Chapter 2701 – Era of Hegemony Begins
Silverwing City, Zero Wing’s Residence:
Along with a flash of brilliance in the underground secret room, Shi Feng’s figure gradually appeared. Unlike the previous times he had logged into God’s Domain, Shi Feng now felt a little dizzy, the dizziness lasting for several seconds. And when he recovered, he found that everything in front of him seemed completely different.
If the previous God’s Domain looked like an extremely high-definition image in Shi Feng’s eyes, then the current God’s Domain looked like the real thing. In other words, the sense of reality he got from the game was on a completely different level.
This kind of realism is so nostalgic. A smile appeared on Shi Feng’s face when he perceived his current situation. Most players wouldn’t notice any significant changes in the game’s realism after the major update. However, for Shi Feng, who had fought in God’s Domain for ten years in his previous life, the changes were distinct. Previously, he constantly felt as if there was a barrier between his body and brain. He couldn’t control his virtual body as easily as he did his real body no matter what. However, this barrier was now gone. It was like the difference between 99% and 100%.
This kind of change might not mean anything to ordinary players, but the difference was massive for expert players.
Take humans and gorillas, for example. Despite there being only a 1% genetic difference, the two were worlds apart.
Combat in God’s Domain was different from combat in the real world. Due to physical limitations, there were many techniques the human body could not exhibit in the real world. Take a child trying to lift a one-tonne sword, for example. With how tiny the child’s physique was, such a feat would be impossible.
However, what if the child’s physique allowed him to swing the sword easily? One could easily imagine how terrifying the child’s destructive power would be. After adjusting to the changes, Shi Feng left the secret room, heading to his office to sort out the information on the major update.
When Shi Feng walked out of the secret room, the Tier 3 NPC guard stationed at its entrance panicked. Like a frightened rabbit, the guard hurriedly straightened his back and put on a respectful look.
“Good morning, Milord!” the Tier 3 NPC respectfully saluted Shi Feng.
“Good morning.” Shi Feng nodded and smiled at the NPC named Flett. It’s finally here. I wonder how chaotic God’s Domain’s major forces will become?
In reality, the biggest change brought about by God’s Domain’s first major update wasn’t in the realism but the NPCs and monsters.
Both NPCs and monsters gained their own thoughts after the major update.
Yes, thoughts! Not intelligence! The so-called AI that powered the NPCs and monsters before was merely a well-designed program that could react to players’ words and actions to a reasonable extent. Most of the NPCs and monsters in the game couldn’t actually think for themselves. Generally, only NPCs at Tier 5 and above had such an ability.
But now, no matter how weak the monster or NPC was, they would all have their own thoughts. This would bring about a great change to God’s Domain.
After all, from a certain perspective, NPCs and monsters were no longer different from real humans. With this change, fights with monsters and NPCs would feel no different from PvP fights.
To be precise, fights against monsters and NPCs would become even more troublesome than PvP fights. Unlike players, monsters and NPCs were accustomed to fighting in God’s Domain. Some monsters and individual NPCs had started fighting at birth and accumulated ten, twenty, thirty years or more of experience. Their combat experience far exceeded that of ordinary players that had been in God’s Domain for only one or two years. However, this still wasn’t the greatest impact on God’s Domain’s players.
What would really affect players were the changes in the behavior of NPCs and monsters. From now on, NPCs would not only actively hunt monsters but also compete with players for various quests and resources at the Adventurer’s Association. They would even contest for the precious resources and opportunities needed for class promotions.
When the first major update hit God’s Domain in the past, this change had given the various powers a huge headache. After all, not only had they lost their monopoly on resources, but NPCs and monsters had even stolen a significant portion of these resources.
Of course, this change came with its benefits, as well.
For example, players unaffiliated with any powers could choose to join NPC teams to do quests. This option instantly increased the survivability of independent players. It also allowed independent players to get their hands on resources and equipment that were previously unattainable.
Meanwhile, after Shi Feng left the underground hall, the NPC named Frett breathed out a deep sigh of relief.
The Lord seems strange today. He normally doesn’t talk to us guards, yet he actually said good morning to me today, Frett, who was clad in silver mail armor, thought in confusion as he looked at Shi Feng’s departing back. Did the Lord notice me slacking, so he greeted me as a warning?
