In the world of RuneScape, defence (labelled defence in-game) is the skill that determines the amount of base protection that a character has in combat. Naturally, this is supplemented by the equipment that the player wears. However, basic defence actually contributes to the player's combat level, no matter which of the three combat disciplines they chose.
Defence also determines the quality and type of the armor that a player can equip - from the basic level one bronze armor to the level 80 for the Dungeoneering Shields. Contrary to the norm in other games, the defence level in RuneScape reduces how often you receive less damage, rather than the amount of damage you receive per hit.
Within the game, there are those players who have decided to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of defensive perfection; these members are known as defence Pures. The main attributed factor to fighting defensively is the long drawn-out battles that are exceedingly common for those who specialize in defence.
This main attribute is also the reason why many people dislike training as defence Pures, though there are players who achieve level 99 defence without improving their constitution through the use of Soul Wars and other methods of leveling (such as experience lamps and Penguin Hide and Seek).
How Important is RuneScape Defence?
If the thought of confounding your enemies as they try to hit you appeals to you in any way, or the lure of wearing the toughest, baddest armor around lights a fire within your heart, then you will probably want to look at improving your defence level, and the best way to do this is by using a defensive attack style in combat.
The defensive style of combat is the way in which you train your defence levels. In order to select this battle mode, you need to head to the Combat Styles tab which is just to the left of the Stats tab and then pick the combat style that says “defensive” when you hover over it with the mouse cursor.
Runescape Attack and Strength with Defense
At this point, it should be mentioned that for those of you out there who are uncomfortable with trusting solely to defence to see you through those difficult fights, there is an alternative style: the controlled style, which will give a minor boost to your defence skill. However, the controlled style splits the experience earned between the Attack and Strength skills, as well as defence, so it would be a much more efficient way to level up your defence skill by simply bearing with it and focusing on it. Keep in mind that the higher your defence, the greater the amount of enemy attacks you can block.
If you are planning on playing any sort of melee character within RuneScape you need to have a decently high defence level. After all, if you want to live long enough to dish out the pain, you have to be able to avoid a few hits.
In the interest of fairness, it should be noted that it is possible to play RuneScape from a purely aggressive standpoint and neglect defence completely, and that there are ‘melee- pure' players within the game world whose defence remains at level one while their Attack and Strength levels go off the charts.
The theory behind this style of play is that between two players of comparable combat levels - one who focused on defence and the other who was a ‘melee-pure' character - the ‘melee-pure' character would have a high enough attack level to deal with the defensive player regardless of their defence level, or would quite simply do an extremely high amount of damage despite not hitting as often.
In general, though, most players prefer to train their defence skills to at least level 40 so as to enable the wearing of Rune Armor and so as to have the absolute rudiments of defensive skill. After all, getting hit just isn't any fun.
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