2.72 Mia sleeps, Flora hustles
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Flora ported back to her lair with Mia in tow. The batticle driver had accepted Flora's invitation to use her time dilation to nap.

In the simulation grounds, Flora showed Mia her training coffin prototype. Currently, it consisted of a mattress in a box surrounded by rune-schemes and the Twelve-Changing-Finger-Positions Rubber-Training-Gloves for automated skill casting.

"It’s a work in progress. I haven't exhausted all my measures because I fear for my sleep. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please tell me. I'm very unsatisfied with the Physical Power and Controls exertion−Or its lack. Maybe add some pedals and get the Biking Ability? But can I really sleep through it?"

Mia nodded with glassy eyes. The girl was visibly exhausted from her dungeon speed-running. Although she kept it together during the selection, now she was crumbling.

Flora took pity and sent her to rest. For herself, she configured the rune-schemes to what she would need the most during competition.

  • Faith was a point of pride; she wouldn't lose to any other divine players in their toast and butter affinity.
  • Psychokinesis because it was the best for bullying, and her golems' efficiency dependent on it.
  • Metal, if the competition would take place in a high Metal handicapped zone.
  • Mind-Control, because she didn't want to be controlled by a punk a quarter of her age
  • Water, because debuffs could be nasty and the Water secondary effect cleared them

Currently, she had only the Fear rune-scheme for training Mind-Control. Nightmares were unacceptable. Thankfully, she had stumbled upon a better option in one of her Runecrafting books: Sleep. If she would resist it, fine. If not, even better.

Now, Flora had to decide which affinity she would use to attack. She liked Ice and Lightning because of their utility and Wood because of its damage and healing. Especially the latter because throwing around lightning was fun.

While Flora still could switch elements for every spell, she now had to consider what she would use for Divine Elemental Enhancement.

Divine [Elemental] Enhancement Description: (Boost) Adds extra [Elemental] and Faith secondary effects to your physical attacks.

Combined with [Element] Monk Active: All divine skills that have a Faith secondary effect have a chance to apply an additional weak [elemental] secondary effect when Divine [Elemental] Enhancement is active.

Flora didn't want to waste precious seconds to change the Affinity in combat. She envisioned herself chain-punching monsters, spamming Righteous Strike for mana, and exploding with Bless and Condemn. She would be almost unkillable and could devastate groups of monsters.

Righteous Strike Description: Half of the effect damages an enemy, and the other half recovers mana.

Bless and Condemn Description: Heals all friendly targets, damages all enemies in range.

Water was a great choice, fewer Debuffs for friendlies, more damage for enemies. If she would couple it with Divine Radiance, she could be the mana-battery for her allies, not to mention all the extra heals and effects they would get.

Divine Radiance Description: (Aura) All effects you induce on yourself have a chance to spread to nearby friendlies.

Not that she would have many companions if she had to spend a good chunk of her MR/min on the boost and aura and not on cute elementals, robots, or golems. Maybe it would be a good strategy if she went adventuring with a group.

Nonetheless, Water was a solid choice against crafty players and their nasty secondary effects. But what element to chose if her opponents didn't spread any debuffs? In the Garbage Disposal Instance, she had resisted most of the toxicity, and her robots had been immune.

Wood, her other damage stacking effect, did not affect robots.

"Please show me the secondary effects table again, Aidan."

"Should I add the other magic Affinities you adapted for magical use as well, Milady?"

"Sure, I think I can make them work with the class," Flora said, but then noticed Aidan's strange formulation. "Do I have affinities I haven't used for spells?"

"Yes, Milady. I'm not sure if there is any official list of which affinities can and can't be used, but I know that Sonic and Death Mages do exist."

"Take five minutes to list as many secondary effects as you can find for my affinities."

Meanwhile, Flora animated a golem and tried to give it Divine Ice Enhancement and Ice Mantra. While both skills were mixtures between divine and magic, their diagrams were shaped like the former. The golem didn't accept them.

