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Virtual World: Close Combat Mage (Web Novel) - Chapter 661 – Regulation

Chapter 661 – Regulation

This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog

Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales

A single update created thousands of ripples. Professional gamers, normal players, experts, even pay-to-win players… Players of every type all had their own reaction when they first saw the details of the new update.

What was especially strange was how a certain player from a certain city posted a severe castigation for this new update, and it received a strong positive response. Tens of thousands of players suddenly came forward and expressed their support for this opinion. Even as everyone was greatly surprised by substantial mobilization, Brother Assist had quietly closed the post. This player was the very same person who had completed the transaction for the efficient monster grinding routine previously after gathering a consortium of guilds that numbered over 10,000. For something like this to occur almost immediately after their huge deal that cost each individual 200 gold coins, how could these people not express their consternation? There were plenty of players who were in the same situation as them, and the players who had spent all the in-game coins that they had before the update went like were all extremely sad and appalled by the existence of such an update.

At the very same time, Brother Assist had been in the middle of negotiating the next deal with another person on his QQ! When the news of the new update was suddenly announced, Brother Assist immediately knew that this deal had gone up in smoke. Sure enough, the person’s profile picture popped up, sending the message “look at the update”, and there was no longer any follow-up message sent after.

Many people had only glanced at the headlines and they could not wait to get onto the forums and check out the essays after essays of comments made in response, but the truth was that the officials had written a long statement elaborating on this update and just the opening paragraph alone contained thousands of characters.

The official statement expressed that the cessation of in-game currency generation was just a temporary halt, and it did not mean that there would not be further interferences as the game progress. The update merely meant that there would no longer be unrestrained generation of in-game coins going forward, and the officials would make a point to track the amount of coins, the quantity of goods, the value of said good as well as the speed of the currency circulation in Parallel World, so that they could regulate the in-game economy accordingly. They had even specifically hired a famous economist as a consultant for this purpose. The players would, of course, have no idea who the economist was, but when they read this portion of the statement that the officials released, some of the players who had somewhat knowledge of this already understood that this regulation through the control of currency generation was completely similar to how the modern nations would issue real-world currency. It was all to continue the game company’s line of thought in wanting to simulate the real world!

But the problem lay in how the goods in the real world needed to be produced, and labor had to be induced before they would be placed into the market. Players were able to use the currency to make purchases, and the profits from such sales could then be invested into greater production, forming a perfect closed loop. Meanwhile, if they depended on the system to generate such goods, there would not be that sort of industrial chain. If the currency was being regulated in such a fashion, and the products in the market would still be endlessly generated en mass while the players were unwilling to spend the coins they have in their possession, would that not result in an economic recession?

The officials had not said anything with regards to this, but the players could already sniff out quite a few clues about this eventuality when they read into the change being introduced. There were a few more derivative regulation changes toward the currency, and one of them was how an account would be cleansed if a player did not log on for a month. The account’s currency, items and everything else would all be confiscated by the system, so if someone had any special circumstances to stop playing the game for more than a month, they would have to apply for the system to place their account on hold.

What the players had paid particular attention to, was the detail about how items would be confiscated too. It was easy for the system to casually stow the coins that it confiscated with some NPCs, but for the items to be confiscated as well, does that not mean that the system would eventually intend to regulate the items just like what it did with the in-game currency as well? Because Parallel World was in the process of being updated when this announcement was made, there was no way for the players to get online to experiment with this, and every one of them was anxious. On some of the online trading websites, after the online currency transaction orders were being taken down, the number of equipment that had been up for trade reduced over time as well.

Putting something up online would be a direct exchange for RMB dollars. Now that the value of in-game currency would naturally increase, even though the coin value of equipment would decrease, but because of the subtle ‘item confiscation’ condition attached, there would be the illusion of equipment depreciating against in-game currency. But perhaps the appreciating value in the coins would ultimately see the equipment’s true value increase. At the end of the day, RMB is the truest hard currency to the game, so using the real-world currency would be a better metric when comparing value.

Because players were temporarily unable to log into the game, players could only feel their anxiety climb, even though there was nothing that they could do about it. Meanwhile, the second update was the more important event that players were recently concerned with. However, now that it was happening alongside the changes to in-game currency, it made it seem less impactful. This second update was about the City Wars.

While everyone was in a panic, the system had actually pushed forward with this momentous event, and this made the players feel as if the game company had started this War all to shift people’s focus away. But their resentment and complaints were just that, this event that everyone had been concerned over for such a long time was still worth looking into, and there were still plenty of people who had set their eyes on it, especially the guild leaders of the various major guilds.

But no one would have thought that the rules for the City Wars would actually be so different from what they had first assumed.

