Virtual World: Close Combat Mage

Chapter 444 - Modification Tool

After uncovering the unique characteristic of the Shadowmist Assassin, these veterans no longer needed further instructions since they already know how they should be fighting. Essentially, it was still the same method as before: using a meatshield to hold the aggro, while everybody else dealt as much damage as they could. The only difference was that the main player who would be holding the aggro was not a meatshield but someone in possession of skills that far outstripped an actual tank.

The experts all surrounded the Shadowmist Assassin even as tears rolled down their cheeks. Now that Gu Fei was even able to tank, was there really anything this man could not do?

Gu Fei’s indomitable invincibility when it came to PvP was usually largely due to his dependency on his two over-leveled equipment. Everybody in Young Master’s Elite was aware of this, with some even thinking at times that they might not fare any worse than Gu Fei if they were the ones who had come in possession of such ridiculously overpowered equipment. In fact, they believed that there might even be times when they could perform better.

However, drawing aggro was a role that only tanky meatshields could do. There was no way they would be able to do such a task if they had not picked the relevant job classes. No matter how much of an expert Sword Demon really was, drawing the aggro with a Thief character was simply not something he could accomplish!

Yet, Gu Fei was able to do this as a Mage.

Everyone was still feeling dejected when they saw Young Master Han adopt the air of a boss as he pompously pointed at Gu Fei. “Not bad. You’re finally able to coordinate with us, so at least you’re not completely useless in this group.”

Everybody stared incredulously at Young Master Han, thinking to themselves just how he was able to say something so shameless. It seemed that he, too, was a man without any limits.

Gu Fei was not listening in the slightest. He was current focusing every fiber of his being on dealing with the Shadowmist Assassin’s attacks, so why would he bother with such things? Even though this whole bunch of people had come to assist him, the situation he was in had not changed in the least. He was still the only one capable of directly handling the BOSS, and in order to give everybody the chance to attack it, he was no longer able to contend with the BOSS in front of him as cleanly as before. From time to time, he would have to reduce his tempo and exchange a few blows with the BOSS. The risk he was taking increased as a result, with the difficulty mounting to match. He was already having a hard time concentrating as it stood, so why would he bother paying attention to the nonsense these people were spouting right now?

Ye Xiaowu was staring intensely at the computer’s monitor as his right hand gripped the mouse tightly. His left hand was already balled up into a fist, clenching even further when he saw the Shadowmist Assassin’s attack. His mouth unconsciously mumbled, “Go, go, go! Kill him! Kill him!”

Ye Xiaowu was rooting for the Shadowmist Assassin, but every assault left him feeling disappointed. Every attack pattern and routine that they had programmed the Assassin with were all easily seen through by Gu Fei, who became all the more skillful at dealing with every move the BOSS made.

Meanwhile, Ye Xiaowu found himself more and more confused at the actions of the rest of the players in that party. These people seemed to be attacking the BOSS with every opportunity they had and were not in the least bit concerned with coordination or anything else. This was definitely not how the average gamer would act when taking on a BOSS.

Generally speaking, Gu Fei was no doubt the most indomitable and cavalier damage dealer in the game as of date, and these other players should, therefore, be trying to draw the aggro from the BOSS away from him to some else, yet given the way that they were attacking the BOSS without any care for composition or teamwork, it seemed that they were not even trying to do anything explicit.


Ye Xiaowu watched a few more rounds before finally coming to a realization.

No coordination? The Mage was the one in charge of maintaining aggro, while the others were dealing damage; that was their teamwork. Furthermore, looking at how they unleashed all their skills and moves without holding back – a huge taboo when taking on a BOSS as it would easily disrupt aggro and threat build up – they had most likely already come to a conclusion about the Shadowmist Assassin’s aggro formula and were now aware that no matter what they did, the BOSS would not change target. This was the only possible explanation as to why they were attacking the BOSS so relentlessly.

It was not such a big deal that they had seen through the gimmick, but what was too much was still the Mage. He was merely at level 41, yet he was more than capable of resisting the Shadowmist Assassin’s attack all by himself. It was such a flagrant disregard of the rules of a game, which left Ye Xiaowu feeling very depressed. The monitoring team could easily check on the various metrics and data of the game, and the scene Ye Xiaowu was currently viewing depicted the HP of the BOSS, which was already down to its final third.

The Shadowmist Assassin was a BOSS with low HP. Ye Xiaowu and his fellow game designers would surely be condemned had they designed it to have plenty of HP along with that impossible to match movement speed, so they did not dare go too overboard. Still, Ye Xiaowu was feeling entirely discontented when he saw how this carefully crafted BOSS of his was easily being beaten by these players. Had they been a group of average gamers, Ye Xiaowu would have praised them endlessly, but it just so happened that he had spotted Gu Fei among them.

In his eyes, Gu Fei’s existence was entirely a BUG, and the ironclad rule for a programmer like him would be that BUGs found must be removed. Letting this BUG remain in the game would only serve to create even greater problems. It was already a huge BUG that this man was capable of completing a high-level chain quest when he was just at level 30, and now that same person was about to create an even bigger BUG, as the equipment dropped by a level 60 BOSS would naturally be around the same level. Such a top-grade equipment like that would mean he could acquire another Moonlit Nightfalls or Midnight Spirit Robe.

Ye Xiaowu’s heart was in a knot right now. Gu Fei might be a BUG, but he was also just a common player; he had not exploited any in-game loophole or rule. While Ye Xiaowu truly intended to deal with this BUG, there was no way he could deprive him of his rights as a player to play the game.

