Partial Agility Rework Concept By Lord-Ice
Today i read a RuneScape post, so i want to share it with you. Just talk about Agility on RuneScape. The day dwindles on a decade. A new day will dawn soon for all the world. A new opportunity to create, improve, and explore. And personally, I don't like the idea of entering this brave new world with Agility in the condition it's in. But I have had thoughts on this that I think it's time to share. This isn't a full rework of the Agility skill, since such a thing could take a year or more to develop. Instead, this is aimed at a more surgical approach to fixing the skill: instead of sweeping everything off the table and starting fresh, we simply work on the biggest problems until a full rework can be done. To me, that can be boiled down into three core issues: The Tedium of training the skill, The Dangers of mid-level training, and The Lack of Reward for the significant time and/or monetary investment involved in training Agility. I have two major suggestions for how to deal with these.
First, we'll address The Tedium. There's only two ways to train Agility right now: Agility Courses (I'll branch Harmony Pillars under here) and Silverhawk Boots. This means you either spend dozens - if not hundreds - of hours clicking the same dozen or so interactable objects and watching the same animations... or you drop hundreds of millions of osrs gold buying Silverhawk Feathers. Neither is in any way ideal. So, we need a middle ground. My proposal for this is to give everyone a way to train Agility by doing exactly what they normally do... and reward them for it. However, of the two proposals I have, I suspect this will be more technically difficult for the game engine. My proposal is Jogging, Running, and Sprinting. Run Mode as it is today would become Jogging (with Run Energy renamed Stamina), and unlocks at 1 Agility (making it accessible to everyone). Its functionality remains unchanged: at this speed, the player moves two tiles per game tick and consumes Stamina. However, at 20 Agility, you unlock Running. This is a movement speed increase of one tile per game tick (and increases Stamina drain rate), to three TpT. At this level, a new mechanic is introduced to the world: Stumbling. After all, going at high speed through some areas results in one losing their footing momentarily sometimes. Most caves or heavily wooded areas in the game, or those with similarly rough terrain, would cause a chance (10% at level 20, down to 0.5% at 59 and completely gone at 60) for the player to stumble once every five game ticks (15 tiles) when Running. Stumbling does NOT occur, however, on designated roads or in settlements. If you do not stumble, you get Agility experience; if you do, you gain half, and are stopped while your character regains their footing (two-tick animation that does NOT clear destination flags). So, while you're Clue Hunting, Questing, traveling to a Slayer assignment, or hunting others in the Wilderness, you're gaining Agility xp as long as you're Running. Naturally, xp rates for this will be lower than an Agility Course (though slightly higher than Silverhawks), but you don't have to go out of your way to train. If you Run while you have Silverhawk Boots equipped, you have a 25% decreased chance to stumble (so, at 20 Agility, you have a 7.5% stumble chance instead of 10%) and you gain 25% more Agility xp, plus what the Boots do now. Surefooted Aura would give a similar, stacking benefit (chance to not stumble if you would otherwise). At 60, you stop stumbling while Running, but unlock Sprinting. While Sprinting, you gain more xp when you stumble (or don't) than you do when Running, consume more Stamina for another speed increase (up to 4 TpT), but have a stumble chance until level 92. Essentially, when running faster, a majority of the game world becomes an Agility Course, and every tile has a chance to be an obstacle. it also introduces a new strategic element to traveling from point A to point B: Should I run/Sprint through the forest and get some Agility xp, do I take the road more traveled at greater speed, or do I jog safely through the forest at the cost of Agility xp? Which gets me where I'm going faster? Is the stumble chance worth the Agility xp? Of my two proposals, I expect this one to be harder because, as I understand it, the game engine is fairly hard-coded for only the run speeds we have now (this is what they say when players request mounts).
Next, I'd like to address The Dangers of mid-level training. From levels 52 to 65 (a span of 1,086,761 xp), the player only has two good choices of Agility Courses: Ape Atoll (requiring partial completion of Monkey Madness and a Ninja Monkey Talisman - ideally a Small Ninja Monkey for access to the Ape Atoll Fairy Ring)... or the Wilderness Course. So, you either settle for a maximum of 28k xp/hr (requiring 11.6 hours to bridge the gap), or risk getting PKed just because you're in the Wilderness for up to 41k xp/hr (or as much as 50k-71k xp/hr with a Demonic Skull, which makes you a much more appealing target). This is extremely disheartening for players in that gap. And after 75, you only have a brief reprieve from this, as the Empty Throne Room will only get you to 75, at which point your choices stay the same unless you complete Plague's End and access the Hefin Course at 77 Agility for 57k-85k xp/hr. Plague's End, of course, is no small feat to accomplish considering its myriad requirements and Grandmaster difficulty. Lacking access to Priffindas, one must go from 75-85 at either Ape Atoll or the Wilderness until 85 (a gap of 2,048,173 xp, requiring 73 hours at Ape Atoll or 29-50 hours in the Wilderness), at which point you get the full length of the Anachronia Course for 120k-185k xp/hr until 99. What we need here is another Agility Course to give players a third option for some of those levels. And I have a novel idea for one that would potential be better than any of them save Anachronia... if the player is up to a challenge. This Agility Course isn't just an obstacle course - it's a race. And who, or what, are you racing?
Your pet cat.
