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[PT-??] The Eternal Hunt [v3.1.2]

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The Eternal Hunt [v3.1.2]
This event will lapse on 15 May, 2359ET.



Imagine a pitch black canvas that mirrored one's reflection just as well as glass. When left out in the open, during the night, such a spread of darkness would capture the many twinkling lights in the sky, even as its hue shifted from teals and greens to blues. Such was the majestic sight from Coral, had one taken their time to shuffle down to the lake for a midnight stroll.

And it was against this backdrop that the Lake of Reflections had captured a constellation that shone brighter than the others, the fury of which laid within it was beyond celestial comparison.

There was a slam on the wooden refectory table, a gloved fist in black. The halls of one of the sky's imperial palaces — Orion's domain — was alive with a feast that day, hearth burning alight with an intensity rivalling the Hunter's disdain. The others at the table each flinched during their partake of their meal. Only three select others seemed unmoved by his antagonism, with one of them, female, even bothering to spare him notice from her plate.

o0tXUEV.png"Can you believe it? No wonder our offerings have been scarce lately. With the way Cardinal's been shifting its elements around... One would think it's almost looking for a way to snuff us out!"

Orion was positioned at the far corner, closest to the fire, with a mop that complimented that blaze by his side. His once kindly blue eyes were narrowed, squinted, sights set past his opposition, distant. The woman in his vision huffed, lion ears atop her head flicking. 

"I can believe you're being a little brat when we're not in the mood." 

vzm3xw4.png"When exactly is anyone going to listen to me, Bellatrix?" The Hunter shoved a cube of steak into his mouth, before jabbing at air towards his sole responsive company, fork prongs dripping with sauce and fat. "Between our troops these days, it's either hunting or gathering with little for anything in between!"

"You... are terrible at time management. A majority of our officials remain here anyway despite our need to send some of them out for food."

"Well they shouldn't have to in the first place." The pause in between his words gave Bellatrix enough time for an eye roll and a dicing of her meal before Orion spoke again. "How many are you talking about when you say 'majority'?"

The woman waved a hand. "Like sixty percent."

"So I'll have to make two speeches anyway to let my people know about recent developments." Orion shook his head, pulling away from his meal to slump against the back of his chair. "No, no. This won't do at all. We sincerely cannot lose our faith from the people, the players..."

Bellatrix was silent at his lament, save for a bored blink and a clink of her utensil against her plate. She raised her chin towards her brother. "Hey. Eat your food first."

Orion groaned, but sat upright to comply.

"You'll think of something," she reassured him, eyes returning to her plate and sizing up some roasted vegetables by the side. "I'm sure of it."

"Yeah," he scoffed, cutting into his meal once again. "I'll think of something. I need to think of something. We need to come up with a plan. Cardinal needs to..."

Four prongs sank into a stalk of broccoli just as Orion's voice faded into the clatter of dinnerware. Bellatrix gave it a big bite, before realizing her younger brother had gone quiet. A glance upwards — that distant look again, a faded presence from the man himself — and Bellatrix grunted in annoyance, raising a hand to wave in his periphery.

"Hey, eejit."


Before her fingers could make it into his view, Orion's gaze shot back up to his sister, focus returning to the present. And that slight scowl from earlier grew into an even greater smile.

"Cardinal... just needs to change how combat works again."

Recurring dreams strike the players of Aincrad as some memories stir anew. A celestial palace; so the rumors of its existence speak true -- but the only concrete take away anyone has of it to prove other than a collective unconscious is the message in their inbox, delivered only to certain players. The castle's few strongest.

To them, an alert pinpoints an investigation into their skill menus. The message to players reads as follows:

"Hey, fellow hunters! Orion here!

I hope you remember me from a while ago. If not, don't worry, there's no need to cause a ruckus under my blessing.

If you hadn't heard from last time, I'm wishing to conduct an experiment recently. You may have noticed a new icon in your status bar. If it's there, then my plan has worked. If not, ignore this message. 