You can only assign spells (magic branch's skills) to a golem.

Flora was frowning at the box. She just wanted to decide on a rune-scheme for her nap, and now she was several tangents away from it−and tired.

"I'll only look at the boost… just a quick peek," Flora mumbled and opened the Diagram of [Elemental] Enhancement, the Signature skill of the [Element] Weapon classes.

Description [Elemental] Enhancement: (Boost) Adds extra [Elemental] secondary effects to your physical attacks.

"Hmm…" Flora put the Diagram of Divine [Elemental] Enhancement, the [Element] Monk Signature skill next to it.

Description: (Boost) Adds extra [Elemental] and Faith secondary effects to your physical attacks.

"What's the catch with the divine version? It seems to be straight out better than the Weapon class version due to the additional Faith debuff."

"The upkeep is two and half times more expensive, Milady. 25 MR/min at least."

"25 for Divine Water Enhancement, 10 for Divine Radiance, that is 35 MR/min. I have only 37 MR/min without equipment. Burned toast. I need more, or I have to forget about this wonderful plan of invincibility."

Flora concentrated on the next step, reshaping the prayer's diagram until it counted as a spell. With the template of [Elemental] Enhancement at hand, she just had to ensure that the Faith part didn't lose its effect.

You modified Divine Lightning Enhancement.

+ 1 OV to the skill.

You modified Divine Ice Enhancement.

+ 1 OV to the skill.

After she succeeded, she assigned the boosts to two elementals and realized that she had no Faith spells to trigger the boost. So, she gave them Re-Generates and Shields and told them to punch dummies.

"We'll postpone the secondary effect discussion, dear," Flora said. She closed her eyes and shuffled her rune-schemes. Then she stopped and looked down. Lightning. (1)

"Alright, time to sleep." Flora was delighted with the draw.


When Flora woke up, Mia was still in the land of dreams. She didn't want to disturb the sleep-deprived teen, so she stepped into a Balancing Box to train.

First, Flora amended yesterday's oversight. Not only did she need the elemental Monk prayers for all elements but also spell-versions of them. Additionally to the "messing-with-skills-plus-OV" pop-ups, one unexpected notification appeared.

You gained an Achievement: Classy.

Description: You integrated over 100 classes into your skill tree.

Reward: You need to fulfill fewer requirements to get a class.

Flora's HUD filled up with popups.

You gained a new class: Driver.

Class: Driver

Branch: Technology

Passive: + 1 Training efficiency modifier for ability Driving

Active: Bonus for skills while driving

You gained a new class: Combat Driver.

Class: Combat Driver

Branch: Technology

Passive: + 1 Training efficiency modifier for ability Remote Control

Active: Bonus for the built-in skills of your ride

You gained a new class: Drone Driver.

Class: Drone Driver

Branch: Technology

Passive: + 1 Training efficiency modifier for ability Remote Control

Active: Bonus for the built-in skills of your drone

Flora had forgotten about the Driver Classes. She had learned Mia's skills in what felt like an eternity ago. The Driver class required the ability Driving at level 10, and Flora never found the time to get it that high. Her reward "Classy" deleted that condition, and now the notification rolled in.

You gained a new class: Sword-Master.

Class: Sword-Master

Branch: Warrior

Passive: + 1 Training efficiency modifier for Swords

Active: + Player-Tier OV Bonus when casting skills with a sword

You gained a new class: Shield-Master.

Class: Shield-Master

Branch: Warrior

Passive: + 1 Training efficiency modifier Shields and Blocking

Active: + Player-Tier Bonus when casting skills with a shield

You gained a new class: Hammer/Fist-Master.

Class: Fist/Hammer-Master

Branch: Warrior

Passive: + 1 Training efficiency modifier for Hand-to-Hand Combat and Maces

Active: + Player-Tier OV Bonus when casting skills with a mace or fist

"Nice, so we don't have to visit the weapon trainers. Honestly, I was looking forward to it, but we can still take remedial lessons when we have more time next week. However, do I really have 100 classes? I didn't think the tree was that big when I last saw it."

