OSRS - Elemental Weaknesses Update

Elemental weaknesses have been a feature in the game, albeit in a complex and somewhat unintuitive manner. A well-known example is the Ice Demon's weakness to Fire spells. The recent changes aim to standardize this system, apply it to more NPCs, and make it more accessible through the Monster Examine feature.

Each point of elemental weakness an NPC has provides a 1% increase in accuracy and damage for spells of that element. For example, if you cast Fire Surge on an NPC with a 50% Fire Weakness, you'll gain a 50% bonus in accuracy and damage.

This additive approach means that elemental spells receive significant buffs in middling setups but do not become overly powerful in setups that already offer high magic damage boosts. This gives the good old Standard Spellbook more of a foothold in combat progression, providing players with more options throughout their magic journey without displacing properly optimized setups.

List of Affected NPCs

Air Weakness

- The Barrows Brothers (Ahrim, Dharok, Karil, Guthan, Torag, Verac)
- Aviansies (including Kree'arra and his minions)
- Ghosts
- Skeletons

Water Weakness

- Chromatic Dragons (Green, Blue, Red, and Black dragons, including their 'Baby' and 'Brutal' variants)
- This includes the King Black Dragon
- Lava Dragons
- A variety of demons, owing to their origins from a fiery, faraway land
- Demonic Gorillas
- Greater Demons
- Hellhounds (including Cerberus)
- K'ril Tsutsaroth and his minions
- Lesser Demons
- Pyrefiends
- Fire Giants
- Giant Mole
- Drakes

Earth Weakness

- Metal Dragons (Bronze, Iron, Steel, Mithril, Adamant, and Rune)
- Waterfiends
- Wyrms

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Fire Weakness

- Giant Spiders
- Ice Trolls
- Ice Demon
- Ice Giants
- Icefiends
- Ice Warriors
- Moss Giants
- Mountain Trolls
- Scarab Swarms
- Scarab Mages
- Vespula
- Abyssal Portal
- The Nightmare’s Totems
- Keep in mind that these also take double damage from Magic attacks generally, so you can expect to see some very high hitsplats on these.
- Kephri and her Arcane, Soldier, and Spitting Scarabs
- Zulrah

This list has been kept relatively tight to avoid the perception that every NPC in the game has changed overnight. While we are not opposed to adding more NPCs to the list, we are keen to let the dust settle and see how these changes impact the game before making further adjustments. Don't worry we won't be drip-feeding them week by week, either. As much as we love writing the weekly news posts, we know you don't want to be constantly checking them for minor balancing changes!

Elemental Spell Scaling

Any wizard knows that Fire is stronger than Air which complicates things when making Elemental Weaknesses feel impactful.

How Does Scaling Work?

Now, your max hit with elemental spells (Strike, Bolt, Blast, Wave, and Surge) will scale to the highest level spell you have unlocked.

For example, a player with Level 5 Magic has a max hit of 4 for both Wind Strike and Water Strike, since Water Strike is the highest tier of spell they have unlocked. If that same player reaches the lofty heights of Level 13 Magic, then all their elemental Strike spells will have a max hit of 8, since the highest level spell they’ve unlocked is now Fire Strike.

Note that no spells hit higher than their tier’s max hit if you have Level 99 Magic, your Fire Strike will still have a max hit of 8.

Impact on Gameplay

These changes to NPC defence mechanics and elemental weaknesses have profound implications for gameplay. Players must now consider enemy elemental weaknesses when planning their combat strategies, adding an extra layer of strategy and depth to the game.

With standardized elemental weaknesses and spell scaling, players are incentivized to diversify their spell repertoire and adapt to specific situations. This not only makes combat more dynamic but also breathes new life into spells that might have previously been underutilized.

Game Balance

It's crucial that these changes do not unbalance the game. By keeping the list of affected NPCs relatively small and allowing elemental spells to scale only to the highest unlocked level, it ensures that players cannot exploit these mechanics for disproportionate advantages. This maintains balance and fairness in the game, ensuring that battles remain challenging and fair.

Ultimately, these changes enhance the player experience by making interactions with NPCs richer and more varied. Instead of facing enemies with repetitive tactics, players must assess and exploit their adversaries' weaknesses, making each encounter unique and exciting.