The first time Erika used VR technology, she was swallowed by fatigue on her way home. But today, on her second time, she had much more energy to spare. There was still a sense of weariness haunting her, but it wasn’t so bad that she wanted was to crawl into bed and call it a day.
Instead of resting, Erika decided to stay up to research God Vessel Online. She felt a little guilty about her slow progress after she was accused by Mina. Even though Erika smoothly talked her way out of that argument, her mental armor was pierced by some of Mina’s words.
Like for many players, RPGs were a time sink and a strong escapism tool for Erika. She enjoyed immersing herself in vast fantasy worlds and taking things easy. Hence, she ended up doing exactly that in GoVe, despite the important and urgent goal of curing Mina’s arm.
Even with the RPG veteran residing in her soul, Erika had the habit of not researching MMORPGs too much. She preferred to blindly dive into a game and to learn everything while playing. She could spend hours talking to Zack about game tips inside the game, but doing dry internet research was a hassle; it felt like homework.
She played Verdandi Blade Online the same way too. Her first avatar, the Lv.150 Archer, was leveled up without any pro guides. Erika only followed her intuition as an RPG veteran and had fun through trial and error. Her character build was far from optimal, but she was decent enough to join the renowned Vertus guild and even mingle with its top dogs, such as Opqai-kun.
When guild members finally convinced her to check out the guides, she realized that she dun goofed. Hard. There were many pitfalls while allocating stat and skill points in Verdandi; Erika fell into more than a dozen of those.
Nevertheless, she didn’t regret her decisions. Many guild members asked her to use guides in order to improve her avatar, but that never felt as fun as figuring things out herself. Sure, she got reasonably stronger and she felt like a noob for not figuring out some of the obvious strategies herself, but that was also part of the fun.
Once the Summoner class was added to Verdandi, Erika made a second avatar to goof around. She regained the same sense of freedom which she had when she first started Verdandi, allowing her to pursue the bizarre build of a cutelengins armada.
That sure was fun~
Erika sighed with a nostalgic tone while surfing through Google. Along with googling info about GoVe, Erika also opened up a chat room.
【FluffyCuteling entered the chatroom】
This chat was originally made for Vertus guild members, but it became a ghost town after the guild was disbanded and everybody immigrated to Skuld Blade Online. At the present, there was only one person who could possibly lurk around.
Opqai-kun answered after a few minutes. He was probably absorbed in some game until now.
『I started playing GoVe.』
『why not skuld tho』
As if I had a choice.
Erika frowned at his question. As Verdandi’s successor, Skuld was the VRMMORPG better suited for Erika. However, it was already a miracle that she could use VR technology in the first place.
『A friend invited me. It’s a really strange game though...』
『haha no shit』
『you need to ganbarimasu there』
Opqai-kun agreed that GoVe was hardcore at times. Apparently, it was a widely accepted opinion in the gaming community; there were even “git gud” memes about it.
GoVe and Skuld were the only VRMMOs on the market, with a few others in beta phase. As such, it would had made more sense to Erika if the first successful games in the genre were more “traditional”.
However, GoVe couldn’t possibly be any farther away from “traditional”. No classes, no levels, no stats, weird NPCs, raid boss flowers and the list went on.
『gove is like a test ground for a vr fighter』
Opqai-kun explained that the company behind GoVe was, in fact, best known for its fighting games. Soul Claymore, which Mina obsessed over, was one of the company’s most popular console games.
However, fighting games had always been a niche genre. On top of that, the gaming market was gradually shifting toward VR, whereas console gaming was dying for many years.
Same as MMOs, fighting games struggled to evolve into the VR realm. MMOs required a rich, resource-heavy VR world and had to support thousands of players without latency and lags.
On the other hand, for fighting games, the challenge was on a more personal level. The fun in these games stemmed from controlling interesting characters, all of which had unique movesets. VR technology allowed the player to smoothly control their avatar’s moves, but it didn’t teach them how to casually dish out a spinning kick in midair or how to deliver 50 sword slashes in one second.
Feats of this caliber required to magically imprint martial arts knowledge on the players. There were multiple attempts, with various VRFighters produced. They were all lackluster and saw little success.
