So, welcome to this Developers Blog. A lot has happened since the last blog, both the Alchemical Hydra and the Slayer Expansion were released. You might have noticed in the Slayer Expansion post the mentioned that Mike has released the pathing code to the development team, meaning we are now able to try and fix pathing- something that has been something that historically could use some improvements. However, instead of solely focusing the next update on pathing (because well, that would be quite boring, now wouldn't it?). We decided to theme the upcoming update as a PvP-update, in which we aim to make the player-versus-player scene more interesting and appealing! This would match the pathing fixes, since the problems in our pathing are most noticeable in combat.
So we are currently also working on improving Bounty Hunter, balancing our equipment, repurposing the PkHonor Point Store and adding in the Last Man Standing minigame! This all to improve the PvP-scene as a whole. Please, if you have any feedback, tips, things you notice, etc: let us know. We are no active members of our PvP-scene, so anything we change will have to come from you guys.
But before we begin, first the ‘ol disclaimer: the content highlighted in these blogs might not end up in the game.
They are a direct reflection of what we as developers are working on, although these might not be in line with what Rapsey and Mike think is good for the game.
After all, they get to decide which features end up in the game and which will not.
This (hopefully) will not always be the case though, and we aim to develop content that is in line with their vision.
Our vision moving forward
First though, we have recently been discussing something quite important: our vision. As you might have noticed, our latest updates follow a trend of providing exciting content that actually suit PkHonor's look-and-feel. We realized that we have been too thorn between becoming an OSRS replica, spawn-like-server and becoming something original. OSRS is often seen as the holy grail of what to do, and in many cases it's a great example to follow. However, directly copying the content is not always enjoyable. Skotizo is a good example of this; following OSRS's implementation made the boss time-consuming and inaccessible to most players, leaving it as 'dead content'.
The thing we realized is that our players aren't interested in just vanilla OSRS content: they're on a RSPS for a reason. Why not prioritize our player's enjoyment? So, from now on we will be focusing on releasing content that suits PkHonor and provides an enjoyable experience, even if it's custom.
Also, the spawn-like-server issue. In PvP we have often heard suggestions surrounding spawnable equipment sets, weaponry and food. We have given this a lot of thought, brainstormed possible solutions, but we have gotten to a point in which we realize that we aren't a spawn server. It simply isn't our strength, it isn't what made us what we are today. There are plenty of servers around that provide that quick-and-easy PvP experience, and trying to also be one while maintaining the feeling of satisfaction and gratification through achievements and progression is not going to work. Instead, we want to focus on making PvP more accessible while maintaining value of items and loot. We want to make it more accessible by providing more stable ways of getting PvP equipment and supplies. However, these will not be free.
🗡 Re-imagining PvP Equipment
PvP equipment (Vesta's, Statius', Morrigan's and Zuriel's) have been around for ages. They were added to level the playing field between established veterans and outmatched newcomers. The idea behind them makes sense: items that are easily obtainable through PvP and can rival BIS equipment. However, the equipment has grown to be an overpowered set of equipment which bare no risk when using them. In most cases, the difference between risking 200m and 5b is so minor, that risking 5b is just silly. This really plateaus equipment diversity as a whole.
From an outmatched newcomers perspective this also doesn't really make sense. Yes, it grands newish players (with ~30+ hours played) the ability to match established players. However, if you don't have the PvP equipment you're definitely outmatched. A 1v1 in Rune versus Vesta's is silly. Why even bother? You'll get outhit and only get a 200m reward if you manage to win. However, what if the newcomer kills a player in Bandos equipment? Well damn, you just won yourself a few billion worth of items. That sounds more like risk = reward.
Not only that, but the equipment outclasses basically any new equipment added. That's because the PvP equipment is based on RS3, which didn't understand powercreep like we do these days. Just looking at OSRS will make you realize there will probably never be any new items added that will be more powerful than the current PvP equipment.
