Chapter 22 First Multiplayer Scenario 6
After around fifteen minutes of walking, the group of five arrived at the police station. The building was about five hundred square meters, and its entrance faced the door, but one could also access the building from the side that led to the parking lot.
Feng Bujue went to inspect the side door first; it was a path used by vehicles. At the end of the path was a very tall wall, and the movable steel grate had blocked the path off. Looking in, all he could see was darkness. This way was sealed.
When he went back to the entrance, Long Aomin had already finished his inspection. The door was made of wood, and it was thick and sturdy. Something on the other side seemed to be blocking the door, and even if they pushed hard, the door would not budge.
Feng Bujue shook his head to inform them that the side door would not work. Long Aomin shrugged and said, "We cannot get this door to open either."
Wang Tanzhi took a few steps forward to look at the building's outer walls. "There are grilles on the windows. Looks like it won't be easy to get in…" Before he finished, his expression changed. "Wait… did you hear that?"
Feng Bujue, of course, had heard it. He yelled, "Back off now!"
He rushed forward to grab Wang Tanzhi's shoulders and yank the man back.
Long Aomin and the couple had already taken a step back when they heard Feng Bujue's warning. The latter had just retreated from the door when a dull thud came from behind them. The wall next to the entrance was blasted open from within, and a large monster stuck its upper body through the hole. If Wang Tanzhi did not move away from where he was, he would have been buried under the rubble.
"Okay… I think what I heard was its footstep running toward the wall." Wang Tanzhi's face was white, but his voice was not loud. After experiencing so many scares, he had gotten used to stuff that would normally raise his Terror Points to fifty percent… because his Terror Points had basically been hanging around thirty-five percent the whole time.
Just like every mini boss that cracked their way through the wall, the first thing the monster did after it showed up was roar. To Feng Bujue's surprise, he recognized this adversary.
Obviously, this zombie was much stronger than the one that Feng Bujue had encountered in his tutorial. Just from its physique alone, this one was twice the size of the one from his tutorial. Furthermore, the one from his tutorial had only managed to poke a hole through the wall, but this one had practically managed to crawl its way through.
"Wonderful… It has not only opened an entrance for us, the system has even placed a powerful monster here to inform us that there are possibly powerful weapons inside…" Feng Bujue's lips curved upward as he examined the large, vicious monster. He made it sound like this was an opportune thing that had happened to them.
"Brother Feng… it is only a good thing if we can successfully kill this monster." Long Aomin was sweating. He knew that this was going to be a harsh battle.
"Take this." Feng Bujue handed his wrench over to Long Aomin. "There is no requirement to equip this weapon. Brother Long, I'll loan it to you. If you hit the enemy on its head, there will be extra damage."
"This…" Long Aomin hesitated. Feng Bujue had initiated a trade with him, but strangely enough, he did not ask for anything from him. In this world, there was a lack of trust between people. Excellent equipment was definitely a good find since they were still in closed beta, so one had to be careful before handing it over to others. If the other person got greedy and logged off, giving up the scenario, then they would be running away with the equipment. The original owner would not be able to do anything about it because they were the one who had initiated the trade; even the system could not help them.
"Quick," Feng Bujue said. Long Aomin accepted Mario's Wrench, and when he looked at its attribute, his expression shifted slightly. So far, Feng Bujue had given him the expression that he was a careful and cautious thinker. This kind of behavior where he handed his good equipment to others for no reason was not something that the man would do.
"Brother Feng… aren't you afraid that I might log off now that I have your weapon?" Long Aomin asked. Well, people who asked that question normally would not be that kind of person they described.
"Afraid?" Feng Bujue laughed bitterly, and he grumbled internally, If only I could be afraid.
"Instead of afraid," he replied, "being 'concerned' that you might scam me is more appropriate. Honestly, though, at this moment, I am more concerned that our group might be wiped out."
By then, the zombie had peeled most of the wall away and walked out onto the street. After it exited the station, the zombie looked even more domineering. It was more than two meters tall, and even in death, the thing was muscular. Its body was covered in a layer of semi-congealed blood, and the skinless face looked scarier than a skeletal head. This monster was a mini boss, and the way to trigger its appearance was for the players to stay at the door of the police station for a while, searching for its entrance.
"Brother Long, help restrain its movement and buy some time. I'll sneak around it and crawl through the hole to see if I can find any guns inside. If there is one, I'll rush back out to help," Feng Bujue said. "Be mindful of your Life Points and don't go fighting head-on with it."
