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    • Shark

      Donations and Recognition!   12/22/2016

      Hello everyone! We are becoming a huge community and that doesn't come cheap. All staff here are volunteers and do this because they love the site. Right now, everything is paid out of pocket, by Erroneous. We would love for you to donate in order to help out with the site costs (i.e. Forum License, Domain Name, Hosting) so that we can keep Security and Forum Software up to date and possibly add some new features. If you do decide to donate, we have some fun, snazzy gifts of appreciation for you ;) Please message me (Shark) so we can get you the gifts of appreciation! We thank you for your support! Please use this link for more info   _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ How To Donate Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click the donate button.

      NOTABLE DONORS LIST Here is where we honor the donors who go above and beyond the call of Aincrad! Top Tier Donors! Percival Row  Teayre Nezumi Zandra Alice Arc Atzo Baldur Claim Corvo Dominion Genji Ignavus_veneficus Jomei Kaya Lee Lessa Mack Macradon Nocturn Persephone Piera Ruus Sarial Hawke Shi Unyeilding Vale To express our gratitude, here is a picture of the iconic duo for all you wonderful supporters!
    • Shark

      The SAO Staff Team!   02/21/2017

      Hello members of SAO-RPG!

      I'm sure most of you (if not some) have noticed or heard changes were made to the staff team. If you are applying to staff, you may have noticed that the application process has recently changed. This has all happened because of a reformation of the staff team and the way it operates. The staff now has separate teams for development. These teams are: Floor Creation Team [Floors, Quests/Events, Bosses], Systems & Clarifications Team, and Player Support Team.

      "Who is on these teams?" Well the answer to that lies below! Floor Team Systems & Clarifications Team Player Support Team * - Denotes Team Lead

      We also have a team to work on and develop the current systems but that team will search for its members and is not allowed to be applied to.

      Now you may be asking, "Shark, how does one apply to the Staff Team?" And I have but 1 simple answer!
      Go read this thread and it may answer all your questions!

      If you have any more questions, send me a PM and I will answer your questions about staff. (Only the format of teams and/or the application process)
    • Cardinal

