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In the MMORPG RuneScape, combat plays a very important role. Players must fight to increase their experience levels (train) in the seven combat skills, which determine the player’s combat level. Combat is necessary to a player’s advancement in the game and to the completion of most quests. While most combat takes place between players and non-player characters (NPCs), players can engage in combat among themselves in specified areas of Gielinor, the imaginary realm in which RuneScape takes place. Because of the importance of combat to gameplay, the ‘’’armour’’’ and ‘’’weapons’’’ used by RuneScape players is vital to their survival in the game. Armour is used to protect against damage and minimise injury during combat. Weapons are used to wreak havoc upon opponents.

In many games in the MMORPG genre, players must declare a character class when they begin playing. The character class determines the types of armour that can be worn and the types of weapons that can be wielded. Players of these games usually suffer large penalties if they use armour and weapons outside their character class, if they are allowed to use them at all. This does not occur in RuneScape. Players can change their attack and defence types at will, and all players can freely use all armour and weapons, subject only to the skill level limits placed upon some pieces of equipment.

Armour

The primary function of armour in RuneScape is protecting the body from damage; therefore, a typical suit of armour covers most of the body. The head is protected by a helm or hat. The torso is covered by a chest plate or robe top. The upper legs are protected by platelegs, a plateskirt, or a robe bottom. The feet and lower legs are encased in boots or greaves. The forearms and hands are protected by vambraces or gloves. Shields or protective books are carried for defence. A cape worn at the shoulder, a magical amulet worn around the neck, and an enchanted ring on the finger complete the picture.

For the various types of armour to be most effective, players must take into consideration the weapons and combat methods that are likely to be used against them as well as the weapons and combat methods they intend to employ against their enemies. Ideally, each player reaches a compromise between maximizing the damage caused, minimizing the damage received, and lowing their energy causing them to slow down instead of the ability to run.

Melee

Melee armour is worn primarily by warriors who are engaging in hand-to-hand or close range combat with their opponents, with or without weapons. Melee armour is the largest, most diverse class of armour in RuneScape. It protects well against melee and projectile attacks, but is weak against magical attacks.

Types

RuneScape melee armour is constructed from a number of materials, usually metals, and is, therefore, heavy. Players can craft their own armour from bronze to runite (in order from weakest to strongest, bronze, iron, black, steel, mithril, adamantite, and runite) using the smithing skill.[1] Melee armour is also available in other more exotic materials, such as black, white, obsidian, barrows and dragon[2]by either playing minigames or defeating high-level monsters. Each material is distinguishable by its colour. Some rare pieces of melee armour with decorative trim in gold or a contrasting colour can be found by completing treasure trails [3]; however, players cannot add trim to armour.

Melee armour can also be crafted from other materials harvested from Gielinor, sometimes with the assistance of NPCs. Players can collect pieces of certain monsters to create skeletal armour made of bone or rock armour made of shells. Some armour pieces can be painted by players using the construction skill. Painting armour renders it untradable.

The main parts of melee armour are helmets, chest pieces, leg pieces, and shields. For your armour to be most effective, you often must take into consideration your opponent's weapon. For example, a chainmail body will protect you better from crush attacks than a platebody would, however platebodies have superior stab protection. A square shield will protect you from stabs well, but has poor crush defence compared to the kiteshield.[[1]] By incorporating these factors into your duelling or PKing tactics, you may very well pull off a victory.

Special items

Amulets, gloves, and other special items give players various bonuses and, in some cases, penalties, to their combat skills when worn or wielded. Anti-dragonfire shields, which provide only modest protection from physical blows. The distinctive feature of these shields is the significant defence they give the wielder against the breath attacks of dragons. Fire capes, which offer the wearer a high level of defensive bonuses[4] are a significant status symbol due to the difficulty of obtaining one. The cape is not tradable; therefore, any player who wears one has defeated a long string of high level monsters, culminating in the defeat of the highest level monster in the game.

Magic

Mage armour is worn by players who are engaging their opponents in battle using magical spells powered by various types of runestones, with or without the focal point of a staff or wand. Mages prefer to attack from a distance and can be powerful combatants; however, their attacking prowess is offset by their lack of defence. Some spell casters try to offset their natural weakness by wearing melee armour, which has superb protecting capabilities for massive swarms of enemies.

