Weapon diversity feedback

General Opinion

If the goal of this update is to diversify the weapons PvM'ers use, without strictly increasing the amount of switches, this update will mostly not accomplish its goal. However, with a few tweaks, it can.

Why? There are multiple niches and uses weapons can have. To make this update succeed it is important to give the weapon types their own niche, that sets them apart from other weapons. If multiple weapon types occupy the same niche, what happens is that they will be compared to each other. This would result in the best being used, while the others get completely disregarded. 

When weapons fill different niches, this comparison is a lot harder to make, and the different weapon types will be used in different situations, which would result in multiple weapon types being used, without having one BIS weapon type. Therefore, if this update wants to diversify the weapon types in use, its goal should be to give weapon types their own niche.

The problem then is that a lot of current weapons share one niche: general dps. This would include all effects that give more damage, usually without a strict condition that needs to be met. Some examples for melee would be: claws, rapiers, maces, battleaxes and more. If some of those effects can be changed to fill different niches, it means more of them will be used. 

Some examples of weapons in the "learning" niche would be: Hastas and 2-handed swords. While these occupy the same niche, this is a broad niche and they do that in different ways. There is no direct comparison possible, since hastas can be used by people who don't want to weapon switch and 2h swords can be used by people to have an easier time tanking damage. But both of these make it easier to learn bosses.

Later in this document, I will point out some effects that can be changed to fit different niches, while keeping the idea of the effect the same. 

It should be noted that while its okay if a lower tier weapon is better than other higher tier weapons at a certain niche, it should never be the case that a lower tier weapon is better than a higher tier weapon if they both occupy the same niche. For example: Currently both maces and shortswords (khopeshes) occupy the general dps niche. But the mace effect is much more powerful, and even t90 maces are much stronger than t92 khopeshes. 


Some of these effects are also currently very overpowered, and might not be an issue right now, but will be if Jagex ever decides to release new t90/92 versions of these weapons. An example would be darts, 10% extra damage is pretty insane, and a lot of bosses can be consistently poisoned.

In this document speedkilling will occasionally be mentioned. Partly because I myself do speedkilling, and thus have a vested interest in it, but also because speedkilling is an area of PvM where everything thats useful will be used. While casual PvM'ers might stick to only a few weapon types that are the best for general use, speedkillers and very hardcore PvM'ers will use anything that provides even a small advantage. These two communities will also be the most impacted by this update, as casual players typically will use what they hear is best, or not even look into it. I don't mean this in a bad way, its very understandable, and is just what I've found from actively teaching and being in community PvM clans.

Extra RNG 


Effects with added RNG in damage dealt is something I and many others would generally regard as a negative. Players dislike needing to rely on RNG. While some things can be seen as a nice bonus, often in the higher levels of PvM players come to expect or even rely on these things happening. The biggest offenders here are the Rapiers and One-handed cbows, both very impactful effects that have a small chance of happening. This is something that would mostly affect the high level pvm community, which is a smaller, but very active community.

Specifically this largely comes into play in speedkilling, something I like to do myself. Effects like these would make speedkills a lot less fun to go for, as you’d basically not only be relying on good hits/crits but also on weapon effects. And something like an extra ability is simply too small to be ignored. Instead these could be changed to happen after an X amount of attacks (idea further explained and expanded on at the end of this document). 

To liken what the rapier and one-handed crossbow effects could do to speedkilling to something that's already in the game: Currently there are rotations possible for a lot of bosses that require the use of incendiary shot or meteor strike before starting the fight. Doing this in combination with natural instinct and fast ways of building adrenaline allows players to have high adrenaline and the effect that crits give 10% adrenaline in their berserk timer. This can then be used in a rotation that relies on an X amount of crits to be able to get off  extra thresholds or special attacks. While these rotations have already been made for multiple bosses, people absolutely hate using them because it means their rotation simply does not work most of the time. I should mention that the chance to get a critical hit is already near 20% with grimoire and biting 3, much higher than the current chance of getting a rapier/crossbow proc, and it's already seen as something detrimental to the fun of speedkilling.

The update for new and inexperienced PvM’ers


This update might also be very confusing for inexperienced players. New players will get a mess of effects and numbers thrown their way, and no idea which one to use. Adding these effects on weapons over X tier might be a good idea to lessen this for new players. 

