Evolution of Combat: Survey Results

Posted on December 12, 2012

The recent announcement of a launch date for Evolution of Combat certainly garnered a lot of attention! Your level of passion and dedication is obvious to see. It’s you guys who make RuneScape the uniquely amazing game that it is, and your enjoyment as RuneScape players is of paramount importance to us. As such, the decision to launch the Evolution of Combat into the live game was not taken lightly.

We’ve eagerly listened to the excellent constructive feedback from those of you taking part in the Evolution of Combat Beta. During the last five months, we’ve worked hard to implement your suggested changes and improvements thanks to that feedback. This culminated last week in the beta launch of the Combat Academy and a survey to gauge the opinions of those of you who had given the system a try.

We’d like to thank the many tens of thousands of you who took the time to take part. The results below are completely as captured (the responses haven’t been weighted in any way shape or form and no negative responses were removed) and additionally we’ve included some of our own further analysis to help give you some insight into how the data stacks up. We’re naturally looking forward to hearing your thoughts on these figures too!

Question 1. What is your current combat level in the live game?

  1. 1-20 = 1.93% of users
  2. 21-40 = 1.67%
  3. 41-60 = 3.37%
  4. 61-100 = 23.84%
  5. 101-120 = 28.04%
  6. 121-138 = 41.14%

As you might expect, high-level combat players formed the largest proportion of users in the beta, with 69% of the respondents being level 101 or higher. It’s terrific to see that those of you who’ve used RuneScape’s combat system the most over the years make up the majority of respondents providing feedback.

Question 2. Which of the following best describes your play-style?

  1. I focus on fighting monsters = 11.97%
  2. I focus on quests and the storyline = 8.77%
  3. I focus on non-combat skilling = 6.82%
  4. I do a bit of everything = 65.44%
  5. I focus on PvP = 4.29%
  6. I play for the social aspect and my friendships = 2.71%

This result surprised us a little, as we were expecting the responses to be more weighted towards combat-focused players. It’s always been clear the Evolution of Combat benefits everyone – not just high-level combat players – and this is a clear indication of that fact. We’re throwing every resource available at ensuring that it’s right for the job.

Question 3. How much time have you spent in the beta previously?

  1. This is my first time = 22.12%
  2. Between five minutes and an hour = 21.40%
  3. Between one hour and four hours = 30.85%
  4. Between four hours and ten hours = 15.12%
  5. Between ten hours and twenty hours = 5.79%
  6. More than twenty hours = 4.72%

We knew that many of you had previously avoided the beta because they gained no direct benefit on their live account (and free time is very precious!), so we had expected that the range here would skew towards under four hours, which proved to be the case.

Question 4. After playing the Combat Academy, do you now feel you have a good understanding of the new combat system?

  1. Yes, I understand the system well = 34.0%
  2. I think I understand most of it = 33.03%
  3. I already understood it from playing the earlier beta = 17.43%
  4. There are parts of it I don’t yet understand = 6.54%
  5. I find the whole new system confusing = 7.22%
  6. I feel it made it even more confusing! = 1.77%

Over 80% of users replied here that they had a decent understanding of the new system. We’ve taken your feedback on board regarding areas of the academy that could be improved, and those changes will be released with the Evolution of Combat on the 20th of November.

Question 5. Out of the following, what do you like most about the Evolution of Combat?

  1. Dual wielding = 31.05%
  2. The action bar, new interfaces & shortcuts = 26.12%
  3. The different abilities = 19.69%
  4. The ability to switch enemy targeting = 1.17%
  5. The adrenaline system = 5.99%
  6. The new combat animations = 15.98%

We believe Dual wielding is one of the coolest things in the Evolution of Combat and this was reflected in your responses. The action bar is also a particularly useful new addition, as it can be used for skilling and combat, and this was reflected in it being the next most popular feature

Question 6. Overall, what are your thoughts on the new combat system?

  1. I definitely prefer it to the old system = 20.31%
  2. I like it so far, but can’t yet be sure = 19.14%
  3. I don’t like it = 19.62%
  4. It’s OK, but needs improvement = 14.31%
  5. I like both the new and the old systems = 25.97%
  6. I don’t do combat, so have no opinion = 0.66%

This was always going to be the question that got the most attention, and understandably so. We’ve been following forum and general community sentiment very closely since the launch of the beta; as we’ve made many of the suggested changes & improvements there was an increasingly positive feeling about the update, which is backed-up by these results. Of course, we intend to keep listening to your feedback and improving the Combat System post-launch, so things can only get better from here.

Over 80% of respondents who played the latest Evolution of Combat Beta either preferred it or had a generally positive response to it. We also looked at this answer broken down by player level and found that there was little variation in response percentages, so it has support across all levels.

We’re especially interested in hearing the opinion of those of you who said you weren’t happy with the new system. If you haven’t already, we really hope you’ll give the Evolution of Combat a shot upon launch, especially to see how much it has changed since the early betas. To smooth the transition, we’ll release with a range of guides, Q&As and insider info, including how you can still use Evolution of Combat for traditional, low-intensity combat.

The launch of the Evolution of Combat is a huge step for RuneScape – thank you for your continued support and for your feedback so far, and we hope to see you on the battlefield soon!

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