Equipment Rebalancing Updated


With the recent beta worlds coming to an end and the conversations still ongoing, we'd like to update you on our plans for Equipment Rebalancing.

Whether it's tackling growing concerns over powercreep, general balancing alterations or improving consistency, we need to make some changes that will benefit the game's long-term health. If you haven't seen the previous updates, you can check them out here:

This blog will cover all the changes we now intend to make, having incorporated as much of your feedback as possible. Any further changes will be added to this blog, and will be highlighted in a changelog.

For those of you that have read both blogs already, here's a quick summary of the main changes included in this post:

  • Messaging added around Tier rebalancing impacting pures
  • Blessed Dragonhide changed to retain the current Magic and Ranged defence stats offered in-game. The Melee defence stats have been reduced at the same rate of Black Dragonhide.
  • Dinh's Bulwark Ranged defence increased to 200. Previously proposed stat reductions remain.
  • Toxic Blowpipe matches what we allowed players to test in the Beta.
  • Information added to say we're not looking to fill the gap left behind following the blowpipe changes.
  • Information added to say why we're not buffing Crystal Armour or the Crystal Bow just yet.
  • Confirmation that we're going ahead with changing the Dragon Warhammer to require Strength instead of Attack, alongside other Warhammer changes
  • Inclusion of the Dragon Spear with the attack rate increase of other spears
  • Basilisk Knights to have their special attack removed, their stats remain as they are, and Basilisk Sentinels will have their special attack changed so auto-retaliate doesn't break it.
  • Information regarding how we're handling Personal Bests following these changes (resetting for all and storing historic times).

Shed No Tiers

Some of the most powerful weapons in Old School have requirements much lower than their perceived or actual strength. This has left little room for new weapons to be introduced without causing powercreep, and many players feel confused about how strong some items actually are.

We don't have many options when it comes to equipment 'tiers' in Old School, so we need to adjust the requirements of certain items to better match their stats. This helps expose gaps for us to add new items in the future.

We are aware that these changes will negatively impact certain accounts and builds more than others - particularly stat limited builds for both PvP and PvM. We already discussed some alternative options that would allow these builds to continue in their current form, whilst still trying to achieve the results we're aiming for.

But all things considered, the original proposal remained the most rounded and effective, and offered the most clarity in terms of tier rebalancing.

We know this isn't an ideal solution for everyone, and we're genuinely sympathetic to the players who will be impacted. We hope that, in the short-term, you will find creative ways to adjust to a new meta whilst we wait to take advantage of the numerous reward opportunities that will be created as a result.

Ghrazi Rapier

Current requirements: 75 Attack
Proposed requirements: 80 Attack

Blade of Saeldor

Current requirements: 75 Attack
Proposed requirements: 80 Attack

Inquisitor's Mace

Current requirements: 75 Attack
Proposed requirements: 80 Attack

Trident of the Swamp

Current requirements: 75 Magic
Proposed requirements: 78 Magic

Sanguinesti Staff

Current requirements: 75 Magic
Proposed requirements: 82 Magic

Kodai Wand

Current requirements: 75 Magic
Proposed requirements: 80 Magic

Nightmare Staff (base)

Current requirements: 65 Magic
Proposed requirements: 72 Magic

Nigthmare Staff (with any orb attached)

Current requirements: 75 Magic
Proposed requirements: 82 Magic

Dragon Hunter Crossbow

Current requirements: 65 Ranged
Proposed requirements: 70 Ranged

Dragon Hunter Lance

Current requirements: 70 Attack
Proposed requirements: 78 Attack

Scythe of Vitur

Current requirements: 75 Attack and 75 Strength
Proposed requirements: 85 Attack and 85 Strength

Nerfing the Nerf-able

Requirements aside, there are some items that are simply too powerful to remain as they are. Whether the problems concern PvP or PvM, the issues vary per item, so we'll cover each one individually:

Twisted Bow

Generally we're happy with where the Twisted Bow sits. It's much simpler for us to balance around the Twisted Bow because of its unique effect - the higher the target's Magic level or Magic accuracy, the higher the Twisted Bow's accuracy and damage becomes.

If we want to introduce a new boss that is not susceptible to the Twisted Bow, it's simply a case of us ensuring it has a lower Magic level or reduced Magic accuracy stats. Changing this has zero impact on any other Ranged weapons, as they all roll based on the target's Defence level or Ranged defence stat.

So, these are relatively minor changes designed to better reflect the item's strength and remove the Prayer bonus, which doesn't really fit considering it's not a godly item.

