This week saw the release of two new high-level agility courses, which adds some variety to the Agility skill at higher levels, where previously the highest level for a course was 70. This is the first in what a lot of players are hoping is a series of high-level updates, but what skills are in need of an update?
The most common skill players are asking to be upgraded is the Slayer skill, which, once you have hit level 90, allows you to kill every monster available. This leaves you requiring to go from 90 to 99 Slayer with nothing extra to motivate you, other than a skill cape at 99. I’d personally love to see some more slayer monsters added in. Based on previous slayer monsters, there’s four possible “slots” for higher level monsters: 88, 93, 95 and 98. Out of these four 88 seems the most probable, followed by 95. We know that Jagex is planning on bringing out a level 78 slayer monster in the near future. That should give higher level slayers something extra to make their slaying slightly more interesting until Jagex releases an even higher level new monster. However, for Jagex to add a new slayer monster, they’ll have to give it some new items to drop (most probably equipment), which would have to be of some use to motivate players to kill that slayer monster. This could cause a lot of chaos; any sort of melee weapon that makes the Abyssal Whip obsolete wouldn’t be taken very well by a lot of players. Ranged already has the Dark Bow dropped by Dark Beasts at level 90 Slayer, so you’d assume it’d be something for mages, but I just can’t think of anything that would be useful to mages without completely breaking the skill (such as any sort of air + other elemental staff would do).
One of the oldest skills in the game, Mining, caps out at level 85 with the ability to mine Rune Ore. However, that is not a viable way to train at higher levels due to the limited rocks and the respawn times. Most leveling of mining is either done by power mining iron ore or granite. However, what would Jagex be able to add to the skill at higher levels? There’s no room in the Smithing skill for a new type of metal, so whatever it is that would be mined would most likely have to be used in another skill, but which? Something for Player-Owned Houses? I just can’t think of a single skill that would benefit from a new kind of rock. I’m sure Jagex will bring out a few “mid” level updates to the skill with some rocks for a new quest or whatever. Eventually, the Dragon Pickaxe will come out which should make leveling the skill slightly quicker, but as it stands, I see no way for Jagex to expand the skill at the top level.
The problem with Mining is also relevant on all of the gathering skills, a lot of the skills in which they supply are already “full”. With Woodcutting, the Fletching skill may have a few spaces, but there are no gaps left in the Ranged skill for any new bows or ammo. The only obvious omission is the Dragon Crossbow, which will most likely use Magic Logs. The only gathering skill that could benefit from an update is Fishing, in which the last fish you can catch is at level 81 – and that’s only via a mini-game, and there’s some room in the Cooking skill for it to fit in.
Herblore has it’s highest potion at level 82 (not including mixes), and the highest herb requires 75 Herblore to clean, but there’s currently almost no uses a new potion could have. All skills have stat boosting on them via various methods, and having any stronger combat-boosting potions would affect the game far too much both in terms of PvP and PvM, so that’s out of the question. Unless Jagex brings out some new skill, I again can see nowhere where the skill can go; supply wouldn’t be a problem from monster drops and Farming for the herb, and the secondary ingredients could be any number of things, so that’s not the problem. Again, it suffers from the same as many other skills; there’s no room in the current game for the items produced to have any sort of practical use without affecting a lot of things. Prayer also suffers similarly, any boost to combat from Prayer would make combat easier than it is now, which is almost never a good thing. So unless we start seeing some non-combat related prayers, I don’t see an update coming to that any time soon.
The only skills which can get away with high-level updates are Agility and Thieving, both of which are “independent” skills. Every other skill in the game, in one way or another, affects another aspect of the game in some way. The only way we are likely to start seeing a lot more high-level updates is going to be the release of a new skill. When that will be and what that skill will be is a mystery, and the only way we will find out is if we wait. I’d personally not be too disappointed if we don’t get too many high-level updates, as long as Jagex keeps releasing content for skills which are actually useful and provide an alternate way of training a skill, even if it’s just for a few levels.