Types

Wizard robes are constructed of cloth in various colours and cover the entire body. Ordinary wizard robes offer modest bonuses to magical attacks, but they provide little protection against the melee form of attack[5]. Ordinary robes are usually a solid colour, although some rare robes with trim in gold or a contrasting colour can be found by completing treasure trails. Robes with higher bonuses, such as mystic or infinity robes, can be found by completing quests, defeating certain monsters, or training in the magical arts at the Mage Arena.

Wizard armor are various materials, non-metal and non-leather, that provide a slight magic bonus and higher defense values. Wizard armor has little defense against the range form of attack, but it is very solid against melee attacks. The most popular of mage armor is Splitbark, made from hollow wood and fine silk, for about the same price as mystic robes. Also, skeletal and lunar armor fall under this category of armor. Ahrim's Robe set is a balance of both robes and armor, giving powerful offense and defensive capablities.

Range

File:Runescape combat range.gif

Range armour is normally worn by those who are engaging in combat using bows, and other projectile weapons. Rangers normally attack from behind cover and from longer distances. They prefer lightweight armour that does not impede their movement. While less protective from physical damage than melee armour, range armour is not as vulnerable to magical attacks[6].

Types

Most armour for rangers is made from various types of leather. It is not as bulky or heavy as melee armour, and it allows the wearer to move freely. The head protection is designed to fit closely to the head, leaving the face uncovered for better vision. Range armour can be crafted by players from soft cowhide leathers with or without metal studs, hard cowhide leathers, dragonhide leathers in various colours, and snakeskin leathers. Some rare range armours can be found with trim in gold or a contrasting colour by completing treasure trails.

Clothing and jewellery

Many items of clothing and jewellery not normally considered to be armour provide benefits to those wearing them in battle. Enchanted amulets, necklaces, and rings can invoke magical protections for the wearer, although some enchanted jewellery is only useful for non-combat functions, such as teleporting or increasing the likelihood of receiving valuable items from defeated monsters. Various types of jewellery are used only in quests, and provide no additional bonuses on top of their main function. Some hats and capes offer bonuses to certain types of combat. For example, when players wear Robin Hood hats, they receive the benefit of bonuses to their ranged attack and defence.

Weaponry

The primary function of weaponry in RuneScape is causing damage to opponents in combat. Weapons come in many forms, often with several variations of a single item. Most items of weaponry in RuneScape are medieval, such as maces and flails, or fantastical, such as magic wands and the abyssal whip. Some tools, such as pickaxes and hatchets, can even function as weapons.

Melee

The weapons used in melee combat are numerous and diverse. Many can be wielded with one hand, allowing the player to carry a shield or protective book to boost defence. Most require the combatants to be standing in close proximity to be used, although several of the longer, two-handed melee weapons can be used from behind a barrier.

Players rate melee weapons on several different sets of criteria. Most players own several weapons to use in different situations, as the type of battle often determines which of the available weapons is “best”. Players must decide for themselves which weapons to use in each situation.

Material

Melee weapons are usually constructed from metal, although some are made of granite, obsidian, dragon, and other exotic materials. Players can smith many melee weapons from materials that can be mined in various places throughout Gielinor. Players can use better weapons as their skill levels increase.

Speed

Melee weapons are often categorized by the speed at which they hit. Fast weapons, including daggers, short swords, scimitars, and claws are lightweight and usually hit an opponent for less damage, but they hit more often. Weapons of medium speed, such as spears, long swords, and maces, balance the amount of damage done per hit and the speed at which the player recovers to hit again. Slow weapons, including warhammers and battleaxes, usually hit harder but have a longer recovery time between strikes. Very slow weapons, including two-handed swords, halberds, and mauls, hit hard but take much longer for recovery between attacks.

Attack type

Melee weapons can be used with several different types of attack. Short, bladed weapons can be used to slash or stab and are more effective against light armour and furred animals. Blunt weapons, including warhammers, maces, and battleaxes, can be used to crush opponents and are effective against heavy melee armour, tough hides, and carapaces. Long weapons can be used to jab or slash and are most effective against large monsters.

