This week's developer blog discusses minigames and what we can do to improve them. Make sure you let us know your ideas as this will form part of next week's poll.
Read the blog here.
Dev Blog: Minigames
Minigames have been something that we have been meaning to work on for some time. Although there is a huge amount of activity in Old School, it can at times be difficult to find players to play a mini game with. There are multiple reasons for this, sometimes it is because it is difficult to connect with other players who want to play the same game, sometimes it's because there is no one to play the game. This dev blog outlines how we would like to address this in the next content poll.
The first update we wish to make to help with multiplayer minigames is a matchmaker system. We want to introduce an interface where you can flag yourself as being available to play specific minigames. You will then have the ability to join a chat channel where you can find others who want to play the same minigame as you. Once you have found a group of players to play with, you will be able to automatically teleport to the start location of the minigame. There will be a cooldown on this teleport to avoid it becoming an infinite free teleport option.
This will help you easily find other players to play a minigame with and start the game easily. We think this is the biggest barrier to playing minigames.
The minigames that this will cover are:
- Barbarian Assault
- Blast Furnace
- Castle Wars
- Fishing Trawler
- Burthorpe Games Room
- Nightmare Zone
- Pest Control
- Rat Pits
- Shades of Mort'ton
- Trouble Brewing
- Tzhaar Fight Pit
Question: Should we introduce a matchmaking system to help you find other players to play group minigames with more easily?
The next update will be to look at the incentives for playing minigames. We propose to introduce a shop with various rewards which will allow you to combine all the work you have done in different minigames to buy them. For example, you may need to spend 300 pieces of eight, 50 Agility Arena tickets, 30 Marks of Grace, 50 Castle Wars tokens and 1,000 Pest Control points to buy one specific item.
Some of the items we would be looking at introducing would be:
- Bonecrusher - like the Dungeoneering reward.
- Rune pouch - a pouch to keep multiple runes in only using one inventory space. If you drop this when killed by a PKer, they will be able to pick up the runes that were in the pouch.
- A book which teaches you the Rigour and Augury prayers.
- Clue Scrolls - all three levels.
Question: Should we introduce a minigame reward shop where you can use points and tokens from multiple minigames to purchase new items?
Question: If you vote for the minigame reward shop to be included, do you want it to sell the bonecrusher which works in the same way as the dungeoneering reward in RS3?
Question: If you vote for the minigame reward shop to be included, do you want it to sell a rune pouch which will store multiple runes in but only take up one inventory space?
Question: If you vote for the minigame reward shop to be included, do you want it to sell books that teach you the Augory and Rigour prayers?
Question: If you vote for the minigame reward shop to be included, do you want it to sell all three levels of clue scrolls?
In RS3, Barbarian Assault allows players to recolour their abyssal whips. We've had quite a few requests for us to release this for OSRS too, as a cosmetic effect with no in-game benefit.
However, it's also been suggested that on PvP worlds we could occasionally convert high-profile items to an upgraded version when they're dropped on death to a PKer, using different colours to denote upgrade. The upgraded version could have superior stats and/or a more effective special attack, but would degrade over time. This would serve the dual purpose of giving PvP worlds a unique reward to encourage their use, while also creating an item sink for combat equipment that otherwise never leaves the economy.
We'd be interested to know your views on this kind of item, and whether you'd like to see them appear in a future poll. If not, we can just offer you recoloured equipment for purely cosmetic purposes as a minigame reward instead.
Of course, we also want to take a closer look at the minigames themselves and, with your feedback, we would like to offer you the following changes:
Castle Wars is the most popular minigame. Adding some extra rewards will help to rejuvinate some interest in the game. Here are a few things we could do:
Should we introduce the Zamorak and Saradomin flags as rewards from the Castle Wars reward shop?
Should we add skirts as options to the Castle Wars armour rewards?
Should we add a ranged and mage armour set to the Castle Wars reward shop?
Should we allow players to buy bandages which work outside of Castle Wars in the same way as they do in Castle Wars?
There are also a couple of extra features that you have asked for which should help Castle Wars become even more exciting.
If you kill five or more players without dying, would you like to be buffed which will increase the damage you deal and make you more difficult to kill?
Should we add some siege weapons to help break down the doors of the keep?