Current requirements: 75 Ranged
Proposed requirements: 85 Ranged

Current Prayer bonus: +4
Proposed Prayer bonus: +0

Left image showing current stats, right image showing proposed stats

Dragonhide Armour

For a long time, Dragonhide armour has been notoriously powerful for an incredibly low cost. It offers high Defence bonuses, especially against Magic Attacks, with negligible negative stats to offset this. The armour generally goes against the Combat triangle and doesn't follow the same stat distribution as similar Ranged armours, and the imbalance is further emphasised in PvP.

We'd like to address this by lowering the overall Defence bonuses of Dragonhide, with a focus on Melee Defence.

These changes would apply to all tiers of Dragonhide armour, but we'll use Black Dragonhide specifically for this example.

Current Stats

Proposed Stats

As the issue with Dragonhide is most prevalent in PvP, focusing the changes on its Melee Defence will encourage players to try different armour pieces - all while having a much lower impact on players focusing on PvM encounters. This naturally balances the Combat triangle, as typically higher Melee Defence items are susceptible to Magic Attacks.

Blessed Dragonhide Armour

With both Crystal and Karil's armour base stats remaining as they are, they naturally become a more expensive alternative to help fill the gap left by the changes to the standard and much cheaper Dragonhide armours.

As Blessed Dragonhide armour is locked behind the completion of Treasure Trails, the pieces typically hold a much higher cost than their craftable counterparts. We know there is a lot of support within the community to leave Blessed Dragonhide out of the rebalancing changes.

While the cost of the standard Black Dragonhide is a contributor to the problem, it's not the main reason we wanted to make changes - they do have oddly high Defence stats for their requirements. Therefore we will also be looking to change the stats of Blessed Dragonhide, although we feel their blessing from the gods could be amplified somewhat by allowing them to retain their Magic and Ranged Defence stats, thus providing a cheaper alternative to Karil's armour for the times where the extra Defence matters more.

We'll use Guthix Dragonhide pieces for the example below, but all variants of the Blessed Dragonhide armour would be changed too.

Current Stats

Proposed Stats

Dinh's Bulwark

Dinh's Bulwark has incredibly high Defence bonuses with zero negative effects to offset them, completely going against the Combat triangle. Whilst it has some uses in PvM, its design means these are very limited and not necessarily a reflection of its stats. There just aren't currently many reasons for you to be a Gielinorian shield wall!

The main issue with the shield is in PvP, where it negates a large portion of the risk associated by venturing into the Wilderness. Even though it is primarily a defensive item and a big shield should most definitely have high defensive capabilities, we feel the Dinh's Bulwark is just too strong to currently be considered balanced within PvP.

We'd therefore like to make the following changes to emphasise the Bulkwark's effectiveness as a Ranged Defence item instead:

  • Adding -25 Magic Defence
  • Reduce Melee Defence bonuses by 25%
  • Add +52 Ranged Defence

Left image showing current stats, right image showing proposed stats

Toxic Blowpipe

It's no secret that the Toxic Blowpipe is strong - it's one of the reasons why it gets used by almost every player in any situation where Ranged damage is preferable (and even at times when it's not, as it still outperforms some of the most expensive items). Having a single strong item for a number of activities is generally fine but, put simply, the Blowpipe is just too powerful. There is little reason to use any other weapon if Ranged attacks are an option.

Adding to this lack of variety, it's also difficult for us to effectively balance around its strength. Its high attack speed means it benefits hugely from additional Ranged strength and accuracy, both of which are already high due to the Blowpipe's strong base stats.

This leaves us little room for adding new Ranged items with strength and accuracy. We've tried and failed on multiple occasions.

In its current form, the Blowpipe's also far too cheap to purchase and maintain to justify how powerful it is. Using Bronze darts can output a higher DPS than some of the most expensive gear setups available. That is a problem we need to solve.

Taking all of that into account, we've made some changes that we feel leave the Toxic Blowpipe in a much healthier position. Our intention remains for the Blowpipe to remain a very powerful weapon against low Defence creatures, but to limit its power against higher Defence creatures:

  • We add 100% increased accuracy to the special attack. This accuracy bonus would work the same way similar accuracy boosting specials attacks do, such as the 'Warstrike' from the Bandos Godsword.
  • Adamant Darts Ranged strength is increased from 8 to 10
  • Rune Darts Ranged strength is increased from 14 to 20
  • Dragon Darts Ranged strength is increased from 20 to 28

The above changes reduce the impact of the Blowpipe nerf, yet remain in line with our original intentions, properly enforcing where the weapon will be used as well as creating a bigger gap between dart tiers.

