Guardians of the Rift


Ahh, Runecraft. A rewarding skill, but notoriously arduous to train! It’s been the subject of much debate over the years, and when we tentatively pitched a new training method back in December 2020’s Gielinor Gazette, it really got you folks talking. Keen-eyed readers will observe we've changed the name since, as the lore for the minigame has now been finalised.

So let’s pick up there: a fun, narratively exciting new minigame that serves as a brand-new method for training Runecraft: Guardians of the Rift! Should this pass a Poll, we expect the content to launch in March.

Spoiler warning: Lore ahead! Click here to expand...

The Abyss: a deadly realm filled with ancient power. The secrets of this plane have long eluded the denizens of the Wizards’ Tower, though some would give anything to properly uncover them. One of these wizards is Persten. While many in the Tower aren't convinced by her unorthodox methods, a recent discovery means she may now hold the key to the knowledge they crave the most. However, nothing is simple when the Abyss is involved, and Persten won't be able to get to the bottom of her discovery without your help...


Temple of the Eye Quest

Spoiler warning: requirements for the Temple of the Eye Quest! Click here to expand...
  • Quest Requirements: Enter the Abyss miniquest.
  • Skill Requirements: Level 10 Runecrafting.
  • Other Requirements: Members-only.

The Temple of the Eye quest will naturally guide you into Guardians of the Rift. We wanted the minigame to feel grounded in the wider world. It's a short and simple quest which should be accessible to most account types.

Spoiler Warning: rewards for the Temple of the Eye quest! Click here to expand...
  • Access to the Temple of the Eye.
  • The ability to play the Guardians of the Rift minigame.
  • 5,000 Runecraft XP.
  • A Medium Pouch (if not already acquired).
  • 1 Quest Point.

Poll Question #1:

Should Temple of the Eye, a new quest in support of Guardians of the Rift, be added to the game as described in the blog?


Guardians of the Rift Minigame

Spoiler Warning: Requirements for the Guardians of the Rift minigame! Click here to expand...
  • Level 27 Runecraft.
  • Completion of the Temple of the Eye quest.
  • Members-only

The Basics

Early concept birdseye image of the Temple of the Eye, Guardians of the Rift minigame. This is WIP.

The Guardians of the Rift minigame is non-instanced and non-combat, and therefore accessible for skillers.

Upon entering the Guardians of the Rift minigame, you’ll be transported into the Temple of the Eye. As the game starts, you will see the rift into the Abyss starting to open across the room! Oh no!

Fortunately, the wizards from the Wizards’ Tower are here to assist you. They will re-animate the Great Guardian in the middle of the room, so that it can try to close the rift. However, it’s pretty out-of-practice, and you must help protect it while it charges up enough power to close the rift.

Around the Great Guardian, there are various entrances to Runecraft altars, corresponding to different Runes. When active, these entrances will let players pass through to the corresponding Altars, but only two entrances can be active at any one time.

Outside of these entrances, there are two lanes: Elemental and Catalytic.

Elemental runes are Air, Earth, Water and Fire. Any type of Rune that is not Elemental is classed as Catalytic – for reference, that’s the Mind, Body, Cosmic, Chaos, Nature, Law, Death and Blood Runes.

As the Abyssal Rift opens, Abyssal Creatures will spawn. They won’t attack players, but they will go after the Great Guardian. Your job is to ensure that it reaches 100% charge and closes the rift on time by feeding it Imbued Essence.

If the Great Guardian’s charge hits zero, it’s game over! It loses charge each time it is hit by an Abyssal Creature. However, you can help defend it by creating Rift and Shield Guardians from supplies found in the minigame.

Click below to learn more about the Guardians. Click here to expand...

Guardians of the Rift has three distinct phases:

Phase 1

In the first phase, which only lasts a short while, you’ll have some time to prepare before the Abyssal Creatures attack. You’ll want to focus on obtaining supplies – mining Essence Shards and collecting Uncharged Batteries which you can then use to create Rift Guardians and power up the Shield Guardians. To begin with, there are a limited supply of Air and Mind Batteries near the wizards that you can use as an initial defence.

Phase 2

In the second phase, the rift will start to spawn Abyssal Creatures.

You’ll need to combine the Essence Shards you’ve collected with Pure Essence to create Unimbued Essence, which you can then imbue at one of the Runecraft altars and bring to the Great Guardian. This will get you Runes and Runecraft XP – and it’ll also ensure the Great Guardian is charged up and ready for Phase Three.

There’s a Bank available in the minigame area where you can fetch Pure Essence during battle.

Phase 3

In this final phase, even more dangerous mobs will start spawning from the rift. Your Shield Guardians will take a lot of damage, so you’ll need to focus on charging up the Great Guardian with Imbued Essence while still maintaining the Great Guardian's defences.

