This Developer Blog is copied verbatim from the RuneScape website. It is copyrighted by Jagex.
It is written by Mod Mark and is dated 3 March 2010.
What Constitutes the Change?

Why have we made this change?

We have often felt that the early levels of RuneScape are quite tough to understand and learn, and have been consistently working on improvements to the initial part of the game for the last two years or so.

One of the things we realised from play-testing our game was that new players hit quite a lot of zeros while training combat, and zeros are boring. We wanted to give more excitement to the early parts of the game without making it easier.

Equally, when a new player was hit by a monster, they only had 10 hitpoints to absorb that hit. The minimum damage we can do to that player is 1, which was 10% of their total hitpoints - a hit too big for someone learning the game.

With this change, we can allow low-level player to take hits more appropriate for their level, and deal small amounts of damage instead of seeing so many zeros.

Why change the name of the skill?

The term 'hit points' is a term associated with typical pen-and-paper roleplaying games. Traditionally, it’s a mechanic that allows a player to track how many hits they can take before they die. When we realised that our hitpoints mechanic needed to be changed, we didn’t want to confuse our players by using the same term to describe something else, so decided to remove the old term completely.

Are there any other benefits to the change?

We can start to use the skill itself in quests and skill updates. The problem we had with the skill being the same at the total hits a player could take was that we could never really affect the skill itself. This change allows us to add things like Constitution potions, which could increase your maximum life points but not actually heal you, or add a weapon that drains your opponent’s Constitution stat as well as doing damage to them. It really opens up lots of new design opportunities that were previously unavailable. If you have any ideas on how we can use the Constitution stat, please let us know on the Suggestions - Skill forums.

Is this the new skill you were talking about?

No! We are still working on the new skill; this is not it.

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