Wilderness Boss Rework Design Blog (2024)

A bear, a spider and a skeleton walk into a bar. The bear is proficient with Magic but can't navigate rocks, the spider is rendered useless by being hit with a pointy object every 1.8s, and even thinking about the skeleton means a whole gang of PKers materialise out of thin air and murder you in cold blood. The bar isn't really relevant, but these patrons sure are bizarre...

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Wilderness Boss Rework

On March 13th, 2014, we released the Wilderness Rejuvenation blog. This blog detailed the Wilderness Resource Area, Edgeville Lever changes, the Wilderness God Wars Dungeon, the Fountain of Rune, the Looting Bag, dark crabs, extra Runite rocks, and of course: the Wilderness bosses. There were three intended to be fought 'on your own': the Crazed Archaeologist, Chaos Fanatic and Scorpia, and three you'd need to 'bring your friends to take down': Venenatis, Callisto and Vet'ion.

The Wilderness Boss Rework aims to revitalise the latter group to bring them up to our modern standards for bossing.

These three bosses were initially intended to be challenging multi-combat encounters, which would incentivise adventurers to band together and take them down. However, the ingenuity of players knows nearly no bounds and all three of them can be fought with very little interaction, completely solo, and with some pretty unusual safespot mechanics.

Currently, Callisto, Venenatis and Vet'ion have extraordinary defence values. They hit extremely hard, and don't particularly care about your Prayer either! This all makes them perhaps a little too punishing. It's no wonder players have found such creative ways to defeat them and secure pets, the Dragon Pickaxe or various Wilderness Rings.

We want to deliver a proper multi-combat group boss experience, with interesting mechanics, the ability to keep topped up between kills in case PvP combat breaks out, and rewards that make the risk worth taking. If you're just trying to secure some sweet drops but are dreading the thought of multi-combat, don't fret! Keep on reading, because this rework has something for everybody.

The Wilderness Boss Lairs

To properly rework these bosses, we need to go deeper. Quite literally - we've put them in a big ol' cave. We'll detail a few more additions to the Wilderness surface later on, but bear (or spider, or skeleton) with us for now!

Each of the bosses will have a unique entrance to its lair somewhere on the Wilderness surface. There are no entry requirements - you'll just need to bring a bit of gold, gear up, and be ready for battle with bosses and players alike. Players will be able to 'Peek' inside the lair entrances to see if anybody's lurking inside, but won't be given specific numbers.

This means that the 'somebody' inside the lair could be a single person taking the boss down solo, a small team of players fighting the boss as a group, or a whole team waiting to pounce on anybody brave enough to risk entering.

Once you've entered a boss lair, you can't leave the way that you came in. You'll have to either fight your way through the boss or try and evade its attacks to get to the lair's exit.

Upon exiting any given boss lair, you'll weave your way through a web of dark tunnels and find yourself at one of three randomly-selected locations inside the Escape Caves. Any player exiting the same boss lair as you within 10 seconds will be able to follow you to the same location in the Escape Caves.

The Escape Caves are also multi-combat, and will be filled with some mid-level NPCs to keep you on your toes. Between the random exits and these NPCs, we aim to discourage players from camping outside exits or hopping through worlds while inside - the trick's in the name: run, escape!

Even though you'll find yourself at a randomly-selected Boss Lair Exit, each of them is themed with a little unique flair from each of the bosses!

Evade any would-be assailants and stay quick on your feet to find one of the four exits and continue your daring escape across the Wilderness surface.

Here's where we reckon the boss lair entrances and Escape Caves exits could go on the Wilderness surface!

Players trying to enter boss lairs or the Escape Caves will be asked to pay a fee (currently set at 50,000 gp) which is dropped to any player who might slay you. By holding your own and contributing to boss kills, this fee will decrease by 10,000 gp for each successive kill where you are the MVP. So, five boss kill MVPs will guarantee you free entry after your next death.

The exact values of these fees and decreases are something we'd be especially interested in hearing feedback on. We want to discourage people from ragging on bossers en masse, without prohibiting regular players from getting stuck into fun, mid-game boss encounters.

