Evolution of Combat: Both Hands are Better than One
Shields are great if you're playing it safe, but if you're looking to kick out maximum damage, you should be willing to get both hands dirty. Our latest batch of Evolution of Combat updates is themed around this simple premise.
First up, we've rebalanced both dual wielding and two-handed damage to bring them onto a level plane. Whether you're a dual-dagger dervish or a maul-wielding marauder, you should be doing around 150% of the base damage you'd be doing with an equivalent one-handed weapon and shield. This means that both styles are equally valid ways of pumping out damage, leaving the choice down to your tactical needs and personal preference.
We've also implemented full dual-wielding capabilities for magic users, meaning that you can now auto-cast a different spell from each hand: just right-click the spell's icon to find the option. Have fun coming up with cruel cocktails of Ancient spells to blast and debilitate your foes! You can also wield magic-oriented weapons alongside cross-class weapons. You could wield a crossbow and a book, a wand and an off-hand sword, or any other combination you can come up with.
Alongside the above changes, we've also switched the degrade system for the Player-Owned Ports armour sets to the one used for the armour sets available from Nex. Your top-end armour will now last much longer in battle.
Look out for brand-new magic and ranged abilities, coming soon!
Changes to the Free Game and Membership Trial
From today, free players can train almost every members' skill up to level 5! This permanent expansion to the free game replaces the old two-week free trial previously offered on new accounts, and is a great way for free players to get a taste of the amazing content that membership brings to the game.
Free players must still log on to free-to-play worlds, but on those worlds it is now possible to train every members' skill (with the exception of Construction) up to level 5. On top of that, we've opened up Burthorpe[help] and Taverley[help] to everyone. These two towns make up the Troll Warzone[help] - which is an excellent introduction to the members' game - and contain all the training spots and items you'll need to sample the first 5 levels of the members' game.
The Troll Warzone contains all of this, and more. If you haven't tried out our members' game yet, then wait no longer: head north-west from Falador and through the gate to Burthorpe and Taverley, and get stuck into the members' content! You'll be summoning spirit wolves, slaying gelatinous abominations, and quaffing potions until they come out of your ears. Thirsty for more? Take a look at the full range of content available to RuneScape members here.
Run Energy Changes
Run energy's important to think about when you're engaged in PvP, but it's the last thing you want to be worrying about when exploring Gielinor, or just heading over to the Grand Exchange. Despite the introduction of musicians a few years back, we felt that run energy drain was an obstacle to the joy of discovery and exploration, and meant that getting from A to B was much more of a chore than it needed to be.
Today, we have made the following changes to help players of all levels travel around Gielinor on foot far more easily:
Reduced the run energy drain rate across all levels.
Increased the restore rates across all levels while standing/walking.
Reduced the penalty caused by weight to run energy drain rates.
Added an “auto run” feature, where the player's state automatically switches to 'run' once run energy restores to 40% after resting, standing or walking (unless explicitly toggled to 'walk').
Everyone should see a marked improvement in running time before needing to rest. All items that restore run energy work as they did before, and the Leech Energy curse still drains and restores run energy at the same rate.
We're also looking into a big update to the Agility skill in the future, to introduce benefits beyond the run energy drain and restoration rates, shortcuts and other content it currently unlocks.