It’s confirmed: a new skill is coming to OSRS. And the community has voted for Sailing! This blog post serves as an update to let you know everything you need about the new skill proposal.
This article covers all skill proposals. 👉 Go here if you want to learn more about the Sailing Skill.
Let’s take a look.
This article discusses OSRS News Post on 27 March 2023, was updated with the March 30th update as well as the March 30th Twitch stream, and was more recently updated with the April 11th poll results and the April 24th refinement blog post.
UPDATE May 15: First look at sailing navigation
Here’s a first look at what the navigation would look like for the Sailing skill!
UPDATE April 11: Sailing is going into refinement!
The poll results are in for the new OSRS skill and Sailing came out as the winner with 36% of the votes as opposed to Taming (17.7%) and Shamanism (33%).
Although Shamanism received much love from the community, Sailing still received 3% more votes when asked which proposed skill was the favorite. And thus, Sailing is 100% going into refinement.
Both Shamanism and Sailing really went neck-on-neck in this poll, which is why the Old School team wants to still consider refining the Shamanism skill once Sailing has been released.
So what’s next?
Well, we are still quite a way removed from getting the new Sailing skill.
We are currently approaching the stage called ‘refinement’. This basically means the Old School Team will ask the community what they want out of the Sailing skill, and once they have clear answers, they will put out a Design Blog with a concrete concept of the skill. Which will then be polled again.
Should this final concept pass the polls, Sailing will officially be locked in. Otherwise, we go back into refinement.
In the recent Blogpost on April 24th, the Old School Team revealed what we can expect from refinement.
Basically, they will cover 4 key topics. Which will each receive 2 weeks’ worth of feedback time.
The 4 key topics are:
- Core System and Gameplay Loops
- Navigation and Map/Sea Scale
- Reward Space
- Overall Game Integration and Lore
|Sailing Refinement Blog #2
Will have the results from the Survey made on April 24th.
|Sailing: Core System and Gameplay Loop Blog
Initial ideas for the core gameplay loop of the Sailing Skill.
|Sailing: Navigation and Sea/Map Scale Blog
Initial ideas for the Navigation and Sea Map of the Sailing Skill
|Sailing: Reward Space Blog
Initial ideas for the Reward Space of the Sailing Skill
|Sailing: Game Integration & Lore Blog
Initial ideas for the Lore and Game Integration of the Sailign Skill
|Sailing: Refinement Summary Blog
A final design blog that summarises everything from the refinement phase
The Sailing Skill
Here’s everything we know so far about the upcoming Sailing Skill.
Sailing is a proposed skill for OSRS that functions as an expansion to the seas of Gielinor. It lets us players explore an entirely new sea map and presents a huge opportunity for new types of content as well as a smooth integration with current skills.
Sailing is NOT the same as the skill proposed in 2015 with the same name. It’s completely redesigned and focuses on sea expansion and seafaring activities as opposed to building boats. Furthermore, it will NOT include Player Owned Ports from RS3.
Core Gameplay Loop:
- Navigate to a port
- Obtain a ship
- Engage in activities at sea
The core mechanic of Sailing would be navigation. This doesn’t work well with the current click-to-move system in the game, so the Old School Team is looking for options to make navigation more smooth. Some of these options include:
- unique pathfinding algorithm
- WASD keys
- A special navigation interface
How it will change OSRS:
Not only will this skill unlock new areas in the sea, but it will also change the way the sea looks and feels. If this skill passes the poll, the sea will see a complete redesign with deep waters, coral reefs, sea currents, storms, and other features.
Training Sailing will primarily be an active activity where you gain experience by participating in a variety of seafaring activities. Some of the propositions are:
- Deep Sea Fishing
- Hunting Elusive Sea Creatures
- Delivering packages from A to B
- Discovering new islands
- & more
Furthermore, the skill will also have passive gameplay allowing you to gain small amounts of experience for recording your adventurers and dealing with random encounters.
Boat customization is one of the rewards of sailing. Having a bigger boat is not only a great flex, but it also unlocks more content. You’ll definitely want to get a big boat, which will unlock more islands to explore, and more activities to try.
