Chapter 52 – The Heavens and the Abyss (2)
As the main story of Asrian began, Korean communities exploded.
But among all the people, non realized that the entity covered by black energy was a user.
Even Ain didn’t realize that it was Hyun.
Everyone just looked at the video as if it were a movie scene.
Even users that normally skipped the story were focused on it. That’s how immersive the video was.
– Woah… It’s the first time I’ve forgotten how to breathe while watching a video.
– It was cooler than most action movies. Especially that last scene of fighting while climbing up the walls.
– Can you really make motions like that with just the game engine?
– It really is a fight between angels and demons.
A few of them tried to guess about future events.
The developers had said that, on the video, there was a huge clue in regards to the history of Asrian. That’s why many users tried to analyze it.
– In the last scene, you can see a demon escaping to the surface world. She’s probably going to make the world fall into a conflict.
– Then the next story is about fighting against demons? I’m going to side with the Heavens after all.
– If you choose to side with the Abyss, maybe you’ll be on the same team with that demon.」
– But how do we participate in the story? Also, what force is it better to join?
After the patch, the prologue video and picking sides made the communities explode.
The one that made order of the chaos was, once again, the ex Asra player, Steel Rock.
<The force structure I found out through the opening video…>
「I’m Steel Rock, a former Asra Online player. I was once ranked 20. I’m currently placed 819 on the Hall of Fame.
“I’m going to make a brief explanation since everyone seems confused.”
“First, unlike most other RPG games, Asra Online’s story isn’t fixed!”
“What am I talking about?”
“The Heavens and the Abyss constantly fight against each other, and depending on the results of certain fights or events, a new future can be born.”
“To put it simply, Asrian’s history will change depending on the faction the user belongs to!”
“You just have to join the side you want to help, but I don’t recommend staying neutral.”
“The buff each force gives you is quite useful, so joining either side ASAP will help you in regards to gameplay.”
“I’ve put the buff each side gives below, so consider these before deciding. ^^”
[ <Heaven’s Force Buff> ]
– Increase resistance to cold and thunder by 10%.
– Increase experience received by hunting or quests by 15%.
– You can receive help from NPCs that belong to Heaven’s faction. (*Take into consideration: Most human countries belong to Heaven’s Force!)
<Abyss’s Force Buff>
– Increase resistance to fire and wind by 10%.
– Increase rewards obtained by achievements by 30%.
– You can hide the faction you belong to by changing the rune. (*Take into consideration: You won’t be able to fool some high-ranking priests or some named NPCs!)
Steel Rock’s guide was of great help to people that had just begun playing Asrian.
That was because he had explained the concept of both forces in easy terms.
In the community boards, there were already exclusive boards for “Heaven” and “Abyss.”
Among the users who hadn’t picked a side, many kept asking an endless number of questions.
– Among the Abyss Force’s bonus, what’s the ‘Achievement Reward’?
– I’m also not sure. While playing, I’ve never received an achievement bonus.
– Oh, I have! I received it once I killed a Slime on a field. I got a notification that said that I had obtained an achievement and got an extra one strength!
– Hmm… 30% of 1 strength. Does that mean your strength goes up by 1.3%? Is it just rounding up?
– It’s trash…
Most users picked to side with the Heavens.
An extra 15% of experience obtained was something that most users lusted after.
15% may sound like a little, but as time went on, the effect would become greater.
Every six days of play, you basically would’ve gained an extra one compared to others!
Most users seemed to agree.
Except for people with certain jobs like Assassin, they would benefit more from choosing to side with the Heavens.
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
Every player and the coaches were gathered to discuss what force to choose to side with.
Thanks to hiring someone who had played Asra Online for three years, they were able to discuss things in depth.
“There doesn’t seem to be any reason to wonder about it any longer.”
According to what they’d talked about, there was only one benefit from being part of the Abyss: That you could hide the force you belonged to by hiding the rune.
You could benefit from that if you were a solo player, but it wasn’t useful to someone that belonged to a professional gaming team.
On the other hand, siding with the Heavens gave you clear benefits, so there was no reason not to select it.
“Then… all the members of Stardust are going to side with the Heavens.”
The decision was made without any objection.
Everyone nodded at the director’s words.
* * *
Until a few weeks prior, it was South Korea’s number one guild.
A lot of professional teams had begun playing Asrian recently, so you couldn’t say that they were the number one by an overwhelming difference anymore—but they still maintained the number one position.
Immediately after the main story patch, there was a notification for all the members of the Hwarang Guild.
<The Guild’s Leader ‘ShinGoong’ notifies the members. The Hwarang Guild is siding with the Heavens. Everyone, you have a week to pick it.>
* * *
The Guild’s leader, XL, vice-leader Reina, and members in the top 20 rankings… five people in total were gathered.
They were discussing what side to pick.
“You either choose the Heavens or the Abyss…” Mayday said while thinking very deeply.
A few days before, she had reached level 100, completed the job ascension quest, and obtained the job ‘Psychokinesis Sorcerer.’
With a Rank of second, she was the member with the highest level in the Guild, so everyone took her words seriously.
“From the point of view of the Guild, siding with the Heavens would clearly be better…”
Mayday murmured with regret.