Here's a handy map of the Escape Caves. Note that even though the Boss Lair exits are themed to their respective bosses, players will always find themselves at a random exit when fleeing - unless they're tailing another player!

The Wilderness Bosses

Sounds dangerous? Good! But why would you ever take the risk?

For your brave endeavours you can expect to see much better rewards than the current Wilderness boss offerings.

We're aiming for a GP per hour rate in line with content like Vorkath or the Alchemical Hydra, but with much lower requirements. We reckon that will offset the risk you'll be taking! In terms of difficulty, the Wilderness bosses should feel intuitive enough to let you focus on the potential threat of other players.

On top of riches, you'll be able to secure a handful of new uniques targeting various current Wilderness offerings. More on that later!

What if I'm not into the whole 'multi-combat' thing?

Still not convinced? Looking for something a little less nerve-wracking? You're just after a pet and maybe a ring or two? We've got you covered!

While we want to deliver on the initial intent of a multi-combat, high-risk, group-bossing experience, we understand that even with plentiful rewards, multi-combat Wilderness bossing is not going to be everyone's idea of fun.

We'd like to offer a toned-down, single-way combat equivalent of each of the three bosses. These guys would likely sit around or below Level 30 Wilderness and would be mechanically simpler encounters than their multi-combat counterparts, while still retaining the unique identity of each boss.

The aim here is to provide a safer alternative that isn't totally devoid of risk, with encounters that will let you prepare for potential attacks with switches, freezes, and plenty of supplies.

You'll be making less GP per hour at these singles equivalents, but you'll still have a shot at their uniques: the Dragon Pickaxe, pets, and Wilderness Rings. You'll also be able to earn some the newly proposed rewards (more on those later) albeit at a much lower rate than the multi-combat bosses, similar to Gauntlet vs. Corrupted Gauntlet when chasing an Enhanced Crystal Weapon Seed.

We'd like to balance these variants so that the 'time to complete' for any boss Collection Log entry is roughly the same (if not shorter) than at present, while having less specific gear requirements and more intuitive mechanics.

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The Real Deal

Enough about safer alternatives, let's talk about the big three...


You might have noticed that Callisto is a massive bear. We'd like to make him act like one!

Throughout this fight, Callisto will constantly run towards a target and attempt to attack with a devastating Melee attack - and he couldn't care less whether you're praying or not!

While he's retained his immunity to Magic damage, he's now vulnerable to freezes! So if you've already poked the bear, consider asking him to chill out with an Ice Barrage or two.

If he's unable to attack a player, Callisto has a handful of other attacks to keep players on their toes. He gets particularly angry below a certain HP threshold, altering the fight significantly!


What's worse than one spider? Two? Three? A seemingly overwhelming number of them with an unrelenting hunger for Prayer points? Probably the last one.

Venenatis should feel a lot more like a spider matriarch and will summon a number of spiderlings throughout the fight. The number of spiderlings summoned varies based on the number of players in the room.

Thankfully, they're not too resilient. A quick whack with any weapon you can get your hands on should see them off. Make sure to deal with them quickly, as they're hell-bent on running you down and draining your Prayer with every attack.

Venenatis likes her personal space and will make every effort to move away from players so that she can bombard them with a deluge of Ranged and Magic attacks. These attacks get stronger for every spiderling left alive, so it's imperative that you keep on top of your pest control - and we're not talking about Void Knights...


Before we talk about the fight itself, we should probably address the skeleton in the room. When compared to Callisto and Venenatis, Vet'ion's model isn't in line with what we've come to expect after so many years of Old School.

Here's a work-in-progress (WIP) look at Vet'ion's remodel. He's due some fancy new animations, too, so keep an eye out for future blogs showing those off!

Our art team have worked to bring Vet'ion's model up to scratch while trying to retain as much of his identity as possible. He's still a big ol' skeleton, he's still equipped with a fancy khopesh, and he's still sporting his signature 'what shade of purple even is that?' armour!

For any of you lucky enough to call Vet'ion Jr. a companion, we'll be giving players the option to transform its appearance between the old and reworked model.