      [Live] 2.5.0 Patch Notes   10/02/2017

      <<2.5.0 Patch Notes>> Main Guide: The main rules/tutorial section has been rewritten. Resources: A Resources section has been added. This contains reference material such as the SP/Level chart, Skills list, Enhancement list, individual profession stats, and a new FAQ. General Rule Changes: Word count requirement in Merchants & Shops section has been reduced to 100 from 150. Col logs are no longer required to include in journals. The Banker system will be used to track currency/materials going forward. New characters and Rebirth characters may choose a Starter Package containing a variety of basic equipment, col, materials, and/or potions. NK/KE tags have been removed. The table for SP gain based on the number of players in a thread has been removed. SP gain is now issued at 1 SP per 3 posts, up to the number of completed pages. (e.g. 3 SP for three pages, requires at least 9 posts) A Skill Refunding System has been added. Players may now pay a col cost to remove known skills and receive a refund of the invested SP. Rules on vanity items have been clarified. Health regeneration outside of combat has been adjusted to (10 * Tier) per post. Stealth and Stealth Detection no longer have a base rating for players. Both now use a LD roll plus a Stealth Rating/Stealth Detection modifier. NPCs and monsters still utilize a base rating (10 as a baseline for player-created mobs). 'Using cover' no longer adds to Stealth Rating. Low light or darkness conditions grant a +1 to Stealth Rating, down from +2. Switch has been added as a game mechanic (no longer a skill). Players may call for a Switch when landing a successful attack. If the Switching player also lands an attack, a Switch is performed and the two players may immediately swap hate values. Players are required to post their level, stats, equipment, skills, etc., in their first post in a thread. This should be a snapshot of your character and should not be changed after the initial post. Players are still allowed to declare their characters at a lower level or with fewer items than what they currently have, but may not claim items that have not been approved or were obtained in an unlocked thread. Turn order rules have been modified slightly to reflect the leniency of Boss Raid combat. Players may post in any order so long as each player and the enemy has gotten one action in a single round. Outside of Boss Raids, parties may have a maximum of 4 players. Combat with more than 4 players should follow a Group order similar to boss raids. When fighting multiple enemies, players must now make individual rolls for each mob. This applies to both making attacks against multiple enemies and multiple enemies making attacks. One roll no longer applies to/for all targets. The Running Away mechanic has been updated. Running away from combat now uses a LD roll with a set of situational modifiers. The col/material values and frequency in the loot table have been adjusted. Labyrinth searching rules have been adjusted. The map fragment system has been removed. Bonus rewards for scouting and defeating the field boss have been adjusted. Housing and Guild Halls have been completely revamped. PvP rules have been adjusted. Players must make an initiative roll when engaging in combat with other players. The extended Player Killing rules/restrictions have been removed. Rules on player cursor colors have been expanded. There is now a strike system for criminal infractions that would cause a player's cursor to turn orange. Killing a green player outside of a duel now results in a permanent orange cursor. An NPC Guard mechanic has been added. Orange players may now enter safe zones, but must stealth/run from guards in certain safe zones. NPC guards have a Stealth Detection rating equal to (Floor / 3), rounded down. Added more detail to character death rules. The RGQ system has been removed. Crafting Changes: Fishing as a profession has been removed. It is now a skill. The CD result chart has been adjusted across all professions (except Merchant). Good and Bad quality items have been removed from the CD result chart. Salvage chances have been adjusted. Alchemists now have a chance to salvage one or both materials when attempting to craft crystals. Crafting Die tools no longer have an effect. Consumables, familiars, housing, and some items still provide EXP and Crafting Attempt bonuses. The process of crafting Feasts has changed slightly. Cooks may now take 3 identical food items and spend two materials to combine them into a Feast. A Feast can be used in a thread to provide that enhancement to up to six players. Artisan craftable item types have been modified (Trinkets, Jewelry, Sculptures). The buffs they can provide are largely unchanged. Alchemist craftable item types have been modified (Salves, Potions, Crystals). The