Chapter 3 - Creating a Role
In the morning, Ouyang Shuo used his handbrain to access the Earth Online official website. He first went in and explored the forums, quickly finding out that there weren’t many posts, and that most of them were complaining about how expensive the game cabin was.
A member called Siege Lion had made a post called the , which caught Ouyang Shuo’s eye.
The post only used limited game data and previous gaming experiences, and Siege Lion noted that the Lord path required players to be adept at territory and resource management while at the same time needing a continuous investment of funds. He did not recommend it for the average player. Otherwise, it was far too easy to lose money without recourse if one’s territory was captured.
Seeing such an accurate prediction, Ouyang Shuo suspected that Siege Lion was probably a beta tester. He wrote down Siege Lion’s ID number, and then left the forums, heading directly to the mall area to buy the game cabin online.
The cabin had different models corresponding to different heights and body sizes that needed to be chosen. He rapidly completed the payment while online and was told that his new game cabin would be delivered that afternoon.
This wasn’t some light novel where the MC had to wait in a long line under the hot sun to purchase the game. Nope, that was definitely a thing of the past. For more than a hundred years now, basically all product buying was now done online.
TL: Author is throwing shade at his previous novel Shura’s Wrath, another novel on GT
At 3 PM, the doorbell rang with the delivery for his new cabin. The whole body of the cabin was a silver-gray color and was beautifully styled, sleek and advanced. Under Ouyang Shuo’s direction, the staff quickly brought it upstairs and installed it into his bedroom.
Sun Xiaoyue was a bit surprised to see the delivery so quickly, but not overly so. After all, in this day and age, there were countless online virtual games. Thus, getting a game cabin to play games in was very normal.
The next day was New Year’s Day. Ouyang Shuo spent all day playing with Bing’er. Xiaoyue also joined the playing, which drove Bing’er into a frenzy of excitement!
This was hardly unexpected, because Ouyang Shuo was normally very strict about Bing’er studying and learning. After all, no matter what era it was, knowledge should never fall behind.
The reason Ouyang Shuo was spoiling Bing’er so much was because he would have little time to do anything with her when he started playing. The early stages of the game required a lot of time investment to get a foundation built, so he wouldn’t have much time to spend with her after the game began. For now, it was still the holiday, and he could spend some time with her.
January 1, 2190, 8 PM. Thousands of players eagerly waited for Earth Online to officially open. Ouyang Shuo opened up his game cabin to see that the cabin was full of a half-solid gel, with a human-shaped depression at the middle. After laying himself inside the game cabin and stabilizing the pressure, the chamber sealed with a gentle hiss.
“(Ding), permission to access cyberlink?” a beautiful voice sounded from the computer.
“Permission granted!” he stated immediately.
“Connection established. Customer’s personal identification information has been retrieved. May we bind your identity?”
“Go ahead!” A second later, Ouyang Shuo felt a sharp and small stab on his body.
“(Ding), personal DNA sample collection is completed and matches your personal information. May we open the nutrient pipeline to support long online playing times?”
“Open it!” A moment later, the nutrient solution tube stabbed itself into his left arm. The computer would monitor his condition at all times, and if his body emitted signs of being hungry, it would intelligently begin to start transferring nutrients to keep him alive and well.
“The nutrient solution channel has been opened. The game cabin is fully functional. Would player like to enter the game?”
“Yes!” A moment later, there was a rushing feeling, and Ouyang Shuo’s mind left his body, involuntarily being sucked towards a colorful vortex in front of him.
When he opened his eyes, Ouyang Shuo looked around and found himself in an open-air pavilion, with no walls or roof. Only a light mist hung around him, and it was as if he had come to some kind of fairyland.
Standing in front of Ouyang Shuo was a very beautiful young woman. She had an exquisite face and curves in all the right places to send his heart pumping. Ribbons fluttered around her gently, giving her a cool and otherworldly temperament. She was simply the limit of the human imagination for a gaming avatar coming to life.
