When Flora woke up, she felt good. While her coffin was cold due to the ice rune schemes, she didn't shiver because the lightning massaged her and kept her warm. She went with Aidan over the nightly training, and he reported no problems. She slept soundly through all of it.
"I believe we have found a solution for affinities and skill training. Because of the golems, we might have gained levels in some abilities, too, right? Only some attributes like Strength, Dexterity, and Agility don't get a workout with the new system. Did our plan to level Perception work?"
"The golem raised your Hand-to-Hand Combat, Sword, Shield, Maces, Throwing, and Rocket Launcher abilities, Milady. Magical Perception didn't grow, but with your high value, eight training hours might be too short."
"Yes. We have to get used to lower training gains. Now, I only have the sleeping time, before I had 8 hours bed, 8 hours Deriga's Workshop, 8 hours Unholy Cliff, 3 hours my Workshop−I want to cry−and 3 hours my lair. Burned Toast! We lost close to 3/4 training time!" Flora said. "I think I'm sad enough to confront my patch-destroyed stats."
"The situation isn't too bad, Milady. Initially, they restricted every Level Value only to go up two tiers above the player tier. You are at tier 1, so the maximum would be the upper end of tier 3− 99 LV. However, many powerful users complained, so they changed it. Now, only the attributes are affected, and the cap is at the first level of the new tier. That means we still have the milestone Third Wind."
Flora looked at her attributes, and a new column had appeared, "Capped LV," in which every attribute but Magical Perception was 100. The former "Level Value" column received a new name: "Real LV". Here Physical Regeneration was her highest value with 114.
"How much more health or stamina would I regenerate uncapped?"
"2 points per minute, Milady. The OV would change from 34 to 36."
"Oh, well. I thought the patch would be worse. Now, it feels a bit like owning stocks. I don't have the money at hand, but I know when I can cash in. Stocks that can only rise, to boot." Flora looked if she found one more unexpected value. "Where does the + 1 Mod in my health pool come from?"
"From your level. The forum is exploding at the moment because the Cetviwos had held up the principle that everything depended on the values of one's stats and never one's character level. That has changed with the patch. Higher leveled players received a few bonuses like extra health and more stats on equipment. 35% of the commentators complain that it's too much, 30% that's too little, and 53% want the same bonus for mana. Only 3% approve of the change."
"Too much? But 1 HP per level is meager. I have 1801 HP now. That’s such an odd number. Even if I were level 250, would the 250 health more really make a difference?"
"The formula is Player-Level * Player-Tier * Player-Realm, Milady. That means 2500 at level 250 and 1245 at level 249."
Flora let it be. CentralTank hadn't employed her to make sense of their mess.
"Yes, Milady. Your Embroidered Satin Set now has a set bonus of + 2 OV to mana-reg."
"Very nice. When I look at the OV Mods and the marbles, I see that we have a long way to go until we reach 100. Maybe we should schedule one hour each day for achievement hunting." Flora mused but then shook her head. "We already have too many appointments. Just remind me of them if I get two days in a row no + OV achievement."
After Flora finished her daily casting of all skills, she emptied her crowded inventory of crab and parrot parts. She sorted out the food to send to Eddie and put everything she didn't need in the printer.
"Why do I have raw salmons in my inventory?" Flora asked. "Did the crabs drop them?"
*beep beep* Aito sounded very innocent.
"The fish belongs to Aito, Milady."
"Uhm? Should I put it back into the inventory?" Flora wasn't sure if she wanted to carry around her AI's stuff but thought it would be polite to ask at least.
"Do I need to know what you need salmon for?"
"I'm too polite for my own good! So what should I do with it?"
"Our toaster business plan requires a food depot, Milady. We could buy one now and put it there."
Flora implemented Aidan's suggestion. The food depot was a cupboard with a fridge and an icebox. It could store 250 different edible raw materials and meals. That was so much more capacity than her regular inventory! And it offered additional advantages: If she would be killed in a zone with a drop rate, not the entire cupboard dropped, but a percentage of items in the extra slots. Collected food would automatically land in the container. And when she wanted to fetch something out of it, she could target the slot in her inventory, then another screen with the food items would open. That was so much better than r!
