2.58 Questing
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2.58 Questing

When Flora entered the Cetviwos, a boxing glove smashed into her face. Nonetheless, she was happy. The part of her mind that housed her AIs was finally active again.

"Hello, dears. I missed you!"

"Welcome back, Milady."

*beep*

Flora dodged the next attack. She was in a boxing box on the simulation grounds because Eddie had told her about his offline training trick. There were two kinds of ways to log out. With the first one, your body vanished. With the second one, your body stayed in the Cetviwos. Eddie used only the second one and trained in a box while he played with his grandkid. He had learned about it while sailing. If you used the first method, your body reappeared at precisely the same coordinates. If your ship isn't there anymore, you had a very wet login experience.

Although Flora wasn't sure if the trick still worked with the patch, she didn't lose anything to try it out.

"Do you want to read the patch notes, Milady?"

"No. I absolutely don't want to. I want to ignore it… Can you give me a rundown on the points I can't ignore? It would help if you integrated a lot of toasters and toast."

"Of course, Milady. Your Toasters and almost everything, and everyone has more hitpoints according to their rating. This is important for the entourage selection because now A-rated candidates like Zander and Yl have a bigger advantage than B-rated candidates."

"I think good teamwork and the will to do your best counts for more than rating and stats."

"Nonetheless, the difference is quite pronounced. I estimate that Yl might have around 30k hit points at level 1 while Deriga might only have 5k."

"Burned toast! How much do I have now? And did the damage scale, too?"

"1801 HP, Milady. The damage formulas haven't changed."

Flora grinned. She still felt confident about winning a duel against Deriga. Okay, she thought she could take anyone.

"Generators in Toasters and other devices won't count towards their MR-bolster. Additionally, you have to invest more mana-regen at the lower tiers to reach the difficulty ratings."

"That sounds bad. Please explain it in more detail. MR-bolster is the thingy − can I call it a factor? – which makes companions better the more mana-regen I invest, right?"

"Yes, Milady. Before the patch, you needed to invest 30 MR for a C/Soldier-rated companion. Now, you have to invest 50 MR. They nerfed the companion playstyle for the lower levels but increased the effectiveness for the higher levels. If you were level 100 you had to pay less MR for the same effect than before."

"Okay, so they didn't make it worse; they only made it worse for low leveled players."

"Yes, Milady. That is relevant for you because now your It's a Trap-Turrets will only have 12 HP when you invest 1 MR/min in them like you used to."

"Burned Toast! They break if I sneeze at them! What about the Octopussy and the Mover?"

"230 HP for 16 MR for the Octopussy. 560 HP for the Accordion-Golem for 20 MR. 532 HP for the Mover for 32 MR."

"Okay, that's in the same ballpark as before. Wait, I'll get a 32 MR Establish Connection from a 20 MR Golem? The System said less."

"Actually, we leveled Establish Connection and Animate Companion to such a degree that I expected more. The implemented algorithm must have changed since we spoke with them. I suspect that the positive aspect came from the increased importance of the materials. I tested animating the Golly, and it has a lower mana-regeneration, but better physical stats."

Flora wasn't sure what Aidan meant and didn't ask because she was eager to leave the simulation grounds. However, linking Aito's Octopussy to a golem with a great conversion rate would give her Octopussy more power for the same investment, and Flora would have an additional companion for free. So, she replaced the stone in the Golly with the same rubber material as the Accordion-Golem, but she left out the hands because she doubted the impact of rubber fists on enemies.

Setup:

- Accordion Golem (15 MR): Establish Connection, Repair, Cluster Maintenance, Re-Cut

--> Connected to Mover (29 MR)

- Rubber Golly (15 MR): Establish Connection, Ice Bolt, Hail, Re-Frigerate

--> Connected to Octopussy (29 MR)

- 5 MR Counterflow Training Mech-Suit

- 4 MR Weapons: 2 Multitools, 1 Wavering Wave-Ring, 1 Toasted Bracelet

- 10 MR Divine Radiance

"Let's check out the Elemental Caverns for our joyride!"

"They are in a magic-only area, Milady. The Mover won't work there."

"Bummer! Where else did we plan to go?"

"To the Magetech Institute for asking Doc Brownski about nocks for golems and doing the weekly quest and to Fortend for acquiring the Weapon and Shield-Master classes. Aitoshuri found an appropriate opponent for the DPS Achievement in a HI3, but with the bigger health pool of the enemies, most bosses might be eligible for stacking up debuffs."

"For the MI quest, I have to use Forklifter robots, and I have trained enough those last days. Let's ask Eddie if he wants to do an Instance."

"Excellent timing, love!" Eddie greeted her when she called him. "I'm just wrapping up my Hero's Entrance."

"Great! Do you want to go into an instance?"

"Another time. I'm in a lovely seaport, and I want to go questing at the seaside. Why don't you join me? I stumbled upon an RGS 3 quest, so I could use some help."

"I'm in!"

Questing, the word alone sounded glorious!


"Please take the cat food to Granny Boba."

Flora had ported to Talpica and from there to the Portal-Town closest to Eddie. She had flown the rest of the way. The Mover had accelerated just wonderfully, and its speed peaked at 350 km/h. Her only critique was that the flight's stability was a bit lacking.