buffs they can provide are largely unchanged. Skill Changes: Extended Weight Limit Removed Ranks - 15 SP cost Now adds +3 Battle Ready Inventory slots Adjusted Mod: Large Pockets Now has 3 Ranks Cost set to 5/3/2 SP (10 total for Rank 3) Now increases single Battle Ready Inventory slots to 7/10/15 Removed 'Larger Pockets' and 'Largest Pockets' mods New Skill: Fishing Cost: 10 SP Effect: Use a dice roll to fish something up based on a natural CD result: Gatherer Now has a chance to yield 1-3 bonus materials based on a natural CD result Sneak & Hide Renamed to 'Hiding' Now grants +1 Stealth Rating per rank New Rank 3 Mod: Untraceable Cost: 9 SP Effect: Negates the effect of the Tracking skill against the user. New Rank 3 Mod: Blindside Cost: 9 SP Effect: Gain +2 Stealth Rating. Natural BD rolls of 9-10 reduce the target's accuracy by 1 for one turn when attacking from stealth. New Rank 5 Mod: Vanish Cost: 12 SP Cooldown: 5 Turns Effect: Allows the use of a post action to re-enter stealth while in combat. Getting a killing blow on an enemy allows Vanish to activate without using a post action. Search & Detect Renamed to 'Searching' Now also grants +1 Stealth Detection per rank Mod: Night Vision Now requires Rank 1, down from Rank 3 Cost reduced to 5 SP, from 9 Mod: Reveal Now also grants +2 LD when searching for Labyrinths and allows Labyrinth searches at 15 posts. Mod: Tracking Now requires Rank 3, down from Rank 5 Cost reduced to 12 SP, from 15 Tracking requirements for monsters, players, and NPCs have been clarified. Mod: Detect Cost reduced to 9 SP, from 15 No longer uses or affects Tracking. Now Grants +2 Stealth Detection. Grants +1 LD when searching for sub-dungeons and labyrinths Battle Healing Now recovers 1% of max HP per rank, instead of (Rank * 5 * Tier) Mod: Emergency Recovery Cost reduced to 10 SP, from 15 Now recovers 10% of max HP, down from 25% Block MIT gained is now set per rank: 5/8/12/18/25, down from 1 MIT per SP invested. New Rank 3 Mod: Shield Bash Cost: 10 SP Cooldown: 2 Turns Energy Cost: 10 Energy Effect: Make an attack with an equipped shield. On a hit, deals (Base * 10) damage, stuns the enemy for one turn, and applies paralyze/thorns/flame thorns enhancements present on the shield. Note: When calculating Base Damage for Shield Bash, Weapon Skills do not apply. Mod: Safe Guard Reworked into 'Rampart' Added a 5 turn cooldown Added energy cost of 8 Now uses a post action to reduce final damage that would be dealt to you by 25% (rounded down). Effect lasts until the beginning of your next turn. Energist Removed Ranks - 12 SP cost Now adds (5 * Tier) to total energy, instead of (Rank * 2) Howl Added energy cost of 10 Mod: Focused Howl Added energy cost of 8 Parry Increased SP cost to 12, up from 10 Added a 1 turn cooldown Energy cost has been fixed at 5, instead of (2 * enemies parried) 50% damage reduction has been specified to apply to the final damage (after mitigation). Effect applies to the next attack against the user, and cannot reduce damage from multiple enemies at once. Mod: Vengeful Riposte Increased SP cost to 12, up from 10 Added a 3 turn cooldown Damage reflected is now 50% of raw damage, up from 25% of damage taken. This damage can still be mitigated. Switch Skill has been removed. Two-Handed Weapons The +2 DMG bonus for 2H weapons has been clarified in the first rank of 2H weapon skills. All Weapons The Ferocity and Finesse mods have been condensed into a single description. You must still specify the weapon type when acquiring the mod(s). Mod: Ferocity Rank requirement set to 3, instead of ranging from 1-5 Now increases base damage of all sword arts for the chosen weapon by 1. Mod: Finesse Rank requirement set to 3, instead of ranging from 1-5 Now has 3 Ranks Cost adjusted to 5/3/2 SP (10 total for Rank 3), down from 15 at Rank 5 Now reduces energy cost of all sword arts for the chosen weapon by an amount equal to its rank. Mod: Quick Change Cooldown reduced to 3 turns, down from 5 Now allows the user to swap, equip, or unequip a weapon in their Battle Ready Inventory. Mod: Stamina Now reduces the energy cost of all attacks by 1. Heavy Armor Increased the amount of MIT gained to 8>12>18>25>35, up from 3>7>12>20>30 Mod: Athletics Bonus health increased to (15 * Tier), up from 15 Mod: Stonewall Bonus health has been adjusted to (15 * Tier), instead of equal to mitigation from other skills. Now also grants 10 MIT when wearing heavy armor Now also reduces damage taken from damage over time effects by 25% (rounded down) when wearing heavy armor. Light Armor Adjusted the amount of MIT gained to 5>8>12>18>25, down from 3>7>12>20>30 Mod: Athletics Bonus health adjusted to (10 * Tier), from 15 Familiar Mastery 'Accurate' now has 3 ranks. 