Since fighting games failed to find a place on the VR market, the company had no choice but to reinvent itself. Thus, they made “God Vessel”.
It was originally a test project for an action game, with some RPG elements incorporated into it. It had a small open world and supported online gameplay; that was all it contained.
As the game was passed around among test players in order to collect data - strange happened.
It happened in a time when many fresh VRMMOs were duking it out with each. Supported by the most successful company in the MMORPG field, Skuld Blade Online destroyed its competitors with ease. They all offered traditional gameplay mechanics, but Skuld was a league above in term of content and polish.
In these heated times, some players brought up a bizarre idea: “Wouldn’t it be cool if God Vessel was a VRMMORPG?”.
Most VRMMOs on the market were casual and easygoing, hoping to lure players who sought instant gratification. GoVe was the exact opposite; it was hardcore and unforgiving, with challenging and action-packed combat. By being different, it managed to gather a niche, yet faithful, fan base.
GoVe also had a backbone structure which could be expanded into an MMORPG. Thus, the company decided to take the gamble They decided to transform an action game into an MMORPG.
Luckily, through crowdfunding and community feedback, the revolutionary project became a realistic goal. In the end, all the newborn VRMMORPGs were mercilessly obliterated by Skuld and failed to survive on the market... except for GoVe.
Only GoVe, the unusual and unplanned VRMMORPG, managed to find a loyal fanbase by differentiating itself enough.
At first, it sounded silly when Mina called GoVe a “fighting game”. It was unlikely that the little beastie was aware of GoVe’s evolution history, but Mina must have “felt” how the game catered toward the same audience.
Erika spent two hours discussing the topic with Opqai-kun and digging up relevant articles. She also briefly informed Opqai-kun of Mina’s cursed arm and their noble mission to cure it.
Opqai-kun agreed to land them a hand. Erika hoped to borrow his help as soon as Sunday, for it was a day on which she could play for many hours. But...
『sorry weekends are no good』
『we have sugoi guild wars in skuld』
『That’s too bad.』
Erika sighed in defeat. She had more contacts from the disbanded Vertus guild, but most of them played Skuld as far as she knew.
『youre still lolies in gove right』
『i dont feel very motivated to help』
Erika let out a laugh with a headshake.
Then it’s all up to me until he’s free to play, huh.
She began to legitimately search for GoVe guides and the chat room died down. Regrettably, she had school tomorrow, even though it was Saturday. She cut to the chase and searched specifically for taming guides, ignoring other aspects of the game. She also googled topics related to the little Water Blobs, to hone her abduction skills.
Taming sure is popular...
Erika frowned as she closed one useless tab after another. The best she found were stray forum questions by GoVe players. There wasn’t a single article or wiki page to cover taming in detail.
The general advice was painfully simple and vague. Most mobs in GoVe could be tamed, including the baby Water Blobs. To pull it off, it was necessary to use the [Communication] rune and to appeal to the creature in some manner.
The advice gave Erika the general idea, but she wanted specifics. What was the best way to abduct the adorable water blobs? She had to know!
Erika also searched through RosemaryQueen’s blog. Queen was regarded as one of the top tamers in GoVe, and she evidently had experience in obtaining fluffy cutelings.
Alas, Queen’s blog didn’t contain any posts about taming guides or tricks. This strongly reinforced Zack’s theory that Queen was a fraud, but Erika perished the thought. As a loyal fan, Erika wanted to believe in Queen to the bitter end.
Apparently, Queen considered making the “Fantasy Pet Taming ♥” series before. However, the support and interest was very meager. Most girls watched Queen’s videos merely to enjoy the cute animals, without being GoVe players themselves. Guys, on the other hand, strongly voted for a joke series: “Fantasy Beach Episodes ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)”.
After she exhausted all her options, Erika decided to write an email to Queen. It was unlikely that a busy celebrity like RosemaryQueen would find time to entertain a nobody like FluffyCuteling, But Erika had nothing to lose.
In her email, Erika asked whether a taming guide existed in some undiscoverable corner of the internet. She also asked for tips about taming low level mobs, especially the Water Blobs.
After she sent her email, Erika called it a day.