I've made some changes to the combat system, if you'd take a look. Additional skills -- free of charge! Of course, their availability differs depending on the type of build you've gone for. Do talk with one another if you'd like to cross reference the conditions to unlock certain skills (but not too much to cause alarm, I hope!).

Anyone wishing to help me out on this endeavor will gain a few tokens for their effort that can be exchanged for prizes in my home. Mintaka's got a few more items stocked in this time! You'll get there if you wish for it in your sleep. Feel free to drop by and say hello during this time period!

If everything goes well, then most, if not some, of these changes will be made permanent. I suggest you try the alterations out in a quest or two, see how that feels. I'm sure you lot are already a mighty bunch, so try as you might to test your mettle on something you haven't before! If not for your sake, then maybe for mine, alright?

That's it from me for now. I'll be in touch if I need to.

Take care, players! Orion, out!"

Vanity: The Palace of Three Stars


You only see this palace in your dreams, during the occasion where Orion's Blessing is active in your status bar. All of them start off dark, from the black of night to a growing stretch of blue, above and below, a deep and rich midnight color. Stars come alive in tiny twinkles amidst the parallel sea, and each step a player takes in this galaxial realm sends ripples through the clear and desolate space landscape.

Then the palace appears, at the turn of one's head.


It looks to be imperial, traditional, decorated in red and whites, black and gold hues. The stone steps to reach it in the ocean are high, within a blink you advance past it, a warm toasty atmosphere inside to greet waking and dreaming visitors alike. Within, staff of various races bustle about, hauling cloth and donning armor, to and fro the different roads ahead. You intrinsically understand that wings to house staff are down the East and West corridors. Ahead, the building opens up to a beautiful Japanese courtyard in the open air.


The gardens split into three ways again; the large door at the center of the East wing leads to a grand feast hall, with a brazen fireplace left attended to by small lizard aides. To the West, hot springs are open for company to bask within, cleanse themselves of the day's duties. Up ahead lies the throne room; Orion would not be present to grace your presence at all times, despite his lineage to the castle, but you know relevant faculty to his position await you should you have any concerns about your visit to the palace.

There are some familiar faces walking about. Betelgeuse, Rigel; you're not sure how you're able to identify them, but their names come to you when you spot them, and vanish the moment you lose sight of them. Each celestial barely shoots you a glance if you had not attended Tanabata festivities, they keep you in their sights momentarily if you had. Did you? It's hard to recall in a dream like this. You know you can speak to them if you want to, but something about them is intimidating in these halls. Still, the want to try remains.

Sleepiness overtakes you when your time at the castle is over; a few minutes to a few hours, it's hard for anyone to keep track of time in the haze. Objects in your periphery start to blur at the seams and muddle into colours given time. When you give into rest, you wake moments after.

Any items traded at Mintaka's Treasury or small vanity items you'd collected through your visit remain in your inventory. These are the only physical traces players would have of the Palace of Three Stars in Aincrad; the rest remains a myth to the player base as far as most brokers are concerned.

★ Event Details: Orion's Blessing


58VytSi.pngOrion's Blessing
"The Master of the Palace of Three Stars sends his regards."

During the duration of the event, all players are invited to test out changes to the current 3.0 system. Please look to the following posts for more information on the skills available/changes made. Players will also have access to the Palace of Three Stars, which they may interact with in this thread.

To participate in the event, players must create threads with the [PT-CS] tag to differentiate them from the current 3.0 system. Players must then engage in 3.0 content (combat, combat-related quests) while altering their skills to fit proposed changes to the system. Upon [PT-CS] thread closures, players will be awarded with mon tokens depending on the content engaged with. The current mon distribution is as follows:

  • Thread closures: +1 mon
  • Field Bosses: +1 mon
  • Dungeons: +1 mon
  • First Quest Completion in 3.0**: +2 mon

* Mon rewards are additive. As an example, a closed thread that has completed a quest with the [PT] tag will reward players with 3 mon each.
** Quests that have been cleared in 2.6 may be cleared again in 3.0 for mon bonuses. If a player had taken [Guardian of Fire] in 2.6, they may complete it again in this event for mon bonuses. If a player had taken [Monkey King] in 3.0, they may not complete it again in this event for mon bonuses.

