「YoshiKawa: Hello. I am Yoshinaru Kawaura. I found out about Maid Story Online through my brother a few weeks ago. In this forum thread I’ll talk about a little adventure I had in the game recently. I think I may have stumbled upon a 「Unique Scenario」created by the game’s AI, Pygmalion, the so-called “God of the Game.” Let me know your thoughts in the replies.
I was in a new area of the game, Nemesis Valley, because I knew I’d find cheaper housing there.
「Nanashi: Were you alone? Cause this could be just another baseless rumour about the game.」
I don’t have any maids or butlers yet as I don’t have enough gold for that. As I am sure you know, you need to spend gold to level up skills in MSO, or at least to speed up the process to a reasonable rate, I put all my gold into getting better gear to train faster.
That’s why I was alone.
My brother had told me that this game was a「player-driven」experience but my experience with such games was that what this actually meant is that other players were free to make your life hell, especially if you were a solo player.
I was alone in a wooded area when I came across a party of four resting on a patch of grass free from the shadows cast by the woods.
「Kamui: @Nanashi, you are a fool, stop bumping this thread in the forum. Let it die. And you @YoshiKawa, why don’t you post your fanfiction novel on an appropriate forum?」
「Nanashi: This is all probably fantasy, like that thread last week where someone claimed they’d found a unique scenario which gave them special dual wield-able black swords, but I am just gonna keep bumping this thread because you are a retard @Kamui 」
One thing which I dislike about this game is that there is no way to tell apart players from NPCs by just identifying them or looking at them, but I am pretty sure these were all players.
Unbeknownst to me I had already come across a unique scenario by approaching that area at that moment.
If it wasn’t for the twig that I had stepped on alerting them to my presence then I might have just avoided this scenario altogether but then again that was also part of 「God’s plan」?
「Kamui: Stepping on a twig? Really? Seriously? You liar. Go to hell @Nanashi」
Greeting me was an elegant long-blonde haired girl with her hair tied neatly with a red ribbon.
「My name is Elanor Rigby, and you are YoshiKawa, am I correct? I was waiting for you.」
She smiled while drinking tea out of a porcelain cup but she quickly set that aside. I walked forward into the patch of low grass to meet her. The sun was bright and right above us.
「Nanashi: And then what? everybody clapped?」
And yet she was the only elegant character out of her party. The rest looked like Ruffians dressed in dirty armour. The most stereotypical image of gankers, Goons, and player-killers I could imagine. They sat in the periphery and made no sign to stop me. One of them, a bearded auburn-haired man of about thirty, was cutting up a green apple with an apple knife.
「Kamui: Elanour Rigby? The Beatles? Stop pretending to be older than you are? You think it makes you sound cool? Kid?」
「Nanashi: You must be a real old fart then @Nanashi, get off the internet you geezer, old coot. You should go look after your kids rather than waste other people’s time on the internet!」
MSO is a full-loot MMO so I was worried that the girl was just a ploy to get my guard down.
After all I had enough gold in my inventory to buy a plot of land here.
「Reona: @YoshiKawa, keep going, and ignore these trolls. Actually MSO is not usually full-loot. As long as you are not the one who initiated the attack, you get to keep the three most expensive items in your inventory, not the gold though. 」
One of the shady looking players was also a girl, although not a particularly pretty one.
「Yes, I am Yoshinaru Kawamura. I didn’t intend on intruding on your… Garden party?」
I did not inquire how this blonde girl knew my name, my first priority was to get away with all my gold.
「If it’s alright with you I’ll be on my way.」
「Kamui: @Reona is @Yoshikawa’s puppet account to defend yourself, don’t think I can’t see through you. @nanashi People who are「mentally」underage like you shouldn’t be allowed on the internet.」
The girl’s bright smile did not let up and this unnerved me slightly but beyond that I also found it annoying. Had I met her somewhere? How did she know my name? Maybe asking her could buy me some time.
「Have we met before?」
She tilted her head to the side slightly and laughed at my question.
