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This Developer Blog is copied verbatim from the RuneScape website. It is copyrighted by Jagex.
It is written by Mod Pi and is dated 29 June 2015.
Dev Blog: Hydrix Re-Balance

Hey all, You asked for it and It's been a long time coming but we've finally re-evaluated hydrix and come up with a bunch of changes to top end jewellery which should not only make hydrix a lot more competitive and desirable at the top end of our game, but also to make you think a lot more about what piece of jewellery you want to take in each circumstance. The aim of this re-balance is to take hydrix and existing jewellery and to offer side-grades at the top end. Hydrix jewelry is the most expensive jewelry to buy and maintain thus deserves improved functionality to reflect this.

We've made changes to all Hydrix jewelry, the Blood necklace, the Asylum surgeon's ring, Ring of vigour and added Hydrix bolt tips to drop tables. To see a TL;DR of the changes made check the post below this one but we would really encourage you to read the whole blog.

Since there are a lot of changes to high end gear, we are releasing this dev blog so you can see why we made the changes we did and in what circumstances we expect certain jewellery to shine! ;)

You can find the changes below:

Reaper Necklace

Previous state

Stats - +30 strength bonus in all combat styles and +3 prayer.
Effect - When wearing this necklace each critical hit will grant a stacking reaper buff for 10 seconds. Each stack gives a 1% attack bonus in all styles, capping at 3 stacks.

Changes made and why

Stats
Looking at the stats, this gets outclassed by a fury. Considering that this is an expensive top end degradable it should not be outclassed by a non degradable item.
For this reason the stats of the reaper necklace will be buffed to provide +36 in all combat styles. This will make it better than amulet of fury (t) but worse than the combat specific dungeoneering amulets.

Effect
With the changes made to crits after legacy release the effect on this necklace was made pretty much useless. It's obvious that this needs a re-design and that's exactly what we have done.

The new effect on the reaper necklace will still provide you with a hefty accuracy bonus and will reward you when you keep fighting. It will work like so:
- Each time you successfully hit a target you will gain one stack on your reaper necklace. This will stack up to a maximum of 30 stacks.
- The stacks will drop off over time and the time it takes for one stack to drop off is the time it would take you to rattle off 30 ability attacks. i.e. you have to keep attacking if you want to maintain 30 stacks.
- For every stack you have on your reaper necklace you will gain a 0.1% accuracy bonus to all styles (so a max of 3%).

The idea behind this is that the reaper necklace will be best in slot for fights that you need that little bit of an accuracy boost. I.E. DPS on vorago or top end slayer mobs. The strength bonus, while not best by quite a distance, should provide you with a decent base damage and the extra hits you should get in with the 3% accuracy buff should make this a really good item.

Deathtouch Bracelet

Previous state

Stats - +14 strength bonus in all combat styles and +3 prayer.
Effect - While wearing this bracelet, there is a 1/15 chance that 25-50% of the damage you take will be reflected upon your opponent.

Changes made and why

Stats
Stat wise the death touch bracelet is in a good place, the strength bonus here is equal to t90 power gloves but provides buffs to all styles. Pushing this any higher would devalue t90 power gloves and the drops of 3 top end slayer mobs so the stats have not changed.

Effect
The effect on the other hand is something that needed some work.

Comparing the reflection passive of the deathtouch bracelet to the ring of recoil shows this to a scary degree. The ring of recoil reflects 10% of incoming damage 100% of the time. The deathtouch bracelet will refect 25-50% of damage with a 1/15 chance, this averages out to 2.5% of incoming damage reflected. The ring of recoil actually outclasses a top end piece of jewellery!

To fix this the first change we have made is to increase the deathtouch bracelets reflect chance to be 1/5 rather than 1/15 which pushes the average to be 7.5%. The ring of recoil is more consistent but the death touch bracelet will provide chunkier hits, not to mention the ring of recoil shatters after only 4000 damage reflected. The deathtouch bracelet will also deal reflection damage to reflect immune bosses but the damage will be halved. Some attacks are are still not reflected like vorago's red bomb or the QBD's fire waves but you should find that in a lot of cases the death touch bracelet will refect damage onto bosses where most other reflection sources wont.

Ring of Death

Previous state

Stats - +25 strength bonus in all combat styles and +3 prayer.
Effect - When wearing this ring, killing a target has a chance to heal you 2.5% of your foe's maximum life points.

Changes made and why

The Ring of death is in a very crowded space, it sees itself up against the Asylum surgeons ring, the Ring of vigour and the leviathan ring.

For stats this ring is best in slot, however when compared to other rings effects the ring finds itself overshadowed by rings that are cheaper to obtain and maintain.

Ring of Death vs Leviathan Ring
The Ring of Death had a defensive passive which offered a chance to heal when killing an enemy but compared the the leviathan rings ability to mitigate more damage than the Ring of death can heal the Ring of death was totally outclassed defensively. We could boost the Ring of deaths healing but there are plenty of healing solutions in the game and adding more would seriously start to devalue food. We have chosen to totally remove the Ring of deaths current passive and add a couple of new ones.

The first passive we have added is to allow the Ring of death to save the wearer on death. This acts a bit like the ring of life but will only teleport you when you receive a killing blow rather than teleporting you out when you are below 10%.
On receiving a killing blow the Ring of death will take 15% of its charge to allow you to bypass Death's office and spawn immediately without the need to pay anything and your armour not losing charges. This links the cost of the Ring of death saving you to 30% of the price of an onyx, which is cheaper compared to reclaiming top end gear from death.

