Translated by: Effyis
Edited by: Stbunbun
Chapter 26: Quest Chain
Gu Fei didn’t care much about his guild’s issue. He was currently rushing towards the Fountain Square in the middle of Cloud City, where he had planned to meet up with someone.
As he neared the place, Gu Fei could see Mortal Smile who waved at him from afar.
“What’s the matter?” Mortal Smile got straight to the point as Gu Fei approached him.
“I want to ask you about something,” said Gu Fei.
Mortal Smile smiled, “I’m a self-regulated game worker. I won’t answer everything you ask.”
“Sure, just answer whatever you can!” Gu Fei agreed readily.
Gu Fei fished the badge, “Eddy’s Coat of Arms”, out of his robe. Just one glance made Mortal Smile stare in astonishment. It was as if everything else before his eyes had faded out of existence, and only the badge was glowing in front of him like the brightest star in the night sky.
“Where did you get this from??” Mortal Smile suddenly came back to his senses. He grabbed Gu Fei’s hand and pulled it over to take a closer look at the badge.
As Gu Fei narrated his experience, Mortal Smile stood stark still from shock.
“I tried to look it up on the official website yesterday, but there was nothing about this badge, so I wanted to ask you about it. Say it if you can, but if you can’t then you don’t need to mind it,” said Gu Fei.
Mortal Smile pinched his own cheek to make sure that he wasn’t dreaming, and to bring his face back to life. “It’s a quest,” he said after taking two deep breaths.
“You don’t say…”
“Not a normal quest. It’s what we call… a Quest Chain,” said Mortal Smile.
“Quest Chain?” Gu Fei felt enlightened immediately. It was a word that did appear on the official site, and its description was that it was much more complicated than normal quests and was highly randomized.
The name “Quest Chain” was chosen for various reasons. If a normal quest can be likened to a dot, then when many dots are joined with lines, a quest chain is formed. There were innumerable such dots in the game, and even a normal quest on a normal street could become the start of a quest chain.
A quest chain is formed when the system picks out a handful of dots randomly, freely orders them and chooses a suitable storyline, that makes sense for the newly formed quest chain, from the humongous storyline database the system has saved up. After which the reward for completing the quests will be tabulated based on the completeness and difficulty level. After a player completes his current quest chain, a new chain will be generated randomly somewhere else in the game world. Therefore the total number of active quest chain will stay constant, but the content of each individual quest chain will always be different. Of course, there is a small chance of the system generating the exact same storyline twice, but the chance of that is tending towards 0%.
Under such settings, it wasn’t difficult to trigger a quest chain as the requirements for the first part were usually pretty normal. But to actually complete the whole chain, depends heavily on a player’s luck and skill because quest chains are a completely random path of quests. For example, the first quest could be just a simple task of delivering a letter. While the next quest was a fight with an extremely high-level boss. Such a situation like triggering the quest chain at level 0 but needing to be at an extremely high level to complete the next step was highly possible.
As for the quest chain that Gu Fei had triggered, the requirement for triggering the first quest was a normal quest named “Trapped Eddy” a quest that was easy to complete in later stages of the game.
But the important part here was: later stages of the game.
Even looking at some of the most skilled players, with Master Han and Sword Ghost leading them, the only plan such pro players could think of was to kill Sotu by slowly grinding away his HP over a long period of time. Yet, with such a plan, the first to be dead would definitely not be Sotu but the already half-dead Eddy who is bleeding out in a corner of Sotu’s hut.
There would be no way to trigger the quest from a dead Eddy.
However, there were two requirements in order to see an alive Eddy and hear his last words.
Firstly, Sotu must not sense danger so that he won’t kill Eddy immediately.
Secondly, Eddy must also feel a sense of security so he will say his last words safely.
And the only way to achieve both requirements was for a player to fight and kill Sotu singlehandedly.
Only when the player comes alone will Sotu not feel threatened; only when Sotu is killed will Eddy say his last words and bring up the quest. If it were only a normal quest, Eddy would only say his last words. But as Gu Fei had triggered a quest chain, Eddy’s last words included an extra request. Whichever case, Eddy’s task could only be given to a player with a high level and skills who is able to fight by himself.
