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This Developer Blog is copied verbatim from the RuneScape website. It is copyrighted by Jagex.
It is written by Mod Chaose and is dated 8 April 2015.
The Dukes Team Blog

The Team – All hail the Dukes!

Within RuneScape we are split into smaller 'scrum teams' of content developers, graphics artists, designers and QA testers. We are the Dukes, one of the three core teams that produce the main weekly updates you've come to expect. Our goal is to continue the fun by providing a variety of quality content updates such as minigames, quests, skill updates and more!

Previous Projects

For over a year our team has developed all kinds of updates including Bank Loadouts, The Mighty Fall, Barbarian Assault Redux, Hallowe'en 2014, Broken Home, Dominion Tower improvements, Dishonour among Thieves and Easter 2015!

Current Projects

  • A Sixth-age Quest
  • Elite NPC spawns
  • RuneLabs March ideas - Large project!
  • Initial design for Invention

RuneLabs March ideas

RuneLabs had a "Large project" specification in March. That round of RuneLabs is closed and the four most supported ideas were p for a poll in the game until Thursday 9th April.

A winner has been decided! The Dukes will be working on;

Quest; Seren and the Elves.

Investigate the goddess Seren and the possibility of recombining her shattered body. Rewards would include Seren themed magic and prayer options. Access to the elf city of Prifddinas would likely be a requirement.

As the lead developer for the project Mod Ollie is keen to communicate with you guys on the content of this quest. If you have ideas please include them in this thread or tweet them to @JagexOllie!

The following three weren't lucky enough to win. If you'd like to see these projects in future, support them in future rounds of RuneLabs :)

Quest; Rite of Passage

A quest designed by Mod Raven (currently of the community development team) last year which has since gained popularity in the community. Players would travel to the planet of Abbinah, the homeworld of the god Armadyl. There they would explore his origins and that of the Aviansie race.

Skill update; Farming Guild

Players would be able to access a new skill guild, locked behind a certain Farming level. Once they're considered skilled enough of a gardener they can access the greenhouses, farming patches and perhaps even new plants that the guild has to offer!

Skill update; Agility improvements

Existing agility training methods would be improved with the mind of making it less of a tedious process. We would offer new ways to train and additional perks, making it feel much more fulfilling to increase your level!

Sixth-Age quest

Hot off the launch of Dishonour among Thieves, we've been working our next quest for the Sixth-Age. We're reluctant to give away too much information at this point for the sake of avoiding spoilers but we can reveal that a god you've not met before is coming back to a particular town on Gielinor after hearing of Guthix's death.

Current plans are for this to be an Experienced tier quest. Expect this update to launch early in Summer.

Elite NPC spawns

Bored of training on the same monster? Slayer task beginning to drag on a bit? Watch out, an elite NPC has spawned! Particularly high level Dungeoneers with a penchant for Slayer may have seen the Powerful Edimmu that sometimes spawns when one of his smaller brethren is defeated. You may have also recently seen a multi-option poll asking you which creatures you'd like to see possibly spawn an elite version when fighting them, with Abyssal demons, Dark beasts and Greater demons coming out on top. Unlike the Powerful Edimmu we're planning to balance these creatures to be only a little more challenging, to break up the monotony of training for a better chance at rewards without using up all of your supplies!

We're hoping to release around fifteen elite spawns, laying the groundwork to make it easy for developers to add to it in future.

Looking forward to Invention

We've now begun the very early stages of design for Invention, considering what our core aims for the project are and beginning to formulate ways we would go about facilitating these requirements. The following points are the overall aims that we are currently debating. There will be a great many other considerations, requirements and challenges to designing the content and the below is just a starting point. We've a long list of questions to resolve, and are hoping to include your input as much as we can.

Foremost we want to tie into artisan skills. Our gathering skills (e.g. mining, woodcutting) feed into the artisan skills (e.g. smithing, crafting), which in turn will feed into invention. Invention should improve the value of the artisan skills and feel routed in the existing game and not be not segregated content. The focus of Invention should be aimed towards high level, ensuring new creations don't quickly become obsolete. As per the winning options on the recent player poll, we need to let players level up something other than their character (e.g. weapons, gear or followers) and include non-combat inventions, allowing the creation of inventions that fine-tune tools and give new methods of non-combat training. Another aim is to produce content that makes a difference to the way a player plays the game over the coming years for a longer-term impact and not be completable in one chunk and promptly forgotten. We want players to form a personal bond with items and get a sense of attachment and pride in the items they invent.

There should be some strong player agency, that is to say that the player should feel instrumental in the production of an invention as they are a pioneer at the cutting edge; experimenting and meshing together new and as of yet unseen crafts and technologies. However, there should also be a low barrier to entry, in that inventing should feel accessible and intuitive throughout. I.e. it should be easy to explain how an invention was produced. 'How did you get that invention?' should result in an answer that includes the key steps in one sentence. Finally we'd like Invention to form the possibility of an item sink for commonly available, but often unused items and divination energy, providing not only more value but more purpose to the content involved in creating/obtaining them.

Current scheduling places Invention near the end of the 2015. We're keen to keep in touch with the player base about what it is you'd like out of the invention project and shape the design and implementation over the coming months accordingly and would love to hear your opinion on the above.

But what happened to Livestock?

Unfortunately, in designing the Livestock additions to Farming we soon realised that this was going to be significantly larger than we could manage alongside all of our other commitments and the smaller impact it would have on the game would not be justifiable to develop. While we're not ruling it out as a future project we will not be working on it in the short-term.

Until Next Time...

Please let us know what you think of these projects and any ideas/questions you have about future ones. The feedback you give us is invaluable.

Thanks,
Mod Chaose and The Dukes

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Get in touch with the Dukes directly! While it's best to post your feedback here in the dev-blog thread, if you have even more feedback/discussion points about previous or currents projects you can find a few of us on Twitter!

Mod Ollie - @JagexOllie - Content Developer [Dishonour Among Thieves] [RuneLabs March]
Mod Ollo - @JagexOllo - Content Developer [Easter 2015] [Elite NPC spawns]
Mod James H - @JagexJamesh - Lead QA Tester
Mod Chaose - @JagexChaose - QA Tester

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