Jump to content

[F01/SP] Proper Flower-Picking Technique [EaL: Gatherer]


Recommended Posts

Earning a Living: Gatherer

One second Oscar was in the midst of combat, the Frontliners at his back. And then the next, his world stopped. Everyone froze in place. Orgoth paused mid-swing. Oscar, for his part, could move around. He blinked, surveying his time-locked surroundings. A discordant noise assaulted his ears, quiet at first and then rising into a crescendo. No matter how hard he attempted to block the noise, it persisted. He remembered the sound well. There was no broadband on the Major's rural ranch. No satellite either. They had to content themselves with dial-up. That sound, the sound of his ancient PC connecting to the internet, was seared into his memory. He wondered whether he'd somehow died and was delivered to some fresh Hell, stuck perpetually in Aincrad but tortured by the song of America Online.

Minutes passed and nothing. The sound continued, his comrades remained frozen. And then, as suddenly as it had begun, nothing. Oscar looked up and blinked, grimacing as he attempted to shake off the effects of the noise. The battlefield was empty. No Frontliners. No Orgoth. No Shadow. Just Oscar, alone, with the passage to the next floor open before him. He let out a heavy sigh. How, in this current age, had he desynched in what was perhaps the most important battle in recent memory? Of course, he knew why. With a scowl and preceding a stream of curses that would make a sailor blush and instantly send a nun to her eternal damnation, Oscar said only this:

"Fucking Comcast."

Spoiler

Oscar

Level 31 [P.45]
HP: 860
EN: 118
DMG: 23
ACC: 4
EVA: 1
MIT: 104
BH: 47
LD: 5[+2 when Searching for Labyrinths, Dungeons, and Treasure Chests]

Battle Ready Inventory
Teleport Crystal
[EMPTY]
[EMPTY]
[EMPTY]
[EMPTY]

Equipment
Money Shot [T4 Perfect War Hammer] AA, Acc, Bleed
Mythril Greaves [T3 Perfect Heavy Armor] +54 MIT
Ivory Gold Leaf Ring [T1 Demonic Trinket]  2 ACC, 2 EVA

Skills
War Hammer Mastery Rank 5 
Heavy Armor Mastery Rank 5
Battle Healing Rank 5
Searching Rank 5
Charge
Energist
Combat Mastery: Damage Rank 3
Scouting Familiar

Extra Skills
Survival
Meditation
Concentration
[EMPTY]
[EMPTY]

Mods
WH: Ferocity
HA: Impetus
HA: Iron Skin
Justified Riposte
Bull Rush

Housing Buffs
Well-Rested: -1 energy cost for the first three expenditures of each combat
Squeaky Clean: The first time you would suffer DoT damage in a thread, reduce damage taken from DoT each turn by 25% (rounded down)
Relaxed: Increases out of combatHP regen by (5 * Tier HP) and decreases full energy regen to 2 Out of Combat Posts.
Tasty: Turn 2 identical food items (same quality, tier, & enhancements) into a Lesser Feast. A Lesser Feast contains 4 portions of the food items sacrificed. Lesser Feasts created this way cannot be used outside of the thread they are created. Limit 1 item created per thread.
Skylight (Searching): +1 Expertise to declared utility skill.
Advanced Training: +10% EXP to a thread. Limit one use per month. Must be used on a player's first post in a thread. Cooldown begins counting down when used in a post.
 

 

Edited by Oscar
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

A chime drew Oscar's attention. He opened his menu to see the words:

Update Complete.

An update? That hadn't happened in quite sometime. Perhaps Floor 25 being cleared had unlocked some new content to explore. Or perhaps Cardinal, assaulted so by Sundered Spire and the other accoutrement of glitches and bugs that seemed to accompany Shadow's awakening had finally rolled out a patch for it? Either way, Oscar was rather excited to see what the new update had to off. That is, until he saw his health bar. Was he seeing things or had his health bar really been slashed in half? Scrolling through his menu, he saw that all of his skills were gone and the SP value he had prior was a smaller number than before. Upon further inspection, he noticed that skill costs had similarly been reduced. He was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Either he could proceed onto the next floor with no skills or he could brave the Endless Maze back with no skills. Neither was an appealing option.

