Leo ran towards a pack of five wolves. When he entered their sight range they immediately dashed towards him at full speed. The wolves came at him in an arrow-formation with the pack-leader at the front.
Leo slowed down his running speed and prepared for the encounter. The wolf leader jumped in the air, its sharp claws aiming straight at his throat. He quickly used [Basic Spear Counter] to block the attack and sent the wolf flying back a few steps.
The other wolves quickly surrounded him, preparing to attack in unison. Leo calmed his breathing and relaxed his muscles. He cleared his mind and prepared to dodge the wolves’ attacks.
The wolf on his right side and the one on his left side attacked simultaneously while the two wolves at his back blocked his retreat path.
Leo took a step forward, bent his upper body and launched a quick attack with [Spear Thrust] on the first wolf followed by a double stab on the second one.
Some damage numbers floated above the wolves’ heads as they crashed into each other, momentarily stunned. The wolf leader was taken by surprised by his move. It did not expect Leo to push forward when attacked instead of retreating backwards.
The two wolves in the back became blocked out by their own companions and had to go around to launch their attack. Unfortunately for them, Leo was not going to stand still and wait for them to catch up.
He quickly used [Basic Spear Dance] hitting three out of the five wolves.
The spear hit the wolves, sending them back a few steps.
The wolves retreated out of the skill’s range and Leo immediately canceled the skill, turned around, ran forward and used [Spear Thrust] on the closest wolf.
The wolf’s last bit of health ran out and it collapsed on the ground. The other wolves’ let out a loud growl as their eyes became bloodshot with rage. The remaining wolves quickly resumed their attack, only their leader remaining motionless.
Leo once more dodge their simple attacks. The wolves were just simple common rank monsters and only had one skill in addition to their normal attack. The skill they used was called [Charge] and simply sped up their movement speed for a short while. At such a close range, the skill could practically be ignored.
He leisurely continued slaughtering the wolves, leaving none of them alive. The only one still standing was their leader.
[x4] System: Wolf [Common] defeated! Awarding 21 EXP.
(200% bonus for killing a [Common] ranked monster 2 levels above your own.)
Wolf leader [Leader]
Health: 150 / 160
The silver-gray colored wolf leader growled at him, its eyes red with hatred. It pushed its paw into the ground and dashed towards him, its fangs ready to rip his head from his neck.
Leo saw through the wolf’s attack instantaneously. He lowered his body, sidestepped and rotated his entire body sending his spear straight into the wolf’s neck.
The wolf leader stumbled to the side and face-planted into the ground. Leo quickly continued his assault before it could get up. Every strike was aimed at a weak spot, trying to incapacitate the wolf as fast as possible.
The wolf finally managed to stand up after a few seconds of continuously suffering attacks. When it tried to retaliate, it suddenly noticed that its body was stiff and unresponsive.
Leo had successfully incapacitated the wolf, significantly lowering its movement speed and attack speed. He easily avoided its slow and sluggish attacks and soon sent the wolf to an eternal rest.
System announcement: Wolf leader [Leader] defeated! Awarding 55 EXP.
(450% bonus for killing a [Leader] ranked monster 2 levels above your own.)
Leo walked up to the wolves corpses and searched for his loot.
[Basic Bow (Bronze Quality)]
Level requirement: 1
Class restriction: Ranger
Item category: Main-weapon
Attack power: 3
Leo looked at the bow with inspecting eyes. He thought about his current class and how he could mix and match both equipment and weapons. He had not given it too much thought except for using supportive skills from multiple classes.
The problem with using multiple weapons is that he needs to acquire skill books and later on advanced technique books for each weapon. Not only that, he also needs to either spend a significant amount of time searching for good quality weapons or spend a lot of coins.
His current class can bind a total of 75 skills and 15 advanced techniques. Although this is higher than the average player by 15 skill slots and 5 advanced technique slots, it will quickly fill up.
In his past life, an average player usually had around 20 active skills and 30 passive skills along with 5 advanced techniques. The advanced techniques in particular were significantly difficult to acquire.
