Chapter 591: Changing Main Cities
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
After informing them of his identity, the attitude of the Planet Golden Gate guards became immensely respectful, and they were immediately allowed to proceed. With the Golden Gal Badge, he had a transcendent status in the eyes of the Godorans and could move almost unobstructed through the Garton Star System.
Countless players swarmed to the portholes, taking in the grand appearance of the Base No.1.
The Base No.1 that had taken a whole year to build resembled a castle coated in alloys. Han Xiao was deeply aware that this was an era where looks mattered, so he had made the exterior especially beautiful, full of technological impressions.
If not for the fact that it would result in him being judged by the players as narcissistic, he would even have liked to paint a portrait of himself on the castle walls.
The fleet successfully landed in Base No.1. During its construction, Han Xiao’s blueprint had reserved a huge section of space to serve as a hangar, which would be more than enough to accommodate sixty to seventy individual spaceships. Even the largest flagship level spaceship had a personalized hangar for it.
The air vents sounded as the ships were depressurized. The doors of the cabins slid open, and tens of thousands of players stepped into the hangar, curiously looking around. They were packed closely together, looking like a sea of bobbing heads.
At this point, Phillip’s voice sounded in the hangar area, cutting through the hubbub of noises as it was clearly transmitted into everybody’s ears.
“Welcome to Base No.1, hum… I would like to ask the new mercenaries to open their communicators and manually accept the verification procedures, hum…”
As he spoke, the communicators of the players suddenly rang all at once.
Frenzied Sword took his out, only to see that there had been new programs added to the communicator. After opening it, he found out that it was the mercenaries identity verification program for the Black Star Army. There were additional functions, such as searching for a particular area of the base, database query information, and so on…
Basically, it was a guide meant to simulate an AI in certain ways.
This was a sub-program made by Han Xiao for Phillip. The players would be able to find out about their own tasks and credits within the Black Star Army through this program. Since the players were also free mercenaries, there had to be a separate account for their accumulated credit, so it would be convenient for management and overall planning. This would also make it convenient for players to check their current accomplishments.
To enhance the sense of accomplishment within the players, there was a need to allow them to see that each task they completed would be reflected real-time in the records of the Black Star Army. There would be no underhanded moves, and everything was transparent and open.
Because the players obtained rewards through the [Operation Hodellas – War Employment] mission, they had all bought their own communicators during their trip to the Godoran mother planet.
Because the market price for such communicators was dirt cheap, there was no way for Han Xiao to earn by being the middleman, so he did not even bother to dabble in this business.
Base No.1 had been built after Frenzied Sword, Hao Tian, King Admiral, and the rest left during the patch from Version 1.0 to 2.0, so they only received the subprogram at this point.
“So, this is the base of our Black Star Army. Pretty cool!”
“Strange, in the last version of your video, there wasn’t such a huge base!” Someone stared at Bun-Hit-Dog, causing the latter to quickly cover his face and leave.
“Heh, it must be the change in timeline along with the update in the version. It’s not the first time this type of thing has happened.”
Including Frenzied Sword and the others, this was the first time any player had ever set foot on Base No.1—they were all excited.
The purpose of Base No.1 was to allow the players to treat this place as their Main City. With this faction camp, people would feel that their faction had influence and was reliable, generating a higher sense of belonging.
With the subprogram present, Han Xiao did not need to explain things personally any longer. He did not bother managing the players, allowing them to move about as they wished.
Once upon a time, these players’ main city had been on Planet Aquamarine. However, they had now shifted to Base No.1, and thus, they needed to be familiar with the current main city to dispel their confusion.
Back in his room, Han Xiao took some time off to clear his backlog of work, such as the applications for free mercenaries to join his group, as well as some new employment invitations.
After the ceremony where he showed his face, the amount of business cases showed an exponential surge. There were even cases that invited him, a mercenary, to be their endorser for an advertisement. They had to be crazy!
However, upon closer inspection, he realized that the other party was an arms company. That made more sense.
By recruiting the tens of thousands of players, following word of mouth and his spike in popularity, Han Xiao thus decided to recruit as many free mercenaries as possible. Although the players were good, they had a restriction—the version updates. As such, he had to plan ahead.
To use players to expand his Black Star Army, improve word of mouth to attract more free mercenaries. This also worked as a chain of interest.
The backlog of employment tasks was endless. Phillip sorted them according to the difficulty, and the entire layout became clear at a glance.
The majority of the employment tasks would be provided to the players themselves. Only a few high-paid, difficult, or high-levelled tasks would require his officers or even himself to be involved.
Due to the mercenary model of borrowing chickens to obtain eggs, the players would be sent to different places throughout the galaxy to carry out their missions, which would allow them to explore the area. The place where each mission was to be completed would have their own events and plots, which could make up for the lack of knowledge the Black Star Army had, as well as giving the player some additional benefits.