Edited by Oscar
Link to post
Share on other sites

Forced to take the time to respec into his skills, Oscar wondered whether this was a blessing in disguise. He'd long felt the holes from trying to mix light and heavy armor. Perhaps it was a good opportunity to commit to one or the other. Disheartened and disconcerted by the sudden loss of half of his vitality, Oscar made the snap choice to spec fully into the Heavy Armor line. His stats adjusted as he spent points, Mitigation and Health rising as his SP count lowered. Certain restrictions were now in place, but that was fine. When all was said and done, Oscar realized that he didn't have the points to spend on doing everything and a half anymore. Making the hard decision to cut First Aid, he finalized his point expenditures. War Hammer had struck him as the most appealing weapon choice, but he would need to get back to town and requisition a new piece of gear that he could use. Much to his surprise, however, as he chose his weapon type, Money Shot also changed within his inventory. No longer a Tier 3 Two-Handed Battleaxe. It had shifted to a Tier 4 War Hammer with the same enhancements. How charitable of Cardinal to insure he had a weapon that he could use.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only way out was through. The thought of braving the Endless Maze wasn't appealing to him, so he headed on up to Floor 26. A sprawling metropolis stretched out before him. As he walked through the gate, an NPC welcomed him to the Imperial Quarter of Ladonia. It was quite a jarring experience, going from a dark dungeon to a large city. But Oscar didn't really have the time or energy to follow that train of thought. His thoughts were solely upon the goings on in the Town of Beginnings on what chaos must have been wrought by the sudden update. He wandered about until he managed to find the Teleportation Platform. He stepped upon it and shouted out: "Teleport: Town of Beginnings!" And in a flash of white light, the City of Ladonia was behind him. Or rather, gone from his sight. It was rather difficult to see things through the blinding light that encompassed him. But, as it always did, the light disappeared and he found himself in familiar climes once more.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Things were... not the same as they were before the Raid. For starters, the Town was busier. Higher level players could be seen wandering about. He saw many familiar faces in the crowd, familiar faces that were swallowed up in short order by a veritable sea of people. What could be so interesting about the Town of Beginnings that this many people could be seen here? His curiosity was piqued, but his hatred of large crowds tempered his desire to seek truth. And so, Oscar pushed against the current and headed towards the edge of town. Perhaps there he could find someone to needle with questions. Either way, he was happy to see activity revitalized here. Ceaseless efforts to turn the floor into something of a commercial hub seemed to have paid off. Now, what thing existed that would drive people here in such numbers was another question. He would have imagined everyone would be busy trying to find the next Labyrinth by now.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

As Oscar exited the town, he saw a familiar shape out of the corner of his eye. A quest icon hovering over a woman clad in green robes. Oscar could have sworn that he'd done all of the quests on this floor now, but maybe the update had brought with it some new quests as well. It certainly might help explain the amount of people milling about in the streets. Oscar approached, waving his hand in greeting to the NPC. "Hello," he said.

"So, it appears you've found me," she said. "I tend to move around quite a lot, but someone always finds me. I suppose you are looking for some herbs?"

What? Oh yeah, canned dialogue, he thought. He'd grown accustomed to the more personal touch that Sundered Spire and Shadow had given things.

"Uh, yeah. Sure. Herbs. And... Gathering them.," he said rather non-committedly.

Her eyes widened in response, a faint smile stretched over her features. "Most simply expect me to gather their materials for them, but few truly care about the process itself. You surprise me."

Wait. We could have got NPCs to gather materials for us? Wish I'd known that a month ago.

She approached quickly, crossing over to him in just a few strides. Rustling through her pockets, she presented Oscar with a compass. "You may borrow my compass. Dark magic has made it capable of locating an incredibly rare item called a Demonic Shard. Should you find one, and bring it back to me, you will prove yourself worthy of my teachings. Take care, and may good  fortune travel with you."

A quest screen appeared. Oscar hit accept and the current objective propagated on his field of view.

Locate 1 Demonic Shard.

Fuck it. Let's go.