Taking on Vet'ion is all about awareness and positioning. He'll make use of his khopesh and lightning magic to keep you on your toes throughout the fight.

We've also given Vet'ion some Defence training, which he's put to great use in a potent defensive position. If you see his shield raised, hold your fire, or you'll risk a pretty nasty deflect.

His signature skeletal hellhounds will make a return, requiring your full attention while Vet'ion peppers the room with lightning attacks.

If that didn't sound like enough to deal with: after running out of health for the first time, Vet'ion enters Phase 2 - you know, the orange one? The orange armour has lower defence than its purple equivalent, but Vet'ion more than makes up for it with an increased max hit and faster attack speed.

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On top of a better GP per hour, we've added in a few unique rewards to build on existing Wilderness content. Read on for a long overdue buff, some devastating attachments and the return of a fan favourite...

Thammaron's Sceptre

This one's already in the game. Compared to the other Wilderness weapons (Craw's Bow and Viggora's Chainmace), Thammaron's Sceptre feels a little lacklustre.

Alongside the boss rework, we'll be reworking the Sceptre to a powered staff with a max hit equal to your Magic level divided by 3, minus 8, and an attack speed of 4, on top of a +15 Magic attack bonus. This means that at 99 Magic, you'll be hitting up to 25 Magic damage every four ticks/cycles.

Unlike other powered staves, this new and improved offering would be able to hit players. Since Craw's Bow and Viggora's Chainmace function pretty nicely for getting a little extra damage off while escaping, we didn't want to short-change Magic users.

The Wilderness bonus would be changed from +100% accuracy and +25% damage to +50% accuracy and +50% damage against NPCs within the Wilderness for the Sceptre's standard attack. This same bonus would also apply to non-powered spells cast with the staff equipped, though the Sceptre cannot autocast any spells.

Both the regular attack and any other spells cast while wielding Thammaron's Sceptre would consume Ether.

Now for some new rewards! What better way to celebrate a Thammaron's Sceptre buff than with another Thammaron's Sceptre buff?

Accursed Sceptre

The Skull of Vet'ion will be a rare, tradeable drop from Vet'ion - what a shocker! A player with 85 Crafting can combine the skull with Thammaron's Sceptre to obtain the Accursed Sceptre. If you don't have 85 Crafting, Andros Mai in the Ferox Enclave will combine them for 500,000 GP.

The Accursed Sceptre is a tradeable upgrade to the reworked Thammaron's Sceptre, with a Magic attack of 22 and a max hit equal to your magic level divided by 3, minus 6. This means that at 99 Magic you'll be hitting up to 27 Magic damage every four ticks/cycles.

This accursed upgrade also gains a special attack: Condemn. Condemn costs 50% Special Attack energy and performs an attack with 50% increased max hit and 50% increased accuracy. On a successful hit, the target's Defense and Magic are reduced by up to 15%.

Defense and Magic reduction from Condemn cannot be lowered beyond 85% of their initial value. For a target with 80 Defence and 80 Magic, Condemn cannot reduce these stats any lower than 68.

Here's a graph showing how both the new Thammaron's Sceptre and Accursed Sceptre compare with other staves.

Webweaver Bow

The Fangs of Venenatis will be a rare, tradeable drop from Venenatis - again, huge surprise. A player with 85 Fletching can combine them with Craw's Bow to make a Webweaver Bow. Alternatively, Phabelle Bile in the Ferox Enclave can combine them for 500,000 GP.

The Webweaver Bow is a tradeable upgrade for Craw's Bow. It requires 70 Ranged to wield, has 85 Ranged attack bonus and 65 Ranged strength (compared to Craw's Bow's 75 Ranged attack & 60 Ranged strength) and gains a special attack: Swarm.

Swarm costs 50% Special Attack energy and unleashes four attacks in rapid succession with increased accuracy. Each of these attacks is capped at 40% damage, theoretically maxing out at 160% damage if every attack max hits. On top of this, successful attacks have a chance to inflict inflict poison on hit, starting out at 4 poison damage.

