In March's Gielinor Gazette we presented a possible vision for the future of PvP in Old School. Here's an update on where all that's at.
Return of Bounty Hunter: We want to reiterate that we are aware of ongoing concerns around boosting since the return of Bounty Hunter. We're assessing what to do next and we'll update you once a decision has been made. When Bounty Hunter was removed earlier this year, we said that we'd re-consider Bounty Hunter's place in Old School if we're unable to deliver a quality experience. One solution being considered is the replacement of the Bounty Hunter minigame with worlds which have the target system active. It'd also be possible for us to implement a PJ timer on these worlds to further incentivise solo PKing activity. This would effectively make it a PKing task activity without any bespoke rewards (just the loot you'd get from killing your opponents). If we do explore this, we'd move the current rewards elsewhere (likely the Last Man Standing rewards shop) and we'd allow the Vesta's Longsword to be wieldable on the target worlds. We're also considering the idea of making Blighted stuff usable on PvP worlds.
Removal of PvP worlds: This was perhaps the most divisive of the proposed ideas, and we've decided against it. We maintain that this was a sensible proposal at the time, but we're now satisfied that the level of support and activity within PvP Worlds is enough to justify they remain.
Restrict Wilderness access to specific worlds: Another divisive one! With Old School's increased player count, we're seeing a lot of activity in the Wilderness across most worlds. We'll continue monitoring player numbers before making any decisions. We wouldn't expect any changes to happen until we make the other Wilderness alterations.
Remove High Risk worlds, replace with Very High Risk worlds: We'd still like to proceed with this. It's possible that it might happen alongside the release of the Wilderness Hub (see below).
Moving Clan Wars and Last Man Standing to the Wilderness: This will happen alongside the release of the Wilderness Hub (see below).
Resolve Last Man Standing quality issues: This is definitely something we're doing. Since March's blog, we've made changes to help combat boxing and also reduced the number of F2P activity worlds. Alongside the quality-of-life changes, we're also ideating new maps and game modes which we'll share in the future. Below is a sneak peak of a ruined Varrock map concept:
Redesigning Wilderness bosses: We're still keen on this. It makes sense to release all boss changes at one time, which means that it's still some way away from release. We'll share more at a later date.
W45 Deadman: We'll be polling the community on this world, although the poll options are yet to be determined and the team hasn't yet reached a consensus. We acknowledge that players have invested a lot of time and effort into their characters, and while a game-wide reset might offer a short boost in life, we aren't convinced that we won't be in a similar position again in a year's time.
Wilderness PJ timer: Another one we're unsure about as there are clear benefits and negatives either way. It remains a contested issue, and it's one we're going to have to make a decisive call on.
Last Man Standing queuing: This is a 'nice-to-have' but it's not key to our plans. We think the queuing changes we're making to Last Man Standing (described below) will help a lot.
Wilderness Safe Respawn Area: This is coming with the Wilderness Hub.
Ferox' Enclave (The Wilderness Hub)
We've mentioned a Wilderness Hub a few times, so you're probably wondering what it is! Here's Mod Oasis to walk you through Ferox' Enclave, which we hope to release next month.
The beginning of this update started with a simple idea: How can we unite the wide variety of PvP in Old School while also creating a new home for current and future content?
The idea found roots in the heart of the Wilderness, and within the decrepit ruins of a long forgotten civilisation, Ferox' Enclave was born. Ferox, an old Zamorakian acolyte, has given up his pursuit for knowledge of gods past and has turned the ruins of an ancient town into a final chance for Gielinor's most ruthless denizens.
Player vs Player Combat
We've designed the hub to offer a variety of PvP experiences.
To the north, you'll find the remnants of a long destroyed town square which branches off into the graveyard of shadows. These ruins sport a eerie similarity to the main square in Varrock.
Along to the east, we've placed a bridge over the a small body of water. This bridge opens out to the further reaches of the wilderness, creating a very tight PvP experiences which players will find similar to the gates of Lumbridge.
To the south, you'll find a grimly marked entrance to the enclave. Only a few tiles to the Enclave's Bank Master, there's an entrance based on the wildly popular Grand Exchange.
Finally, to the west you'll find little in the way of markers and scenery. The barren and open entrance may remind you of Camelot.
We've also placed Ferox' Enclave along the level 15 combat bracket of the Wilderness, allowing players to quickly match up with others in their bracket by going through any of the entrances.
To help keeps players safe and to avoid any unwanted deaths, we've implemented some safeguarding features. For each of the four entrances, we've added barriers that you'll need to click to enter or exit. They function similarly to the Wilderness ditch and will warn if you haven't disabled them. These barriers ensure players know when they're leaving the safety of the Enclave!
In addition, each exit also has a buffer zone of a few tiles, allowing you to move freely before hunting out a foe. There are also safe paths on the outside of the Enclave between the southern, western and northern exits. To help keep you in the heart of the action, Ferox will also offer players the chance to set the Enclave as their respawn location!
Clan Wars and Last Man Standing
The Enclave was from the start designed to be the new home for Clan Wars and Last Man Standing. With that in mind, we've given both of these mini games a Wilderness facelift.
Starting with Last Man Standing, we've created a new lobby area that splits into three waiting rooms across the multiple floors. Competitive will be easily accessible through the ground floor, casual on the first floor and high stakes on the top floor.
To help players easily identify which game mode is close to launching, we've added a new display when you enter the Last Man Standing building. It shows the current waiting players total, as well as how many more are needed before a round can begin. If the thought of climbing the stairs is too tiring, have no fear - Lisa will be on hand to quickly send you to the relevant lobby to save you the extra clicks!
Speaking of which, Lisa and Justine have had a slight update to better fit their new Wilderness aesthetic. On their way up from the desert, they made a short diversion to purchase a new coffer which can now be found in the hub. It even has a handy slot in the top to deposit your hard earned gold.
Clan Wars has also enjoyed a bit of a revamp. The area has been condensed and has an additional couple of floors for players to talk in private with their teams before entering the portals. Just north of the Clan Wars waiting area is a new church for battle weary players to rest and restore their stats. By praying at the pools in the church, you'll receive the benefits of entering and leaving the Clan Wars free-for-all portal, without the hassle and extra clicks.
Future of the Enclave
Ferox' Enclave is the foundation from which we hope to offer more PvP content. All of this is just the start of our plans for the Wilderness and we hope you're as excited as we are about the possibilities! Who knows, maybe you'll find some teases for our future plans as well...