 

Edited by Oscar
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Oscar was left wondering how exactly a compass would be used to find some ultra-special-secret material. Compasses were meant to point North. But then, he remembered that Pirates of the Caribbean had explored this exact same plot element. Oscar opened the compass, watching as the needle remained fixed to the east. So, it stood to reason that his prize would be somewhere to the east of the Town. If only he had a jar of dirt to help him on this outing. That movie was so chock full of memes. Funny how things worked out. So Oscar set off, making a big lap around the circular city so as to avoid the crowd inside it. As his orientation changed, Oscar watched as the needle moved to mirror that.  So, essentially, this searching quest turned into a mere hike. For Oscar, it had been such a long time that he had done a quest so basic that he appreciated the ease of the task at hand.

Spoiler

Gathering ID: 188709 LD12, CD9

 

Edited by Oscar
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Eventually, Oscar managed to walk the entire perimeter of the Town of Beginnings to the Eastern Gate. He made pretty good time, he felt. As he stepped in front of the open gate, he noticed some shimmering at his feet. He took the time to bend down and pluck the flower from the herb, all the while keeping his eyes fixed upon the compass. Still due East. Oscar shrugged and pocketed the flower before heading on his way. He wondered exactly how far he was expected to go. But did it really matter? A calm stroll through familiar territory was just what the doctor ordered after the stress of both the Raid and then lagging out of the Raid. Perhaps he could come up with a believable excuse on this outing. Who in the Hell would actually believe - after all the improvements to network infrastructure over the years - someone had lagged out?

Spoiler

ID: 188710 LD: 18, CD: 1

1 Material Obtained

 

Edited by Oscar
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

As Oscar headed East, the needle shifted to the North bit-by-bit. Oscar followed the directions of the Compass, taking the time to really absorb the sights and sounds of the floor. He heard the grunting of boars in the distance, a chill running up his spine for reasons he couldn't quite place. His thoughts suddenly turned to the thought of the boars' god. A wave of nostalgia and terror gripped him so he quickly put those thoughts out of his head. He didn't know what had elicited such a primal reaction from him. Even the mere act of trying to recall the reason caused a surge of panic to rebuke his efforts. Oscar, wary about his own thoughts betraying him, and looked around for another thing to fixate on. That branch hanging half-broken from a nearby tree looked to be exceptionally interesting, comparatively speaking. Anything to escape the roiling terror that had his heart all a-flutter.

Spoiler

ID: 188711 LD: 7, CD8

 

Edited by Oscar
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

With his attention drawn thusly to the tree branch, Oscar was suitably distracted from the primal dread gripping him at his very core. He took the time to closely examine it. Even if there were no materials to be found, made a note of every crack and bump across the gnarled surface of the hood. Of every patch of moss that marred its surface. Of every leaf that still clung for dear life upon the tree's damaged extremity. Thus, his heartbeat slowed and his discomfort abated. His thoughts were drawn towards previous failings at gathering attempts and how best he might avoid that in the future. Was that the point of this quest? Send someone on a long journey in the hopes they think scary thoughts and suddenly become interested in the forest? Nah. This was the same Cardinal that let glitched mobs attack an event and run amok for weeks. It wouldn't be that sophisticated.

Spoiler

ID: 188712 LD: 11, CD:9

 

Edited by Oscar
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

As that thought crossed his mind, the branch broke off completely. It descended rapidly like a bolt of lightning and hit Oscar right in the face. Now, if Oscar were the paranoid sort, he would think that Cardinal was out to get him. But, the thing had been hanging by a thread. It was no small wonder that Oscar got his face smashed. Even that was a welcome distraction to the thoughts of eldritch horror hanging at the peripheries of his mind. He rubbed his sore forehead and shook the pain away. Where was he? Right. The compass. The shard. Things.

Where was that damn compass anyway? Somewhere in between getting blatted in the face by a tree branch, Oscar had managed to drop the thing. In the low light of the forest he now found himself in, the black compass seemed to blend perfectly with the forest floor. He let out a heavy sigh and got to searching.

