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The Ourania Runecrafting Altar (also known as the ZMI Altar or the Ourania Altar) is one of several Runecrafting altars located around RuneScape. The altar is in the Ourania Cave, which is west of the Battlefield, and south-west of West Ardougne.
The official Ourania Runecrafting World is world 70. ZMI altar runecrafting on this world is sometimes considered better because other players may be killing the monsters on the route, reducing the hits you take, and free tele-group spells to Moonclan might be offered at the altar. However, not everyone prefers world 70 due to it being too crowded with too many familiars at the bank; also, group teleports can distract you from runecrafting before you are ready to teleport, so you may wish to have Accept Aid off anyway.
There are actually two altars in the Ourania area, and the runecrafting altar goes by several names, which can cause some confusion:
- The Ourania runecrafting altar is in the cave itself. It is sometimes called the Ourania altar, the Ourania rune altar, or the ZMI altar. This is a runecrafting altar, not a prayer one.
- A Chaos altar is outside the cave, near the cave's entrance. This altar is a prayer altar, not a runecrafting one. (To add to the confusion, there are several "Chaos altars" throughout the world, most for prayer and one for runecrafting).
Only pure essence can be used to craft at this altar. The mix of random runes depends on the Runecrafting level of a player.
As the altar gives double the experience per pure essence, it provides faster Runecrafting experience and roughly halves the amount of essence needed to achieve Runecrafting levels. The Ourania Altar converts essences into runes on a one to one basis (i.e. multiple runes cannot be created at this altar). With the random nature of the rune mix, the cost of pure essences may exceed the street value of the crafted runes.
A player crafting runes at the ZMI Altar
The Ourania Altar is the only runecrafting method at this time to produce Soul runes as the equivalent altar has not yet been released into the game. The magic supply shops are still the dominant supply for these runes.
A few ways can be taken to get to the altar:
There are three methods of banking when using the altar:
- Moonclan Teleport (69 magic). To return to the altar, use the Ourania Teleport spell.
- Ring of duelling. Use this ring to teleport to the Castle Wars bank and the Ourania Teleport spell to return to the altar.
- Eniola, a travelling banker. Eniola will allow you access to your bank account in exchange for 20 of any one type of rune. Using runes which are common, or not often used, such as body runes, or elemental runes, is the smarter economical decision. Currently, the cheapest runes are Fire runes at 6 gp a piece. That's 120 gp per bank, or 360 gp per trip doing 3 banks. This is also the fastest method for banking.
There are two paths leading to the altar:
A player sitting on a section of the 'Long Path'.
- Shorter, more dangerous route.
- Longer, danger free route.
Lower level players around 70 or below will probably want to take the alternate route, but higher ups will be able to wear any combination of magic armour and melee armour and run through relatively unscathed.
If a player goes to the altar from the shorter route, there are various tactics.
- Increase their magic defence as much as possible and put on protect from missiles for the whole journey. Ghostly robes are a good choice, as they provide modest magic defence while being weightless, allowing run energy to last longer.
- Switching around prayers to try and avoid the varied attacks while running through.
- Wear full melee armour with the protect from magic spell, using the baths from the As a First Resort... Quest for run energy. From Oo'glog,
- Players with 90+ Agility are recommended to obtain the agility clothes, which greatly decrease your weight, at the same time giving you a decent defence bonus.
- Using a Regen bracelet, along with the prayer Rapid Heal, and the Lunar spell Dream is very helpful, though the latter is not recommended unless you're very low on hp and don't wish to use food.
This route is a long winding pathway. Once players reach the end of the path, they will have to squeeze through a small crack in the wall to reach the altar. The Zamorak crafters are commonly killed in hopes of their rare rune drops.
The runes craftable at the Ourania Runecrafting Altar occur in the following proportions:
- At level 80 (based on a 509 essence test):
The total cost for 40 pure essence is roughly 5,040 coins, therefore the profit for an inventory (of 40) is about 3,167.76
Note: All prices shown are taken from the Grand Exchange Market Watch. To update outdated prices, see Grand Exchange Market Watch/Runecrafting.
- At level 57 (based on a 1000 essence test):
- If transporting to Lunar Isle to bank without a Seal of Passage, talk only with the eastern banker, 'Bird's-Eye' Jack. Talking with the other bankers will result in the player being kicked off the island.
- The nearest source of essence is right on Lunar Island, North and east in the dungeon. Simply take a pick there (running to avoid the Suqahs level 111) mine and continue to Ourania. The next closest is in East Ardougne Wizard Cromperty whose house lies north-east of the East Ardougne marketplace and who provides a teleport to the essence mines.