Mon tokens may then be exchanged in this thread for a variety of rewards. See [Mintaka's Treasury] below for details.

During the event, the 3.0 system abides by the following:

  • Players will obtain loot from mobs slain with the [PT-CS] system so long as the mobs meet loot minimum requirements.
  • Quests cleared with the [PT-CS] tag are considered canon.

As the event continues, any additional changes and updates proposed to the system will be edited into this segment, logged within [Bellatrix's Agenda].

Staff wishes to remind and urge players with any queries to direct their questions to #ask-a-staff on Discord. Thank you very much for your co-operation.

★ Event Progress: Bellatrix's Agenda


IGR4sT4l.pngn the throne room, Bellatrix's seat amongst the council is distinct, but unused despite the celestial being present in its vicinity. The lioness eyes each player as they walk in, back hunched, cross-legged upon a black metal safe and beside a small notice board crafted out of bamboo and rope. Anyone with a knowledge of cat behaviour knows that the batting of tails is a sign of anxious energy, and the woman is no different when players draw close enough, with intent to query her questions. Her knuckles rasp on the green wood beside her.

"Check the board before you ask. I don't like to speak much. I'm shy."

Whether the celestial lies is anyone's guess.

Current phase of playtests: [Custom Skills]

Staff is currently attempting to adjust the Sword Arts system so that cooldowns are removed from each Art use while attempting to incorporate some Extra Skills as individual Sword Arts instead.

More information may be found [here]. The list of proposed changes to skills may be found [here].

Regarding the previous playtest:

  • Players who had accumulated unspent mon from the previous playtest may spend as much of it as they had collected in the new playtest.
  • As an example, players who had collected 5 leftover mon from [PT] and collected 3 mon from [PT-CS] may spend a total of 6 mon in Mintaka's Treasury (3 * 2 = 6).

When participating in this playtest, note the following:

  • Only players at the current level cap (Level 32) may partake in this playtest.
  • There is no SP cost for accessing a Custom Skill as part of this playtest, and players are free to select different skills to try out in different threads.
  • Custom Skills cannot be used in staff-run events or raids.
  • Everyone is encouraged to provide feedback in the #systems channel on our Discord. We want to hear your thoughts, suggestions and experiences with this new mechanic.

Projected phases of playtesting:

[ █ █ █ █ █ ]

  1. pending list of updates.

★ Event Shop: Mintaka's Treasury



"I-I should've known Master Orion would've chosen to outsource his treasury funds, too..."

The young girl sighs, tears nearly welling in her eyes as her hand grips tightly at the winter scarf around her neck. She turns from the room she examines into, filled high with gold and ornate antiques. Players may spot her at a set of thin double doors down the West hall, entry half-opened, stopped by her miniature figure and desk breaking traffic in the corridor. When her eyes are upon the red passageway, she'd watch travelers pass her by with the gentle kicking of short feet, the kid on a high chair. Mintaka is shy; any player's approach sends her in a minor panic, and she straightens her back, trying to look professional.

"H-hi! Y-yes, we're trading goods for mon tokens here if you have any! Please examine our wares if you're interested! T-thank you for helping the Palace of Three Stars out...!"

Players may make a post exchanging mon for items in Mintaka's Treasury. Posts should abide by the 150 word count rule. Please remember to attach the post link and item purchases for mon sent to the @Banker.