The City Wars event was still a competition between the players, but it was not a direct confrontation between each other on the battlefield. Instead, it required the players and guilds to pool together and assault the city, with the system adjudicating the points that players could be awarded, and finally deciding the city’s sphere of influence.

Sphere of influence was yet another vague term that the game company had used. Players had yet to get a complete understanding of the business regarding the in-game currency when the officials released yet another mysterious update. The players were all incensed and infuriated, as the various guild leaders from the major guilds got on to QQ, YY, MSN and the whole gamut of messaging services and apps to contact their own guild members, getting together on the forums to make a huge ruckus, insisting that the officials clarify the matter, once and for all.

Even the officials were angered; some players had already started talking nonsense without even finish reading the details of the previous update that they had just released on the currency changes they were making, so why did it happen again? Actually, the players themselves could not be completely blamed for this. The official website was experiencing huge traffic at this time, so the page was slow to load. By the time the players saw the second update, many believed the information ended with that ‘sphere of influence’ term, even though the page itself had not been fully loaded. Even as they yowled, they carelessly checked the page again, only to realize that the scroll-bar by the side still continued. The players hurriedly read on and realized that the rest of the information was actually listed below.

As it turns out, what the term ‘sphere of influence’ meant was that a city would ultimately not end up solely belonging to a single guild. The city’s highest power would still be the system, while the guilds would be ranked by the contribution score that they had accumulated during the assault, with the system ultimately assigning the land within the city that were up for grabs in accordance to the points earned. The calculation of this contribution score was very simple, with every city having a total of 10,000 points to give out. Guilds would then be able to walk away with their respective areas of influence according to the points that they were awarded by the ranking of the guilds. For example, after the City War end, the guild in the first place would be given 1000 points, which meant they will walk away with 10% of the city’s area of influence that was up for grabs, the guild in second place would have 500 points, and would be able to earn themselves the coinciding area of influence. This will go on until all 10,000 points are distributed, so even if the remaining guilds had earned contribution score, there was no way for them to obtain any further area of influence.

Meanwhile, there were plenty of methods by which guilds could accumulate contribution score. The killing of enemies guarding the city was naturally the simplest and most direct method, but aside from the number killed, the system would also consider the quality of said enemies killed as well as the decisive influence that it would have toward the final battle. And it will thus be more generous with the scoring. Furthermore, the killing of the enemy was merely the most direct method of accumulating contribution score, but it was not the only way for guilds to do so. During the assault, each city would have a massive amount of quests and tasks related to the assault which would also award contribution score, and it was through such methods that small and weak guilds might not end up earning any less contribution score than the larger guilds.

To sum everything up in a single sentence, this City Wars event would not solely be about players’ ability to fight, but it tested their luck as well as their wisdom.

Many players had not thought that there could be a final rule like this, but everyone felt it made sense. The cities found in the game were huge, but the size of the largest guild to date had just a little over a thousand members. It would be a joke for such numbers to conduct an assault on the gigantic cities found in Parallel World. Even if there were two, three or four guilds facing off against each other, there would still be no need to take up such a huge area. The system’s choice of doing it this way could very well be described as quite the heroic undertaking on its part.

At the moment, players could not be bothered with the in-game currency matter since nobody could get into the game while the game was temporarily down. Thus, everybody began to busy themselves over understanding the City Wars event better. The chat groups that the guild leaders of the major guilds had started gathering their members to heavily criticize the game company instantly changed into strategic planning before the assault. The officials had released the rules of this affair, and specifically pointed out the existence of quests related to the assaults, yet the specific contents of the quests were written in a rather inconsistent style. The stronger guilds were all a little uncertain about the ‘it was through such methods that small and weak guilds might not end up earning any less contribution score than the larger guilds’ part of the information they were given, so they tentatively strategized to set the bulk of their forces to focus on killing the enemy to earn contribution score, while directing the rest of their manpower with weaker combat strength to be in charge of going everywhere to search for quests.

The update this time was apparently huge, and the game servers were down for the entire day. In fact, the expected time for the game to come back had even been pushed back thrice after, causing the game forums to be the most lively they had ever been since the game was released. The number of players on the forums had broken the record of most players online which was set during the guild and mercenary group PvP tournament. It was almost as if every single Parallel World player was there waiting for the game to come online once more, even as they refreshed the forums, and caught up with the gossip.

This event had been set over the weekend, and the update used up the entire Wednesday. By the time the update finished on Thursday, and the game was up and running, the players that stepped into the game once more were all a little disoriented, finding things a little foreign…

In that first moment, players who collected themselves all ran madly toward the Auction House, Trade Exchange, and other such locations, intending to cancel all the items that they had all placed for consignment. After a whole day of speculation, many players were convinced that it was not only just the in-game currency that would be affected, but even equipment and items would be restricted from generating in the future.