「No, not yet.」
「I do, however, know about you. Actually I had someone here tell me.」
I looked at the faces of those ruffians who were still leisurely sitting down as if this conversation wasn’t going on, but I recognised none of them. I am not popular enough to be recognised within the game yet.
Was this some advanced player-lure technique? But this was already in the 「Wilderness」, unless there’s some huge level-difference between us they could already kill me. I don’t understand how it was within the rules for a group of marauding players to attack a single player.
「You were the one who told me about yourself.」
I pointed my finger at myself.
She tilted her head further, was her neck made of rubber?
「Yes, I read your blog.」
I nodded my head absent-mindedly, forgetting that I hadn’t uploaded or posted my blog online yet.
「I got tired of paying rent at the inn in Lucca… What about you and your party?」
「Oh us? We were sent on a quest by Lady Celestia to kill the dungeon core boss for the new dungeon here in Nemesis Valley. To thwart Lord British’s land reclamation efforts.」
「Nanashi: Wait, stop there, if it’s a clan-conflict then how’s it a Unique Scenario? A unique scenario is a unique quest generated by the AI, which may or may not be repeatable… This is just player-clan conflict.」
「I see. I am not part of any clan, I am a solo player, nor am I interested in this dungeon. I am just here for… the cheap real estate, no, I mean the affordable player housing. I don’t care to which clan the valley belongs to in the end, so I’ll just leave you to it. Best of luck.」
「Kamui: Get a load of this! does this guy really think we believe he has an exact memory of what conversation he had with this Elanor chick, word for word? Also there’s clans which are not interested in land-ownership you noob @Nanashi.」
The three ruffians who were seated and indifferent a moment ago, got up. The two men unsheathed their weapons whereas the girl who looked like a ranger stood back. So this was how it was going to be. I wasn’t wrong about this game.
The bearded man with auburn hair sneered.
「Now that you have heard our plans are, we can’t let you go.」
I glared at Elanor as if to say 「Then why did you tell me about your plan?」but she just smiled at me like that was the only expression she could make.
As I was about to amicably part ways I was stopped by the three ruffians in the group.
「What is the meaning of this Elanor Rigby?」
「Ask Father McKenzie.」
「We didn’t mean any harm towards you Kawamura-san.」
I drew my sword and approached the shorter man who looked weaker, this is a game so height meant nothing, but still maybe the height difference would give him pause.
The shorter, dark-haired man smiled showing two rows of yellow teeth. Seriously, why would you choose to look like this in a game where you could look like anything?
「How long have you played this game?」
「Reona: I guess some people enjoy being little anti-social gremlins even in-game.」
「Nanashi: So you are buying into his story, now @Kamui? Who are you calling an newbie @Kamui. Those aren’t 「Clans」, they’re called「Guilds」, 「Corporations」and 「Churches」. I thought you’d know at least know that much or is your memory failing you, old man? 」
「Kamui: >>buying into his story, now @Kamui?
When did I say that you idiot? Can’t you read? You keep mentioning my age, you must be underage.」
I ignored his question and attacked him. Two of the Ruffians charged towards me, as the girl, stood back. As for Elanor, she just stood there, with her arms behind her back, doing nothing.
With a swift and precise strike I sliced through the first Ruffian’s weapon leaving him defenceless.
The second ruffian swung his sword wildly but I dodged it and countered with a powerful slash. They seemed weaker than I thought they would be, or were they letting me go on purpose? I mean they couldn’t take the dungeon core with this power.
The girl shot an arrow at my knee but it missed so I got to be an adventurer for another day. Well, whether it was on purpose or not, this was my chance, so I ran off back into the woods.
Soon these PK-ers who claimed to be part of Lady Celestia’s Integrity Knights Clan, were out of sight, I tried to log out but the game wouldn’t let me which meant that that I was still in danger.
「Reona: Yes, the game won’t let you log out during combat unless you are in some kind of physical danger.」
I came across an abandoned wooden house, not by chance, it was one of a few obscure listings for player structures for sale on the game forum which had brought me here to Nemesis Valley. I had come here after hearing some rumours about these structures on the BBS forum.
