Template:Relativelocation Soul Wars (abbreviated as SW) is a members-only minigame that was released on 10 February 2009. The entrance portal to the game is located in the south-west area of Edgeville. Similar to Castle Wars, it is a team-based minigame that lasts twenty minutes per game and can be played on any world. In Soul Wars, the two opposing teams compete against each other to gather soul fragments and offer them to the Soul Obelisk in order to weaken and defeat each others' Avatars, using a combination of combat and Slayer skills. This is a "Safe" minigame; if you die, you will keep all of your items. Players will respawn in a graveyard that is controlled by their team and can rejoin combat after 15 seconds. Hitpoints, Prayer points, Summoning points, special attack energy, and run energy are restored when a player dies and at the end of each game.
Official worlds are 143, 44 and 145, although these worlds can be populated, the far more populated world is 44 (in peak times), which might have more than 500 players playing at once, and these worlds tend to be laggy and harder to get into as the "freeloader" population increases.
Far to the west, upon an island long isolated from the rest of RuneScape, two great creatures vie for control of a powerful obelisk but without any clear victor. Recently, a curious man upon a strange pilgrimage found the island and, for his own obscure purposes, has opened the field of battle to any who wish to pit their mettle against the smaller creatures of the island, other adventurers, or even the mighty avatars themselves.. So you can be the ultimate fighter..
To get to Soul Wars, one must enter the Soul Wars portal in Edgeville. It is located south-west of the bank, and west of the abandoned mausoleum. The portal looks similar to the Pest Control portal. After going through the portal, the player will arrive at the Nomad's camp, where players can exchange Zeal points for rewards, learn how to play Soul Wars, or join one of two teams to play Soul Wars. They can also watch the Nomad poke fun at his assistant, Zimberfizz.
- Glory amulet - Teleports outside of Edgeville bank.
- Combat bracelet - Teleports to the Monastery near Edgeville.
- Canoe - Canoe from Lumbridge, Champions' Guild, or Barbarian Village.
- Edgeville Home Teleport - The Home Teleport from the Ancients spellbook will take a player just outside Edgeville bank.
- Paddewwa Teleport - An Ancient Magicks spell that teleports the player into the Edgeville Dungeon, just a few steps away.
- Skull sceptre - Teleports a player inside Barbarian Village, just south of Edgeville, via the Invoke option.
- Fairy ring - Code D-K-R gets the player to the other side of the river, where it is a 15-second walk from there.
- Varrock teleport gets players a fair distance away. Players will walk for about a minute. However, if the player has completed at least the Easy level Varrock Diary, they can talk to Rat Burgiss (for the Easy Diary) and when the player casts Varrock Teleport they will teleport to the Grand Exchange, where they can use the level 21 agility shortcut and walk to the portal from there.
Soul Wars does not require any levels or quests in order to be played. Players should note the following things, however:
- They will need to battle other people and monsters; high Combat levels are recommended, though not needed.
- Fighting the avatars and monsters requires high Slayer levels; a decent Slayer level is recommended.
- Players will be under attack by other players and NPCs; a high Defence level is recommended.
- This is a combat-based minigame, so it would be a good idea to have at least level 43 Prayer for Protect from Melee. It could also be useful to have Redemption or Retribution activated when one is about to die. Furthermore, it is useful to have Smite to bring strong players (with high Defence and Prayer) using Protect from Melee to the ground.
The objective of Soul Wars is to defeat the opposing team's avatar as many times as possible in 20 minutes. The avatars begin each battle with a Slayer requirement of 100, making them impervious to everyone. (Note that the Capes of Accomplishment, Wild pie, and Slayer's Respite cannot be brought to the battlefield.)
In order to reduce their Slayer requirement, players will have to kill some of the smaller Slayer creatures to gather soul fragments and offer them to the Soul Obelisk, which can only be done if the team controls it.
