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"Legacy" redirects here. For the quest, see Legacy of Seergaze.

Legacy interface.png

Legacy Mode is the name for two options in RuneScape that simulate gameplay prior to RuneScape 3. Legacy Combat Mode instates a revised version of the old combat system before the Evolution of Combat (EoC), and Legacy Interface Mode replaces the customisable interface with one resembling the interface from several years ago. Both modes function independently of the other. Legacy Mode was released on 14 July 2014.

Players using Legacy Combat Mode do not have access to abilities, adrenaline, or any of the Combat Settings. Attacks are either auto attacks or special attacks. Damage and life points are all scaled down by a factor of 10, although this is only a visual effect.

The interface in Legacy Interface Mode has the same design and skin as that from older versions of RuneScape. Most menus that are textured blue are re-skinned as brown. Abilities are found in the magic book tab for all combat classes, assuming Legacy Combat Mode is not in use.

The release of Legacy Mode brought a number of changes from the Combat Improvements Beta to the main game, including the reintroduction of special attacks, a changed combat level formula, and removal of life point bonuses from most armour. The release also reintroduced skulls and removed the previous Wilderness mechanic of losing all items upon death. 

Either option of Legacy Mode can be enabled by ticking the relevant box in Options Menu > Game Settings tab > General Gameplay section.

  • Legacy Combat Mode
  • Legacy Interface Mode
  • Legacy Interface Skin (colour change only)

To return to EoC mode, disable Legacy Mode by clicking to un-tick the above Legacy boxes.


When Legacy Interface Mode is enabled, the RuneScape interface changes to an interface that looks similar to 2009. The interfaces are not exact:

  • Several new buttons have a slightly different style to them.
  • The inventory is fully opaque, whereas in 2009-2011, it was slightly transparent and also used a different border.
  • The chatbox transparency can be customised.
  • Buffs and debuffs icons along with sheathing can be toggled at the combat tab, then right clicking the following (Zero weakness icon.png).
  • Badges, Filter, "Always-on Chat" and Server-wide Announcements can be toggled by right clicking the "All" tab in the chatbox.
  • The Twitch tab can be accessed by right-clicking on the lefthand side of the "Report" button. The righthand side is the examine options.

Unlike in RuneScape 3, the ability to customise, move windows around and have multiple windows open is unavailable, because before RuneScape 3 that was not included.

Before implementing Legacy Mode, Jagex considered multiple different interface styles: blue or brown. Most players preferred the older, brown-themed interface from 2009-2011.


(On the left) A player holding a 2H sword in Legacy Mode
(On the right) A player holding a 2H sword in Evolution of Combat

Legacy Combat Mode re-introduces the combat system that existed before the Evolution of Combat. This means that abilities are not able to be used. Legacy Mode users have the overall damage of their auto-attacks increased. According to Jagex, players using abilities should only have a slight damage per second advantage over Legacy Mode players. To help suppress any effects this would have on PvP between Legacy Mode and Evolution of Combat players, Legacy Mode only and EoC only worlds were implemented.

In addition to the combat changes, players see the old hitsplat graphics, and displayed life points on all entities are divided by 10.

Whereas no abilities are usable in Legacy Combat Mode, special attacks can be used. In order to activate your weapon's special attack, you must go to the Combat Settings pane (the tab with the two swords crossing).

Auto-attacks in Legacy combat (if they do not miss) can hit between 33% of the maximum hit and 230% of the total damage of the weapon (including other equipment strength bonuses). As they are auto-attacks, main- and off-hand weapons have their damage values separated. To compare this to other combat modes, it can be converted into an equivalent to average ability damage per tick (see Revolution for more on this):

  • Hits are uniformly distributed, so the average damage of a hit will be effectively 153.33%
  • A fastest speed weapon does damage every 4 ticks
    • The damage bonuses of slower weapons is directly proportional to the attack speed, so it will work out the same either way
  • Thus the average damage per tick is 38.33%

For comparison, many Revolution bars (basic abilities only) are over 30%.

