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Dev Blog: Elite Skills

Future Updates

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#1
Miss Lioness
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What are elite skills? Why not make more regular skills like Dungeoneering, Summoning or Divination? These are just some of the questions that I’ve heard over the past couple of weeks, ever since Mod Osborne first mentioned elite skills during a recent live stream.

 
I'm excited to be able to explain what elite skills are, why they are a great option for us in the future, and how they're going to blow your mind.
 
What are elite skills?
 
Elite skills are the endgame for skillers, opening up a huge variety of different ways to train skills, brand new gameplay that couldn't be done as a part of regular skills and unique experience never before seen in RuneScape.
 
These new skills are aimed at our veterans - the players that have been with us all of this time and are longing for a new experience that will revolutionise the top end of the game. That's one of the reasons that elite skills will require at least two level 80 skills to unlock.
 
Everything that you know and love about skills will be a part of elite skills. There'll be copious amounts of XP to be earned, and they'll sit in the Skills tab alongside your other skills, contributing to your total level. Daily challenges will appear for elite skills and, of course, there will be a shiny new skillcape - complete with emote - for you to enjoy. 
 
Elite Skills will have links to combinations of regular skills, taking themes, inspiration and qualities from them and with this, we can create something brand new and awesome that couldn't be done normally. The opportunities are endless when you can take pieces of a skill, throw them in to the elite skills melting pot, and create something completely fresh and different from the skills that inspired it.
 
Some of the ideas we've had are Necromancy (Prayer, Magic and Summoning), Archaeology (Mining, Thieving, Hunter and Construction) and - of course - Sailing (Construction, Fletching, Crafting and Agility).
 
When you're training an elite skill, we want you to feel like you're blazing a trail – not just combining skills, but making breakthrough after breakthrough - right on the bleeding edge of what's known and what's possible in the RuneScape universe.
 
There are huge opportunities when it comes to creating new elite skills. We've got loads of ideas of our own, but we can't wait to hear your suggestions too.
 
Why elite skills?
 
We want to make elite skills for the community, for the millions of players who have grown up with RuneScape as a close companion for so many years. Elite skills give us the opportunity to strip away all of the low level content and aim it exactly at our veterans, while still giving the new players in the game something to aspire to.
 
Creating a brand new skill typically tie up a lot of development and design time creating the low level content, making sure it fits and there is something that players would want at those levels.
 
Typically, however, the vast majority of you blitz through this content and never come back to it because you've already got the higher level content and don't need it.
 
With elite skills, all of our efforts will be dedicated to making the high level content. Since you're already at the endgame, we can make levelling less about linear progression and more about unlocking new and exciting things - all of which benefit you in different ways, expanding the options you have for how to play.
 
Elite skills also give us something of a clean slate. We have almost 15 years of experience with RuneScape, the community and what people want. Having this fresh start with elite skills means that we can be innovative and different from regular skills, taking what we've learned to creating something that truly complements the way you play while also opening up new avenues for you to explore.
 
One of the first things we're looking at is how the XP in skills work. The current XP curve - how much experience it takes to go from level to level - is something that we can learn from and change for the better. Elite skills are all of the benefits of high level content without any of the filler and that is an approach we want to take with the XP.
 
Making the XP curve flatter means that you'll level more regularly, with less slow-down as you reach the top. This puts the focus back on what you unlock, and less on the big numeric goals.
With all of the low-level content stripped away and tutorials unnecessary, development of skills is significantly sped up. Elite skills will be able to come out more frequently than regular skills because they are so much more focused and systems-driven than regular skills. No need to worry about sacrificing quality, content or the feeling that we will be rushing them out. This is the content that we intend you to spend your high-level game time with; the content that lower-levelled players will aspire to. Making it the very best quality we can is our top priority.
 
Does this mean that we're not getting new regular skills or 120 skills?
 
They're definitely still on the cards! 120 skills are something that we're still interested in doing in the future. If you guys still want 120 skills then we will continue having the discussion - with you and among ourselves - on whether they're the right thing for the game. Elite skills do not rule out the possibility of raising existing skills to 120.
 
Neither does this mean that new regular skills won't be released in the future. If an idea emerges that is perfect for a regular skill then that is something that we might do in the future. Elite skills are not a replacement for regular skills - they're designed to complement them. We aren't looking at converting existing skills to elite skills either. (Sorry Dungeoneering!)
 
Why Invention? Why now?
 
Invention is perfect for an elite skill. Thematically, it takes a lot of different things from existing skills and uses them to drive something new and awesome - guaranteed to shake up the higher levels of gameplay.
 
Invention is here to overhaul and greatly expand the current top tier equipment and ways of playing, personalising your experience and adding individual style to your weapons and armour. Currently, once you've been there for a while, level 90 can feel dull, as everyone has exactly the same items. Invention will provide the breadth and variety that you've been looking for.
 
The reason for bringing up elite skills as a concept is that Invention will be the very first one. We feel that it's important to be open and honest at this stage of design and talk through why we've gone for elite skills. We've talked about being able to make a fresh start, learn from our existing skills and provide what we believe the community wants for high level skilling. We need to nail down what elite skills are now, so we can remain focused and consistent when we make more.
 
Will I lose my completionist cape?
 
Yes you will. Elite skills are not an optional piece of content, and they certainly won't be something that you will want to miss out on. Obtaining 120 in elite skills will be a part of the regular completionist cape, and possibly part of the maxed cape requirements.
 
There is currently no decision on whether or not there will be a grace period for players to reclaim their completionist requirements. However, this has not been done for other skills in the past and it is unlikely that it will be the case for elite skills.
 