Because this is a combat-based minigame, players should consider bringing the following:
- The best armour that the player has and is able to wear. Players may consider bringing multiple sets; for example, one with a high melee defence bonus, another with a high magic defence bonus.
- The best weapon that the player has and is able to use. Players again may want to bring a selection of weapons, some melee, some ranged, etc.
- Jagex has made an update that allows players to have the Nomad enchant their capes to work in the same way as Ava's device if they have completed Animal Magnetism.
- A Summoning familiar, if the player has the ability to summon one that could assist him or her in combat.
- Level 30 Slayer or higher is recommended for killing pyrefiends.
Items available during the game
When players first arrive on the island, they will encounter the Nomad and his imp familiar, Zimberfizz. Nomad will offer players a tour of the battlefield along with a short explanation, or a book that explains fighting in the Soul Wars.
When players feel they are ready to battle, enter one of the portals to the south of Nomad. The blue barrier will align the player with the Avatar of Creation; the red barrier will align the player with the Avatar of Destruction; and the green portal will attach the player to the team with the least players.
The barriers are entrances to the waiting rooms of each team. Each waiting room is a 10x9 rectangle with a torch on each corner. There is nothing to do in the waiting room, but some players are found advertising a Soul Wars clan, most doing it between games. After every minute that a player is inside a waiting room, the player's priority is increased along with the message, "You now have a higher priority to enter a game of Soul Wars." When a new game starts, a lot of players (up to several hundred) get in, based on priority. Those with higher priority will get into the game first. However, many will be left out. If players are keen to join in, they may wait; and once per minute, a few new soldiers with the highest priority will be added to the battle, provided the number of players on each team remains equal.
Oftentimes, players in the waiting rooms try to trick others out in an attempt to increase their own chance of getting in the game. They do this with several ways: by manually typing untrue Quick Chat in, a player can lie that "the blue team's avatar level is 22" when in reality the blue team is winning and the red team's avatar is weaker; this may trick someone into joining the red team. Other ways involve pretending a famous player is in the other team, saying the door is stuck (to trick people into clicking it, leaving, and losing their priority), and telling everyone that someone outside the waiting room is lending a rare item (e.g. dragon claws, Armadyl godsword) for a low price or free. However, the trickery rarely works.
Games last twenty minutes, with a minimum three-minute waiting period in between, so players may have to wait for the previous game to end before they can get in. 10 players per team are needed for the game to begin.
How To Contribute to the team
There are various ways you can help your team win. Below are all possible ways.
- Attack players on the opposing team.
- Set up barricades (which does not raise the activity bar).
- Heal your allies (by using bandages on them).
- Bury bones in your team's graveyard (which may increase your Avatar's level).
- Kill slayer creatures for their soul fragments to offer to the soul obelisk (to lower the opposing Avatar's level).
- Damage the enemy avatar.
A labelled map to help you find your way around is shown. Refer to it for help.
The battlefield is divided up into three main areas:
- Avatar of Creation's Base
- Players on the blue team will begin here. None of the locations in this area can be captured by the red team.
- Avatar of Destruction's Base
- Players on the red team will begin here. None of the locations in this area can be captured by the blue team.
- Main Battlefield
- There are a number of locations here, the most important of which are the Soul Obelisk and the two graveyards.
- These can be captured by having a greater number of your own team within their bounds for a short period of time.
- Jellies and pyrefiends can also be found wandering in the ruins around the battlefield.
The base is composed of three main features:
- The avatars
- Supply area
- Graveyards (East Graveyard and West Graveyard)
- The graveyard is the location where players will be resurrected when they die. See "Graveyards" for more information about this.
The avatarsFor the rewards, see Soul Wars/Rewards
In order to kill the opponents' avatar, players must first weaken it to enable as many of the team-mates to fight it. As noted above, this is done by killing the jellies (2 shards per kill) and pyrefiends (1 shard per kill) around the main battlefield and offering the resulting soul fragments to the Soul Obelisk. The more fragments that are offered, the lower the Slayer requirement will be to kill the avatar. This is stated in the "Avatar Level" entry in the top-right of the window. Players should note that they can offer shards to the Soul Obelisk only if their team controls it.
