Where does Warding fit into Old School?
To understand the role of Warding, let's identify the gap it's designed to fill. As Smithing is to Melee and Crafting is to Ranged, Warding is to Magic. Currently, mage equipment is either bought or dropped by monsters rather than created by the player, making Magic an exception to the other two sides of the combat triangle. Warding allows players to channel Runic energy into woven materials and transform them into magical robes and armour. To train Warding, players must draw a Ward onto the ground and use materials they have gathered on it. This channels the power of the Anima Mundi, in the form of Runic energy, into the materials.
The materials used in Warding will include various barks, cloths and leathers. These can be woven from raw materials acquired by Farming, Hunter and killing certain monsters. To create new equipment, new prey will be added to the Hunter skill and new crops will be added for Farming. The latter will include a Magnanerie for cultivating worms and harvesting their silk.
Runic energy is a powerful new resource contained within the Runestone monoliths. Players can draw Runic the energy out and store it by casting spells on the monoliths. This gives players the option to train Magic by splashing but with the added benefit of gathering a useful resource at the same time. This should take splashers out of the Lumbridge Castle basement and spread them across Gielinor at more thematic locations. Wearing equipment that provides a Magic bonus will increase Runic energy potential, breaking up the army of graceful clones! It will also be possible to passively collect energy at Rune altars when Runecrafting.
The energy will be a tiered resource, meaning that you will gather Mind Energy at one Runic monolith and Death energy at another, for example. The tier of energy you need for Warding will depend on your level and the equipment you wish to create. A conversion system which will allow Runic energy to be upgraded or downgraded, but some will be lost in the process.
The first tools used for Warding are Soapstones. These are created by chiselling a lump of Steatite and charging it with runes. Steatite can be obtained through Mining or bought from shops and other players.
You can create four different Soapstones, depending on the runes you use to charge them: Air, Water, Earth, and Fire. The more powerful Soapstones will require a higher Warding level to use but have an added benefit. This may take the form of reduced Runic energy consumption but is subject to balancing. You will be able to use Wards drawn by other players to receive the benefit of higher level Soapstones when training, adding a social element to the skill. While you can draw a Ward anywhere, players may choose to Ward at the Runic monolith sites for lower rates of Runic energy use at the cost of being further away from a bank.
Channelling Lamps are equippable tools used to store Runic energy. When casting spells on Runic monoliths or Runecrafting, the Runic energy you generate will fill the lamp you have equipped. Higher level lamps will be required to gather higher tier energy or use it at a Ward.
A Step by Step Guide to Warding
A player gathers raw resources from Farming, Hunter or trade which are woven or prepared into material. Then, Runic energy is gathered by casting spells on a Runestone monolith or Runecrafting and stored in a Channelling lamp.
The player draws a Ward on the ground with a Soapstone and uses their materials on it, channelling the Runic energy into them to create magical equipment.
Below is a partial table of how we imagine the Warding skill guide to appear. This includes the item, level, and resources required.
Another use for Wards take the form of dissolving. This involves using undesired or junk items and using them on a Ward to break them down. In return, you'll receive Runic energy and a chance to get back some of the components the item is made of. For example, dissolving an Adamant Platebody will give a chance of receiving back some Adamant bars.
Many consider the Nightmare Zone to be overpowered - particularly the reward shop. To make both the Nightmare Zone and Warding feel as thematic and Old School as possible, there is the option to tie the ability to imbue rings and other items to various Warding levels.
Impact of Warding on Old School
We appreciate this is a lot to take in and that many of you will have an avalanche of questions for Mod West and the Old School team. At the end of this blog, there are links to the feedback threads where you can ask questions and discuss ideas for the skill. We have also anticipated some of the questions you may have and done our best to answer them. Bear in mind much of this is subject to change and some of it may be irrelevant as the skill takes shape!
Is Warding available to non-members?
Similar to Smithing and Crafting, Warding is designed to be open to free players though the highest-level equipment and specialised items will be members only. We expect the lower level items, up to around level 40, to be available in free to play.
Will Warding be quest locked?
Due to the nature of the skill, we would like it to be accessible as early as possible in the game. Ideally this means shortly after leaving Tutorial Island, prospective mages will be able to create their own equipment the same way warriors and rangers can. With this in mind, we don't plan to lock the skill behind a quest. Other skills may help, as Mining does for Smithing, but will not be a requirement.
Can Warding produce BIS equipment?
The goal of Warding is to create viable equipment, particularly for low to medium level players the same way Smithing and Crafting produce up to Rune and Black d'hide armour. However, Warding provides access to defensive magical armours and will not produce armour with high magical accuracy bonuses. We still expect the top tier magical equipment to include the likes of Ahrim's and Ancestral. There is scope for further equipment to be added to Warding if the community sees fit. NB SOULBARK AND BLOODBARK IMAGES
How will Warding affect the economy?
We expect that as a production skill, Warding will stimulate the in-game economy overall. It creates further incentives to train Farming, Hunter and Runecraft. However, it's far too early to predict the prices of the resources, materials and created equipment or if the skill will be a good money-making method. Gathering Runic energy could be profitable for players willing to sell to others who don't want to get it themselves.
A Video on Warding
The Warding skill, designed by Mod West excites us a lot and we're keen to hear your thoughts. Make sure to give us all the feedback you can to help us shape the concept! We intend to poll Warding later this year. Please make sure you have expanded the various sections to see all of the information in the blog.
Your feedback is invaluable to us, and as such we invite you to be vocal about sharing it with us. Your comments will help us finalise the Warding design before posting the finalised poll blog. Use #OSRSReveals on Twitter, comment on our official forums, the community-led 2007Scape Reddit, or the community-led OSRS Discord in the #gameupdate channel.