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The Evolution of Skilling in RS3: An In-Depth Look

Jun-11-2024 PST

The world of RS3 is on the cusp of a significant transformation, particularly in the realm of skilling. Over the next few years, Jagex, the game’s developer, plans to overhaul skilling by raising the maximum level of all skills from 99 to 110. This change will occur in phases, with two skills being updated at a time. The first skills to receive this treatment will be Mining and Smithing, followed by Fletching and Woodcutting. This monumental shift prompts an essential discussion on the future of skilling in RS3 and how these changes might address the current issues players face with the existing skilling mechanics.


The Transition to 110 Skills: Why Not 120?


Initially, the decision to increase skill caps to 110 instead of the more customary 120 seemed puzzling. Historically, new skills introduced since Dungeoneering have often set their maximum level at 120. However, there are compelling reasons for this strategic decision.


Prolonged Relevance of Content


Increasing skills to 110 allows new content to remain relevant for a longer period. In a 120 skill system, content introduced at level 110 would quickly become obsolete as players advance to 115 or 120. By extending the cap to 110 first, Jagex ensures that new high-level content retains its significance, keeping players engaged over a more extended period.


Efficient Development


From a development standpoint, the resources and time required to expand a skill to 120 could instead be used to raise two skills to 110. This approach means more skills receive updates and new content simultaneously, providing players with a richer and more varied gaming experience.


The Initial Skills: Mining and Smithing


Mining and Smithing were chosen for the initial upgrade to 110 levels, a decision that may seem surprising at first. These skills are already considered well-designed, particularly after their comprehensive rework. Their structured progression, where new training methods and resources become available every 10 levels, sets a solid foundation for further expansion.


Using Mining and Smithing as Test Cases


Given their robust design, Mining and Smithing serve as ideal candidates for testing the new level cap. Their existing structure can be easily built upon, allowing Jagex to experiment with the 110 level system and refine their approach before applying it to other skills.


Addressing the Core Issues in Skilling


The current state of skilling in RS3 faces criticism for being overly AFK (away-from-keyboard) oriented. While AFK methods provide convenience, they often lead to a monotonous experience where the core activity remains unchanged, only differing in the experience rates offered.


The Problem with AFK Skilling


Many skills in RS3 have turned into AFK endeavors, where players gain experience with minimal interaction. Although there are active training methods available, these methods only offer marginally better experience rates compared to their AFK counterparts. This raises a critical question: Why would players engage in more demanding activities when they can achieve similar results with minimal effort?


Balancing AFK and Active Methods


To make skilling more engaging, it’s essential to balance AFK and active methods. Active methods should be significantly more rewarding, not just in terms of experience but also through unique and valuable rewards. This would incentivize players to choose active skilling, bringing back the challenge and satisfaction that come from more involved gameplay.


Reimagining Specific Skills


Some skills, such as Woodcutting, are prime examples of how current training methods can feel unbalanced. Higher-level trees, like Magic or Elder trees, should theoretically offer the best experience rates, yet methods like crystallized Mahoganies or Golden Bamboo often outshine them.


Making Higher-Level Content Meaningful


For Woodcutting and other similar skills, the highest tier resources should always be the best in terms of experience. Unlocking a new resource at higher levels should feel rewarding and impactful. This can be achieved by adjusting the experience rates and perhaps introducing new, engaging mechanics or events that provide a break from the monotony of traditional skilling.


Introducing Skilling Bosses


Another way to enhance the skilling experience is through the introduction of skilling bosses. Old School RuneScape (OSRS) has successfully implemented this with bosses like Wintertodt for Firemaking and Tempoross for Fishing, which provide engaging, cooperative experiences with substantial rewards.


Creating Meaningful Skilling Bosses in RS3


RS3 could benefit from similar content. For instance, a skilling boss for Firemaking could offer high experience rates and unique rewards, making the skill more dynamic. The key is to ensure these bosses provide a balance of fun, challenge, and worthwhile rewards without making them the absolute best training method to the point where they overshadow all other activities.


Revamping Existing Content


Certain skills in RS3 feel outdated or poorly balanced. For example, Hunter could be revitalized with features like Hunter contracts, akin to Slayer tasks, where players are assigned specific creatures to hunt, adding variety and purpose to the skill.


Enhancing Woodcutting with Forestry-Like Events


Woodcutting could also be enhanced by incorporating random events similar to OSRS's Forestry update. These events could spawn new challenges or opportunities that require players to work together, fostering a sense of community and making the skill more social and engaging.


Addressing the Issue of Fun vs. Efficiency


One of the core issues in RS3's skilling is the perceived dichotomy between having fun and gaining efficient experience. Players often find that the most enjoyable activities are not the most rewarding in terms of experience rates.


Integrating Fun with Efficiency


Jagex should aim to design skilling activities that are both enjoyable and offer competitive experience rates. For instance, Big Game Hunter is a fun and engaging activity but doesn't offer the best experience rates. Tweaking such activities to provide better experience rewards could encourage more players to engage in them.


Looking Forward: The Potential of Skilling Overhaul


The upcoming skilling overhaul in RS3 presents a significant opportunity to address these issues and breathe new life into the game. By raising skill caps to 110, balancing AFK and active methods, and introducing new, engaging content, Jagex can revitalize skilling and make it a more dynamic and rewarding aspect of the game.


Community Feedback and Continuous Improvement


As these changes roll out, continuous feedback from the player community will be crucial. Jagex has shown a willingness to listen to its players, and this iterative approach can help fine-tune the new systems, ensuring they meet the community's needs and expectations.




The transformation of skilling in RS3 is an exciting prospect that holds the potential to significantly enhance the gameplay experience. By addressing the core issues of AFK skilling, balancing fun with efficiency, and introducing innovative content like skilling bosses, Jagex can make skilling an engaging and rewarding aspect of RuneScape once again. As we look forward to these changes, the hope is that skilling will not only become more enjoyable but also foster a more active and connected player community.


RSorder Team