Combat guide

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This combat guide is written by Mageofpie to help new players who are unsure on how to get started with combat and to provide a smooth path throughout early game combat. This guide is intended for brand new accounts and while you may be able to accelerate your progress through it, it is completely viable for a brand new account and does NOT require any other skills to be trained and can comfortably have you AFK training at City within 24 hours of account creation.

Part One - Farm & Caves

When you are a new player, even the low-level zones deal damage to you. For new accounts, you have an AFK and a not-so-AFK way of training combat.
The non-AFK start requires you to be active for the first hour of gameplay or so, which will drastically speed up combat progress.

AFK Start

If you have time to AFK during your first period in Idlescape it's recommend to start with mining or foraging and selling the items on the marketplace until you can afford the recommended gear and an inventory worth of some basic healing food. It will drastically reduce the effort required on your part.
Alternatively, for an in-between strategy, you can AFK at the farm until you run out of HP, at which point your character will be returned to an “idle” status. While you wait for your HP to regenerate, you can spend this time mining or foraging.

Non-AFK start

  • Zone: Farm/Caves
  • Combat levels: 1 - 30
  • Starting gear: None
  • Starting food: None

If you choose non-AFK start you will have to be active during the first hour of combat, during this time you will need to pay attention to your enemy.
Your ideal enemy is chickens, they regularly drop raw chickens when you kill them, you have a choice to sell these to either a vendor (75gp each) or on the marketplace (around 200gp each).
You can check current marketplace chicken prices on: Marketplace watcher or by going into marketplace and clicking on chickens. To be able to use the marketplace you will need to confirm your email beforehand.

You will want to use the "run away" function if you encounter cows during your first levels since these are way too strong for you.
If you encounter a lot of goblins and your health is low you can use "run away" on these as well to optimize your time and only encounter chickens.
As soon as you have used "run away" you can click on farm again to encounter a new enemy.

Your goal during your first time in combat is to make money and buy food that will make you last longer in combat,
recommendation is to look for cheap +3 or +4 food, "seared fish" is usually cheap on the marketplace and will heal you 4-5 hp depending on which level you are buying.
When you buy food, it will go directly into your inventory and you need to put it into your combat inventory by pressing on your food item and using "Add x to combat inventory" (use the slider to add more than one)

By using this strategy, you will only need to gain 1 - 2 levels in each combat skill before you should build up a supply of food to keep you going through combat. At this point you can start killing cows as they are also the most profitable monster to kill in the zone and you will not have any trouble defeating them. Cows have an uncommon drop of “Milk” that sells quite well on the market. However, be sure to check prices on all your monster drops as prices in Idlescape can be quite volatile.

When you have built up some gold and are comfortable killing cows without having to fear your life, you will start buying weapons and armor your priority is to buy a bronze scimitar first, and continuing with pieces of bronze armor, you will notice that even with 1-2 pieces of bronze armor you will take a lot less damage than in the start.
About 1 hour after you've started you should be around 8-9 in combat levels, if you refill your combat inventory with food you will be able to AFK-combat farm for a while, and as said before, you will only go back to idling if you die.
It's recommended to sell your gained items/food on the marketplace to gain some more gold to prepare you for future fights.
With this setup you should now also be able to comfortably do combat in the Caves. There are both advantages and disadvantages of doing combat in the caves. With Chicken and Beef prices around 200-300 apiece, farm is consistent money, at around 75k an hour. However, Imps in the caves have a rare drop of a Mind Rune, and caves has a significantly higher encounter rate of Goblins, which drop the ladle variants. Ladles are highly sought after since they help with cooking so they are always quite valuable, however, without hitting either of these drops you will only be making a consistent 35k an hour. While ladles and mind runes are rare, Caves can be worth the investment. Remember to compare prices between areas as the core items from each have frequent price swings. For the sake of consistency with this guide the accounts I have used for testing remained at Farm.

Equipment Goal for Step One

Get at least the following combat equipment as soon as you can afford it. Approximate cost is 30 to 40k. Sometimes the same gear is cheaper in Iron, as low-level gear is often resold at a fraction of the cost price of making it. You will be level 10 in all Combat skills before being able to afford all of this so pieces can be substituted for iron.

Bronze Scimitar Bronze Scimitar
Bronze Platebody Bronze Breastplate
Bronze platelegs Bronze Plate Leggings
Bronze Shield Bronze Shield
Bronze Boots Bronze Boots

Summary of Combat Zones

Farm Summary:

Notable Drops:

Raw chicken, raw beef, egg, milk, goblin brain, ladles (extremely rare)

Approximate Income: 75k an hour (potentially more with a very rare ladle drop)

Caves Summary:

Notable Drops:

Burnt fish, goblin brain, ashes, tin ore, copper ore, various runes, ladles

Approximate Income: 35k an hour (potentially significantly more with Mind Runes/Ladles)

Now that you know everything you need for Farm & Caves, it’s time to AFK. We need to get our stats up and make some money for equipment before we can move on to the City. Our goals are listed below.

