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A note from puddles4263

10/17

The Assessment on the afternoon of the 1st day was System Knowledge, and it had just as many, if not more, people attending as the combat Assessment had. Perhaps because this was open to all people, and while not everyone had any wish to participate in combat, Donnyton’s almost 4,000 strong population all thought they knew a thing or two about the System.

Because almost 800 people wanted to participate in this, in order to test them all in an efficient manner, Daniel had done his best to design several tests. A huge part of the knowledge of the System was memorization, because there simply wasn’t a logical underpinning they understood yet. So to start, everyone had to do three tasks: Name 10 Classes, 10 Skills, and 10 Paths. The only caveat was their choices couldn’t be the Class, Skills, or Paths that they had access to.

There was no real way to check for sure if people were following the rules for the second and third categories, but usually people’s Skills were obvious, and their paths even more so. Of them all, Paths was the hardest to remember, as most people had never really thought about the Paths that other people used.

With these three tests, the large group had been knocked down to just under 100, a 90% failure rate, from something so basic.

Because he was bored, Randidly found himself taking the test, and rather easily passing through the first three tests. Afterwards, however, he went over to Daniel, curious, and asked how they would know if they weren’t just making up Classes, Skills, and Paths.

“I suspect it doesn’t matter,” Daniel answered shortly, barely looking up from his papers, people rushing about him in the small tent they sent up for him to hold court at. “If you have made up something that we haven’t considered yet, so much the better. Plus, it shows initiative and ingenuity. This is just to knock away the lookie-loos. The hard stuff comes later.

Bemused, Randidly took the next round of tests as well. This time, the test asked Randidly to rank 10 Classes in order of Strength. The question was very careful to say that accuracy wasn’t as important as logical underpinning. The Classes were Spiritualist, Warrior, Archer, Arcane Mage, Axe Warrior, Thief, Strongman, Glorious Knight, Amazon, and Lich Necromancy.

Randidly raised his eyebrows. This…

Was a trick question. Because Strength was capitalized. Which meant it wasn’t overall power, but rather basically which were the most physical Classes. Which probably meant Strongman was first, followed by Axe Warrior and Glorious Knight, then Warrior and Amazon, followed by Archer. Behind them were Spiritualist, Arcane Mage, Thief, and Lich Necromancer, that were basically all not strength focused, or even Strength adjacent.

Randidly turned in his paper, one of the few to answer so quickly, and was waved onto the next area.

It took about an hour, but around 40 or so people came trickling in. Listening to other people talk, some people had apparently not actually gotten the trick of the question, but talked at length about the power of adjectives and specificity and Classes, and they were given special exemption to proceed.

Inwardly, Randidly approved, even while he rolled his eyes. He approved because Daniel needed people like this, who could wholeheartedly research things like Class specificity. He rolled his eyes because Daniel clearly just wanted people he could get into pointlessly long conversations with, talking about what the System had done to people. Even Clarissa grew weary around Daniel after being exposed for too long.

This Assessment did a good job of bringing those people to the surface. What was interesting about this Assessment, rather than the other three, is that this type of test could only be used once. Every 6 months, a whole new criteria had to be devised, both because general knowledge would improve, but because people could study for the test specifically, if it didn’t change, rather than actually becoming knowledgeable.

Randidly shrugged. Oh well, that was Daniel’s problem.

The next round was a word problem, Randidly found, much to his own bemusement.

Alice has received the Class “Brave Adventurer”. She receives 15 Attributes per level, as well as 5 Stats, mostly concentrated in Health and Physical Defense. She also receives the Skills Struggle, Brave Strike, Desperate Stand, and Aura of Hope. She has 6 free Skill Slots.

James has received the Class “the Armored King of Turnips”. He receives 11 Attributes per level, as well as 4 Stats, which is balanced between Health, Vitality, and Wisdom. The Skills he obtains are Turnip Strike, Green Thumb, Farming, Rising Strength, Valiant Block, Armor Proficiency, and Ruler’s Aura (Un). He has 4 free Skill Slots.

Dmitri has just gotten the Class “Conqueror”. Please speculate how many attributes, stats, skills, and free skill slots Dmitri will receive. Include your reasoning. Assuming he obtains at least 3 Skills, speculate as to the nature and strength of three of Dmitri’s Skills. Explain your reasoning.

