Chapter 33: The Cunning Annan
The players opened up the “Forum” and saw a logo that slowly popped up.
[Freezing Water Port Hall]
After the loading had been completed and the cursive writing faded away, the player was presented with a clean forum page.
There were only two posts, both of which were posted by the forum’s super administrator “Annan.” They were also highlighted as follow:
“What you need to know about Mist Continent.”
“Freezing Water Port Hall Rules”
i. Post regulations:
1. The mute punishment is divided into three days, one week, and one month. There is no permanent mute.
ii. Players cannot actively use the theme lock/delete function. If you want to use it, you need to @Annan
Let’s first look at the forum rules.
As soon as the players read it, they found nothing special to pay extra care to. Although this game looked like black magic, the forum rules were not much different from other forums. It banned spamming, repeated posting, foul language, reposting, advertising, and others that violate local laws and regulations.
The only thing that needed special attention was that there was no permanent ban in the forum, but the corresponding most severe punishment was “severance.”
The so-called severance was to be deleted from the game “Mist Continent” and be prohibited from logging in again.
In other words, in the future, players could warn newcomers like this, “Another word and your account are gone.”
Another thing was for security reasons. Players were not recommended to promote a private social group or organize offline activities through the forum. Once found out, the player’s account would be locked or deleted but would not be muted.
The players could not wait to open another post.
Only in this post could they see Annan’s user profile picture.
It was a profile of Don Juan with his head down and concentrated on reading.
“It’s Don Juan Geraint.”
Lin Yiyi exclaimed and attempted to download the picture. Unfortunately, she failed to do so.
She clicked her tongue before she continued to scroll down.
i. Try to provide a short name that is easy to pronounce. When addressing and introducing names to each other, they will not be translated into this world’s language but will only be addressed in transliteration.
ii: Please treat this world as a real world. Don’t try to develop or spread bugs of any kind.
This post was relatively brief compared to the other ones. It was mainly about what players should and should not do in the game, but basically, there was not much helpful info.
For example, “This game uses the Unreal Engine with 99% physics rules applied,” “There is an invisible barrier in the closed beta version, please do not try to leave the scope of the North Sea Territory,” “The future version will be open to the entire world” and so on.
The three points below were more critical.
Firstly, the players must be cautious in naming, profession change, and adding points in attributes. There were currently no items for rename or reset skillpoints.
Lin Yiyi felt that it might be a bit late to mention this sentence here. After all, if players wanted to see this forum, they must first create a character. That was to say, they already finalized their name and skillpoints attributing.
Is this here to warn the subsequent players?
Lin Yiyi also saw the post mentioning that the forty of them were all first-batch test players.
Since this game implemented a dynamic mission distribution mechanism, the second-batch players would have a different starting mission. By that time, the plot must have developed for a while. The mission strategy did not guarantee to work on the later mission too.
Completing the mission itself would drastically change the character’s plot and the world’s plot. So, Annan made a dedicated warning to pay attention to the timeliness of the strategy.
Secondly, the dungeon instance mechanism of this game contained elements of psychological horror. Excessive deaths in dungeon instances might cause irreparable consequences.
Also, if the player had heart disease, high blood pressure, epilepsy, neurasthenia, etc…
…It would still be fine.
The players could enjoy their hearts’ content without worry.
By the way, Annan discovered another thing while tinkering with the players’ attributes:
He seemed to be able to clear the erosion rate for players.
He found the “erosion rate reset” function in the administrator’s system’s back-end interface. Although the function was imposed with limitations, Annan could still reset the player’s erosion rate to zero with one click.
It was a pity that Annan could not reset his erosion rate, at least temporarily.
But even if Annan had the accessibility to do it, it did not mean that he would do it.
If the erosion rate clearing function were prepared firsthand, the players would be more inattentive when tackling the dungeon instance. Clearing erosion rate would become a job without any return, distracting Annan’s attention. If Annan did not deal with the matter in time, it would attract public hate too.
In contrast, the reverse approach would avoid many problems.
Annan intended to put the clear erosion rate feature in the prestige store that he had not activated yet. It would be placed on the shelf as a costly special service option. A lot of prestige would be needed to be exchanged for a “purification ritual.”