Players may attempt to restore the avatar's Slayer requirement by burying the bones of the defeated foes while in a graveyard controlled by the team. Each time this is done, there is a chance that the avatar's Slayer requirement will rise up 1 level.
Both Avatar of Creation and Avatar of Destruction have a Combat level of 525 and should not be underestimated. They can also drain a lot of prayer. It is reported that Enchanted Ruby bolts are very effective against the avatars, hitting up to 200 Hitpoints but due to the recent update of Soul Wars the max hit of rubybolts (e) has been decreased to 70 Hitpoints. Protect from Melee prayer is also helpful, although prayer will soon be drained completely.
Note that Summoning familiars are unable to harm the avatars, but are useful for killing off the smaller Slayer creatures and opposing players.
Death and graveyards
Dying in a game of Soul Wars will result in being temporarily transformed into a Ghost. This state lasts for 15 seconds, after which time the player may participate in the game again.
If a player puts on the equipment stats interface, they will stay a ghost until closing the interface, when they will change back. This only works if the player waits the seconds before going back, so it cannot be used to quickly play again.
When players are killed in Soul Wars (either by one of the creatures of the battlefield, or by another player), Nomad will protect the player from the hunger of the Soul Obelisk and ensure that they are resurrected in the graveyard closest to where they died, provided that the team controls it.
For a few moments, the player will be a purely spectral form and unable to interact with anything, but they will soon be restored to the usual state, along with any equipment they were carrying, with the exception of bones, supplies from the tables, and soul fragments. Note that the soul fragments will be won by the enemy who killed you; it will be visible to the other team.
Because the two graveyards in the main battlefield can be captured, they are especially valuable resources for getting access to the smaller Slayer monsters, the Soul Obelisk, and the opposing base.
Each base's supply area contains bandages, barricades, and explosive potions, all of which are useful for ensuring the battle favours a particular team.
Players cannot trade in Soul Wars using the traditional method, but they may use bandages on their teammates to heal some of their lost Hitpoints; though, they may also use the bandages on themselves by left-clicking them. Furthermore, players can give bones, barricades, soul fragments, and explosives to their allies by using each respective item on them. Players can carry as many bandages as they have inventory space. They also restore run energy which helps the player get around the battlefield. You cannot take bandages if you are under attack; the message "You're too busy to be taking bandages now" appears when you attempt to do so.
Along with the bandages, players will discover that each supply area contains a table of barricades. Players can only carry one barricade at a time, and the team may only have ten barricades set up at once. They may set up a barricade in many places to hinder the opponents by simply left-clicking it in the inventory. If a barricade is blocking a path, players on both teams cannot walk past it, but they can click manually to walk around it. They may also attack the barricade(s), or use explosives, to remove the obstacle(s). Saboteurs (see below) often set up barricades in their own team's supply area for no good. Barricades do not give experience to attackers.
Explosive potions can be used on the barricades to destroy them in a single blast. Players can carry as many explosive potions as they have inventory space.
It should be noted that each of the tables, excluding the barricade table, has a "take-x" option, allowing players to quickly take a certain amount of items.
Players may also use the other team's supply area as well, which helps if there is a need to restock before fighting the avatar. This feature may be changed by Jagex in the near future, similar to what was done with the bandage table in Castle Wars.
To help players keep track of all of the useful information, there is a display in the top-right corner of the screen.
- West Graveyard (left) - which team controls the graveyard (none, red, or blue)
- Soul Obelisk (centre) - which team controls the obelisk (none, red, or blue)
- East Graveyard (right) - which team controls the graveyard (none, red, or blue)
- Avatar deaths - The number of times the avatar has been killed.
- Avatar level - The current Slayer level of the avatar. Starts at 100.
