Accuracy, affinity, and hit chance are some of the most important, and potentially confusing, elements of high level PvM in Runescape 3. Given recent dialogue in the community about Aurascape, the poll question on the most recent Runescape survey regarding potential changes to accuracy, and the radical departure in Jagex’s approach towards accuracy in high level bossing situations with Solak, now is the time to detail how accuracy works.

In its most basic form, accuracy refers to the ability to successfully strike your target. In RuneScape, missing does not result in a glancing blow, but instead results in a splash. Your ability does zero damage, and in some cases, such as with auto-attacks, does not increase the player’s adrenaline. Many high level PvMers, and even those new to upper end bossing, have voiced frustration at this all or nothing method for determining hit chance. At a place like Vorago, for example, a player maximizing every available in-game boost—T92 weapon, T99 prayers, Overloads, max combat stats, and a Nihil will only have something like 76% chance of hitting. This phenomenon has made combat auras, available in Solomon’s store via loyalty points, a functional requirement for PvM, especially at team bosses such as Vorago, Nex: Angel of Death, and Yakamaru. In fact, for AoD, many teams forbid players from joining if they are not using a “zerk” aura (maniacal, reckless, berserker). Since these auras are time-gated by the number of months a player has had membership, and cannot be earned in game, this can create an unfair barrier of entry to PvM, and arguably is one cause of atomization-players with a limited number of loyalty points who choose to purchase skilling auras rather than PvM auras may find themselves excluded from top teams despite having the necessary skills, gear, and mentality.

Hit chance is calculated by the following formula: H=Affinity × (accuracy/defense). Accuracy modifiers can either be additive, eg. directly affecting hit chance (H) or multiplicative, eg affecting one of the components of H. I will break down each component. Affinity is probably the most difficult concept to grasp, given its interchangeable use with the phrase “base hit chance” by JMods. Affinity measures the weaknesses of a target, much like the old school style of combat. For example, an NPC might be weak to Ranged, and more specifically weak to Arrows. Anyone who has played the game for a long time might remember changing the style of a weapon between “stab,” “slash,” and “crush,” with the differences making a huge impact. The fact that this system remains in place for affinity calculation in the Evolution of Combat is confusing given that those style options can no longer be manually selected. According to the RuneScape Wiki, affinity operates along the following numbers by default:

  • “90 when using the target's specific weakness. (eg. slash, stab, arrows, bolts, air, fire, etc.)
  • 65 when using a combat style the target is weak against, but not the specific weakness (eg. melee against a ranger)
  • 55 when using a combat style the target is neutral against (eg. melee against a meleer)
  • 45 when using a combat style the target is strong against (eg. melee against a mage)”[1]

Using a specific style can impact accuracy significantly for some encounters. For example, K'ril Tsutsaroth is weak to fire spells, meaning using those spells will calculate hit chance with an affinity of 90, allowing a player to achieve 100% accuracy with far lower tier weapons than they would otherwise need. The majority of high level bosses have an affinity of 55 across the board, theoretically making all styles equivalent. Affinity modifiers, therefore, can make a significant impact in overall accuracy. The special abilities of the Statius Warhammer (+5 affinity), Guthix Staff (+2), the Quake ability (+2), and Book of War (+3) are the most commonly used affinity modifiers, together allowing a player to achieve the maximum possible affinity boost of +10 which can mean the difference between splashing almost a quarter of the time and nearly perfect accuracy.

