Virtual World: Close Combat Mage – Chapter 4 – Reconstruct
Original by Butterfly Blue, Translated by James, Edited by MineralWater
There exists five basic stats options in Parallel World: Health, Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom and Intelligence. Leveling up awards five stat points. Gu Fei, without the slightest hesitation, added all his stat point from leveling up into Dexterity. He then threw a few punches and kicks. Sure enough, his movements were a lot faster than before. He was overjoyed, not only could he return to his original speed, he could even obtain speed that is impossible for the real life him by continuing to add stat points to Dexterity due to the fact that this was a game. However, Gu Fei didn’t want to do such a crazy thing, he felt that it’s all good as long as he can return to his original speed. As for the rest of the stat points, he had decided to add them to Strength to increase his attack power, making himself stronger than how he really was in real life. His attack power was really too weak right now. Gu Fei clenched his fist.
Seeing that this was a game, after defeating mobs there will certainly be loot. After adding his stat points, Gu Fei started to search the body of the six defeated humanoid mobs for loot. He managed to find two small meat knives and six small purses. Low level mobs are certainly not going to be rich, each of the purses only carried some dozen of more copper coins. Gu Fei took all of the copper coins and placed them into his own purse. As for the two meat knives, Gu Fei scraped away the rust on them, lifted up his mage gown and insert them by his waist.
To create a fully realistic environment, Parallel World does not limit equipment to occupations, the only limit they put on equipments were stats and the majority of them were the amount of Strength one required. As for low-level weapons that doesn’t require any stats, of course everyone could use it.
After he finished packing, Gu Fei turned around and started to walk toward another mountain top.
Another campfire, another six brothers. However, before Gu Fei was able to tell if these six were the same as the identical six from last time, a system message suddenly came up: Dear players, the game would be disconnected in ten seconds, please be prepared to go offline in… 10… 9… 8…
After the ten seconds went by, the game shut down, the virtual reality disappeared and Gu Fei returned to reality.
“What happened?!” Gu Fei pondered and immediately went to check the official game site.
At this moment, the developers and operators of Parallel World were currently in an emergency meeting in the middle of the night discussing about many issues that came with the first day of open beta.
Due to being the first virtual reality game in history, in order to maintain its mysteriousness, Parallel World had been developed in the dark. Only when it was in closed beta did it start to be publicized. As for closed beta, it was completed with only company personnels. What these personnels tested were only the characters, missions, skills and equipments – all the most important parts of a conventional game. However, today in the first day of the open beta, numerous issues were brought to light and almost all of them were due to the virtual reality technology.
The first issue was brought by the data collected by the player complaints department. The monsters at the leveling area being way too cute was the most complained issue. The female players were really worked up regarding this issue. As for the male players, because they were afraid of being disdained by female players after killing those cute monsters, they were even more dissatisfied with this issue and was even more worked up than the female players.
Other than this issue, there’s complaints about how the buildings, trees, etc etc. were all the same in the game. However, those could be resolved with technical modifications. The truly problematic issue was those caused by other players.
In only half day into open beta, numerous violent incidents had occurred in the game. The game company were helpless and are unable to do anything about those incidents. Simulating the human sensory system was the core of the entire virtual reality game and the violent incidents occurred exactly according to this framework. It was impossible to resolve this problem by doing technical modifications to the game. After repeated studies, the company decided to incorporate this kind of fighting into PK and also increased PK protection till level 10. As for whether PKers in the future might brandish a game weapon’s ability in their right hand while using martial arts in their left hand to sneak attack their opponents, it was something they could only wait and see.
“It’s all good! Realistic! Ha! Isn’t being realistic the goal our virtual reality game?! Wasn’t this our aspiration?!” A certain executive in the meeting tried to console everyone else.
However the problem that comes afterward was something that even flying the banner of ‘realistic’ cannot conceal – female players being assaulted by male players.
None of the staff members ever expected that the virtual reality technology would bring forth the dark side of the players so thoroughly. However, due to the sensory system simulating being a whole set along with the game, trying to weed out only the sexual aspects of the game was not something that the game company could accomplish with their technology. Furthermore, this could instead turn into a hidden selling point for the game, even the executives were not willing to completely remove this from the game.