- Avatar health - The current health (Hitpoints) of the avatar. 100% is 1000 Hitpoints.
- Time left - The time left for the game to finish. Each game lasts 20 minutes.
- Activity bar (far right of display)- Shows the player's level of activity. The bar diminishes and changes from green to orange to red over time, but can be replenished when a player fights, uses soul fragments, buries bones, uses bandages on teammates, or dies during the game. When the bar is completely depleted, the player is removed from the game without zeal, and cannot rejoin the waiting lobby for 10 minutes.
There are many players in Soul Wars who don't help the team win; instead, they either do many things to make them lose, or simply don't do anything at all.
In every Soul Wars game, there used to be a very large group of people standing around their bases-these players are called freeloaders, and are frowned upon by almost everybody playing the game. Freeloaders are usually players at a fairly low level who wish to take advantage of the fact that they can perform the equivalent of afk training, as they only need to click once every five minutes or so to earn experience in combat skills. This strategy of doing nothing has caused large outcry among the community, and in the official forums, as many believe the freeloaders take the places of people who actually want to play the game.
This tactic is similar to players exploiting the fast experience gain in Pest Control when it was first released, with players saying that it was far too easy to train skills within the minigame, a similar complaint made by critics of Soul Wars. Ironically, they are able to provide large experience gain, provided one's team is winning-several players have found that going into enemy bases and killing lower levelled freeloaders yields large amounts of experience, and when combined with the 3 zeal gained from winning the game, makes for relatively fast training.
As of 19 May 2009, Jagex added an "activity bar" to the Soul Wars minigame. If a player does not take part in the game the bar will go from green to orange, and finally to red, where a player will be kicked from the game. This may have been added to combat players who freeload.
Because of the activity bar, there are no more freeloaders near the base and the amount of Soul Wars players has significantly decreased. A few freeloaders still stay in the supply area and use bandages on team-mates, which replenishes half of the activity bar. Players are still able to conduct freeloading however by simply running to an opposing area to get killed, thus replenishing the activity bar. However, these methods of freeloading are not fully a "freeload" and players still have to attribute activities into the game.
In the supply areas there are often some low-levelled players (similar to freeloaders) who hinder and annoy their team by setting up many barricades in the entire supply area, mostly in front of the explosive potions, bandages, and barricades. These saboteurs then proceed to start attacking the barricades with magic, ranged, or melee, wrongly believing they gain experience. Barricades do not give experience for melee or ranged, Only Magic.
Saboteurs are extremely annoying and bothersome; therefore, they are often looked down upon by "real" players who are trying to win the game. The barricades block their own team, too, so it can really annoy good team members trying to get bandages. Other players trying to set up barricades in strategic locations may not always be able to do so because of the 10-barricade limit.
The fastest way to counter saboteurs is to use explosive potions on the barricades; however, it may take some time to destroy a barricade that's already in front of the potion table. This will require one person continually taking potions and using them, as the saboteur(s) will be likely to persist.
Strategies for winning the game
Whichever team defeats their opponents' avatar the greatest number of times in the time limit will be declared the victor. If both teams have the same number of kills, it is declared a draw.
The most effective strategy to win the game is to simply take control of the Soul Obelisk. The opposing team will be unable to offer shards to the obelisk, and therefore the controlling team is free to lower the level of the enemy avatar. However, this requires many high-levelled players guarding the obelisk because the other team will probably attempt to take it.
A good way to buy some time for your team to take control is by taking a barricade and placing it in front of the other team's entrance to the obelisk. The other team will also probably know about this, so it's best to bring a few explosives with you.
Some players attempt "graveyard-" or "obelisk-" rushes to take control of the opposing team's grave or the soul obelisk. Most of the grave rushes on a crowded world fail, since the opposing players still in the sanctuary zone will spill out once they lost control of it and will quickly retake it. If they are successful, the other team is crippled for the rest of the game, since they aren't able to get people quickly in the front lines. Successful obelisk rushes will lose the enemy's control of the obelisk and the bar will slowly change colour and the rush's team takes control.
