Dev Diaries: Bank Rework Episode 1
You may have seen our Dev Diaries series take on the colossus that is the Mining and Smithing Rework in previous weeks. Well, that's taking a break until January and between Christmas and New Year, we've got something equally as exciting to share: plans for the Bank Rework.
Mods Kelpie and Timbo join us to share their thoughts and ideas on the update you voted as your most desired of 2017.
Check out the Dev Blog if you haven't already in this episode we'll be going into more detail on the likes of placeholders, more bank tabs, Diango, the user interface and loads more.
As ever, we're looking for your feedback on our suggestions. Head to our forums, Reddit, and use #DevDiaries on Twitter to share your thoughts, join in the conversation, and have your say on our plans.
Watch on, and enjoy.
The RuneScape Team
Below is the player-facing design document for the Bank Rework. It is an edited version of the original design overview that we made for the project.
Please let us know of any feedback about the design. We will be of course be available on the thread, reddit and Twitter but we want to make sure that you know that we're listening to feedback.
I will be posting responses to feedback and answering questions on 13th, 20th December and 3rd, 10th and 17th January to be sure to check back then. I'll update this post with a link to these posts so just check back if you want to get involved in feedback!
[url=forums.ws?16,17,47,65858594,goto,40#391]First feedback post here! - Bank space, subtabs, POH items and more![/url]
[url=forums.ws?16,17,47,65858594,goto,45#447]Second feedback post here! - Potions, multiple stacks, preset icons and more![/url]
The RuneScape Bank is one of the most important systems in RuneScape, you interact with the RuneScape bank multiple times on a daily basis, a vast majority of skills requires a bank in order to be trained at all and is an iconic part of the RuneScape gameplay. For all of these reasons, we need to be incredibly sure that we improve the bank's usability, display, functionality and features while keeping true to the identity of the current RuneScape bank.
To that end, we want to get you involved. We want your feedback on everything that were proposing. This document is the first step, and we want to see your thoughts on the official threads on forums, reddit and Twitter. We will then outline the changes to this design, based on your feedback, in a RuneScape Dev Diary about the Bank Rework in the coming weeks. Look out for that!
All of the below information is what we're designing and aiming for. Not everything will make it but we wanted to share as much about the design as we can right now.
This is what the Bank rework is looking to achieve. These aims are created for every major project, and are usually only released internally.
Add critical features such as bank placeholders, organisation and customisation
Improve the usability of the bank, so that players can use it more efficiently and without friction
Bring existing storage and retrieval features into one central area
Maintain the current feel of the RuneScape bank, so that its recognisable to existing and returning players
Improve the internal workings of the bank so that it can be maintained and expanded easily
Vision for the bank
When writing a design for something as large and critical to the game, it is important to have a vision and stick to it throughout your design. This is the statement to make sure that we hit our project aims and deliver a bank rework that everyone will enjoy.
A reworked RuneScape bank should have the same visual style and interaction as it does currently. New features should be implemented without adding friction to the user experience, and nothing should be added for the sake of it: everything should be building a better bank.
Part of the rework includes reassessing the layout of the bank but not just for the sake of it. This does not mean a complete redesign of how the bank looks or feels. Its important that the RuneScape bank feels familiar.
There are many of the new features that we're looking to implement to the bank that will need to be visible from the main bank screen, primarily presets, sorting features and incorporating the inventory and equipment screen. It's important that you shouldn't have to spend 2 hours relearning where everything is.
These features are taken from many different threads on the forums, reddit and other avenues. Thank you so much for your help in designing these. The features listed below are prioritised in collaboration with you.
- Bank Placeholders
- Organisation and sorting options
- (Sort of) Unlimited bank tabs
- Better searching via meta tagging
- Updating Presets
- Diango from your bank
- Shuffling and Bank options
- Customisable cosmetic effects
- Technical Improvements Corner by Mod Hunter
The number one requested update to the bank of all-time. Most people have a very strictly arranged bank or, at the very least, have tabs for certain gear. When a player wants to take out their expensive PvM equipment, the bank collapses itself and moves everything around. This can be frustrating to anyone who has their items in specific places for cosmetic reasons, or want to know where something is at a given time.
Bank placeholders are a simple concept, in that whenever a player withdraws the last from a stack of items, that item stays in place at 0 quantity. This means that the bank doesn't shuffle round, and the item appears as if it is still there. When I go to deposit the item, it will replace the placeholder, wherever that placeholder is.
In addition to the above, you will be able to put the same item into multiple tabs. This means that if you want to have a Woodcutting and Fletching tab, you can put the same placeholder of elder logs in both tabs.
