The Winter Summit was where Jagex presented many ideas to be implemented in the first period of 2023. The probably most controversial topic was the addition of a new skill, and Jagex reassured the community that if it passed the poll, they wouldn’t rest until they delivered a skill that matched the expectations and approval of the community in OSRS.
Adding a new skill to the game was polled in the last poll of 2022 that took place between December 20th and January 3rd. As soon as the J-mods returned from their winter vacation, they started preparing to consult the community about the new skill.
New Skill Poll Blog
This resulted in a new poll blog that opened communication about the new skill on January 23rd. According to the polling charter and the stages, Jagex explained that there are steps to adding a new skill: do a poll to see if players want another skill, consult the community to see what skill should be considered, pitch some skills based on the previous step, and poll which skill should be refined, refining that skill, polling the refined skill, developing that skill, and beta testing that skill.
Skill Types and the New Skill Poll
Since one of the five questions about the new skill from poll 78 (January 23rd – January 30th) refers to types of skill, Jagex classified the already existing skills into four categories: combat, gathering, production, and utility. Since they didn’t want any confusion on this, they went as far as to define each category in their blog post.
The first and most important question of the poll showed that almost half of the people who voted opted for a utility skill to be added:
- Combat (such as Attack, Ranged, Strength, Defence, Magic, Hitpoints, or Prayer)- 21.9% (30,366 votes)
- Gathering (such as Woodcutting, Fishing, Farming, Hunter, or Mining) – 15.8% (21,791 votes)
- Utility (such as Thieving, Slayer, Agility, Construction, or Firemaking) – 49.3% (68,243 votes)
- Production (such as Runecrafting, Crafting, Fletching, Smithing, or Herblore) – 13% (17,942 votes)
The second poll question asked the community about their sources of information regarding the new skill, and it was a multiple-choice type of question. This could help Jagex decide what communication means when sharing information about this specific matter and others.
The third question was more related to the new skill as it questioned the favorite in-game activities that could lead to a fair assessment of what more should be brought in. The last two questions seemed redundant as they asked whether the players wanted to be part of the focus group and whether they’d like to fill in the survey.
Creating A Focus Group
Jagex is taking community consultation to a different level by engaging with players in a brand-new and unexpected way. To get even more valuable feedback about the new skill Jagex has created a whole new discord with various sections where they will have a public dialogue with the group of players they will select from those who answer the initial extended consultation survey.
Even more so, they will pick a few players to sign NDAs with and have even more intimate talks in groups of 6 to 10 players. Jagex will then summarize what was discussed in those restricted groups so everyone is updated on how the new skill is contouring.
The consultation survey takes around 30 minutes to complete and is open for a more extended period than the in-game poll. Most of the questions in the survey refer to your expectations from the new skill. Jagex wants to know what makes a new skill enjoyable, or on the contrary not enjoyable, what makes a skill feel “old school,” or what differentiates a skill from a minigame.
Let Your Thoughts Be Heard
Jagex is curious to understand what type of players will choose, so they ask about your personal preferences regarding training skills, already existing game content and intensity of skill training, and the possibility to buy your way through training the skill. Whatever the case, I recommend you fill out the survey regardless of if you initially voted yes or no for adding a new skill because Jagex is curious about gathering information from a wide variety of players.