As such, we'll also increase the Ranged level required to equip it, in line with the other tier rebalancing we've done.

Current requirements: 75 Ranged
Proposed requirements: 78 Ranged

Left image showing current stats, right image showing proposed stats

The below tables highlight the difference between the In-Game and Proposed stats for Darts and the Toxic Blowpipe:

As you can see, there is still a clear difference between the new and old versions, even when slightly nerfing the most expensive darts. This is intentional - we're not simply making it more expensive to upkeep, as that is only part of the problem.

So how much will these changes impact you in-game? The answer varies based on what type of monster you're killing. We've put together some examples that highlight the difference.

Note: the below calculations are done based on the user wearing either the maximum Ranged bonuses available or full Elite Void Knight armour. They do not necessarily reflect the specific gear choices you'd make in these situations, and are used purely to highlight the differences.

You can click the image for a larger version.

  • The difference in raw DPS output is much smaller when facing low Defence creatures where accuracy is not as important.
  • The Blowpipe outperforms the Armadyl Crossbow even when using Adamant darts against low Defence creatures.
  • Using higher tier darts (Rune/Dragon) closes the gap in DPS significantly in comparison to cheaper darts (Adamant and below).
  • Conversely, the difference in raw DPS output is much bigger when facing high Defence creatures where accuracy is more important.

You can click the image for a larger version.

By focusing more a monster's Defence, these changes leave us in a much better position to balance future content around Ranged damage.

We are not currently looking to implement an upgrade item or replacement weapon for the current Blowpipe as it is currently in-game, but we are extremely grateful for the many wonderful suggestions we've received. Maybe you'll see your suggestion appearing in future content pitches!

With the increased emphasis on higher tier darts to achieve maximum DPS output, we expect demand for them to increase accordingly. We'll be actively monitoring their availability and are already looking into suitable drop tables (both existing and new) where these dart tips could be included. We'll share more information on this when we've gathered some data once the changes have rolled out - we want to avoid rushing into anything that could have a negative impact on their already well established economy.

Buffing the Bad

Dragonbone Necklace & Bonecrusher Necklace

Considering their requirements, the Dragonbone Necklace and Bonecrusher Necklace are very weak items. While they have some uses in super niche situations, on multiple occasions you've asked us to buff them.

We'd look to make the following changes:

  • Reduce Prayer requirement from 80 to 70.
  • Remove the delay before the special effect activates.
  • Increase their base stats similar to those offered by an Amulet of Glory, with fewer Defence and Strength bonuses.

Current Stats

Proposed Stats

Crystal Armour & Crystal Bow

Even after the Toxic Blowpipe changes, Crystal Armour and the Crystal Bow are still stuck with fairly underwhelming performance in relation to their high requirements and maintenance cost. Currently, Crystal Armours have a special set effect where each piece will give a 3% damage boost and 6% accuracy bonus to the Crystal Bow. If all pieces are worn, the player receives a 15% damage boost and 30% accuracy bonus.

We'd like to make the following changes:

  • Increase the damage bonus with a Crystal Bow when wearing a full set of Crystal Armour from 15% to 20%

This change, in addition to the Toxic Blowpipe changes, will help establish the Crystal Armour and Bow set as a more viable option for higher Defence creatures, especially where Ranged damage is relevant. It does not completely fill the gap left behind after the Toxic Blowpipe changes, but as mentioned earlier, we're not looking to fill that gap right now. There may well be further improvements made to the Crystal Armour set and Crystal Bow, but it's more likely to come from new content released in the future rather than part of this Equipment Rebalancing.

Additional Changes

There is a huge variety of armour and weaponry available to us, yet every armour-clad champion wandering Gielinor in search of adventure looks practically the same! This section focuses on improving the diversity of kit available, giving more purpose to lower-level gear in particular.


Warhammers are slower and weaker than Longswords, and are completely outclassed by Battleaxes - even though they share the same Attack speed.

We'd like to propose the following for Bronze to Rune Warhammers:

  • Change the requirements to equip them from Attack levels to Strength instead.
  • Increase the Strength bonus they offer so it is only slightly lower than their Battleaxe counterparts.

For consistency, we would also change the equip requirements for the Dragon Warhammer from 60 Attack to 60 Strength - a welcome move for the 1 Attack pure community. We're really excited to see the new creative methods you develop as a result of this change! The stats of the hammer will remain untouched.