Eddie had directed her to a middle-aged Waterling, who sat behind a market stall, smoking a pipe.

"Please take the cat food to Granny Boba." The guy repeated as Flora stared at him. That was not what she had imagined of the word "Questing". It was her oversight. She should have known better because repairing turrets, somersaulting, and even herding sheeps had been labeled as "Quests" as well.

Eddie gave her an encouraging smile.

"Uhm, yes, will do!" Flora said and pocketed the fodder sack.

Quest: Take the cat food to Granny Boba.

Description: Visit Granny Boba in her cottage at the beach of the town Swell and give her the sack of cat fodder.

Rewards: Follow Quest

Penalty: Vendor Rales won't trade with you anymore.

Difficulty: E.

"Hello, good sir. May I help you with anything today?" Eddie asked the same guy.

"Please take the cat food to Granny Boba." The waterling gave Eddie an identical sack.

"I have big pockets, dear. If you have any more fodder, I can carry some sacks." Flora suggested.

"It's alright, dear." The waterling puffed on his pipe.

A grinning Eddie tried to pull Flora away, but she refused to move as two more Earthlings approached the vendor and received two more sacks for Granny Boba.

"Are you sure that you don't have any more deliveries for the granny?" Flora asked.

"It's alright, dear." The waterling puffed on his pipe.

A young man, wearing striped clothes, approached the vendor, and walked away with another sack.

This time, Flora addressed the player. "Excuse me, dear. We will deliver fodder to Granny Boba. If you want, we can take your sack, too."

"Are you trying to cheat me out of my quest?" The young man scowled at Flora.

"No, no. I just want to help."

Holding the sack close to his chest, the man walked away with a last mistrustful glance at Flora.

Seeking to make sense of the situation, Flora looked at Eddie, but that old codger was busy laughing at her.

"Come on, love. Show me how well that fancy blender of yours can fly."

Eddie's request successfully distracted Flora, and she gushed about the Mover's specifications during the entire flight to Granny Boba. Because Flora sat in the front cabin and Eddie in the back, she saw his green face only when they exited the vehicle.

"I think I have to… no I won't… oh dear." Eddie ran towards one of the flowerbeds that surrounded the idyllic cottage and puked. "I'm good now! Heaven's stormy sea, that was worse than sailing through a thunderstorm!"

<Clean>

Flora cast the spell repeatedly. She didn't want to leave a bad first impression with the cat lady.

When they walked around the corner, they saw a player presenting the sack to a withered Woodling granny sitting on the front porch. The granny scoffed and emptied the sack. Then the player walked away.

"Greetings, fair lady! Here are the most delicious snacks for your adorable cats!" Eddie said and gave her the sack.

The granny scoffed and emptied the sack. "My cats want to eat crab and not crap. Bring me some crab meat!"

"Here you are." Flora handed over her sack.

The granny scoffed and emptied the sack. "My cats want to eat crab and not crap. Bring me some crab meat!"

Quest: Take ten pieces of crab meat to Granny Boba.

Description: Visit Granny Boba in her cottage at the beach of the town Swell and give her the ten pieces of crab meat. Hint: You can find crabs on the coasts of Swell.

Rewards: Follow Quest

Penalty: none.

Difficulty: D.

Flora looked at the floor, but instead of finding a hill of discarded cat food, it was clean enough to eat from it.

"Does your porch eat crap?"

"Just ignore it, love. It's video game logic."

"Cats have it all – admiration, an endless sleep, and company only when they want it. − Rod McKuen" The granny nodded, patting a ginger cat.

"Nice quote. Here's one of mine: To set but a low value upon toast is to expose one's deficiencies in right appreciation. − E.V. Lucas"

"Let's go," Eddie said.

"Way down deep, we’re all motivated by the same urges. Cats have the courage to live by them. – Jim Davis" The granny nodded again.

"If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet, what happens if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it? – Stefen Write" Flora counter-quoted.

Just when Eddie pulled Flora away, the Granny looked at her, and suddenly, there was a spark in her eyes. "The cat would win, of course, and land on her feet."

"Don't underestimate the might of buttered toast−" Flora started to argue, but Eddie picked her up in a fireman's carry. Taking off the mech-suit that the Mover could transport Eddie had been a mistake!

<Suit up>

Poor Eddie buckled under her weight and set her down. "Flora, love, you can't win an argument against an NPC!"

"Aidan, set him straight!"

"My esteemed owner can win any and all arguments about toasters, no matter the opponent. Not only because of her immense wisdom and stubbornness but also because of the inherent superiority of toasters to any other subject." Aidan sounded from the loudspeakers of the Mover.

Flora smirked, and Eddie facepalmed, but Flora could see him smiling between his fingers.

"Let's kill some crabs." Eddie looked over the beach. The Earthling woman, they had met at the cottage, and some other players were fighting with crabs. "We have to walk a bit farther. The competition is too strong."

"Why don't we fly?" Flora jumped into the Mover.

Eddie didn't honor the comment with a reply. He started walking away without even looking at Flora.

Chuckling, Flora hovered next to him.

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