Deadman Mode is DarkScape plus punishment, a statement that should be instantly endearing to anyone who tried out the RS3 mode and found it too accommodating to rushers and griefers. If you’re looking for Old School RuneScape with more rogue-like features, this is the place to be. If you’re not willing to lose a lot, and I do mean a lot, whenever you die, well there are other versions of RuneScape available to you.
It’s interesting to think of Deadman Mode as something that is hardcore in theory, not so much in practice. On paper, the game sounds devastating: Lose your inventory plus 28 of your most valuable stacks of items in the bank, plus 50% experience in all of your unprotected skills. And it is, death in Deadman is punishing in a way that only a masochist can love. But that, ultimately, is what seems to be preventing the game from becoming a grief-fest.
In DarkScape, a player with a decent stock of weapons can go around harassing players to no end and not end up risking anything. Griefing in Deadman means being willing to lose everything, and while I have seen a few players already throwing major tantrums and trying to harass other players, they quickly found themselves unequipped and powerless. Also unlike in DarkScape, it takes 30 minutes for a skull to disappear and players do not receive a skull when attacking a skull’d player. The entire world is open combat (3-126) and guards are level 1337. This makes attacking another player a massive risk, you basically become a target for EVERYONE who will kill you without a second thought.
To help you along, Deadman offers accelerated progression in the form of five times the usual amount of experience. What does this mean? At least in the early levels, the only thing getting in the way of your leveling will be the fact that you’re clicking through level up messages too often. Players are also able to store ten non-stackable, tradeable, items in a keepsake box that will remain safe if someone kills you and steals your stuff. You can’t store your cash, but you can store important items.
We’ll have to see how well Jagex can moderate the game, what with the company doubling down on its policy of not allowing mule accounts. There is also no grand exchange, making the accelerated progression all the more important because it will be easier to mass produce equipment or farm bosses sooner.
As with DarkScape, Deadman will change over time based on player feedback and (since this is Old School) anything approved by the community. Right now the community is voting in approval of changing non-skulled experience loss from 50% to 25%, as well as hitpoint insurance that will allow players to buy a minimum hitpoint level and the ability to separate left-click attacks on players and npcs. Currently up for vote but not approved (so far) are changes to team capes, the removal of the wilderness ditch, and reducing the skull timer.
So far, Deadman is turning out to be exactly what people wanted from DarkScape, not to mention being set in Old School. I hope to keep covering this game for a long time to come.