I quickly accessed the floating menu to buy this house. By using up all my gold to buy this house it meant that my gold could no longer be looted from my corpse’s inventory if I were killed now.
There were a few other locations for sale I wanted to check out but I couldn’t do that now.
「Reona: I am not sure if it’s a good idea for you to post this stuff when Lady Celestia’s clan has access to this public forum?」
「Kamui: @Reona Don’t u understand yet, this guy is a total attention-whore, but for what it’s worth I am starting to believe this guy’s story. Not about this being a unique scenario, that was just bait to get attention, but some of this could be true.」
「Nanashi: Is @YoshiKawa even reading our comments? So far he has responded to none of my comments.」
「Kamui: >> So far he has responded to none of my comments.
Maybe it’s cause none of your comments are worth responding to @Nanashi」
「Nanashi: And yet you keep on responding to all my messages @Kamui. What gives? Missing a few chromosomes?」
@Nanashi, I just want to get the story out of me while it’s still fresh in my mind. I will respond to any comments once I am done, though I doubt it will be necessary.
I bought the wooden house for 158,179 GP. Of course, this left me with my gear and little to no gold on hand. I was planning to get a mortgage from either one of the player-run banks or the NPC banks but that’s no longer an option.
「Reona: NPC-banks are safer but more expensive, and harder to get a loan from.」
「Kamui: I think what you mean @Reona is that Player-run banks are loan-sharks.」
「Nanashi: Somebody sounds like they’re in debt even in a game.」
「Kamui: Somebody sounds like they’re a usurer even in a game.」
I couldn’t have just hidden inside my newly bought “mansion.” Breaking into player housing is not easy unless the player accidentally leaves the house unlocked, but the problem with that idea is that every item in the game has HP to denote its durability, this abandoned wooden house has 50HP, that is ten HP more than I have but I wouldn’t want to make my new house a target for a party attack by locking myself inside it, or I might lose my new house on the same day I bought it.
I purposefully left my new house unlocked so that they might waste some time looking for me in there but hopefully not destroy the place too much. It still bothers me how Elanor knew my name but this wasn’t the time to tarry.
I changed my spawn location to the「new」house.
There was nowhere else for me to go to or hide in that came to mind. After all this was the first time I had set foot in this region of the game. I may have been slightly lying earlier when I told Elanor I wasn’t part of any clan, and maybe she knew that too. I am on the Drunken Peasants clan-chat because I was invited there by my brother. However it’s true that the clan meant nothing to me. If only my brother wasn’t busy with his job I could have gotten his help but failing that I’ll go with the next best thing, his clan. Also, to be honest, I didn’t want to ask for his help anyway.
I rested my back on a tree and typed an SOS message on the clan chat. These pass-through VR keyboards are such a pain, this is why my message came out weird and garbled. They do not reflect my level of calmness at the time. Why don’t the developers add tactile feedback for keyboards like in Awalken RPG?
「YoshiKawa: Help! I am being gank-stalked in teh Nemesis Vallley by a bunch of f***ing gankers. Probably. 」
「FujiRyo: Possibly? Have you tried logging out or changing worlds?」
「YoshiKawa: Yes, I am in world 003.」
「FujiRyo: You better not be lying @Yoshikawa, I am taking my maid party to where you are, and am abandoning an important event, I won’t forget your handle and I’ll find you, so send me your coordinates with a private message.」
「Nanashi: The DP, huh? Well, I am also on there. Let me check if this is also a lie..」
「Nanashi: It’s all there, maybe this story is true after all.」
「Kamui: It could all be an elaborate ruse, it’s just a couple of messages, how gullible can you be?」
「Nanashi: They say the older you get the more paranoid you become.」
「Kamui: Listen to me here you little shit, I challenge you to a duel in the game.」
「Nanashi: And how do I know you wouldn’t just show up with a group, like this Elanor chick did?」
「Reona: Are you sure it’s okay to leak clan-chat content on a public forum?」
I sent him my coordinates and moved the chat towards the edge of my vision so that the chat didn’t take anything from what I could see in front, and I started moving again.
