' EW and 45' NS. Accounting for the fact of open seas, estimation on calculations, and coordinates from certain locations. It appears that the map we have been lead to believe is approx a 55' square. Accounting for Acheron, which we will assume adds another 11' N(about the distance from the observatory to Camelot going on an EW parallel), accounting for open seas and the ice shelf . This gives Gielinor a ±40' latitude from ground zero (the Observatory, 0'0 ).

Now assuming that Gielinor is proportional to Earth, that would make a longitude ±80'. Because longitude and latitude are drawn onto a rectangle (even though latitude is shorter or longer) we have a 160' by 80' map in total. Therefore the total (12800'x') subtracted by RuneScape (3025'x'), a total of 9775'*' undiscovered. This is 76.4% of Gielinor to discover.

Assuming in addition that 75% of RuneScape is covered by water, this leaves 2443.75'x' of this area to be land. This is double, if not triple, the land area of RuneScape. It is likely, however, that you guys at Jagex are aware of none of this, as Lumbridge apparently situated just north of the equator clearly has a temperate climate, whereas lands further south have tropical ones. One thing to note is that a player can walk across the world and experience several climate changes in just several hundred steps.

Your friend, fan, supporter, and game-player...

Mod Mark: These theories are based entirely on Earth-based calculations and measurements - I’m sure Harrison would be proud. However, these principals simply do not apply to Gielinor. The behaviour of the compass and sextant are as much affected by magic as they are by the curvature of Gielinor’s surface. Finally, Earth has the advantage of being fully covered and mapped (aside from some remote jungles and seas), whereas even the greatest of RuneScape’s scholars (so, Reldo, then) can only guess at what lies beyond the great seas.

Bentomat asks: After doing all of the quests, and dragging a fine-tooth comb through every dialogue, it seems to me that the main character was intended to be a Zarosian all along. Is this what the people writing Runescape’s story were hoping for, or did it sort of fall together as it progressed?

Mod Mark: This was not our intention. It’s often quite difficult to tell a story when the main character is being controlled by millions of users. Sometimes we have the avatar (your character) say very little, but it can come across as quite boring. These days, we have other ways of talking around the avatar, like using Zanik in the goblin storyline (she gets to be the opinionated one during those quests), but it’s not always the right approach to take.

Zaros just happens to be slightly mysterious and less predictable, so the player often seems pro-Zaros, where, in fact, we’re just trying to make them seem ’pro-adventure‘, meaning they just like the intrigue that the mysterious Zaros offers, rather than specifically worshipping him.

Mod Srowley: There’s nothing particularly conclusive in what the character says - it’s open to your own interpretation and perception of who your character is. Personally, I see my character as a Guthixian who simply helps any faction - Zamorakian, Zarosian, Saradominist, etc - so as to keep the world in balance.

Cybgn asks: My concern is with Item drop rates being nerfed.

Every now and then, Jagex nerf* the drop rates of many items and we are unaware of it. I'm a D claw hunter, and after receiving 1 claw drop, I got excited and became serious about it. From then, I've killed over 2-3k Demons without a single claw drop, just a few shards or lumps. The rate used to be 1 in 300 or 400, which is incredibly high enough considering their level, damage rate, and the surrounding where you can get piled in minutes and die in seconds.

The amount of money wasted on killing them can not be evened out by some lump or shards because for lower levels, they use a lot more than higher levels. By lower levels I mean 115-120. I'm almost maxed combat and I use about a million or two just for a few hundered kills, so when I get a shard drop, it's rather disappointing.

My point, why don't normal players get updates about nerfing and why do we have to spend our time, cash, play time, and waste our efforts killing thousands of monsters just to realize the drop has been nerfed. We atleast deserve some sort of a warning or message from Jagex so that we're alert that the drop's been nerfed. It's very ufair 'cuz if a player is not rich, neither poor, he'll invest his cash in trying to get rich by buying supplies for the monster and end up turning poor 'cuz he didn't get the drop he was looking for.

Mod Mark: We do try to announce when we make changes, particularly, these days, in the patch notes. I have just checked with our balancing department and they reliably inform me that the drop rates of dragon claws have never been changed since they were added to the live game. In fact, the only changes we have made to claws relate to their sound effects and to a bug with the lent version.

As far as drops in general go: sometimes you’re lucky, sometimes you’re not. A friend of mine got the draconic visage on the first dragon kill they made after the update. She almost threw it away since she assumed it was some junk that had appeared (she hadn’t played in a while). She has been killing lots of dragons since, but hasn’t received another visage drop. That doesn’t mean we "nerfed" it, it just means she is less lucky now. I myself have received four Robin Hood hats from the fifty or so treasure trails I have ever done, yet have never received any Barrows gear in over fifty attempts. Try to remember that while someone might think they are "owed" a drop, luck has no rules.