'Assistant' now provides bonus EXP (crafting attempts at max profession rank) instead of CD. Meditation Removed Ranks - 8 SP cost Added a 5 turn cooldown Now recovers (3 * Tier) energy. Getting hit by an attack before the beginning of your next turn reduces the energy recovered to (2 * Tier). Survival Added 3 SP cost Increases out of combat health regeneration to (15 * Tier), instead of 20. Enhancement Changes: Life Steal has been renamed to Vampiric. The Crafting Die enhancement has been removed. Alchemist and Artisan item types for enhancements have been modified. Sword Art Changes: Multipliers have been simplified to a single number (x6) from the two-part formula (2x3). Several descriptions have been updated. Quest Changes: The 'Redemption' quest has been revamped. The level and repeatable restrictions have been adjusted to affect only the bonus SP rewards: The First Few Lessons Are Free The Second Lesson is Also Free The Third Lesson is Just As Free The Fourth Lesson is Actually Free The Venemous Warg Repeating the 'Earning a Living' quest now allows a player to change their profession. Changing professions will reset experience to 0. Repeat completions of the Earning a Living quest will only award bonus materials if the quest-taker is changing their profession. The following quests have been removed: «Witch of the West and the Three Treasures: T.M.H & S.B.» «Witch of the West and the Three Treasures: T.L.C.» «Witch of the West and the Three Treasures «The Falling of Tagas» Housing Changes: The cost and size of Player Housing is now determined by a 'plot size'. The plot size dictates how many room slots, yard slots, and stories a house can have as well as the initial cost when purchasing. Purchasing a PK-accessible home (outside of a safe zone) has an additional cost. Buffs from Guild Halls/Player Housing now comes from the type of room, rather than furniture. Certain rooms for Player Housing have upgrades. Player Housing buffs must be assigned to a player. Home owners may use the Housing Evaluation topic to re-assign a room's player(s) once every 30 days. New/Rebirth Character Changes: Players who have submitted a new or rebirth character journal for approval in the past 30 days are eligible to add one of the starting bundles. <<2.5 Update Survival Guide>> Skills: If you spent more than 15 SP on the Extended Weight Limit skill, refund any SP over 15. If you have spent less than 15 SP, the skill is inactive until a total of 15 is invested. If you spent more than 12 SP on the Energist skill, refund any SP over 12. If you have spent less than 12 SP, the skill is inactive until a total of 12 is invested. If you spent more than 8 SP on the Meditation skill, refund any SP over 8. If you have spent less than 8 SP, the skill is inactive until a total of 8 is invested. If you have the Parry skill, you must spend 2 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 15 is invested. If you have the Survival skill, you must spend 3 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 3 is invested. If you had the Switch skill, remove it and refund 10 SP. Mods: If you have the Detect mod, keep it and refund 6 SP. If you have the Tracking mod, keep it and refund 3 SP. If you have the Emergency Recovery mod, keep it and refund 5 SP. If you had Rank 1 or 2 of the Ferocity mod, lose it and receive a refund of the SP spent. If you had Rank 3 or 4 of the Ferocity mod, you must spend 6 or 3 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 15 is invested. If you spent more than 10 SP on the Finesse mod, refund any SP over 10. If you have the Large Pockets mod, you must spend 1 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 10 is invested. If you had the Larger Pockets mod, it becomes the new Large Pockets mod and you receive a refund of 2 SP. If you had the Largest Pockets mod, it becomes the new Large Pockets mod and you receive a refund of 5 SP. If you have the Night Vision mod, keep it and refund 4 SP. If you have the Vengeful Riposte mod, you must spend 2 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 12 is invested. Professions: If you had the Fishing profession, all EXP may be transferred to any other profession. If you had a Tool with the 'Crafting Die' enhancement, you may post it for re-evaluation with the Ambition or Crafting Attempt enhancement (item name/description may not change). If you retake the Earning a Living quest in order to change professions, your EXP resets to 0 for the new profession. Edit your existing shop thread with your new profession information. Housing: Existing Guild Halls and Player Housing have been removed. They may be repurchased through the Housing Evaluation template. Players who previously bought a home or hall have been reimbursed for the total col cost in their original housing application. If a guild had shared col lost due to the removal of a guild hall, PM the details to @Teion for review/reimbursement.
    • Aereth