However, this update also has the potential to make learning PvM easier. Examples of this would be the two-handed sword effect and air spells. Healing is an effect that is very noticeable, and very desirable for people learning to PvM. Most players getting into PvM are nervous and scared to take damage. Tools to add increased passive healing or damage reduction can be very valuable ways of encouraging players to try PvM and get more comfortable taking damage.

An example of something similar that's already in the game would be trimmed masterwork armour for melee. It’s effect to delay 30-50% of the damage taken into a bleed has helped make melee much more accessible to new and inexperienced PvM’ers. It’s even considered by some to be an upgrade that should be gotten early compared to other melee dps upgrades.

In Effects i think should be changed, I give a few suggestions on weapons that could be changed to make learning PvM easier and more accessible.

List of current effects: https://runescape.wiki/w/Bank_Placeholders_%26_Weapon_Diversity_2_beta

Positive weapon effects which could go live now

Melee


Hasta: Niche: learning. Can be wielded with shields and offhands, which would reduce switchscape a bit. While it's nice for less experienced players, experienced players should have no issue switching weapons. Seeing as this is the case, maybe add a slight penalty to encourage weapon switching? That being said, if all other weapons get buffs, the lack of a buff can be seen as a penalty.

Longswords: Niche: general dps (high defense targets). Honestly, a good effect. Reduces the RNG with accuracy at bosses where this matters.


Mauls: Niche: general dps (low defence targets). Passive buff, though it interacts differently with different bosses ofc. At bosses with high accuracy this is a straightforward damage buff, and at bosses where players have low accuracy this is balanced out and even slightly worse. Only concern would be the interaction with the Terrasaur Maul, a 5 tier damage buff on top of the 12.5% can be very scary.

Spears: Niche: bleed switch. Everyone’s new switch for bleeds. Not much else to be said, will just be a weapon switch, which isn't a bad thing imo.

Warhammers: Niche: AoE. OP for slayer tasks where monsters stack up, like most in the sophanem slayer dungeon. I don't think this will affect pvm much (maybe twins?). Would be interesting to see how it affects tasks like abyssal demons where the monsters don't stack.

2h Swords: Niche: learning/tanking. Nice, not extremely impactful for experienced PvM’ers, but very nice for new and inexperienced PvM’ers. Doesn't add extra RNG, and doesn’t affect damage output. This does mean that there’s currently no 2h weapon type that gives a general damage increase without drawback. Zgs and Halberds don't increase damage. Mauls have a negative, and spears only affect bleeds. That's not necessarily a bad thing though, and this might just be my favourite effect. 

Ranged

Shieldbows: Niche: defensives. Pretty nice effect, because cading with 80% adren can allow an extra threshold before Cade. 

2h Cbows: Niche: general dps (high defense targets). Lowers RNG, encourages a playstyle where you stand still, and fits thematically. I don't really have a problem with it, except maybe that running kills can be advantageous, at nex for example.

Throwing Axes: Niche: stunnable targets. Allows for more use of piercing shot to abuse the stuns, could be a decent effect for people who know how to use it.

Magic

Staff: Niche: Omnipower/Tsunami boost. Currently very niche and really only impactful at Telos, and for people who haven’t unlocked sunshine. This is because it does not work with Sunshine/Metamorphosis/Natural Instinct. If this is intended it should be stated in the description, as it currently only states the effect happens when ultimates are cast with a staff.

Air Spells: Niche: learning/tanking. Strong enough effect that also scales off the gear you use. This would mostly be helpful towards people learning PvM. 

Water Spells: Niche: slayer healing. Cool and nice effect.

Earth Spells: Niche: stunnable targets. Since you can bind with entangle and then dps with earth spells this basically would turn entangle into a second, shorter Vuln. The static +10% outclasses the fire spell buff as well. Not many bosses are stunnable however, so this would only work on Magister, Telos under 150% and BM pets. It should be taken into account at potential new bosses though.

Fire Spells: Niche: general dps. Not extremely impactful, but still adds a layer of RNG.

Effects I’d suggest rebalancing or fixing

Melee

Claws: Niche: general dps. Ultimately this ends up being a fairly straightforward damage buff. With grimoire and biting 3 you can crit somewhat frequently, and in a zerk hitting 10k+ hits you’d be hitting an extra 1k per crit, which can be somewhat significant and maybe a bit too strong.