This Agility Course, which I'm calling the Felis Catus Course, is unlocked after a quest, requiring Monkey Madness, Ichlarin's Little Helper, and some skills (57 Agility, 50 Divination, and 60 Construction, to throw some numbers out), called A Cat's Challenge. The quest start dialogue occurs whenever you complete a lap of any Agility Course after meeting all the requirements and having your cat in your inventory. You are prompted by a dialogue popup: "Your cat looks forlornly at you from within your bag. Perhaps you should ask it what's on its mind." Equip your Catspeak Amulet, drop your cat on the ground, and talk to it, initiating the dialogue that offers the quest. Your cat will tell you that it envies you when it watches you hop around a giant cat condo for humans and having fun, and wants to do something similar. After a brief discussion, your character comes up with an idea: they'll build their cat their very own Agility Course. Naturally, you need a place for this course, and your cat fondly reminisces about playing around in Gertrude's basement as a kitten. You approach Gertrude and offer to lease her basement for the project. Being a kindly lady, she offers you the space for free when you explain your idea. You enter the basement and construct obstacles for your cat, and when it's done, you let your cat loose. It does a lap or two, then comes to a stop by you and meows - it wants to speak to you again. It says it likes it well enough, but the real fun of the basement in the old days was trying to beat its siblings - it wants a competition with its best friend. You suggest asking Gertrude if any of your cat's siblings are up for this, but the cat says no. They're all well and fun, but your cat was able to consistently beat them for quite some time - plus, they're not its best friend. You are. Your cat wants to race you. But there's a problem:
You're a human, they're a cat, you're a bit too big for the course you've built. Then an idea comes to mind: the time you had to turn into a monkey to infiltrate Marim. Perhps you should go speak to Zooknock and see if he can somehow make a cat greegree. You travel to Ape Atoll with your cat and ask Zooknock how this might be done. But it's tricky: you need a talisman similar to a Monkey Talisman and the remains of a cat, plus a power source for the greegree in the area, as he can't leave Ape Atoll until the mission is over. You suggest, in place of a Cat Talisman, that you could use your cat training medal, if it was suitably enchanted. Zooknock can perform the enchantment, having studied Monkey Talismans, provided 10 Cosmic Runes. Then, if you bring him cat remains, he can make the greegree - though, it will be unpowered. To get the cat remains, you visit Gertrude. She says her cat has hidden away in your Agility Course and won't come out. You go down to see her, and when you examine her, you find that her advanced age is getting to her - she's dying. But she tells you that she enjoys what you're trying to do for her baby, and wants to help. After all, cats have a magical connection to the Underworld as servants of Ichlarin, and she intends to petition him to allow her to stay in the course after her passing. With this, she crosses the rainbow bridge, and Ichlarin comes to collect her. You speak to him and convey her request with the help of her ghost (which you can understand because she's recently dead and wise enough to still speak cat instead of ghost for a little while). Ichlarin agrees to the idea, and when you mention the problem of powering the greegree, he tells you that the spell he must cast to allow Gertrude's cat to linger might be able to provide the magic for your greegree through the spirit of the cat. Take the remains of Gertrude's cat to Zooknock (Ichlarin will offer to teleport you directly to him for convenience), and he makes the greegree after Ichlarin shows him the necessary modifications to his greegree magic to let the Cat Greegree to draw on his spell. You get the greegree (this one's a necklace, since it was made from the cat training medal, though you still need both hands free to use it), return to the Agility Course you built, and race your cat for the first time. Your cat lets you win just this once, so you'll have fun as a cat. Quest Complete, 1 Quest Point, 5k Agility XP, 2500 Construction XP, Cat Greegree, and access to the Felis Catus Agility Course.
On the Felis Catus Course, you must race between obstacles - and against your cat - to do a full lap first. This is done by completing obstacles faster and reaching obstacles first - easier cats are slower on both, harder cats are faster. Win or lose, you get a chunk of xp every lap, like a normal course. But the chunk is bigger if you win - how big, and how hard the feat is, depends on what kind of cat you have. Overgrown cats are the easiest to beat, but you only get 10% more xp for a win. Next easiest are Lazy cats, which give you 15% more for winning and are slightly harder to beat. Basic adult cats give 20% more (and are standard difficulty), while Wily cats give 30% more (and are a bit harder to beat). Additionally, if you consistently beat your Wily cat while wearing the full Nimble outfit, your cat has a chance of becoming a Nimble Cat - more slender, longer legs and body, and much more agile, being very hard to beat at the course but awarding 60% more xp per win. Getting a Nimble Cat is a MQC requirement. Consistently beating a Nimble Cat can provide up to 100k xp/hr, with the xp given scaling with your Agility level (for comparison, beating a basic adult cat consistently would be worth maybe 35-40k xp/hr). Nimble cats also always catch rats (Wily cats have a 93% success chance), and having it in your inventory while Running or Sprinting causes a stumble to occasionally turn into a cat-like bounce, negating the stop animation but only providing 75% of the xp from not stumbling. This Agility Course is designed to be more than just generic click-and-watch training, presenting a real challenge and different mechanics from other courses, to make it potentially more fun. Another thing I considered is to have a win give, say, a 10% chance to spawn a Silver Hawk NPC which, if caught with 60 Hunter, provides 5-10 Silverhawk Down (the non-tradeable one), for additional reward mechanics for doing the course and making it feel more worth one's time.
Questions, comments, thoughts, and constructive criticism are all welcome. Happy Holidays, Gielinorians!