The Arc was a fantastic update introduced into the game in two batches. While the first batch was underwhelming, Jagex did warn us that this was the foundation of the area and that the bulk of the update would be in batch two. It took over six months of development time and had several balancing tweaks along the to get it just right and it is a beautiful area to visit, with great graphics and diverse training methods, which can be used to gain chimes, the Eastern Lands currency. And this is where the problem lies.
The introduction of a totally new currency, separate from the main game, was an interesting idea, and one supported by the majority of the player base, as it would make exploring and unlocking the area amongst all players. In other words, the rich couldn't just buy their way to completion; they had to work for like the rest of us.
However, this currency also marks the limitations of the Arc region. Once a player has unlocked everything, there is little to draw them back to enjoy this major update. There is very limited items to be purchased at the Waiko reward shop once everything is unlocked. Yes, you can buy supplies for ports, but these are costly, and let's be honest... it is much easier just to collect them from journeys rather than spending chimes on them. Also, there are xp lamps, but again, this isn't really worth the time it takes to earn the chimes.
What I would love to see is an expansion to the reward shop. When the Mimic boss was here, it dropped three "special" scrimshaws; one of aggression, one of sacrifice and one of corruption. I would propose that Jagex introduce these into the rewards shop for chimes, allowing players who enjoy the Arc some purpose for their training and earning of chimes.
We could also see the introduction of various new scrimshaws for other areas of the game too, not just combat. Another idea would be to have the reward trader sell the player an ancient bone fragment that needs to be combined with 2-3 shells and perhaps a piece of driftwood from the unchartered isles. Wouldn't it be great to be able to make a degrade to dust scrimshaw that you can charge up with the various berries we grow on the Tuai Leit. For example, a scrimshaw made with 3 shells, a driftwood and stained with the juice from 10 jitterberries could give an extra 5% cooking xp, or perhaps has a 10% chance of cooking 2 items at once, in a similar way that the Varrock armour sometimes helps to smith 2 bars at once. A musaberry scrimshaw could have a small chance of not using shards when creating a summoning pouch. A sourberry scrimshaw could give a chance of double loot when thieving, a cocoaberry scrimshaw the chance to save a seed when farming, or may give extra resources when picking from fruit trees, cactus plants and mushroom allotments. The options are endless and it would lend new life to this vibrant area and give real use and meaning for having a separate economy. Perhaps these items could be made tradeable if the player base demands it, although my personal preference is to see them not, so that players who want them actually train for their benefits.
I would love to hear what others think of this. Please, post your thoughts and ideas below and let's see if we can gather some traction to get something done in the Arc before it just dies and withers away to become just another completionist requirement to be endured rather than enjoyed.
Thanks for reading!