We review Mod Timbo’s new Alchemical Onyx jewellery. Grace of the Elves, Ingenuity of Humans, and Passage of the Abyss, our favourites and the star winner. Plus removal of Mobilising Armies and the talk of what should be removed or reworked next.

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Hosts: Shane, Tanis, and Tyco Elf
Duration: 2:09:32

It looks like we’ve been good girls and boys this year because Santa has brought us presents early in RuneScape. This week more alchemical onyx jewelry was released and there seems to be something for everyone. Skilling, combat, and adventuring are all covered in this update. This was a Game Jam project by Mod Timbo and after much anticipation, it is finally here and living up to expectations. It’s great to see December starting on such a positive note especially given the feeling of a dry fourth quarter. This month we’ll take a look at the new alchemical onyx jewelry and find out what it is, what it does, and why it’s actually a bigger deal than you might think.

First off, we have The Ingenuity of the Humans. This is a sigil item that guarantees your next spell or ability will hit. You craft it using an alchemical onyx, 10 stunning components, 750 smooth parts, and 50 direct components. It lasts for 6 seconds when activated or until an ability or spell is cast and has a 90-second cool down. It comes with 1,000 charges and can be recharged using fortunate components. One fortunate component is worth 25 charges so it will require 40 fortunate components to recharge fully at a cost of roughly 11K per charge. As many of you already know, I am not a big PvM guy. The places that this sigil will be most useful are definitely out of my skill level. That being said the high-level PvM community seems to be very happy with it and there is a lot of talk about using it in conjunction with a Statius warhammer to lower the boss’ defense. That is just one of many situations I am sure the PvM community will find this useful. It is great that it is using fortunate components to recharge. These components come from breaking down clue scroll rewards and thus will keep their price high enough to make clue scrolls worth it. It is also important to note this item is tradeable at 100% charged. All and all it is a nice addition to the game. Next, let’s look at The Passage of the Abyss.

The Passage of the Abyss is a pocket slot item in which you can add teleportation jewelry to it. To make one you need an alchemical onyx, 50 magic parts, and a teleportation compacter. It also requires an invention level of 118 to make. It can hold up to 6 pieces of compactable jewelry and has a maximum of 5,000 charges. Like The Ingenuity of Humans, The Passage of the Abyss can be recharged with fortunate components. In this case, one component is 500 charges. They are tradeable until their first use, after that they are permanently untradeable. This item seems to be perfect for people doing clue scrolls or farming runs. It makes getting around super easy and in a way can save your bank space. Unfortunately, I can't find much use for it outside of those circumstances but I'm sure the community will find more useful places you can teleport to using it. This puts The Passage of the Abyss in the last place of the new items in my book. Don't get me wrong, it's still a great item; it's just that getting around the map has never been as easy as it is now, so it may be overlooked. It is also important to note you can change its color allowing you to have multiples with different teleports on them.

Last but certainly not least is The Grace of the Elves. This is a skilling necklace and is the best item of the entire update. To make it you need an alchemical onyx and the level 6 enchant spell. It is tradeable until it is first equipped and after that is permanently untradeable. It also is non-degradable. The Grace of the Elves has many uses. One of the most beneficial uses is that you can use porters on it and have it act as a sign of the porter when equipped. That frees up your pocket slot so that is nice. Of course, that's not all, it also can teleport you to the places you have your max garden portals attuned to. If you don't have this unlocked yet, you get a one-time pick to attune the necklace. Both of these uses are beneficial and cool, however, that is not what is groundbreaking with The Grace of the Elves. Oh but wait, there is still more before we get to that. It also halves the prayer drainage rate when using Seren prayers like light form, superheat form, and chronicle absorption. Finally, we get to the really cool part. If you are wearing this necklace while training a gathering skill, you will have a chance to get a Seren sprite. When you click on one of these sprites, it will drop an item from the rare drop table in your bank or inventory if the bank is full. This means you have a chance to receive a Hazelmere signet ring while skilling. This is the coolest thing to happen for skillers since well, forever. All of these mechanics make this the best new alchemical item of the update.