Finally, to make Castle Wars more accessible, we want to supply mages with runes if they don't want to bring their own, as well as offering more rewards for the best participants.
Should we allow players to obtain free runes within Castle Wars to cast magic at a reduced XP rate?
Should 10% of your kills be translated into tickets at the end of each game?
Should you receive one ticket for each enemy flag that you deliver to your castle's standard stand?
We wanted to address two specific areas of the Blast Furnace, firstly to remove the high requirement for access and secondly to make it more convenient to use by adding a bank.
Should we add a bank to the Blast Furnace room?
Should we reduce the smithing requirement to access the Blast Furnace to 30?
Inherently, Barbarian Assault is a good minigame, but the challenge lies in finding a team to take part in it. This should be improved by the matchmaking system, but there are still some more changes that you would like to see.
Should we allow players to use the egg launcher in Barbarian Assault while in combat?
When the call changes in Barbarian Assault, should we change the colour of the word to white?
Should we add fighter legs to the Barbarian Assault reward shop?
Shades of Mort'ton
The temple-building activity in Mort'ton is the only place where you can get the cloth needed to make Splitbark armour. Removing the defensive requirements for splitbark armour will make it more appealing to low-level players and pures. This should drive activity towards this minigame and help all those trying to complete the Shades of Mort'ton quest too.
Should we remove splitbark armour defensive requirements?
The biggest barriers to Trouble Brewing are its location and the quests needed to visit the island. Although the matchmaker system should deal with the location issue, we wanted to remove the final two barriers to making your own rum, hence the two questions below.
Should we allow players to get to Trouble Brewing without completing Cabin Fever and drop them into a lobby area so they can't access the rest of the island?
Should we remove the cooking requirement for Trouble Brewing?
Things that aren't minigames
Along with the minigame-related suggestions, you've sent us numerous requests for smaller updates:
Armadyl armour has a relatively low alchemy value. Old-school RuneScape protects items on death based on their alchemy value, so many other items are protected over the Armadyl armour.
Should the alchemy value of Armadyl armour be increased so that it is protected on death over crystal equipment and Barrows equipment?
Players would find it useful to be able to get their essence pouches repaired without having to visit the Dark Mage in the centre of the Abyss.
Should the Dark Mage in the Abyss be contactable via the Contact NPC spell on the Lunar spellbook?
The new Slayer Master has not yet been added to the Contact NPC spell.
Should Nieve, the new Slayer Master, be contactable via the Contact NPC spell on the Lunar spellbook?
Certain items can best be obtained from shops. However, shops sell only 10 items at a time, and there are technical issues that would make it hard to offer a Buy-X option, so we'd like to offer this alternative way of getting large quantities of critical items from a shop.
Should Fishing shops and Herblore shops sell packs of 100 vials, feathers or fishing bait to make it easier to buy these items in large quantities?
After 2007, the game screen was updated to show your current health, prayer points and run energy on icons near the minimap. Various players have asked for these to be added to OSRS too. Other players have commented that they'd prefer the game screen to remain in its old-school state, so we could offer a toggle button to show or hide these new icons according to each player's preference. Initially, these icons would be for display purposes only, and would not have actions when clicked. Functionality could be added via a future poll.
Should the game applet show your current health, prayer points and run energy on icons near the minimap? A toggle option would allow players to hide these icons if they did not wish to see them.
The Smithing menu, used when making items at an anvil, offers only options for 1, 5 and 10 items. Players have asked for a Make-X option.
Should the Smithing menu offer a Make-X option?
In the Digsite, there is an expert who can identify the 'Unidentified Liquid', changing it into the more useful nitroglycerin. However, you have to use each vial on the NPC one at a time.
Should the Digsite expert be able to identify all your Unidentified Liquid vials at once?
The Zamorakian spear is an extremely accurate stabbing weapon, but it requires both hands to wield. It would be considerably more useful if it could be wielded alongside a shield.
Should the Zamorakian spear become a single-handed weapon?
And a couple of others:
Should a fruit tree patch be added in Lletya along with a gardener and tool leprechaun?
Should a supply of spades be added near the Barrows?
As usual, please give us your feedback on the ideas we have here.
Mods Ash, Mat K & Reach
Old School Team