The map of Gielinor is expanding as OSRS is about to receive a brand new area: Varlamore, the Shining Kingdom. And with it, will come a ton of new content for both skillers and PVMers.
This article contains everything we know about Varlamore so far, as revealed by the blogposts and YouTube videos put out by the Old School Team. The information is condensed and summarised to only include the most important info. For additional info, you’ll find links to the original posts.
What is Varlamore?
Varlamore is a map expansion for OSRS announced in August 2023 and set to release sometime in 2024. The kingdom of Varlamore is located in the continent of Zeah alongside The Great Kourend and Kebos Lowlands. On the map, you’ll find it just South of the Kebos Lowlands.
Located just South of Kebos Lowlands, Varlamore will feature a capital city named Civitas illa Fortis which houses the Fortis Colosseum, as well as an Agility course, a guild for the Hunter skill, and a new barrows-like dungeon.
Aside from the hunter skill, Varlamore is set to have new content for the Mining, Agility, Thieving, and Prayer skills.
When will Varlamore be released?
The first part of Varlamore is set to release on March 20th, and this first part will focus on the capital city ‘Civitas Ila Fortis’. To unlock Varlamore, players must complete the ‘Children of the Sun’ quest which is already out and can be started in Varrock. As a follow up to this quest, an intermediate-level quest will be released with the first part of Varlamore.
It’s currently unclear when other parts of Varlamore will be released.
Among the highly anticipated features of the upcoming update, the Fortis Colosseum takes the spotlight as OSRS’ third wave-based minigame, following in the footsteps of the iconic Fight Caves and the Inferno. What sets the Fortis Colosseum apart is its dual nature—it’s designed to be accessible to the average player while presenting a formidable challenge for PVM veterans.
The game achieves this balance through a decision-making system that allows players to make crucial choices between rounds. Players can opt to exit the colosseum at any point, securing the loot they’ve earned so far, or continue risking everything for greater rewards.
Adding to the complexity is the introduction of a modifier system, reminiscent of those found in roguelike games. This system empowers players to customize their gameplay experience between rounds. Enabling them to buff or nerf opponents, add extra obstacles, and other decisions that would heavily impact the difficulty of the round.
Advancing through waves in the Fortis Colosseum earns you ‘glory,’ a dynamic metric influenced by factors such as time efficiency and damage taken. Glory can be used to access a range of untradeable rewards.
As glory serves as a reflection of a player’s performance in the colosseum, players won’t benefit from repeatedly completing easy waves in order to farm glory. Instead, they will be encouraged to continuously improve their PVM skills and get further in the Colosseum.
What I love about this concept is that it makes the Fortis Colosseum highly repeatable. You’ll be able to improve over time, and it will be rewarding to do so through the gains in ‘glory’. This sets it apart from the other wave-based minigames we have currently where you either get the infernal cape, or you don’t.
The main reward for this wave-based minigame is Dizana’s Quiver, which is to be the next best-in-slot cape for Ranged.
It will have better offensive bonuses than the Ava’s Assembler and also have the unique ability of being able to hold 2 types of ammunition.
This allows you to bring both bolts and arrows without it taking up yet another precious inventory slot.
Furthermore, the quiver will be chargeable, giving it an additional +1 ranged strength and +10 ranged accuracy.
Glaive of Ralos
Next up is the Glaive of Ralos which is a boomerang-like ranged weapon that is held in one hand and returns to you after each hit.
It can be used both charged and uncharged.
When uncharged, it will hit your opponent for 0 – 75% of your max hit.
When charged, it will hit your opponent TWICE for 0 – 75% of your max hit, with each hit rolling its own damage and accuracy.
Finally, this interesting throwable will also feature a special attack, using up 50% energy.
And this is where it gets crazy: for each successful hit, its special will drain the targets defence by 10% of their Magic Level.
How’s that, for shaking up the meta?
This brand-new armour set is going to be a buffed version of Proselyte.
Wearing it requires 40 defence, and 60 prayer.
It will have the defensive bonuses of Runite armour and the full set offers +6 more prayer than a set of Proselyte. Neat!
Both Dizana’s Quiver and Glaive of Ralos mention charging, this is where Sunfire Dust will come into place.