      2.5.2 New Mechanic: Thread Invasion/Protected Threads   11/08/2017

      Hello Players,
      Once again your feedback is needed, so head over to the thread and tell us what you think. LINK  


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    Celestial Ascendants
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    Tank Sentinel

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  1. Shield watched as Beat stood back, taking a wider perimeter around the fight than usual. He could see that the other player was running low on energy, but he doubted that was the reason. He had seen Beat empty his energy completely before backing off in fights, and he doubted that this fight would be any different. Regardless, he had a fresh wave of snuffling mole monsters burrowing towards him, and he needed to be ready. That first one seems about ready to pop. As the attack triggered, Shield responded, slicing cleanly through the attack and then through the entire mole. The beast split in half and burst apart, showering Shield with light and then was gone completely. The others bounced off of Shield more than attacked him, scrambling back and away as their formation broke. Immediately, the creatures began scrambling at the ground to submerge themselves again. "That rattled them! Beat, see what you can do!"
  2. [PP-F4] <<Avalanche>> Telling Tribulations

    Shield rolled his eyes back and lifted his chin, looking up into the trees in exasperation. Just as he did so, a fresh wave of snow fell from their boughs and landed on his face. He stood there, facing straight up into the layer of snow that now covered his face, considering the battle so far. With a sigh, he wiped the snow away and marched himself forward. He stopped just short of the boss, staring straight down into its face which was literally half his height. He held out his sword and tapped the flat of it against the fallen boss' cheek. "Hey! Big guy!" he shouted in the thing's face. It snapped its eyes onto him, blinking in silence. Clearly, nobody had used this tactic before. "I'm right here! Hit me!" The Avalanche propped itself up onto one elbow and swung its other arm back, bringing a hammer fist down directly on top of Shield. The point of his sword thrust up into the attack, and the boss' health immediately drained down to zero. With a shortened roar, the enemy bust into light blue polygons and was gone. "Finally," he sighed, slacking his shoulders and banishing his sword. "Never again."
  3. [PP-F4] <<Avalanche>> Telling Tribulations

    Shield stood at the ready, prepared for the next strike. His shield was up. His sword was out and on guard. With the extra damage that Callie had dealt, Shield knew that whatever he could land on the thing would be its undoing. All he had to do was wait for the moment. As it wound up for yet another attack, Shield could see the determination in its eyes. This is it. There was something in its timing that felt smooth and natural as it stepped into the attack. It launched its fist forward. Here it comes! As it sped its attack on, there was a hitch in its step. Shield glanced down, wondering what might have thrown it off. Had it stepped on something or slipped in the deep snow? His eyes found the source of the problem. Where Callie had hit, there was a set of fresh red welts glowing on the Avalanche's leg. It teetered for a moment, and then its leg completely separated at the point of impact. With a great flailing of its massive limbs, it came crashing to the ground. You have got to be kidding.
  4. [PP-F4] <<Avalanche>> Telling Tribulations

    "None at all," Shield answered, though it was evident from his tone that he was speaking plainly and without sarcasm. "He's clumsy, or my thorns would have finished him off a lot faster. We just have to whittle him down," he called over to her. He tightened the grip on his sword, darting to the side to draw the boss' attention. Even he had to admit that the attack had come a little close to Callie. He needed to create some distance. so that she would have more of a buffer to be able to relax and focus. He found a spot on top of a small hill, making him stand out from the landscape more than he already had. From his obvious vantage point, he gripped harder on the hilt of his sword. Whatever attack finally landed would be potent. He needed to make sure he kept the grip on his weapon to drive his riposte home. The Avalanche, following him with its beady eyes, lumbered through the snow, each footfall knocking sheets of snow from nearby trees, or the few that had still managed to cling onto their snow. With a deep bellow, it drew back its fist, but Shield could already tell its attack was going wide. He sprinted to the side to try to catch the attack, but it sailed past him, colliding with a nearby tree. "Damn."
  5. "Only a matter of time," Shield said in response to the single missed mole creature. "Everything has its time. These ones just happened to have called the clock early by attacking us." He was beginning to notice patterns in their attacks. As they would come in to strike, the same one always seemed to lead the charge, and he seemed to favor the left side. Shield prepared his retort, sword at the ready. The attack came quicker than he had anticipated, the claws striking up at him from out of the ground, sneaking past the edge of his shield. The more could not completely sneak past his blade though, and as it impaled itself through the chest, its fellows each tried and failed to emulate its successful maneuver around Shield's thorns. The first, with the sword still in its belly, dropped down into the red portion of its health bar, while yet another had hit the yellow. Shield tried to run the numbers in his head, but either way, they would take a few more swings, and with Beat's attacks drawing him more and more focus, he would need to step up and pull focus again very soon.
  6. It was a relief to see a bleed effect trigger rather than a freeze effect. Although it had its place, if Shield wasn't being hit, he wasn't contributing much to the fight. It was also a hopeful measure to continue racking up damage on those who might slip away without taking his defensive damage. He nodded his approval before turning back to the fight. Although, at the moment, with the rodents scampering back underground, there was not much to focus on. All he could manage was to take a defensive stance and wait for an enemy to get close enough to fall on his blade. The ground around him rumbled nearly constantly. There were, after all, four person-sized tunnelers rooting around in the ground by his feet. Still, it gave him some clues as to when attacks might come. As the rocks by his feet began to dance on the floor of the tunnel, he pulled back his sword arm, and as soon as the first mole leaped out of the stone floor, Shield's sword was there to meet it. Still, without a way to see them, their accuracy seemed to have improved, being able to pick spots and angles that Shield might not be able to protect. His health remained unchanged, but it meant seeing attacks come in and slip past his thorns without taking damage. "Beat, these guys seem to think they can attack us without getting hurt. Clear up that misconception."
  7. As the next strike came in, Shield turned his blade to the side, bracing its edge against his shield. The Avalanche struck with its fist, catching the blade between its knuckles. The edge bit in, diverting the direction of the blow like a rudder and taking a chunk clean out of the boss' fist. Red, angry pixels spilled forth from the edges of the gaping wound, and even as the remaining force of the attack grazed off of his shield, even that point of contact was battered and crosshatched with glowing red scratches from Shield's thorns. "You're up!" he belted out with a focused determination to the now empty air beside him. "Get this one in, and even if he freezes us again, he should be history." There was still a slim chance of a critical hit or a critical miss, in either which case, if they were frozen, Shield would find it more or less impossible to finish the job. Still, with each passing round, there was less and less health remaining to steal from the enemy. All they needed was to keep up that momentum. Doesn't matter if we're frozen, as long as that keeps up! Even as he spoke, he felt an odd weight to his sword, glancing over just in time to see ice crystallizing on the blade again, slowly spreading to overtake his arm and chest, and eventually his whole body up to his neck. Well, so much for getting in another parry. Up to you now, Hik.
  8. The ice from the prior attack that bound Shield was still in the process of thawing when another fist attack rocketed into his chest. In a burst of ice shards, the boss unearthed him, though it did more damage to both the ice and the boss than the actual player. Shield shook off the attack and crouched down into a lower stance, ducking behind his Manticore Mask. They were nearly at the end now. Even as he watched, the aftermath of his defensive damage trickled color away from the boss' health gauge until it dipped low enough to turn a bright, cherry red. With a nod of satisfaction, he held out his sword, preparing to parry the next strike. If Hikoru could manage to land his hit, that would be all they would need to end this fight quickly. He could hear the criticism aimed in his direction, but for the moment, he left the accusations unanswered. He knew which parts of this had been his responsibility, but he also knew the actual level of danger, and either way, he knew how helpful the comments were in the present moment. His focus needed to remain ahead of him. If Hikoru was trying to get a reaction out of him, Shield wasn't going to capitulate.
  9. [PP-F4] <<Avalanche>> Telling Tribulations