Spoiler

ID: 188713 LD: 5, CD: 4

 

Edited by Oscar
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

After rifling through the pine needles and half-rotted leaves, Oscar's hand eventually hit something hard and polygonal. His fingers wrapped around the object and he pulled it free of the small pile of mess he'd made trying to find his object. He lifted the compass from the ground, carefully brushing away the dirt and debris that marred its surface. He was almost afraid to look at it, for fear of any damage his clumsiness might have caused. Eventually, he realized that if he wanted to get this quest done, he had to look at it. So, he held his breath and cast a wary, inspecting eye over it. He was able to breathe a sigh of relief when he saw that his misstep hadn't caused anything beyond a little dirt to get caked into its hinges. He carefully picked away the dirt and bits of damp leaves, not wanting to return the item in worse shape than when he'd got it.

Spoiler

ID: 188714 LD: 7, CD: 6

 

Edited by Oscar
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

After a small cleaning job, Oscar was back at it. He continued to follow the compass' guidance. He felt as if he was getting closer. When he strayed from the path, changes in the needles direction were more profound. What started as a smooth glide north or south suddenly changed to jerky movements one way or the other. The thought of being close to his goal excited him, even if that goal wasn't what he had set out to do today. What had he set out to do today? Was it still the same day of the Raid? How bad had his desync been? Oscar shrugged. Did it really matter? He was still hopelessly stuck and he should count himself lucky that his disconnection hadn't caused the game to fry his brain. Comcast would be looking at one hell of a lawsuit if the few American players died as a result of their shitty service.

Spoiler

ID: 188715 LD: 10, CD: 1

 

Edited by Oscar
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

As he drew deeper into the forest, Oscar found no shortage of gathering spots. It seems the sudden influx of Players into the Town of Beginnings had resulted in a lot of the gathering spots being picked clean close to town. They would eventually respawn, but it would be difficult to compete with other Players for materials. Plus, with everyone on the upper limit of levels having reached a new tier thanks to their clearing Floor 25, there would be quite the demand for materials to upgrade equipment. Oscar found himself a veritable treasure trove and took one flower for himself, leaving the rest for Players who might have a greater need of them. Gathering had never been his primary source of obtaining materials anyway. No sense picking the forest floor clean and leaving someone else out in the cold, especially given how close he was to his goal now.

Spoiler

ID: 188716 LD: 16, CD: 3

1 Material Found
2 Total

 

Edited by Oscar
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Following the directions of the compass, Oscar was led right to his prize. There, on the ground before him, was a shard of blackest night. It possessed a deadly aura, tendrils of shadows floating from the item like wisps of smoke. Was this really a safe item to take? It had to be. Cardinal, as unreliable as it was, didn't set out to kill Players on what amounted to a newbie quest. So, throwing caution to the wind, Oscar stooped down and picked up the Demonic Shard. He didn't know what he was expecting after obtaining an item like that, but he was definitely surprised when the item was simply added to his inventory without any pomp or fanfare. With no Demonic Shards to track, the compass' needle began to spin around rapidly. Its task done, Oscar closed the compass and turned on his heels to head back to Giovanna. After all, his quest had been updated with a new task.

Return the Compass to Giovanna.

Spoiler

ID: 188717 LD: 16, CD: 12

Demonic Shard Found

 

Edited by Oscar
Link to post
Share on other sites

Backtracking through the frontier, Oscar made good time. Perhaps it was began he wasn't measuring his steps, making sure that he remained on the proper path. After all, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. And Oscar knew this floor like the back of his hand. Orienteering back to Giovanna wouldn't be a problem at all. The Town of Beginnings was in his sight in short order. As it was growing late, he could see from a distance that a lot of the hustle and bustle from earlier had slowed down. So, passage through the Eastern Gate to the Western Gate was on the table now. And he did just that. And, just as he'd thought, the crowd had thinned considerably. Craftsman were closing up shop and Players were retiring to their homes. Something Oscar hoped to do very soon. He hadn't seen Leeroy and Jenkins in quite a bit and he'd hoped that his companion would be found at home and hadn't been deleted by the system thanks to the failings of his ISP.