This update has been a great way to finish out 2018. All and all the new alchemical jewelry is a hit. It has something for all players no matter what you like to do in the game. I am more of a skiller so The Grace of the Elves is hands down the one I couldn't live without, however, if I were a player that focuses on clues or PvM then maybe one of the other two would be my favorites. I am curious to see what will happen in the future now that skillers have access to the rare drop table. Honestly, I am a bit surprised that there hasn't been some push back by some players who don't think skillers should have access to the rare drop table. Thankfully, I haven't come across that at all and that is great. The fourth quarter has felt a little sparse with updates and I must give Jagex credit on this one. It wasn't broken, overpowered or just plain trash and the balancing is spot on. This will definitely give us something to play with until the next year when the full mining and Smithing rework is released in January. Until then I wish all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, and a wonderful New Year; Happy RuneScaping.


In this article I aim to continue analyzing small things that can be added to combat rotations and gear to take kill success and speed to the next level. Perhaps the most effective way to dramatically improve your performance at high levels of PvM is to slowly add these small little changes – for example weaving in extra auto-attacks and taking advantage of the tick system which I wrote about previously. While each of these might seem insignificant by themselves, taken together they can completely change your experience.

One method, which has become more viable than ever given the recent update to rune pouches that allow players to dye them in order to use multiple pouches at once, is spell book swap. The spell book swap spell, available while on the ancient magic book allows players to switch to either the lunar book or normal book for two minutes of time or one spell use, whichever happens first. This gives players a tremendous amount of flexibility in combat in exchange for a bit of extra effort. This method also became far easier this year when the ability was updated to allow players to swap books by right clicking on the ability when on a bar and much more fluidity switch. Prior to this update a dialogue box came up that could be interrupted by combat, which made things feel clunky. This lets players use ancient magic spells – blood spells (passive heal), ice spells (freezing), and intercept for group content (functionally required in some places such as bomb tanking Hardmode Vorago) and swap spell books to normals in order to cast vulnerability (the spell that gives a massive +10% damage for one minute), or lunars for disruption shield (completely blocks the next hit taken) – a huge help in many places. In order to give yourself the full range of options to case ice/blood spells, vulnerability, disruption shield, and spell book swap players need to bring 10 runes: fire, water, earth, air (can swap steam and dust for a big increase in cost), cosmic, body, astral, soul, chaos, and blood. With only the single large rune pouch, the 7 inventory slots required was very significant, although this is so advantageous that I would always bring them anyways, but can now be taken care of with only 3 slots – 3 large pouches in the inventory. The additional 4 slots let players bring extra food, weapon switches, or combat dummies. Additionally, the rune pouch update solved the annoying issue of constantly having to swap out runes/change presets, which led to many instances of people forgetting something vital. Furthermore, players will often bring vengeance and heal other as well, which becomes much more convenient with the pouches.

Action Bar Spellbook Swap

Swapping spellbook via action bar

While high level PvMers have universally loved this update, RS PvM twitter exploded with statuses declaring it the best PvM update of the year after Solak, not everyone felt this was a good change. People flamed mods on Reddit for continuing to buff magic or arguing this is overpowered. The flip-flop that occurred over whether to nerf the update caused even more anger, with players feeling like the mods were giving too much deference to the PvM community when the same isn’t true for skillers. While I won’t get into this second contention here, I think this update is on-balance a good one.


The primary function of this update is less its utility as an inventory slot saver and more a huge quality of life convenience update. While this might surprise many readers given the perception of difficulty afforded to high level PvM in RuneScape, there are very few places where I use much food. For example, I only even bring 2 brews and 1 soup to fight Solak and I generally utilize less than 1 brew when bomb tanking Hardmode Vorago. The real advantage is for those players who are less confident in their ability to minimize food usage and were afraid to test out spell book swap. Perhaps with the new update, many of those players who were on that edge can now safely take advantage of spell book swap and push themselves to another level, which in my mind can only be a good thing. As far as it being a magic specific buff, this is somewhat true, but it has been standard for a while to use disruption shield with range and melee, and is becoming more common to bring a wand/magic defender swap with those styles in order to case vulnerability where applicable. At Vorago/HM Vorago specifically, it’s a huge benefit to the base who typically uses melee, as there are many cases where they use intercept too.