Base accuracy is calculated by the main hand weapon, off-hand weapons, while having an accuracy “stat” are not part of the calculation whatsoever, which is why (usually) main-hand weapons retain a far higher value. This base accuracy is determined by a formula that includes adding the formula used for how skill level affects accuracy: F(a)=0.0008a^3+4a+40 plus a calculation for the tier of weapon, which looks like this: Accuracy=F(a)+2.5×F(weapon). In the case of a 99 skill level player F(99) comes to 1,212 (after rounding). Using a tier 90 weapon, (2458 base accuracy), we can see that their accuracy comes out to 3,670. Multiplicative modifiers such as overloads, extreme potions, or accuracy boosting prayers that change the player’s level can make a huge difference. This is the reason “zerk” auras such as maniacal are so impactful. A player with 99 magic using a Supreme Overload and Maniacal will have a base magic level of 128. Using a tier 90 weapon again as an example, their base accuracy would then be 4,687. After this formula is calculated, additive bonuses come into play—Nightmare Gauntlets, Reaper Necklace, Nihils or creature specific boosts such as the Balmung vs Dagganoths. Skill level plays a huge part in determining our accuracy rating. Given that Saradomin brews lower our base level and most other types of foods cost adrenaline, the most effective way to increase kill speeds is by learning to consume as little food as possible (or swapping everything for Jellyfish) through using optimal rotations, prayer flicking, and defensive abilities.

The final piece of the puzzle is defense, which is mostly static. An NPC’s defense is determined by their armor rating and the armor rating bonus from their defense level. These ratings are easy to access on the Runescape Wiki. Let’s take Telos as an example, whose armor is 1,924, affinity is 55, and defense level is 80, which gives a base defense of 2,694. Using the above numbers, a player with a tier 90 weapon, overloads, and maniacal would have a hit chance of 55 x (4687/2694), which equals 95.6 percent accuracy. Without the use of overloads and maniacal, however, we can see that accuracy drops to 74.9 percent. The ability to modify affinity can lead to even better results. If we add a +2 affinity for the Guthix Staff special attack, our accuracy comes to 99.1 percent. For group bosses such as Nex: Angel of Death or Vorago, where base defense is far higher (3636 and 3161 respectively) these changes to affinity and the use of zerk auras can have a tremendous impact, which is why at least one team member typically uses the Statius Warhammer special attack for the +5 affinity. The combination of increased affinity, overloads, t99 prayers, and maniacal can result in 100% accuracy.

Understanding the different components that factor into determining hit chance is vital for advancing as a PvMer in Runescape. Knowing when to prioritize affinity modification, what aura to choose, and even which weapon to bring can make vast differences in kill times at a boss. As anecdotal evidence, my Telos kill times with affinity changing weapons and maniacal are around 4:30-5:30 on average. Using the same methods, gear, consumables and rotation without an accuracy boosting aura slows my kills down to around 8-9 minutes, which drastically changes the GP/hr at the boss. In my opinion, the current method for calculating accuracy is good—there are many factors and lots of room for growth and complexity e.g. more creature specific weapons such as the Darklight or the Hexhunter Bow. The problem, however, is that splashing is too penalizing. Even taking into account every single possible boost, drinking a few Saradomin Brew sips to lower your levels and therefore drastically impact accuracy can mean a much slower, or even a failed kill because splashing is the same as a zero. Making every boss like Solak, where defense is far lower therefore eliminating splashing, is one potential solution, but could great damage the balance of encounters such as Vorago or Telos. Instead, I would argue for a system that penalized “splashing” with a lower ranges for damage. This would eliminate the frustrations of splashing multiple hits in a row at crucial moments simply due to poor RNG. While the scope of such a project would require a tremendous change to the combat system, I think it’s vital for the health of combat going forward. To put it simply: splashing isn’t fun.

[1] Runescape Wiki. “Hit Chance.”

Earth joins us a surprise guest where we discuss the new in-game calendar which seems a little less than planned. Also changes to the game interface editor and group ironman discussion. Plus, stay tuned for Shane’s big RSBANDBUpdate! announcement.

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  • Adam T
  • Rory W
  • Cody T

Hosts: Shane, Tanis, and Earth
Duration: 2:08:30

The Hall of Memories is here, it provides lore and a new click-intensive Divination training method. Also a roundup of the latest Mining & Smithing Q&A focusing on the debate around high level smithable armour. Also, RSBANDBUpdate! turns 13.

