Chapter 8: The White Bear
I’m running towards the village by leaping down towards the valley.
Like the eastern starting area, the northern starting area has the village in a valley in a mountainous region.
The differences are that the village is much closer to the forest and the mountain, and the slopes are much steeper and rockier.
I complained at the chibi earlier to let off some steam, but in the end I decided not to chew him out.
After all, it’s not like he could have imagined that by trying to avoid being blunt, 2 reckless kids would pull a stunt like this. Getting upset at him would totally be misplaced anger.
Anyway, if he’s trying for what I’m almost 100% sure he’s trying for, this kind of risk when soliciting party members is necessary.
That chibi. Work hard towards the guild you desire~.
Being a top level player, working with a large group of people, and actively trading information; he needs to cast his nets wide and manage his Friend List well in order to build up a community of strong and active players. In the future, if he starts a guild, all this ground work will pay off.
Boys, be ambitious! (-W S Clark)
A~nyway it’s time for something I’ve been waiting for~.
Fufufu, a big increase in offense and defense!
Ordinarily I’d go in swinging with an axe, but not this time.
An axe increases damage greatly, but I’m hunting beginner mobs right now. Even without the buffs given with <Werebear Form> I can destroy them in 1 or 2 hits. No, increased damage isn’t the reason I activated that Skill this time.
This time I’m after the defense buffs if increased defense and a bit of increased HP, as well as this:
— Werebear Natural Attacks: In Werebear Form, you are able to use your claws and teeth as natural weapons.
I’m not sure about biting, but when using my claws, although the damage is less than an axe, the attack speed is much, much faster.
In this situation where I need to take out as many weak mobs as I can in as little time as I can, I’m going in claws out!
With a roar I charge in.
Not from the front; even if they’re low-leveled, being swarmed can only lead to death.
No, I charge in from the rear!
Around the northern beginner’s village, still within the safe zone, many players nervously looked out at the rampaging monsters in the originally tranquil valley.
All of them were wondering
Should we give up and move to another starter village?
There are 4 main beginner’s villages that can be teleported between from a teleporter in the main square.
It’s just, it costs 3 silver for each transfer.
While that amount of money is something that can be easily thrown away after a few hours of play, for the players who haven’t completed any quests yet, it’s an amount of money that’s impossible to obtain right out of character creation.
Unable to get money because of the monster train outside, unable to go to a different area because they can’t get money, the new players are trapped.
All they can do is hope that the train will crumble naturally… but with players unaware of the situation trying to return to the village to complete their quests, it doesn’t seem like that will happen anytime soon.
Death screams sound from outside of the village as the monster train re-frenzies at the death of yet another poor player.
After some time, the resurrection crystal shines and yet another shocked and hysterical player is revived within Rustbourne Village.
This has become the common scene.
Earlier, 2 parties of 6 beginners attempted to quell the stampeding monsters, but alas, all have perished.
The defeated players are now among the other players looking out at the monster train, while also being unfairly blamed for prolonging the train.
If it was just the level 1 and 2 monsters, maybe they could have banded together and driven them out, but there were also level 3 and 4 monsters from the forested ridge beyond the valley.
Just who brought them all down here …
As the new players bitterly cursed in their heads,
A thundering roar lit up the valley next to the town.
“Oh no, what now-!”
Ashura, a player with an Avg Level of 2, had gotten run over numerous times by the monster train. The first time he was picking herbs for a grocer when the train swarmed out of no where; the second and third times he was part of a group that hoped to thin out the monster train.
The fourth time he ran for it, hoping to reach the forested ridge to warn returning players about the train, but he was overcome in the end.
He isn’t a man used to sitting and waiting for troubles to pass by.
As he and a few other players tried to formulate a plan to divert the rampaging monsters, that snarling roar sounded.
“Don’t tell me something even nastier is coming from the forests.”
“Is it because there’s so many herbivores here that predators will come down and hunt them?”
“No way-? Wouldn’t that be too much even for VR?”
Ashura and the other players with him, discussing their options, rushed to the edge of the village, looking out over the hectic valley with concern.
“… Why are the monsters flying?!”
The strength of Werebear Form is amazing!
With just a swipe of a claw, a monster dies.