This would let players get used to it from the very beginning that dungeon instance had always been a high-risk, high-return, and high-difficulty mechanism. Then, the player would deem dungeon distance as something hardcore instead. So if someone were dissatisfied, other players would shut him up.
It’s a profound knowledge to make players feel superior without them knowing it.
After mastering this knowledge, I can please or kill the player without leaving a trace.
In this way, if something went wrong when there was a player whose erosion rate was too high, Annan could even provide him with credit service. He would pre-deduct the future affection rate and clean the erosion rate up first.
In this way, the purified player would be grateful to Annan.
It was still the matter of Annan dealing with players’ erosion rate. He could purify them at any given time. But, he just took away the feature that was available to everyone and sold them at a transparent price. As a result, it became an act of “generosity” that people would be grateful for.
The mind manipulation technique was so subtle that it could be called a spell.
In this post, the essential information was the content highlighted red for the players to be aware of:
“Please work on your role-play as much as possible. Do what is in line with your identity. Do not try to provoke or attack any of the leaders of your own faction. Every leader of the same faction also has the right to ‘dismiss’ players (see Freezing Water Port Chamber General Regulations). However, the leaders may not know that they have this ability.
“After the death of all ally leaders, this game will be shut down forever.”
The only leader currently was Don Juan Geraint.
Freezing Water Port was also the only faction that players could choose.
This meant that Don Juan Geraint was the players’ “father,” so to speak. Players must do their best to ensure his survival.
In fact, Annan crafted the “faction leader” concept as a backup plan.
Only Annan knew that there was no “faction leader” concept in the original system. This was a title he crafted out-
-as a vest to protect himself.
The Don Juan Geraint identity might not last long. Once Annan’s identity was exposed, he would have to leave Freezing Water Port. Hence, he got to have some ways to manage the players.
He would need to label the special effect coming from the “Don Juan Geraint” identity.
It was not that players were required to obey the orders coming from “Don Juan Geraint” alone, but they were required to follow and protect these “faction leaders.”
Even if Annan changed his shoe one day, he could still manage the players. He only needed to give his new identity the title of “faction leader.” With that, he could directly inherit the works of “Don Juan Geraint.”
In other words, the players were responsible for playing the game.
Annan was responsible for playing these players.
This could probably be regarded as an asymmetric multiplayer game .
To ensure quietness, players had posted and chatted in the forum. On the outside, they followed Annan and walked slowly towards the Freezing Water Port.
Annan only left two or three militias to protect him. He dismissed the rest of the militias and assigned tasks to them.
The militias had to move the seized Black Fire to the outside of the city – Annan’s ship’s location. They first immersed the Black Fires in water and covered them with some leaves to prevent them from exploding under the sun.
Then, Anna got someone to put out the fire.
Although Annan suppressed the fire, his mana was also limited. Ordinary people would fulfill this task. There was no need for Annan to consume his mana to a dangerous value.
Anyway, the parameter was far away from the woods. Annan had dedicated an area to isolate the fire, so there was no need to worry about forest fires. But just in case, it was better to find someone to check it out and put out the flames completely.
It did not hurt to be cautious.
Anyway, he would need to contribute to this night shift.
Similarly, Annan did not tell the militias that he could extinguish the flames. After the militias arrived, they found that the fire did not spread. Instead, they would thank Annan for resolving it before the situation got worse.
After Annan was forced to finish this work, he felt delighted watching others running around to work overtime in the middle of the night with a panic expression.
So long overtime works.
“I have to arrange a place for you to stay.”
Annan looked at the handsome men and beauties who were following him. He was in a good mood and secretly praised himself for setting up the “beautify feature.”
Seeing that the Freezing Water Port was approaching, Annan happily asked Lin Yiyi, who was closest to him, softly,
“Do you have special needs? Where do you want to live? I’ll take care of it.”
“May I ask, Young Master Don Juan, do you live alone now?”
Lin Yiyi was silent for a while and asked faintly.
 A multiplayer game with different factions having different control and resources. A good example will be “Dead by Daylight,” where one side is the killer, and another side is the survivor.