Organisation and sorting options[/url]
We all love to keep organised banks, whether for aesthetic or organisational purposes, but we've never given you the tools to sort it efficiently. We're planning to add auto-sorting options and some organisational tweaks to allow quick sorting of banks and some much needed customisation.
There are a huge number of different sorting options that we want to give you: automatically sorting a tab based on the level required to make/wear/use; sorting by GE value; sorting by quantity; sorting by a custom setting; tabs to be marked to only accept certain item types; and to designate tabs as loot tabs for quick valuation (and taking a good screenshot), and when using auto deposit features like the Pack Yak scroll and Sign of the Porter.
We're also adding the Wise Old Man's bank cleanup as an option inside the bank itself, meaning that it should be easier and quicker for you to free up bank space. We're also going to be updating this service so that it is easier to use and includes up-to-date items.
(Sort of) Unlimited bank tabs[/url]
While we wont be offering unlimited bank tabs, it's pretty darn close. Someone, somewhere will hit the limit, but we're planning to give you a far greater number of tabs.
We want to make sure that everyone can have a bank tab for every single skill in the game, for every boss-monsters loot tabs, for cosmetic items, for essential items, for you to customise and do what you like with. The bank needs to be more flexible to accommodate the many different ways of playing RuneScape, and that is what we plan to provide.
We're making it so that bank tab icons no longer need to be the first item in the bank. You will be able to select any item in the game to be your bank tab icon, even if you dont own that item. You will even be able to choose skill icons for your tabs, for quick identification.
Better searching via meta tagging[/url]
Searching hasn't really changed since its implementation, but we can improve on it and add features that you are used to encountering on internet search engines. We can display search results in a window that doesn't disappear when you interact with it, and we can offer clearer information on searched items.
Meta-tagging is when we attach keywords to an item, other than the items name, that can be searched for. This is similar to the Grand Exchange categories, but instead of selecting a category, you will be able to search for it. For example, searching for food in your bank will bring up all items that have the food meta-tag, which will be all items that could be eaten to restore health. Now imagine this across weapons, armour potions, etc.
Presets have become a staple part of the bank since their introduction in 2014 and we're looking to update them as part of the Bank Rework. We'll be performing a bunch of Ninja fixes to them, as well as a ton of behind-the-scenes reworks that will help us deliver key features.
We are in the process of seeing whether we can add more presets, as well as Beast of Burden presets, in the technical design. Its something that we want to do, but comes with a significant technical cost.
Diango from your bank[/url]
In the not too distant past, Diango was a simple toy salesman, but recently he has held the responsibility of holding onto all reclaimable items. Travelling to Diango or his brother in Prifddinas is far from a perfect system, so we're going to let you do this at your bank. If you want to do a bit of Cooking at the portable range in Lumbridge, but need to reclaim your outfit, you can now do so from a bank chest.
Shuffling and Bank options[/url]
It can be frustrating when the bank shuffles around after adding or removing an item. This has been a problem for years, but we will be giving you the option, as a part of a new suite of Bank options, to change your shuffling mode. By default, it will work as it does now: if you withdraw an item, all of the other items will shuffle up. You will, however, be able to toggle to the Old-School version, where items do not shuffle until you close the bank.
As part of this, we will be introducing a Bank Edit Mode where you will be able to customise your bank, set placeholders and do cosmetic changes to your bank without worrying about messing up your presets or accidentally withdrawing items.
Customisable cosmetic effects[/url]
The bank is a screen that you look at often, it's a place to gear up ready for combat, a place to store all of your valuable materials and good as well as a place to train on a plethora of skills. It is for these reasons that we are adding some cosmetic features to the bank such as being able to change the colour of tabs, being able to rename tabs and much more.
Technical Improvements Corner by Mod Hunter[/url]
With the current bank, as far as the game engine is concerned, the bank inventory is no different from the regular inventory, where all of the rules for how content such as bank tabs, non-bankable items and other special cases work are handled by our scripting language, RuneScript. This gives our developers a lot of control over the finer details. However, critical portions of the core interactions were built a long time ago and had much more restricted functionality - resulting in expensive code which is increasingly difficult to maintain and build on.
One of the more important things we look at from a technical perspective is what code the game servers are running. We have information such as the total amount of time each script takes to execute and how many times its used which we can use to generate lists of the most expensive code. We have well over a hundred thousand individual scripts and the current bank system appears in the top 200 list 9 times in total.
One of our key development aims with the bank rework is to work directly in the game engine to provide support for all of the new features we wish to add, while completely rewriting the RuneScript from scratch. This should give developers as much control as possible while allowing the game engine to directly handle much of the strain. This will ultimately allow us to add the new features listed in this document while making the system much more maintainable for us and severely reducing the amount of script!
Ninja Team[/b]Mod Timbo