Mortal Smile knew about Gu Fei’s martial arts skills, but even still he could only stare in astonishment at Gu Fei’s accomplishment. He had understood before that Gu Fei and his fellow “real-life fighters” will affect the game’s balance, yet he now realized that other than PvP, the system bosses were also nothing in front of them.
Gu Fei was still talking, but Mortal Smile hadn’t heard a word. As a core member of the game design team, he had subconsciously started to ponder over whether there was a need to restrict such players in the game to maintain game balance.
“Hey! Hey!” Gu Fei’s calls brought Mortal Smile’s thoughts back.
“What were you thinking about?” Gu Fei frowned. “I was asking you why there isn’t any information about this quest on your website.”
“Ohh…” Mortal Smile recovered himself. “Quest chains are random, so there won’t be any information about it on websites. The player can only explore the quests by themselves.”
“Then is it possible for you to give me hints about it?” asked Gu Fei.
Mortal Smile smiled at Gu Fei, “I’m a self-disciplined game worker.”
“No problem, then I’ll go explore by myself! Bye!” Gu Fei accepted that immediately and turned to leave.
“Sure,” Mortal Smile waved goodbye to him.
Gu Fei reached his levelling area after walking for some time. He couldn’t be sure how many days he would have to spend here since the EXP points needed to reach the next level had increased drastically compared to previous levels. Players other than Gu Fei had started to explore alternative routes to levelling up, like completing the extensive quests available which gave large amounts of EXP and money, instead of continuing to spar with mobs. Though the amount was still incomparable with grinding mobs in terms of efficiency, it was definitely not as boring as fighting the same things all day.
Yet for Gu Fei, fighting was all he wanted to do in the game. Using his Kung Fu was all the joy he needed. Boring? If Gu Fei had been bored of Kung Fu, would he still have trained so diligently all these years?
Furthermore, Gu Fei had discovered that his Kung Fu skills had improved after he started playing the game. And this was all due to what Sword Ghost had named “Extreme Operation”.
There were so many opponents that he could fight with, and what was more important was that he could make unrestrained attacks aiming for the opponent’s’ vital areas, which he could never afford to do before in all his years of practising Kung Fu.
In reality, people had to stop when necessary in trainings so as to avoid injuries. As such, many skills had been forced to be tweaked, which undermined their actual power and flow. Gu Fei didn’t like it, but he could understand why and had to comply. Now, with the VR game, he could finally let loose. Though there was still a fly in the ointment – his opponents could not keep up with his moves so he was lacking in worthy opponents, but at least he could beat these guys up without any constraints.
As Gu Fei neared a mob, he stretched his body, before pulling out his sword and charging forward.
It really felt easier.
Gu Fei knew that it was all due to Eddy’s Coat of Arms. The 30 attribute points that it gave contributed were doing their job well as mobs started falling at greater speeds. He could feel that this levelling area had become unsatisfactory for him, and it was time to find a more challenging hunting ground.
At this moment, a pair of eyes was watching his every move not far away from him.
It was Mortal Smile. He had followed Gu Fei in secret so as to see what Gu Fei was capable of.
“What a great speed! He had to be of full Agility…” mumbled Mortal Smile to himself. As the game designer, he obviously had a much greater familiarity with the game when compared to pros like Sword Ghost. Sword Ghost could tell that Gu Fei had added a lot of his points to the Agility attribute, but Mortal Smile could tell almost exactly how many points Gu Fei had added, and his guess wouldn’t be off by more than 5 points.
“There’s Strength added too… But it should be because of Eddy’s Coat of Arms…”
“As for attack power…” Mortal Smile calculated the damage Gu Fei’s equipment and attribute points could cause and the NPCs’ defence and HP, and gasped in awe. “Wow… Maximum damage for every hit? That’s just insane! Even we designers wouldn’t dare to set the NPCs’ damage at such a steady rate! This guy is just…” Mortal Smile’s facial muscles twitched. He could see one obvious fact.
Gu Fei could be likened to a character with a full set of personal skills, which is his Kung Fu. And in the words of the game, he had high proficiency regarding these skills, and nobody knew if there was a limit to what these skills could achieve. What’s more was that these skills of his would naturally increase in level as he continued to play. Adding in the power he would gain as his character levels up and improves his equipment.
“Should I make restrictions for such a character?” Mortal Smile wondered as he ended his peeking and returned to the city to go offline. As for Gu Fei, he only took a casual look at the leaving figure of Mortal Smile.