Shortswords: Niche: general dps. T90 maces are currently about 4% stronger than t92 khopeshes. The effect is kind of boring, but effective. I suppose its a small nerf in speedkilling, as generally you go for mostly high hits, but for casual pvm this is a pretty decent buff, though not very interesting. It also needs better numbers, or for maces to be nerfed. 

Ranged

Darts: Niche: poisonable targets. Busted effect. 10% damage buff is pretty crazy and a lot of modern bosses are poisonable. 

Javelins: Niche: AoE. Currently bugged, while the intended effect is nice and gives Ranged a bit more AoE. Currently however, it allows things like this 17s CM helwyr kill: https://clips.twitch.tv/ThoughtfulPluckyScallionCoolCat

Magic

Orbs: Niche: cost saving. Very nice effect, see no issues with it. But the chance for the effect to proc might need to be made big enough to save enough runes to make it worth using over the small dps increase of a book.

Books: Niche: amplifier for other effects. Seems like a relatively small effect. It needs to be well balanced with orbs though. If the dps increase is too large, it would make a lot of players disregard orbs as an option. 

Effects I think should be changed

Melee

Battleaxes: Niche: general dps.
Current effect: Deal 0.5% more damage for every 2% adrenaline above 80% (This effect would apply AFTER adrenaline costs have been taken).

An interesting effect, but the effect isn’t big enough to change the way good dps is done. On top of that it's counterproductive, as camping high adrenaline is generally a bad thing, this could encourage players to stay at high adrenaline to increase their damage, instead of using thresholds when possible and ultimates/special effects. I'm afraid that it can mislead a lot of players into dealing lower damage to get this buff, thinking they’ll deal more damage overall. 

For experienced players this wouldn't be a problem, but the effect would be useless, at best functioning as a switch for the last 3 basic abilities used before an ult.

Suggested Change: Reverse the effect to give more damage at low adren, maybe over a wider range. Something like a flat 2% damage buff when under 50% adrenaline. 

New niche: Learning dpsing. This change encourages players to use their adrenaline by either zerking or using thresholds, which is how optimal dps is done. While this won't change the way optimal dps is currently done, it mostly serves to encourage good dpsing habits. Too many people I've personally taught pvm don't know what to do with their adrenaline. An effect like this could remedy that by giving good rotations a reward.

One side effect could be that experienced PvM’ers might use battleaxes as a switch for when zerked or low adrenaline. Though this depends on the numbers and tiers of the battleaxes. Especially if new battleaxes were released as a weapon intended for people getting into pvm, this modified effect could be extremely beneficial to people learning PvM.

Daggers: Niche: general dps

Current effect: 5% chance to hit twice with every attack. Applies to both main-hand and off-hand individually, so two daggers could be used and the effect could trigger on both at the same time. 

This is a fairly straight forward damage buff, though the added hits are auto attacks, and thus a lot weaker than the abilities, which isn't clear from the description. It’s also completely RNG whether or not this will proc, which is annoying imo. However i cannot deny that the effect is “cool” and has a fun animation. That being said, if this is kept i’d like to see it balanced in a way where it ends up being slightly weaker than other, non RNG based weapon types. This leaves it as a fun weapon type.

Suggested change 1: In the theme of daggers, make this only work when behind a target. Like a backstab. 

New niche: flanking dps. This would give daggers their own niche as weapons to be used at group bosses when not tanking. It also gives positioning an importance. While the effect still has RNG, it fits even better thematically, and won't be usable everywhere, which encourages diversity. When it has its own niche like this it can also be left to be stronger than other weapon types, since its only usable for certain bosses and roles.

Suggested change 2: Make daggers guaranteed to hit twice when initiating combat, or when not having attacked for an X amount of time, but only when this is done from behind the opponent. 

New niche: weapon switch. This removes the RNG, and is a fun, consistent effect. It would still really only be used at group bosses. The result of this rather than suggestion 1 is that this is likely to be used as a weapon switch. Personally I wouldn't mind that at all, as it would still remain optional. It could also combo nicely with mutated barge.

Maces: Niche: general dps.

Current effect: Your entire equipped prayer bonus is added to your strength bonus – while dual-wielding maces, this effect would stack to 200% of your prayer bonus, 150% for mainhand and 50% for offhand. 

The most boring effect. Currently it's just higher numbers. There’s nothing interesting about it. On top of that it currently is so strong that t90 maces are much better than t92 khopeshes, in every situation. 