    Since Callie had been the only one to successfully harm the thing, Shield had no choice but to focus on pumping her up. He focused his attention to the tip of his sword, gathering a ball of energy which he flung her way with a snap of his wrist. He then turned his focus back to the Avalanche. So far, it had not proved itself to be any more of a threat than it had been before. Granted, the second encounter of this beast included freeze effects and a nasty AoE attack, but Shield had fought its first form ad nauseum, and it had never showed any signs of having such an ability. Still, he braced himself behind his shield as the boss swung back its great fists, unleashing a brutal hay maker that sailed directly over both players' heads and took out a nearby tree. It was all he could do to not throw up his hands in exasperation. As a tank, one of the greatest frustrations was an enemy that did not have high accuracy. It became a challenge of trying to jump in the way of poorly aimed attacks and do the enemy's work for them. "This fight might be all you, Callie," he called out, the slightest of groans audible behind his words. "I can only do so much if it can't land a hit."
  10. [PP-NK-F11] Lost in the Labyrinth

    The battle had barely begun, but Beat's exceptional single-target damage combined with his charge had already been enough to take the majority of the boss' health. Now in its red health bar, the queen reared back onto its hind four legs, straightening up to tower towards the ceiling. She flexed her front feet whose ends separated into barbed toes. Her mandibles clacked menacingly as she reared up and surged down towards Shield. He swung his axe to counteract her attack, but the weapon bounced off of her armored head harmlessly. Meanwhile although his shield welcomed and easily handled the impact of the snapping jaws, one barbed foot slipped past the barrier. A piece of his health ticked away, but to his satisfaction, it was mirrored by the piece of red that drained way from her health bar, even on top of the damage that was constantly bleeding out of her from Beat's attacks. "If either Beat or Teion can land one more hit, then it shouldn't outlive its next attack against me!" he called out grunting with effort as he threw back her mandibles and swiped at her head again, forcing her to rear back up out of range. "Last charge!"
  11. Shield thought over that idea as they crossed the bridge out of Tomoiko into the mines of the northern tunnels. There were certainly advantages to living higher up in Aincrad, but he did have reservations about the idea. "I'm fine on the eleventh floor," Shield said with a nod. "At least for now. I practically live up here the rest of the time, and if I didn't emerge from the mines and caverns up here, I might never check my notifications, might never see when people need m-" As they stepped into the first chamber, four blue distortions materialized in the air, solidifying as great, snuffling moles with raking claws. Shield flourished his sword and lowered himself into his defensive stance. "And this is what we're really out here for, ladies and gentlemen," he growled, taking a deep breath before bellowing with all of the force of his lungs, "First real fight of the day! Come on!" Four sets of beady, black pearl eyes fixed themselves on the source of the sound, and with loud snorts, they turned their noses to the earth and punched into the solid rock with their claws, vanishing into the ground. "Heads, up, Beat! They're focusing me, but you may have a narrow window to strike." Sure enough they each popped up out of the earth only long enough to swipe at Shield, deal their minute damage, recoil from the defensive rebound, and then immediately turned back to their burrows to try and disappear.
  12. [PP-F4] <<Avalanche>> Telling Tribulations

