Soul Wars

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Soul Wars
Isle of Souls - Soul Wars lobby.png
Also called SW
Released 6 January 2021 (Update)
Type Minigame
Members Yes
Location Isle of Souls
Participants 10 per team
Skills Combat
Reward currency Zeal Tokens
Tutorial Yes
Music Soul Wars, The Waiting Game
Isle of Souls map.png
Soul Wars logo.png

Soul Wars is a members-only team minigame, a remake of the original Soul Wars released in RuneScape on 10 February 2009. In Soul Wars, two opposing teams compete against each other to gather soul fragments and offer them to the Soul Obelisk in order to weaken, and ultimately defeat, each other's Avatars through combat. Each game lasts up to 15 minutes.

For Hardcore Group Ironmen, safe deaths can take place in Last Man Standing, Soul Wars, and Castle Wars.[1]

Location[edit | edit source]

To get to Soul Wars, one must enter the Soul Wars portal in Edgeville or the Ferox Enclave Dungeon. It is located south-west of the bank, and west of the abandoned mausoleum. After going through the portal, the player will arrive at Nomad's camp on the Isle of Souls, where players can exchange Zeal for rewards, learn how to play Soul Wars, or join one of two teams to play Soul Wars. The northern region of the lobby area is a safe area from player versus player combat, while the southern region is unsafe and allows PvP combat on PvP worlds.

Getting there[edit | edit source]

Official worlds[edit | edit source]

Soul Wars can be played on any worlds, but dedicated worlds are more likely to be active.

Starting a game[edit | edit source]

Players require a total level of 500 and a combat level of 40 to play Soul Wars.

To join a team, the player must have completed the Soul Wars tutorial once on any world by talking to Nomad. The player may not bring restricted items such as food, potions, capes, followers and non-combat items with them to the tutorial. The player is also not allowed to enter the tutorial while poisoned, envenomed or diseased. Logging out or dying (a safe death) during the tutorial will take the player back to the Soul Wars lobby. Like the minigame itself, the tutorial is a PvP-enabled area on PvP worlds.

The western lobby is used for regular games. Each team must have at least ten players. Once enough players are in the lobby, a game will begin in two minutes. A game will automatically begin when the lobby has 120 players in them. Teams are balanced according to combat level.

The eastern lobby is reserved for clan games. Only captains and above may accept a challenge. Zeal earned is limited to 30 per game in this mode.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

The objective of the minigame is to defeat the opposing team's Avatar more times than they defeat yours in 15 minutes. The Avatars begin each battle with damage reduction of 100%. The red team's Avatar is the Avatar of Destruction, while the blue team's Avatar is the Avatar of Creation.

In order to reduce the damage reduction percentage, players will have to gather soul fragments as loot from monsters wandering around the minigame area, and offer them to the Soul Obelisk. Control over the Soul Obelisk is dependent on which team has more players within its vicinity; the team that does not have control of the obelisk will find that sacrificing soul fragments there will only be worth one-third of the contribution.

Players can also gather bones and bury them at a graveyard to increase the percentage of their Avatar's damage reduction. If the bones are buried in a graveyard in which the team that does not have control over, it will only be worth one-third of the contribution. If a team's Avatar's health is low, or the other team has control of the Soul Obelisk, then more players are needed to gather and bury bones to increase the damage reduction percentage of their Avatar. Players can also stand near the Soul Obelisk to assist in its capture.

The capes worn in Soul Wars act like team capes, meaning that attacking is the default left-click option on any player of an opposing team, which is useful when one does not target a certain player and is in a crowded place such as the Soul Obelisk. The capes worn cannot be unequipped during a game and players attempting to attack teammates are disallowed from doing so.

Players will have to maintain their activity bar in order to receive Zeal Tokens, the minigame's reward currency. The activity bar entirely depletes after about three minutes of inactivity. A player that remains completely idle and lets their activity bar deplete will be kicked from the game and forced to wait 10 minutes before they can join another game of Soul Wars.