Essence Shards

Essence Shards are a new material found only within the Guardians of the Rift minigame. Various nodes of different sizes can be mined for Essence Shards – so be sure to bring your Pickaxe! Larger nodes are located further away from the lanes and will yield more Essence Shards for your troubles. There are also some nodes on the very edge of the arena – but you’ll need to use Agility to scale the steep slope leading up to them.

Occasionally, portals will spawn to take players to the outer wall areas, where you can obtain more Essence Shards. These portals completely bypass the Agility requirement mentioned above, and you don’t need to meet that requirement to get back to the main arena either. However, the portals spawn randomly and disappear quickly, so it's certainly more reliable to use the Agility shortcut if you can!

Nodes aren’t the only source of Essence Shards. When your Rift Guardians tragically fall in battle, their corpses can be mined for a moderate amount of Essence. If left unmined, their fallen bodies will lay on the ground and temporarily block the path, until they are cleared automatically or removed by Abyssal Creatures. Now it’s time to think strategically – is it better to obtain Essence or benefit from the extra blocking while you catch your breath?

You can combine Essence Shards with Pure Essence to create Unimbued Essence (which can be stored in Essence Pouches). To do so, jump through an Elemental or Catalytic portal to create Imbued Essence at a Runecraft altar. Once you have Imbued Essence, you can use it to charge up the Great Guardian and gain lots of lovely XP! The amount awarded will vary depending on which type of Imbued Essence you're using - the higher the Runecraft requirement, the better your XP. You’ll also get XP and Runes just for creating the Imbued Essence at the altars. Essence Shards can also be used to power up the Shield Guardians initially. Now, though, let’s talk about Batteries.

Charged Batteries

Wizards are stationed throughout the minigame area, and a crate nearby will have some uncharged Batteries from their supplies. Make sure to pick one up as you pass – you’ll need it!

Uncharged Batteries need to be charged at a Runecraft altar before they can become charged. The charge will be either Elemental or Catalytic, depending on which type of altar you used.

Charged Batteries can be used to charge and upgrade the Shield Guardians and Rift Guardians. Batteries will also make the Rift Guardians hit harder.

The tier of the Battery changes when it’s charged, corresponding to the Runecraft level of the altar used.

Here’s a table to illustrate how that works:

Type Tier Elemental/Catalytic
Air 1 Elemental
Water 2 Elemental
Earth 3 Elemental
Fire 4 Elemental
Mind 1 Catalytic
Chaos 2 Catalytic
Death 3 Catalytic
Blood 4 Catalytic

The Shield Guardians and Rift Guardians must be upgraded in the correct order, starting from Air or Mind and upgrading one tier at a time. If a lesser Battery is used on the Guardian, it won't go to waste - it will heal the Guardian and give you a small amount of XP. The XP gains for healing and upgrading are the same.

The higher the tier, the more HP the Guardian will have. Here’s a breakdown of how we expect the numbers will play out:

Guardian Tier Base HP Max HP Tier 1 Battery Tier 2 Battery Tier 3 Battery Tier 4 Battery
Tier 1 20 100 20 Upgrade N/A N/A
Tier 2 100 200 20 30 Upgrade N/A
Tier 3 200 300 20 30 40 Upgrade
Tier 4 300 500 20 30 40 50

Please note that these numbers are not final and are still subject to testing and balancing.

Portal Talismans

When you are imbuing something at an altar, you will have an uncommon chance to receive a Portal Talisman, allowing you to take another trip back to that altar! They’re perfect for when you want to go back to an altar that just closed.

Portal Talismans will not carry over from game to game, so use ‘em or lose ‘em!

Experience Rates

This minigame is not instanced, meaning only one game will be played per world at any one time.

Players will gain small amounts of Runecraft XP throughout Guardians of the Rift. After successfully completing a round, players will receive a large amount of Runecraft XP, so it’s worth sticking around to get that win!

The ballpark XP rates, compared with other training methods, are as follows:

Method XP Rate per hour GP rate per hour Intensity
ZMI 25,000 - 54,000 (scales with level) Low (~200,000 - 300,000) Low-Mid
Blood Runes 35,000-40,000 (plus 5,000 Mining and 6,000 Crafting) Low (~400,000 – 500,000) Very Low
Soul Runes 45,000 – 50,000 (plus 5,000 Mining and 6,000 Crafting) Low (~200,000 – 300,000) Very Low
Lava Runes 75,000 – 80,000 None (costs ~100,000 – 150,000) Very High
Guardians of the Rift (Proposal, subject to balancing) 20,000 – 60,000 (scales with level) Low (~400,000 – 500,000) Medium

As you can see, Guardians of the Rift fits neatly in with existing methods. XP scales, as with ZMI and provides better XP than Bloods and Souls at their respective levels, but less than Lava Runes. The GP rates are comparable to Blood Runes. On top of this, it’s an engaging minigame with lots of small decisions to be made throughout.