Arky Rocks asks: Why does JaGex hate people with brawling gloves? You have made it virtualy impossible to use most of them without losing them in a few minutes (because of pkers).

Mod Fetzki: The reward from these gloves can only be as generous as it is because of the high risk involved in using them - the higher the risk, the higher the reward. It’s not surprising that something as good as double XP comes with the risk that you could lose the gloves and we think the trade-off is a fair one.

Grave R0883r asks: Would Jagex consider making Bob's birthday, or the beginning of Runescape, an in-game holiday, complete with mini-quest and items? (here's hoping for one sometime in the summer...)

Mod Fetzki: I haven’t come across the idea of Bob the Jagex Cat having a birthday - that sounds lovely. No promises, though. :)

Trogdor 8008 asks: There is the new Poison Arrow Pub. Will there be a new drink coming soon to come with it?

Mod Mark: Ranger’s Aid is the new beer there, which was released along with the pub. We don’t plan to make any more new beers for that pub.

Columbus Oh asks: Do you stealth tweak peoples luck? Do you alter the luck individual accounts, for secret reasons, without telling anyone about it?

Mod Fetzki: Can I answer this in any way that you would believe? I’ll try. Try imagining why someone who can create cool quests or create the most fun in a minigame would use their time to do something as unrewarding as that. Is there any reason why he or she would? I certainly can’t think of any. If someone has broken the rules, then we punish them either with mutes or with bans, but if they enjoy the game, then we don’t interfere with that at all.

Ih8dude asks: Were the plans for truffles scrapped?

Mod Mark: Yes. There are often aspects of content that are cut before release. This can happen for many reasons, but we try to avoid it as much as possible. Truffles were going to be hunted by a wild boar pet/familiar, originally as part of the Summoning skill. We then considered adding them to the While Guthix Sleeps quest along with the broav, but time simply did not allow, so it had to be cut again.

Thesisters2 asks: Why can't we make Lunar Staves after the quest? If we loose our staves that we made during the quest, is there a way to get another?

Mod Fetzki: Of course, every item that you get from quests can be regained somehow. In this case, you need to talk to the Oneiromancer on Lunar Isle and also bring some coins (30k to be precise) and she will give you a new lunar staff. :)

Aandj293 asks: Is it possible to bring the snow imp from our amulets back, if not, could you do it every december or something?

Mod Fetzki: I am glad you liked them so much. We could, perhaps, reuse them at any point, but, normally, we want holiday events to remain as unique opportunities for all players to have some fun with a small update. The second time round is never as much fun - that’s why we prefer to do something new each Christmas.

Mod Mark: Popular holiday event characters have come back from time to time, so who knows what the festive spirit will bring.

Fiks1 asks: Will we see an update for construction anytime soon? It's gone quite a while without anything. Then there's all of the current known bugs with Player Owned Houses like chairs turning the wrong way etc. Are you working on fixing that?

Mod Mark: Yes. We recently made an update to Construction in which we fixed many bugs, and we do plan to add more rooms (like the recent menagerie) in the future. It’s tough to add new features when we knew that aspects of the graphics were broken - we had to fix them rather than add more broken content.

Ady Inc asks: Are you ever going to make an update to the bank so we can see our total value of the bank in 'gp'? Just like you can check how much you have in your full inventory, but maybe for the whole bank too!? If so, when? Also, could you link your bank value to the HiScores too? - since making money is a skill, it would be really nice if it had hiscores too. You could keep record of the highest value a person reached to make it easier if you don't want to update it each time since money goes up and down a lot... If your not going to do something like this, could you at least explain why you wouldn't?

Mod Mark: We added a mobile price checker feature, which you can easily use to calculate the value of single items, or even inventory-loads of items. We did, at the time, consider a bank feature to value the total contents of your bank, but decided not to add it for several reasons:

Firstly, the game isn’t supposed to be all about making money. For some people it is, but adding a feature like that would make it too prominent for everyone. Secondly, it would actually cause some technical issues if we wanted it to be totally flexible and updated as frequently as you peeps are likely to want. Finally, the bank interface is going to get a lot more cluttered if we start to add features like this, and we would have to move buttons around (which is undesirable for many reasons). Such a feature is not a good enough reason to do so; we only move buttons around if we absolutely have too.

Focusing on making money is reward in itself. If you want a fat wad of cash, then so be it; however, we’re not going to encourage people to compete at making money.