Part Two – City

Equipment goal for city

Get the following combat equipment as soon as you can afford it. Approximate cost is 350 to 400k. In most of the slots we are skipping obsidian armour as in most cases Mithril is actually cheaper and as we no longer take damage in Farm/Caves we can afford to wait until 30 Combat stats to upgrade. Aside from this you should attempt to get an obsidian shield with healing 5.

Bronze Scimitar Mithril Scimitar
Bronze Platebody Mithril Breastplate
Bronze platelegs Mithril Plate Leggings
mithril full helm Mithril Full Helm
Bronze Boots Mithril Boots

Obsidian Shield with Healing 5 Enchant

Approximate cost: 800k to 2M

We will be taking an obsidian shield as the benefit of obsidian gear over mithril gear is that it has 5 slots available for enchants.  The reason why new players struggle with City is often that they lack a healing enchant. The healing enchant dramatically boosts health regeneration rate and we want to have 5 healing scrolls on our obsidian shield ASAP, and this will cost MUCH more than the rest of the equipment combined.

In some cases, you can find obsidian shields on the market that already have the Healing 5 enchant for a huge discount rather than buying Healing scrolls and making your own. Because it is by far our biggest expense, I would recommend buying it last. It is likely that we will not have this item by the time we start doing city, however it will be our highest priority to obtain to extend our trips. If you ask in the general chat channel, players are often willing to make scrolls for you at their cost price.

Time to Regen 1HP = 60 / (1 + 0.5 x Healing Enchant)

Level 1 Healing enchant = 40s

Level 2 Healing enchant = 30s

Level 3 Healing enchant = 24s

Level 4 healing enchant = 20s

Level 5 Healing enchant = 17s

City Stats Goals

30 Attack, Strength & Defense

It should take approximately 9 hours to reach 30 in your combat stats at Farm, and you should have acquired quite a bit of loot to go with it. An account that camped Farm until 30 combat stats will receive a little over 700 raw chicken & raw beef, 150 milk & roughly 300 eggs. Selling these on the market will give you enough money to buy all the necessary mithril armor, however it will not cover the shield (With Healing). While waiting for them to sell, continue to AFK and gain some more EXP.

It is time to upgrade food a bit at this stage. Seared Fish is still likely your best option, with 14-15 healing fish selling in the range of 300gp each. A full inventory of fish for 8400gp is a tiny cost to be farming City and I would recommend getting a small collection of some food ready in advance. If you are willing to pay a small premium, you can usually find fish that heal 20 health for around 1,000gp.

We should now be entering City with mithril gear and an Obsidian Shield that has none or some healing. While you are not well enough equipped to AFK the city for long periods of time, City is an incredible source of income in comparison to the previous two areas. Both the Guards and Black Knights that you fight in the area drop significant amounts of gold. Black Knights also have access to a great item drop table. They drop mithril boots that can be immediately sold for 60,000 and they drop all Obsidian items. Some obsidian items have a chance to transform into very valuable items and are worth a lot of money while some are simply worth immediately selling for GP. Be sure to check the market prices for each obsidian item you receive!

Items to look out for:

Obsidian Helmet: 300K+

Gems: Rubies (200k - 300K), Diamonds (200k - 300K), Black Opals (3M+, extremely rare)

Dark Key Piece: 3M+

Black Knight's Trial: 8M+

(These prices vary however the items are always desirable.)

Depending on your RNG (number of black knight encounters, how spaced apart they are, etc.) your trip length in this gear will vary. I would expect 75 - 90 minute trips initially and as you level up and add more healing to your shield this will drastically increase.

You will have to pay some attention to the game at this point, refilling your combat inventory with food every 1 – 2 hours. If you started with an unaugmented obsidian shield, your goal will be to make enough money to buy the healing scrolls to add to your shield- providing that isn’t cheaper than waiting until you can outright afford a shield that already has healing 5- if there are some on the market. If you are lucky with the above drops it may only take you a few inventories of food as Black Knights drop obsidian items fairly frequently.  

(Note: If there are obsidian shields with healing on the market already and you want to save for them, you can substitute in a mithril shield until you can afford it to lengthen your trips. While mithril has slightly better defensive bonuses, it does not have the enchantment slots available which we desperately need.)

This may take a few trips and you might get relatively lucky with item drops, or it may take the better part of a day, but not to fret as we will be in the City for quite a while. Even if you have to buy the scrolls one at a time to add to your shield, that is fine, combining that with stats increasing will start to extend your trips significantly.