Ah, no good. My lips are loosening into a silly grin. In Werebear Form, the fangs and teeth transform my grin into a face to run away from.
Though I’ve been told my battle-grin is terrifying even when I’m not a bear.
The only thing I regret is that the drops are left behind. In some ways I’m happy about the realism requiring us to pick up the loot, but in others … it’s really inconvenient, you know?
Aaah, that was a deer pelt …
I could probably sell it for a high price to a tailor player right now.
Thanks to my slaughtering spree on the first day, my Skill Levels are probably higher than the other players right now, so it’s likely that my Scavenge is higher than anyone else’s.
Pelts would sell so well right now~ Ah!
Acting on impulse, I swipe at the badger in front of me, knocking it sky-high.
As it gave a distressed cry it died in the air, and the drops came falling down right in front of me.
At the pace I’m going I have to give up the drops on every third monster, but now I’m getting more than just ExP!
What a glorious bounty for hunting!
I didn’t think about how absurd it would look from far away, monsters being sent flying, only to turn into drop items and rain from the sky.
“What is THAT?”
“White bear? Polar bear?! Where did it come from?”
“An overworld boss?”
I hear bits and pieces from the players surrounding the village but I ignore them.
The slaughtering spree – I mean, subjugating the frenzied monsters takes precedence.
I chase the monster train past the village and up towards the forested ridge.
I’ve whittled the train down to 1/3 of its original amount, but it won’t be good if I do it half-heartedly and it comes back even stronger than before.
But for monsters designed primarily for beginners to defeat, they run really fast.
Out of sight of the village, I chase the train and continue to swipe my paws at the monsters as fast as I can. I’m running out of time for <Werebear Form>! 1 minute left.
All of a sudden, Sharp Senses sounds an alarm in my head; all I can do is lift an arm.
A small throwing dagger is embedded into my arm.
I stare in disbelief as a hooded beastkin player fades into view right in front of me. Cat ears, the low kind on the sides of the head, distort the hood, revealing blood-red hair.
Where did this guy come from?!
Like magic, he materializes from thin air.
Before he attacked me, I seriously didn’t notice him even a little bit.
If it weren’t for Sharp Senses, there’s no doubt I wouldn’t have known he was there at all.
I’m not used to forced sensory.
Normally your enhanced sense-type skills are just that, things that enhance the senses that are already there. After playing a lot of VR games, I’ve gotten pretty good at noticing things that are important, and I’m proud to say that I’m rarely surprised by the game system forcing stimulation on me without me being prepared for it.
This guy’s stealth is nuts!
Since he attacked me, his name is visible to me.
If he succeeds in killing me, his name will turn red and be visible to everyone, and it will be impossible to hide it for a full in-game day. NPCs might even become hostile at the sight of a red-named player.
Well, anyway, what I’m mostly shocked about is …
Just 2 damage?
How is that low of a number even possible from a player attack?
Your stealth is great, but your attack is … um… yeah.
If this is a PK, it’s not very well thought out.
Precious seconds are wasted as that player and I stare each other down.
“… You’re a player.”
The first thing he says was completely unexpected.
Of course I’m a player! Can’t you tell?
It’s easy to forget that I’m currently a giant, fuzzy bear at the moment.
The other guy awkwardly stands there in a half-hearted battle-stance and his twin cat tails twitch. He then quickly stands up, bows lightly, and steps back, calling,
From behind him, a light-green fairy-like creature flitters in front of him. It sings out,
And a shimmering green light, like glitter floating in the wind surrounds him.
With a startling speed, Fenrys leaps agilely backwards until he’s up on a tree branch.
A sort of movement buff, huh?
He dips his head curtly once again and vanishes right in front of my eyes.
Haa… he attacked me by mistake, huh?
Now that I think about it, people think that my Werebear Form is an overworld boss.
I decide not to worry too much about it and run hard to catch up with the remnants of the monster train.
With just 35 seconds to Werebear Form left, I catch up with the remaining monster train + the new additions that were frenzied from the surroundings, and continue to kill.
Moving my paws and slashing numerous times until I lost count, I feel the change from Werebear Form to my regular avatar form when there are just 6 more monsters left.
Slash, slash, slash
Slash, slash, slash
The final 6 were dealt with in human form, my trusty Beginner’s Axe glinting in the setting sun.