Here's a graph showing how the Webweaver Bow stacks up against other Ranged weaponry.

Ursine Chainmace

The Claws of Callisto will be a rare, tradeable drop from... the Deranged Archaeologist! Just kidding, it's Callisto. A player with 85 Smithing can combine them with Viggora's Chainmace to make an Ursine Chainmace. Alternatively, Derse Venator in the Ferox Enclave can combine them for 500,000 GP.

The Ursine Chainmace is a tradeable upgrade for Viggora's Chainmace. It requires 70 Attack to wield, has 71 Crush attack bonus and 74 Melee strength bonus (compared to Viggora's chainmace's 67 Crush attack bonus & 66 Melee strength bonus) and gains a special attack: Bear Down.

NOTE: We plan to make changes to Bear Down following initial feedback. If you have any ideas for something you'd love to see the Ursine Chainmace offer, let us know using the links at the bottom of the post!

Bear Down costs 50% Special Attack energy and hits with 100% improved accuracy. If Bear Down hits, it deals 15 damage over 6 seconds and drains 50% run energy over the same time. If a target has 0% run energy, the damage dealt will be doubled.

Here's a graph showing how the Ursine Chainmace stacks up against other Melee offerings.

While we're here, let's talk about the Dragon Pickaxe. We understand many players' long-standing concerns about such an impactful skilling upgrade being locked behind high-risk activities.

On top of including the Dragon Pickaxe on the single-way combat equivalents outlined earlier in the blog, as a remedial action, we'd like to do the following:

  • Adjust the Dragon Pickaxe's drop rate from the King Black Dragon to 1/1,000 (down from 1/1,500).
  • Add the Dragon Pickaxe to the Kalphite Queen's drop table at a 1/400. This would be a longer grind than the existing bosses, but is a safer alternative. The Kalphite Queen could use a little love, and sat alongside the King Black Dragon as an endgame PvM encounter on Old School's initial release.
  • We're exploring how we could offer this from Volcanic Mine but we need to spend some time reviewing the points earned per hour and how long (on average) it should take players to obtain the Dragon Pickaxe this way.

That about wraps it up for the rewards!

Oh, the 'return of a fan favourite'? Of course, you're right! Let's talk about...

The Voidwaker

Some kind of a PvP weapon, with Void associations? It rings a bell, but nothing familiar is staring back at us right now...

Each of the three bosses will drop a piece of the separated Voidwaker; the blade, hilt and crystal. As components, these items are tradeable. An NPC beneath the Old Nite will offer to reassemble the Voidwaker for 500,000 coins. The completed Voidwaker is also tradeable, and behaves like any other item on death.

The Voidwaker is a T75 Melee weapon requiring 75 Attack, 75 Strength and 60 Magic.

On top of offering a best-in-slot, non-degradeable option for training Strength for any 75 Attack builds, the Voidwaker has a never-before-seen Special Attack: Disrupt.

Disrupt costs 60% Special Attack energy and deals guaranteed Magic damage between 50-150% of your Melee max hit. We lied about the never-before-seen thing - it's Korasi's Sword with a fresh lick of paint to fit a little better within Old School - and without all those pesky skilling requirements, too!

Of course, Korasi's Sword's reputation as a so-called 'spec weapon' is pretty infamous. We'd like to make clear that we're not planning on adding any item similar to the Ring of Vigour in RuneScape from 2010, which reduced the Special Attack cost of Korasi's Sword and increased its power level significantly.

Here's a graph showing how the Voidwaker's DPS stacks up against other tier-75 weapons.

That about wraps it up for our Wilderness Boss Rework proposal. This is a pretty significant shift and we're excited to share it with you all and see what you think!

We've included a short survey to give you a chance to share your initial thoughts on this pitch. Just click on the button below to get started!

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Discuss this update on our official forums, on the 2007Scape subreddit, the Steam forums, or the community-led OSRS Discord in the #gameupdate channel. For more info on the above content, check out the official Old School Wiki.

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Wilderness Boss Rework Design Blog (2024)


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