We're now finished here and have answered all the questions we could in the time. Thanks for all the great questions, and sorry to those we didn't get to. I'll leave the rest of the intro here for future historians.

Thanks, Hew

=== === === === === === ===

We are Mod Hew and Mod Ana, and we worked on the new skill, Divination, for RuneScape, along with Mod Krista and others.

Mod Hew is Design Team Leader (and happy to talk about design), and was involved (as reviewer, designer or developer) with things like Vorago, Kalphite King, Blood Runs Deep and Glorious Memories. Mod Ana is a Senior Content Developer, responsible for such updates as The World Wakes, Branches of Darkmeyer, bonfires, urns and Firemakers Curse.

We'll be starting at 7pm BST (3pm EDT), so please get your questions ready. We're really looking forward to answering them!


Comments: 398 • Responses: 27  • Date: 

wbjo21542 karma

Ok, I got a few question here so let’s get to it.

  1. What were some of the hot fixes you did during release day.

  2. Is there any plans to change the color of the orbs or will they all be just slightly different blue balls?

  3. Did you know that the whips can spawn in the golden apple tree fence …. Like one of the enriched orbs. :(

  4. Will there be any major quests to go along with div in the near future? because I feel like it needs it own story.

  5. Are we in fact rebuilding guthix by replacing his soul back into the world? …………. HE LIVES!

Thanks for the update I’m having lots of fun with it.

mod_ana_s41 karma

  1. The most obvious ones we've done over the last two days are the changes to enriched wisps - these were spawning rather more often than we had intended, and it was possible to exploit their random spawns by hopping worlds. We also hotfixed out being able to spam click wisps for faster memories (sorry).

  2. There aren't any plans for this at the moment. It was something we discussed during development and internal feedback - but as there are 12 tiers it's difficult to get 12 obviously different colours and it was anticipated that it might look a bit odd. In the end it was determined it would be better to differentiate them with size and shinyness, rather than colour.

  3. We are aware of this and I was looking into it today. It's been passed on to the graphics department to look at but I'll chase it up tomorrow :).

  4. I hope so! Perhaps Mod Hew would be able to say more on this one, but there is certainly some underlying story to Divination which I really hope will be explored in the future.

  5. Haha! No, sorry. He dead.

RS_Hew9 karma

-4- There's a quest on the todo list now, although we don't know much about it yet. It'll really start to take shape once we know who'll be developing it.

AfroMonkey01029 karma

No questions, just wanted to say hello and thanks for all the work you put into the game that defined a LOT of my childhood! Cheers!

RS_Hew16 karma

Thanks for that. It's great when people like what we're doing :-)

06johansenad17 karma

What is your response to people calling Divination 'Runespan 2.0'?

Are signs going to be introduced to Dungeoneering Divination? All we can make is healing and door stuff. I'd like bindable signs :P

Why are all memories blue but the energy is a variety of colours? Shouldn't flickering memories should be green, the next set red, etc.

Are you planning anything extra for Divination? Like the ability to infuse the energy into weapons/armour? Or some way of luring wisps closer to you?

Are you planning on increasing xp rates? A lot of people I know have complained about the xp.

RS_Hew33 karma

I think it's a shame people see Divination that way. RuneSpan is great content but it's not something we're going to be building into future updates, like we do the skills. Divination is the start of whole new things, and I'm looking forward to seeing all the stuff we can add to it, in ways that a minigame just doesn't support.

We're happy with the Divination that appears in Dungeoneering at the moment; perhaps it's something we'll take another look at later. I wouldn't bind signs: although they're not immediately consumable they're still the sort of thing you'd use up sooner or later.

We thought long and hard about the colours and had lots of discussion about it with the artists. They're different because they have quite different requirements: the wisps are shades of blue because it goes well in lots of different terrains, without colour-blindness problems, while the energy varies more because you have more chance to need to see the difference of multiple kinds together.

We're planning loads more, both for Divination and the next skill.

We're not planning to change XP rates. To provide a decent high-score race of the kind that lots of players like and to give you a good feeling of continual improvement we made it the kind of thing you can't just burn through in short time.

got_root15 karma

I remember that limiting players to a 28 item inventory was considered important to the Runescape economy. However, with the Sign of the Porter and a Pak Yak, players are able to hold up to 88 items before banking. How do you see this affecting the economy?

