Hoist anchor, set sail and splice the mainbrace like it's never been spliced before: Player-Owned Ports are here!
Those of you with level 90 in at least one of Fishing, Herblore, Prayer, Runecrafting, Thieving or Slayer (as well as RuneScape membership) can take ownership of your very own port town, accessed via a portal at the north end of Port Sarim. The place has seen better days, but - after a chat with worldly entrepreneur John Strum - you'll soon have it up and running as a bustling, ever-evolving hub of commerce, sending ships to explore, do battle and find exotic treasures in the Eastern Lands.
If you don't have the levels you need just yet, you can get a taste of ports gameplay by entering the portal and talking to Meg - a wannabe adventurer seeking advice for her travels.
Once the port's re-opened, you'll be the proud owner of one ship. You'll name her, hire a captain, crew her with an assortment of diversely skilled nautical ne'er-do-wells, and send her off on voyages to the Eastern Lands, with the goal of harvesting the east's untapped bounty. The likelihood of success depends on how well the skills of your ship's crew fit the task at hand, and also on how you've fitted your ship - for example, you'll stand the best chance of waylaying a roving band of pirates if you fill your ship with fierce combatants and top-notch cannons.
Voyages will progress in real time. Depending on your success, they can yield resources such as bamboo, spices, chi and lacquer, among others, which can be used to upgrade your port and ships, and to craft amazing new gear for you to wear and food for you to eat.
As your port begins to garner fame, you'll potentially attract the attention of six powerful individuals, each with their own reasons for travelling back and forth between Misthalin and the Eastern Lands. Once they've shown up, you can send them on some of the game's most rewarding voyages, granting hefty helpings of XP, resources and fragments of scrolls for creating new gear.
Depending on how many of the requisite skills you have at or over level 90, you'll attract more of these wandering adventurers to your port. For example, 90 Runecrafting will unlock Zu Zu: a classy occultist looking to dispel an insidious curse, and 90 Fishing will unlock Hubbub: a boisterous whaler with scant regard for personal space, who's dedicated his life to sparring with Shuma: a legendary white whale.
The more you unlock, the more insight you'll gain into the bizarre and beautiful wonders of the Eastern Lands. Certain adventurers will want to work with each other, so keep an eye out for combination voyages, which culminate with the end of a truly spectacular story arc.
Managing your Port
Using the resources you bring back from the Eastern Lands, you'll be able to build and upgrade structures within your port. As well as making your port truly distinct, these offer benefits when managing your captains and crews. If you want to attract potential crew members with better-than-average Seafaring stats, for example, adorn your port's bar with nautical regalia to get the saltiest sea dogs in Gielinor on board.
Your port will grow to be a living town that's well and truly yours. The content is fully voice-acted throughout, the decor and buildings are of your choosing, and your captains (whose appearance can also be customised) and adventurers can be found at the town bar for a chat.
Random events will occur while you're away, and you will determine their outcome by taking the role of a port inhabitant in flashback. You'll help the Black Marketeer ward off some dangerous debtors, and get the Barmaid through a particularly rough shift, in exchange for items conferring helpful effects, such as temporary stat bonuses for your ships.
Forgotten scrolls, pieced together over the course of your voyages, will unlock the permanent ability for your character to make some of the best food and gear in the game.
Melee fighters will find themselves honour-bound to wear the lordly tetsu armour; eagle-eyed rangers will love the Death Lotus gear; and the elite mage will settle for nothing less than the sea singer's robes. These come in both tradeable and non-tradeable versions. The non-tradeable versions have even better stats than the tradeable ones, making them not only the best armour in game, but true status symbols for RuneScape's most dedicated players.
High-level fletchers can also make accessories known as scrimshaws, which fit into a new equipment slot called the pocket. These impart a range of benefits, many of which are geared towards increasing level gain during that steep curve towards level 99.
Finally, RuneScape's best food - rocktail soup - can also be made in your port's workshop, if you happen upon the recipe.
Meg - a wannabe adventurer - can be found in the port, regardless of whether you have the levels to take over its management. Even those of you who do not have the levels to own a port will find that you can give Meg adventuring pointers, offering a taster of the player-owned port voyages. Even once you've taken control of your port, Meg will still hang around looking for advice - she needs all the help she can get!
Once a week, she'll ask you a set of questions about adventuring scenarios and then head off to tackle dangerous dungeons and ferocious monsters. Depending on the quality of your advice, she'll come back bright-eyed and beaming with a healthy cut of her profits for you, or bruised, abashed and with more meagre pickings to offer.
There's months of amazing content and truly epic rewards here for high-level players, so what're you waiting for? The East beckons!
Mod Edam, Mod Moltare, & Mod Raven
Where to start Player-Owned Ports:
- Access the port via the portal in the northern section of Port Sarim.
- Those who meet the requirements listed below can speak to the Partner to start running a port.
- All members may speak to Meg for introductory content.
- You must be a RuneScape member.
- To take ownership of your port, you must have reached level 90 in at least one of the following skills:
- More adventurer voyages will become available the more of the above conditions you meet.
- If you do not meet these level requirements, you may speak to Meg and offer her advice on her adventures.
Celebrate the launch of Player-Owned Ports with this rousing sea shanty. Yarr!
Behind the Scenes Video
Take a tour of Player-Owned Ports in our recently released Behind the Scenes video:
In Other News
- Solomon's General Store is the place to go for sartorially sound seafaring, with Captain and Crew Outfits now in stock!
- Look out for tripled gold rewards on the Squeal of Fortune this weekend with Yelps's Treasure Chest! More details to come soon.
The patch notes archive can be seen here.