Ye Xiaowu involuntarily glanced at the remaining HP of the Shadowmist Assassin. Another few rounds had passed, and its HP took a hit yet again. Besides the Mage, none of the other players looked to be weak, and they were becoming more and more familiar with how to fight the Shadowmist Assassin. As long as the Mage did not make a mistake, it would only be a matter of time before they finished off this BOSS.

Not like this!

Ye Xiaowu abruptly came to a decision. If he was unable to eliminate this BUG, then it should at least be fine if he prevented the BUG from worsening, right? Thinking of this, Ye Xiaowu, who had had been anxious all this while, finally calmed down.

Now that the Shadowmist Assassin’s HP is down two thirds, what can I do with the remaining one third?

Ye Xiaowu took note of everything he could utilize right now: the computer in the monitoring room, the data available, and… the permissions!

Even though the word ‘monitor’ was in the name of the team, a good portion of the job was actually done by the computer when it came to doing the actual monitoring. It ensured that the data being processed was untampered, and that any anomaly would get automatically reported. Besides this, the other part of their job was collating the feedback from the players from within the game to ensure that nothing inappropriate would happen and that the game would run smoothly. This was usually handled by the GMs that were online.

As for the workers that were really seated in the monitoring room, they were actually the emergency response team in the case that an event of heavy magnitude took place. This set up would enable them to resolve problems in the quickest manner once any issue occurred.

Take for example the incident that had happened over in Yueye City. The moment the monitoring team received words about what was happening, they immediately adjusted the stats of the city guards and sicced them on the BOSS. This had to be done, for even if they were of BOSS levels themselves, the sort of crazy damage output they needed to be able to defeat the BOSS in two or three moves was simply too mindblowing. This sort of monstrous attack power would mean that the guards would be able to insta-kill any player, which would make them an existence far beyond the average BOSSES.

It was just that the monitoring team had only just began their work and did not have much experience. They had not handled this situation perfectly, and their intervention resulted into the BOSS dropping loot. A perfect way of handling this matter would be to lower the rate of the BOSS’s loot drops before killing it. Only by reducing its drop rate would it work out as if nothing had happened.

After that, the monitoring team reported the problem to the Operations and Planning Department, which Ye Xiaowu belonged to and got them to completely correct the issue and patch the game accordingly at the next maintenance. The reason BOSSES no longer wandered near the cities after this instance was that Ye Xiaowu and his team had made the necessary corrections.

Furthermore, the monitoring team here worked like a stand-alone game modification tool. All the data in the game were contained within the servers, which were naturally in the control of the game company. To them, this MMO was like a stand-alone game, so it was a given that they would have a tool to enable them to make instant modification. Of course, this tool was limited to the discretionary use of the monitoring tool in the event of an anomaly, and other departments did not have the permission to fiddle with it.

Ye Xiaowu was aware that every computer that the monitoring team used would have installed this modification program, and he was not entirely unfamiliar with it as he was the one who had created the program in the first place. Ye Xiaowu took a peek at his colleagues from the monitoring team and saw that they were all still enjoying the BOSS’s fight like before, while those who were not watching the screen were busy with their tasks. Nobody had their eye on him.

Turning his attention back to his computer, he was uncertain when his hand had unconsciously moved the mouse over to the modification program. Gritting his teeth, he decisively double-clicked it.

The modification program was whitelisted for the monitoring team, so nothing would be reported no matter what kind of modification was made. However, there was no way to save the changes made using the tool, so even if the modification was successfully applied, the changes would revert the moment the program closed.

Of course, Ye Xiaowu did not dare to keep the tool open the entire time right now; he would be finished if any random colleague glance over at his monitor. No matter the circumstance, utilizing the modification tool for personal use was a serious violation and could result in him getting sacked, not to mention that he was not an actual member of the monitoring team.

However, Ye Xiaowu had long since thought of what he wanted to do. Starting up the modification program, a window prompt asking for access permission appeared. Ye Xiaowu had no permission, but this was not a problem to him. After all, he was the one who had created the entire program. Opening another wordpad, Ye Xiaowu pretended to calmly type into the keyboard, writing up code for a program in no time. He saved it and executed it, bypassing the permission window entirely. Entering the modification program, Ye Xiaowu quickly carried out an operation: modifying the conditions for the BOSS to become enraged.

Every BOSS had an enrage mechanic. The condition to trigger it varied, with some activating once their HP reached a certain point or they took a certain amount of damage. There were even some that would enrage whenever they felt like it. The harder it was to trigger these conditions in the BOSSES, the more powerful the mechanic would be. The condition for the Shadowmist Assassin to enrage was considerably complex, and Ye Xiaowu was positive that there was no way they could trigger it seeing the way Gu Fei and the others were fighting it. Thus, Ye Xiaowu decided to lend a hand, temporarily changing the condition for the BOSS to enrage from that complex condition to ‘upon being attacked.’

Confirming the change, the most nerve-wracking moment was while the change was in the midst of application – he was unable to shut down the program while this happened. Ye Xiaowu averted his gaze from the monitor as he stared at the people around him, when he suddenly heard the spectators of the fight exclaim, “Ah! The BOSS is enraged!”

Ye Xiaowu quickly turned back and swiftly exited the program. This was the magnificence of his plan: The program might have been closed and everything was back to normal, but the fact that the BOSS was now enraged was considered as an aftereffect of the modified condition. Therefore, it would not revert to normal just because the modification was removed. At the moment, the Shadowmist Assassin was already in the process of enraging...

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