Also, can I suggest making something like a Portent of Ignore, that makes banners and avatars silent, invisible, and inherently non-clickable.

That being said, I like the new skill. Nice job!

RS_Hew16 karma

Bank runs are pretty quick these days, so the economic impact of the extra inventory space should be relatively small. Porter also isn't free to make, so players will make their own decisions about which commodities are worth teleporting and which aren't. Another thing we discussed was whether we wanted to change the flow of gathering so dramatically: I wanted to make the change but was a little afraid of it, but Mod Mark was happy to give players that option and so we did.

Ana has changed things so that you can't put clan banners down too close to the crater, but followers and avatars are technically much harder to change so we'll have to look carefully about what we want to do there.

definitely_not_david12 karma

When is the related skill coming out? Early 2014 has been floated around for a while now, but the FAQ in the wiki entry for divination says "later this year"

RS_Hew16 karma

We'd love to fit it into this year.

definitely_not_david10 karma

Merry Christmas RS?

MysticMagicks3 karma

With that reply, you could also say that they'd love to fit it in tomorrow too. I'd love to be a millionaire and stay skinny also.

definitely_not_david2 karma

I wasn't expecting an actual date, that'd be silly. But I would certainly take that to mean that the goal is to get it in this year. So, depending on other updates or delays, it should give a pretty good reference point for when it can be expected

RS_Hew5 karma

Your interpretation sounds good to me. The 'hope' part is just because I know what we're aiming for and working toward, but I don't know with absolute certainty what will actually happen.

nmdanny12 karma

Why did Jagex decide to release a gathering skill so early, without its associated production skill? Although divination has some rewards, they're not good enough to justify training it

RS_Hew16 karma

When we looked at the development resource it would take to make both skills at once we decided that instead we'd spread them out. It does mean that Divination will get better later on, but I do feel that there's quite a lot there already.

Ninjago112 karma

Is it a current bug that you gain so many enriched orbs at the start of a new area? It seems to drastically drop down to almost zero per inventory the next level and then picks itself back up.

Will the springs be changed graphically as they all look the same?

Will the next skill be directly related to Divination like mining is with smithing?

mod_ana_s15 karma

The enriched memories from wisps are given at random. Your chance to get them goes up as you increase your level within the tier (a tier being level 20-29, for example) - then when you move on to the next tier it drops down again. We've seen some similar feedback on the forums so we have been double checking that this is the case!

There are no plans to change the springs currently. If we get a lot of feedback on it then we'd obviously look into changing it :).

I really don't want to give a concrete answer on your last question because Mod Hew is sat next to me and I'm scared but... I think...so?

RS_Hew17 karma

Don't be scared, Ana!

The new skill will use energy, but also plenty of other things. There might be some features where a Divination level is an advantage. So mechanically, there'll be that kind of link.

But from a lore/narrative perspective but they won't line up like Mining and Smithing: it'll be a slightly more complicated relationship and I hope we can tell some interesting stories there.

Zonicspeed10 karma

Hi there!

First of all, I'm really enjoying all the cool new ideas and rewards that were put into Divination. Good job!

I was really curious if you would consider rebalancing transmutation. Right now, nearly all of the conversions result in a loss. I really like the idea, but right now, I don't see any reason for players to use it.

Here's the conversion in value when doing transmutation as calculated from GE prices: http://runescape.wikia.com/wiki/Divination#Transmutation

Would you consider adjusting the number of input resources required for transmutation to better reflect their GE values? It would be neat if transmutation was profitable in exchange for putting effort into gathering the required divination resources and lowering the exp they give.

RS_Hew8 karma

At the moment we're happy that the value of transmutations will change over time with the market. It's more of a convenience feature than a direct money-maker, although there'll be times when it'll turn a profit in the right market (and if you're watching it so closely it sounds like you'll be ready).

Druined8 karma

Why do all tiers have the exact same graphics/colors/animations as the previous camp?

It just seems a bit cheap/rushed to me but maybe there's another reason?

RS_Hew6 karma

It would be nice if I had a graphics person here, but the principles are that:

  • The animations are consistent, because they represent roughly the same thing each time. There's also a steady progression of models that look similar but gradually get more complicated, because they represent more complicated versions of a similar thing.
  • The colours do vary, but they're similar because it was hard to get a range that would make wisps clearly relate to one another while also fitting in with the game world.

