Chapter 383 - Blackett Grizzly
The Mages finished off the surviving few Phantom Swordsmen with single-target spells. After which the Thieves ran up to collect the loot. Asskickers United sorely lacked Level 50 equipment. With all the players hitting Level 50, there simply wasn’t enough to go around.
In that sense, the Cripps Stronghold was a treasure trove. Level 50 Elites were rare in other places and difficult to deal with. It was impossible to hunt them in large numbers elsewhere like they were doing right now!
After the area-of-effect magic fell, Level 50 equipment littered the ground.
Level 50 equipment was currently extremely expensive in the marketplace due to the short supply and high demand. Every day numerous groups of Level 40+ players set out to high level maps in hopes of finding decent equipment. Of course most of the equipment they found was White or Bronze-grade.
Nie Yan’s group had really hit it big this time by killing all these Phantom Swordsmen.
They slowly cleared away the Phantom Swordsmen in the area. After a while, Lustboy, Sunny South, and Summer Bug reported they had left the Magic Tower. They had replaced many of their old spells with brand new ones.
Nie Yan returned to base camp just in time to see the three of them arrive.
“How was it? Learn anything good?” Nie Yan asked before having them share their skill lists. If the new spells didn’t work out, they could just relearn their old ones but for a fee.
“Learning new skills is expensive. I watched 600 gold go down the drain in an instant.” Lustboy chuckled bitterly. But he couldn’t deny every spell was worth the price.
The Magic Tower in the Cripps Stronghold contained more than 1,000 spells, many of which were of decent quality.
Lustboy had only recently joined the ranks of top players. He didn’t have much gold saved up, unlike Summer Bug or Sunny South who wouldn’t bat an eyelid over several hundred gold.
“Talk to Guo Huai, and he’ll reimburse you guys,” Nie Yan said. He would spare no expense to provide for these top players. They were the future pillars of Asskickers United, so they were worth the investment.
Nie Yan listened to Sunny South, Lustboy, and Summer Bug describe the Magic Tower.
“The Magic Tower has a total of six floors. We could only enter the first and second floor. There were rows of bookshelves packed with thick and heavy books. There were many books that described magic and also many ones about history. The administrator of the Magic Tower is an Old Scholar. He’s in charge of passing down the skills. As long as you give him the appropriate amount of gold, he’ll give you access to the spells.”
Nie Yan skimmed through Lustboy’s skill list. He had learned over 30 spells: Ice Rend, Freeze, Exploding Ice Bullet, Icicle, Ice Spike...
It appeared Lustboy was walking down the path of an Elementalist who specialised in Ice Magic. Nie Yan noticed these spells were all of the most basic kind and shared similar characteristics: short cast times, quick cast speeds, and crowd control.
Nie Yan glanced at Lustboy. It seemed he had some unique ideas.
Such a combination of spells would be effective in both PvP and PvE, granted the player could utilize them properly.
“Lustboy, I like what you’re going for, but you’re lacking damage. After locking the opponent down, you should immediately follow up with high burst damage; otherwise, you’re giving them the chance to turn the tables on you,” Nie Yan gave his two cents.
Lustboy scratched the back of his head in embarrassment. “I only had enough gold for these spells. The high damage ones were too expensive.”
“So that’s why. No worries, just talk to Guo Huai. The guild will naturally foot the bill. You’re a contracted player, after all.” Nie Yan smiled. Only now did he recall there would be many other members class advancing in the near future and they would all need to learn new skills too. The expenses just kept piling up. After all, Asskickers United had more than 60,000 players in total! Besides smuggling equipment from the Underworld, he had to expand to other areas of business. He could try capturing a few more strongholds. After developing them, the gold generated should be enough to support the guild.
Nie Yan checked the skill lists of Sunny South and Summer Bug. They too were walking down their own unique paths. Sunny South was a Great Holy Mage. All the spells he learned focused on high damage, which usually came along with long cast times and high skill requirements. Spells with long cast times could easily be interrupted by others. The caster had to have good judgement, awareness, and grasp of timing.
As for Summer Bug, this fellow was far off the beaten path. He was actually learning Shadow Arcane Magic; no crowd control, no high damage, only additional shadow corrosion damage. It behaved similarly to a curse, corroding the enemy’s defense and health. The longer a battle lasted, the more the shadow corrosion damage would accumulate.
Any build was viable as long as you knew how to play to its strengths.
