Chapter 3.5 ~ So This is My New Life (Part 2)
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Static blue and gray, 1 0 1. The world of the System, as they say.

Not too long after I log in, I was greeted by a transparent little girl waving at me. Oddly, her appearance is just like me but with blue skin and some symbols on both sides of her face.

She never introduced herself but many people would just call her the Intro Girl, as lazy as it sounds. This is probably true though, but not really, her voice is quite generic but there is something eerie about it, oddly a bit too human-like…

… and she’s staring at me without even blinking.

It’s creepy.

! {Welcome, it seems that this is your first time here in the Black System. Would you like me to guide you through the Basics?}

The creepiness is gone and it turns into a good feeling.

‘Ahh, the nostalgia…’ I thought to myself.

“Yes, please!” nodding enthusiastically.

! {Ekolia, Home of the High Fantasy, filled with limitless possibilities. It is up to you to decide what you want to do with your life. You may either fly so high up to the endless sky or fall deep into the bottomless abyss…}

{… or maybe you just want to live normally. Having a comfortably stable normal life in the Second Earth just like any other people as ordinary person… it is all up to you}

The girl lifted one of her arms, {You have the power to choose} and we flew through the slope of dynamic blue zeroes and ones. It feels as if we are moving at a Mach speed but then we stopped abruptly.

“W-Woah.”

No damage to me at all though.

Soon, all of the somewhat familiar interfaces appeared. The Forums, Social Media, Auction House, Personal Statistics, and more. Though, all of them are locked except for one, the Character Creation.

! {Before you delve into the Second Earth, here is where you can customize your appearance, choose your occupation, what kind of skill or class you want to have and be, then decide whether you want to activate the Realism Mode or not}

The Realism mode, huh.

I haven't tried it before, mainly because of how hard it is.

! {Realism Mode is our…}

The girl… I’ll just call her the System from now on. Her explanation is quite lengthy, but basically and fundamentally, everything that is happening will feel extremely Realistic.

The air, the scenery, the interaction, all of them have been upgraded as well.

There is no pain reduction, no aim assist, and there’s a lot more survival mechanic that has been added into it as well.

But those are the things that turn people off from using this mode though. They start the game off with it, having a smile on their face while their mind being blown away, but an hour later, all of them went to request a refund.

Why did you say?

Well, it's…

Mainly because of the Pain Reduction, people are so used to having either no Pain at all or just 30% at maximum, more than that… everyone would just call you a madman.

Obviously, since there are numerous changes being implemented into the gameplay, it would take a while for people to adjust and they just don't have the time for it. Not because they're busy leveling to earn a living, no… well that too, but…

Even when someone having so much money, there is always something else to do. Like building a guild, a clan, collecting rare items, spreading influence, building connections, making friends, and more.

So, people just don't have the time to actually “enjoy” the game.

It's like a race, the discovery of rare and new items is precious. The first time they hit the Auction House, boom! People would just swarm in on that seller to get their hands on it and not only that, the owner would get instant fame with that kind of clout.

But, by the time the items become more common, the price drops so fast that it can’t even be tracked simply by following it, and at the same time, their fame will no longer be the same as it starts to slowly fade away.

People cling to the idea of always being at the top performance that they’ll result in doing absolutely everything to regain that back.

It’s like an addiction.

Well, that was how it is for me as well... at least, at first... Growth is my obsession

Anyway, the pain from being cut in half is just terrible. Unless one is quite the heavy masochist, nobody would choose to enable this feature, I'm sure of it… maybe.

Another limitation is okay like no aim assists, it's alright.

But even though the System mentioned many changes in the Survival Mechanics, she never really explained anything, no one knows what has really changed to the overall gameplay. Yes, no one actually knows the difference between this to the Normal Mode other than the Realistic Pain experience since almost no one wants to research it.

There are though like I said, some exceptions who tried to do that and then compile a list of the changes, they are called Researcher… as lazy as that is again, but I'm serious, even they have given up on it as well.

! {The Realism mode is one of our best features yet. We put our soul into it just like the creator who made this world. This mode allows players to fully experience the world they will be living in, become a part of them}

No matter what you said, it doesn't change the fact that it brought mental trauma for many people that uses it.

But, the idea itself though, is intriguing for me. Especially since I always wanted to experience it, Realism Mode is essentially a full-scale immersion and I love that kind of thing.

She then guides me through the Character Creation, her explanation is simple and easy to understand, I love it.

So, I went to customize my character. Nothing really changed, appearance-wise. I just change my hairstyle a little bit, shorter and wavy. Basically, cleaning up the way I look.

A nerdy-bookworm is never a bad thing, I just need glasses and it’ll be complete. Unfortunately though, the game won't give it to me.

My chest is… mmph! I kind of want to change them but decided not to.

The race is of course Human. There are many other races that are available, such as Elves, Dwarfs, Lizardman, Beast Race, and more. Typical Fantasy race along with their advanced Racial Evolution.

I just like the Origin, ya know. Old school, OG, or whatever you wanna call it.

Here, there’s also Heteromorphy Race as well. Such as Undead, Slimes, Spider, and more, but only limited to the base evolution of that monster’s tree. It also comes with a very limited progression system.

Not limit as in “not much freedom” but more like a higher difficulty mode.

Let’s say that if I were to pick an Undead, I would first start as a Skeleton and then evolved to a higher form, Draugr, Lich, Death Knight, and more.

Like I said though, the Progression can be quite painful. The word “hard” is one thing on this because the requirement to rank up and such are much different than the traditional races. Evolution requires someone to do almost an impossible thing.

