In an unexpected turn of events, Old School RuneScape’s second beta for the “Ruinous Powers,” a proposed Prayer book reward for “Desert Treasure II”, has been prematurely terminated. Jagex, the developers of Old School RuneScape, announced today that the new prayer book, which had been the subject of substantial hype, will be shelved indefinitely.
The Ruinous Powers, slated to bring a significant power boost, received mixed reviews from the player community. Many players felt that these were nothing more than tweaked standard prayers and not as exciting as initially thought.
Moreover, the current iteration did not align with Jagex’s original vision for the new prayer book and felt more like “power creep” for the sake of it, rather than a tool for addressing new gameplay challenges. The game developers admitted that they underestimated the amount of work required to meet the community’s expectations for new prayers. They are now determined to approach this topic with the same level of detail and communication as with Sailing and the new skill process.
With the imminent release of Desert Treasure II – The Fallen Empire, Jagex decided against risking the quality of the entire update just to include the new prayer book. However, they remain open to integrating prayers that the community is excited about, such as those significantly affecting PvP, into the standard prayer book. This does not mean that Jagex is completely abandoning the idea of new prayers or prayer books; they intend to revisit this topic when it feels right.
The concept of a new prayer book was first mentioned over six months ago, during 2022’s Winter Summit. Ever since, the developers have sifted through hundreds of player suggestions, adjusted the Ruinous Powers numerous times, and spent a great deal of effort communicating these changes. The aim was to create a unique set of prayers to compliment existing and new methods without replacing the much-loved standard prayer book.
In recent discussions about the Ruinous Powers, players expressed concerns about “power creep,” a term used across various games, often referring to how new content additions can increase player power over time, to the point where older content becomes devalued or obsolete.
While some degree of power creep is necessary for maintaining player engagement, Jagex strives to strike a balance. They aim not to harm the value of existing equipment and to use “horizontal progression” and niche weapons to help players overcome existing challenges.
The Ruinous Powers were perceived as an extreme form of “vertical progression,” where the new prayers would essentially replace the standard prayer book for many players. Considering recent power increases with the release of items such as Torva, Masori, and Tumeken’s Shadow, Jagex does not believe it’s the right time to further boost player power.
In response to calls to simply poll the addition of Ruinous Powers, Jagex insists on delivering content that aligns with their vision and long-term game health. They recognized the challenges in managing such an ambitious project, and balancing the resources needed to fully realize the Ruinous Powers alongside other aspects of Desert Treasure II.
Therefore, Jagex decided to treat a new prayer book as a standalone project deserving its own attention to detail, similar to a new skill. This means the Ruinous Powers Prayer book will not be developed further for the time being.
This decision was not made lightly, but Jagex believes it’s the best course of action for the game in the long term. They assured the community that this is not the end of further experimentation and additions to Prayers. They hope to utilize the insights gained from the Ruinous Powers project to deliver a superior product to players in future updates.