In February's edition of State of Play we promised to report regularly on anticipated updates, giving you a better idea of how they are progressing. This week, we feel it's the right time to catch up with Summoning, PvP minigames and some other releases we have planned.
Progress has been made on Summoning 2 and we plan to have this released by the end of the month. It is currently past the balancing and entering the final QA stages.
Many of you have asked what the rebalancing entails. Well, we do not want to ruin the surprise completely, but we can say that we have changed our philosophy towards balancing familiars. Instead of having lots of benefits that ADD UP to create a useful familiar, we have decided to make sure that each familiar will have one stand-out ability that makes it awesome.
Take the beaver, for example: currently, it boosts your Woodcutting, counts as a knife, produces logs when Woodcutting and offers the Multichop special move. On their own, these abilities add up, but don't 'stand out', as such. Well, with our change in policy, the beaver will soon make you logs and planks no matter what you are doing at the time, in a similar vein to Ava's Accumulator from the Animal Magnetism quest.
We can also reveal that the combat familiars will give you XP when used in battle. Each combat familiar will have a specific skill that they raise your XP in during combat - the spirit jelly gives Strength XP, for example. This will be equal to the XP you would receive if you had caused the damage yourself.
Friends List Changes:
When we released the changes to the Friends List on the 25th of February, we never intended them to impact on your enjoyment of RuneScape. In fact, the changes were made so that you could chat easily with your FunOrb friends and vice versa.
Unfortunately, as many of you have pointed out, the text used in the interface was difficult to read for some, leading us to make changes to its colour scheme. This was only a short-term solution, however, and the FunOrb and RuneScape Game Engine teams are collaborating to make something that will be appreciated by 'Scapers and 'Orbsters alike.
The item lending feature has progressed past the proposal stage. Unfortunately, the Game Engine developers in charge of the project have had to delay it while they work on issues with serverload that came to light during the Audio Week release. These problems meant that worlds went out of action for a period of time and the developers have been tackling this issue so it does not happen again.
We're aiming to have this resolved in the next couple of weeks, so that item lending can be made a priority again. For the moment, we can tell you that the item lending feature will be session-based, allowing you to transfer objects to another player for the period that you are both logged in.
New PvP Minigame:
Our next PvP minigame is entering the last stages of QA. Many of you have asked on the Forums about some aspects of this minigame - in particular, how it differs from the Duel Arena.
Well, firstly, we can promise that the game is nothing like the Duel Arena or even Bounty Hunter. This game calls for strategy, requiring far more than just combat. It demands mastery of both offensive and defensive tactics while offering fantastic rewards that you can receive nowhere else.
We plan for this minigame to be available to both members and F2P, which means that everyone can expect some enhanced equipment with great set effects. We will continue improving both free-to-play and members' PvP content in the future. Expect more news in upcoming State of Plays!
Clan Wars Changes:
We've had a good look at the suggestions players have been sending in for Clan Wars. In particular, we'd like to add a 'run-in' option, where players will be permitted to re-join the battle after they've died. The first team to achieve a pre-agreed number of kills may be declared victorious. Along with this, we're looking to provide a choice of arenas, each with different scenery and obstacles. We've got plenty more Clan Wars features planned - including some 'dangerous' ones - so keep your eyes peeled for information.
We had planned some work on the random events of RuneScape quite some time ago. We were looking to see if we could remove most of them, because a decent number were not particularly good at stopping modern-day bots. Since the threat of bots and macros has been largely removed, we feel that this is a perfect opportunity to address the problem again. For the moment, we are concentrating on our PvP minigames to compensate for the Wilderness changes, but the random event proposal has been approved and is in the pipeline.
Issues with item images have meant that the Grand Exchange Database has been delayed until mid-April. We apologise for this continued delay; we intend to release the database when we are certain that it delivers on its aim - to give you a strong visual idea of market price trends over a long period of time.
Our Grand Exchange price changes are still ongoing. The godswords and flatpack furniture are examples of items that have had their value changed thanks to your feedback.