Nametag (x1)
Allows its user to change the name and description of an equipment piece.
1 mon
Reroll Tickets (x3)
Allows a re-identification attempt on a single enhancement slot from a single piece of gear at a Merchant. May be used on a piece of equipment that has hit reroll limitations (item fusion, reroll cap).
1 mon
Cluster of Stars (x1)
Changes the type of an item as long as its enhancements are applicable to its new type.
2 mon
Bottled Vigor (x1)
Gain +(200 * Tier) EXP. Untradable; applied upon purchase.
3 mon
Demonic Shard (x1) 2 mon
Gleaming Scale (x1) 2 mon
Celestial Scroll (x1)
+1 CD to a day's worth of crafts or item identifications.
2 mon
Platinum Key (x5)
A single-use item that grants an LD bonus (+3) when opening a Treasure Chest.
3 mon
Candy Corn (x1)
Increase the effectiveness of a single crafted potion consumed in a thread by +1 (Player’s Tier) slot. Cannot be applied to an enhancement that has already benefited from [Candy Corn].
3 mon
Memory of Battle (x1)
Double the bonus from Scents of the Wild totems for one thread.
3 mon
Celestial Favour (x1)
Allows a re-identification attempt on a single enhancement slot from a single piece of gear at a Merchant using only their Unique Enhancement table. If an enhancement is rolled that matches a pre-existing enhancement on the equipment piece at capacity, the player is allowed an additional reroll attempt.
(eg. If a player rolls [FALLEN/HOLY] on a perfect sword that has [FALLEN II/???], the player may choose either [HOLY] on their roll or opt for the reroll attempt.)
5 mon
Gungir's Shard (x1)
Caches and expends a craftable consumable. The item to be cached must be submitted to a player's evaluation thread. Once confirmed, players may use the item to provide a buff to their characters once per thread. Other players can be affected by this item’s effects (eg. feasts, mass healing crystals), but the item cannot be used in combat. This item is tradable until an item has been evaluated on it.
10 mon
One-time purchase per character.
Hammerspace Backpack (x1)
Adds +1 to the player's Battle Ready Inventory. In addition to this effect, all Battle Ready Inventory slots extend their item capacity by 2. A player may only benefit from one Dimensional Backpack or Hammerspace Backpack at once, the latter taking precedence over the former.
10 mon
One-time purchase per character.
True-Light Lantern (x1)
When lit this simple brass lantern burns away shadows and deception, aiding in the connection of blows in the darkness. Negates the effects of low-light. Grants its user's party +1 ACC and +1 LD. A party may only benefit from one True-light Lantern at any given time.
10 mon
One-time purchase per character.
Fragment of Meissa (x1)
Removes an existing enhancement on any piece of equipment and replaces it with [HOLY]. Compatible only with Demonic items. One-time use.
15 mon
One-time purchase per character.
Pocket of Dark Matter (x1)
Removes an existing enhancement on any piece of equipment and replaces it with [FALLEN]. Compatible only with Demonic items. One-time use.
15 mon
One-time purchase per character.



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Orion's Resource List



1. Won't anyone think of the PST!? 
Limiting the overall number of custom skills to a manageable number helps preserve the sanity of our poor site PSTs.  If each player was required to create their own custom skill, the sheer volume of additional rules, exceptions and interactions to be adjudicated would become overwhelming.  The system would eventually collapse under its own weight.

2. Eliminate exclusivity.  
This was an inherent flaw in the original concept of Unique Skills, within the context of a shared game experience.  No player should be able to access content that another player cannot.  It's simply unfair.

3. The catalog can grow to meet demand
This playtest offers a limited selection of Custom Skills for the sake of initial feedback.  We know that there isn't necessarily something on the list for every build.  The intent is that additional skills can and will be developed to the catalog, after implementation.  In other words, if you really had your heart set on a particular concept, the options to submit new custom skills will exist after implementation.  These same design considerations are expected to apply.

