More than a month had passed since the end of the first closed beta. However, due to the 6:1 time flow rate after it was finished, only a week had passed by in reality.
Only one day had passed in reality since Xu Sili upgraded Imperial City to level 3.
The fact that ‘Imperial City has been upgraded to level 3’ was only discovered by the data observers half a day ago.
After all, the internal and external time flow rates were different and the researchers had already withdrawn from the game. It was inevitable that the observation would be slower and it was easy to ignore some details.
The game team held an emergency meeting when this problem was discovered. They discussed it for a long time but no results were obtained.
At this point in time, it was just after the first closed beta and Imperial City had already been upgraded to level 3. This was a speed that the game team never expected.
Levels were linked to the level of the main city. This was to originally narrow the level gap between NPCs and players and it was also a way to enrich the gameplay.
In the original plan, it would take at least half a year after the public beta and most players would’ve generally reached the upper limit of level 20 before the restrictions were unlocked.
It was also due to the level restriction that they decided to adjust the time flow rate during the closed service period to allow NPCs, who already found it hard to train, to accumulate a bit of an advantage.
No one expected that just over a month after the first closed beta, the development speed of the game would be completely out of control. It was to the point of shocking everyone.
The even more puzzling thing was—now it was obviously the closed server stage and there was no participation from players. How did the NPCs solve the level restriction of Imperial City by themselves?
They intended to increase the AI of NPCs but the NPCs couldn’t be intelligent to this point, right? They actually found a way to upgrade the main city on their own?
“Department Head Wang, is there a way for the main brain to call up the data from the moment when Imperial City was upgraded? I’m curious about what happened in the game.”
Doubts were raised.
This was probably what everyone here wanted to know.
Department Head Wang was the original initiator of Starry Sky Age and was currently the top person in charge.
He was 69 years old and his hair was gray and thinning. He lowered his head slightly and seemed to be hesitating about something. Finally, he sighed. “Let’s take a look.”
Apparently, he had identified the problem before the meeting.
The group looked at each other. Then the video started playing on the screen in the meeting room and fell silent again.
In the video footage, there was a silver-haired and purple-eyed young man wearing a crown and gorgeous clothing beautifully embroidered with the emblem of the Roland Empire. He was being interviewed by reporters.
In the meeting room, everyone recognized at a glance who this young man with cold eyes and exuding an imperial majesty was.
For those who were fortunate enough to participate in the Starry Sky Age project, Snow Roland wasn’t a stranger. It could even be said that they were quite familiar with him.
After all, regardless of the popularity he accumulated after the server was launched, his prototype was the original angel investor of the game, Xu Sili. His portrait was still hanging in the lobby of the research and development center.
For nearly 10 years, they had to look at it every day when they came and left work. Every new recruit would also be taught by the old people about the contribution of this big donor to Starry Sky Age.
It could be said that without him, Starry Sky Age would’ve been stillborn a long time ago. Without the continuous investment because of his legacy and the Xu family, who didn’t hesitate to sell their ancestral home at the risk of bankruptcy, Starry Sky Age wouldn’t have succeeded in being born.
So when they saw the game character based on him appear on the screen and heard him say the following words, everyone’s feelings were as complicated as Old Lao’s.
“As we all know, the elementalists of the empire who reach two stars can no longer improve their strength. This is the so-called star limit and it makes us very passive when facing interstellar beasts.”
“What this emperor wants to tell you today is that it shouldn’t be like this. It is all because of a seal! Or a curse is more appropriate.”
“The seal will be loosened when Roland’s national strength is improved. After a special ceremony, this loose seal can be lifted.”
“Today, with the completion of Mercenary Town and Doha Town, the time is ripe for this emperor to try and lift the seal.”
They watched this video in its entirety and everyone understood the reason for the sudden rise in game development.
It turned out to be because of him! Snow Roland, this NPC!
His intelligence was so high that he not only saw that the level limit was an artificial ‘seal’ but also found the key to improvement—construction!
In other words, it was what he said about national strength. This wasn’t the end. He also found a way to complete the ‘ceremony’. Stuffing a third level interstellar beast core into the players’ summoning magic circle?
No matter how they thought about it, this shouldn’t be something that an NPC could do. Even players would probably have to explore it for a long time, right?
The planner who made this series of designs in the first place was dumbfounded.
“It also isn’t just that.” Old Wang spoke solemnly again.
In the information given later, there were some pictures taken from the game, showing Chi Yu and others building the two way teleportation circle.
Of course, the sharp-eyed people also found that these builder NPCs were basically elementalists?
“Imperial City was upgraded to level three so the ruins that contained the inheritance of the elemental pharmacists and the blueprint for the two way teleportation circle were dug up. They are now building the teleportation circle.”
Old Wang said quietly, “It is Chi Yu who is presiding over the construction.”
“Huh? Chi Yu? That exceptional talent who might grow into a master architect?” The planner in charge of the NPC design couldn’t help speaking.
The others looked over and he explained the NPC’s special ability to speed up construction.
