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RuneScape Necromancy Changes
Image via Jagex

Jagex Continues to Tweak RuneScape’s Combat with Upcoming Necromancy Balances and Combat Beta

Jagex hopes to provide a more equal experience between all four combat skills

When Jagex stated that Necromancy would shake up the long-existing combat triangle, assumedly, they did not mean that it would shake it up to the point that Necromancy was far superior to previous combat methods and negatively impacted in-game playstyles.

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Jagex is looking to fix this and has released information regarding the continued balancing of the Necromancy skill, as well as the upcoming Combat Beta.

Regarding the Necromancy Skill Balances

On Monday, October 23rd, 2023, players can expect a Necromancy rebalance to go live. The aim is to adjust Necromancy in such a way that the clear strengths that it has as a combat skill do not make it far superior to the other three combat skills, so that all four skills can remain relevant.

The initial rebalance will include the following:

  • We’re adjusting conjured spirits to tone down their power level while improving their quality of unlife.
    • Adrenaline cost has been removed from conjure and command abilities
      • We’ve observed this play style and feel that separating conjures from adrenaline is the best approach going forward.
      • This should help normalize damage across the entire encounter instead of it all being frontloaded at the beginning.
    • Addressing the power of ‘Command Vengeful Ghost’
      • There was a bit too much power in the ‘Woo’
  • We’ll also be introducing a new ability: ‘Conjure Undead Army’.
    • This ability requires 99 Necromancy and is available at tier 7 of the Well of Souls talent tree. This ability allows a player to conjure multiple spirits at once.
    • Ectoplasm costs will be equal to double each conjure ability included, and the ability can be right-clicked and customized to select/remove conjure abilities.
Jagex, October 20, 2023

Regarding the Combat Beta
On the following Monday, which lands on October 30, 2023, Jagex will be initiating the Combat Beta. The goal of this beta is to work closely with the player base when it comes to every skill change that will be adjusted and implemented. If this is done in a way where player feedback is taken on and is well received, it will undoubtedly be a step in the right direction for Jagex after some recent blunders on their part. The plan is that all combat styles will have the attention that they deserve so that they maintain their own individual style and importance.

The first beta that will go live will have the following three main changes:

  • Enable ‘Damage Potential’ for all combat styles for the player
    • This is the removal of hit chance and instead, a damage scaler based on % chance to hit (e.g. 50% = do 50% of your damage instead of having a 50% chance to miss)
  • Increase the ‘Damage cap’ for all combat styles
    • This is an increase from 10,000/12,000 to 30,000
  • Implement a simplified ‘Critical strike system’ for all combat styles
    • Each style will have a % chance to critically strike and then when you critically strike your damage is increased by your critical strike damage % which increases with level
      • Critical Strike Chance: 10% by default for all styles, however this could change based on beta feedback
      • Critical Strike Damage: Same formula as Necromancy for all styles, however this could change based on beta feedback (e.g. Melee could have 100% critical strike damage)
        • Note: Melee uses the ‘Strength’ stat for this
Jagex, October 20, 2023

The Complete List of Necromancy Patch Notes

The following patch notes provide more detail as to what will actually be altered and adjusted when the rebalancing goes live on October 23, 2023.

‘CONJURE SKELETON WARRIOR’ ABILITY

  • Damage range has been reduced to 22%-28% (was 27%-33%).
  • Additional damage has been changed to a damage increase:
    • Previously, each rage stack would offer 1% ability damage, The average damage would be 55% ability damage per hit at max stacks (30% base + 25% from stacks).
    • Now each rage stack increases the damage by 3%. This is now 43.75% at max stacks (25% base + 75% damage increase from stacks)

‘CONJURE PUTRID ZOMBIE’ ABILITY

  • Adrenaline Cost Removed
  • Base Duration reduced to 42s (-3 seconds)
  • Movespeed increased from walking to running
  • The zombie’s passive poison damage has had its damage range reduced from 27-33% to 8-12%.
  • Passive proc interval rate increased from 1.8s to 3s.
    • We have reduced the damage and tick rate of poison as currently it was offering too much passive damage for minimal investment and we want poison builds to have their moments but still require equipment investments to see their full effects.
  • Bug fix: Passive damage will no longer attempt to apply poison while wearing Cinderbane Gloves.

‘COMMAND PUTRID ZOMBIE’ ABILITY

  • Ability can now be cast without a target.

‘CONJURE VENGEFUL GHOST’ ABILITY

  • Adrenaline cost removed
  • Heal value reduced to 125% (was 175%)
    • Healing now happens on-hit, as opposed to on-attack, which means that the healing value will scale up based on damage modifiers (e.g. if the target is inflicted with debuffs such as “Haunted” or “Vulnerability”)

‘COMMAND VENGEFUL GHOST’ ABILITY

Adrenaline Cost Removed Command now has a fixed duration of 30s and will require recasting to upkeep. Changed the effect from 100% of base damage up to a cap of 35% ability damage -> 10% of base damage up to a cap of 20% ability damage as bonus damage.

  • The intention with this change is to still enable the benefit of amplifying hard-hitting abilities while reducing how much extra damage was being generated from lots of instances of low-damage hits.

‘LIFE TRANSFER’ INCANTATION

Increase duration from 20.4s to 21s.

  • Changed from maximum life points to base life points. E.g., if you have 15000 Life Points with 99 Constitution, you will only lose 4950 (which is 9900/2) instead of losing 7500 which is what you would lose in the current version.

‘INVOKE DEATH’ INCANTATION

Increased duration to 12 seconds (was 6 seconds)

  • It’s still one application per cast, but there was an overreliance at the start of fights on being tick-perfect with invoke death which made it feel clunky to interact with.

GENERAL

Necromancy shields will no longer cause conjured spirits to despawn.

  • Necromancy Shields are now classified as having an ‘Underworld connection’ which allows them to maintain conjured spirits but they cannot be used to conjure them

Resolved some issues related to Death Mark. Fixed an issue that caused it to trigger multiple times. Fixed an issue where the damage from the mark was delayed. Fixed an issue that allowed Death Mark’s insta-kill damage to reflect at the player.

Jagex, October 20, 2023

The general consensus and feedback that has been provided by the community is that they are cautiously optimistic as to the proposed changes. Most agree that Necromancy does need to be rebalanced in some form and that combat needs to be adjusted to make Necromancy, Ranged, Melee, and Magic all stand on their own without any one method being vastly superior to another.

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The community will hopefully see an improvement in the way that Jagex handed content changes, and updates from here. One can hope that they have learned hard lessons from the Hero Pass controversy and changes going forward will be implemented with community input, much more like how the Old School RuneScape updates are handled.


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Author
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Priscilla Wells
Priscilla is both the weekend editor and a freelance writer at Prima Games. She began working at Prima Games in early 2023. Prior to this, she spent nine years writing for both her own personal gaming blog, and other related websites. Priscilla has grown up playing video games, and most often plays her PS5 and Nintendo Switch consoles. You can find her playing Final Fantasy XIV, RuneScape, Pokemon GO, or lost in the latest RPG to release. She is an Australian living in the United States with her American husband, three children, and her Basset Hound. Before moving to the United States, Priscilla obtained a Bachelors of Secondary Education majoring in English and Japanese Language. This allowed her to teach English and Japanese in a high school setting. You can follow her on Twitter/X at @Cilllah