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Old School RS: The Project Rebalance Magic Update

Jun-05-2024 PST

The highly anticipated Project Rebalance has hit Old School RS (OSRS), bringing with it a multitude of changes to combat mechanics, specifically affecting Magic and Ranged combat. The breadth of these changes is considerable, and it can be quite overwhelming. Today, we'll focus solely on the extensive updates to the Magic combat system, as there is a substantial amount to unpack in just this one segment of the combat triangle.


The Magic updates can be categorized into three primary areas: adjustments to weapons and armor, a significant rework of the standard spellbook and elemental spells, and the introduction of elemental weaknesses to various monsters across Gielinor. Let's delve into each of these categories in detail.


Magic Gear Overhaul


For a long time, the most crucial stat for Magic in OSRS has been Magic Damage, which is a percentage that primarily appeared on high-end gear and the Occult Necklace. This has now been rebalanced, with the Occult Necklace being nerfed and its Magic Damage bonus reduced from 10% to 5%. To compensate, Magic Damage bonuses have been distributed across a broader range of mid-level and end-game gear.


Items such as Fire Cape, Infinity Robes, Bloodbark Armor, the Malediction Ward, the Seers' Ring, and even low-level prayers now provide Magic Damage bonuses. This change allows both low and mid-level players to access gear that boosts their Magic Damage, making it more accessible and inclusive. However, despite this distribution, the overall Magic Damage players can achieve remains relatively similar due to the nerf to the Occult Necklace.


Elemental Spells Rework


Historically, elemental spells in the standard spellbook had a hierarchy: air spells were the weakest, followed by water spells, earth spells, and then fire spells, which were the strongest. This tiered system made balancing the spells challenging because fire spells were objectively superior.


The update has revamped how base damage for elemental spells works, ensuring that all elemental options deal the same amount of damage once the appropriate Magic level is reached. For example, at level 13 Magic, all strike spells have a base hit of 8, and at level 35 Magic, all bolt spells have a maximum hit of 12. This rework means that once a player reaches the necessary Magic level, all spells within that tier will hit equally hard, providing more variety and strategic choices in spell usage.


Introduction of Elemental Weaknesses


A comprehensive list of monsters now features elemental weaknesses, ranging from a 30% weakness to a 100% weakness. These weaknesses mostly apply to lower-level monsters, but some mid-level bosses are also included. This addition fundamentally changes how players approach combat, as exploiting these weaknesses can significantly boost damage output.


Practical Application: Fighting the Barrows Brothers


To illustrate these changes, let's examine a practical scenario: taking on the Barrows Brothers. The Barrows Brothers now have a 50% weakness to air spells. For this fight, we'll use a mid-level mage setup featuring Bloodbark Armor (which now gives 1% Magic Damage per piece), the Occult Necklace, a Tormented Bracelet, a Smoke Battlestaff, the Malediction Ward, the Mage's Book, the Seers' Ring, and the Mage Arena 2 Cape.


In this setup, our Magic Damage bonus totals 17.5%. We will be using Wind Wave, a spell theoretically unlocked at level 62 Magic but realistically achieving its maximum damage at level 75. This level is comparable to the level required for the Trident of the Seas or the Toxic Trident.


During the Barrows run, Wind Wave's maximum hit reaches 35, similar to the Toxic Trident. Considering that the Toxic Trident requires higher Magic levels and is more costly per hit, Wind Wave becomes a more efficient option, especially given the 50% elemental weakness.


Elemental Weaknesses in Training and Bossing


The update's elemental weaknesses also shine in training scenarios. For instance, Fire Giants now have a 100% weakness to water spells. Using a setup with Bloodbark Armor, the Occult Necklace, a Smoke Battlestaff, the Seers' Ring, and the Mage's Book, we tested Water Wave, which has a maximum hit of 45 at level 75 Magic. This setup yielded nearly 100,000 XP per hour, demonstrating the potential for efficient and powerful training.


Similarly, against the Giant Mole, which has a 50% weakness to water spells, Water Wave proved effective despite the Giant Mole's decent Magic defense. However, the Mole's tendency to burrow still makes it a challenging target.


In another scenario, utilizing low-level spells with elemental weaknesses can be highly effective. Equipping Chaos Gauntlets, which add a flat +3 damage to bolt spells, and casting Water Bolt on Fire Giants resulted in a maximum hit of 33. This setup provides around 60,000 XP per hour while being cost-efficient and highly AFK-able.


Bossing with Elemental Weaknesses


Zulrah, a popular boss, now has a 50% weakness to fire spells across all phases. Using the Tome of Fire, which boosts fire spells, we achieved a maximum hit of 46 with Fire Wave. This is particularly advantageous since Zulrah's damage cap is 50, making Fire Wave a competitive option against higher-level spells and gear.


For end-game content, the Harmonized Orb gains significant potential from the elemental weaknesses. At Zulrah and Rune Dragons, the orb can hit a maximum of 47 with Fire Surge. The orb's increased attack speed, combined with the 50% fire weakness at Zulrah, positions it as a strong contender against higher-tier Magic weapons, offering a more affordable alternative to the Tumeken's Shadow.


Final Thoughts


The Project Rebalance update brings substantial changes to Magic combat in OSRS. The rebalanced gear, reworked elemental spells, and introduction of elemental weaknesses create new opportunities and strategies for players. While the changes may not drastically impact end-game content, they offer significant advantages for low and mid-level players, diversifying training methods and combat approaches.


Overall, the update enriches the Magic combat experience, making it more accessible and versatile. What are your thoughts on these changes? How have they impacted your gameplay? Share your experiences, and as always, happy scaping!


RSorder Team