Not content with the Ring of death being a slightly better version of the ring of life we looked at offensive rings and compared them to the Ring of Death.

Ring of Death vs Asylum Surgeon's Ring
The first comparison we made was obvious, we compared the Ring of death to the Asylum surgeon's ring, what we found was that the Asylum surgeon's ring offers great stats along side a great passive for a ring which is much much cheaper than the Ring of death. We don't want to change the passive of the Asylum surgeon's ring at all, it is exactly where we want it but we do feel that the stats of the ring are too close to the Ring of death for a quest reward. For this reason we are going to be lowering the stats of the Asylum surgeons ring slightly from +23 in all styles to +21 in all styles to increase the distance between the Ring of death and the next best ring.

Ring of Death vs Ring of Vigour
We next looked at the Ring of vigour, once again the passive is great and that wont change, we did notice that it had no stats though, to make this ring a bit more competitive we are giving the Ring of vigour the same stats as it used to have, the same as a berserker ring, it will gain +12 strength in all styles to make it a bit more appealing when you're choosing what you want to take.

Ring of Death vs Ring of Vigour vs Asylum Surgeon's Ring
Looking at how the rings sit a long side each other, the Ring of death has the best stats, the Ring of vigour is best if you're performing an ultimate and the Asylum surgeons ring is best if you're popping off thresholds. The passives of the other two rings would still cause them outclass the Ring of death in all situations and this is why we're giving the Ring of death another passive ablity. To give the Ring of death a nice niche use to sit along side the Ring of vigour and the Asylum surgeon's ring the Ring of death will have a 50% chance to provide 1% adrenaline for every 1,500 max lifepoints your target has on killing blow, capping at 5%. This means for boss fights with lots of mobs or slayer this ring will be very effective but for longer fights and a lot of boss fights the Ring of vigour or Asylum surgeon's ring is better.

Amulet of Souls

Previous state

Stats - +46 strength is all styles and +5 prayer.
Effect - With this amulet equipped, Soul Split has a 10% chance to heal 25-50% more.

Changes made and why

Firstly it goes without saying that stats of the amulet of souls are fine as they are, it provides the best stats in slot by far.

The passive however leaves a lot to be desired, it buffs soulsplit but the healing increase is barely noticeable and is left in the dust by the blood necklace. To show this effectively we ran some tests to show the healing rates of the amulet of souls and the blood necklace.

The following tests were performed on a lumbridge training dummy to remove accuracy from the equation. To remove human error and to keep things consistent the tests were performed using exactly the same gear with the same prayers and potions and the attacks were performed by a modified version of revolution which triggers thresholds and ultimates all using the same bar setup. The gear used is the current best gear in game due soulsplit being linked to DPS and us balancing for the top end. Each test was 5 minutes long and was performed 5 times to gain a reliable average healing rate.

Below you can see the results:

Blog - Hydrix Re-Balance 1

As you can see, the blood necklace out heals the amulet of souls by a clear margin. Considering the up front and maintenance cost of the amulet of souls is higher this doesn't seem right.

The first thing to note is that the increase in healing provided by the amulet of souls occurs before the caps that area enforced on soul split.
Soul split has 3 caps, 2 soft caps and 1 hard cap. The first soft cap divides any healing above 400 by 4, after that the second soft cap divides any healing above 200 by 2 and after that the healing is hard capped at 750. So the first and most obvious thing to do was to move the healing buff after the soft caps which gave the following results:

Blog - Hydrix Re-Balance 2

Performing the same tests with a top end dungeoneering amulet showed soulsplit providing 87.1244 LP per cycle. This implies that blood necklace is offering approximately 20 LP per cycle passively and the amulet of souls is providing approximately 3 LP per cycle. Considering that blood necklace is a passive ability and the amulet of souls requires you to push hard for DPS this seems somewhat backwards. What we've done is bring down blood necklace and bring up the amulet of souls so that they meet somewhere in the middle. This means that unless you're capable of getting a a decent amount of DPS the blood amulet can still out heal the amulet of souls.

The changes we made was to bring the blood necklaces damage and healing down to 200+random(300) which is down from 400+random(200). This makes the healing slightly less consistent and trims a little off the top end. With the amulet of souls we buffed the ability chance to 50% which is up from 10%. This resulted in the following:

Blog - Hydrix Re-Balance 3

Here you can see amulet of souls finally out heals the blood necklace. There are however, a couple of points which don't make this as clear cut a decision as you may think. The blood necklace offers consistent stable healing provided you are hitting or being hit. The amulet of souls is very dependant on you providing consistent high DPS. The numbers shown there are a generated using the best gear in the game with the best boosts available, 100% hit chance and a computer automating ability rotations. Lower gear, stalls in fights, blood necklaces AoE hits, lower hit chances and base damage and you will find the blood necklace can still out perform the amulet of souls for increased healing over time.

Another problem with the amulet of souls effect is that it assumes that you're using soulsplit. This is not always the case, especially when bossing. For this reason we are adding a second effect to the amulet of souls and that is to allow it the passively boost the effectiveness of protection spells by 10%. This means that while wearing the amulet of souls protection spells will have a base protection of 60%.

Conclusion

So there we go, lots of buffs, sadly a couple of nerfs to give hydrix a bit of space and hopefully a whole bunch of cool jewellery at the top end for you to play with. The changes made should make hydrix jewellery very desirable while keeping existing jewellery items at the top end of the game with their niche uses.

Enjoy!


The Ninja Team

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