Comparison with EoC and Pre-EoC

Combat Comparison Table[1]
Pre-Legacy Post-Legacy
2011 Pre-EoC EoC Legacy Mode Improved EoC
Top Level Interfaces Old New Old New
Key Binds F-Keys Fixed Bindable F-Keys Fixed Bindable
Type-to-chat Yes No Yes Optional
Abilities No Yes No Yes
Combat Formula 138 200 138 tweaked 138 tweaked
Special Attacks Yes No Yes Yes
Hitsplats Old New Old New
Damage Numbers Low High Scaled to Low High
Aggressive Monsters Yes No Yes Yes
Equipment Old Modern Modern Modern
Dual Wielding No Yes Yes Yes
Protection Prayers 100% protect (50% PvP) 50% protect 50% protect (50% PvP) 50% protect (50% PvP)
Combat Triangle General Weaknesses Specific Weaknesses Specific Weaknesses Specific Weaknesses
Models and Animations Old Modern Old and modern Modern
PvP XP Yes No Yes Yes
XP rates Optimal Optimal Near-optimal* Optimal (manual abilities) Near-optimal* (revolution)

*The combat team will try to get as close to optimal as possible

Initial development

Players voted in-game using the Power to the Players poll system for or against Legacy Mode throughout 31 January 2014 to 14 February 2014. The planning history of Legacy Mode was revealed throughout other posts and Dev blogs released later.

Legacy Mode includes:

  • Traditional RuneScape combat, with no abilities.
  • Interfaces styled from the pre-RS3—both resizeable and fixed.
  • Old-style minimap icons.
  • Life points back to a max of 990.
  • Old-style combat animations and stances.

Initial research

The history and planning of Legacy Mode was first revealed in a Dev blog posted on 31 January 2014.[2] The idea for a solution to the negative feedback from players with the Evolution of Combat update has been developing throughout 2013.[2] At the end of 2013 when Power to the Players started, over 10,000 active players were surveyed through e-mail on their preferred combat system. Keep in mind many players left the game when the EoC was released, so these percentages may not be accurate.[2]

E-mail survey results[2]
Preferred combat system
EoC 44%
Pre-EoC 41%
Unspecified remaining option(s) 15%
Satisfaction rating of Eoc features
PvP 22%
Level 200 calculation 48%
PvM/Weapons 70%

Considered options

Due to the polarised feedback from players on Evolution of Combat, Jagex found it difficult to find a viable solution to create a win-win situation for both players who enjoy Evolution of Combat and for those who don't.[2] These were the options they considered.

Considered options[2]
Option Details Conclusion
Carry on as we are Continue our approach of adding combat content and making system tweaks. This has helped a little, but hasn’t been enough. Need to do much more.
Major improvements to EoC We’ve been prototyping the Revolution ability, have been talking about bringing back Special Attacks, and have been building a plan to make PvP much, much better. These changes will be really good for the game, but probably won’t change the minds of players who really didn’t like EoC or couldn’t dedicate the time to learn it. Do this too, but more is needed.
A hybrid system We considered creating a new combat system, a single design which was a mixture of both old and new. However we concluded that by trying to make a single system to suit everyone, it wouldn’t really be what anyone truly wanted. It would mean big disruption for current players and the game economy, and it wouldn’t be able to bring contain enough of the previous gameplay to really satisfy fans of the old combat. Not a viable solution.
2012 worlds We considered running an old version of the game. During the investigation we found that it wasn’t possible to just “turn on an old version” like with Old School, but needed lots of re-engineering across our infrastructure. But even then, it’d be a service requiring a lot of upkeep, and would significantly reduce the amount of game updates we could do. Without many game updates the 2012 version would get stale, and the main game would suffer in a similar way. I also think this approach would seriously split the community. This is not healthy picture for RuneScape’s future. Not a viable solution.
Legacy Mode alongside EoC This approach is to create a mode within the modern game which replicates the old combat gameplay. A dedicated mode could be customised to contain the features players really care about. It allows players to choose which mode to use, so isn’t forcing a change on anyone. This option still comes with challenges we’ll need to overcome, and probably cannot be completely identical to the old system, but we believe we can make it very close. Finally - a viable option! Poll it!