How will Treasure Hunter interact with elite skills?
 
As elite skills are the endgame for skillers, we wanted the first couple of months of the hiscores to have a little breathing room, and for elite skills to feel exclusive and hard to raise. For the first three months after the launch of an elite skill, we are currently not planning to have any experience lamps or stars to be used on elite skills.
 
Let us know what you think!
 
We're super excited by elite skills, what they can bring to RuneScape in the years to come, and the fresh pace and variety they represent for veteran players.
 
There will be a lot more information about Invention in the coming months. We will be showing the community the full design document for Invention in the same way that we did for the Elf City, looking for your suggestions and feedback, and publishing an Invention-specific dev blog. Be sure to be on the lookout for all of this - coming soon!
 
Mod Timbo
Game Designer and Balancer

 

QFC: 16-17-624-65642355

 

Well it sure is interesting...


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#2
Saradomin_Mage
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tfw Invention ended up as a skill in the end anyway. woo!

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In real life MMO you don't get 99 smithing by making endless bronze daggers.


#3
Howlin0001
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We have almost 15 years of experience with RuneScape, the community and what people want

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#4
Jon Arcane
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I feel ready for this type of content, necromancy, sailing, and archaeology are all skills I've wanted since the days of classic, will be great to finally see them alongside invention! Definitely think it's the right step, low level content is just not really needed now, what we currently have is enough and it's so easy to blaze through those levels anyway.

 

I do feel though that when this content finally hits that Jagex should finally make a new cape that combines the uses and strengths of the TokHaar capes, Ava's alerter and maybe a couple of others, something that's useful for combat that isn't named the completionist cape. Hopefully that'll finally stop the bitterness and resentment I feel whenever I lose the bloody thing  :lol: hell it can even be degradable!!



#5
Ishamael
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This is good news for higher leveled players, looking forward to seeing what they do with this. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long to see this update!



#6
Urza285
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Yeah invention IS an elite skill. Elite skills are culminations of your effort in several skills, hybrid skills if you will. The way the discussed elite skills and invention was that invention was a hub of creation. Elite skills on the other hand were plug-ins to invention. The way i saw it was almost like how antisan workshop is to smithing, but with actual outputs for use elsewhere.



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#7
deaddutch
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The best I can say is: YES YES YES! More skills to train and levels to gain is never bad! :)


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#8
Hajutze
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Gotta wonder if Dungeoneering will be in a category of its own :D. Elite-wanna-be :D ?

 

It's not quite elite, but it has 120 levels and interacts with quite a lot of other skills.



#9
Ishamael
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I don't think they'd go as far as making DG an elite skill. Been out too long for that I imagine. I'm just looking forward to seeing if we're getting more than just xp bonuses. This will hopefully open the door to lots of new content/items.



#10
Peever
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This sounds very promising :) 


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#11
saywuuuut
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Didn't like the sounds of it at first, but after reading that entire post I am pretty excited.

 

Hopefully I have time to finish off a few skills first before this makes it's way out.



#12
Kimberly
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I like this conceptually, but I dislike that we're raising the barrier of entry even higher than it already is for new players.

 

I guess the whales of the current playerbase is sufficient enough for a few more years :/


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#13
strilmus
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eh, i don't feel too bad about it, the barrier got hit pretty hard by a lot of changes over the years

 

if anything, the actual issue is the wealth barrier, and if invention consumes enough of the lower level raw materials that they are actually able to make money from it, i wouldn't be opposed to that

 

i would be using "whale" in the context of high end players screwing around in solomons, not for something that could walk jagex through the first steps towards actually making something sensible


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#14
Miss_Kozlov
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Dungeoneering was the original Elite skill since its a skill made up of every other skill.

We can finally say Dungeoneering isn't a mini game, but a skill now and all we had to do was redefine what a skill is. :P
Back after a 5 year TIF hiatus. Please don't mind me too much.

#15
Saradomin_Mage
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Dungeoneering was an elite skill before it was coined~

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In real life MMO you don't get 99 smithing by making endless bronze daggers.


#16
Tach
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Mfw when i realize that i really have to focus on DG again to get 120 before Invention so I don't have to wear s**t looking capes after i lose my max cape

 

But in general, I really do like the idea even I don't have time to grind :(


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#17
essiw
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Firstly, sailing is now really considered? No more april fools sailing jokes? :P

 

Secondly, I now think we will see elite skills before we see a rework of smithing... sadly... 



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#18
Miss Lioness
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Mod Osborne asked the players a few quick questions, namely the following:
 

  • When you heard about Invention, what items did you imagine you would be making?
  • What sort of actions did you think you would be performing in the skill?
  • How did you imagine you would be gaining XP in the skill?

If anyone wants to answer them, they can do so here:

QFC: 16-17-373-65642744


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be?~ Marianne Williamson


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#19
Omali
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We have almost 15 years of experience with RuneScape, the community and what people want

Since when?

 

 

Well they never said "experience implementing what people want."


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#20
ElysianWolf
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Sweet. Been waiting 8 years for them to mention Archaeology as a possible skill... Well now elite skill.

Was never happy with how RS's skills worked... as some skills are just outdated minus the fact some are useful in POP.

So not getting my hopes up for this. I'll be surprised if they actually can make it work. As already I wasn't too fond of what. I read for Mining/Smithing rework.

And not sure how level 120 skills will work... such as Smithing... does it mean we create more pointless gear in order to train? And would there still ever be a purpose. I heard about upgrading gear... but maybe elite skills would work for that. Smithing by itself... doesn't feel right. 99 isn't as difficult as it used to be when more and more content is released and the exp rates seem to increase for a few.

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