Poll Question #2:

If Poll Question #1 passes, should we add the Guardians of the Rift minigame? This is a brand new Runecraft minigame designed to fit alongside existing methods.



The Reward Rift

After successfully completing a game, you’ll will accumulate Elemental and Catalytic Energy. The amount awarded depends on your specific actions in the minigame.

Rewards are earned by spending one of each point (Elemental and Catalytic) to reach into an Abyssal Rift and receive a random reward!

Runes (General Loot Table)

Runes, glorious Runes! The standard loot table includes an assortment of ‘em, awarded based on your contribution to the minigame. It will be random, but we are also investigating how this reward could scale with Runecraft levels.

Please note that Wrath Runes will not be available at all from the minigame.

Standard Talismans (General Loot Table) 

The standard loot table also includes any type of Talisman, with some exceptions: it will not include the Wrath Talisman, and it will only drop the Death Talisman if the player has completed Mourning’s End pt. II.

The Guardians of the Rift Rewards Shop also contains all standard Talismans, but we want to ask whether it should stock Blood Talismans. Items within the Guardians of the Rift Rewards Shop are purchasable using Abyssal Pearls (more on this below).While we’re on the topic, we're also introducing the Catalytic Talisman to the Reward Rift. This will count for any non-Elemental Runecraft altar, giving its lucky owner access to some of the most sought-after altars. Additionally, the Catalytic Talisman will grant players access to the true Blood Altar in Morytania (requiring Sins of the Father to enter). Juicy!

Please note, the Catalytic Talisman will only allow access to the Death Altar for those who have completed Mournings End Pt. II and the Wrath Altar only for those who have completed Dragon Slayer II. The Catalytic Talisman is a rare drop from the Reward Rift.

New Talismans (Talismen?) means new Tiaras! Both the new Catalytic Talisman and the existing Elemental Talisman can be melded with a Gold Bar to create two new Tiaras. Fashionable and practical!

Poll Question #3:

Should the Guardians of the Rift Rewards Shop stock Blood Talismans?

Poll Question #4:

Should we introduce a new Catalytic Talisman as a rare drop in the Guardians of the Rift Rewards Rift?

Poll Question #5:

If the Catalytic Talisman is added to the game, should it grant access to the true Blood Altar in Morytania? It would require Sins of the Father to enter.

Poll Question #6:

Should we introduce two new Tiaras, craftable by combining a Catalytic or Elemental Talisman with a Gold Bar?

Abyssal Pearls

Abyssal Pearls are a new type of currency which can be used in the Guardians of the Rift Rewards Shop. They are obtained from the Rewards Rift, so the amount you will receive will depend on your contribution to the minigame.

Guardians of the Rift Pet

When the Tempoross minigame came out last year, it came with a brand-new pet. We want to do the same here, but there’s already an existing Rift Guardian pet, so we’re still discussing what this new pet could be. We’re torn between a version of the Great Guardian or your very own Abyssal Creature!

We'd like to hear your feedback about which you'd prefer. Obviously this is a bit difficult when we don’t yet have the models to share with you, but let us know your initial impression. If we do go for the Great Guardian option, rest assured we’ll work to make it look different to the existing Rift Guardian pet!

Poll Question #7:

Should we introduce a new pet from the Rewards Rift in the Guardians of the Rift minigame?

Abyssal Needle (to create a brand-new Colossal Pouch)

The Abyssal Needle is used to craft a new Runecraft Pouch. It’s an upgrade from the Giant Pouch and requires 85 Runecraft to use. The table below outlines how it compares to other Runecraft Pouches:

Type Runecraft Level Capacity Cumulative Capacity Uses before decay
Small Pouch 1 3 3 No decay
Medium Pouch 25 6 9 45
Large Pouch 50 9 18 29
Giant Pouch 75 12 30 11
Colossal Pouch 85 40 40 8

The Colossal Pouch is made by using the Abyssal Needle on any of the other Pouches while you have them all in your Backpack, essentially stitching them together like some sort of abominable Frankenpouch. Making it requires 56 Crafting and consumes the Abyssal Needle, but players can get another by using a regular Needle on the Reward Rift. You cannot get other Pouches in addition to the Colossal Pouch.

The Colossal Pouch will have a knock-on effect for other Runecraft methods by slightly increasing XP/hr, and it means fewer Pouches to click.

Should this pass the poll, we will make sure the Colossal Pouch counts for the Devious Minds quest.

Poll Question #8:

Should we introduce an Abyssal Needle, obtainable via the Rewards Rift in the Guardians of the Rift minigame? This would allow players to stitch existing Runecraft Pouches together to create a Colossal Pouch, requiring 85 Runecraft and 56 Crafting to use.