A second, much easier, way to improve success in PvM is taking advantage of combat dummies. For years, PvMers would spend hundreds of mills on Treasure Hunter during combat dummy promotions in order to stack up on melee combat dummies – the only type that can be attacked by all three styles – in order to build adrenaline before and during fights. With the release of invention, at the cost of 15 deflector parts and 2 strong components – I would recommend chucking a few thousand Hard Leather Shields or Green D’Hide Shields in your dissembler machines – players can create the Combat Dummy MKII. These dummies are tremendously useful for many bosses. Being able to build on a dummy at the max guild or outside the encounter to start a boss fight such as Telos, Nex, Solak, or Nex: Angel of Death with 100% adrenaline can be hugely beneficial to kill speed and consistency. For Araxxor top path kills, starting with 100 adrenaline can really help players who are either newer to the fight or for doing speed kills. During kills is where the dummies truly shine though. For Araxxor, most players find starting phase 4 with an ultimate ability to be by far the easiest way to take down Araxxi, but maintaining full adrenaline at the end of phase 3 can really impact kill speed. Dropping a dummy down during the phase animation will allow you to build up to 100 so you’re never worried about adrenaline. If you have mutated barge, you can charge the damage over time effect letting you get in a damage over time assault which is very nice.



Vorago Bomb Tanking Loadout

Vorago Bomb Tanking Hardmode Loadout featuring Dummies and Rune Pouches
At Vorago, especially for hard mode, the phase transition gives players ample time to drop a dummy and have the team build back to 100, massively increasing kill speed and consistency since players can begin every single phase with a Sunshine/Berserk/Deaths Swiftness or an onslaught. Additionally, it’s become common practice to drop a dummy at the start of the phase so players can pre-Sunshine during the animation, which lets you begin the phase with a wild magic inside of your Sun, which is hugely beneficial. During the phase 10/11 animation, utilizing shield dome breaks the animation, letting players drop a dummy and start phase 11 with 100% (or close to it) adrenaline, which is a hard counter to the phase 11 mechanic of draining adrenaline to 0 at the start. (This is arguably bug exploitation, but has become so common to the point of being standard practice). The use of dummies has become so ubiquitous among high level PvMers that rotations are built with their use assumed.

For me, the best part about the rune pouch update hasn’t really been that players can bring extra food, but that they can bring extra dummies. It might seem like extra effort, but if you begin to utilize one or both of these small additions when you PvM, I am confident you’ll notice results very quickly.


[Informer] Fly By November

posted by King Kulla on 3 December 2018 at 06:07

Hello, fellow RsBandBers! Your friendly neighbourhood King Kulla here, asking the important question, where did November go? Seriously it felt like it was just the end of summer a few weeks ago. Anyway, let's have a look at what happened at RsBandB in this oddly short month.

Informer had a few really great articles come out. First, our Dear Leader Shane got to talk about one of his passions, economics, in the Unpacking of Jagex's Financials, where he looked at a financial report from 2016 to try to extrapolate just where Jagex was able to get its profits from. Next, we had Alex analyzing the newest quest The Needle Skips, including what the needle actually looks like. Finally, we had Cireon discuss the effectiveness of finely tuning the Mining and Smithing skills in the aptly named article The Power of Polish. There you have it. Stay tuned in to Informer for some really great articles next month as we close out the year.

In Skill of the Month news, we had a new champion! Our very own Informer writer and sometimes podcast host Tanis was able to cook up a winning meal in our November Cooking SkotM. He amassed a total of 72.3M xp, just barely beating out Flash's 70.7M xp. Flash also maxed out his Cooking XP, and special mention should go to bobcats2018, who was able to get 278,000xp despite starting from just 2,819xp total! Congratulations to all competitors for their amazing successes, and congratulations to Tanis! Here is your trophy:

Image

Well, that's all for me! See you in the new year everyone!

King Kulla

The 2018 winter weekends are revealed and we go over patch notes in particular related to the player owned farm. We also discover that banana pizza is indeed a thing. Finally, Brad and Earth join us to celebrate #700.

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Hosts: Shane, Chief Snake, Earth, and Tanis
Duration: 1:58:38