Thinking up to this point, Frett shivered involuntarily. This won’t do. I mustn’t slack off anymore. Such a good job is hard to find in the entire Star-Moon Kingdom. If I lose it, those former colleagues of mine will definitely treat me as a joke. Frett raised his vigilance and straightened his posture even further.
Meanwhile, when the other NPC guards in the underground hall saw Shi Feng, they also started secretly discussing Shi Feng’s peculiar behavior today.
Shi Feng was someone standing in a lofty position. In the past, he normally wouldn’t even say a word to them. He was basically the representation of coldness and ruthlessness. Yet, Shi Feng gave off the feeling of a spring breeze today.
This sudden transformation made the guards in the underground hall uneasy for some time. At this time, these NPCs weren’t the only ones feeling doubtful and insecure. The players throughout God’s Domain also felt surprised and confused by the changes to the game. The forums of God’s Domain were also burning with discussions.
“Why do those NPCs feel like living people? They’re even discussing us players in private. What is going on here?”
“You think that’s strange? My Personal Guard actually asked for a day off to take care of his injured wife.”
“You guys probably haven’t been to the Adventurer’s Association yet, right? Right now, NPCs are taking on the quests posted there. One NPC even seduced the beauty in my party to go questing with him.”
For a while, the players of God’s Domain were bewildered by these changes to the NPCs. Some found the changes novel, while others found them flabbergasting. However, most players rejoiced at these changes.
Such sentient NPCs were simply unheard-of. The players felt as if they had actually come to another world. This was especially true when they heard these NPCs discussing them. The NPCs would even rave about the experts among players.
Some well-known expert players even had fans among the NPCs, a situation ordinary players couldn’t help envying.
However, unlike ordinary players, God’s Domain’s various major powers were far less delighted at these changes. In fact, these sudden changes were practically fatal to some of the smaller Guilds.
This was because the major update didn’t just grant NPCs their own thoughts. The monsters out in the fields had also become much more troublesome to handle. This was especially true for monsters at the Lord rank or above. The wealth of combat experience they possessed made them even stronger than experts in terms of combat standards.
A Lord ranked monster could easily pummel a Tier 2 expert of the same level. Some Great Lords could even contend against Tier 3 experts.
However, this still wasn’t the worst part. The truly terrible change the major update brought was the removal of fixed Dungeons.
Dungeons were a stable source of equipment and materials for the various major powers in God’s Domain. Quite a number of Guilds would grind low-level Dungeons for all sorts of materials rather than raid high-level Dungeons.
In fact, small Guilds weren’t the only ones to use this approach to secure materials. Even the various superpowers did so. After all, with the difficulty of high-level Dungeons, raiding them would definitely result in casualties, which would, in turn, cause the players in the team to regress. Hence, the various superpowers took the more conservative approach to obtain materials. They would have only one vanguard team for raiding high-difficulty Dungeons. That way, they could ensure that they possessed the latest and best equipment and materials available while simultaneously having a large amount of basic materials to supply the vanguard team. However, that all changed with the game’s major update.
After the update, all the fixed Dungeons had disappeared. Now, only Dungeons that appeared at random were available. Meanwhile, some of these Dungeons were challenging, while some were a walk in the park. Moreover, every one of these Dungeons could be raided only once before they disappeared. If one didn’t raid the Dungeon upon discovering it, there was a high chance someone else would raid it first.
This change dumbfounded not only the various small Guilds but even the superpowers.
With this situation, how were they supposed to develop their Guilds from now on?
Similarly, the various adventurer teams in God’s Domain also started growing uneasy.
Not only did resources grow scarcer, but NPCs had even emerged as competitors. One could easily imagine how intense the fight for resources would become in the future. The various superpowers might even remove their disguises and start fighting and competing for real.
Silverwing City, Zero Wing’s Residence, Guild Leader’s Office:
“Guild Leader, everyone’s arrived,” Liang Jing reported as she looked at Shi Feng, who was arranging the latest information on God’s Domain.
“Are Aqua Rose and Gentle Snow also here?” Shi Feng asked.
Although Aqua Rose and Gentle Snow had already exited the space-time maze, as they were transported to a special location, they couldn’t contact others through the game at all. They could only contact others through the real world.
“They’re here, but…” Hesitation appeared on Liang Jing’s face.
Puzzled, Shi Feng asked, “But what?”
Tentatively, Liang Jing whispered, “I might be mistaken, but when I saw them just now, they felt alien.”