Even if you acquired them, you still needed a long time to learn them properly. Unlike regular skills, advanced techniques requires the player to understand every aspect of the technique. Advanced techniques only gives the player a simple video instruction and the player has to figure out the detail themselves.
After the system upgrade normal skills will be forced into free mode and you can no longer blindly rely on the main system to guide you through the activation sequence. In return for a significantly more difficult combat system, the main system gives you the opportunity to utilize the skill to its full potential.
Every skill will get a completion rating after every use and based on your completion rate you’ll do more damage or more healing. Normal skills require a minimum completion rate of 50% to activate and every increased percentage will increase the skill’s power. Advanced techniques require a minimum completion rate of 70% just to activate.
It will become significantly more difficult to increase the completion rate past 70% with over 90% being almost impossible.
Completion rate is calculated based on multiple factors, some known and some unknown. The most common advice for increasing the completion rate is to understand the skill’s core purpose.
For physical based skills, this mostly boils down to how the weapon needs to move around to activate the skill. The video guided activation process will only help a player achieve the minimum 50% completion rate. It contains several unnecessary steps and players need to find ways to remove these steps.
For magic based skills, the words used in the chant and the player’s movement is the most important parts to understand. The chant in particular is often the most difficult part to master. It contains many difficult words in a completely foreign language.
In his past life the best mages managed to shorten the chants after countless trial and error, effectively doubling or sometimes tripling their attack speed. Normally an average player achieves around 60% completion rate, with their most familiar skills reaching 70%. Expert player’s reach 70% and 80% respectively and top tier experts reach 85-92%.
Leo was not aware of anyone reaching above 92% completion rate. Even with his near perfect memory and analytical prowess, he never achieved above 85% completion rate. After years of trying and failing he stubbornly concluded that to achieve above 85% requires something more than just a pure understanding of the skill.
He tried asking top tier experts many times about the secret to achieving above 85% completion rate, but they all gave similar answers. Every single one of them just suddenly felt that something clicked in their heads and afterwards they managed to increase their completion rate.
Without a way to quantify this change, Leo had no choice but to give up on becoming a top tier expert.
Leo considered everything for a long time. Weighing the pros and cons of using a secondary weapon and the minimum amount of skill books needed to make it worth the effort.
After thinking for what seems like an eternity, he finally made up his mind. A bow was a nice long-ranged alternative to his Lancer playstyle. Although a Lancer’s main stat is strength and resilience and a Ranger’s is dexterity, with proper planning it should still work.
Most plate-armor gives RES and STR, while most leather armor gives DEX. If he wants to use a bow for damage dealing, a mix of plate-armor and leather armor will be the best option. This will significantly lower his defense, but the extra range might just make up for it.
Leo swapped between his spear and the bow several times. He calculated that it took, on average, 0.20 seconds to swap. This was long enough that swapping mid fight against an expert would be suicidal, but short enough that swapping mid fight against monsters will work.
In between the weapon swap he’ll be left with no weapon at all. If he receives an attack the swap delay will reset, effectively leaving him without a weapon for a short moment.
Leo decided to give it a try after considering everything. Attacking from range then switching to melee was simply to tempting. Even though he has to sacrifice a few skill slots for Ranger related skills, with 15 extra skill slots from his class, it should still be worthwhile.
He was still a bit worried about becoming a jack of all trades and a master of none, but quickly pushed those thoughts to the far back of his mind. No matter how accurate his simulations were, the only way to truly see if it would work is to actually do it.
He continued on grinding for several more hours when a familiar sound rang in his ears.
System announcement: Congratulations on advancing to level 3!
Leo quickly allocated his attribute points into a mix between STR and DEX. He was finally level 3 and could now enter the first dungeon Wasted Mines. Although his leveling speed could be considered insanely fast, with the three times EXP requirement he had for every level, at most his speed averaged out.
Leo opened the local leaderboard to gauge the player’s levels. At the very top was a player called [Crimson Dagger] with a level of 4. Below her was 20 other level 4 players and several hundred level 3 players. At least finding a party for the dungeon shouldn’t be too difficult.