Legend had it that eighty percent of male players had fallen captive to the beauty of her scarlet dress. Even after his rebirth, it still took Ouyang Shuo a good ten seconds to wake up from his mesmerized stare. He knew that the fairy was actually the Skynet host AI Gaia’s incarnation. He could only view it from a distance!
“Welcome to Earth Online. Please name your character. Names can only be composed of Chinese characters. No symbols or any other strange characters are permitted, and use of insulting words or terms is not allowed.” The words coming off her red lips were sweeter than honey, extremely captivating...
“Qiyue Wuyi!” Ouyang Shuo replied immediately, electing not to use his ID from the past, but to take a new name. This poetic name, which was a part of a famous battle poem, for a character whose life would be spent in the battlefield, was extremely artistic, hehe!
TL: Qiyue Wuyi is a part of a Qin Poem that talks about how the officers and soldiers fought together.
“System Notification: Your name has satisfied the naming rules; it has not been previously chosen. You have successfully named your character! Please choose the game mode you will be playing in: Adventure gamemode or Lord gamemode. You may only choose one mode.”
“Select the Lord gamemode,” Ouyang Shuo said without hesitation. In the past, he had chosen the Adventure gamemode but this time would naturally be different. A year from now, the government would disclose the Convention Agreement, and disclose that Kingdom Building was the essence of the game. The representatives of the major powers had all chosen the Lord gamemode.
“Special Warning: Besides in times of war, Lords are not allowed to leave their territories. To compensate, players can have an Adventurer sub-profession.”
‘The Lords could not leave their territories’ was only limited to the main system, which was also called the primary map. Battlefield maps, of course, had no such restrictions and lords could roam freely within them.
The Personal Adventurer mode was divided into combat and work occupations, each player could only choose one of the two. The classes for the Chinese region were Strategist, General, Chivalrous expert, Alchemist, Healer, and Bailiff, so six professions in all.
The fighting occupations didn't have any further advancements, however players could freely choose their cultivation method or weapons. The chivalrous expert occupation for example, had access to nine close combat weapons, which were the dagger, sword, whip, mace, tonfa, hand axe, jo, war hammer, and morningstar, as well as nine long weapons, which were the broadsword, spear, staff, axe, trident, pike, hook sword, lance, and halberd for eighteen total in all.
However, if a chivalrous expert that used the sword didn’t know any sword techniques, he would be very ineffective.
The work occupations included normal jobs from all walks of life. The primary occupations were blacksmiths, tailors, physicians, architects, breeders, fishermen, farmers, veterinarians, winemakers, cooks, carpenters, masons, shipbuilders, and various others.
The lifestyle classes had no character levels, only skill levels. The lifestyle players would also not lose experience after death. It was a type of protection for those players.
“Select General” This was his former career in his past life, a familiar path.
“System Notification: Confirming occupation, generating character attributes, please review!”
Ouyang Shuo opened the stat panel to examine his personal attributes.
Name: Qiyue Wuyi
Occupation: Officer (sub-occupation)
Level: 1 (0/100)
Reputation: Unknown (0/100)
Talent: Not opened
Innate Ability: Initial values are randomly generated, maximum 20 points per stat, minimum 5 points per stat.
Friendly Notice: Innate attributes cannot be increased by level-up points. They can only be increased by using special pills or cultivation methods.
Body Structure: 18 - Affects character toughness and survival, ability to adapt to environment and ability to store Qi.
Comprehension: 20 - Affects the speed and depth of learning cultivation methods.
Luck: 5 - Affects the frequency of unexpected windfalls and the chances of loss.
Charm: 8 - Affects first impressions with NPC’s as well as the difficulty of resolving sudden interactions.
Acquired Attributes: Each character’s stats start with 5 initial points. Each level gives two points to be freely distributed. Every five levels raises all stats by one point. The highest point value to a stat you can have is 100 points.
Command: 5 - Has a direct impact on combat effectiveness on the battlefield, how many troops can be commanded, how easily troops can be recruited, and response time for troops on a battlefield.
Force: 5 - Has a direct effect on the power of special attacks. Affects the chance of critical hits, ripostes, and how much the player’s reputation increases with a victory.