One example would be for a Lich trying to evolve to a Grand Lich. Which in this case, would require you to kill 100 NPC and 10 Friendly NPC, and the evolution to a greater one, the Arch-Lich is even more punishing. Nobody would want to kill something like a Friendly NPC unless one is truly an idiot or just insane. The amount of benefits they bring is just outweighed it sometimes.

That is NPC (Non-Player Character) not Enemies like monsters or bandits, and NPC is mostly neutral.

So, not many people would pick this one and I won't.

Each normal race has its own Evolution Tree too, for example, an Elf having completed the requirements for Evolution, then they will unlock many evolutions such as Dark-Elves, High-Elves, Wood-Elves, and Holy-Elves.

Another example would be when someone chose to be a High-Elf, then they will become a Superior High-Elf until they undergo the last challenge of the final Evolution and become the Apostle of the Forest, Gaia.

Although a Human does not have an Evolution Tree, they are still a quite decently powerful race and most common since… well, everyone playing this game is a human… maybe.

There's quite a backlash because of it since the race has no Evolution Tree, but that quickly died down because they compensated it for a better progression.

The progression I’m talking about is literally progress in getting stronger, like higher exp gain, lower rank up requirement, and lesser punishment for a class change.

Last time, I chose a Priest as my occupation. Guess the old update still calls it Class. I got a unique class Chronomancer back then, even as far as obtaining its Benediction, a unique Innate Ability that is available to unlock after completing a certain hidden quest related to that class, and it's quite challenging since it is called hidden, the quest is different than the main Class Quest itself.

Some Class comes with their Benediction after one undergoes a rank up. However, they’re quite common and easy to be countered when playing PVP, hence why people seek the hidden and more powerful ones.

‘Hmm… it seems you can only pick one class in this version of the game. That’s unfortunate, I was looking forward to mixing a priest and witch class even though both are not compatible, but they were still supported by the system. Oh well…’

I don’t want to move around much, last time I tried to dodge things, I got flipped 360 in the air by some pigs. Then there’s a problem with me not being religious and dared to choose the priest class.

Got a ton of backlash right after I made my debut. Those idiots in the media have been so out of touch to the point that it’s painful to watch.

And the people supporting them are just…

*sigh*

I don’t know what to say to em. Multiple times I’ve said that I played Priest so I can boost its popularity and the general conception around them. Priest is not a weak class and shouldn’t be categorized as the same tier as the likes of Bard.

People with the Priest class supported me, even the religious people themselves, but them... who are not religious at all have a problem with it.

“Haaa… guess I’ll just pick Mage this time. No need to deal with the infinite stupidity that human has.”

Right when I said it, the system narrowed her eyes down. I wonder if I offend the dev by saying that.

‘No, that’s impossible. The devs have always put their hands off the game. Some are allowed to play anonymously without any advantage, so I’m sure, this is just my stupid paranoia biting me again. Everything is handled by the Black Network and developers shouldn’t have anything to do with what their customer said about… anything.’

All right, for the stats… This should be good enough.

===== Profile Status =====

Statistics
Name: --- / Level: 1 / Class: Mage

Primary Attributes
Max Health: 100 | Max Mana: 400 | Max Stamina: 100
Health: 100 | Mana: 400 | Stamina: 100

Secondary Attributes
Strength: 0 / Dexterity: 0 / Endurance: 0
Vitality: 0 / Agility: 6
Intelligence: 13 / Faith: 0 / Luck: 1

Combat
Physical Attack: 0 / Physical Defense: 0
Magical Attack: 0 / Magical Defense: 0
Health Regeneration: 1 / Mana Regeneration: 2 / Stamina Regeneration: 1

Gear
[Ragged Outfit]

Active Effect
None

===== Profile Status =====

'Ragged Outfit? I'm literally naked right now though.'

! {Character Creation Complete}

“What? No option to choose my ability or name myself?”

The system opens her mouth.

{Naming can be done once you have entered the new world. The change is permanent. Thus we recommend for players to think it through before deciding on it}

{As for the Ability, there is none to choose from with the class you have chosen. However, with each time you reach the milestone of 10 levels per rank, you will be rewarded with a choice of choosing your desired specialty which will make it easier for you to learn the ability related to your chosen class}

In Arcane Magic, there is 5 rank in total.

Novice, Apprentice, Adept, Expert, and Master.

Meaning I have 5 opportunities per 10 levels to choose which one spell type I wanted to grow. 'Becoming a Specialist or Jack of All Trades, huh....' It's not bad, though I don’t know the exact numbers or percentage of the bonus.

! {Would you like to enable Realism Mode?}

This again, she's quite persistent.

I sighed while thinking about it. The game's overall content consumption has only achieved 40%. That means there is still a good chunk of 60% quality content left to explore, and not to mention the expansion that came out over the years.

I may be a genius and know many things about the game, but compared to what actually in the game itself… I’m irrelevant, insignificant.

‘All right, I've decided.’

Steeled my resolve, I clenched my butt tight as I responded, “Yes.”

Part of the system's lips tilted to a grin.

! {Realism Mode has been Activated}

~ {Starter Pack will be given once you have entered a Safe Zone}

‘Not even bothering to ask whether I’m sure to enable it or not, huh.’

! {Thank you for purchasing Ekolia}

~ {Your new life in the Second Earth…}

~ {… Starts now}

In a second, my vision went blank. The moment I opened my eyes again, I got into a new environment. I can feel it. But I couldn’t see anything... since my eyes are still adjusting to the dark.

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