There's a lot of things to consider when choosing colours and making the graphics for things like this, and we had lots of thought and lots of discussion. The cheap/rushed version could have clashed with things, been ugly, been hard to see or loads of other problems.

wbjo2157 karma

Another one:

When will we be able to use xp lamps on divination?

-thanks =)

Gearsofhalowarfare5 karma

After two weeks, according to the Runescape website.

RS_Hew12 karma

'Two weeks' has been mentioned a couple of times, but I don't think that's a final decision. I'd expect more like a month.

DatBeSmooth7 karma

Did you have any "work in progress" names for the skill or was it Divination from the getgo?

RS_Hew13 karma

Early on there was a chance we'd make something quite different (which will now be part of the next skill), but ever since it's been this one it's been called Divination.

RS_Hew10 karma

The other rather uninspiring name for it was 'Skill 1', since we always planned it as the first half of a pair. I'll have to leave you in suspense as to the working title for the next skill ;-)

envious_16 karma

  • How long has the skill been in development?
  • We're the XP/hr rates intended to be higher at some point? The RS Wiki had differen't xp rates written on it then actual in game rates.
  • If there was one thing you could change about the skill, what would it be?

Just for fun: How much coffee was consumed in the making of this skill?

Uzikills9 karma


RS_Hew4 karma

I drink lots of caffeinated soft drinks, but tea is good too.

porkfriedtar5 karma

Why did you guys hotfix it so that only 1 person could pick up a chronicle fragment at a time?

I know you guys were saying this would be a big social skill where other people couldn't steal resources from players, so this change seemed to contradict that.

RS_Hew5 karma

Chronicles are person-specific: you can only see somebody else's fragment after they have had a good chance to get it themselves. The social focus of the skill is that enriched springs stay longer with more players, and that generally the core springs aren't competitive. The situation where you could 'share' chronicle fragments wasn't intended, it throws the balancing off and doesn't make much sense considering what the fragments are.

The_Last_Greenseer4 karma

Hi Guys,

Too much negativity floating around, I just want to say that I am really enjoying the skill.

Recently working towards maxing DG and Slayer, its nice to have a skill that doesn't require constantly running around. It seems like the players have really taken the chance to 'bond' at the rifts, which makes a refreshing change.


RS_Hew4 karma

Thanks for that, we were really hoping that the colonies/craters would be a nice chance for a chat, like some of the older skills.

CrisFTW4 karma

Hello Mod Hew & Mod Ana, thanks for doing this AMA! (even rhymed :P). So my question is if there are any plans to somehow introduce Divination to Clan Citadels?

RS_Hew3 karma

Not yet. We'll wait until there's some more work on Clan Citadels: we'd like to get more people using them but there's lots we'd like to do this year and next, so I don't know when that will be.

MattsterReddit3 karma

  1. Which JMod do you think will be the first to get 99 Divination on their personal account?

  2. What update are you most proud of, whether it's already released or not?

mod_ana_s3 karma

  1. I couldn't really say - there are many trying! Sadly it won't be me, because I am spending time doing things like AMAs :P!

  2. I think I'm most proud of Branches of Darkmeyer. It was my first big project and I was reasonably new and I was really happy with the response it got :). The World Wakes would be a close second, because I hear I made some players cry.

RS_Hew2 karma

It won't be me. I spent a chunk of yesterday in-game listening to what players thought while clicking away on my Mod account, and now it has better Divination than my personal account.

I'm most proud of Blood Runs Deep, probably.

lula24883 karma

In your opinion, what is the best dinosaur?

RS_Hew2 karma

I used to like stegosaurus, or maybe ankylosaurus, but I'm afraid Jurassic Park ruined all dinosaurs except velociraptors for me.

SlockTheSock3 karma

I have some design and some development questions:

  1. What were the main goals you set yourselves when developing divination?

  2. Do you think you met the goals you set yourselves?

  3. How different is the skill now compared to its original design?

  4. What were the main challenges you faced during development?

Thanks :).

Oh and Mod Ana, you make awesome quests!

RS_Hew4 karma

There were loads of aims. Among my top ones:

  • Simple, old-school gathering skill, more like Fishing or Woodcutting than Summoning or Dungeoneering
  • Non-competitive: positively social where possible
  • A 'free' training option, with no waste products you didn't want to make
  • Tie-in with the new age and the evolving story of RS

Note that these aren't all goals we set ourselves: many of them came down from Mod Mark. There are always things I wish we'd had more time for, but I'm happy with the results.