Aidan displayed the tree to Flora.

Class Tree

"The System has applied a workaround to simplify it, Milady. Instead of your eight elemental Monk classes, it just displays [Element] Monk. Classes for which you unlocked not only the elemental variant but also Light and Darkness are shown as [Magic] Class, like [Magic] Shield."

"Well, System had sounded a bit miffed when it had to create Magical Healer for me. As long as all my classes are in the tree, I don't mind. Hey, since when can Warrior connect to Paladin? Another patch thingy?" Flora ignored that Janitor was now the root class.

"Yes, Milady. CentralTank changed Paladin's precursor classes from Knight and Priest to Warrior and Priest. Your clanmates are very pleased about it. We could have linked Warrior via the Weapon-Master classes, so the change wasn't a big deal for you. Only Analyst is still unconnected. We can link it as soon as we get Mad Scientist."

"Can we still connect everything when we lose the Champion class? I believe the class will be unavailable during the competition."

"Yes, Milady."

Next, Flora browsed Aidan's Secondary Effects list.

Affinity

-

Positive Secondary Effect

-

Negative Secondary Effect

 

Water

-

removes a debuff

-

mana loss / damage over time (Acid Burn)

8

Fire

-

cauterizes wounds / Physical Reg Buff

-

stamina loss / damage over time (Burn)

6

Earth

-

Stability / Physical Defense buff

-

stamina loss (Impact)/ mana loss over time (Gravity)

3

Air

-

Physical Macro-Control / Magical Defense Buff

-

Magical Defense reduction / Stability reduction (Blow)

3

Wood

-

increase health over time

-

damage over time (Poison)

8

Metal

-

armor penetration buff / Physical Defense buff

-

Physical Defense reduction / DoT (Shredd & Bleed)

6

Lightning

-

reduces cooldowns

-

Controls reduction (Jolt)

8

Ice

-

increases buff length

-

Physical Controls reduction / slowing over time (Cold)

8

Light

-

increases Perception / resistance against Mind and Projection attacks

-

decreases Perception (blind) and damage over time (Radiation)

3

Shadow

-

increases stealth (Cloak) / Affinity buff for Mind and Projection attacks

-

decreases Perception (darkness) / lowers resistance for Mind and Projection

3

Psychokinesis

-

removes bindings / dislocation / reattaches lost limbs with healing

-

push back

5

Tempering

-

Defense against Blunt damage

-

Reduced functionality on body part (Crushed)

3

Death

-

generate Healing by causing Damage(Leech)

-

damage over time (Rot)

5

Mind

-

increases mind resistance (Emboldened)

-

lowers mind resistance (Feeble)

3

Ailments

-

Weak heal over time and weak debuff remove (Immunity Lift)

-

damage over time (Ill) / coughing and sneezing

9

Faith

-

Reduced damage from all sources up to 50%

-

Increased damage from you.

8

Blood

-

increase stamina over time

-

damage over time (Bleed)

6

Sonic

-

?

-

Hearing Impairment / Balance issues

 

Transformation

-

?

-

?

 

Entropy

-

?

-

?

 

Magical Body Control

-

?

-

?

 

Summoning

-

?

-

?

 

Technomancy

-

?

-

?

 

Projection

-

?

-

?

 

Scrying

-

?

-

?

 

Curse

-

?

-

?

 

 

"What's up with those slashes (/), Aidan?"

"Those affinities can have multiple secondary effects depending on the triggering skill or conditioned secondary effects. For example, Burn and Acid Burn only affect Mana and Stamina on higher-tier stacks."

Inspired by Mia's ranking system, Flora assigned points on how much she liked the effects or the element. Fire received only 6 points because she didn't enjoy playing with it. Heat coils were so much better than an open flame.

"Please explain how the Lightning debuff works. Sometimes, it only tickled. Other times it jolted me or even shocked me, interrupting my casting. The debuffs were too quick for me to read."