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  • Adam T

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Duration: 2:11:40

So a new Guthixian Cache sort of minigame came out. You go to this big cave, you fill a jar of memories, you throw it in the anima, and then you get divination experience up the wazoo. Akin to chopping ivy or fishing crystals, but for Divination. Because that's not at all a boring skill that needs some updates as to how it's trained.

I am kidding, of course. It's not just the training method. It's also a good way to get in a fair bit of lore into the game. Especially lore that relates to one of the biggest mysteries the game has to offer; Guthix's Plans for the world.

Naturally, being chosen by Guthix to protect the world being the pivotal point of the game (ushers the world into the 6th age, after all), you'd want to know as much as your employer as possible. What he had done in the past, what his plans were for the future, and what he really wanted you to do for him when he made you his champion with powers that protected you from the Gods themselves.

I'm going to be honest. I'm not a big-time lorehound. I'll read into something the game offers, probably just see it at face value, maybe do a bit of analyzing and what-ifs, and then a story is built up. Usually my hyperactive imagination plays up and I imagine a series of events will happen, then wait until the real ones actually happen and see how close I was. Quite often I'm not at all close, but it's all a part of the fun.

That being said, this is not an article about the dark secrets that Guthix has hidden away. I'll let you guys discover them for yourselves, as it does tie in with a lot of events; some of which don't even happen in the Runescape game itself.

Instead, there's another side to this update I want to talk about. It's not the forbidden secrets themselves.

It was the fact that Guthix was keeping these secrets hidden away. It was the fact that these secrets existed in the first place. This isn't about the happenings in the Runescape world.

This is about Guthix himself.

Who is Guthix? Well, he's a God. This big almighty divine being that you probably most definitely couldn't take on in a fight, even with prayers and potions. You're not meant to fight him. Impossible. He's a God. Way too strong for that. Heck, you're not really supposed to even interact with him. He's got no time for your problems. He's got an entire world to watch over!

So you simply respect him. You either pledge yourself and your service to him out of pious loyalty, you scoff at his ideals and commit efforts to destroy all he stands for, or you simply ignore his existence and carry on with what's really important to you. That's it.

But who is he, really? How tall is he? What's his favorite food? Is Guthix really his full name? Was he always a God or did he ascend somehow? You don't just interact with him directly in the game. Every time he's referenced, it is by the interpretations of another. He's a mysterious character.

Same goes with the other Gods, and Gielinor's got a lot of them. Lots of different ideals, lots of different concepts, and therefore lots of different ways to live out your Runescape life.

I'm once again going to take you guys back in time. Back to the days of RuneScape Classic and RuneScape 2. At the time, we only knew of the Gods by references in quests and NPCs. At first it was the big three: Saradomin, Guthix, and Zamorak. Then mention of Armadyl came about, then the tablet with the symbol of Zaros was found, the goblins started mentioning a Big High War God, the elven lands came out, and it just branched off from there.

But forget all them for a sec. Let's focus on Saradomin, Guthix, and Zamorak, and how they came across.

Saradomin was the god of good and wisdom. He was the main God in all the kingdoms. Each of the main churches were devoted entirely to him, and many individuals used him as their chief reference to the divine. In Lumbridge, one of the first NPCs you interact with introduces you to the God and even gets surprised when you say you've never heard of him. Even the prayer icon itself is a Saradomin symbol. From the original God Letters (now evolved into the Postbag from the Hedge), he comes across as a wise scholar, offering knowledge and teachings to all.

Zamorak, on the other hand, was the god of evil and chaos. His followers had to go into hiding, and their temples still showcase skulls and blood to the grossest degree. Many of his followers seek to control the world or wage war, resort to underhanded tactics, and ultimately create conflict enough to generate much of the quest content. In the letters, he is pure downright nasty, constantly badgering those who write to him and not afraid to laugh at a player's feeble attempts to threaten him.