Suggested change 1: Something with prayer restoration or drain. No/lessened prayer drain or crits that restore prayer points? 

New niche: (slayer) convenience. Something like this could give it a similar use to penance aura, which is occasionally used by less experienced PvM’ers in PvM scenarios. For learners this would let them pay less attention to prayer, focusing instead on mechanics and dps.
This effect could also make maces really nice for slayer as it means people spend less inventory space and money on prayer restoration. 

Suggested change 2: Increase damage done as a players prayer points are higher. 

New niche: general dps. This would simply be a more interesting and varied way to get a damage increase directly related to prayer. The numbers on this would need to be balanced out ofc.

Rapiers: Niche: general dps.

Current effect: Chance for your abilities in combat to no incur a GCD on your next ability, 2% with a single rapier equipped or 5% dual-wield rapiers.

This is an effect I would classify as potentially damaging to a community and negative for PvM. It’s an RNG buff, and on top of that its can be impactful. For casual play this can disturb ability rotations somewhat, as a lot of people have pretty strict dps rotations, but that can be worked around. My personal greatest concern would be for speedkilling, as 1-3 procs of rapiers would be severely impactful for most speedkills that are under 30s. Which is most records in the game. This would add another layer of RNG on top of the current hit rng that's needed. That's obviously something I care about as someone who does speedkilling, but i do feel like it’d have a very negative impact on that element of RS. 

Suggested Change: Change the special effect to not be random, but instead consistent with the effect happening every 20 attacks.

New niche: general dps, speedkilling weapon switch. GCD isn't incurred every 20th attack. To make this easy to use, add a buff icon that shows the number of attacks left before getting the effect. So it’d count down from 20 to 0, maybe changing colours once it hits 0. This allows players to anticipate when this effect will happen, and people who choose to do so could prepare a proc before starting a kill. Doing it like this removes the RNG for an effect as big as this one, and allows players to take it into account. To address weapon switching, since ideally players would be able to use this while weapon switching. Make it so only Rapier weapons actively count down to the effect, but there’s a delay before the progress gets reset once Rapiers are unequipped (or make it disappear once players leave combat). In a rotation that might look like this, the numbers being how many attacks left to GCD not being incurred:

(19) > Decimate (18) > Fury (17) > Sever (16) > 2h Cleave (16) > Decimate (15) etc. until you might end with something like: Havoc (1) > Fury (0) > Decimate + Dismember (19)


Scimitars: Niche: general dps.

Current effect: For every 5% missing health on your target, you have a 0.5% increased critical chance. This effect is doubled if you're dual-wielding scimitars (At 5% health on target, the player should have +9.5% chance to critically strike, with two scimitars that increased to 19%).

It lessens some RNG, which is nice, but the effect seems a bit strong. At 50% hp, this would be a +10% crit bonus, which is nearly a grimoire (12%). And this would be in effect for half of the kill. But with lower numbers it can be fun. It’s also likely to be used as a weapon switch for when your target is at low hp.

Suggested Change: Make the crit chance increase as your own HP falls lower.


New niche: sweaty/very risky general dps. This punishes eating more than is already done, and adds considerable difficulty in hp management. However, with the right numbers the DPS that can be gained could be worth the effort for players willing to do so.  That’d definitely be fun, though hard for less experienced pvmers. Having Scimitars be the weapons for the brave and daring and people willing to risk everything for more damage would be a good option. This would result in BIS general dps weapons that carry considerable risk, resulting in more diversity in the weapons being used overall, since many people will opt for different weapon types instead. 

Different types of food and potions would play into this nicely too. Giving zamorak brews and rock cakes uses in lowering HP to gain more damage. 

People would also think twice about always Soul Splitting or flicking.

I really think this would be a very good way to increase risk and difficulty for people willing to put in extra effort for more damage. It also encourages learning a boss inside out, knowing exactly what spec to expect when, the boss’ max hits and the damage one can expect to take.

Ranged

Shortbows: Niche: general dps.

Current effect: 6% more damage, but you get -1% damage per tile between you and your target.

Strong effect, though most bosses will walk close, giving you no choice. And in group bosses this will simply result in people standing closer if they use shortbows. Not super interesting since it generally just ends up being a flat damage increase. 

Suggested Change: Change to be an accuracy buff instead of a damage buff.

