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Arcanists is a massive and popular game available on Funorb. As a result, there have been numerous changes made to Arcanists since original release. Typically these updates were fixes, although there were additions to the game as well.
Being the Most Popular game, seeing no additions made to the game would have been extraordinary.
The most notable of which was making the game available for free players. Upon original release, this game was only available to subscribed members but due to the immense popularity, was made available on April 9th, 2008 for f2p. The arcane book, and all the level 1 and 2 spells from the fire book was made available to use in unrated games.
On June 18th, 2008, a major update was made to Arcanists, which introduced several aspects which are considered second nature now. These updates includes the following:
- Addition of team games (before it used to be a top vs bottom when team games were wanted)
- Adding two maps (Sky Castles and Mos Les Harmless)
- Adding two new books (Seas and Nature)
- Familiars were introduced for all books except Arcane.
- 6 new arcane spells were made available for all players.
- 10 Prestige hats were added for members.
- New achievements relating to the new spells were added.
- Some new costumes were added.
- Birds spins around the heads of units that can't move that turn.
On December 4th, 2008, the Book of cogs was made available for members as well as the map "Arcane Crystals". This was to be the last significant update due to memory restrictions for a while.
Halloween of 2009 featured a change to the map "Mos Les Harmless" in which the monkeys are zombie monkeys, and are much more lethal. Alongside this, a Halloween achievement has been added to arcanists.
On August 5th, 2010, numerous achievements were added including the first f2p achievements, asides from "Mark of Fame".
Now, very seldom is online games truly finished upon release, and quite often patches and minor changes are made within game at later dates. In arcanists, numerous changes have been made.
A "nerf" is when the developers of a game drastically reduces the effectiveness of any specific action in an update or patch. Typically, this is specifically done in order to retain balance within the game in question. In Arcanists, if a spell is too powerful, it makes games unfair to whoever would go first. These reductions generally reduces the damage, or changes what the spell can affect.
- You used to be able to charge the Soul Jar familiar as many times as you liked in a game (although their level was capped at level 5). Now, however, you can only charge the Soul Jar familiar 5 times in a game.
- Death Bombs used to deal Death damage, now only the aura they leave behind deals death damage. This is because players could zombify a lot of minions in one turn, as the maximum damage on a character that a death bomb can cause is 55hp (40 initial damage + 15 from aura of decay). Another reason for this change is that it allowed players who had used lichdom to heal 55hp per turn (40 intial damage + 15 from aura of decay)
- Arcanists with Shining Power used to not get knocked out of the sky for a turn when hit.
- When familiars were introduced, napalm used to be able to deal 210 damage with a fully charged familiar. 42 napalms were fired until 16 July 2008, after which the number was reduced to 18.
- Players used to be able to stand on another player and fire napalm directly onto their enemy for a total of 60 damage. Now if they attempt this the first one they fire will harm them and cause them to stop firing.
- Headbombing (where a player could fire a bomb directly downward into another Arcanist) was reduced in power on 16 July 2008. Bombs are now fired from the Arcanist, instead of a point just in front of it.
- Vine bridge used to be able to completely trap somebody, however this was reduced in power as players could use vine bridge to trap, then conductor rod. This was almost unavoidable.
- Players used to be able to shoot a Cuckoo Clock down onto their opponent's head (generally after using Blast from the Past to ensure maximum damage); dealing 100 damage to them and 30 damage to themselves. This has since been altered to make the caster receive much more damage making it no longer a plausible tactic.
- It was previously possible to use the Cuckoo Clock spell on your first turn, however the Cuckoo Clock now takes 4 turns to charge. This is because players could simply spam cuckoo clocks from their first turn, being able to cause up to 100 damage per turn for four turns from turn one (resulting in up to 400 damage done in the first four turns). This was amplified if a player used the re-do spell, as this allowed players to use cuckoo clock 8 times in a game, causing up to 800 damage.
- When Arcanists first came, Conductor Rod worked similarly to shooting thundershock from the sky to the target and doing 125 storm damage. This was removed because it was rather easy to trap ones opponent in the place by standing on them and doing easy 125 damage without the target getting knocked away.
- Chainlighting was a lot easier to control in the early times of Arcanists. It made a common tactic to trap someone inside a mudball, dig a hole to it with thundershock and toss chainlighting in for about 150 damage.
- Before when using the cog arrow, it didn't need a recharge now after you fire it you have to wait 5 turns until you can fire it again.
- Magma bomb's damage has been lowered to 125 damage making it weaker in suicides.
- Naplam bomb now only has 4 shots instead of infinite.
- Chain lightning now only does 200 damage instead of 250
- You are also no longer allowed to castle whilst in flight, which in the early days of arcanists was possible.
- In the earlier days of Arcanists, a common tactic was to build a castle directly on top of your opponent's head. This was because spells such as blast from the past didn't exist, and so players had to use an entire turn to attempt to escape via spells such as arcane gate or landscape-damaging spells such as arcane flash and fire bomb (the latter of which carried the disadvantage of the chance that your opponent's tower would drop through the space created in the land by your landscape damaging spell and land on you, trapping you once again).
- It used to be a common tactic to use vine bridges to trap a player while using flight, because it used to be possible to use vine bridge to completely trap somebody.
- Before the update to cuckoo clocks that made standing on a players' head and cuckoo clocking them damage you more than your intended victim, a lot of players used shoot a Cuckoo Clock down onto their opponent's head (generally after using Blast from the Past to ensure maximum damage); dealing 100 damage to them and 30 damage to themselves. This technique was known as Head-clocking.
- It was possible to zombify an Arcanist under certain circumstances, although as this was a bug and not an intended feature, control was limited.
- Previously, Swallowing Pit would explode all minions on the map as if they were bombs. Later, the explosion was removed, instead replacing it with an Aura of Decay.
- Shock bomb used to explode and leave behind a crater. Now it just looks like a flash of light, in a somewhat star shape, leaving no damage to the terrain.
- Arcanists is an immensely popular game and longstanding #1 position. It only lost the top position once, to Armies of Glienor, for a limited time when a long-anticipated update was made.
- Since there was no major updates between the cogs book`s release and the new achievements, there was a lot of criticism from Arcanist fans.
- Achievement-wise, they primarily stayed the same since their release, the exception being "Arch Mage". Originally, after at least 50 wins with a rating of 5,000 you would achieve it. However, Jagex moderators decided it was too high for even the best legitiment players to achieve so it was reduced to a rating of 4,000. Other changes would be that whenever you get new spells you must unlock, the Lord of Wands and Wand Hoarder achievements will get harder as prestige will be more difficult.