Yt Da White asks: Will you be updating the Friends List to make it more user-friendly? Like showing if any of your friends have been banned (with a red X) or showing if any users have a Clan Chat you can join? I think these additions would be helpful.

Mod Mark: Interesting ideas! I shall consider those when we next modify the Friends List.

Crash Jordan asks: Can we ever expect more features to be added to the highsores?

Mod Fetzki: The highscore module is a very old one and we are currently looking at a major rewrite, which should enable us to add more features in future.

Leet103 asks: This might seem a stupid question for a game, but how will you deal with the massive inflation in the game?

Mod Fetzki: I would be more careful in labelling what is going on with the RuneScape economy - it’s not simply inflation. Only certain items in the game get more expensive, including some rare items, but, overall, we see steady prices in most raw materials and some of the high prices are already coming down. Just look at the curve that the dragon chainbody’s price has drawn over the last six months.

V Wolf asks: A question that has kept me wondering for a little while now, is how are you inspired as to create such unique monsters? For example, the killerwatt is a very different slayer creature... but there must have been something that you had a start as to it's design (such as the children's shows, games, etc. of Pokemon was designed by many real-life creatures such as a mouse.) And the same with some of these quests. When I refer to these quests, I'm mostly referring to 'the Cold War,' where penguins are trying to dominate the humans in a, well... cold war to take over the world. And the rewards? An octopus hat. Now I admit, it makes me giggle, and it I'm not complaining about it, in fact I love it, personally. As this is even starting to confuse me, I may as well put this in short form. 'What inspires you to make this game so unique?'

Mod Mark: Many things. The forums are a great place of inspiration for me, as are my friends. Sometimes it’s a simple case of thinking of something in the real world and then saying to yourself: "I wonder how that would work in RuneScape..." I love to visit historical sites and ancient temples, as well as going to storytelling festivals - those places are a great place for inspiration. Often it’s a case of letting the RuneScape world inspire you.

When we play through the game ourselves, we often think "Hmm, we need something else here" or "Hmm, that doesn’t make sense to me; how can I fix this?" It’s often those sorts of problems that lead to the most creative solutions.

Treeman851 asks: you guy have the top exp amount at 200 million but you get to level 99 at 13 million,and since there are so many guys with skill capes, and everyone complains how easy the game is are you going to set the top level to 200?

Mod Mark: No plans, currently. As Andrew said in his answers: "Maximum experience is unlikely to rise. It’s already a long way above the maximum level cap."

Treeman851 asks: There are 3 possible skills coming out...

Music. Animal Husbandry (Mounting, Riding, whatever you want to call it). Necromancy.

Which one is it?

Mod Mark: Erm, what about the "Random Guessing" skill? I bet you’d be great at that. :)

Zebo X asks: My only question is will you ever make it possible to get back and get untradable items (fire capes, barrows gloves, Ava's accumulators) since it does not affect other players.

Mod Fetzki: Other than the gravestones, we have no plans to change the effects of death. The reason that rewards such as these can be so good is because they are balanced against the risk of losing them when you use them, so we think this is quite neatly balanced.

Mistercleav0 asks: why cant we have mounts?

Mod Fetzki: Every time we try to get mounts into RuneScape, we run into severe problems that we think would just spoil the fun, such like that we would need to limit the items that you can wear when sitting on a mount or restrict players to certain routes that mounts can be used on. Until we have overcome these problems we won’t have any mounts, as much as we want it ourselves.

Csours asks: Why is it that some ingame events have different reset times? For example, I can buy my battlestaves after a certain time each day, but it works differently for collecting my sand from Bert and managing my kingdom. Wouldn't it make sense to make it uniform?

Mod Chihiro: We have more than one way of determining when a repeatable piece of content can be attempted again. Some are based on the time elapsed since you last did the event, others are based on an ‘absolute time’.

The fairest way to do this is to look at when you did the task last, and let you do it again after (for example) a week has elapsed. This way, we know that if a player logs in again exactly one week later they will be able to do the task again, but not before. If there is a common reset time, players who knew when that time is would be able to do the same task twice very quickly in succession, just before and just after the reset. There would also be a small advantage to being logged in at a certain time of day. That would be annoying if that time happened to be at 4am where you live!

The ‘absolute time’ method is more ‘memory expensive’ - it requires us to store when each player last did that event, so we don’t do this universally. Sometimes, though, we have to use an absolute time; Distractions and Diversions have to be based on absolute time as they have to be available at the same time to all players on that world. So, for many events, especially daily ones, this is the method we use.