New niche: general dps (high defence targets). This might make things more fun and interesting, since accuracy buffs decrease hit RNG, and it affects bosses differently depending on their defense. This also means that the effect is more useful for people learning bosses with lower tier weapons than it will be for people coming back to bosses with max gear. However it’d never make it so low tier weapons become stronger than high tier weapons, the benefit just decreases as a weapons accuracy increases. 

One-Handed Crossbows: Niche: general dps

Current effect: 4% chance whilst using a basic ability to trigger it again at the same time, with no adrenaline cost or cooldown, this chance is increased to 6% when dual wielding.

Very similar to Rapier effect. Again I'm scared for how this might impact speedkilling and think this could be problematic. Getting a doubled ability can have a fairly big impact on a kill. Now there’s a lot less speedkills done with ranged, but my worries still stand. At least this is also slightly more passive. Read my part on rapiers for more details on how this might affect PvM.

Suggested Change: Change the special effect to not be random, but instead consistent with the effect happening every 20 attacks.

New niche: general dps/speedkilling switch.This is the same change as suggested for rapiers. Thus I would like to refer back to rapiers to see a more in depth explanation and how this might affect the game.

Throwing Knives: Niche: sweaty general dps.

Current Effect: -5 tiers in weapon damage and accuracy, global cooldown is 1.2 seconds instead of 1.8 seconds. For example, a tier 70 throwing knife would have tier 65 damage and accuracy. 

Currently this enables people to stall an ability with a knife, get the shortened GCD, switch to a t92 bow and release the ability + another ability for t92 damage on both abilities. Then switch back to knives and repeat. Demonstrated in this gif: https://gyazo.com/6c9252155315c4476a855ccececad14e (i am in White/black. I do 1 piercing shot before stalling needle and releasing it with dazing. I repeat it again with demoralize and ricochet)

Doing this essentially allows an extra ability every 6 abilities. And is not extremely hard to do. This is something that can realistically be done, similar to 4taa. Of course this means that for considerable extra effort, some dps increase can be achieved. I personally don’t mind this, but I'm not sure if everyone would agree.

Suggested change 1: Increase the range of throwing knives to be the same as that of longbows (9).

New niche: adrenaline building. This would essentially make it so the previous exploit won't be possible and knives gain a use as a weapon to build adrenaline faster. Like that knives can deal less damage overall than other weapons, but can still be used to get adrenaline fast, which has many uses in pvm and speedkilling. 

While another way to fix this issue might be to look into ability stalling. I and many others would not be a fan of ability stalling being changed or fixed, as this is one of the few things that adds skill and creativity into dpsing. On top of that it has very specific uses, and isn't normally used in general PvM. 

Suggested change 2: A different effect entirely.

Magic

Wand: Niche: general dps.

Current effect:Critical strikes reduce the cooldown of Magic abilities by 1 second. 

This probably will affect basic abilities and thresholds slightly, but likely not enough to cause people to change their rotations much. However, this might matter for ultimates. At a lot of bosses Sunshines are locked in when they can be used by mechanics or the boss dying, which means that a slightly lower sunshine CD wouldn't matter too much. Exceptions might be bosses like AoD, where players are more free to sun when they can. 

Suggested Change: Change the effect to only work on ultimates.

New niche: general dps. This simplifies the effect and wont impact the effect too much. Getting enough crits in a row to change your basic ability rotation wouldn’t happen very often, and can be annoying when it happens, as players would need to change their normal rotations occasionally. Because ultimates have a long cooldown, players can generally assume to get a certain number of crits, meaning the added RNG fades slightly. The biggest impact would be on ultimates anyway. 

Bug Fix: Currently there’s a visual bug where abilities appear to instantly be off cooldown, but not actually be usable.

Final notes

I would really suggest considering the suggestions I gave. As I and others believe these would positively impact the update, and make it a much better one than it currently is. I believe that this update, if executed well, can have a really positive impact on the state of PvM. While I was initially very scared for this update, I now think it really has potential, as long as a few things are changed. The changes i would suggest most would be regarding Rapiers and One-handed Cbows, but that's also because of my personal disposition towards speedkilling. I’d like to think most of my suggestions would be helpful and healthy for the game though.

This is very much an update that needs to be done right. If it fails it will alienate a large portion of the PvM community.

Thanks for reading. I hope the feedback will be useful,

Night Eyes

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