Chapter 3 – Proficiency and Progress
“Thank you for confirming, Quest ID 2450 has been completed by party consisting of Foxxie and Nyctophobic. You may keep the 15 [Grilled Crab]s as the reward, and your experience should have been credited to your character.”
Daniroh accompanied Nic and I back to the guild since he had to pay the guild for hosting the quest. The large crab that we defeated had been eaten as lunch and Nic decided one of the pincers for materials to craft a shield. By the way, Nic and I are now level 8, Nic still stubbornly adds everything to STA while I add everything into STR. Nic’s already going down the tanking path, so I won’t have to worry too much about defense, besides, with a 2-handed weapon my defense will always be lower than someone with a shield (let alone 2 shields if Nic’s build is possible).
“Do you even know how to craft a shield?” (Me)
“Not really. How ’bout you Dan? You know how to craft a shield?” (Nic)
“A shield? Well.. I only took Cooking, Botany and Zoology as my proficiencies, so I don’t have any crafting skills.. I don’t know about others since I’ve been playing alone so far.” (Daniroh)
“You’ve been playing alone? Wanna buddy up with Nic and I? We’re still new, but you’ve been really helpful and taught us many things.” (Me)
He also has everything he needs for cooking in this world, Botany identifies plants, Zoology identifies animals, he chose all the proficiencies related to cooking! We could use a guy like him!
“Ehh… Sure why not, a game’s always more fun with friends anyway~”
The 3 of us added each other to the buddy lists.
“Wanna join our party too? We can take on one more quest and we can chat along the way.” (Me)
“Okay, which quest do you guys plan on taking?” (Dan)
“I think with your proficiency, the [Chili] gathering one (Quest ID: 822) would be suitable and should be relatively easy, also, I’d love to see how proficiency affects simple tasks such as gathering raw materials.”
“Ahh I see, alright let’s do that one, if we gather excess I could use it in my cooking as well, so it’s two birds with one stone.”
I add up Daniroh to the party, and we proceed to request the quest through the guild clerk. Everything proceeds without a problem, we’re given small pouches to contain the [Chili] and we’re soon off on our way into the forest.
“So how does the proficiency thing work anyway? I haven’t had the time to explore it yet, but I guess the earlier you choose your set up, the faster you’ll improve?” (Me)
“I’m not too sure about that, I just chose mine early because I love cooking in real life and wanna try some risk-free experiments in the game. Virtual reality has a lot of uses other than games you know~” (Dan)
Hmmmm? I see.. Well for starters let’s bring up the proficiency screen.
「Proficiencies learned: 0 (Max 3)
“Hoooo…? 10 types to choose from with a maximum of 3 eh? I think I’ll go for Scribing, Alchemy and Botany.” (Nic)
“But Daniroh already has Botany though, wouldn’t it be more efficient to take another proficiency?”
“Nah it’s fine, besides, it’s not like Dan will always be online when I am. Don’t wanna trouble him too much too, Alchemy probably processes herbs into potions, it’s good to have a base of plants even if it’s inefficient.”
“Hmm.. I guess. I think I’ll take Smithing, Geology and Fishing then, Smithing and Geology go together, and I’ve always wanted to try fishing. I wonder what’s the mechanic like in this game.”
“Nice! Maybe you can take this crab pincer and craft me a shield!”
「Proficiencies learned: 3 (Max)
Smithing: Lv 1
Fishing: Lv 1
Geology: Lv 1」
「Spell (Fire) learned.」
「Spell (Water) learned.」
「Spell (Quake) learned.」
Oh? The other proficiencies disappear when the limit is reached, that’s interesting. I also learned 3 spells, I’m guessing Fire is needed for Smithing, Water is needed for Fishing and Quake is for Geology? That’s pretty cool.. I’ll test them out later if there’s a chance.
“So Dan, what’s your proficiency levels at now?” (Nic)
“Hold on lemme check.. I have.. Cooking at Lv 2, Botany and Zoology at Lv 1, this [Chili] gathering quest could probably level my Botany to Lv 2.” (Dan)
“Speaking of the quest, we’ve reached the outskirts of the forest. The quest did mention that monsters might appear, let’s enter cautiously.” (Me)
“As long as we don’t make too much noise, we shouldn’t attract the attention of monsters.” (Dan)
We walk into the woods as quietly as we can, the last time I entered a forest near Tywan Shores I only saw a stag, I wonder if that’s considered a monster.. I hope I don’t have to find out here.
“Hey there’s some here!” Nic calls out to us eagerly. “Look, I think they’re all over the place.”
Sure enough, there were long red crescent-shaped fruits hanging off most of the bushes, looks like this quest is gonna be a walk in the park. More accurately, a walk in the forest, but you get what I mean.
“Hey this one’s special, it shows up as [Fiery Chili] when I hold it.” (Dan)
“Really? Let me try. Ooooh! It’s true!” (Nic)
“What? Lemme try too! Hmmm… It just says [Chili] for me, I guess that’s how Botany works? This is a pretty basic fruit to gather, I guess you don’t need to high levels of Botany to tell a good quality from the normal ones.”
“I’m gonna keep the higher quality ones for cooking. Hey Nic, you should keep them for your Alchemy too, potions will probably be better if you use higher quality ingredients.”
“Yea, I’ll do that! Thanks for the tip!”