Furthermore, the inside of the boat will be customizable, similar to how you can customize your Player Owned House.
Will it be open world or instanced?
The Old School Team envisions that the Sailing skill will NOT be instanced and instead will work as an expansion of the world. For example, you can see people fishing in Catherby while you’re fishing on your fancy boat.
This feels more like a minigame, how can we fix it?
Sailing will not be localized to one area, it will expand ALL the seas around Gielinor. Therefore, it could never feel like just ‘a mini game’. Sailing will be trainable wherever there is ocean. This is very different from mini-games, which always have a set start location.
Do you have the tech to pull it off?
According to the Old School Team, the tech is not there right now. But if Sailing passes the polls and gets ‘locked in’ then they will receive a big chunk of engine time and support to accommodate the development.
Will Islands and other content be procedurally generated?
No, islands and content added with the sailing skill will not be procedurally generated.
Other Proposed New Skills
Here are the other two proposed skills by the Old School Team.
Note: Since Sailing passed the polls, these skills are not being considered right now. HOWEVER, Shamanism received a huge amount of votes, and might still be polled later on.
Taming is a proposed skill for OSRS that allows players to tame creatures into becoming companions which can help them in their endeavors. Companions can be trained, making their abilities stronger.
One might suggest it is Summoning for RS3 but what is proposed is actually completely different. Training summoning was quite boring, whereas Taming sounds like it would be more focussed around training your companions in order to gain experience, as opposed to grinding charms.
If this skill goes through, we can expect a bunch of new creatures to be added to the game as well as existing creatures becoming tamable.
Core Gameplay Loop:
- Domesticate a creature in Gielinor
- Care for your companions
- Train and level them
How it will change OSRS:
The game would become a lot more wholesome, that’s for sure. Since this is a utility skill, it will likely make the game (e.g. certain skills, quests, combat?) easier. This could be good, or bad, depending on how you look at it.
There is some discourse about how the taming skill could potentially make the game too cluttered. After all, the original game became pretty cluttered when every player started having a Pack Yak behind them as a result of the Summoning update.
Some others fear it might ‘devalue’ the current pet system which we have in place. After all, pets are cosmetic and don’t provide any real value, companions will provide value.
While you will gain experience from the initial taming part of the skill, the main chunk of the experience will come from caring for your new companion.
This is where you’ll provide it with its favorite food, build them a cozy home, and keep it active by training them. Essentially, this skill would recreate owning a real-life pet (e.g. a dog) and caring for it. Nothing like summoning was.
In the blog post, the Old School team outlined a bunch of ideas for the ‘training’ phase of the skill. Here are some of them:
- Tracking: have your companion help with tracking something down
- Obstacle courses: some companions enjoy Agility Training
- Dungeon crawler: some companions are real thrill seekers and might enjoy navigating mazes and dungeons
- Bonding: some companions are more wholesome and may prefer more small bonding exercises such as playing fetch
Of course, none of this is set in stone, it’s all concept and will be refined should taming become the favored skill.
The main reward from the taming skill is the abilities that you unlock by taming companions. Animals have all sorts of tools that we don’t have (wings, fangs, fins, etc). There is a lot of room for game expansion here.
Companions could help you out with skilling, combat (though they are threading carefully here as they don’t want to ruin combat), and so forth.
Furthermore, there is talk about accessorizing your companions. A whole new level of fashion scape!
Will it be similar to Kittens?
No. Kittens are passive and oftentimes disrupt you. This is not how Taming will be done. Taming will be an active skill, based on effort. Not passive, like the current system with raising kittens.
How are we avoiding it winding up being summoning 2.0?
The reward space is similar to Summoning, but the gameplay will be entirely different. There is no charm collecting through combat. The skill will actually be trained by taking care of your companion.
Isn’t the world going to be cluttered with all these companions?
There is no concern, engine-wise, about the lag that these companions might cause. However, it might be annoying to see companions everywhere. This is definitely something that needs to be worked on in the refinement stages, should the skill be locked in.