However, before these people could even make it to the Auction House or Trade Exchange, the system had already made an announcement across Parallel World: Due to the changes made regarding the regulation of in-game currency, the economy has experienced a comprehensive restructure, so all the equipment and items that players had consigned were all canceled and returned to the players’ inventory.

Ever since the game was released, this was the first time that the system had shown any sort of benevolence, and many shed tears of happiness…

The members of Young Master’s Elite had gotten online one after another by this time, and they were all rejoicing and congratulating one another. Compared to those players who had spent their gold freely before the update, these experts had struck the motherlode, having started their efficient monster grinding routines right before this update went live. Now that the game had placed a cap on the number of coins available, there was no way anyone out there would have more than them. Looking at how the value of the gold coins in their hands had surged, how could these people not be elated with this turn of events?

Gu Fei was a lot more composed in comparison, uttering a single, “show some promise.” He had just gotten online, and before anyone from his mercenary group could even greet him, July from Amethyst Rebirth had already privately sent a message to him, asking him to hurry back and join in the City War happening in two days’ time.

Svelte Dancer was currently wailing her heart out in the guild channel! This woman was one of the unfortunate players who had been burnt by this update. She had just completed a big round of shopping two days ago and was just about to use her RMB to get more in-game currency when this update occurred. The moment she logged into Parallel World, all the in-game currency transactions she had originally sought to buy out with her RMB dollars had been canceled. Now that everyone was waiting till the price of the gold coins rose, all Svelte Dancer had in her pockets now were just a few copper coins. She had quite the amazing talent to be able to spend all her money so cleanly.

“There, there.” Gu Fei had sent an unprecedented message to console her, which immediately drew everyone’s attention. As far as all these ladies remembered, this was very well the first time that Thousand Miles Drunk had sent a message in the guild channel.

“Miles, you’ve got plenty of coins on you right now, yeah? I recall it was your workshop that was earning plenty of coins most prominently not too long ago,” Luoluo quipped.

“I don’t have much. The rest got the most of it,” Gu Fei said.

“So lacking in backbone. This madam here didn’t even ask you for money,” Svelte Dancer scorned Gu Fei for acting poor.

“I really don’t have much. Right now, all I have is a couple of tens of thousands.” Gu Fei said.

Calling a couple of tens of thousands of gold coins not much… Were the players reading this sentence not all ladies, they would have surely started throwing curses his way. However, everyone also knew that what Gu Fei had on hand was nothing compared to what the others had. It was truly not too much; Did those men not mention how they had earned over 200,000 gold coins in one go that time?

“A couple of thousands isn’t too bad, come back and split it with us!” Luoluo joked.

“Okay.” Gu Fei was very straightforward.

The entire channel went quiet. The ladies were not as shameless as Royal God Call and War Without Wounds at the end of the day. Were those two in their shoes, even if they were shocked, they would have also been discussing on the side how to split this up in their shock.

“Ahem… I was just kidding,” Luoluo said.

“Yup. I know. I was kidding as well,” Gu Fei answered.

“F*ck!” Svelte Dancer led everyone to express their derision toward Gu Fei. From this incident, it could be seen just how hard it was to be a decent human. If he said he was willing to give it away, the ladies would not actually want it, but if he said he did not want to give them any, they would call him petty, instead…

Gu Fei had been whiling his time chatting in the two channels as he made his way to Amethyst Rebirth’s office. He had been hanging around in Yunduan City these past days, so he had just departed from a designated log off point and was making his way over. By the time he reached the place, there was only a handful of ladies inside. Everyone had only gotten online not too long ago themselves and were on their way over as well. Not many had the movement speed that Gu Fei possessed. The only person who could beat him to the office, aside from those who had logged off nearby, was Svelte Dancer.

Svelte Dancer still had a gloomy expression on her face, and when she saw Gu Fei arrive, she stretched her hand out, and four copper coins were lying pitifully on it, “Look. That’s all I have left.”

“Oh!” Gu Fei nodded. He reached into his dimensional pocket and tossed a single gold coin into her hand. “Here, have a gold coin.”

“I’LL KILL YOU!!!” Svelte Dancer pulled out her dagger and was about to stab him, when Gu Fei quickly pulled out a ten thousand gold coin sack and tossed it into her hands, “Take that first to tide you over these few days.”

“That’s much better,” Svelte Dancer pocketed the sack unceremoniously. The eyes of July and several other ladies present nearly leaped out of their sockets witnessing this. The man really dared to give his money away, and she really just took it.

