OSRS - Ranged Defence Changes

In the evolving landscape of multiplayer OSRS, the strategic depth of combat mechanics can greatly enhance the player experience. Recently, a significant update has been introduced regarding the Ranged defence types of NPCs (Non-Player Characters), categorizing them into Light, Standard, and Heavy. This classification is based on the type of ammunition used:

- Heavy: Bolts, Javelins

- Standard: Arrows (including the Bow of Faerdhinen and Crystal Bow, with magical arrows still considered as arrows)

- Light: Darts, Knives, other thrown weaponry like Thrownaxes or Toktz-xil-ul

While this change may not cause a dramatic shift in gameplay immediately, it lays the groundwork for more nuanced NPC targeting and the potential for exciting new rewards in the future. Imagine an enchanted bow specifically designed for Light arrows, or a Ballista optimized for meaningful combat scenarios. 

Immediate Impact on Gameplay

The majority of existing NPCs are not seeing any adjustments with this update. However, for those that are affected, here's a top-level summary:

Heavy Defence Reduction

- Dragons: This includes metallic and chromatic dragons, 'baby' and 'brutal' variants, the King Black Dragon, and Lava Dragons.

- Commander Zilyana

- Corporeal Beast

- Gargoyles

- Nex

- Vasa Nistirio

- Vespula’s Abyssal Portal

- Skeletal Mystics

- Basilisk Knights

- Ba-Ba

- The Leviathan

Light Defence Reduction

- Lizardmen: Including Brutes and Shamans.

- Vespula

These changes primarily boost the effectiveness of crossbows, especially in scenarios where they have lagged behind weapons like the Bow of Faerdhinen or Twisted Bow. The immediate gameplay impact is an improved performance of crossbows against specific NPCs, but the broader significance lies in the flexibility these changes provide for future updates.

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Detailed Changes and Their Implications

- Dragons: All dragons, excluding Vorkath, have had their Stab defence reduced, affecting both draconic creatures like Drakes and Wyrms. This makes dragons more vulnerable to Stab attacks, enhancing the effectiveness of weapons with piercing capabilities.

- Gargoyles: Gargoyles have seen their Crush defence reduced, while their Stab and Slash defences have been increased. This shift encourages players to use Crush weapons, like mauls and warhammers, when facing these stony adversaries.

- Lizardmen: Lizardmen, including Brutes and Shamans, now have a reduced Stab defence. This makes them more susceptible to piercing weapons, aligning with their lore as tough-skinned but vulnerable to precise strikes.

- Vasa Nistirio: Vasa Nistirio’s Crush defence has been lowered, making him more susceptible to blunt force attacks. This adjustment encourages players to reconsider their weapon choices when facing this formidable foe.

- Skeletal Mystics and Basilisk Knights: Both Skeletal Mystics and Basilisk Knights have had their Crush defence reduced, providing an incentive for players to use Crush weapons against them. This change highlights the importance of matching the right weapon type to the enemy’s weakness.

- Duke Sucellus: Duke Sucellus has had his Slash defence reduced, making slashing weapons more effective against him. This adjustment enhances the strategic depth when planning for combat encounters with this NPC.

Future Flexibility and Rewards

The primary benefit of these changes lies in the increased flexibility for designing future content. By clearly defining Ranged defence categories, game developers can create new weapons and combat scenarios tailored to exploit these weaknesses. This opens up possibilities for new rewards and gear that cater to specific Ranged styles, adding depth and variety to the gameplay experience.

Imagine future updates featuring:

- An enchanted bow that excels with Light arrows, providing unique benefits against specific NPCs.

- A powerful Ballista designed to capitalize on Heavy defence reductions, making it a valuable asset in certain combat situations.

- New ammunition types that interact with these defence categories, offering players more tactical options in battle.