It is written by Mod John A and is dated 29 June 2010.
By now you should all have seen the new website background that we released with the Dungeoneering skill, featuring adventurers wearing Dungeoneering mage, melee, and ranger gear. The characters are there in order to model the new equipment, but they’re not just random models: they’re some of the new RuneScape Signature Heroes. You’ll be seeing more of them in future, so we think it’s about time you were introduced.
What are the signature heroes?
There are several RuneScape quests where you have an NPC ally, for example Zanik in the goblin quest series. Having Zanik accompany you through the quests opened up a lot of story possibilities, and I think it made for a more emotionally engaging experience than if you’d gone through the quests alone. We’ve given you allies in a few other quests as well: Cyrisus in Dream Mentor, the Wise Old Man in Swan Song, and others.
The idea of the Signature Heroes is to give you a new set of ally characters who aren’t tied to a particular quest series. The feeling should be that they’re adventurers like you, and you cross paths with them at various times in your career. Hopefully they’ll not only make for good quests, but also enhance the whole game by putting specific faces on the idea of being a RuneScape hero. We’re not planning for the Signature Heroes to dominate the game - there’s still room for lots of solo quests, and other ally characters will continue to appear - but the new heroes give us more storytelling options.
Another use of the Signature Heroes will be in artwork. Previously we’ve produced artwork depicting adventurers in action, but the characters have always been generic ones created separately for each picture. The Signature Heroes provide us with a set of characters we can re-use in different situations, giving the artwork a sense of continuity. In the future, if we were to release a new boss monster (for example) and wanted to make an image of some adventurers fighting it, we’d use the Signature Heroes. The new heroes may appear in other ways as well, for example in Lores and Histories stories.
Who are the signature heroes?
So, who are these heroes?
The ranger is Ozan. He’s a dashing rogue: charismatic, flamboyant, and carefree. He was born amid the bazaars of Al Kharid, grew on the mean streets of Varrock, and since then he’s travelled to every corner of the known world. He seeks out adventure for its own sake, exploring forgotten tombs and pulling off seemingly impossible feats of skill and daring.
The mage is Ariane. She’s a native of Seers’ Village, and has inherited the seers’ limited precognitive ability. She’s studied at the Wizards’ Tower and Mages’ Guild, and dabbled in almost every school of magic. She’s rational and idealistic, driven to discover all the magical secrets of the world, and to use them to make the world a better place.
The warrior is Sir Ewain. He was born in Falador, and worked his way through the ranks of the White Knights before being recruited as a Temple Knight. He’s now one of the Temple Knights’ best agents, and has been granted free rein to pursue the knights’ goals as an independent adventurer. He’s a classic knight in shining armour, but as a Temple Knight he’s also something of a secret agent, prepared to use stealth and deception to achieve his goals.
Besides those three, there are three more Signature Heroes who haven’t appeared in artwork yet. One of them has already appeared in-game: Xenia, from The Blood Pact, an experienced adventurer who acts as a mentor to the other characters. There are two more whom we’ll introduce later: a master smith named Linza, and a mysterious warrior known only as the Raptor.
The seventh hero
In a sense, there’s a seventh Signature Hero: your character. The aim of the Signature Heroes is not to overshadow the player character in the game’s storyline, but to enhance them, by providing a cast of ally characters, a community of other adventurers with whom they can interact. There’s a quest in development right now where you can work with Sir Ewain on a Temple Knight mission, and we’ll be producing quests involving the other heroes later this year.
If you’d like to discuss the Signature Heroes, please check out this forum thread.