Left image showing current stats, right image showing proposed stats

This change means using a Warhammer would provide more accuracy than a Battleaxe, potentially making it a good option if the increased Strength bonus from a Battleaxe wouldn't give you a max hit, or if crush Attack bonus is favoured.

Maces, Spears and Hastae

These weapons have similar bonuses to their Scimitar counterparts, but their lower Attack speed makes them significantly worse to use.

We'd like to propose the following for Bronze to Rune Maces, Spears and Hastae:

  • Change the Attack speed from 5 game cycles to 4 game cycles, matching that of the Scimitars.

In addition to this, we'd also:

  • Change the Attack speed of the Dragon Mace to 4 game cycles instead of 5.
  • Change the Attack speed of the Dragon Spear to 4 game cycles instead of 5.

Metal Armour

'Lighter' armour like Chainbodies, Med Helms and Square Shields are completely outclassed by their counterparts - Platebodies, Full Helms and Kiteshields. They are meant to be a more viable choice for those wanting additional Defence without reducing your Ranged accuracy.

These 'heavier' armour pieces go against the Combat triangle and provide too small a negative Ranged Attack bonus to justify using anything else.

We'd like to propose the following:

  • Increase the negative Ranged Attack bonus by 50% for all Platebodies, Full Helms, Kiteshields, Platelegs and Plateskirts.
  • Remove the negative Ranged Attack bonus for all Med Helms and Square Shields. This includes the Dragon Sq Shield.

Current Stats of Rune Full Helm, Platebody, Platelegs and Kiteshield

Proposed Stats of Rune Full Helm, Platebody, Platelegs and Kiteshield

Current Stats of Rune Med Helm and Sq Shield

Proposed Stats of Rune Med Helm and Sq Shield

Basilisk Knights

If you saw our original Equipment Rebalancing blog, you'll know that we initially planned to adjust the stats of the Neitiznot Faceguard to better reflect difficulty of the content it comes from. However, we decided against this, meaning the Faceguard will remain as it currently is.

We'd still like to take this opportunity to revisit the Basilisk Knights, though. We're only looking to make a minor change at the moment:

  • We'll remove the special attack from Basilisk Knights.
  • We'll update the special attack of the Basilisk Sentinels so it can no longer be broken with auto-retaliate.
  • We'll keep the stats of Basilisk Knights and Sentinels as they are currently in-game.

There is potential for us to introduce a higher tier and more difficult variation of the Basilisk Knights, and your feedback suggests that it would be a welcome addition. But this will not be included as part of the Equipment Rebalancing work.

Personal Bests

In our initial proposal we did not touch on how we'd approach already obtained Personal Bests for boss kill times. Given your feedback and the fact that the changes we're proposing will likely cause some of these times to be unobtainable for a good while (at least until new equipment is introduced into the game), we have decided the best option going forward is to:

  • Reset all currently obtained Personal Bests as they exist in-game.
  • Store all current Personal Best kills times and mark them as being obtained before the Equipment Rebalance changes.
  • Historic Personal Bests would be made accessible via the Adventurer Log in the Player Owned House.

All current in-game Personal Best times would be reset alongside the Equipment Rebalance changes, with the following exceptions:

  • Theatre of Blood
  • Nightmare of Ashihama
  • The Gauntlet

Both the Theatre of Blood and Nightmare of Ashihama kill times will remain untouched until the fast approaching full release of Combat Achievements - there are ongoing changes to these kill timers as part of this update, so it's best we wait until that's finished before any reset. We won't be resetting any Personal Bests for the Gauntlet because the gear used to complete it is obtained during to the encounter and is not impacted by any of the Equipment Rebalancing changes.

Personal Best times aside, we'd also like to touch on the upcoming Combat Achievements update.

In the Combat Achievements poll blog, we said some speed task completions will carry over and count towards task completions.

Given the nature of the Equipment Rebalancing proposals, we feel it's only fair that we don't carry over any speed completions aside from those earned within encounters where your gear doesn't matter (such as the Gauntlet). So all speed tasks, outside of the Gauntlet, will need to be obtained again to be completed.

Talking about the Equipment Rebalancing changes hasn't been easy for any of us. It's a decision we haven't taken lightly, but it's one that feels absolutely necessary to preserve the longevity of Old School. The feedback you've provided has helped us shape the proposal you're seeing today and we're thankful for those of you that have contributed in discussions surrounding the changes.

We hope you'll continue working with us to find the best outcome for the game going forward, and we'll remain hell-bent on working closely with you to finalise any changes we make before they go live in-game, even when they're not polled.