Players can maintain their activity bar and earn Zeal Tokens by:

  • Killing players - the amount of Zeal given is dependent on how strong the opponent is, and killing the same player multiple times will have lower Zeal returns over time
  • Healing teammates - players can use bandages on their teammates to heal them
  • Burying bones - players can bury bones until their Avatar has 100% damage reduction
  • Sacrificing soul fragments - players can sacrifice soul fragments until the opposing team's Avatar has 0% damage reduction
  • Dealing damage to the opposing team's Avatar
  • Capturing graveyards or the Soul Obelisk
  • Killing NPCs (does not reward Zeal)
  • Destroying barricades (does not reward Zeal)

Rewards[edit | edit source]

The reward interface at the end of a game.

At the end of a game, players will receive Zeal Tokens based on their activity, regardless of whether their team won or lost, with the winning team earning more. Players on the losing team can get up to 40 zeal, players on the winning team can get up to 60 zeal. In the case of a draw players can get up to 50 zeal.

Players can speak to Nomad to redeem their Zeal Tokens for rewards. Possible rewards include experience in any combat skill that's at least level 30, equipment imbues, blighted items, or unique loot. Nomad can upgrade Soul Wars capes with ammunition saving effects when Ava's devices (or their max cape variants) are used on him.

Music unlocked[edit | edit source]

Name Unlock details Music track
Soul Wars Unlocked upon entering the Soul Wars lobby.
The Waiting Game Unlocked upon entering the Soul Wars lobby.

Historical[edit | edit source]

The Soul Wars minigame was originally released on 10 February 2009 in RuneScape. However, the Soul Wars for Old School RuneScape has many differences which aim to address the issues with its RuneScape counterpart and better adapt it for the community of Old School RuneScape.

  • The original version of Soul Wars only had one game running at a time, and ran for twenty minutes. This meant sometimes players might face a long wait. Now, games run for fifteen minutes and multiple games can run concurrently.
  • Player complaints about how easily botted Soul Wars used to be due to no requirements to play it were addressed by added entry requirements.
  • To complement the match-making changes, and to help avoid laggy games, an upper cap of 60 players per team was added.
  • Avatars in the original version of Soul Wars would only attack one player. Now, they'll still target just one player, but their attacks can hit any players in front of them.

Game balancing was stated to be a big problem as well, particularly when a team would rush to a large lead early in the game, or when a team has a lot of its players leave (these two things were quite often linked to one another). To address these issues, the following were implemented:

  • Games now last 15 minutes at most.
  • A team reaching a total of 5 Avatar kills will end the game early.
  • The game will end early if one team's player count drops below half of what it began with.
  • In the original Soul Wars there was only one exit point for the team graveyard. Now, there are three different exit points, making it harder to camp opposing players as they respawn.
  • Originally, only players on the controlling team could bury bones in a graveyard and sacrifice soul fragments to the Soul Obelisk. Now both teams can, but the non-controlling team will only get one-third of the contribution.

Lastly, Slayer was central to the gameplay of the original minigame. A number of changes were made to remove the skill's presence in Old School's Soul Wars:

  • Originally there was a Slayer level requirement to damage Avatars (which began at 100 and was reduced by using soul fragments on the Soul Obelisk). This was replaced with a damage reduction mechanic in which all damage dealt is initially reduced by 100%, making them immune to damage (this percentage is reduced by using soul fragments on the Soul Obelisk).
  • Pyrefiends and jellies were the NPCs that dropped soul fragments, which required Slayer levels to kill. They have been replaced by non-slayer creatures.
  • As Slayer is no longer part of Soul Wars, Slayer XP cannot be purchased with Zeal points.
  • The original Soul Wars offered a host of rewards that aren't suitable for Old School (Slayer XP, Summoning charms, and multiple pets via exchanging points and trophy heads).

Soul Wars was a promotional free-to-play minigame during Prime Plays: Soul Wars during its beta testing (15 December 2020 – 5 January 2021).

Changes[edit | edit source]

Date Changes
17 May 2023
  • References to ‘clans’ in the Soul Wars minigame have been removed and replaced with a clearer message stating that players must be in the same chat channel.
  • The Soul Wars ‘Clan’ waiting area has been renamed to the ‘Group’ waiting area.
11 January 2023

The Salve amulet's combat bonuses now apply to ghost within Soul Wars.