4. Value for SP, and benefits to match
All Custom Skills are intended to be balanced around a cost of 10 SP.  As a result, most of the Unique skills are nowhere near as potent as their previous versions.  This is deliberate.  After implementation, Custom skills will also be interchangeable through the skill refund mechanic, should you feel that a previous choice didn't quite meet your needs or expectations.

5. Drawbacks are not a bad thing
Some Custom Skills still include drawbacks, reflecting that specializing on a style sometimes carries consequences in other areas, or as offsets against the potency of some versus others.

6. The damage is always greener...
Custom skills must avoid being pure damage adders, or they become an endless cycle of ever-escalating damage buffs.  Too much of the system is already inherently focused on damage output, and this would only compound existing challenges.  It was very telling that this was the direction where most of the early CS submissions immediately went during the original release of the mechanic.  The goal of Custom Skills is primarily to improve functionality, versatility and enhance the roleplaying experience, not to just buff more stats.  Minor or indirect damage buffs are still possible, but must be tempered by real and unavoidable drawbacks.

7. No Descriptions?
Custom skill descriptions have deliberately been left out of the catalog.  The intent is that each player skins their version of the skill to suit the themes and style of their character.  Thus, even if three players are running with Dual Blade in a single thread, each remains distinct and different in how they appear to use the same skill - it's what makes them unique. 



Requirement: Combat Mastery [Mitigation], R5 Heavy Armor Skill, Must be wearing Heavy Armor
Effect: Direct final damage dealt to the user is reduced by 10%.
Drawback: Disabling effects remove the damage reduction effect for their duration, but cannot stack this negation. DoT effects will tick for an additional turn.


Active: Passive
Requirement: R5 Weapon Skill [Katana], Focus [Katana] addon and Charge skill; Must be wielding a Katana.
Effect: After a successful ST-B attack, you may choose between regaining (2*Tier) energy or reducing the cooldown of the Charge skill by 1 turn.
Drawback: While Charge is on cooldown, your EVA is reduced by 1.


 Bloody Slaughter
Requirement: R10 Cooking Profession or Large Pockets Mod
Effect: The user gains a stack of Bloody Slaughter for every 4 loot-minimum mobs killed. The user must land the killing blow against these mobs for them to count towards generating Bloody Slaughter stacks. Each stack increases its user’s max HP capacity by 50 and max EN capacity by 2 until the end of the thread, up to a maximum of 5 stacks. Once the user has at least 1 stack of Bloody Slaughter, they may gain one of the following benefits each time they defeat a loot minimum mob, though each benefit can only be obtained once per post. 

  • Regains [Tier * 1] EN for each mob personally defeated; or
  • Regains [Tier * 5] HP for each mob personally defeated; or
  • Gains +[Tier * 2 MIT] until the end of the current combat rotation.

Drawback: Bloated. When the user has at least one stack of Bloody Slaughter, their capacity to heal and be healed both, through any source, will be halved.  Every two stacks (round up) of Bloody Slaughter reduces the wielder’s EVA by 1.


 Darkness Blade
Requirement: R5 Weapon Skill (any), Fighting Spirit active
Effect: User ignores 20% Mitigation on all successful attacks.  This effect can stack with the Phase Enhancement. 
Drawback: Critical hits against you gain the benefits of the Phase enhancement (ie. attacks ignore 50% mitigation).  If the attack already benefits from Phase, it ignores an additional 20% of your mitigation instead.


 Dual Blades
Active: Post Action
Cooldown: 5 Turns (Shared with Quick Change)
Requirement: Quick Change, R5 Weapon Skill(s) (Any).  Only weapons of the matching skill(s) may be used.  
Effect: The user must have equipped two weapons instead of one, but remains limited to standard three standard item slots.  Unless using Dual Strike (see below), the user can only make use of one weapon at a time when resolving attacks.  The weapon used must be specified in the attack’s description in the roller.  
Drawback: Once this skill has been used, neither weapon used to make the Dual Strike may be unequipped until the thread ends.