“You guys should probably filter through mine when we’re done to see if there’s any fiery ones here, since I can’t tell the difference.”
The rustling noise slowly gets louder and it catches our attention. I look at Nic and Dan, they nod back at me, lowered their bodies and placed their hands near their weapons, preparing for a monster attack.
A stag’s crown pokes out of the bushes, Nic and Dan are still wary, but I simply sigh and regain my posture.
“It’s you again isn’t it? Are you here to pee again you filthy beast, go away, shoo shoo~”
The stag’s pupils widen and it charges at me.
Oh crap, did I make a mistake? Is it the wrong one? Or was it because I made sudden movements? It’s about 3 meters from me, I don’t think I have time to grab my longsword. I guess I’ll just have to grab it head on then.
The antlers hit my hand with all of the charging force of the deer. I wince but manage to hold the deer back without sliding too far back.
“Quick, kill it before it runs away!” I shout over to Nic and Dan.
They make quick work of the stag and we work on harvesting the carcass. I cut off a large portion of the stag’s antlers to save for crafting purposes, I think I might be able to smelt it down to make a sword or spear, or even if I couldn’t it’s still nice to have a souvenir. I think I kinda understand how Nic feels with his pincer now.
Dan carves out a few cuts of meat, wraps it in some big leaves and puts it into his backpack. Nic roughly skins the stag with his sword and rolls up the pelt.
“Looks like I have new things to experiment on!” (Dan)
“And I have new clothes to wear!” (Nic)
“Don’t you need tailoring to process that pelt?” (Me)
“I’ll manage somehow.”
What a carefree person.
Anyway, we return to gathering the [Chili] and we gathered a total of 130 chilies, with 40 of them being of the “fiery” quality. We turn them in to the guild for our reward and proceeded with the next quest, and the next, and a few more.
By the end of the day, we were level 25.
Nic learned a few skills – Shield Bash (150 STA req.) and Shield Bearer (200 STA req). Shield Bash is a combat skill that deals damage according to the user’s defense, stuns and taunts the target, Shield Bearer is a passive that allows him to equip any shield as long as he meets the STA requirement, meaning he could equip a level 80 shield as long as he met the STA requirement, and with his STA being at 200 at level 25, I think he’s gonna have overpowered gear compared to us. He actually deviated from his all-STA build he started on though, some of the new shields he got through rewards had STR requirements, so he had to add some into STR to equip them. Well, with the new passive he doesn’t have to do that anymore. He also learned that he could indeed dual wield shields, he just didn’t have 2 shields at the start to try, but upon getting a second one he immediately tried. Dan and I are mildly amused by his appearance, but he’s having fun, so we just went along with it.
Dan also learned skills, he focused more on AGI than STR, so he learned Double Strike (150 AGI req.) and Ambidextrous (200 AGI req). Double Strike is a combat skill that attacks the opponent with both weapons at once for a devastating amount of damage but has a large recovery time while Ambidextrous removes the offhand penalty. Dual-wielding gave the offhand weapon a damage penalty due to most people only having stronger main arm strength, but that no longer applies to Dan.
Me? Well, let’s just said I got the shorter end of the stick. Kinda. I mostly focused on STR, but because I was so split between AGI and STA, I ended up half-assing them and only learned 1 new combat skill – Earth Splitter (150 STR req). It’s an upward slash that has a slow start but deals a decent amount of damage and no recovery time, I can usually carry the momentum into a strong roundhouse swing or just crash it straight down by taking a step forward kendo-style.
Foxxie | Drakonid | Lv 33
STR: 200 (+16)
STA: 60 (+5)
– Dragonheart: Increased HP regeneration according to STA
– Dragonsoul: Increased max MP according to SPR
– Hardened Skin: Magic Resistance increased according to STA [Req: 10 STA]
– 2H Weapon Apprentice: Increases damage output from 2H weapons by 10% [Req: Lv 20]
– Claw Strike (0 mp)
– Lunge (3 mp) [Req: 2H weapon]
– Earth Splitter (12 mp) [Req: 150 STR] [Req. skill: *H Weapon Apprentice]
I’m actually considering adding some points into INT just to increase my mana pool, but it appears that majority of the combat won’t exactly be using skills all the time, so I think I’ll be okay at 65mp, besides, the combat skills’ mana requirements actually drop when you level up, I think it’s possible that the required mana depends on the amount of STR you have. It makes sense that I don’t need that much mana to perform Earth Splitter if I have a decent amount of STR than as compared to if I had insufficient STR.
Skills also appear to have multiple levels, my 2H Weapon Novice changed into 2H Weapon Apprentice, I wonder what happens if I suddenly changed to a 1H Weapon + Shield playstyle, will I unlock those branches as well? Will the 2H Weapon Apprentice disappear? I’m afraid to try, maybe I’ll just ask Nic tomorrow since he changed from sword + shield to dual-wield shields.
Meanwhile my proficiencies hardly improved, they’re still around level 5, I’m guessing it’s because you’ll need to work on them more often in order to gain more experience in the various categories. It’s the same scenario with Dan and Nic, so we’re meeting up tomorrow to focus more on crafting and proficiencies instead of levelling, I also need to lighten up my backpack from all the ores that are in it. We’ll also need an upgrade to our equipment soon, so I guess we’re at a good point to explore crafts.