The VRMMO Activities of a Certain Old Man
Author: Shiina Howahowa
The Time When I Need a New Combat Potential has Come.
“owowow … what a failure …”
The guy lying face-down at the Respawn Point right at the beginning is Earth.
There’s no other way to say it … he’s been Revived1 (lit: Force Returned). Of course all in tatters.
How did this happen?
He’d gone to the wooded area in Area 4 to hunt Dread Wolfs for ingredients … when a strong greed hit him.
Right, right. If it’s like this, won’t I be fine?
That’s what he thought, and just like that he charged into the forest of Area 5.
In Area 5 he spotted a Big Bee, the #1 weakest monster, shot an arrow … and missed because the Big Bee randomly moved out of the way.
(It really was random, because Big Bees aren’t programmed with combat capabilities.)
If the arrow had just fallen when the Big Bee “dodged” it would have been fine.
But after the miss the arrow continued on its trajectory and proceeded to whack a Rock Ant, a monster with Link, right in the head.
By the way, “Link” refers to a special trait that some monsters have.
When a monster with Link is attacked, its friends in the area become immediately aware and come mobbing in all at once.
“Are you kidding!?”
Earth’s face froze. Hitting a Link monster by mistake is the worst mistake to make.
By the way, the sound the arrow made when it whacked the Rock Ant on the head was, Clang! After making that light sound it bounced off. It did absolutely no damage whatsoever.
But it did more than enough when it came to letting the Rock Ants know they were being attacked …
Immediately, they came rushing in to swarm Earth.
In this situation it would be bad to run away; because of the Link trait it will turn into a Train.
Sorry for all the explanations, but “Train” is what they call it when you pull a ton of monsters and keep pulling them along as you run2.
The string of monsters trailing behind gives the impression of a train, which is why they call it “Train”.
Since the arrow bounced off, bow attacks have no meaning.
In the first place attacking a rock with piece of wood is just asking for it to be bounced back.
Out of necessity Earth fought back with [Wind Magic]’s <Wind Cutter> and [Kick], but the Rock Ant lived up to the name “Rock”. <Wind Cutter> couldn’t cut through it and, against that hardness, [Kick] attacks just rebounded the damage onto himself.
While drinking a potion, Earth struggled to find a way to combat that hardness.
The result was that Earth met a very unreasonable end.
Thanks to the Rock Ant’s Link, another Rock Ant used the Rock Ants’ special Art, <Stun Tackle> and attacked him from behind.
So an archer with low defense, drinking a potion, and somehow fighting an unfavorable battle while completely surrounded by who knows how many opponents,
What will happen if he’s suddenly stunned, lying there unable to move, for a few seconds?
He gets sent back to Town with a Death Penalty, of course.
And that’s the reason the Earth at the beginning of this story was lying there in tatters.
Forced to reflect on how he splendidly got beaten to a pulp and returned to Town, Earth moved on with dampened spirits.
During the Death Penalty’s 30 minutes he repaired his bow and armor. Afterwards he went around browsing the street stalls.
“There really aren’t any stalls selling bow stuff…”
After all this time, of course there have been players who’ve taken an interest in [Bow].
However, after trying swords or magic a bow can’t compare with its firepower and inferior inaccuracy.
Also there’s no Homing Assist, adding another degree of difficulty.
This isn’t like moving a character on a screen in older style games, but using your own body to move.
For someone watching from within the VRMMO, [Bow] users hang out in the back but aren’t able to hit anything.
This impression of staying in the back and not doing anything has created a situation where players who take [Bow] are shunned.
If you’re able to overcome that … you can properly participate in combat, but then nobody wants to have a [Bow] user in the party, so players give up improving [Bow].
It’s a vicious cycle.
So of course stalls dealing in [Bow] related goods haven’t appeared.
Forget not being able to sell anything, you’d just plain lose money.
What Earth is looking for is other peoples’ [Bow] related goods, hoping for a flash of inspiration for new [Bow] related crafting methods.
But of course it’s not going to be that easy.
Now the Death Penalty’s 30 minutes have ended.
Earth is clutching a Smith Hammer in his hand.
There’s some bright person somewhere who gets it.