“Fuaa-! It’s done!”
I must have reached the ends of my endurance. I feel exhausted, and the adrenaline from the rush is beginning to subside.
Truthfully, this was only easy because I was a high Avg Level character (comparatively) with high END.
If I was a lower Avg Level, I would draw aggro faster and get surrounded before I could finish one of them off. If I had a lower END, I would have been unable to chase them this far without taking penalties to my attacks.
Although it must look like I was peerlessly destroying all that was before me, to be honest, without some clever maneuvering, I would have been killed.
I was only just barely at the level, even including Werebear Form, to be able to pull off this stunt.
Thinking over my various faults, I send the shortie a private text message, then headed off into the direction of the village, collecting drops that I had left behind on my way.
To be honest, I’m mulling over the concerns about raising Sharp Senses quickly.
After running into the accidental PK, if stealth in this game is going to be like that … the higher level stealth players are going to be pretty nasty if they turn to PK.
I should be prepared to welcome them with open arms, and the edge of a blade!
“Do you think it was a sweeper?”
“Who knows? But it got rid of the monster train, so banzai!”
“Cheers for the White Bear!”
As I enter the northern starting village, the players near the entrance are all talking excitedly.
Their comments are making me twitchy.
Ah, ignore them, ignore them… There’s someone else I’m concerned with.
I walk towards the square.
Later on there will be a great many number of blankets and stalls put out, with many merchants yelling to sell and buy things, but right now there are only a handful.
I spy exactly who I’m looking for and walk up to a certain stall, whipping out my Beginner’s Axe and the unidentified axe from the Hidden Quest.
“Ane-chan, repair please. Also, Identify.”
“Mu~ Call me On-ee-chan! Narunaru gets charged full price because of that.”
A short, cute-looking construct girl with dark pink, wavy hair, half up in twintails, pouts as she takes both of the axes.
Around her are a lot of other players bringing their weapons and metal armor for repair.
It’s the player who was promising to do repairs for 1 copper for the next half hour.
“So Ane-chan came over to OriginStory too. I thought you were having fun in Lorewind?”
Although her face is relatively motionless as a construct, an eyebrow quirks in dissatisfaction and her lips form a definite frown.
“Of course it gets boring when they started to do all those micro-transactions. It was a paradise for crafters, and then the devs start making better quality stuff and putting it in the marketplace. There was no point. First they drive the combat professions away with godly crafting, and then they drive the crafters away with microtransactions. How pointless.”
I had heard all sorts of bad stories about that VRMMO… Of course I had left early on, before the microtransaction frenzy went into play.
The girl, Arisette, or Ane-chan as all of our acquaintances call her, sets the unidentified axe down next to her while she examines my Beginner’s Axe. It’s … in really bad shape. I haven’t bothered with repairing it since the beginning after all, nor have I done any basic maintenance.
I mean, I thought I would get a new axe before it completely broke, so …
Anyway, I look over Ane-chan’s construct form. I thought the construct race’s appearances would be like old, steam machinery or some sort of animated suit of armor, but it’s quite different.
“So Ane-chan chose to be a construct, huh? I was thinking it would look clunky, but it’s more like an animated doll, huh?”
“Well, there are guys like him, too, but constructs are basically sentient dolls given life through magic, so a variety of looks are possible.”
Ane-chan jerked her head in the direction of a man that actually looked exactly like a walking suit of armor.
Ane-chan looks like an android-type doll with sci-fi effects, but otherwise her form is hardly different from a human’s. A loli-human with abnormally long legs and a slender waist, but human nonetheless.
I see. There are a lot of appearance choices if you choose to be a construct.
I wonder if it’s possible for someone to become a toaster.
“By the way, Ane-chan, how did you meet Chie?”
Next to Ane-chan, and just as busy, is Chie!
Are they already working together? Crafters are fast.
“Of course Jo introduced her. She’s really talented! She knit me these tights already!”
Without stopping her hands from using the Repair Skill, Ane-chan stood up and stuck out a leg.
… Over the knee tights with kitty faces at the tops.
“You have cute tastes as always, Ane-chan. How do they stay up?”
As Ane-chan cackled in delight, Chie raised an eyebrow and smiled slyly.
“Never underestimsate a cosplayer.”