Sunfire Splinters are obtained throughout your Colosseum runs and will be used to charge your other rewards.
This keeps you coming back to the Colosseum though I believe they will make this item tradeable (speculation, not confirmed).
Sunfire Splinters will also be used to craft a brand new type of runes: Sunfire Runes.
Sunfire Runes will be crafted at the Sunfire Altar coming with the Varlamore update.
To make them, you’ll need to combine Sunfire Splinters with Pure essence and Fire runes.
Sunfire Runes, as the name suggest, will count as BUFFED fire runes.
When used, the Fire Spell will gain a 10% minimum hit. You’ll also be able to add this effect to your Tome of Fire by turning your burning pages into searing pages.
For more info: read the rewards news posts for an in-depth look into the rewards.
Mid-level pVM Dungeon
After completing the Perilous Moons quest, players will unlock access to a dungeon with PVM content aimed at mid-level players (blogpost mentions 75+ combat). This should closely resemble the Barrows minigame but with its own spin.
This temple contains three demi-bosses. Players start at the center, with four corridors leading to different areas. Each encounter will only open up one of the four corridors. The following rooms contain enemies, obstacles, and plenty of skilling opportunities.
As you can see, it seems to draw some inspiration from raids and RS3’s dungeoneering as well.
Players will be able to bring their own supplies inside, but the rooms will also provide opportunities to farm your own. Perhaps to restock in between demi-bosses.
Just like barrows, all three demi-bosses need to be defeated to unlock maximum loot potential.
However, unlike Barrows, the bosses are too powerful to be killed and must be subdued instead. Furthermore, the demi-bosses can be fought in groups, with each player having an individual health bar for the opponents.
This means other players won’t be able to screw you over, and you won’t be able to get carried either.
At first, I thought ‘why not just solo?’ but perhaps it will be more difficult to go solo, as opposed to taking on the encounters in mass worlds. But that’s just speculation of course.
The encounters will introduce new mechanics into the game, and provide a good learning opportunity for mid-level players looking to dip their feet into OSRS’s interesting PVM system.
Back in the day when Barrows was released, it shook things up by introducing ‘set effects’, the rewards from this PVM encounter aim to do something similar.
There are three reward sets:
- Bloodrager (melee)
- Frostmoon (melee/magic)
- Eclipse (ranged/melee)
And one untradeable weapon: the Bladed Moon.
I won’t go super into detail for these rewards, as you can just read the blogpost, but also because these features tend to be subject to change before release.
The Bloodrager set features dual Macuahuitl (similar to Torva’s Warhammers) that hit twice at an attack rate of 4 ticks. Wearing the full set provides you with a 33% chance of hitting the second attack 1 tick sooner. Its special deals 25% more damage but forces you to sacrifice 10% of your own HP.
The Frostmoon set interestingly combines Magic and Melee. Its weapon is a spear that can be used for melee but is also capable of autocasting and provides a 5% magic strength bonus AND freezes your opponents. Wearing the full set provides a 10% chance of your next melee attack to go unaffected by action delay. The set also has a high Magic Accuracy bonus and provides good Magic and crush defence. Its special attack increases your max hit by 1% for every tick that an opponent is frozen.
The Eclipse set is yet another hybrid set, with high ranged accuracy and melee strength, but low defence. It’s weapon, the Eclipse Atlatl, is a bow with an attack speed of 4 and rolls your damage of your melee strength. Wearing the full set offers a 20% chance to inflict burn upon the opponent, damaging 1 for every 4 ticks, ending after 40 ticks or 10 damage in total. This damage can be stacked up to 5 times in order to deal up to 50 damage.
Bladed Moon (Off-hand Weapon)
The final reward, the bladed moon, is untradeable and crafted by combining Blood, Eclipse, and Blue Moon spikes which are dropped by the demi-bosses. This is an off-hand weapon that competes defenders. However, it won’t replace them, but will be a better alternative when using a slash weapon such as the Abyssal Whip due to having a better slash bonus (but a worse strength bonus than the Dragon Defender).
Aside from the massive PVM updates, Varlamore also has something in store for skilling: new training methods for the Hunter, Thieving, Prayer, Mining, and Agility skills!
This section covers info released in the November 13, 2023 blogpost.
