We just saw the return of WildyWyrms to RS, and I'm here to break down their past, their present, and their future on the game and more importantly what this means for their home turf - the wilderness.
If you aren't familiar with WildyWyrms, I wouldn't blame you and you definitely wouldn't be alone. They existed only for a short time in 2011, almost four years to the day as their permanent release recently. They were kinda like minibosses (think Hati and Skoll) that spawned in three different places in the wilderness and, for the first time of any fighting NPC, could be controlled by a Jagex mod to make the fight more challenging. When killed they had the chance of dropping fury sharks - nice little food that healed an unprecedented 280 HP (that's equivalent to 2800 lifepoints in the new constitution system). While interesting and fun to fight with the added risk of being in the wild while doing it, there wasn't much to them and seemed to be a live test of new mechanics at the time. Since then people have suggested their return, as it never was really understood why they were only temporary anyhow.
And apparently Jagex listened, as they are now in game for good. They have been renamed and split up into two types, regular sized Lava Strykewyrms that become new level 94 slayer monsters and a bigger and badder version called Wildywyrms that appear at random and will roam the wilderness in their underground mounds. Both versions have a chance to drop new weapon enhancers that actually destroys their host weapons and NOT the enhancer itself after 10 hours of use. The host weapons include abyssal whips, staves of light, and dark bows - all of which now are set to gain great economic boons since they are now part of this item sink. The fury shark makes a return with its 2800 lifepoint heal with the added bonus of protecting an additional item from loss on death for a minute after consumption. While this doesn't stack with the Item Protection prayer, it's still a great additional safety net while running around the wild. They also drop new high level prayer Searing ashes, which are equal to frost dragon bones. Other than that, they drop typical slayer drops, but looks like mostly cash, which is welcome seeing that if you're PK'ed you won't be out that profit at least.
So why is this worthy of an Informer article? Well, it speaks for Jagex's efforts to revitalize the wilderness in a long term and meaningful way. Much like War Bands, it promotes a healthy ecosystem and an economic drive for the wilderness that it needs to function and have the allure to get people back out there. Wyrms are the bait to the skilling fish - but there's always a bigger fish waiting to feed on the weaker.
Firstly, the weapon enhancers. Like I said above, these are temporary items that degrade after 10 hours and destroys the whip, staff of light, or dark bow used to make it. I can't even begin to express what joy this brings me. To know that such great former staples of combat will now have further use and value shows Jagex's attention to the needs of lower level slayers to ensure that those unique Slayer monster drops remain a celebratory item to see appear at your feet. If the weapons are worth using, the economic impact could be substantial. Even more exciting, the items have special attacks that are new mechanics that could see some major potential use in the wild. The whip drags players towards you - even over certain impassable terrain like water. You can even drag someone from single way combat to multi, even though it going into effect is delayed. The staff reduces and reflects damage done to the player back to the attacker. Lastly, the bow contains the target in a pillar of fire and does damage over time. All three seem specifically directed to PK'ers and could become the items of choice out there when hunting other players.
Perhaps the most obvious reasoning for the Wyrms' return is to get skillers back into the wilderness as bait for PK'ers. Much like the chaos elemental and Rune rocks used to do in years past, this gives players a reason to go out into the wild to try to make some otherwise easy money. Risk vs. reward plays a major role in getting people to make the trek into the dark lands of the wild. The nice chunk of change the enhancers give are worth the risk. Also the fact that they are Slayer tasks will also push people to go out there on a regular basis. Does that mean PK'ers will just hang around the lava wyrms? Maybe at first. But hopefully Jagex will make more similar updates or improve what is out there now to give a wider roaming areas for those who are looking for an easy skilller kill and give wyrm hunters a break.
From that point, there would be a greater effect on the overall economy. The benefits of having an active PKing community in RS have been well argued for by myself and other Informer writers over the year. Nearly if not all agree that the game as a whole would benefit and be in a more stable state. More accounts would get membership, skills like herblore would have greater meaning and value, and the different views from another type of player would only better benefit the entire game. I really think Jagex did a great job on this in attempting to get people back into the wild and let's hope this is the beginning of revitalizing the dark forgotten north of the game world.
This was originally posted as an Informer Runescape