There was no weak skill or weak class, only a weak player.
Mages would become incredibly powerful after visiting a Magic Tower. Even Nie Yan would feel wary encountering such a foe.
These several players all had their unique playstyles and understood their own skills better than anyone else. Not to mention they were famous figures in the previous timeline. Nie Yan could only rely on his experience to give a word of advice here and there.
When they matured and familiarized themselves with their respective skills, Nie Yan wanted to try challenging them in PvP. In the previous timeline, he was definitely no match for existences like Sunny South, Lustboy, and Summer Bug. But in this life, he had long since surpassed his previous limits.
Nie Yan had an almost 10 year lead on them in terms of game experience, so it was only natural he was superior. But as time passed, they would slowly catch up to him and likely surpass him one day.
Nie Yan continued to aggro mobs after the Mages on the rooftops had their area-of-effect spells come back off cooldown.
After roughly three hours, all the Phantom Swordsmen near the plaza were cleared away.
The only monster remaining in the public square was the Blackett Grizzly. When Nie Yan, Sun, and One Strike Vow were aggroing mobs, they had drawn its attention multiple times. Thankfully, they were fast at fleeing.
Nie Yan reorganized the troops. This public square could only hold 800 players at most. When someone died in battle, those on standby could quickly replace them.
This was where all the streets in the Cripps Stronghold intersected, so every group that finished clearing the Phantom Swordsmen in their respective routes would eventually end up here.
“I want 100 Warriors, 300 Mages, 50 Priests, 30 Paladins, and 20 Thieves!” Nie Yan said. He allowed Smoke Stub, Bladelight, and the others to help with the selection.
500 players were going to be at the front. If there was enough space at the back, adding a few more Mages wouldn’t hurt.
Finally the group of 500 entered the public square.
Bladelight led 20 of the best Fighters in Asskickers United in surrounding the Blackett Grizzly.
The Blackett Grizzly quickly noticed the approach of Bladelight’s group. It let out a thunderous roar that shook the earth.
Bladelight advanced step by step, slowly approaching the Blackett Grizzly. The surrounding Warriors were also circling in.
The Mages had already spread out and gotten into position. They were waiting for Bladelight and the others to secure the Blackett Grizzly’s aggro.
When Bladelight and his group approached within 15 meters of the Blackett Grizzly, they had already encroached on its limit of patience. It let out an enraged roar and charged toward Bladelight.
A nearby Fighter rushed up from the side and ruthlessly slammed his heavy shield into the Blackett Grizzly.
「Bang!」The Fighter was sent flying like a ragdoll.
It was an instant kill!
However, he had still done enough to somewhat slow the Blackett Grizzly’s charging speed.
At this moment, Bladelight bellowed out and used Taunt on the Blackett Grizzly. He stepped up to intercept the barrelling bear, requiring the combination of Shield Bash and Barbarian Strength to stop its charge.
Seeing the Blackett Grizzly’s health, Bladelight sucked in a cold breath of air. It had more than 1,000,000 health!
What a powerful Variant Lord!
After being stopped, the Blackett Grizzly swiped at Bladelight with its massive paw.
Bladelight quickly activated Defense Stance and raised his shield to block.「Klang!」He was pushed back several steps as a damage value of −1573 floated up above his head.
A gentle radiance shrouded Bladelight and immediately restored his health back to full.
Bladelight stood firm and charged forward once more.
While Bladelight and the Blackett Grizzly traded blows, the surrounding Fighters closed in. The 20 Fighters locked the Blackett Grizzly, greatly limiting its range of movement.
The Blackett Grizzly swiped with its paws, batting away any Fighter unlucky enough to get struck.
Some of the Fighters were instantly killed. The ones that weren’t staggered back to their feet, and after receiving healing, they jumped back into the frey.
“Mages, attack! Those of you with high damage, make sure you don’t pull aggro!” Nie Yan ordered.
The Mages who were spread out in a circle rained down magic from the sky and bombarded the Blackett Grizzly, causing a string of damage values to rise up into the air.
60% of the spells were misses while the rest did around 300–400 damage. However, the Blackett Grizzly’s health regeneration was astonishing, healing for over 10,000 health a second.
After what felt like ages, the Blackett Grizzly’s health finally fell by a miniscule sliver.
It wasn’t surprising that Victorious Return had wiped to this Variant Lord so many times in the previous timeline.