Now that Svelte Dancer had 10,000 gold coins in her possession, she was back to her happy self, grinning from ear to ear once again. Pocketing the sack, she casually threw away those copper coins in her hands that were now chump change.

Gu Fei was speechless. A rich person was a rich person in the end; No matter how much the game put them through the wringer, there was no way they could grind out their innate nature. Svelte Dancer was dejected now, mainly because she had the money but was unable to buy any in-game currency. By the time the market established itself once more, this pay-to-win player would resurface in earnest once more.

July had quietly picked up the few coins that Svelte Dancer had tossed away and put them into her pocket, before she looked at Gu Fei, “Let’s talk about the City War event! Our guild is very weak, so there’s no way we can fight for contribution score by fighting on the battlefield, so all we can do is depend on completing quests. Miles, what do you think?”

“What are you asking me for? You people can decide whatever you want!” Gu Fei did not care at all.

“But there’s so many guilds out there. Even if we managed to snatch a quest, we’re nothing amazing ourselves. It looks like all we can do is participate, despite knowing full well we won’t succeed, so we can just have fun as we please,” July said.

“Okay!” Gu Fei nodded, agreeing with this view quite a bit. The situation this time was different from the previous Guild v.s. Guild competition. It was a 1v1 elimination format back then, and a single accident was all it took to decide the victor in each match, so Amethyst Rebirth still had the chance to rise and became a dark horse. However, the chance of them capitalizing on a serendipitous opportunity was greatly reduced now that every single guild would be subjected to the same rules and begin from the same starting line for the event this time.

“Can we buy contribution points?” Svelte Dancer asked. She was not able to buy in-game currency, but it was hard for her to kick her habit.

“I doubt it, how can we even buy it?” July said.

“Then, can we hire a mercenary group?” Gu Fei asked.

“This… That was not explicitly stated! Are you thinking—” July thought Gu Fei wanted to bring in their Young Master’s Elite group to help give support, but she suddenly recalled that aside from Sword Demon and Brother Assist not being affiliated with a guild, everyone else in the group had their own guild! This was why she had stopped herself from completing the sentence she originally had in mind.

“I’ve got a few friends who have no guild affiliation, so I wonder if they can participate in this activity!” Gu Fei was thinking about Southern Lone Blade and his squad of seven. They were originally neither a guild nor a mercenary group and had only formed a mercenary group to play around after learning from Young Master’s Elite. As for Young Master’s Elite, some of them did indeed have guilds of their own, and they were currently participating in meetings with their respective guilds. Young Master Han and War Without Wounds were ranked experts, so even if they were not considered core members of their guilds, they would still have the qualifications to be present for this sort of meeting that was seemingly reserved for core members. Royal God Call was originally in an awkward spot in his guild, Traversing Four Seas, because of Gu Fei’s past with said guild, and his existence had merely been in name as a result. But after Traversing Four Seas completed their guild quest, and the members of Young Master’s Elite had proven to be of great help during crucial moments, this awkwardness no longer remained, and Royal God Call was indeed an apex expert in his own right, so he was of course called to join in for Traversing Four Seas’ meetings as well.

Meanwhile, both Sword Demon and Brother Assist were unaffiliated with any guild. Sword Demon acted like the update had not even happened, and continued to grind as he did before, while Brother Assist had planned to tag along with Sword Demon. Recently, people were having differing opinions over the drop chance of monsters, and Brother Assist could hardly wait to get started on his research about this the moment he logged into the game.

“The system did not say a word about mercenary groups, only mentioning guilds to be the ones participating. It seems like it has nothing to do with mercenary groups this time,” July guessed.

“Indeed, the system did not mention anything about it, but it would not prevent mercenary groups from actually joining, would they? At most, they might make it so the kills that they accumulated would not be calculated toward their final score. But perhaps these mercenaries could still be useful when they participate in some of these quests,” Gu Fei surmised.

“Even if that’s the case… With the current situation… How would the price be negotiated with these mercenary groups?” July said.

The economy was completely thrown into a state of confusion right now, and everyone had no idea just how much a gold coin would actually be worth.

It was at this moment that Young Master Han suddenly sent a message over the mercenary channel, “Hey, this update ain’t too bad!!”

“What?” The others quickly asked for clarification. The fact that Young Master Han had spoken meant the man might have discovered some loopholes, so everyone was very excited.

“The liquor prices have dropped,” Young Master Han announced.

“Oh? By how much?” Brother Assist was quick.

“Ten times,’ Young Master Han answered.

“Ten times… Is that the value of the currency that the system had decided upon now that the new regulations are in place?” Brother Assist wondered.

“It’s just the liquor. But to me, that’s essentially increasing the money I have in hand by ten folds, so this update is quite a good one,” Young Master Han mused.

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