Furthermore, the players had just entered the interstellar region not too long ago and required a stable flow of activities to allow them to familiarize themselves with the environment, as well as a storyline that could guide their actions.
To this end, areas with rich NPC resources such as Planet Sunil would have most of the functions that the players need, including a storyline.
If the players were seen as seeds, then the NPC resource areas would be the soil with fertilizer.
Planet Sunil was the first pilot test that Han Xiao had prepared for the players, and it was also time to complete his promise to Herlous.
Han Xiao looked deep in thought.
“From now on, the plan will enter a new chapter.”
“Black Star, were you looking for me?”
Herlous pushed open the door before entering the room.
Compared to the past him when he had just followed Han Xiao to be a mercenary, Herlous’ aura had become calmer and more stable. As a mercenary, they had no shortage of opportunities to fight, and Herlous’ strength was slowly increasing with each battle.
“Herlous, I promised that I would bring tens of thousands of Supers to solve the problem of the Sunils’ once and for all.” Han Xiao paused and smiled. “In the name of the Black Star Army, I’ll loan 200,000 mercenaries to you with the most basic remuneration. During this mission, they can be dispatched to Sunil.”
Herlous paused in shock before his face showed unbridled joy.
This was why he had followed Black Star and was also the reason he had believed in Black Star’s promise. The day had come!
At this moment, he was extremely touched and would gladly pull out the knife for Han Xiao.
As for what he would pull the knife out for, even he had no idea.
Reluctantly holding back his excitement, Herlous spoke quickly. “I’ll inform my people immediately, allowing them to issue a formal invitation to hire the Black Star Army.”
“Sure, but I have an additional condition.” Han Xiao nodded.
“As long as it is within our capabilities, I’ll promise you.”
“It’s nothing too serious. I would just like to have permission to build an offshore base of Black Star Army on Planet Sunil.” Han Xiao smiled harmlessly.
Each NPC resource area was a great place to provide players with benefits. So long as there was a sub-base established in the location, it would be indirectly counted as the ‘territory’ of Black Star himself.
“No problem,” Herlous straightforwardly replied before pausing a while and adding on, “This is good for us as well. The upper echelons will not reject your idea.”
Because of the award given by Godora, Han Xiao’s face was akin to a golden signboard. He estimated that if he went out to buy fruits from a stall, he would probably obtain a five percent discount.
After sending away the excited Herlous who was getting irritating, Han Xiao opened his communicator and activated Phillip’s feedback interface.
All players who had installed the subprograms were immediately shown as red dots and displayed on his map in real time. With Han Xiao’s expertise being in Virtual Technology, this was just simply surveillance in disguise.
It was not that he could not be assured by having players around, but he did not wish for them to mess up themselves.
Inside the map, the players had spread to every corner of Base No.1, with the majority being clustered in the store area.
Seeing the situation, the corners of Han Xiao’s mouth curled up, showing a pleased smile.
“The old inventory finally has a pathway to go.”
Base No.1 was divided into many different areas, with the store area sector allowing players to obtain products from the existing inventory. After paying the required amount, Phillip would draw out the respective item from the warehouse. This whole process was automated.
At this moment, there was a long line of players lining up in front of the stores.
Because the production of the assembly line had never stopped, it had resulted in a huge stock of equipment and machinery being stored. The machinery had all been carefully selected by Han Xiao and was very suitable for players at this stage. It would be ideal for players to replace their current equipment.
For the players other than Frenzied Sword and company that did not have the NCO Class armor, they had an even greater demand for more advanced equipment. As long as there was a demand, there would be a market. If there was no demand, he just had to create some!
Set after set of equipment was quickly sold, and the fully stocked warehouse was just like a beautiful love scammer, slowly sucking dry the players’… wallets.
This turnover has caused the Enas in Han Xiao’s inventory to raise at a staggering rate. One million Enas? A mere fraction!
Although the equipment was all assembly line products, their quality was not low at all. Furthermore, because the equipment required a higher level of technical skill, the base price could not be set too low. Hence, even if the players spent all their money, they simply did not have enough to replace all their current equipment.
This was especially so for the expensive full body armor, which gnawed on the stomachs of the players like parasites.
The moment the players lacked money, the first thing that would come to their mind would be to complete more tasks!
For this, the subprogram of Phillip showcased a dazzling list of acceptable employment tasks.
Most of those missions had considerable rewards. According to the procedures set by Han Xiao, Phillip explained that this was a benefit brought by the reputation and connections of the Black Star Army. Only mercenaries who had joined the Black Star Army could enjoy such a good employment task. If it was a free mercenary, they would probably have to risk their life for a meagre reward.