Following this, please develop criteria on which to grade Classes, and explain how the different types of Classes affect the bonuses that come along with stats…

By the end of reading it, Randidly had a cold sweat dripping down his back. It wasn’t that it was difficult, per se, but really just that it seemed like an incredibly time consuming activity. He even suspected that he understood what Daniel was going at, generally, even if Randidly didn’t know if it truly was that easy.

There were two things to care about in terms of Classes. Well, Randidly amended, three things. But the third was closely intertwined with the first two. The first was specificity, and the second was… for lack of a better word, coolness. The third thing was image.

Between the two provided Classes, Brave Adventurer was certainly much more general than the Armored King of Turnips. Meanwhile, it was arguable much cooler than anything related to Turnips. From this it could be seen that Adventurer had higher Attributes and Stats. Turnip King had more Skills, but a few of them seemed like throwaway Skills.

But still, the image of Turnips was that much stronger than the adventurer, and Randidly would suspect that some of the Skills that were more interesting than they appeared. Specifically, Green Thumb and the uncommon ranked Ruler’s Aura would probably end up paying dividends. Of the two of them, Randidly would likely go with the Turnip King, for that reason.

For the final part of the question, the Class Conqueror was introduced. It was very general, but also seemed very cool and powerful. And in terms of image… it probably ranked about the same as Adventurer.

If it was powerful, but general, it would probably have higher Attributes and Stats, with fewer, and more straightforward Skills. But depending on the image… there might be something surprising buried there.

Randidly looked around. Every one of the other 39 participants were writing like crazy, their eyes filled with an insane zeal. Sighing, Randidly directly conceded and left the testing grounds sitting next to Daniel and focusing on his Golden Roots of Yggdrasil. It was a Skill that was one of his most important, but it was a difficult one to improve. Usually, he relied on grinding.

But because Randidly was already here, and he wanted to see how the Assessment continued, he stayed and focused on it. To remove his Mana, Randidly shot Incinerating Bolts into the ground, then sat down, pressing his hands against the ground as well. His attention flowed down, through the thin tendrils of golden energy, into the deepest parts of the Earth.

When he had created this move, this sort of distance was already his limit. But since then… Randidly had changed. WIth his eyes burning emerald, Randidly pushed, his perception digging downwards, grabbing and sucking, absorbing the energy of the Earth. Parts of his inner soul world began to vibrate, shaken by the abrupt increase in pressure on them.

It wasn’t simply that he was increasing the power of his pull, although that was true. It was like he was forcibly expanding the infrastructure of the Skill he created, digging it deeper into the Earth, shoving it downward. Then he expanded its power, creating a more demanding suction, using it to gather more energy than it had every handled before.

The strain on the Skill was quickly evidence by the annoying resonance it had, but Randidly clamped down on that, pressing forward. His Willpower and Control made this left of strain… a small matter.

The ground beneath his feet trembled.

Grinning, Randidly began to have his golden “roots” spin slowly, not only absorbing the nearby energy, but grabbing more and more, his net spreading wider, gathering faster. Too long, Randidly had been content to allow himself remain a sapling. He had learned in Shal’s world the important of Willpower and image when using a Skill, to broadcast to the world how you wanted it to work, eliminating inefficiency and wasted space by general thoughts.

By this point, the strain was growing at a rapid pace, so much so that Randidly had started to sweat. First expanding the scope, now upping the voltage of the hardware to handle the increased load… and all of this done on pure will and determination alone. But once it was complete, the huge upgrade would likely cause huge changes to the efficacy, if not also bumping his Skill level up.

This was what was important to Randidly. The previous Skill was important, but it was just a toy. What Randidly wanted now was an engine that would drive him farther forward. Aether began to stir within him, but only trace amounts. What was surprising, was of all things, the Aether from the creature’s construct was reacting.

Lucretia was clearly annoyed that her precious research subjects were moving, but Randidly ignored her, allowing a small amount to slip over through his soul space, settling into the Skill, filling out its shape, making it more complete. Immediately, the difference was evident, as the speed of his gathering Mana jumped upwards.

Chuckling, Randidly let it fall away, savoring the new feeling, even while he was mentally extremely exhausted. That was not something… that he could do very often. Or should. He could feel the strange amount of strain it placed on his mental world. But still…

The energy flowing into him felt warm.

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