As announced on 31 January 2014, the addition of Legacy Mode was polled on Power to the Players throughout 31 January 2014 to 14 February 2014.[3] The option for Legacy Mode won with 81% of the votes, confirming its development and release. There will be many more polls in the future as Legacy Mode's development progresses.[4][5]

Progress update

The first few progress updates clarify the features intended for Legacy Mode. On 3 February 2014, few clarifications that were made to what would be included in Legacy Mode.[6]

Legacy Mode[6]
Will have Won't have Might have
Special attacks Changes to bosses Special attack bar starting full
Attack damage close to that of EoC but far below that of Pre-Eoc Its own sets of equipment and monster stats Scaled down damage and health
Old style interface and graphical features Changes to how experience is gained Legacy-only Wilderness areas
Some Legacy-only worlds Action bar/Abilities
Dual wielding

On 11 April 2014, the first progress update was announced in a blog post.[1] Two images were released, showing Jagex's intentions of Legacy Mode. It was also announced that the beta would be released in June 2014.

On 24 April 2014, a forum post was added asking for feedback on the style of the buttons in legacy mode.[7]

Style Fixed Resizeable
Brown stone Legacy Mode Mockup- Brown Fixed.jpg Legacy Mode Mockup- Brown Full.jpg
Black background Legacy Mode fixed update image.jpg Legacy Mode Mock Up update image.jpg

A stream took place on 16 May 2014 from 15:00 to 0:30 GMT.[8]

On 12 June 2014 it was announced that the beta will be released on 16 June 2014.[9]


Polls helped shape and design Legacy Mode through the players' opinions.[2][5] Each poll is polled through the Power to the Players poll system. There are more polls coming soon.[4]

Dragonstone poll icon.pngF2P icon.png Poll 1[3]
31 January 2014 — 14 February 2014
Do you want us to develop a 'Legacy Mode'?
Yes 81% (201,249)
No 19% (47,777)
249,026 total votes

Reception and controversy

Feedback on Legacy Mode has arguably been mixed. Some players believe that legacy brought back former RuneScape players who have left since the release of Evolution of Combat, while others believe that legacy did not bring back players and even made some current players leave. However, the Power to the Player poll results suggests that the majority of players have given positive feedback and that Legacy was largely anticipated. Minigames that were previously low on attendance such as Soul Wars, and the purple portal at Clan Wars have gotten a big surge of players since the release of Legacy Mode.[source needed]

A repeated part of feedback was for the option to separate Legacy combat and interfaces, so that players could use the old combat system with the modern interface, or the modern combat system with the old interface. After being developed in the 2015 combat beta, this was released on 27 April 2015.



See also


  1. ^ a b Mod William (11 April 2014). Legacy Mode - Progress Update. RuneScape News. Retrieved on 11 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Mod Pips (31 January 2014). Devblog:Legacy Mode. Devblog. Retrieved on 23 February 2014.
  3. ^ a b Polls Archive. Retrieved on 8 March 2014.
  4. ^ a b Mod Pips (1 February 2014). Poll - Legacy Combat. RuneScape News. Retrieved on 23 February 2014.
  5. ^ a b Mod Mark (31 January 2014). Devblog:RuneScape Combat - Old vs New. Devblog. Retrieved on 23 February 2014.
  6. ^ a b Mod Pips (3 February 2014). Forums Clarifications on Legacy Mode. Retrieved on 23 February 2014.
  7. ^ Mod Pips (24 April 2014). Legacy UI Graphics. RuneScape Forums. Retrieved on 26 April 2014.
  8. ^ Mod William (15 May 2014). Legacy Stream Weekend!. RuneScape News. Retrieved on 19 May 2014.
  9. ^ Mod William (12 June 2014). Legacy Mode Beta - Coming 16th June. RuneScape News. Retrieved on 12 June 2014.