Link to post
Share on other sites

All-in-all, it had been a wonderful hike. Oscar had cleared a new quest, obtained a rare item, and got to relax a little before next fire invariably broke out and required all of his attention. With a spring in his step, Oscar strode into Giovanna's camp and placed the compass into her waiting hands.

"So you've found a Demonic Shard! You continue to impress me. I'll confess, you've learned all that I could teach you through this single quest. Trial by fire has always been my preferred style."  Oscar wondered what she was talking about. This was less of a trial by fire and more of a slight, but enjoyable inconvenience. Though, perhaps that was Oscar's experience talking. He imagined this would be less of an interesting quest if a newbie were taking on the dangers of Floor One while they still remained relevant to them. You know, for an entire one level. Nevertheless, there was still that sense of accomplishment for ticking another quest off of his list, even if it wasn't one that tested his skills to their limits. Disparity was nice. Easy-going quests like this made the difficult ones all the more enjoyable.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Giovanna continued talking.  "As payment for your troubles, why don't you keep the Shard? I will be needing the compass back, however. Next time you hunt for a Shard, you will have to earn it the hard way - with your own skill!" 

Well that was certainly new. It wasn't often that quests such as these allowed you to keep the fruits of your efforts. Even less common for those fruits to be so relevant at his level. Inspecting the Demonic Shard in his inventory, he blinked once in surprise. Use three to enhance the rarity of any item up to Demonic quality? The fuck? When was this done? Oscar remembered keenly having to beg and scrape and grind out events hard-core in order to get his hands on a Demonic item. And now players could simply gather the reagents. For all the shit he gave Cardinal, Oscar couldn't come up with anything like that over this. It was actually a cool new feature, a small comfort to be trapped inside of a death game, but a cool new feature nonetheless.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

As the quest was completed, a window appeared in Oscar's field of view. A triumphant chime filled his ears as the window expanded open to reveal the text upon it:

Congratulations!

You have now acquired the <<Gatherer>> profession.

I did what now? Oscar swore openly and opened his menu, quickly navigating to his Profession information. If he'd lost his ranks in Cooking, he would have someone's ass on a platter! He was able to breathe easily when he saw that Cooking had merely been joined by a second profession. So apparently, the update had created two separate designations for Professions: Crafting and Foraging. The standard choices before the update were considered "Crafting" Professions where Fishing and Gathering were considered "Foraging." So they weren't Non-Combat Skills anymore, but Professions in their own right. Interesting. He wondered whether or not his go-to method of material farming had been changed with the update as well. He supposed that he would find out soon enough.

Edited by Oscar
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oscar very clearly needed to find himself a quiet place to sit down and familiarize himself with all of these new changes. And thus, he decided to head home. It felt like an eternity since he'd been in his bed. It would do him good to get some rest and food before diving down the rabbit hole that was his menus. He headed back into town and teleported up to Floor 7. As he headed down the all-too-familiar road towards his home, he heard the chime of an incoming message.

Quote

From: @Freyd

You're alive? What the happened to you in the Raid?

Oscar sighed and typed up a response. Hopefully honesty would be the best policy here.

Quote

To: @Freyd

Lag, if you can believe it. Comcast almost killed me.

By the time he had arrived home, he'd received another message. He stepped inside and was immediately jumped by his two-headed Cerberus. So the system hadn't destroyed his dog after all. That was a load off his mind.

Quote

From: @Freyd

Who lags out nowadays?

Fair. Oscar responded.

Quote

To: @Freyd

Me, apparently. I seem to have missed a lot. I just got home and I'm getting ready to make some food. You wanna swing by and get me up to speed?

A few moments passed, moments filled by Oscar rubbing his hound's belly. Then, another chime.

Quote

From: @Freyd

Sure thing, I'll be there soon.

Fantastic. Let's hope I remember how to cook.

Thread Summary

1133 EXP
[800 from page, 300 from quest, 33 from Paragon bonus]
513 Col
[400 from thread, 113 from Paragon bonus]
2 Materials
1 Demonic Shard
<<Gathering>> Profession

NIGHT

Rolling for Unique Skill.
ID: 188956 | LD: 15

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...