Attack style

In RuneScape, the attack style used with melee weapons determines the skill that is trained. Players can choose to fight with the “accurate” style to train their attack skill, the “aggressive” style to train their strength, or the “blocking” style to train their defence. Players can also choose to split their combat experience equally between the three skills by choosing the “controlled” style of combat.

Special considerations

Some weapons, such as daggers and spears, can be poisoned to increase the amount of damage they cause. Some weapons, including all dragon weapons and the bone dagger, have a special attack that can periodically be used to increase the effectiveness of the weapon in some way. Some weapons have an effect that makes them especially useful to players. For example, a mace decreases the speed at which a player’s prayer points are used when a prayer is activated and a defender adds an extra amount of defence as it is designed to absorb or deflect blows. Also, the halberd weapon has the ability to attack over certain low obstacles and from two squares away, making it a choice weapon against large monsters.

File:Runescape weapons specialattacks abyssalwhip-energydrain.gif

Abyssal whip

The abyssal whip is a unique weapon. It is very lightweight and fast; however, it hits for a high amount of damage with each hit. Its special attack is very accurate and can drain run energy from its target. The whip cannot train the strength skill in any way other than partially, as in the controlled mode of attacking. Its only attack type is slash, which is not usually very effective against melee armour, although the high accuracy makes up for this, so a combination of speed and accuracy along with high damage makes this a weapon of choice.

Magic

Players do not need a physical weapon to engage in magical combat as their spells are powered by runestones; however, a limited range of weaponry is available to assist them.

Mages have a wide choice of attire [2] and weapons [3], most of which are available to be purchased from shops or collected from monsters, mini-games, and quests. Players cannot make most mage items with their skills. The vast majority of mage armour is made from thin cloth and unable to repel damage from physical attacks.

Staffs

Mages who use staffs in battle gain several advantages. They can select the spell they wish to cast once and then cast that spell automatically as long as they have the correct runes in inventory. Staffs are available in the four elements of air, water, earth, and fire as well as the combinations of mud and lava. The elemental staffs supply unlimited runestones of their element or elements. By using staffs, mages can train both magic and defence skills while in combat, as the staff can function as a block against a melee attack. Staffs can also be used for physical attacks if the mage runs out of runestones. Some staffs, such as the god staffs and ancient staffs, allow the wielder to cast spells that can only be cast while the staff is wielded.

Wands

Players can obtain wands as rewards in the Mage Training Arena. Wands allow players to autocast attack spells like staffs; however, they do not supply unlimited runestones. Their main advantage is the magic bonuses they give the wielder, with the most powerful (Master Wand) giving a +20 to magic.

Range

Range weapons in RuneScape are almost as diverse as melee weapons. Many require the use of both hands, thereby keeping players from using a shield or protective book for defence.

Most range weapons require the use of ammunition, which is depleted with each use of the weapon. The thrown weapons, such as darts and thrown axes, are their own ammunition.

Projectile

Normal bows are the most common ranged weapon in RuneScape. They can be fletched by players from various woods in both short and long versions. The arrows they require as ammunition can also be fletched by players from wooden shafts, feathers, and various metal arrow tips.

Crossbows can be fletched and smithed by players from various woods and metals that can be harvested throughout Gielinor. The bolts they require as ammunition are smithed from various metals, then fletched with feathers. Bolt tips can then be crafted from gems and added to the bolts to increase their effectiveness. As a further enhancement, gemmed bolts can be enchanted using the mage skill. This enchantment adds a special effect to the bolts. For example, enchanted mithril bolts with emerald bolt tips have an added poison effect that continues to damage an opponent throughout the battle. Crossbows, bolts, and gem-tipped bolts can be traded to shops or to other players; however, enchanted bolts can only be used by the player who performed the enchantment.

The crystal bow is a high-level elven bow that fires a burst of magical energy and, therefore, does not require separate ammunition. It does, however, become depleted of energy and must be recharged after a set number of uses. This weapon is members only.