To start a "rush", usually a single player spams "grave rush!", "obby rush!", "g rush!", or "fall in for grave/obby rush!", etc. at their graveyard and tries to get as many players to follow them as possible. Those players often spam "fallz", "fall in", "grave rush", etc. and attract more and more players. When there are enough players following one, the rush leader takes everyone to their team's supply area and everyone gets bandages, then follows the leader again as they all run to the area they try to take over.
Along the way most players scream "fall in for grave/obby rush!" or spam @ signs many times to fill the screen. The players in a particularly massive rush may cover the screen with their @ signs, causing much lag. When everyone reaches the grave or obelisk they start to attack the enemies, hopefully killing enough (or having enough people to outnumber the enemy) to make the enemy lose control of the area being rushed.
After the activity bar was added, it is hard to organise a rush because those involve large amounts of time doing nothing except spamming. Players who don't help the team are removed in a few minutes.
Defence is often overlooked in Soul Wars with an emphasis on controlling resources in the game through such tactics as rushing. This strategy can be used against the enemy by making them "run the gauntlet" when approaching your team's avatar.
Rangers can be positioned close to the main battlefield as a first line of defence. This starts reducing enemy hitpoints, can poison the enemy, and helps to prevent mages from being attacked due to the need for more bandages.
Mages can then use bind, snare, entangle, or ice magic to prevent further access to the base. Rangers can continue to do damage while the enemy is prohibited from moving. Both mages and rangers have the advantage of attacking over obstacles, which can greatly assist in storeroom rushes.
Melee acts as the last line of defence. Warriors should be positioned between the entrance to the storeroom and in the corridor leading to the team's avatar. Rather than relying on mages and rangers, warriors should make use of barricades to keep their opponent within melee distance. An effective front line of mages and rangers is responsible for slowing and weakening the enemy enough for fast, effective kills.
Strategic barrier placement allows rushers to be attacked by all sides of the combat triangle including familiars. It is suggested that familiars use an alternative attack to its master according to the combat triangle.
E.g., a mage may use a melee familiar to target enemies in magic-resistant armour, or a ranger may use a familiar with a magic-based attack on an enemy wearing metal armour.
Picking a team
The most important thing players can do to ensure a victory is to choose the correct team from the beginning. In almost all games, the final outcome is decided in the first five minutes. Once a team of high level players captures the obelisk, the other team will rarely succeed in capturing it. Players should scan both waiting rooms and select the one with more level 100+ players, as this team almost always wins. Additionally, Summoning familiars may be used as reference points when scanning a waiting area-if a team has many higher-level familiars (i.e. titans) in the waiting area, that team usually ends up winning. Unfortunately by the time you've scanned a team, it will have become very full and you will have likely missed entering the next game. Clan chats can also be used to determine the winning team, as the leader and ranked people make "calls", or a prediction on the next team to win. Usually how they predict is by sending one clan member to join a high-levelled (120+) clan when there is 1 minute left, then wait for that clan's generals to tell what team to go to. Then the "scout" returns to his own clan and tells them the team that the stronger clan called. Just about every single time the team they joined wins.
An alternative method is to find "tie worlds" for two zeals per game. On these worlds, players intentionally draw the game by refusing to attack the avatar and placing all barricades in front of it. A tie is not guaranteed, as players may "crash" tie worlds, and kill the enemy avatar to break the tie and get 3 zeal for their team. This often fails, as tie worlds usually have very few people willing to kill the avatar.
Leaving the game
Should players wish to leave the game they will not receive any Zeal points. Unlike Castle Wars, however, players will not be able to join a game, and still receive Zeal points until the current game has ended. This ensures that players on the losing team cannot swap teams to receive more points. They used to be able to join with 1 minute left in the game, but Jagex changed it because it was unfair for quitters or freeloaders to have more priority that the people who finished the game.