The final proposed solution was to create a selection screen to allow for the consent of both parties present. However, this once again became a headache for the staff members of the technology department. Imagine that a pair of couple was in a warm and comfortable environment, their passions hot and ready, they were unable to control themselves much longer, right when they want to engage in the next step ‘ding’ a pop-up asking for their consent to appeared. ‘So and so invited you to engage in xx activities, are you willing to accept?’ Granted that the person decided to pick ‘yes’, the hot and ready atmosphere would have turned to the same as picking ‘no.’
Furthermore, the issue of how to control the xx aspect of the game came into question – what is considered to be an xx activity? What about a kiss? A touch? ‘So and so is prepared to touch you, are you willing to accept?’ When an individual in the meeting imitated such a situation occurring, everyone in the meeting felt like vomiting.
“Regardless, make it first, we can adjust it afterward using the responses and suggestions of the players.” Finally, the boss determined the course of action.
Soon after, they discussed a couple more issues and then the meeting ended. Everyone returned to their respective departments and began to work intensely on implementing the changes. Only half a day into the open beta, they had to reconstruct the whole game, this was most certainly a legend in the history of online gaming. Fortunately, the company was able to put the blame on ‘lack of experience due to it being the first time virtual reality technology was implemented into gaming’ to cover up their mistakes. However, the pressure on everyone in the company was, without a doubt, immense.
The company boss saw that each and every one of his staff members were bustling out the meeting to implement methods of solving the issues and nodded satisfied. However, he soon noticed that there was a man still seated and haven’t moved. This man was looking at him with a smile on his face.
Only after everyone had left with the boss spoke out to the man. “Xiaowu, you need something?”
“As expected of the boss, you know me well!” This man called Xiaowu stood up and walked to the front of the boss. He pulled a random chair and sat down.
“You can speak!” The boss looked at him. This Ye Xiaowu was a personnel of the game engineering department, he was one of the core member in the construction of the game.
“Eh! The things I saw today had led me to think that our game might experience a little difficulty.” Said Xiaowu.
“Because it’s virtual reality, there are some people who will bring their skills from the real life into the game. Like that, they will obtain early advantage compared to other gamers. To the equilibrium that we sought after the whole time, this was something that’s very detrimental!” Said Xiaowu.
“What kind of skills would affect the gameplay?” Asked the boss.
“For example, kung fu!”
Xiaowu nodded with extreme certainty. “Today I met a man in the game. His occupation was a mage, however, he defeated three knights unarmed. I believe he is one such individual who knows kung fu.”
“There’s really such a person?!” The boss frowned.
Xiaowu continued. “Just think about it… police, military men, martial arts practitioners, boxers, etc etc. They all have the possibility to create such an imbalance in the game!”
“What’s can we do? We can’t just go around prohibiting people from playing our game just because of their real life occupations.” Said the boss.
“There’s nothing we can do.” Xiaowu shook his head.
However, the boss laughed. “You wouldn’t have stayed and speak about this with me if that was the case.”
Xiaowu also laughed. “It’s merely that people like these have brought me a revelation.”
“In traditional online games, the main focus was always on the combat aspects of the game. However, our game was the all new virtual reality game, shouldn’t we intensify our efforts to develop the other systems other than combat? If we were to make it so that people skillful with certain aspects in real life were able to bring their skills into the game and use it, wouldn’t this also be considered as balancing the game?!” Said Xiaowu.
“What you spoke, while sounding simple, is very difficult to develop.” Said the boss.
“Doesn’t hurt to try!”
“Okay. Bring a specific plan to our next meeting, we can discuss it.” Said the boss.
“Okay!” Xiaowu was filled with joy. “Then I shall take my leave.”
“Wait!” The boss stopped him. “You entered the game again?! Don’t tell me that you don’t know of the rules of the game society. As a personnel of a gaming company, you are not allowed to enter the game of your company. Companies that are more strict doesn’t even allow their relatives to enter the game!”
“Never had I agreed with this rule. We who create games obviously love games, why must we lose our right to play the games because of that? Sir, you could be at ease, I am a self-disciplined game company personnel, I am but a regular gamer in the game.” Said Xiaowu.
“With all your understanding of the game, how could you be a regular gamer?” Said the boss.
“Sir, rest assured. I would not touch a single one of the hidden treasures, is that okay?” Said Xiaowu.
“I will have others pay close attention to you, what’s your game name?” Asked the boss.
“EarthlySmile!” Xiaowu smiled as he left the meeting room.