And Guthix was, well, the god of neutrality and balance. You follow him, you basically acknowledge that nobody's perfect and, so long as you understand what and why you do something, everything happens for a reason. He's a much more passive ideology because of how subtle everything he stands for is, and by all accounts, he never really seemed to do much for the mortals. As such, he has even fewer followers than Zamorak, and he comes across as a somewhat indifferent being that preaches order and indirect answers in the letters. In a way, he somewhat resembles Saradomin, but a lot less direct.

So we've got our three personalities from back them. Saradomin: a wise, good teacher. Guthix; a calm, indifferent sort of hippy, and Zamorak: a twisted narcissistic psychopath.

Now let's return to the present. Does that still sound right?

No. Not at all.

Saradomin's not at all a paragon of good. He's egotistical, controlling, quick to judge, and even aggressive at times. Heck, he attacked me for the unicorn horn wand because I tried to argue that it had deemed me worthy of its power, and surprise surprise; it didn't properly work when he used it. Still waiting for the next quest in that series, Jagex story-writers.

Zamorak is not really a psychopath. He preaches chaos because he believes the world needs it to become stronger. He hunkers down and plans his moves rather than sporadically sending zealots to their deaths. He takes good care of his followers, even going so far as to defend Moia (an abomination in their eyes) from his fellow Mahjarrat during the Endgame.

And Guthix is by far not passive or indifferent to the world. He did a TON of things to it. He brought in its first inhabitants to live on Gielinor. He killed a God even more dangerous than Saradomin or Zamorak. He even chased away all the Gods when the God Wars broke out.

Why such a dynamic difference in character? And why to the Gods?

Let's face it; in RuneScape, almost everything exists to eventually be killed by the player. Vorago. Yakamaru. Telos. Solak. These are great and power entities that no doubt have a fantastic story on how they became so incredible and powerful. And you kill them over and over for better weapons and armor.

Not the Gods, though. They don't exist to- OK, we killed a few of them. But they're not supposed to exist to die. Ergo, they are the safest characters to develop because, since they don't exist to die, we are more pushed to getting to know them better. Again, out of respect. I know I'd want Armadyl by my side when I fight Araxxor.

We are learning a lot more about the Gods now because they are the focus of the Runescape story. They are no longer ideals, but actual physical beings that bring about change to the world. World events, whole questlines, even a big giant war. They are the ones that drive the Runescape story.

They are the main characters now!

And it's funny. By the sounds of things, during the Sliske storyline, you begin learning that even your own character has a bit of a mysterious past, and the new tutorial island (Ashdale) basically has your character already grown and raised. A lot could've happened before all that. And yet we're getting oodles of information about the Gods and very little about the very avatar you control. Almost as though he's now a secondary or tertiary character to the whole ordeal.

Which really is a bit of a twist for a roleplaying game like RuneScape. We're accustomed to our characters being the center of everything. We are the heroes and the protagonists of those worlds. All the quests we do, we complete to the fullest extent.

Not so much in RuneScape. Lots of the quests like Devious Minds, Regicide, and the Prince Rescue series end in a cliff-hanging failure. Your meddling causes doom and you are often tricked into doing something incredibly foolish.

But then again, isn't it a lot more fun when the world doesn't revolve around you? That you're constantly thrown in states of hardship? That there's always going to be something much more powerful than you are, and it's standing right in front of you?

Appreciate it. Get to know the Gods a bit more. There's a lot of things happening in RuneScape now, and they're all at the epicentre of it.

Until next time,

Cheers, cannoneers!

For the entire history that RuneScape has existed there has always been one or two questionable third-party tools in the spotlight. RuneScape is a game that was once played in your browser and now just loads up instantly on your computer when you wish to play. It’s not like World of Warcraft which requires a huge download on your system. Back in the early days of RuneScape this lead to a mindset that maybe because it runs in the browser the client could be modified in some way. It was and still is.