Shamanism is a proposed skill for OSRS that gives players the ability to unlock the ‘third eye’ and access the Spirit World. It’s a gathering and production skill that finds the power of nature to craft new things.
This potential skill allows for a ton of game expansion in the form of the Spirit Realm and also has the potential for some really great rewards.
This is probably the most surprising skill the Old School Team came up with, but it was pretty well received by the community and is definitely one of the more exciting prospects.
How it would work:
Being a gathering and production skill (as opposed to the 2 utility skills mentioned earlier), Shamanism will feel closer to current skills in Old School Runescape.
Imagine the smithing skill, where you gather the resources by using the mining skill. Shamanism will function similarly to this, however, unlike smithing, the skill won’t be buyable. The gathered components will be untradeable, forcing the skill into a ton of fun content as opposed to becoming yet another bank-standing one.
The core gameplay look will look something like this:
- Forage natural components from Gielinor
- Gather spiritual components at Disturbed Sites
- Draw Ritual Circle anywhere in Gielinor where you craft powerful shamanic items
Rituals are sourced with natural and spiritual components. The natural ones can be found around Gielinor (e.g. mushrooms, berries, etc), while the spiritual ones have to be sourced from ‘Disturbed Sites’. These Disturbed Sites are places where the veil between the Spirit World and our own is thin, allowing adventurers to get their hands on the spiritual components.
Both natural and spiritual sources will be untradeable, to ensure that everyone has to get out there and have fun and nobody is training this skill while bank standing.
You can create a ritual circle anywhere in Gielinor like you would start a fire for firemaking. Within these ritual circles, you’ll be able to produce an array of new items such as Tikis, Poultices, Oils, and Totems AND you’ll be able to add buffs to existing gear and weaponry to give them powerful magical bonuses.
The Spirit Realm:
The Spirit Realm will be an entirely new area inside Gielinor than can be accessed from the Disturbed Sites. While this isn’t quite refined as of yet, there is a ton of room for expansion and new content possibilities here.
How it will change OSRS:
Shamanism will probably provide the least ‘change’ to OSRS as compared to the other two utility skills: Sailing and Taming. The skill feels very much like current OSRS Skills and the Spirit Realm wouldn’t be as ‘noticeable’ as something like companions or expansion of the sea.
That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be a really good update though. I think Shamanism offers a ton of potential for OSRS, especially with how the Spirit World could be continuously updated to unlock new areas, bosses, quests, skilling activities, and so on. Furthermore, the ritual aspect which allows you to augment gear could definitely make the game more interesting if executed correctly.
Most of the experience gained in Shamanism will be from gathering components and producing new things. Since the gathering aspect will be untradeable, this will not be a buyable skill, and gaining experience will be down to the player and their efficiency, not down to the depths of their wallets.
Shamanism will allow players to augment items through the use of Ritual Circles. This unlocks a ton of potential for the current weaponry, armour, and also skilling equipment in the game.
Imagine being able to augment your bossing gear because you reached a certain Shamanism level. This could be a stat boost but could also be something more creative like making it more resistant to fire for example. Tools could be made to be more efficient. For example, an axe that chops faster. These boosts could be made temporary or permanent. They could have cosmetic elements to make them noticeable. The list goes on. There is a ton of reward potential for the Shamanism skill.
Will it be renamed?
Apparently, the OSRS team put it into ChatGPT and even our AI overlords agreed that ‘Shamanism’ is the best fit.
Will Shamanism force you to get 99 Shamanism in order to get the BIS PVM gear?
Ultimately, the community will decide which direction it takes. 99 Shamanism should definitely have some benefits, augmenting-wise, how far this is taken is up to the refinement phase.
They had an idea for a middle ground: A tradeable degradable version vs an untradeable undegradable version?
Nevertheless, a lot of refinement is still needed.
Is Shamanism forced ironman gameplay?
The idea is to make Shamanism NOT a buyable skill. The first 99 should not be the person with the most money. And furthermore, nobody wants another skill that you can train while standing near a bank. However, there will be some room for tradeable elements, but the majority of the skill will be untradeable.
Instanced or not?