So, that poses the question: what to do with the equipment? Should we nerf them, or remove them entirely? (Don't worry though, they won't just vanish without returning anything new ). Please let us know below! Oh and let us know why you prefer either option. We will decide according to that.
Repurposing the PkPoint Store
Since we are discussing potentially removing the PvP equipment, something new should fill the PkPoint Store. Up till now, the PkPoints were primarily meant for purchasing the PvP equipment. However, we want to expand their usage.
Our first suggestion would be to add in Ornament kits. These are kits that can be used to enhance the look of specific items. We not only want to add the ones that OSRS has, but we also want to look into adding in custom ornament kits for different items. Maybe Nex equipment or ToB equipment ?
Our second suggestion would be to add in PvP supplies: weaponry, equipment, supplies and other gear that would make PvP more accessible. For this we want to find the sweet spot in which we don't want to stop money generation through PvM and skilling- so this will require some extensive research.
Our third suggestion would be to add in Castle Wars tickets to the shop. They would be quite expensive (15-25 points per ticket), but give an additional way of obtaining Castle Wars tickets. This would enable players from getting the Hybrid armor without being limited by waiting to play Castle Wars. Castle Wars will still remain the best way of getting Castle Wars tickets. Overall this might even boost Castle Wars activity, since more players would get the Hybrid armor and will still have to charge it within the minigame.
Our last suggestion would be to add in cannon upgrades. We are still discussing this one, but we are imagining upgrading the damage and capacity of Dwarf multi cannon. What would you think of that?
If you have some additional suggestions for repurposing the PkPoint store; we are open to suggestions! Try thinking out of the box !
☠ Improving Bounty Hunter
We recognize that the Bounty Hunter minigame can use some improvements. Firstly, I personally want to add a better Bounty Hunter interface, with some more additional information right on the player's HUD.
Secondly, the store can use a revamp. Most points are spend on Imbue scrolls and the occasional Ring of Vigour. The new proposed items are:
- Ring of Vigour (i) - Saving 20% of special attack usage. Could become an interesting tool, and will also make the regular Ring of Vigour more useful and sought after (would be upgradeable using the existing imbue scroll).
- Imbued god capes - Powerful magic capes that provide additional +2% magic damage bonus, and have a whopping +15 magic attack bonus.
- Wrath runes - And with this, ofcourse, the Surge spells. We might also add these to PvM or Runecrafting, but because of their usefulness within PvP they might only be obtainable through the BH and LMS store.
- Saradomin's Tear - Used to upgrade Saradomin sword into a Saradomin's blessed sword; providing higher bonusses.
🛡 Last Man Standing
Last but not least; Last Man Standing. A battle-royal minigame in which players face off against each other with preselected equipment. For this we will mostly stay true to OSRS's implementation- because it was a huge success after its (second) release. Since we are still heavily working on this, I cannot really say too much about this. But hey, good things are coming .
So, pathing. The big problem with pathing is that it's A LOT of work to puzzle what which function does. To establish high performance (hundreds of players navigating through our world) the code is highly optimized. To establish this high level of optimization, you often have to sacrifice readability and understandability of the code. So we have mostly been testing and debugging exactly what each function does, what happens in what function, and after we have properly documented the code- we will move to looking into the issues.
The main issue that occurred since the Hydra update has been fixed, which stops following Npcs to track you weirdly. However, when we get to a good stage with developing LMS and improving BH, we will open up the test servers to allow players to directly show us problems and fix them on the spot.
We aim to completely copy OSRS' pathfinding, so we will continue tweaking until it's perfect.
We have been discussing the possibility of having a dedicated YouTuber rank ingame, for those players that produce video content on a regular basis. With this we want to show recognition towards these players. We are still working hard on creating this rank and establishing exactly what we can offer our dedicated content creators! More news on this soon.
So, that's all for today. Not a lot of content to show off this time around, but like I mentioned: pathing isn't too exciting. A lot of things to discuss though; so we really do want to hear your feedback!