30 November 2022

Soul Wars public games now only require two players per team to start on Fresh Start Worlds.

18 May 2022
  • Soul Wars can now be played on any world.
  • A "Buy X" option has been added to the "Other" tab in the reward shop.
  • Combat experience from the reward shop has been increased:
    • Attack, Defence, Strength, and Hitpoints increased from 24 XP to 30 XP per zeal.
    • Ranged and Magic increased from 22 XP to 27 XP per zeal.
    • Prayer increased from 12 XP to 14 XP per zeal.
3 March 2021
  • Most Soul Wars-specific items no longer have a Destroy confirmation box and can now be quickly shift-dropped.
  • Soul Wars Clan mode now awards more Zeal, the maximum amount of Zeal awarded per game has been increased to 30.
3 February 2021
(update | poll)
  • The Soul Wars guide and tutorial have been updated to reference the new waiting rooms, as well as the changes to the cooldown to leave Graveyards and Bases after death.
  • Players can now purchase blighted items from the Reward Shop for 10 Zeal each, though they can't be sold back again or be used during a game.
20 January 2021
  • Players will now always unfreeze at the end of a game.
  • Time remaining messages are now handled by the server, which should stop them from appearing twice.
  • The blue waiting area has been changed into the main Soul Wars waiting area (which now has a white barrier).
  • The red waiting area has been changed into a clan waiting area (which now has a purple barrier), where clan members can challenge each other to games.
  • The Balance Portal has been removed.
13 January 2021
  • The inactivity timer will begin to tick down 10 seconds after a game starts instead of immediately.
  • Items in the "Other" section of the Reward Shop can now be examined.
  • The tutorial will now properly display the chatheads of bearded players.
  • The duration in which players cannot exit a Graveyard has been reduced from 15 seconds to 10. In addition, players will now receive immunity when exiting, which lasts for a few seconds or until another player is attacked.
  • Attempting to attack Avatars from outside the boss room will now cause the minigame to pull the player in, instead of a message telling them to move closer.
  • Bandage healing will now display the name of the player that healed them instead of their own name.
  • Skulled players on Deadman worlds can no longer start the tutorial or enter a waiting area.
  • Bones and soul fragments will now appear above other dropped items during a game.
  • Gravestones will no longer appear in waiting areas.
  • Players will no longer be able to bypass the temporary ban for leaving a game early by hopping to another world.
  • A "Check" option has been added to spoils of war to show how many players have opened so far.
  • It is no longer possible to open Spoils of War on Entrana.
  • Rebalanced the quantities of certain items in the Spoils of War.

Also, after the initial launch of Soul Wars and the addition of new worlds to handle all the players wanting to try it out, we have decided that we will be continuing with 3 Soul Wars worlds, one in each global region:

  • 320 US
  • 350 UK
  • 535 AUS
7 January 2021
  • The activity bar now takes 150 seconds to fully deplete rather than 120.
  • Ultimate Ironmen can now use the looting bag during a game.
  • The loot table for spoils of war have been adjusted, reducing quantities of runite ore and seeds. In addition, dragon items, rune items, seeds, and runite ore are now rarer.
  • Items which transform the player (such as the ring of stone and ring of coins) can no longer be used during a game.
  • A confirmation message will now appear when attempting to leave the lobby.
6 January 2021

Solved an issue with Soul Wars games starting later than usual, due to instances not closing after a game was complete, making no instance available for a new game.[2]

6 January 2021

Four additional Soul Wars worlds were added: 331 (US West), 336 (Germany), 341 (UK) and 477 (US East).[3]

6 January 2021

Three additional Soul Wars worlds were added (in addition to the original two): 328 (Germany), 329 (US East), 535 (Australia).[4]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Developers[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ "Group Ironman". Old School RuneScape News. Jagex. 6 October 2021. Archived from the original. "In PvP, safe deaths can take place in Last Man Standing, Soul Wars, and Castle Wars. [...] The good news is that deaths in PvP minigames will remain safe for Group Iron players – so you can all go and enjoy a game of Castle Wars together. (Detailed under 'Hardcore Group Ironman.')"
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^