"Yes, Milady. The Lightning debuff only runs for 2-5 seconds. They don't stack, but the effect might crit, and a higher tier may trigger. Most PvP players acquire at least 25 Lightning Resistance so that they can't get a stroke even with crits. However, the decrease in controls is quite debilitating on its own. Lightning mages are known as Priest killers because they rely on Micro-Control."

Tier: Debuff Name - Effect

Tier 0.5: Jolted - lowered Controls 2 sec

Tier 1: Light Shock - lowered Controls 2 sec + Skill Interrupt

Tier 2: Heavy Shock - lowered Controls 2 sec + Skill Interrupt + 2 sec CD for the entire branch

Tier 3: Light Convulse - lowered Controls 4 sec + Skill + Ability Interrupt

Tier 4: Heavy Convulse - lowered Controls 4 sec + Skill + Ability Interrupt + 2 sec GCD for all skills

Tier 5: Stroke - Shivering on the floor for up to 5 sec

"The positive effect changed with the patch. Before, it decreased the remaining time of one Cooldown by one tier only once. Now, Lightning reduces all cooldowns of the target by tier seconds per application. The community is unsure whether that’s an improvement or nerf."

"I like it. Sure, you can't use powerful 25 min skills like Dusk, Dawn, or Tinker as often as before but I can use Re-Generate more often, so great. Wait! Recharge ticks 13 times in 25 seconds, right, and I have Lightning in the third tier. Does that mean that all my CDs get reduced 13*3 seconds? Does that mean I can use it twice per minute? Oh, dear. And Pray will be affected as well! I love Lightning! Okay, it produces less damage than other elements, but the utility is sweet."

"The positive effect of Ice changed in the same way. Now, your Refrigerate adds 3 seconds of runtime to your buffs, and they can extend to up to tier-time their length. That means 75 seconds of Refrigerate."

"Okay, I want that too! Longer effects are even better because I don't have to waste time refreshing the buffs. Don't I have that formerly useless spell somewhere that lets me combine different elements?"

Name: Elemental Crossing

Description: Adds a weak secondary elemental effect to the next elemental spell. (Fire ↔ Wind, Earth ↔ Wood, Water ↔ Ice, Metal ↔ Lightning)

Cooldown: 5 min.

"I displayed Elemental Crossing for you, Milady. If we acquired the Elemental Master class, you would receive the Prismatic Mage-standard set, which consists of the normal mage spells but with two elements, albeit with a more expensive mana cost."

<Elemental Crossing Metal-Lightning>: <Divine Lightning Enhancement (Spell Version)>

<Re-Generate Metal>

Flora looked at her status bar.

Heavily Whet: + 14 OV Physical Defense, + 14 OV Armor Penetration. Remaining Time: 25 seconds.

"Where is my sweet Lightning time reduction? And what is Armor Penetration?"

"Elemental Crossing only works for one spell. Your Divine Enhancement only spreads secondary effects if the skill has a Faith secondary effect. Armor Penetration reduces the Physical Defense of the opponent."

"Oops, right. I forgot about it in my excitement. I don't think I have any Divine Heal over times… oh right, I have Retribution! It's not a heal, but it leaves a buff."

Retribution Description: Reduces incoming dmg and reflects a fraction of the reduced amount back to the originator. CD: 1min.

"Let's wait until Re-Generate runs out. Oh, dear, I'm excited! If I can really trigger three effects at once, how awesome would that be?! I'll change to the Hero playstyle for it−at least if I manage to do a Faith version of Re-Generate. If I use Ice-Water, I can have endless Refresh-Refrigerate-Re… Rebelieve? Refaith? Reconfirm? The name doesn't matter! But my cute companions! No, I won't sell the eggs before the hen hatches. When are the 25 seconds finally over? Ah, now!" Flora rambled.

(1) I used a random number generator for the affinity J The RNG has spoken!

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