There is no precedent in adding a new skill in OSRS, but the community voted for it. What’s next?
The addition of a new skill is huge! It can involve an OSRS GP sink and a new way to earn OSRS GP while skilling. It can impact those who maxed already, and it will give room to a new race to 99 for everyone. Jagex has announced that they intend on adding a new skill if that’s what the community wants during the 2022 Winter Summit and then proceeded to launch a short poll that’s in line with the new polling charter.
The Poll in Question
The poll only contained 1 question asking about your agreement with adding a new skill without explaining further details about this. Those who voted did so without knowing what skill would be added, how it would affect the meta when it comes to earning OSRS GP and how this could affect the overall economy of the game and the amount of OSRS gold that enters or exits the game.
Together with releasing the poll, Jagex explained how the development of the skill would go if the poll did pass. They stated that if the poll didn’t pass, that would be the end, but if it passed, there would be multiple rounds of polling and feedback before release. The presented steps for adding a new skill are the following. The first step is polling if to add a skill or not; if the initial poll passed, Jagex would then send out survey polls so that they got an idea about what skill the community would like to see. Afterward, Jagex will present a few pitches with skill concepts based on what the community wants. The skill loved by the player base will be further developed and refined with the community’s involvement and then even further refined once again. The last step is the beta and the beta feedback.
Jagex said that their motivation to bring new skills roots in the various conversations in the community about the addition of a new skill that took place for years and years via different means such as Reddit, discord, and official forums.
A secondary motivation that Jagex describes is allotting more Dev time to additions for the main game rather than for temporary game modes such as Leagues, which Jagex won’t even poll anymore except for when it comes to the rewards that do touch the main game.
Jagex is also stating between the lines that adding a new skill will give them more opportunities to create and develop even more content around that skill. They also touched on the fact that for the last ten years, no skill has been added to Old School Runescape and that they want to motivate the players to log in every day.
In the past, Jagex has previously polled three unsuccessful skills: Artisan, Sailing, and Warding. This time, their approach is different, and with the new polling system, they will base the new skill on different values. First, the skill must be “a healthy addition deeply rooted in the game.” Then the new skill will need to give you a meaningful progression in the game, and not only you, but the skill needs to be to the taste of a larger variety of players and enjoyable to train.
Jagex is aware of plenty of legitimate concerns from the players with OSRS accounts for sale regarding adding a new skill. The main concern that has been rumored amongst players for a long time is whether a new skill could even feel old school since the 2007Scape was released in 2013 as a copy of what Runescape was in 2007. Even though many quests, bosses, and minigames have been added, they all circled the already existing skills, and a brand new skill could take away from the nostalgia. However, that’s a rather calculated risk for Jagex since most players who play RuneScape for nostalgia’s sake are already in the game.
The most dedicated players might be concerned about a brand-new skill because of what could happen to the players who have already earned a max cape. Here, Jagex is open to giving this category of players a grace period, so they have enough time to keep using the benefits of the max cape. Even though Jagex already stated their reassurances towards the max cape players, they have yet to decide on the final solution.
Another legit concern relates to how long you will train the skill to 99. There are other related issues, such as whether you can fast buy your way to 99. With Fletching, for example, where if you are poor enough OSRS GP, you will drastically decrease the amount it takes to 99, making it one of the fastest skills to master if, again, you do have the available OSRS gold at hand.