“But I’m personally more attracted to the Abyss.”
“Why is that, Mayday?”
XL asked, and she answered.
“Fufu… That’s clearly because of the achievement bonus! You may not know this, but I’m an achievement killer! Achievement killer!”
Mayday shared with them part of her status window with the rest.
The status window was normally considered private information, but everyone there were people that had been together with her since Darkness was created—they were people she could trust.
Everyone’s mouths were wide-opened after looking at her status window.
“What, why do you have so much Magical Power?! It doesn’t look like you ignored other stats…!”
“She even has a lot of Strength, which should be a useless stat for a Magician.”
“This is all thanks to achievement bonuses.”
Mayday’s explanation was like so.
Her level was 102, but her stats were closer to those of a player at level 130.
That was all thanks to her obtaining many achievements while playing.
If you added the bonus that the ‘Abyss’ gave, her stats would be on par with a level 140 player.
“Huff…! I’ve never cared about achievements!” Said Pias, who was 20 on the rankings, agonizing.
The other reacted in similar ways.
“I didn’t even know that there were things like that. I’ve never received one, after all,” Reina mumbled while shrugging.
“How the second Ranker plays is definitely different from others.”
“Yes, as leveling up becomes progressively harder, eventually the influence that the achievement bonus gives you will be bigger.”
“This means that there’s a chance that most top rankers will choose to side with the Abyss!”
XL listened to what Mayday said carefully.
Maybe his ability to analyze things was better, but he knew that he lacked in gaming sense compared to the top rankers.
That’s why he had felt the need to listen and learn from other rankers.
XL quickly organized his thoughts.
“Good, I’ve decided. Most of our Guild will choose the Heavens, but a few will belong to the Abyss. Mayday, please lead those who choose the Abyss.”
“Eh? Are you sure about this?!”
XL had concluded after thinking enough.
“There aren’t many people on our Guild that can benefit from being part of the ‘Abyss.’ Maybe a few people with jobs related to a Thief, especially those related to Assassin.”
“Yeah, I agree.”
Among the effects of the Abyss, there was one that allowed you to hide which force you belonged to. It was a buff that Assassins should welcome.
Even if it weren’t for the achievement bonus, most would probably choose to side with the Abyss.
“It’s harder to retain the number one position rather than getting it. To remain at the top, we need information from both sides. Also…”
XL’s eyes shone sharply.
“We still don’t know which side those two with the greatest influence belong to.”
“Yes, I’m talking about Lattice and Ain!”
The moment those names came out of XL’s mouth, everyone became tense.
In Pias’s eyes, who had a quarrel with Ain a few days before, a cold fire seemed to be burning.
“It doesn’t matter if they’re enemies or allies. It will be easier to deal with them if we have them close to us. We need to look for both sides.”
It was just as XL said.
There’s a saying that, rather than an opponent in front of you, an ally that attacks you from behind is scarier.
And if it was an enemy that attacked you from behind, it was even scarier.
“Which side do you think they’re going to choose?” Bear Shield asked.
Mayday thought about it silently for a while.
“I personally wish they choose to side with the Heavens… If they pick Abyss, I think they will become hard to deal with.”
“Is it because of the Achievement bonus?”
XL and Reina also became nervous.
They were thinking the same thing as her.
Even Mayday, ranked number two, had extra stats that accounted for over 30 levels.
How many achievements did Lattice have, the number one in the rankings?
Just thinking about that gave them goosebumps.
* * *
“Isn’t it obvious?”
At someone’s question…
The main spoke with an arrogant smile on his face.
‘Abyss, of course.’
Fwoosh- A fire rune appeared on his hand.
* * *
The discussion about what side it was better to choose continued for many days.
According to a survey done in a community, the ratio between Heaven and Abyss was eight to two.
Only 20% of the players had chosen the Abyss.
There were many reasons why they’d given up on the many bonuses the Heavens gave.
– I can’t give up on the Necromancer job, so I decided to side with the Abyss. If you pick the Heavens, you can’t transfer jobs to one related to black magic.
– Me too. I’m thinking of converting to Dark Priest!.
– I’m going to become an Assassin.
– I picked Abyss after seeing that it gave a 30% extra achievement bonus. In the latter part of the game, achievement bonuses will become more important than experience, so I’m not sure why everyone’s so desperate for the 15% extra experience.
– Am I the only one that chose the Abyss because it’s cooler?
There were many reasons why some users had picked the Abyss, but most agreed that it was better to side with the Heavens.
– People belonging to the Heavens will reach a higher level faster than the Abyss. Is it that they don’t know how big the 15% extra experience is??
– People belonging to the Abyss can’t receive help from NPCs easily. In the Heavens, you’re going to receive full support from them, so everyone that has chosen the other side is stupid.
– The people that belong to the Abyss will roam around while hiding like rats. Why are they even playing them? It seems like they want to change the game genre from RPG to a survival one, lol. Most countries are going to side with the Heavens.
The tone of the users that had chosen the Heavens was rough, but they weren’t completely wrong.
Because there wasn’t almost any country that sided with the Abyss, users who had picked this side had to watch over their shoulders constantly.
The advantage that the Heavens had became clearer a few days after the patch was over.