Fairling asks: Do you plan any in-game references to 'Betrayal at Falador'? Such as a Varrock Museum Display for The War of 164?

Mod Mark: We will add some links between the game and the book, but nothing that would confuse someone who had no experience of either the book or the game. We work closely with Tom Church (whenever time allows) to make sure anything he creates fits in with our own mythology.

Ice Beast123 asks: Will there be any new woods coming out? ex. redwood, cherry, etc.

Mod Fetzki: Yes! But no redwood or cherry, I’m afraid.

Carlos War 7 asks: I was thinking about Zaros... Isnt Zaros the master of Zam'orak??? So then Zammy kill Zaros??? Or what is the story??

Mod Mark: Zaros was the original god who many considered to be evil, or at least embraced the darker side of things. Zamorak was a Mahjarrat and a servant of Zaros who, through some dodgy deals, managed to overthrow Zaros and become what most people now assume is an "evil" god. However, Zaros is not completely gone and still has strong followers...as I am sure you will find out.

Australiank says: How much skills do you think RuneScape will have eventually? Do you come up with the ideas as you go? Or do you have a plan to release a skill on a regular basis?

Mod Mark: We generally come up with ideas as we go, though there are several skills we know we want to make one day. I’m not sure how many more we could squeeze in! There is certainly no limit.

Grunger Ben says: Have you thought of Completing The bandos Armour set with Releasing a Bandos Helm?

Mod Mark: Possibly. Right now, though, it’s not a focus.

Lil Duck 99 asks: Will Free To play Players get skillcapes? (Simple Question, Yes or No)

Mod Mark: No.

Lil Duck 99 asks: Do you plan on updating old skills such as Mining, Smithing that essentially lost most of it's purpose other than show?

Mod Mark: Yes.

Lil Duck 99 asks: Why do you focus more on combat related things instead of skilling like RuneScape was founded on?

Mod Mark: Originally, you could PK anywhere outside Lumbridge Castle. Indeed, the original RuneScape was mostly combat-focused. You could argue that the non-combat side of the game was always under represented and so updates in the future should concentrate on pure skilling.

Mod Fetzki: I think it is the coexistence between combat and skilling that makes RuneScape stand out from other MMOs. Many players see themselves as adventurers who rely on more than just their strength and combat abilities, and use their wit and skills to advance in their world. We don’t think that the updates we are working on are more focused on combat rather than skills - I would say it is rather balanced.

Lil Duck 99 asks: Will Revenant Ghost even be updated to drop better items equal to the difficulty of killing them, they seem to use spells from multiple spell books, any ideas why?

Mod Mark: Revenants aren’t designed to be killed for drops. They are there to provide the aspect of risk that the old Wilderness provided. We didn’t want to lose that feeling of danger on non-PvP Worlds.

Pk Rainga asks:
Will we ever see a rick astley NPC that perfoms in the pubs,
we could have the lyrics to his songs above his head,
u gotta admit, that would be brilliant?
he could wear that coat from never gonna give you up,
and do that crazy dance he does

Mod Mark:
That’s an idea I’m never going to give up.
I’m never going to let it down.
I’m never going to turn around and desert it (in the dessert).
Glad to see you remember him in all his pre-Rickrolled glory. :)

Levelmaster2 asks: Hi, this question is related to the Great Orb Project Mini game. I was wondering.. Could Jagex give us players to option to sell back our rewards? I recently got a talisman staff and I deem it is not worth the 10,000 tokens.

Free to play players get a minimal amount of bank space,(only 68 items.) and it is difficult to hold all those items. If for some reason Jagex doesn't like having players getting full refund in tokens. It can be like a regular store. You buy something for 1,000, and if you try to sell it back you only receive about 700 back. Of course to prevent token making, you will not be allowed to sell items that can be obtained outside of the guild. (in example no talismans or essence can be sold for tokens.)

Another update to go along with this is to be able to interchange Talismans onto the staff. Unlike tiaras where the talismans power is infused into the tiara. The staff is only physically attached to the talisman itself, therefore we should be able to attach and reattach different talismans. Going along with the last sentence, we can then sell our staffs if we no longer need them.

Mod Mark: That’s a feature we recently added to Mobilising Armies, but that’s because you can get better equivalent rewards later. We’re not planning to add such a feature to any other minigame at this time.

Doombloble asks: Will we ever seen player owned towns similiar to player owned houses?

Mod Mark: This is unlikely. POH is a real push on the game as it is, in its current state, so we would need to make some drastic improvements before expanding things to a whole town.