Intelligence: 5 - Has a direct impact on the duration of buffs/crowd control as well as the field of vision for troops. The development of weapons and their manufacturing time is also influenced.
Politics: 5 - Has a direct impact of policies on territorial markets and farms. Also influences the success of diplomatic negotiations.
Surplus free attribute points: 2
Cultivation method: None
Skills: Basic Gathering Technique, Basic Diplomacy Technique, Basic Weapons Proficiency
Ouyang Shuo’s innate stats were quite biased. His Body Structure and Comprehension were almost the full value while Luck and Charm were barely average. With a high Body Structure and Comprehension, it would contribute greatly to training in cultivation methods. With low charm or luck, he would probably very unlucky in the game, and there would be difficulty in triggering adventures.
For the skills column, Basic Gathering Technique was a general technique avaliable for all players. Basic Diplomacy Technique was a general Lord technique and Basic Weapon Proficiency was a general technique for officers.
Skills didn’t have any points that could be put into them. However, there was a stat of proficiencies which could only be gained through repeated use of them. It took a certain level of proficiency in a skill for it to be upgraded to the next level.
For the acquired attributes, Ouyang Shuo chose to put his surplus points into the Command and Politics stats. As a lord, Command and Politics were his two most important skills.
“System Tip: Please select your place of birth. You can choose ‘random’, or specify the approximate location. There is a random chance to trigger an adventure, but there are great risks. Players, please choose carefully.”
Choosing a place of birth was a hidden trap in the system. Many players, seeing the adventure chance, would choose Random with their eyes shining. They had some fantasy of being born in a cave, getting some mysterious cheats, and coming out with a big edge to rule the game.
But the greater chance was that they entered the game in a tiger’s den, and had an immediate and glorious death. Less than .001% of the players had a lucky encounter or something similar from triggering the adventure system, and even then most of the adventures were very basic.
‘Choosing the approximate location’ was actually a stealth reward for the astute player. Lord players could make their choice based on their development plan, selecting an area suitable to them. Adventurers could be directly assigned to an area near a system-made Imperial city, avoiding the trouble of having to make it to one of the Imperial cities.
“Please specify the approximate location.”
The beautiful little fairy hand waved and up came a miniature version of the 3D map of China. The overall picture was no different from reality, except it was ten times as large.
This China had no detailed outline of states, nor did it use a dynasty’s markings. Instead, the game had distilled and combined five thousand years of Chinese history, selecting nine different ancient cities as Imperial Capital cities. The cities were: Jingdu, Xianyang, Chengdu, Dali, Luoyang, Changan, Xiangyang, Jianye, and Quanzhou.
Outside the regions of the Imperial Capitals was all wilderness, occupied by beasts, bandits, barbarians, and refugees, waiting for adventurers to explore them. Similarly, the territories of the Lord players were also going to be built in the wilderness. Needing to overcome all obstacles to build up your territory was not an exaggeration!
Ouyang Shuo selected his territory in southern Guangxi near Vietnam, near the shore. As for the specific location, he would only find that out after entering the game and exploring.
“System Notice: Your birthplace has been selected! Will you start the Village Building Quest?”
“Special Notice: The Village Building Quest is unique to Lord players. If this starting task is failed, player will lose the qualifications to build a village and can only play as a adventurer. This is a non-mandatory quest. Players can choose to give up and enter the game to find their Village Creation Token.”
“Open the Quest!”
The Village Creation Token was the first difficulty Lords encountered. Villages were divided into four grades: bronze, iron, silver, and gold. 80% of the starting villages were bronze grade, almost 20% iron, less than .01% silver, and there would only be one gold Village Creation Token in all of China.
Ouyang Shuo knew that the representatives of China’s major forces had game cabins that were custom editions provided by the government. Their custom edition had one advantage: they could bypass the Village Building Quest and instead get a silver level Village Creation Token. This was the result of a compromise between the government and these forces.
And to further balance this privilege, Gaia had the single gold Village Creation Token hidden in this Village Building Quest, to be discovered by a player.