So far in the Arc Dev Blogs, we've given you Mod Joe's overview of July's Arc project, Mod Orion's exploration of procedurally generated Uncharted Islands, Mod Rowley's reveals about the Arc's narrative, and Mod Hing has provided insights into the challenges he faced animating the spirit dragons of Aminishi.
To conclude this series of dev blogs, Mod Stu discusses the economic loop of the Arc, including skilling, merchanting, rewards, and contracts.
The foundation of the Eastern Lands experience is a closed economy: the majority of items you can gather, refine and purchase cannot be obtained elsewhere, and are not tradeable with other players or on the Grand Exchange.
You'll travel to the eastern frontier where the gold coin of the West has no value. When you head there, you'll need to be self-sufficient, as your progress through the Arc cannot be accelerated or bypassed with foreign gold.
Skilling and Merchanting
The core loop of activity in the Arc is skilling and merchanting. You sell the product of your skills to merchants for currency, and invest that currency in voyages to Uncharted Isles to discover better skilling plots and lost treasures of the East.
You'll begin your journey on the island of Waiko, a merchant hub.
These are the raw items you gather in the Wushanko Isles, such as bamboo from Woodcutting, tortoise shell from Hunting, or the humble wushroom that grows wild on Uncharted Isles.
Resources can be sold to specific merchants (such as raw fish to the Waiko fish merchant), but resources are not worth anywhere near as many chimes as commodities (see below).
Note that some of these resources, such as bamboo, can be found in your Player Owned Port. The port authority will not allow you to take Ports resources out of Ports.
Resources can be processed with your artisan skills to turn them into commodities, which are more valuable and easier to transport. For example, you could cook raw fish into fish oil or fletch bamboo into stackable bundles.
Commodities are worth more to merchants, which means more chimes to reward the extra effort you put into making them. Arc gumbo, for example, is a stew that uses almost all Arc resources as ingredients, and is well worth the investment when sold to the Waiko cook.
To gather and process Arc resources, you'll need level 90+ in the appropriate gathering or artisan skill.
These are the primary currency of the Arc. You'll spend chimes to purchase supplies, and to unlock a variety of rewards.
As with resources, Ports chimes cannot be taken out of your Port.
These are purchased with chimes from the chandler on Waiko, and displayed on the map interface of your ship. You can travel between the local islands of Waiko, Whale's Maw and Aminishi for free, but you'll need supplies to explore an Uncharted Isle. The most valuable islands are furthest from civilisation; the further you travel in search of the richest resources, the more supplies you'll need to reach your destination.
These (in addition to being very difficult to spell) are a secondary currency. They're required to unlock some of the most valuable rewards: notably upgrades. They're awarded from completing finite content such as miniquests, and from plundering rare treasure chests on Uncharted Isles.
Succeed in the Eastern Lands and you'll earn upgrades (such as a permanent % increase to the chimes you get from selling commodities to merchants), decorations and hotspots for your claimed island, Ports resources and trade goods(!), XP lamps and cosmetics.
These are another layer of activity on top of the core skilling loop. You're probably already familiar with the contracts in the Morytania Slayer Tower: you're given a scroll listing a number of monsters to kill (though you don't need to carry the scroll to progress), and rewarded for completing the contract on your return.
Wushanko contracts are similar, but Slayer contracts are only one of many available objectives. there's a contract for each skilling activity in the Arc, from cooking shark oil or mining resource crabs to simply collecting driftwood from the shores of Uncharted Isles. Or you can roll a combat contract and murder a variety of level-scaled inhabitants of Uncharted Isles. You monster.
As with Daily Challenges, you can complete a limited number of contracts per day. This limit can be raised by purchasing a permanent upgrade in the Waiko Reward Shop.
Unlike Daily Challenges, you don't have to hand in resources to complete the contract. You can also re-roll contracts until you get one you prefer, but this will cost you chimes.
There are also specialist contracts given out by certain adventurers (if you've unlocked them through Ports), such as the Assassin on Aminishi who provides Slayer contracts exclusively for the Acolytes of Seiryu, and the Whaler on Whale's Maw who provides contracts for the rare fish to be discovered there.
The Arc is less than a week away, and we're excited for you to finally get your hands on it. Get ready to set sail!
Senior Content Developer | The Guardians