It's changed a lot as we went along, but it's difficult to point at any version and call it the 'original design'. At one point it was something completely different, and you can now look forward to that as part of the next skill.

Main challenges were big design questions about exactly how we manage the stuff above and fit it all in with the way the game works. We had to ditch a lot of ideas for reward/product objects because they'd ruin something or other. We also had to think carefully about this skill was different to previous ones, because while it's always tempting to fall back on 'well Mining does it like this' but some of the things Mining does were ones we didn't want to replicate.

Maybe now that I've had a go at those, Ana will drop by and admit she makes awesome quests :-)

duksandfish2 karma

Hi, were you guys responsible for the two hotfixes which affected xp, namely:

  1. Stopping reclicking nodes for faster xp.

  2. Stopping scouting multiple worlds in a team to find enriched wisps, and then doing them one by one to get the most xp.

And if so, why? I think both of these were good in that they encouraged additional effort with the reward of additional xp.

RS_Hew5 karma

Although we like to reward effort, we want to do so in ways that make things more interesting rather than those that simply add click intensity. Divination is intended to be the kind of skill that lets you chat with other players (or even watch some TV if you like), and that breaks down as soon as we allow unintended better XP because everyone will feel compelled to do it.

Shiftstealth2 karma

Are there plans to add more transmutations to divination? Right now it feels kind of limited.

  1. I would love to be able to break oak logs to regular logs.

  2. Are there any plans to let us edit when portents are used. I would love to have the Rocktail portent be used at 70% instead of 50%.

RS_Hew9 karma

The idea of transmuting 'backwards' is really interesting; I like that. We might be able to do some cool stuff with that. When Mod Avatar originally came up with the idea (or a slightly different idea, which I stole and changed) he was thinking of transmuting across, and I'm looking forward to doing something with that too.

At the moment there's a deliberate choice between portents of restoration and food. While it's possible that we could make new versions with other thresholds (or change the thresholds in certain level bands) we'd only do so if it didn't make the items too complicated and confusing.

Shiftstealth3 karma

Transmuting across i feel would break the game. Making Rocktails into rune ore just sounds kind of not right. With how useful rune ore is or how much harder it is to gather i feel like this would have a very negative effect on the economy.

However breaking oak logs down to regular logs would be immensely useful; or breaking mith ore down to Coal would be awesome to do while mining in a random area it would give you more of a reason to hit a higher level rock for more xp and more ore.

RS_Hew2 karma

Some recipes would be dangerous: I agree with your example. Maybe they're all dangerous, and I'd check before we decided to do any of them. But there are things here and there that might benefit from players being able to even them up a little...

joriem21 karma

where do the memories go when you put them in the energy rift

RS_Hew2 karma

Back to the world spirit (Anima Mundi, whatever you want to call it), which/who is very grateful.

weesiwel1 karma

Mod Osborne apparently intends to change quests so only 20 take place in the 5th age. Not only is this a waste of developer time and resources but it will introduce inconsistencies and is unnecessary. Any chance you can stop this and just blanket statement every quest priot to Bringing Home the Bacon as 5th age and all future quests 6th age?

RS_Hew1 karma

I'll try and get him to say more about this in future (he's often in Q&As and things) but as I understand it the 'change' isn't very dramatic. It's more about identifying which quests definitely have to be in the 5th age (because there's a clear thread that means they must have happened before TWW), versus those that aren't fixed, and letting a new player see the floating ones are 6th age.

It's just a point of view thing, and isn't going to involve much work to any of the quests.

Tox77-1 karma

Why is the skill simply the exact same thing, all the way from 1-99 but just in different locations? This is in NO WAY worthy of being called even a minigame.. Runespan would make a better skill than Divination

homao2 karma

we can say the same about fishing, woodcutting, hunter. Thats how a collecting skill goes.

Tox77-2 karma

All of those skills have lots of different training methods spread all throught Gielinor. Div has 12 locations all of which involve doing the same action

RS_Hew2 karma

Remember that the extra training methods for other skills typically launch over time after the skill itself. As much as we'd love to launch something as broad and varied as Woodcutting with all the things that have been added post-launch, the game is bigger and more complicated than ever and the effort it takes to build a skill and safely plug it in everywhere has grown too.