Tcool Guy asks: are there any evil potions that are looked down upon in the herblore community? Necromancy is looked down upon in the wizard community, so why cant there be other evil or bad areas of skills that are looked down upon, like cooking some thing that tastes good but is really bad for you, like junkfood?

Mod Mark: Yes, it’s called beer. :) Oh, and there is the Zamorak brew - that’s pretty evil.

J O S4 asks: When are you releasing a new part of the myreque Quest series? Its one of my Favourites .

Mod Mark: The developer for that storyline was very busy with While Guthix Sleeps for a long time and, since then, has been working on other projects (including, recently, a different storyline). After that, they will work on Myreque part 5! We actually have a nearly finished design brief for the next quest in the series, but it’s not in development yet.

Aandj293 asks: Is it possible to design a room for POH for things like a mining rock or a woodcutting tree?

Mod Mark: We made a conscious decision not to allow too much training in POH, apart from the Construction skill itself. We didn’t want to split the community. Imagine how dead a cool fishing spot like Piscatoris would be if half the players had their own monkfish spot in their player owned pond. It’s just not good for the community. Also, as I said earlier on, we have to monitor the flow of new materials into the market; giving players the ability to own their own coal mine, for example, would make that impossible.

Pluto365 says: When you cast the "charge" spell for god spells, does the +10 max damage stay intack the whole 7 mins? Or as with every passing muniet, the max damages lowers untill it's back to normal?

Mod Mark: Yes, indeed, +10 max damage does stay intact for the whole seven minutes.

Marry0100 asks: is it true that there's sacurity books in trapdoor near ge and only mods can get in there?

Mod Mark: No, that’s not true. The Grand Exchange trapdoor is a special dwarf entry point.

Drieskeuh asks: About a year ago, the new quest "Learning the Ropes" was released. It would replace Tutorial Island. However, in September, the quest was removed and all new accounts took their first RuneScape steps on Tutorial Island again. Mod Osborne posted on the Forums that "large changes" would be made. Are you still working on those changes or will Tutorial Island forever guide the newest players to Lumbridge?

Mod Mark: We’re due to launch them very, very soon. Wait and see!

Under863 asks: are you going to give us a chance to get old holiday items back like each new item you get you get the latest one you missed?

Mod Mark: No, holiday items are not planned to be released again. We like to think of holiday events as just a bit of fun, and also a bit of a non-bank-busting opportunity for players to show off something cosmetic.

Sceptileus asks: What is the correct brightness level?

Mod Mark: Level 99. You can pot it up to 112 if you have the right herbs, too. Lol. No, in all seriousness, it depends entirely on your monitor and environment. The options are there so that you can find your own correct level.

Bloodman6660 asks: My question relates to players who alternate between F2P and P2P (which is my case). After every period of P2P, my bank account is far too full to be used in F2P, and it’s full of items that aren’t even useful for F2P. Consequently, if you go back to F2P after a period of P2P, you’re deprived of a bank account... and playing RS without using the bank system is a huge handicap. :) So I’d like to know if you’ve planned an upgrade to fix this problem.

Mod Fetzki: The short answer is yes! There are some complications to get around, but we think we finally have the right idea to address this problem. Since it really is one of the long-standing problems that RuneScape has, I am quite pleased that we are finally tackling it.

kosti2009 asks: I’d like to know more about the coming updates. Could you tell us a bit more about them before they’re actually released? I’d really like that, because we’d know what sort of improvements to expect and everything...

Mod Fetzki: We are in two minds about this. On one hand, we appreciate that many players want to prepare for an update (and know when the one update that they have been waiting for is coming), so that they can play it immediately. On the other hand, we have experienced that many people judge an update before they have seen it.

At other times when we've talked about updates, a hype got generated by speculation on the forums and fansites that, once the update was out there and not full of features that players thought would be in there, the update underwhelmed, hence we stopped it and looked into a new way of talking about future updates. We have seen that developers' blogs are popular, but that players want more information, so we have taken this on board.

Mod Mark: I have really enjoyed writing the Behind the Scenes articles over the last five years, but, sadly, Mod Fetzki is right.

Another issue is that people prefer some updates to others - so if they knew that we were releasing something they wanted (like, say, Mobilising Armies, which we first talked about a year before launch), every day they would ask "When is it coming?". If we wrote about something else, they would be disappointed because it’s not what they wanted.

So we have decided not to talk so much about ALL the updates we have planned, just some of them in blogs. If you look back a few years ago to when we launched the Construction skill, the only thing we said in the BTS article that month was "And you’ll be able to sit down on chairs this month", so the skill release was an awesome surprise for everyone. We don’t think there’s anything wrong with that kind of approach.