Flora got even more excited when she saw the category "Storage-Container" in the market place. Immediately, she looked at it and found specialized boxes for herbalists (herb pouch), potions and bandages (first aid kit), gems and ores (minecart), armor and clothing (wardrobe), and a tool kit where one could store any tool. Flora bought them all. Before she added the weapon rack, Aidan notified her that there was an S-rated version available.
Name: Fast Draw Weapon Rack
Type: Weapon Rack, Storage Container
Description: Can store up to 100 different weapons and ammunition.
Effect: Lets you switch out weapons while in combat
"I need it! Is there something for robots, too?"
Name: Best Friend Box
Type: Drone Rig, Storage Container
Description: Can store up to 100 different drones and robots.
Effect: Repairs stored techno friends for up to 100 HP per minute
"Is there a version where my nocks get reconfigured for the new setup?"
Aidan showed Flora drone rigs that automatically gave out the jack for the drone, but she still had to insert the jack into her nocks, so she was more interested in her first pick.
They searched the shop for something to store raw materials, but that seemed to be too general. The storage containers with the nice features were all specialized. Flora skipped buying the timberyard but was interested in either the skinner's pack or the tanner's ditch. The first one could hold not only hides but also teeth and claws. Whereas the last one automatically cured the inserted hides but accepted only tannable materials. She bought the more versatile skinner's pack because her inventory slots ran out.
Players started with 24 slots in a 6x4 grid but could buy more rows with VirDias. She had obtained the 5th row yesterday.
"That is such a scam," Flora mumbled as she paid 25 VirDias for the 6th, 50 VirDias for the 7th, 100 VirDias for the 8th, and 250 VirDias for the 9th row. The next would cost 500 VirDias, but Flora hadn't forgotten that it was 50 Euro, and she wouldn't pay nearly 100 Euro for an artificially created scarcity! At least not until she ran out of space for toasters!
"54 slots should suffice," Flora said but was doubtful. "What happens when I bolt some of the storage containers together?" She asked because all of them were smaller than 3x3x3meters, the size of one inventory slot. "Let's try it out!"
"I advise you to refrain, Milady. Aito sent me a link of players complaining that changing existing storage containers destroys their unique features. Although one player bragged about his skinner's pack + food depot + tool kit combination that the Administrator allowed him to have for revealing the exploit, combining different storage units is no longer possible."
Next, Flora bought the last item on her after-patch-shopping list:
Name: Elemental Mini Overlord
Type: Clothing, Item-Set
Effect: + 11 Magical Power
Effect: Set-Bonus: + 2 OV to all elemental spells
While the stats of the robe were excellent, its looks weren't. Who thought that pink accents would embellish a blood-red robe? Nobody sane! Parts of the fabric had little stars printed on and others a checked pattern.
Flora strode through the portal to Zauberberg clad in her Counterflow Mech-Suit with the garish red robe of the Elemental Mini Overlord Set stuffed under it.
Immediately, she checked her Octopussy. It laid lifelessly at her feet.
"Fight it, Aito! Show the mages the awesomeness of robots!" Flora cheered.
Level Cap: 1
- Defeat: Defeat
- Cornered: 1 h
- Drop: 0%
- Defeat: Defeat
- Cornered: 15 min
- Drop: 0%
- Defeat: Defeat
- Cornered: 5 min
- Drop: 0%
Automatic Reputation Gains
- Reputation for magical prowess
- Clearing local instances
Automatic Reputation Losses
- Disrespecting officials and mages
- Crimes and misdemeanors
"You lost reputation because of that sentence, Milady. On the good news: You are already honored in Zauberberg because of your magical classes and spell levels and, of course, the bonus from Magical Prodigy."
Flora laughed as she pocketed the still motionless Octopussy. "What is influenced by my reputation disregarding shorter waits in the losers' corner? And how do the Natives know about it?"
"The list of advantages is long Milady:
- (Easier) access to services and goods
- (Easier) access to high ranking citizens or officials
- More quests, including special quests
- Better treatment by all NPCs of the faction
The first bullet-point might be especially interesting for us. Most factions have reputation stores where you can buy items and blueprints. Zauberberg sells a Morph 'More stamina - Less Concentration'. If you use this in our nightly training sessions, your physical stats' growth might get stimulated.