    "I've never particularly known this boss t-" As if in response to Shield's incredulity, a nearby hill began to rumble. Shield whipped his head around, sword and shield already at attention and his eyes sharp, barely having time to draw in breath to <Focused Howl>. "Don't you know that it's rude to interrupt!?" The monster's head snapped toward Shield, the ice covered foe considering him for a moment before leaping into the air, raising both hands at once. Its great fists came down together, sending a cascade of snow in all directions. When the dust cleared, he was in the middle of the creature's forearms, his fist having struck just behind him. "Well," he thought aloud, "I saw that attack going very differently." He shrugged and dipped down into a defensive stance, Shield up and ready. So far this was not shaping up to be any different from the last fight.
  13. Despite the superior damage of the martial artist, the little dragon screeched and abandoned Beat, tearing off across the narrow battlefield towards Shield. It opened its wings wide, stretching out its hind claws to try one last time to punish Shield for the damage it had suffered. "Mine!" Called the tank, flinging another ball of energy at Beat just as the claws touched him and immediately shattered. He let out a deep call of victory which echoed across the mountaintop before he turned back to Beat. "Looks like I didn't even have to work that time to jack your kill. Better luck next time, DPS man." Shield allowed himself a smirk of satisfaction at having borrowed Beat's own words to tease him. Wiping the triumph off of his face, he let out a sigh. "Well, are we off to higher floors then?" he asked hopefully. "I'm about done with all of the heat."
  14. "Part of me feels bad," Shield said to his partner. "Even the dragon seems to know that attacking you would be smarter and more productive, but it just can't overcome that programming." Shield, tired of having to put up his sword every time he energized another player, tried a different tactic. Instead of an open palm, he focused his attention to the tip of his sword, attempting to gather his energy there rather than needing to empty a hand to do so. The faint light of his energy pool began to gather and glow in a small sphere on the tip of his sword. He nodded with satisfaction, flicking his wrist and sending the little parcel of potential over to Beat. "I don't know why I never thought to do that before," he wondered a loud. "That makes everything so much simpler." He shrugged, focusing hi attention on the incoming reptilian foe whose claws were once again trying to dig their way into his body. All that they managed, however, was to dig him further into his red gauge.
  15. [PP-F4] <<Avalanche>> Telling Tribulations

    "It can be," Shield said with a nod, remembering his last time he had completed the quest. It had been a long, unproductive fight, to say the least. "As such, we should get a move on. Not that I'm in a hurry to get out of here, but this fight has the potential to last a lot longer than seems probable on paper." He knew that he had leveled quite a bit since the last time, but he wanted to be prepared for the possibility of another slug-fest in the snow. He led the way, following the little path out of town that led out into the snow-blanketed forest beyond. He kept his gait at a moderate pace, not wanting to get too far ahead of Callie and remembering that on their last outing she had preferred to take a little time to sight-see. "Someday I may bring you back up here for another quest in return for me helping on this one," he said, nodding towards their left as they walked. "That way is one of the most profitable quests to farm. The drop gives you an item that adds enhancement slots to imperfect items. In most cases, it's best to just commission a better weapon, but if you have something with a unique enhancement... well, then it might be worth the grind to improve a potentially potent item."