Chapter 5: Hidden Stats
Yue Qiang immediately selected ‘Accept’.
To tirelessly click on an NPC to initiate dialogue over tens of times was something no average gamer would have done. Only a hardcore gamer like Yue Qiang would have the experience to mindlessly do this sort of thing. Now that a change – unexpected, but entirely within his predictions – had finally happened, the choice whether or not to accept the offer was a forgone conclusion.
‘Gui Gu Mathematics’. You could tell just from the name alone that it completely outclassed something as general as ‘Analects’. Yue Qiang knew that Gui Gu Zi definitely qualified as a Boss-class figure of the Warring States Period, and according to rumors, famous Warring States generals and strategists such as Sun Bin, Pang Juan, Su Qin, and Zhang Yi were all Gui Gu Zi’s students. There was even a legend that says that Gui Gu Zi was a celestial being with incredible divine powers, and he could divine anything in existence, predicting both the past and the future. In fact, in many games, Gui Gu Zi is often inserted as a hidden boss.
Yue Qiang excitedly waited for the next dialogue to appear.
System Message: You need a minimum of 20 Tactics to learn ‘Gui Gu Mathematics: Entry Level’. At the moment, you are unable to study this.
An ‘I knew it’ look appeared on Yue Qiang’s face. It would be weird if he could learn something this awesome right off the bat.
Wait a minute, what the heck was ‘Tactics’?
His in-game character has five stats, and they are: Strength, Vitality, Wisdom, Wealth and Charisma. He had this data memorized to the letter and he could recite them even without reopening the blue progress bar. So where exactly did this ‘Tactics’ come from? Could it be…
Yue Qiang’s thoughts rapidly raced as he intently stared at the lifelike image of Teacher Chen Zi Han, and thinking to give it a try he right clicked the teacher’s avatar and selected ‘Check Status’. As he thought, the situation had once again changed.
Character Name: Chen Zi Han
Class: Teacher (A poor scholar who teaches for a living)
Strength: 22 (Since he often beats his student as punishment, his strength is slightly larger than a normal man)
Vitality: 11 (Teacher Chen Zi Han has become even weaker than before)
Memory: 25 (Well read in ‘the Analects’, ‘Le Memoir’ and some other books)
Tactics: 37 (Received tutelage under the student of Gui Gi Zi’s student and is quite knowledgeable in theorem and research)
?? : ??
??? : ???
So this is how it is. By completing hidden quests, he could collect more information about the Game.
Since he couldn’t learn this at his current level, he might as well talk to Chen Zi Han some more and see if he could draw out any more useful information. Yue Qiang continued to right click Chen Zi Han to talk with him.
“Young sir, your qualifications are lacking and thus, you are unable to learn the advanced and complicated ‘Gui Gu Mathematics’. It will only strain your mind if you force yourself to learn this, so please, you should start by first studying the very basics of the art of war, young sir.” Teacher Chen Zi Han uttered righteously while stroking his beard.
But Yue Qiang was not one to give up easily, so he continued to try talking to Chen Zi Han. While the teacher’s lines did not change whatsoever, his beard, on the other hand, was gradually blown up in an obvious display of impatience. After a few more attempts Chen Zi Han whipped his sleeves and pulled out the ruler he used earlier and struck Yue Qiang hard on the skull.
“Brat! To bite off more than you chew cannot possibly be the right path of learning! You will be this old man’s death!” said Chen Zi Han before he ignored Yue Qiang completely and stormed out of the room.
Yue Qiang got up to his feet as he stared at the three bruises on his head with a wry smile. As he replayed the scene where he was struck on the head with the ruler. In his mind, he thought to himself: This game’s sound effects and animation effects are pretty realistic alright. Instead of rushing after the teacher so he could exit the house and further explore the Game’s world, Yue Qiang forced himself to stay in and take a breather while he summarizes and concludes the events thus far.
It was clear that this game was very different from any of the games he had ever played before in his life. To begin with, stats in the Game actually reflected onto the real world, and this could be proven from Rao Xiao Ting and the store clerk’s reactions. Next would be his in-game stats. Other than the 8 free distribution stat points he got at the beginning of the game, he could acquire more stats if he completed his quests ‘perfectly’, and not only that, they could also be freely distributed.
Moreover, after his interaction with the NPC Teacher Chen Zi Han, an idea was beginning to formulate in his mind. What if his initial five stats weren’t actually fixed? If an NPC could have 6 stats, then as a player he couldn’t possibly be weaker than an NPC, right?
In that case, was it possible that he could acquire more hidden ability stat points if he worked harder in the game? For example, the Tactics points required to learn ‘Gui Gu Mathematics’?
Yue Qiang roughly went through all the information he had gathered in the game thus far and came up with a simple plan. He still hadn’t walked out of the door yet. In Yue Qiang’s opinion, if he was going to play a game seriously, then he should research as much info as possible before he truly started.
Well, no need to think about web surfing on the computer; the game had pretty much blocked off all available switching methods. Yue Qiang turned on his phone, browsed into a gaming forum that he frequented and posted a thread:
[Advise: Has anyone played a game called ‘Game: The Game’ before?
Um, it’s like this. The game’s title is a bit weird, called ‘Game’. It’s a single player game and it doesn’t need a web connection to play, but once it’s started you cannot switch out to any other screen. The graphics, sound, and animation effects are all incredibly realistic, and this game’s physics engine is surprisingly powerful. I am well and truly shocked that my 4000 Yuan machine could even run such a high-quality game. Um, also the beginning character has five stats. Has anyone played this before? Do reply below, thank you very much.]
Carefully, Yue Qiang kept all of the Game’s oddities out of the passage and only mentioned a few obscure points. He planned to log back in tomorrow and check the replies. Usually, the users on single player forums have pretty vivid imaginations; who knows, maybe there really are others who have played this game? Even if he was the game’s only player, the forumers should still be able to provide explanations on all angles about the Game.
Finally, he logged out of the forum and picked up his peripherals once more. He was almost ready. Yue Qiang planned to walk out of this house and take a deep look into the mysteries behind the Game.
As he inched closer towards the exit, to his surprise, Yue Qiang realized that the game’s perspective had unconsciously switched into first person perspective. What this means is that at the beginning, Yue Qiang was observing his character as well as his interactions with Teacher Chen Zi Han from a top-down perspective, and as he walked closer and closer towards the door he then realized that the game’s perspective had changed. He, as the player didn’t even realize it until it was too late.
There are obvious advantages to this transition. For example, when playing ‘Need For Speed’ the experience between third person and the driver’s perspective (switch by pressing the ‘C’ key) is completely different. Personally, Yue Qiang himself is a die hard fan of first person games.
Through the first person perspective, Yue Qiang could see through the main entrance and observe the scenery outside the house. There were blue skies and lush green trees; the smithy just opposite of the house. He could even scroll the mouse wheel to zoom in and enlarge a specific location’s image to a certain degree. For example, he could see right now a blacksmith striking iron while sweating buckets inside the smithy.
And do you know what this means? It means that this game does not require scene changes at all! It means a frightening amount of computational power, and every scene could be freely traversed without ever needing to load at all!
(TN: or load objects, for the more technical-minded)
Yue Qiang glanced at his old PC. He knew very well that it was impossible for his PC to be able to run such a high spec game. Lifting a wry smile, Yue Qiang controlled his character and headed towards the door.