The large development team and the modern client that RuneScape 3 utilizes can be credited to preventing most third party tools from interacting with RuneScape 3. Most, however, does not include client overlays. One of the most popular toolkits used for RuneScape 3 is Alt1. Alt1 layers tools over your game client that provide many in-game advantages that players not utilizing the toolkit don’t have. Should players have such an advantage? Let’s have a look at some of the things on offer.

Having a quick look at the Alt1 website, here are some examples of tools they offer: clue solver, afk warden (notifies you when you need to click), xp meter, and drop logger. The clue solver apparently screen reads your clue and solves any puzzle under the sun (including the new towers and lockbox puzzle); this has an effect on the in-game economy as this tool is reducing the market size for tokens to solve these puzzles. The afk warden claims to track in-game activity and alerts when to click, even if RuneScape isn’t on your screen, this is enabling unattended RuneScape playing. The xp meter and drop logger are available in-game currently with RuneMetrics. The first two mentioned here (clue solver and afk warden) have a direct impact on gameplay and the game economy. The latter two are cutting into a potential revenue source of Jagex.

As a testament to modern web browser capabilities, Alt1 claims that the toolkit is “just a fancy browser with a ton of RuneScape related features”. This effectively means that Chrome is running Alt1 behind the scenes but there is also some capability to read the screen of your RuneScape client. Given the current security model of Windows (since Vista) it is almost impossible for an application to get a running list of what other applications are running without having elevated permissions. This means that if Jagex wanted to they would have no way (outside of RuneScape as an administrator) of determining if Alt1 was running on a system. I suspect the reason we haven’t seen any action against Alt1, given that it is screen reading the client and other things, is that there’s no easy way to know if it’s running.

Alt1 is claimed by many to just be an integral part of playing RuneScape because they have used the toolkit for so long. Alt1 is a piece of third party software, third party software can never be 100% independently verified as safe. When a large amount of people use any piece of software a single security vulnerability in said piece of software is amplified proportionally by the number of people who use that software. RuneScape accounts still fetch a pretty penny on the black market and RuneScape GP is still targeted by hackers and those with malicious intent. This doesn’t mean that Alt1 is going to harvest the data on their users, it does mean that Alt1 carries a higher target of malicious actors.

Old School RuneScape has had a different past with third party tools. Old School RuneScape sees two dominant third party game clients in OS Buddy and RuneLite. Recently Jagex attempted to shut down RuneLite but the creator was able to make concessions to keep the product alive. After concluding these talks, Jagex said, “whilst discussions and our investigations continue we are temporarily holding off legal action. Adam, the developer of RuneLite, has agreed to make the RuneLite client and obfuscation tool closed source and pause development during this time.” You can read the full statement here. Checking in on the RuneLite website it looks as though development has resumed with more features added that are unavailable in vanilla Old School. As time goes on we’ll have to see what happens with the Old School third party tools and clients.

This episode with Old School RuneScape and third party clients proves two things in particular. The first is that third party tools that do infringe on the RuneScape user agreement or just put the players at risk will at least see Jagex attempt to stop their development. Secondly, the rule on Macroing and Third-Party Software is incredibly grey: “Software that can be used to gain an unfair advantage in our games may not be used. This includes automation tools, macros, bots, auto-typers, and tools that circumvent any of our mechanisms designed to automatically log out inactive users.” Alt1 satisfies this clause with its treasure trail solver by providing the “unfair advantage” of solving clues instantly. RuneLite satisfies this clause by replacing the game applet. Two very different cases with two very different outcomes.

Jagex must be consistent with this rule rather than wavering in its enforcement. As illegal as RuneLite may be it is incredibly unfair to subject one individual’s work to a legal challenge while allowing others (Alt1 and OS Buddy) to go completely unchallenged. Having an easygoing policy for some tools and throwing legal challenges against others do no one any good. There should be no third party tools allowed for either version of RuneScape.