Dual Strike:
Activating this skill adds a surcharge of +8 EN (even on a miss) and can only be triggered when using the ST-II or AoE-II sword arts.  Any target hit by this attack suffers normal damage for the sword art used, but applies the enhancements from both of the user’s equipped weapons.  This skill shares a cooldown with Quick Change.


Requirement: R5 Weapon Skill (Any), Focus or Ferocity (matching R5 weapon skill) addon
Effect: Increases BD by 1. The user gains the benefits of both Focus and Ferocity addons when wielding a weapon of the corresponding skill.
Drawback: Your energy costs for striking multiple targets with an AoE sword art increases by 1 per target hit.


 Double or Nothing
Requirements: Must have the Hyperactive mod active 
Effect: When activating the Hyperactive addon, the user of this custom skill may apply it to also transfer all of their EN regeneration for this round to the target, keeping none for themselves.  This effect cannot cause the target to exceed its maximum EN pool.  Any excess EN is lost.  When applying Hyperactive with this CS active, the cost of Hyperactive is reduced to 0 EN.
Drawback: The user cannot benefit from battle healing while Hyperactive is on cooldown.


 Holy Blade
Requirement: Parry Extra Skill and at least one Parry mod must be active to benefit from this custom skill
Effect: Parry becomes a free action. Justified Riposte now applies Paralyze or Stun, at the user’s discretion, while the reflected damage from Vengeful Riposte gains Phase.
Drawback: EN cost of Parry is expended immediately upon activation, and remains spent even if the effect does not trigger.  Parry and its mods only last 2 turns, but their skill cooldowns remain unaffected.


 Infinite Wield
Active: Free Action
Cooldown: 3 Turns 
Requirement: R5 Weapon Skill (Any), Any Shift, Quick Change
Effect: You may temporarily change to a different shift, applying its benefits and costs until the cooldown of this skill is complete.  Your native Shift is unavailable while you have changed to another.  This ability shares a cooldown with Quick Change.
Drawback: Using a Shift other than your native one adds an extra +2 EN surcharge to the standard Shift cost.  Your native Shift reasserts itself automatically at the end of the cooldown.


Requirement: R5 First Aid Extra Skill and at least one First Aid mod must be active
Effect: User and fellow party members regain an additional 2 energy at the beginning of each of their turns. When the user activates skills or uses consumables that restore hit points to themselves or their party members, the benefits are increased by 20%.
Drawback: Users of this custom skill cannot select Hiding as an active Extra skill or benefit from any of its mods.


 Shadowed Path
Requirement:  ST-Shift, R5 Hiding Extra Skill, Vanish mod and one Surprise Attack mod must be active
Effect: Allows the user to activate Vanish as a Free Action in the same post after an attack without needing to slay a mob. EN costs for Vanish and Surprise Attack (both) are reduced by 2 EN.
Drawback: A player cannot make AoE attacks while possessing this custom skill.


 Strength of a Mountain
Requirements: Rank 3 [Leadership]; R5 Block, Forgotten King's Authority Extra Skill and the Steadfast Leadership Art must be active
Effect:  This skill enhances the Steadfast mod, and reduces its cooldown to 0. While Steadfast is active, two instances of any given status effect must be applied to the user before it takes effect.


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  • 1 month later...

Rebekah had slowly collected up the required Mon tokens in order to make a purchase from Mintaka's Treasury. She knew that it had taken a lot of work to collect these tokens but she had finally received enough to obtain the item that she had been dreaming about. When she had saw the list of prizes, there was one item that had stood out more than anything. This was gungir's shard. She had seen a few of the top players earning one of these a long time ago but she had always wanted to find a way to earn one for herself.

Therefore, she was happy to find this item listed as one of the rewards. Even though it would cost her almost all of her ahrd earned tokens, she knew it would be well spent. She finished browsing the rest of the rewards in the shop before walking up to make her purchase.

Rebekah purchases Gungir's Shard.

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