On the Origin of Combat Levels

May 02 [Fri], 2014, 14:12
Quite recently, JaGEx has buy old school rs gold announced their intentions of releasing a combat mode in which people can engage in combat in a pre-EoC fashion. With this announcement and subsequent polling, the idea was (once again) proposed by players to revert back to the old combat formula.

For those that are not aware, the combat formula was changed to make Defence have a bigger impact on the player's combat level and excluded peripheral skills like prayer and constitution to a lesser extent. Ever since the release of the Evolution of Combat players have been asking to revert this formula. But is it really that good, or is it just a combination of our well-known rose-tinted nostalgia spectacles along with an automatic hate for everything associated with the EoC?


The old combat formula. There are three formulas, one for each style. Whichever has the highest output is used. As you can see, having 99 Magic gives a smaller result than having 99 Attack and Strength http://www.abmmo.com/.

There are of course issues with both of these formulas; the old formula was heavily biased towards melee whereas the new formula leaves out some key skills that impact a player¡¯s combat abilities. So now JaGEx has given us a choice between these two combat formulas for them to use as a basis to work on towards to a new formula.

One of the things that people often mention when they are talking about the 200-formula is that people can be maxed combat while they have low Range and Mage levels, for example; maxing out combat by just having two 99s. What these people fail to realize, however, is that the old (138)-formula has exactly the same issues. The way it is calculated ¨C three combat levels are actually made, one for each style of the triangle, after which the highest is actually displayed and used ¨C the other combat styles are equally irrelevant. The same way someone can be level 200 with just having melee stats maxed, they would be level 138 with the old formula. This would only work for melee, because that has a bigger impact on the combat level. This is caused by the fact that it consists of two skills, Attack and Strength. However, with the recent combat balancing, this is no longer justified. Now that each style has (close to) equal damaging potential, each style¡¯s combat stats should have an equal effect on the combat level.


The new combat formula. Pretty self-explanatory.

This brings us to the issues with the level 200 formula. The fact that it does not include Prayer and Constitution is quite a big deal, especially since Prayer has a big impact on someone¡¯s damage and sustain. Just adding these levels to the combat formula would raise other questions though. When talking about significant combat enhancers, people usually mention Prayer and Herblore together. And right they are. Herblore with its Overloads and other potions also has a huge impact on someone¡¯s damaging pootential, especially now that you can actually use these potions in PvP. So if we were to add Prayer back to the formula, why not Herblore? In what way do Prayer and Herblore differ that prayer inherently should be added to the formula whereas Herblore should be left out? Is it purely because it wasn¡¯t like that before EoC?

As a last note, the old combat formula did cause a lot of randomness in the combat levels of NPCs. Since Constitution was a factor for their combat level as well, bosses with loads of lifepoints, like Nex (level 1001) and the Queen Black Dragon (level 2100), got some insane combat levels that did not reflect their actual damaging abilities in the slightest. QBD was a complete glass cannon, with no Defence to speak of, making her massive amount of lifepoints the only justification of the record combat level. Similarly, Slayer monsters had random levels. Take Abyssal Demons for example - they were level 124 and had a max hit of 80, while players with that combat level could easily hit four or five times that high.

That all being said though, it is important to note that this combat formula is mostly cosmetic, except for maybe the wilderness, but for maxed players it doesn¡¯t matter, since maxed players will always be able to fight other maxed players. And for pures, they will have to find new builds anyways. There is no denying that Defence plays a bigger role in combat nowadays, so it is not as easy to sacrifice a bit of Defence for maximal offense anymore. But that will be the case in whichever way the vote goes. What is important though, is to not end up with a combat formula purely based on what matters in PvP. But also ensure that the new formula is not too confusing for new players, as cosmetic as it may be, but levels are one of the first things people look at in combat.