- It is advisable to run in a group to the altar as it reduces the chance of being attacked.
- When teleporting back to Lunar Isles, wield a Staff of earth and use Tele Group Moonclan instead to increase Magic XP gained. Many mages teleport this way so if you are a lower level (but completed or at least started Lunar Diplomacy) or don't want to use your runes, make sure you have accept aid on and hitch a ride with them. It is also recommended to review the teleport destination before accepting, to make sure it is teleporting to Lunar Isle, as sometimes a player may telegroup to a dangerous area such as Ice Plateau.
- Resting works while banking, so hitting rest before each time you bank can help you to recover run energy more quickly.
- A player can make the long trip (safe route) within 100% run energy with 59+ Agility. One can also run endlessly without the need of restoring energy with 75+ Agility, assuming he is banking at Lunar Isle and weigh 0 kg or less (the time it takes to deposit crafted runes and withdraw essences would be enough to restore the run energy to 100%).
- The deposit-all feature can be used to massively increase your xp per hour. If you withdraw your pouches (and if you are using Eniola, your stack of preferred runes) and then fill your bank, you can simply click the deposit all button to bank the different runes you make at ZMI, instead of taking extra time to bank them all individually (or losing profit by dropping them on the return trip). An easy way to do this is to purchase different coloured afros as junk from Party Pete.
- Additional consideration - For players with 75+ runecrafting, consider using only the giant, large, and medium pouches. Configure as necessary with the large amount of inexpensive runes. Fill the giant and large pouches, and only fill half of the medium pouch every 10 runs. This will allow for only 2 x 20 runes (40 total) per run per bank visit. Repeat steps 2-5 of the alternative method. Once the giant pouch degrades on the 11th refill, players should THEN fill the medium pouch to capacity, along with the large pouch. After filling the two smaller pouches, players should withdraw the necessary runes for the NPC Contact spell (1 astral rune, 1 cosmic rune, and 2 air runes), as well as filling the rest of the player's inventory with pure essence. Contact the Dark mage to have him fix the giant pouch. Fill the giant pouch, and bank one final time to fill the player's inventory, then craft runes using the 2-bank method. This SIGNIFICANTLY reduces the amount of time between trips, allowing for greater amounts of xp / hr (as the Ourania runecrafting altar is based on the player's runecrafting level). The only downside to this is, since the amount of banking is done so quickly, it places a heavy drain on the run energy. It is strongly advised for a player to have at least 65 Agility (75+ recommended) to attempt this method, unless the player wishes to use Super energy potions in between runs, or a Spirit terrorbird familiar. However, terrorbird familiars are not recommended because the amount of run energy restored is based on the player's agility level, AND the amount of frequent run recharging makes the player a slightly greater target for the NPC's to attack.
This '2-bank' method not only reduces the cycle time (time it takes to bank, craft runes, and bank again), but it would also save a modest sum per hour on bank charges. Assuming fire runes are the preferred currency (at 6 gp per fire rune) for using Eniola's banking services, and a player can make 55 cycles (VERY probable using the aforementioned method), then the following cost-savings can be realised per hour:
55 cycles @ 360 gp (using 4 pouches / abyssal familiar for 3 bank visits): 19,800 gp per hour for banking charges
50 cycles @ 240 gp (using aforementioned method for 2 bank visits): 12,000 gp + 5 cycles @ 360 (3 bank visits when repairing giant pouch): 1,800 gp - totalling 13,800 gp per hour for banking charges.
Therefore, for 55 cycles, a player would save 19,800 - 13,800 = 6,000 gp, or 1,000 fire runes per hour. As a side note, the 4-pouch method DID NOT take into account the extra banking fee it would take to repair a degraded pouch.
This is based on the assumption that a player can make 55 cycles per hour using all 4 pouches, which is generally unsustainable, whereas 40 - 45 cycles per hour is a more reasonable estimate than 55 cycles per hour, based on the additional mouse-clicking time delay of filling and emptying all 4 pouches on each cycle.
- Wearing an Ardougne cloak 2 or higher will grant the player a chance of receiving more runes from Ourania Altar (though it will not increase the experience you receive).
- The name of this altar is perhaps a reference to Urania, a Greek mythological figure, who was the muse of astronomy and astrology.
- The song 'Altar Ego' is unlocked here.
- The cave lizards are aggressive to the Zamorakian guards, so players may take advantage of this to receive less damage, but not by much.
- An issue with the rune payment interface for the banker at Ourania Altar was resolved on 9 November 2009.
- It appears that this altar does not recharge rune guardian pets from the Rune Mechanics quest.