Ah… I won’t ask anymore.
“By the way, Naru …”
Chie leaned over, her hands not stopping as she repaired beginner armors for waiting players.
“Naru, exactly how old is Arisette? She looks like a pre-teen, but her hips and legs look like they’ve been altered to be more slender than normal, so …”
“That is an unsolvable mystery.”
Although I know quite a few of the players on my friends list in the real world, of course there are going to be more people on my friends list that I DON’T know in the real world. Arisette is one of the friends I made when I first started another VRMMO before this one, but we’ve never met in real.
Ane-chan’s avatars always resemble lolis, except something about them always feels like she adjusted the form to look younger from an older age. Something about the body shape and legs …
EVERYONE ends up wondering exactly how old she actually is.
“Hey, what are you two talking about over there?!”
With sharp ears, Ane-chan turns towards us with a dangerous glint in her eyes.
Chie paled, saying, “Ah, um… er…”
I laugh and say,
“Ane-chan’s construct avatar this time looks very charming. Despite feeling like a girl on the brink of growing up, there’s also a subtle allure of a woman. Chie was excited to design clothes for someone like that.”
“Oh, is that it! Hehehe, it’s the charms of a woman who will always remain youthful, after all!”
Chie and I quietly swallow the words that threatened to leap out of our throats.
Ane-chan doesn’t seem to notice as she finishes repairing my Beginner’s Axe and takes up the unidentified axe.
“Hm hm… so Narunaru already found another weapon, huh? What could it be, I wonder~ <Identify>!”
… Now that I think about it, I just assumed Ane-chan took [Blacksmith] this time around.
In the previous game we played together, the weapons’ durabilities dropped too quickly and I was always running back to Ane-chan for repairs. It’s scary what you can get used to.
Maa, I guess it’s fine since I wasn’t wrong.
In OriginStory, you can only Identify items if you have the corresponding crafting profession Talent, and so getting to know someone in each of the main three types of crafters is a must; Blacksmith, Woodworker, and Tailor.
And the most important quality you need in a crafter isn’t Skill Level … it’s trust.
People new to MMOs might think that’s absurd; it should be Skill Level, right? Who cares if the crafter is a little shady if he can perform well?
Hahaaan… Little chicks who haven’t left the nest should listen well.
The crafter gets to see your weapon’s stats when they use Repair and Identify.
I don’t know how many stories I’ve heard of players getting ripped off when crafters secretly swap their weapons, or selling the information of a rare item to PKs, or selling information about someone’s equipment stats to rival Guilds.
Anyway, that’s why I’m always eager to re-connect with crafters I’ve gotten to know in other games.
Before I realized it, Ane-chan’s face was right up against mine.
“I want it. It’s ok even if it’s after you’ve out-leveled it, but sell this to me!”
“… Ane-chan, those conditions are fine, but your excitement is a little unnerving so please explain.”
“Well, first of all, look at this.”
She handed me the axe.
One-handed Axe (Mist-Touch)
A light-weight axe that shimmers with an eerie light.
Attack: +87-92 damage
Special: This weapon is a Mist-Touch weapon. It is possible to deal half-damage to incorporeal opponents.
I have a way to damage ghosts now!
It’s unfortunate that it happened after I had to run away from a ghost, but there’s no use worrying about what might have been.
The damage bonus is good too.
“Ok, this is an awesome weapon, but why does Ane-chan want it? Are you using axes this time around?”
“Tsk tsk tsk. That’s not it at all, Narunaru. In this crafting system, you can only add certain types of enchantments and properties to weapons if you deconstruct enough of those types of weapons. Mist-Touch weapons … do you know how much money I could make off of that?!”
Aaah… Ane-chan’s eyes have turned into money signs.
Fumu, I see.
“Well, as long as you’re willing to wait until I’ve out-leveled it … Oh that’s right, speaking of crafting, Chie-“
I open my Item Bag and take out a few items. 5 deer pelts, 3 badger pelts, 10 bat pelts, and 25 rabbit pelts.
“Kyaaa-! Naru, I love you!”
Chie dropped the armor she was repairing and flung her arms around me.
“Oi oi, I didn’t say it was free.”
“How much? 1 gold?”
Eh… 1 gold?