Moving around this game is a pain. There are no mounts, and teleportation spells are only available to high level player characters, and are expensive. So basically even if this FujiRyo character and his party make it to me, it might be too late. It might piss him off but I’ll have to move somewhere else and then send him my tile location coordinates again.
「Reona: It’s different for maid and butler characters but you can’t afford them. Maids and Butlers can spawn next to their master for free if the master desires it, so FujiRyo would only have spend one teleportation spell to leap himself and then call for his maid party. 」
There was a river running down the valley. I considered suicide by drowning. If I did that then it would be harder for them to loot my inventory because my “gravestone” would be at the bottom of the river, and they wouldn’t know where it is, so I could come later and retrieve it. I seriously considered it, but I figured it wouldn’t be worth it spending one of my seven precious lives.
Also I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider that you could feel some pain in this game. Of course it wouldn’t be any worse then getting bruised all over from falling down the stairs but I am not a masochist, if there’s a chance I might survive, I thought I should take it.
Furthermore the information about every death in the game is publicly available through the official website and other websites which use the API, and I didn’t want to be known as that guy who killed himself, just to deny their opponent a kill.
「Reona: I mean you were being pursued by a group so isn’t okay, honourable suicide lol」
「Kamui: No, he’s right, the scoreboards would only record that it’s a suicide and people would just assume it was out of pettiness.」
Besides I was able to escape them pretty easily so their combat levels are probably under 50, if they were foolish enough to split up to look for me then I could take them off one by one, the victory would be mine.
「Nanashi: Shouldn’t you err on the side of caution and assume that they wouldn’t be that stupid?」
「Kamui: No, what good would it do to demoralise himself like that now? Use your young undeveloped brain a bit, and it might develop and grow.」
「Nanashi: Do you know how much like a pervert you sound right now, talking about young undeveloped brains like that? I feel violated by your words.」
I didn’t think they’d be stupid enough to split up though, so I kept moving and looked for somewhere I could hide. There was also the matter of Elanor. I did not know what her combat abilities were. I just hoped that she was not a mage player, as with my melee gear I was at a disadvantage.
「Reona: The combat triangle in MSO establishes a dynamic interaction between three combat styles: Melee, Ranged, and Magic. Each style has inherent strengths and weaknesses concerning the others, resembling a rock-paper-scissors relationship. In player-versus-player (PvP) combat and specific player-versus-environment (PvE) scenarios, understanding this dynamic is crucial. Melee is effective against Ranged but weak against Magic, while Ranged prevails against Magic but is vulnerable to Melee. Magic, in turn, is potent against Melee but susceptible to Ranged. This strategic framework encourages players to adapt their combat style based on the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents, fostering a nuanced and tactical approach to combat in the game. It’s important to note that while the combat triangle is a foundational concept, various factors such as player gear, levels, and specific abilities can also influence combat effectiveness.」
「Kamui: @Nanashi, you are too mentally weak to play this game. Go back to playing virtual neopets or Eldhrimnir Online: that death-match cooking-show VR game where you kill players for their ingredients, you brain-rotted younguns make so many brainless short videos about that crap filling my feed.」
「Nanashi: @Kamui Are you even under fifty? Are you playing this game from your deathbed, in an automated nursing home? Is this vr game the only freedom of movement that you get in your life haha」
「Kamui: I don’t want to hear that from some moronic jobless twenty-something year old probably living with his parents or on state benefits, you are playing on this private shard because you can’t afford to pay the monthly subscription for Awalken, aren’t you?」
「Reona: I am sorry but could you two take your #off-topic arguments elsewhere. I am trying to listen to @YoshiKawa’s story, while providing useful info, which is what this thread is supposed to be about. Awalken also had pain settings on release but these were removed to increase its mass appeal.」
I periodically sent my new tile location coordinates to FujiRyo, which was a pain because of the large numbers involved which I had to type manually, the game map is seriously too huge. It’s 1/6th of the surface of the real world, “as vast the old British Empire used to be,” the Revolutionary Knights bragged about this on their website but most of the map was empty, and so clan warfare for resources is rare enough that when it happens it’s a big deal. Think about it, 3000 players spread across the an area 1/6th of the world. I doubted Elanor’s whole story about them being sent here by Lady Celestia’s Integrity Knights to conquer a new dungeon core, there’s many dungeon cores all over the map so what’s special about this one?