Another key feature of Varlamore is that it will finally bring a guild for the Hunter Skill to OSRS, unlocked at level 46 hunter.
The guild introduces ‘rumours’ similar to farming contracts from the Farming Guild. Essentially you’ll hear about a specific creature from one of the hunters in the local pub and can choose to track them down for a reward and experience. The aim is for each rumour to take around 8-10 minutes, allowing you to around 6-7 rumours per hour.
While the blogpost mentions it won’t be the best hunter experience you can get, it will be an interesting and fun new way to train hunter.
Rumours exist in 4 tiers unlocked at 46, 57, 72, and 91 hunter.
One of the rewards from this activity is the new hunter skilling outfit, which provides a 2.5% catch rate when hunting with the full set equipped. The outfit will also give you a 5% extra chance to get a rare creature part.
Furthermore, Varlamore will introduce a bunch of new hunter creatures: Moths, Jerboas, Fennec Foxes, and Mountain Salamanders.
Some new gear such as the ‘Mixed Hide Gear’ and the ‘Hunter’s spear’ will also be introduced with this update, alongside of a bunch of Quality of Life changes to the hunter skill.
More info: Blogpost, the Hunters Guild
‘The Colossal Wyrm’ is to be one of the new Agility training courses added to the game with Varlamores’ release.
This course is unlocked at level 50 Agility and will be the second agility course on the Zeah Continent after the Shayzien course. It won’t reward you with marks of grace, instead, termites are roaming around it and these can be caught and exchanged for rewards. Or they can be ground up with a pestle and mortar into Amylase crystals.
Here are some of the rewards:
- Bone shards: stackable item to increase experience while training Prayer
- Basic & Advanced Teleport Crystals: teleports you out of the agility dungeon
- Graceful Sewing Kit: recolor for graceful
Obviously, the graceful reward is the best reward this activity has to offer. I mean look a this concept art, by far the best graceful recolor to date!
Varlamore will include a mine where calcified deposits can be mined. These can be exchanged for coins, a cam-torum mine teleport, or smashed into bone shards with a hammer. These bone shards are stackable and can be used for prayer training.
While it’s unclear yet how good the experience will be for this method, the fact that bone shards are stackable does mean you won’t need to bank if you carry a hammer on you. It could be a promising new mining training method.
Prayer is receiving an interesting new method with the arrival of Varlamore, a method that offers better experience per bone than the Gilded Altar, which is the current most popular prayer training method.
The gameplay loop is as follows:
- Bring Bones
- Bless the Bones
- Chip into Shards
- Offer to Ralos (NPC)
Furthermore, the blogpost speaks of a way to un-note bones on the spot to avoid banking, so potentially an NPC like Phials in Rimmington will un-note your bones for you in return for cash.
Should this happen, it could potentially replace the Gilded Altar meta, we’ll see.
At level 50 thieving, players will be able to participate in a brand new Thieving activity inside Varlamore’s capital.
Within this activity, you’ll be robbing to affluent houses of Civitas illa Fortis.
Exp rates for this activity will be lower than Stealing Artifacts, in favor of being a good moneymaker (you are robbing houses, after all).
Quest that unlocks Varlamore: Children of the sun
As of January 10th, players can already start doing the introduction quest to Varlamore called ‘Children of the sun’. If you’re interested in doing this quest already, I’ve created a quick video guide to help you through it.
And that’s all the info we have on Varlamore so far. It’s honestly crazy how good all of this sounds. The skilling content is a nice bonus but the PVM content really takes the cake here. The new minigame will be a grindable moneymaker that honestly sounds like a lot of fun and a really good way for mid-level players to get introduced into PVM mechanics.
On top of that, the Fortis Colosseum will be a nice challenge for all players levels testing out their PVM skills. It’ll be a good way for newer players to build up their PVM skills, and a great challenge for veterans looking to reach new limits.
2023 has been a phenomenal year for Old School Runescape. And 2024 is looking to be even better with Sailing and Varlamore coming out. OSRS is thriving and I’m so psyched for the next year.
I’ll keep this blog post up-to-date with any news we receive on Varlamore in the coming weeks/months before its arrival. In the meantime, you can read up on more news on the Sailing Skill.