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Old School RuneScape update expands beloved OSRS Desert Treasure quest

An Old School RuneScape update follows on from one of the most famous OSRS quests, Desert Treasure, alongside a potential new skill and more social woodcutting

Old School RuneScape - OSRS Desert Treasure 2 - a figure stands before a large door in a desert temple

A new Old School RuneScape update is set to build on one of the most famed OSRS quests in the classic MMORPG. OSRS Desert Treasure 2 – The Fallen Empire is a sequel to the original Desert Treasure, set to begin in January 2023 with more to follow later in the year. Developer Jagex has also revealed that plans are underway to work with the community on creating a brand-new skill, along with an expansion to OSRS Woodcutting aimed at making it more social.

Desert Treasure is a complex quest line introduced to RuneScape in 2005 that features multiple challenging boss fights and a mysterious assassin that can appear to hunt down players as they collect four unique diamonds to free Mahjarrat high priest Azzanadra from his imprisonment in the Jaldraocht Pyramid. If that sounds like a lot to take in, the key takeaway to note is that, along with the quest’s complexity, it is famed for rewarding a set of Ancient Magicks spells – chief among which is the powerful Ice Barrage favoured by many OSRS PvP players.

Nearly eighteen years later, you’ll now be able to follow on from this story courtesy of two new quests. The first, Secrets of the North, will be arriving in January 2023 and includes a boss battle, so make sure you take the holiday period to prepare! Jagex says that Desert Treasure II itself will be arriving later in the year.

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Also revealed alongside this latest expansion is Forestry: The Way of the Forester – the fruits of a game jam project aimed at providing a “social expansion for woodcutting that removes resource competition, introduces new events, and expands the economy around cutting trees.” Woodcutting is a staple of OSRS skills, but it’s long felt rather antisocial as you don’t want to be around anyone else who might cut down your trees, so this project created by Mod Squid aims to fix that. The OSRS Forestry release date is currently scheduled for “mid 2023.”

Last, but certainly not least, is the news that a new skill might be coming to Old School RuneScape. As community manager Mod Ayiza explains, “We’re not here to pitch what that skill will be, because we don’t know yet.” That’s because the team is planning to work on the community to determine exactly what this skill might be – and whether players actually want it in the first place. There will be a series of discussions and in-game polls to consider a series of top-level concepts, select one, refine it, and beta test it, then decide if it’s right for the game.

Mod Ayiza emphasises that players will be free to change their minds at any point in the process – the idea of implementing a whole new skill to a game as established as OSRS is, of course, rather a scary sea change for established fans. “Let’s consider the scenario where you just don’t like what we’ve ended up with,” he speculates, “What happens then? Well, we hope after going through multiple feedback stages and polls that you won’t feel like this,” he laughs, but says that in this instance the team would look to further refine the skill, or go back to the drawing board altogether “until we eventually get agreement on a skill design that will get added that everyone is happy with.”

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For those of you worried about being nearly two decades behind the player base, Jagex recently unveiled Old School RuneScape fresh start worlds, aimed at giving players the chance to begin anew on a level playing field, so there’s no better time to try out one of the most famous classic PC games of all time. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our Old School RuneScape beginner’s guide to get off on the right foot.