Thrown

Players can smith knives and darts from various metals. Thrown axes can be purchased in the Ranging Guild or recovered from defeated monsters. Javelins are also available. These range weapons are one-handed, allowing players to wield a shield or protective book if they wish. Obsidian rings, or Toktz-Xil-Ul, are throwing rings that are equivalent in attack and speed to the highest level short bow.

Speed, distance, and attack style

The speed and distance at which a range weapon can attack is often a consideration when players are deciding which weapon to use in a specific situation. Short bows are faster than long bows and crossbows, but do slightly less damage and have a shorter effective distance. Thrown knives and darts are much faster than thrown axes and javelins, but have very limited accuracy and distance. Using the accurate attack style increases the damage dealt by attacks and the accuracy of attacks. Using the rapid style of attack increases the speed while decreasing the accuracy of the attack. Using the longrange attack style increases the maximum distance that a weapon can attack as well as providing the user with experience in the defence skill.

Dwarf multicannon

The dwarf multicannon is a unique range weapon. It consists of pieces that must be assembled and uses cannonballs, made from steel bars at a 4 to 1 ratio as ammunition. The cannon rotates, attacking all monsters in range; however, some high level monsters will attack and destroy it if a cannon is used against them. This weapon can be repaired by the dwarves for a fee. This is a members only weapon.

Unconventional weaponry

Pickaxes, machetes, and woodcutting hatchets can be wielded by players and used as weapons as well as for their intended purposes, though they are significantly less powerful. Attack and strength bonuses are given for wielding these tools. Just for fun, players can wield bouquets of flowers, toy mice, or rubber chickens as weapons. These do very little damage, but high-level players can effectively kill a low-level monster with them. Players can attack other players with rubber chickens at any location in Gielinor; however, this attack does no damage.

Barrows equipment

The armour and weapons that can be received as a reward for defeating the six brothers entombed in the barrows in Morytania, known as barrows equipment, are arguably the most powerful pieces of equipment in RuneScape. Players who wear an entire set of barrows armour while wielding the corresponding weapon receive a special effect that varies with the set[7]. Barrows items, however, degrade as they are used, eventually becoming unusable until costly repairs are made.

Torag the Corrupted

Players who wear the entire Torag's set and wield Torag’s hammers can drain 20% of their opponent’s run energy. The hammers have a high crush bonus, useful against plated enemies.

Guthan the Infested

Wearing the entire Guthan’s set while wielding Guthan’s warspear allows players to drain the health of an opponent and add it to their own. This allows players to train for longer periods of time without food and without spending time running back and forth between the training location and a bank.

Verac the Defiled

The entire Verac’s set accompanied by Verac's flail allows players to cut through armour and prayer of the opponents as if they were wearing no armour and weren't using prayer. The flail gives a prayer bonus just like the rest of the armour.

Dharok the Wretched

Players who wield Dharok's greataxe while wearing the full Dharok’s armour set hit for more damage as their own hitpoints are decreased. When their hitpoints reach below 10%, the damage of Dharok's greataxe stops increasing.

Ahrim the Blighted

Players wearing the entire Ahrim’s robe set while wielding Ahrim's staff have a random chance of lowering their opponent’s strength. The staff allows autocasting of spells like a normal mage staff and can be used for melee combat as well although stats are siginificantly lower than other Barrows weapons. [5][7].

Karil the Tainted

Every successful shot from Karil's crossbow by a player wearing the full set of Karil’s armour lowers the agility of the opponent. The crossbow uses bolt racks for ammunition.

References

  1. "Smithing - The Basics" - RuneScape.com. Retrieved 27 June 2006
  2. "Defence - Armour types" - RuneScape.com. Retrieved 27 June 2006
  3. "Treasure Trails" - RuneScape.com. Retrieved 28 June 2006
  4. "Cape Guide" - RuneScape.com. Retrieved 27 June 2006
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Magic - Mage Armour" - RuneScape.com. Retrieved 27 June 2006
  6. "Ranged Armour" - RuneScape.com. Retrieved 27 June 2006
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Barrows Rewards" - RuneScape.com. Retrieved 27 June 2006

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