The reason Han Xiao had requested that Phillip emphasize this was to ingrain in the players the benefits they could enjoy by being in the Black Star Army. Furthermore, being a growing faction, helping the Black Star Army in its missions would make it such that both parties benefitted.
“The rewards are plenty!”
“The best missions will definitely have a lot of people fighting over it. However, the failure compensation is also equally high.”
The majority of players discovered the benefits of being a mercenary.
The most obvious thing was that the reward for these interstellar missions far exceeded that of the missions on Planet Aquamarine. Furthermore, they were now free to choose their missions and had great freedom in completing them, which made those players who were frustrated over triggering mission enjoy this new process.
Each employment mission could have multiple people participating, although the maximum number would vary. Players that wished to accept a mission would first have to submit an application through the subprogram, and then Phillip would operate to access their qualifications. If the player met the requirements, the application would be approved. Only then could the player be officially counted in the mission.
Because the requirements also included the difficulty of the employment missions, the difficult missions would definitely be more rewarding. Many players wanted to grab the high-paying employment missions, but all their applications were rejected.
Phillip explained all this to the players.
Han Xiao had set up a faction level system, to provide players with a way to advance within the system. With the base level as 1-Star, the higher one’s level, the higher one’s authority and standing. That personal level was also used as an application standard for employment missions, which served as a gauge to the difficulty they could handle. Players had to first complete enough low-difficulty tasks to raise their credibility points in order to be eligible for the more difficult tasks.
This was to protect their reputation. Han Xiao knew the players too well—they loved to fool around. If every mission ended in failure, this would hurt the reputation of his faction, and all the glory obtained thus far would be lost. Thus, such a safeguard was needed.
In addition, Han Xiao also set up another system. Players could browse the employment list anywhere, but they had to return to the base to accept a mission.
The reasoning provided was that there was a need to verify the identity of the mercenary and to prevent theft of the communicator. In actual fact, it was to prevent players from staying outside for an extended period of time, ensuring that they returned to the main city and cultivated their feelings… as well as to spend money.
If they did not come back, how could he earn money from them?
On the other side, the players whom had originally followed Black Star into space had mixed feelings.
“The way to accept missions has been changed…”
In Version 1.0, they had followed Han Xiao to perform various missions. However, they had now been given the right to freely choose the missions. The most intuitive feeling was that their faction’s strength was becoming stronger and stronger.
At this moment, a new employment notice was placed on the subprogram’s employment list.
Sunil Rescue Operation: Large Scale Employment Mission
Mission Introduction: Planet Sunil is plagued by catastrophes. With the suggestion of the Black Star Army Officer Herlous, Black Star has decided to issue a designated employment to the Black Star Army, recruiting a large number of mercenaries to solve their disasters once and for all.
Mission Requirements: Proceed to Planet Sunil to solve the source of the disaster.
Number of recruits: 200,000
Remark: This is a large-scale mission. Completion of this task will raise the reputation of the Black Star Army. There will be increased benefits as well as a new base.
“Wah, 200,000‽ That’s almost half of our total numbers!”
“This must be a big event.”
“Sunil? Catastrophe? Isn’t that the storyline that Bun-Hit-Dog posted on his channel? Turns out, there’s actually still a continuation.”
The majority of players immediately felt curiosity.
The remuneration was not high. After all, the lives of the Sunils were not well off. They could not help but wish that every Ena they had could be split into five. Han Xiao had given them a preferential price, and thus, the other party was able to afford it. However, due to the fact that it was a large-scale employment, the experience reward was still sufficient.
The large-scale employment of 200,000 players was undoubtedly a main storyline in the eyes of the players. Many of them wanted in on the ‘fun’, so gathering the required amount was not difficult at all.
Among the hundreds of thousands of players, those who were casual players numbered higher. Compared to the professional players or players belonging to large guilds, the adaptability of the casual players was weaker.
The interstellar map was extremely broad, and upon seeing the large number of tasks as well as the high degree of freedom, the casual players were thrown into confusion, not knowing what was good.
The employment task of the Sunils served as a way to ‘guide’ these players.
Not sure what missions to take? Just follow the crowd and take up this large-scale employment. As long as there was a crowd, there would not be any problems.
Just in case, to ensure that the mission could attract a significant number of players, Han Xiao also increased the faction favorability reward, and modified the mission description to emphasize it as a task that could help the faction to grow. This served as a form of motivation for the players.
However, Han Xiao could be said to have been overly worried this time. Being awarded the medal from Godora had resulted in him getting sensationalized on the forum. The players realized that Han Xiao was already a famed person shining within the universe.
The players could be said to have watched Han Xiao grow along the way and had a sense of gratification to fight for the Black Star Army.
While the reward was not high, many of the players would not mind participating in missions that would allow the Black Star Army to grow.
After so many years of his actions, Han Xiao had gradually imprinted himself on the players’ hearts.