Abyssal Lantern

The Abyssal Lantern is an offhand item held in the shield slot, and you can pick one up at the Reward Shop. It requires Firemaking to use.

It gives various benefits during Guardians of the Rift based on which logs are used to light it. It can be lit by using two of the logs listed in the table below, if the player has the Firemaking level required. There’s a Bank in the minigame to facilitate this.

Log Type Firemaking Level Required Bonus
Normal 1 Your chances of finding portal shards is increased by 10%.
Oak 15 Increases your reward points gained by 5%.
Willow 30 Gives a 5% increase to all runes that are crafted within the minigame.
Maple 45 Your chances of finding portal shards is increased by 20%.
Yew 60 Increases your reward points gained by 10%.
Blisterwood 62 Gives a 15% increase to blood runes crafted within the minigame.
Magic 75 Gives a 10% increase to all runes that are crafted within the minigame.
Redwood 90 Increases your reward points gained and runes crafted by 5%, also your runecraft pouches will no longer degrade within the minigame

The Lantern will last five games in a row, meaning ten logs are required to fully charge it, and it will lose two logs worth of charge per game. It can be lit outside but provides no benefits.

Poll Question #9:

Should we introduce the Abyssal Lantern as a reward from the Guardians of the Rift Rewards Shop? This would be an offhand that allows bonuses in the Guardians of the Rift minigame, using logs to offer different types of bonuses.

Guardians of the Rift Rewards Shop

The Guardians of the Rift Rewards Shop allows you to spend any Abyssal Pearls you’ve earned on powerful goodies! It will include all Standard Talismans, as well as the following unique rewards:

Runecraft Skilling Outfit 

This offers players increased yield in the number of Runes they can craft. It’s more focussed on increasing the profit you can make while training Runecraft, as opposed to making it faster to gain XP.

The Outfit consists of four pieces of gear: Helm, Chest, Legs and Boots.

The inclusion of the Hat means you’d have to make the choice between that and your Catalytic or Elemental Tiara when working at certain altars. But what if you could add the Catalytic or Elemental Tiaras to the Hat? You can change them out as you please. This would allow you to rock the new outfit while still having a one-click access to those Runecraft altars!

Each piece has a 10% bonus chance to craft additional Runes, going up to a total of 60% when all pieces are worn.

The Runecraft Skilling Outfit has the potential to alleviate problems that players experience with obtaining Blood Runes – at the very least for those who have already achieved Level 77 Runecraft or above. This won't solve the issue for players who don't have the required Runecraft levels to create Blood Runes, but Guardians of the Rift should help to make Runecrafting generally more accessible and engaging in the earlier levels, and thus make achieving these milestones a lot more realistic for everyone.

We hear your concerns that Blood Runes can be tedious to obtain through shops. The new outfit would improve yield of Runes, which can be very powerful when combined with access to the true Blood altar. Additionally, with the release of Nex, we released Blood Essence, which also provides a hefty boost to blood Runecrafting! While this still won't be faster than buying Runes from shops, we feel this is a more engaging way of obtaining a lot of them, and much faster than other existing methods.

Poll Question #10:

Should we introduce a new Runecraft Skilling Outfit as explained in the Guardians of the Rift blog, obtainable via the Guardians of the Rift Rewards shop?

Ring of the Elements

The Ring of the Elements stores many teleport charges and can teleport players to various Runecraft-related locations. The idea came from a player suggestion to create an 'infinite' Ring of Dueling, but instead of teleporting the player to the Duel Arena, Ferox Enclave and Castle Wars, the latter of which doesn't really relate to Runecraft, it would take you near each of the four Elemental altars. This gives easier access to the Air, Earth, Fire and Water altars to increase the amount of Runes you can craft!

This ring will require a Law Rune and one of each Elemental Rune per charge.

The maximum number of charges stored is 10,000.

Teleport locations:

  • Fire Altar: Outside of the Duel Arena gates.
  • Water Altar: West of the Water Altar.
  • Air Altar: South of the Air Altar.
  • Earth Altar: South of the Earth Altar.

The Water, Air and Earth teleports will be slightly further away from their respective Altars than the Fire teleport.

We think that this item might have some use in free-to-play, and we are happy to poll this as a separate question to see what you think. This could increase the value of the item whilst also giving non-members new teleports they do not currently have access to.

Poll Question #11:

Should we introduce a Ring of the Elements as a reward obtainable via the Guardians of the Rift Rewards shop?

Poll Question #12:

If Poll Question #11 passes, should the Ring of the Elements be made available in free-to-play

That’s it, rifties! We'll update this blog with our final poll questions once we’ve had your feedback. Please get in touch so that we can make any amendments necessary before the poll goes live.

Still got questions? We’ll be discussing this blog further on our Twitch Livestream, Thursday January 27th at 17:00 GMT with Mods Elena, Husky and Light. Send us your queries and anything you'd like us to address!