Players will receive a number of Zeal points based on their performance in the game, unless the player joined the waiting area after the game was half over; then no zeal points are awarded. (Only occurs if the player had not been waiting in the waiting area before the game is half way done):
- 3 zeal for a victory
- 2 zeal for a draw
- 1 zeal for a defeat
Players may trade these in with the Nomad for a variety of rewards such as experience, charms, and other items. Players can store a maximum of 50,000 Zeal points. This is equivalent to playing and winning over 16,000 games at 23 minutes per game cycle, which is equal to just over 266 days of continuous gameplay.
- For more info on the rewards, see Soul Wars/Rewards
Music tracks unlocked:
- Soul Wars
- The Waiting Game
- Extra Strength and Defence- when a game is about to expire (under 1 minute remaining), using the special attack of the dragon battleaxe will raise strength tremendously, but lower all other attack stats. However, the stats are returned to normal after the game ends, except for the strength boost. Your special attack bar will also be restored. Also, right before a game using Excalibur's special will raise defence and the special attack bar will be restored as soon as the game starts. Using this Technique will allow players to have a Strength and Defence boost without using potions, and while keeping the special bar full.
- You are sometimes able to run straight through barricades.
- When you type 0 or anything equal or higher than 2,147,483,647 (2^31 - 1) on the Withdraw-x option for Potions and Bandages, you will be given one instead.
- After the RuneTek5 update 2009 the icon that shows which team is controlling the soul obelisk, the soul obelisk (on the icon) became invisible.
- Summoning is the only combat-related skill in which players cannot receive experience as a reward in Soul Wars. However, players may exchange Zeal points for charms for use in Summoning.
- Players trying to do an emote in the arena receive the message, "This is a battleground, not a circus." This could be a reference to the play Les Misérables in which the main character Jean Valjean says, "This is a Factory and not a Circus."
- If a player tries to trade while in the arena, the game will say, "This is a battleground, not a marketplace."
- If players try to alchemise an object, they will get the message, "This isn't the Mage Training Arena, you know."
- If a player clicks on the Enchant Crossbow Bolt spell icon in the game or in a waiting room, the game will say, "You should be crushing souls, not enchanting bolts!"
- When Soul Wars was released, people were able to use the Humidify spell; however, Jagex soon updated it. Now, if players try to cast the Humidify spell, they will get the message, "You're here to crush souls, not to play with pretty clouds!"
- The jellies and pyrefiends count toward a player's slayer task.
- You cannot take the Ring of Stone or the Easter Ring into the arena.
- The tutorial has its very own world map.
- When in ghost form, casting the NPC Contact spell, the image of player talking to the NPC is replaced by an image of a ghost rather than the image of the player. The same goes for summoning familiars. When you talk to them, you're a ghost.
- The examine for Avatar of Destruction is "the essence of ruination," but, in the tutorial, it has different examine phrase.
- The introduction of Soul Wars has made achieving 99 slayer at level 3 more plausible.
- Due to a recent update, a small bar appears in game and turns from green to red depending on how much you are participating. A player in the red zone risks being kicked out.
- At the end of the tutorial, players can return and talk to Zimberfizz. He reveals that the Nomad captured him using a Magic box, and hints that the Nomad himself created the obelisk.
- In smaller worlds, the counter can sometimes stop working properly. This results in the game not starting even if the teams have 10+ people in the waiting rooms, as the counter would only count less. To fix this, all the players must leave and then re-enter the waiting room once everyone is out.
- Ava's Accumulator and Attractor, when worn properly to avoid magnetic interference, do not generate arrows while in the area by Nomad with the one-click bank chest.
- On the day of release, people used spades and dug in the two small graveyards near the bank, claiming that they got sets of barrows or dragon. This is and was a lie, and does not work.
- When a game ends, all participating players will be teleported to the same square in front of the portal, and this will cause some major lag on slower computers when players start to run.