「Reona: Actually, this isn’t exactly true as the centre of the map is occupied by a huge NPC nation, the Estado Novo (the New State). 95% of the players are in player clan-domains to the North of this territory, the rest is vast undomesticated wilderness with powerful mobs and bosses where you can’t do much but get killed.」
「Kamui: You should never be impressed when an open-world game boasts of the size of its map..」
「Nanashi: @Kamui What a cute opinion, did you also get it from a video essay? You old folk pride yourselves for being so intellectually independent while parroting whatever line your e-daddies reads to you on a podcast.」
「Reona: @Nanashi, if you keep on going like this I’ll report you to the mods for being #off-topic.」
While looking for a place to hide in and ambush my assailants, I came across what looked like an entrance to an abandoned underground train terminal. There weren’t very many other ruins nearby so it was an unusual sight to come across in the middle of a forested area. Then again, I remembered a news report about a subway entrance in rural China built in the middle of nowhere before a city was swiftly built there shortly afterwards.
On the one hand if it turned out to be a cul de sac, I would be trapped inside, easy prey for my enemies, but if it it does lead me somewhere I might be able to escape unharmed. I couldn’t wait here till help possibly came so I climbed down the stairs to the entrance overgrown with vines.
At first it looked like a dark hole in the ground but when I went deep inside there was light. The walls were lighted very sparsely with the occasional bulb emanating a nostalgic yellow hue. I’d say I was about 60 metres below the surface at this point when I reached the platform.
There was a large clock mounted onto the wall and its clock hands pointed towards thirteen. The ground was made of concrete and tiles and I half-expected an empty train to to arrive to pick me up in a movie-like develepment.
On the wall across the tracks I could see some writing in a familiar blue font which read: 「Space Angel Station」
I dropped a gold coin on the tracks to see if there would be any electric arcing. There was, meaning that the tracks were electrified, and so I couldn’t just walk on them to see where they would lead me to.
However I soon found a short unlighted corridor which led me to another platform, and this time it was not electrified.
I tried sending my coordinates to FujiRyo but I guess the messaging system doesn’t work when you are underground. This game was strangely realistic whenever it suited it.
I began walking into the tunnel and then running, there was only one direction I could go towards, north, as this was the last station on this line, there were no lights within so I lighted up my torch. After running north for about two miles and a half I ran out of 「Running Energy」so I had to walk about another two miles.
MSO has no minimap or built in auto-mapping so I had to occasionally stop and do the mapping myself on graph paper. My maps were…. readable only to me at the best of times, which may not be a bad thing if my maps ends up stolen from me.
「Reona: There’s a plugin that will automatically automap areas as you explore them, but any plugins which show you regions which you have not already been to, are against the rules.」
There was a light at the end of the tunnel. I finally arrived at the next station but I had to walk through a flooded area of the tunnel, a stretch of about a hundred metres, with water up to my knees.
There was another blue sign with the name of the station.
「The Blue Earth station, huh?」
This one was as desolate as the Space Angel Station but it was well-lit. I tried to log-out but I got a floating notice screen saying:
「As You are in the middle of an Event logging out is temporarily unavailable. Try Again later.」
Logging out becomes temporarily unavailable during combat and events. I thought that now that I was out of “combat” I’d be able to get out but now I was stuck in an event.
I waited for 30 minutes but the event was not over. I guess that just standing around would not progress the event.
Of course, if my headset had detected I was hungry or thirsty I’d be logged out of the game and probably the event too. Or at least I would have been, had I not illegally modded my VR headset not to log me out unless there was a fire. Right then I was starting to regret my poor life (and death) choices. In the corner of my eye I could see the warning sign for my real body being slightly thirsty.」