That’s right, Earth took the skill [Blacksmithing].
Though it’s been said many times, compared to a wooden arrow 2Glow, an iron arrow is 15Glow.
In his current financial state, if he switched to iron arrows Earth would go bankrupt.
But right now a wooden arrow just isn’t cutting it anymore.
Like with the Wild Bear just recently; though he’d hit the weak point the shot was too shallow.
Improving his arrows has become an urgent matter.
In this world, if you can’t buy it then make it
Using 5 EXP points is a pretty big decision to make, but right now it’s necessary to open the way to the future so he decided to take the plunge.
If we take out the bow’s Sneak Attack Criticals3 , Earth’s combat capabilities will fall by 60%.
If we’re talking strictly firepower, then it’s the tough to use [Wind Magic],
Though [Kick] is versatile, this experience when a portion of the attack was reflected revealed its weakness.
Looking at his abilities, Earth has now reconfirmed that no matter what he goes with, his combat potential is too weak.
To do a simple weapons’ power balance, let’s say the longsword is 100.
Two-handed axe is 120, staff (for magic) is 110, spear is 90,
one-handed axe and grimoire is 80
One-handed sword is 75, dagger and magic-hand is 60, bow is 50,
and magic ring is 30.
On top of that, an axe is especially effective for attacks on monsters with hard shells.
They’re heavy, so people with half-assed STR (physical prowess) would find an axe hard to use.
Players who can use a one-handed axe on top of, like Reiji, being equipped with heavy armor and a shield are truly rare.
Those kinds of players are known for almost never failing to defeat a monster and for being nearly indomitable.
Of course, the player’s ability is also a factor.
In any case, for the bow, which is among the lower damage dealers, to come out ahead, the sneak attack criticals are absolutely necessary.
But if the all-important arrows can’t penetrate, then that method is worthless.
That’s why, he must remodel the arrow. First and foremost, wooden arrow’s initial arrowhead must be further developed.
The goal is an arrowhead made with a weight and sharpness to pierce the opponent.
For mining ore, a Blacksmith player taught him the basics.
Afterwards he made ingots intently.
For the sake of experimenting with the arrowhead’s shape he made a huge amount of ingots so he wouldn’t run out in the middle of development.
That day Earth single-mindedly made ingots, raising his skill quite a bit as he continued until logout.
Actually he wanted to keep going a little more, but the effect it would have on real-life work would be bad.
Suppressing the burning dissatisfaction of leaving things unfinished, he went to bed.
[Bow]Lv30 [Kick]Lv27 [Farsight]Lv25 [Wind Magic]Lv18
[Cooking]Lv34 [Woodworking]Lv11 [Blacksmithing]Lv8 [Stealth]Lv20
[Physical Ability Boost]Lv33
And with that, the [Blacksmithing] skill was obtained.
With this he’ll be able to make some equipment made of iron.
- Forced Return – well, in English we just say “I Revived” or “I got sent back to the Spawn Point”, but it doesn’t have the same ring. At the same time, the Japanese “Forced Return” (shinimodori) isn’t associated as a common MMO term in English. Hrm… so you get both lol.
- Train – it’s basically the same as the MMO slang “kiting”, just specifically about when you’re kiting a LOT of mobs. Kind of interesting that in Japanese MMOs, the technique of continuous aggro and running to keep a monster busy isn’t as important to name as when you’re stringing them all along behind. Ah, sorry, linguistics minor rearing its head. Haha, probably only I care because on the rare instances I party up, I like to play dps-tank and usually end up kiting things as the squishies pick them off behind me while yelling, “Heals! HEEAAALS!” 😀
… maybe it’s because that kind of stupid bait and run tactic isn’t evaluated well in JMMOs?
Btw, it wasn’t really explained but the reason a Train is bad is because you can accidentally (or on purpose) catch other players in it and turn it into a MonsterPK situation.
- Sneak Attack Critical – “weakness ambushing attacks”
Couldn’t tell if it was actually in third person or not until I was 1/3 of the way through. Japanese is fun that way!
Is it just me or is the scene where he misses the Big Bee and hits the Rock Ant way funnier than in the manga?