The second part of the Arc is out, where we can now fully explore the Arc region! Exciting! Let's dive right in!
The new region areas start off with a quest. Well, sort of. You can just jump in and start training if you want, but if you want to get a good tour of the area, the quest is really the way to go. It takes you all throughout the islands and gets you exploring with purpose.
I won't talk about the quest too much. Just want to say it's definitely worth doing. The story is short and sweet, there are plenty of jokes and obvious references all over, and the rewards are nothing to sneeze at. A nice big start to your resource collection and pretty much the ability to fill your journal.
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He wants to be called "Sparkle". Not even subtle anymore.[/caption]
Yeah, journal. The region outfits you with a journal that you fill by discovering things. Bottled messages, birds, fruit, mushrooms, and even ghost impling wannabes. Kami. Spirits. That you catch with a net or your bare hands. It works.
Sounds simple, but it isn't. Mushrooms, by far the easiest of the bunch, have you foraging for hours at AFKable patches, netting in a steady stream of farming in the process. What do you do with mushrooms? Slice them up and sell them for 10 chimes per bunch (or make them into soup). Yeah, we're no longer just shoving wushrooms into soup; we can use any of the mushrooms for that now. Provided we have enough of them. The others aren't super-interesting; fruits are for minor stat boosts, Kami get you small bundles of Arc swag, bottled messages are good for a laugh, and birds are... well, pretty to look at. And they get you a pet if you find them all.
Good luck, though. They can be as tedious, if not more, than any other achievement diary. If you want those gloves and boots, you'd better start now.
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Classic impling behavior, too![/caption]
Oh, did I mention? You get the matching gloves and boots of the port armors from doing all this, complete with a passive effect if you've got the full set as well as a chance for free Ports resources from kills similar to how the extra invention resource drops perks work. Tier 85 gloves and boots, y'all. Get to work!
Like all the big updates, the graphics and audio teams spared no effort. The islands are absolutely beautiful. Hugely dynamic to one another, from the abandoned skull fort on The Islands That Once Were Turtles (no, an acronym doesn't help), to the foreboding atmosphere on Goshima, to the serene and simple library on Tuai Lite (there's also a nice bamboo forest there if anyone wants to shoot a Runescape kung-fu machinima). The music and the ambiance fit the atmospheres beautifully.
Seriously. Goshima. Go there. Highest quality. Just take it in for a moment.
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Note: This is not Goshima.[/caption]
Everything's cheaper now and you get more of it. Of course, you'll still go to uncharted islands to grind out resources and experience; you can just do more of it every day. And the game sort of expects that of you now.
One interesting aspect of training here now I noticed is that you harvest many of the resources for a constant stream of experience, but only after every 5 or so ticks you actually get something from them. Sometimes you get resources quickly, and sometimes it takes an age before you see anything.
Sounds annoying, but I found myself liking that. Rather than waiting a whole 10 seconds to get a drop and some experience, you constantly get experience. Sort of mentally helps confirm that you are, indeed, gathering resources, and simply need a little patience before rewarded. A 10-second null of nothing happening can make a player question their internet connection, which is a thing that online games really, REALLY should never do. It's a subtle difference, but it's a difference nevertheless.
So. Totally worth it? Is this the update to make the Arc complete? ... well, yes and no. The Arc is complete. Like the first update, it feels a bit underwhelming after exploring the area a lot. While the islands are incredibly awesome to look at, they do feel a bit on the small side.
But then again, keep in mind that this is one region out of... 8. Imagine Priffdinas with only the Iorwerth sector complete and nothing else. That's what we've got going on here, except we've got an entire Priffdinas worth of content in this one section. There's still a long ways to go here, and I'm looking very forward to seeing where this quest line will take us.
Also, for those of you who like complaining, the Arc was never intended to replace the rest of the Runescape game. It's just another one of the many options of things to do in the game. And all things considered, it's pretty epic. I won't be listening to anyone who complains about it being underwhelming or lacking of content, because it's not. It is exactly what I expected of it.
Until next time,