With a few Obsidian drops you should be able to afford your shield fairly soon. In test runs I was able to get a shield for 850k off the market with Healing 5 in 7 hours of City, without any of the major Obsidian drops. If you are exceedingly unlucky and also have to craft your own, it could take up to 18 hours. Once you have your healing shield, it is time to sit back as your trips should be quite long now. If you obtained the shield with stats below 40, trips will last 4 hours or while still using mediocre food.

If you need to go to bed or work and would like the account to run longer & have the money to spend, I highly recommend you invest into a handful of high healing kebabs on the marketplace. Not only do players produce kebabs that have a 36+ HP heal, but they also have a side effect of reducing incoming damage by 2 for the next 20 or so hits the monster deals to you. In some cases, this makes the food have an effective healing of 80+. This might seem like a big investment, however alternating your inventory with those and a high HP healing fish will extend your trip allowing for up to 12 hours of AFK time. As your levels quickly rise this will become unnecessary as you will heal just as fast as you are damaged negating the need for food almost entirely at this combat area.

EXAMPLE: Click for example picture

Now that we can AFK here and only need to check the accounts occasionally; we will start making quite a bit of money. There is a general gear progression guide below. Firstly, rune scimitar’s that have been enchanted to +5 are quite cheap so we will want to pick one of those up ASAP.

At +5 a rune scimitar is no longer able to transform into a highly sought-after weapon and as such you can almost always get one at a significant discount and you should be able to afford one by level 50 attack.

Next, you want to start acquiring your rune armor and enchants. It will take some time, but that is fine as you want to raise your stats quite a bit for the next combat area. We are looking to gear ourselves with Full Rune Armour, including a shield as the obsidian shield has served us well, but a Rune Shield also has 5 slots available for the Healing Enchant. It does not matter which piece of armor you get as the Enchants we want are applicable to all of them.

The enchantments you want are: recklessness 5, critical strike 5, reinforcement 5 & protection 5, in that order. If possible, I highly recommend making the extra money outright and buying pieces of rune armor that have already been augmented to +5 as our next upgrades beyond that are a significant distance away and you can often find rune +5 armor pieces on the marketplace at reasonable prices. Obtaining each piece and enchant may take a day or two each. This is why you want to upgrade your weapon first and then get a rune armor piece with recklessness 5 enchanted on to it and then add critical strike to your Scimitar. These are all significant boosts to your DPS, which will in turn increase your income by a noticeable amount. As there is not a significant price difference between Rune and Stygian boots, I recommend skipping directly to stygian boots and when you can afford to do so, enchant them with treasure hunter 6.

These gear goals are a stretch and will take some time however buying gear in between will set you back in the end as this is gear you want to be comfortably AFK farming Lava Maze in and start to explore the Valley of Giants. You will likely be able to transition to lava maze before having all of the enchants if you at least have reinforcement as it is considered the strongest defensive enchantment. By alternating high healing fish and high healing kebabs I was able to stay for 2 - 2.5 hours at Lava Maze with only 2 pieces of rune armor & the reinforcement enchant.

This guide will not cover Lava Maze and beyond as the enchantments you are after do not really ever change from here on out other than a few choices you have.

1) You may want a rune battleaxe to farm giants as they are weak to crush. You will also want to swap out Critical Strike on your weapon for overhealing to extend trips.

2) A King’s Crown has 8 slots and some people like to use Reinforcement 8 to help with survivability when killing Giants. Whether you get a Kalanahmatti or a Moss Maul, you are going to want overhealing on them. If you have enough defense late-game you can use a Black Knight’s Great Helm at a high-augment to increase your DPS over a King’s Crown. You may also benefit from the Patience Enchantment as the slower the weapon the stronger it becomes. Your Enchants in this case will be: recklessness, reinforcement & patience on your armor.

End of city goals

Attack/Strength/Defense 70+

End of City/Lava Maze Gear Goals:

Rune Scimitar +5 (critical strike 5)

Rune Full helm +5 (recklessness 5)

Rune Breastplate +5 (reinforcement 5)

Rune Plate Leggings +5 (protection 5)

Rune Shield +5 (healing 5) (2nd last)

Stygian Boots (treasure hunter 6) (get this last)

Approx Cost: 70 - 120M

Test Account Time Stamps

Achieve AFK Farm: 1 Hour

Reach 30/30/30 Combat Stats: 9 hours

Time in City to afford obsidian shield w/healing 5: 16 hours 10 mins

Stats when shield acquired: 37/37/37

First AFK session w/shield & 14 healing food: 3.5 hours

Second AFK alternating kebabs & fish: 20 hours+