We know that more people read our update newsposts than anything else we publish and we had hoped that the extra eyes would yield extra feedback. It hasn't really turned out that way, so we're publishing this blog to ensure that the Revenant Caves changes don’t get over-shadowed by other news and we can home in on the feedback we’ve received.
In the past month or so, we’ve been discussing a number of options regarding the Revenant Caves. While it’s interesting to see the emergent gameplay coming out of the caves, the data we collected shows that there’s no way we can leave the content as it is.
We received plenty of suggestions from players and we know that two of them were particularly popular: roaming revenants and modifying the caves.
We've decided not to move forward with roaming revenants. These were first created as a replacement for PvP – they were there to emulate the experience of being attacked by a PKer. We fear that roaming revenants will quickly become annoying for both PvM players who want to enjoy Wilderness content, and PKers who will consequently find fewer lucrative targets. More damningly, it just moves the frustrations players experience in the Revenant Caves to the rest of the Wilderness. We also saw suggestions like having the revenants rotate spawn points, like the Organised Crime minigame on Zeah. We've opted against this because we feel that any clans or groups capable of securing the caves as they are now would also be capable of doing the same elsewhere in the Wilderness, even when those areas rotate.
So this leaves us with the second option: modifying the caves. The research we’ve conducted seems to indicate that the problems with the Revenant Caves are more to do with the nefarious ways they are being used than the caves themselves – so our modifications focus on reducing the possibility for abuse.
To begin with, we’ll be distributing the revenants all throughout the caves. Now that they’re roaming free, it’ll be harder for unscrupulous types to stop other players from accessing them. In the future, we may add even more revenant spawns – although that all depends on whether players feel that’s a necessary step.
Next, we’ll be removing multi-way combat in the caves and replacing it with what we’re calling ‘singles plus’. As you know, in normal parts of the Wilderness, players who are attacked by an NPC are not attackable by other players. This is great when it’s used legitimately, but it causes issues when players run into a field of NPCs and ‘box’ them in an attempt to escape a PK. The ‘plus’ in singles plus is how we plan to solve this issue. Put simply, PvP combat will always take priority in the Revenant Caves. In all other aspects, the usual single-way combat mechanics would still apply.
As we’ve said previously, we’d also like to propose adding the PvP World Timer to the Revenant Caves. We’ve seen lots of questions about how this would work in conjunction with the new ‘singles plus’ combat mechanic.
Here’s an example of how a typical combat scenario might go with both mechanics enabled:
Player A is attacking a revenant. Player B comes along and attempts to attack Player A. With ‘singles plus’ enabled, the revenant loses interest in Player A and stops attacking.
This means that Player A can now attack Player B. If Players A and B stop fighting each other, then other players could then attack Player A instead, but they would need to wait 10 seconds before they were able to do so.
This should mean that players can't be attacked by multiple players in quick succession.
We're also going to be looking at the revenants' drop table, along with the mechanic where skulled players receive better loot chances. Post-launch this will likely be one of the main points of discussion, and working together we can ensure this offers suitable value for the risk involved.
The change to the combat mechanics has led to some concerns that some players might try to rag or grief those within the caves. We're considering a player suggestion to disincentivise potential griefers. Entrance to the caves would require payment in the form of coins (which could be payable from the Bank). The payment could cover one or multiple trips, or until you die within the caves in a PvP scenario. A PKer would receive this fee when looting a killed player's items, which would mean that there's a minimum risk required to enter the caves, and players with little gear and bad intentions could be killed for their fee. The idea is that the upfront cost would deter anybody seeking to behave maliciously, beyond killing Revenants or killing other players.
Lastly, we’ll be rehoming the Slayer monsters in the Revenant Caves to a cave of their very own in an appropriate Wilderness level south of Larran’s Chest and north-west of Venenatis. This multi-way combat dungeon will be much more spacious, which leaves us open to expand the Wilderness Slayer task list in future. All the creatures in the new dungeon will have a boosted chance to drop Larran’s Keys, so they’re well worth hunting down.
We hope you like the sound of these changes, although we know that this is a highly controversial topic. As always, we welcome your thoughts and we'll continue fine-tuning our proposal in accordance with player feedback.