To the second question: All NPCs of the faction know it instinctively. Other players can't see it."
"Great, show me the way."
Currently, Flora stood in a plaza with several portals. It was surrounded by a transparent dome that showed the orange colors of dawn.
Following Aidan's virtual trail, Flora jogged to a portal. She landed in another transparent dome. Aside from the sky, she saw platforms levitating above her, each surrounded by a shimmering dome.
"I have good news, as well: we won't have any sewage or underground adventures this time!" Flora chirped, unimpressed with the magical grandeur of the floating city.
"Aren't we here to go to the Elemental Caverns, Milady?"
Flora deflated. "You are right. I have forgotten the location's name. Oh well. Do you know how they handle the wastewater in Zauberberg?"
In a mansion domineering the platform, Flora bought the Morphs and every blueprint they had. She rejoiced over the pattern for a tier 2 A-rated set: Fine Acolyte. It provided +10 Magical Power and + 2 to every mage spell for a level 1 player. Even if she lost 1 OV, it was worth it not looking like a cross of Lady Mnoder and a circus magician.
Next, she ported to the Halls of Magic. They appreciated mages as well, so she had an honored reputation from the get-go. With it came generous access to rare Morphs. For the Elemental Caverns, she needed at least one of them, which increased her water spells' secondary effect. She obtained two: Secondary Effect up - Mana up and Secondary Effect up – Primary Effect down.
After she bought out their store, she handed in all the quests, which she had received per messages acquiring the mage classes.
Quest completed: Furthering your Education (Kinetic Mage)
Rewards: Unlocked: Free courses and skill diagrams for Kinetic Mage spells of Tier 1 and Tier 2
Quest completed: Furthering your Education (Lightning Mage)
Rewards: Free courses and skill diagrams for Lightning Mage spells of Tier 1 and Tier 2
… [the same notification for the other elements and light and dark] …
Quest completed: Elemental Mastery
Rewards: Eligible for Elemental Master courses
Flora hummed. "Download all the diagrams, dear. I want to know if they differ from the spells I made up. Activate over-the-head-infos and add the class. Do they have a name? Over-the-head-infos is a bit unwieldy. Info-gloriole?"
"It's called character tag, Milady. I'll activate it."
"Notify me if you see an Elemental Master for buying the skills. I don't want to sit in a classroom. Although the Animator Class was good, I'm too impatient−maybe we'll attend one when we have no pressing weekly quest."
Next, Flora picked up the quests for the Elemental Caverns.
Quest: Lightning Tempering (Zauberberg).
Description: Visit the Elemental Caverns and survive 5 minutes of tempering in a zone of lightning.
Rewards: Free access to a lightning cave. Bonus XP for Lightning Affinity
Bonus: Survive 30 minutes of tempering.
… [the same notification for the other elements] …
The Halls of Magic offered a dozen other quests too, but Flora disregarded them when Aidan told her that she couldn't combine them with Deep into the Element.
On her way to the caverns, Flora spotted not only several people in the same ugly robe. (She nodded gravely to them. Shared suffering connects) But also a beautiful wood elemental in the form of a plumbago bush. When she glanced at its human, they wore a luscious robe in the same blue as the bush and had Summoner as a class.
Flora made a bee-line to the white-haired youth. "Hello. May I buy the diagrams of the five standard spells of the Summoner class? I'll give you 100 VirDos for them. What do you say?"
The androgynous youth blinked and raised their eyebrows.
"I'm open to negotiations if you hesitate because of the price. But I'm on a schedule, so the offer only stands for a minute."
"Alright, for a lady with a name as beautiful as yours, I'll even lower myself to trade."
For transmitting the spell diagrams without projectors, they had to send messages.
Wild Sprout to Flowing Flowers: "Empower Elemental."
Wild Sprout to Flowing Flowers: "Empower the Elementals' Spells."
Wild Sprout to Flowing Flowers: "Hurry Up."
Wild Sprout to Flowing Flowers: "Heal with Life's Blood."
Wild Sprout to Flowing Flowers: "Human-Elemental Synergy."
Flora's eyes went wide. The spells sounded similar to the skills of the technology branch.
"You've done me a big favor, dear!" Flora exclaimed and doubled the tip. With these diagrams, she might find a way to transform commands into spells!