The idea is to make Shamanism overworld so you can enjoy it with other players as you would other skills.
Shamanism April Fools
For April Fools, the Old School Team added the Shamanism skill to the skilling menu! Luckily, no one lost their max capes, yet. 😉
The Skill changed to Taming or Sailing whenever you died in combat or logged out.
The next upcoming poll will be the 70/30 poll, which comes after the final design blog (approximately end of July/August).
If this poll passes with 70%, Sailing will be officially locked in.
After which we can expect a beta in a couple of months’ time.
Reactions from the community
I’ve spent pretty much all day scouring the New Skill Discord, Facebook groups, youtube, and Reddit seeking out the community’s response to these new skills.
Aside from a few trolls who didn’t read the post that claims sailing is dungeoneering or taming is summoning, the community response was largely positive.
And to my surprise, it seems a majority is in favor of Shamanism, over Sailing. And taming is receiving the least love as of right now.
Here’s a poll that was posted in the OSRS Community Facebook group (65k members) and received over 2,000 votes:
34% voted Shamanism, 15% voted Sailing, 9% voted Taming and 42% voted ‘no new skills’. Keep in mind this is Facebook, and it’s pretty toxic. Even so, it does show how Shamanism seems to be the preferred skill at the moment.
I noticed the same love for Shamanism on Reddit.
Taming is definitely the least-liked skill out of the three. Sailing seems to have quite a bit of love (apart from the memes), but a lot of community members feel it might take far too long to actually come to fruition, and has the largest chance of failing to meet our expectations. That leaves Shamanism, a skill that fits really well into Old School Runescape and could add a ton of unique new content without overwhelming the devs.
New Skill Updates & Timeline
- On December 12th, 2022, During the Winter 2022 summit, plans for new skills were revealed
- On December 10th, 2022, a newspost was released covering how a new skill would be approached
- On December 16th, 2022, the poll ‘should a new skill be added to the game’ passed with 80.9% of the votes.
- On January 23th, 2023, a community consultation news posts was posted to the osrs website
- On March 24th, a video featuring Mod Ayiza discussing how the poll the new skill will be polled was posted to the OSRS Youtube channel
- On March 27th, A news post was released introducing the three new skills: Taming, Sailing & Shamanism
- On March 27th, in addition to the new post, a video was released to the OSRS YouTube channel where mods Elena, Husky & Nemona pitch the three skill propositions.
- On March 28th, a 2-hour Q&A live stream was dropped which covers a ton of info on the new proposed skills.
- On March 30th, tons of questions were answered in a new FAQ news post
- On April 11, Sailing won the poll
- On April 24, a news post came out discussing how Sailing’s refinement process will go
OSRS New Skill – FAQs
Which Skill is coming to OSRS?
Sailing passed the April 11 polls and is currently going into refinement. This isn’t a 100% guarantee that the skill will be added to the game, however.
Is a new skill coming to OSRS?
Yes, it’s been confirmed at the Winter Summit of 2022 that a new skill is coming to OSRS. The Old School Team is currently working together with the community to ensure the new skill fits flawlessly into the game.
When is the new skill coming to OSRS?
The new skill is still in early development, and thus it is too soon to give an exact date for when the new skill will be released. According to the news post, the new skill will arrive in 2024 at the earliest.
Are more new skills coming to OSRS?
The OSRS team is working hard to add this new skill to the game. Once it is finally released, I don’t think another skill is out of the question. Of course, this will be polled as well.
Is it possible that no new skill is added?
If none of the 3 skill proposals pass the poll, it is possible that adding a new skill will be delayed further.
Undoubtedly, adding a new skill to the game is one of the best things OSRS can do to future-proof the game. This is SUPER EXCITING news to all of us scapers and should only change the game in positive ways. I’m super psyched with everything the Old School Team has been working on this year (Forestry and Desert Treasure 2 are coming out this summer) and excited to see which skill the community winds up choosing.
This article will be updated as more blog posts roll in regarding the new skill, as well as well poll results are released. Stay tuned!
Want more info? Learn everything about the Sailing Skill.