When he saw the zombie, he balanced the battle result and possible loss in his mind. They did not have an item with a special effect like 'Zombie-Must-Die' with them. The things that could harm the monster were only a shield, a wrench, and a fruit knife. Fighting against smaller monsters like the monster baby with such close-ranged weapon was fine, but with an enemy like this zombie that was larger than Long Aomin, things were not that simple.
Therefore, the best solution was to increase Long Aomin's ability and have him tank the zombie for a while, while Feng Bujue took the risk and sneaked into the station to find a better weapon. The appearance of this zombie made Feng Bujue confirm that there were better items inside the police station. It could be a skill card, equipment, or even a plot item. His plan was to look for it as soon as possible and return to deal with this monster.
"Alright, leave this to me. Even if I'm killed before you return, I will find a way to return this to you," Long Aomin replied. Then he charged forward to attract the zombie's attention, and the battle started.
"Hmm… There's no need to make it sound so serious; it's only equipment." Feng Bujue looked rather unaffected. Facing the scary zombie, he did not show a trace of fear. He crouched down and moved quickly. He sneaked around the enemy and jumped through the hole in one smooth motion, disappearing inside the darkened police station.
The two who stood further away were flustered. Mr. Loneliest and Ms. Saddest were in the role of helpless victims. All they could do was stay as far away as they could so that they would not get in the way.
Wang Tanzhi got close to the zombie carefully. The zombie's full attention was on Long Aomin. When the opportunity arose, he would charge forward to slash at the zombie and then quickly slither away. He would only attack after he confirmed that he would be not countered by the mini boss.
Compared to the head-on combat style of Long Aomin, Wang Tanzhi's combat style was more dependent on speed. Weaving in and out of combat, sneak attacking, his main purpose was to wear the enemy out. This kind of tactic was not suitable for equipment like blunt weapons or shields; a bladed weapon was his best choice. He did not need incredible strength but fast speed. He delivered damage via accumulated nicks and slashes.
These two were players who would go on to focus in fighting mastery, but even so, they had completely different combat tactics. The difference was observable in this scenario; one was familiar with the use of strength, while the other was better at speed.
This was why the game did not have limitations like 'jobs'. With the power of this system, a job would instead become a shackle that limited the players.
In the later part of an online game, a personalized persona was important to the player experience. If everyone looked the same and had the same characterization when they reached the highest level and their learnable skill became limited by 'jobs', it would be very boring. Any normal player could refer to the player guides, and they would know what to focus on for their 'jobs', which skill to learn and which type of equipment to buy.
With the current game setting, the system provided the players with massive freedom. First, other than Stamina Points, there was nothing like a 'character build'. The Life Points and Terror Points were always shown in percentages, not numbers. As for how much damage an attack had done, how much damage defensive equipment could resist, there were no exact numbers to clarify that.
Secondly, the skills and equipment were all randomized, and they were not limited to jobs. Plus, everyone had access to the same set of masteries. Players would unlock and improve the mastery that they specialized in. If they had the time, a player could even train all six masteries to S level.
With such a high degree of freedom, other than the Terror Points System, Thriller Point's second biggest selling point was the title system. The system allowed the players to focus on their specialty after a series of combat. This system was the solution provided by Dream Inc. to ensure the player's individuality after giving it much thought.
The 'title' was beyond the limitation of the twelve Skill Bars. It would give the player a special power, like Long Aomin's Lighting Bash. The special power would not take up space within the Skill Bar. One's title would also grow with the player. Starting from level ten, the system would improve and correct the player's title following their progression. Each title would be unique, and even if two players shared the same title, they might not have the same special power. The special power might not even be an activated skill; it could be passive or a support skill that added to one's attributes.
When the open beta arrived, in scenarios over level twenty, titles would be something like a business tag. After entering Team Survival Mode, IGNs became less important because the players would check each other's titles first because that gave a clearer idea of one's teammates. For example, the intrepid charger, the blundering boxer, the sharpshooter, these were a clear definition of the characters. Of course, one could discern a player's ability from their title as well. After level forty, other than the typical titles, one might even see titles like 'Zeus', 'Superman', 'Black Widow', and so on. These were professional players.
Back to the battle at hand, while Long Aomin and Wang Tanzhi kept the zombie busy, Feng Bujue sought his way forward in the darkened police station.