“… Chie, you already have 1 gold?”
“Only just, but yes.”
“… 100 silver is fine…”
I was just going to tease her, but Chie is already rich!
I wonder if combat was the wrong way to go… How the hell does she already have 1 gold?!
“Narunaru, come here.”
Ane-chan motioned me closer, then whispered in my ear.
“You know what she’s been doing? She’s been taking apart other peoples’ starter armors and re-arranging them. She’s already super famous.”
“That’s possible? Taking apart the starter armor without ruining it, I mean.”
“Yup. This VR is pretty good for incorporating real-life abilities in crafting. If you don’t have any abilities, you just need the materials, and you can auto-make the armor by just filling in the choices, like appearances and stats and stuff. BUT, you can also make something completely from scratch and use the crafting interface to apply the stats and stuff to what you make.”
“Eh? What’s the differences?”
“If you make it from scratch, you’re not limited to just the appearance choices in the interface. You have to use at least the same or more number of materials required in the auto-make version to use those stats, but that’s of no consequence. That’s why Chi-chan can just re-arrange the starter armor. Although it’s the same stats, humans are vain creatures as always! Just from people who want to look good, she’s collected so much money and fame already!”
“Within the first day the game’s been open, though? To make 1 gold just from crafting?”
“Ah … It’s because Jo and her set up shop together. While Jo attracted people and did their hair, she re-arranged armor … At 70 silver for a full set of armor, she made just barely 1 gold.”
Kuu-! To think Chie was the first out of all of us to make it big!
But she’s making it big with no fighting abilities…
“Ane-chan, can you keep an eye on her? If she gets too famous, nasty sorts might start hanging around…”
“Osu, I understand. I’m going to drag her around hunting for ores and pelts later, so she might be able to at least run away while healing if she gets PKed.”
If Chie stays in the villages and safe zones, there should be no problem, but this is a VRMMO. It is possible to grab someone’s avatar even if you don’t actively attack them.
Well, that’s why NPC guards and GMs exist, but no matter how many precautions the devs take, there’s going to be someone who finds loopholes in them in order to terrorize other players.
[Bolstered Endurance]Lv8 (+3)
[Sharp Senses]Lv8 (+1)
[Spirit of the Wild Hunt]Lv6 (+2)
[Inheritance of the Forest Guardian]Lv5 (+2)
Avg Lv: 7
About the Game Pt4
Unlike an MMO, there is very little that a player sees on the visual interface. Almost everything is controlled by voice and gesture commands.
In general, OriginStory is designed to eliminate use of Skill Bars and HP/MP gauges in order to give a more realistic immersion experience.
Skills, for example, are activated by saying the name of the Skill after fulfilling the requirements to use the Skill. Magic Skills often require an accompanying gesture to indicate the direction or point of activation, while melee Skills usually just require the appropriate weapon equipped. Crafting Skills … are a whole other story when it comes to fulfilling requirements.
While there’s no need for a Skill Bar with this type of activation, it is still possible to set one up in your field of vision, although this is not recommended, as it clutters your view and can be very disorienting to people new to VR, often to a point of inducing motion sickness.
Some veteran players prefer to set up a Skill Bar with Skills that remain active for a duration of time or Skills with a long CD. This way, they can keep track of when the Skill will expire and when to use other long-duration Skills. Players who have Healing and Buff type Skills tend to use this method.
It is also possible to set up so that the Skill Bars only appear during combat, or to appear with a glance gesture, a voice command, or a swipe gesture.
HP/MP gauges are set to appear for 10 seconds when glancing to the upper-left and include the buffs/debuffs/bad statuses you currently have. This is the default, and like the Skill Bars, the gauges can be configured to appear constantly during combat, switched to a different glance direction, a voice command, or a swipe gesture. The duration the HP/MP gauges appear for is also configurable.
HP/MP status of another person is only able to be seen when the person is in your party. In general, it is not possible to see the statuses of an opponent. Experience and instinct are required to make good judgments on when you should pick a fight … along with some other means…
It is possible to see NPC and player names when out of combat, but it is possible for players to hide their names.
The only time when it is impossible to keep your name hidden is if you PK or kill certain NPCs. Your name will turn red and remain visible to everyone.
<a/n: Thank you Skirie for your donation!>