“That’s right.” Old Wang nodded. “At the same time, he was responsible for the construction of Doha Town before.”
This point was reported by testers during the closed beta but they weren’t aware of the seriousness of the problem at the time. Now… it seemed a bit late.
It was because someone quickly pointed out that the upgrade system of the character of Snow Roland was linked to construction.
No matter whether he realized this or not, after appointing Chi Yu as the chief engineer, Snow’s upgrade speed virtually doubled. In addition, the people who gave Chi Yu a hand…
They were all elementalists!
They just had to think about it a little bit and they could imagine how powerful these elementalists would be after they were put into production and construction.
However, according to the original setting of these elementalists, they should be so arrogant that they shouldn’t agree to these rough jobs?
Old Wang sighed. He was the person in charge of this project but the direction he specialized in was technology. For example, he was the core figure behind the holographic technology of the game.
He was engaged in technology so he didn’t pay too much attention to the planning of game content.
During the month of the closed beta, he had been working with many people to focus on the feedback of the game cabin data and possible adverse reactions.
After all, this was the first public test and there were as many as 1,000 people at a time. This was a heavy burden for the research center.
Ever since the opening of the closed beta, many people had been working overtime to monitor things out of fear there would be an emergency that would endanger the lives of users.
In particular, there were more than 100 users participating in the escort mission and were online for 24 hours for many days. They were offline for no more than 15 minutes.
Fortunately, under the close monitoring, there weren’t many problems with the users’ vital signs.
As for the problem of the game progressing too quickly… Naturally, he neglected it. Some observers noticed it but Old Wang didn’t pay attention to it.
After all, compared to the players’ game experience. The safety of the users was the top priority. If there was a problem then this project would be cut off. Even if it wasn’t stopped, they would have to retreat and continue to study things.
The current situation of the Xu family meant that more capital couldn’t be supplied. If they couldn’t effectively make a profit then the project team would face a severe test. They might even need to sell some of the technology or make more cruel choices.
This wasn’t what Old Wang and the others wanted to see.
Based on the above reasons, Old Wang temporarily suppressed the matter when some game planners noticed the problem. Without technical support, these issues couldn’t be solved even if the problem was found.
It was just that no one expected the game to progress so fast! It was also an NPC who was driving all of this?
“At present, apart from Si Sheng, the highest level the NPCs in the Roland Empire have reached is level 25.”
The relevant information of Li Zhecheng appeared on the screen and everyone’s expressions became more complicated.
Old Wang continued, “As the first novice planet, we originally hoped that the NPCs of Escher wouldn’t have too wide a gap with the players. It is best to maintain the momentum of advancing hand in hand with players.”
“Now it seems that the speed is out of control.”
The first closed beta had just ended and the level of the first echelon of the 1,000 closed beta players was already close to level 20. However, there were only a few strong players.
In the second closed beta and the public beta in the future, these players would all start from level 0 and the gap would undoubtedly widen.
If in the open beta, the NPCs and closed beta players had reached level 30 or 40, how could the beginners play?
Who wanted to be suppressed and beaten when playing a game?
The fatal thing was that there was only one server and there was no fairness problem from the beginning.
The more everyone thought about it, the bigger their headaches became. At this time, Old Wang spoke again.
“Si Sheng was just mentioned and presumably you have seen this video on the forum.”
On the screen, the scene of Si Sheng’s show of great power outside Orchid Moon City started to play.
Admittedly, this scene was handsome and provided very good promotional materials, but it caused the planners a big headache.
Si Sheng was the only NPC on Escher who wasn’t restricted by level. On the one hand, it was because he was Xu Sili’s legacy. On the other hand, it was to avoid the Roland Empire from being directly destroyed after being suppressed too fiercely.
Three years before the game time started, Si Sheng did a good job and successfully became the marshal and patron saint of the empire.
It was impossible for him to wipe out the interstellar beasts within a radius of several kilometers with one skill. This was too exaggerated!
“Si Sheng’s personal level has reached 82.” Old Wang rubbed his throbbing temples.
“The current good news is that apart from this blow, he has no interest in wiping out the interstellar beasts in the Roland Empire or even the entire planet. Otherwise…”
Then what would happen to the players?
Apart from some interstellar beasts who were over nine stars, Escher no longer had any creatures that could stop Si Sheng, right?
If they saw that Si Sheng had crossed his level to kill a nine star beast alone, it wasn’t known how they would feel.
“We seem to have miscalculated the intelligence of NPCs. After the first closed beta, their intelligence performance has grown a lot more than any previous test.”
“Maybe this data can be used as an important reference in the field of artificial intelligence, but this isn’t what we are going to discuss today.”
Old Wang retracted his gaze from the screen, looked at the participants and said solemnly. “What we need to discuss now is—do we want to intervene?”
TL: Winners have come out for the fanart event. You can check all the winners on the homepage. I have also created fanart pages and linked them on the homepage of the website.
In addition, advance chapters are available over on my Patreon. You can go check out the details on my Patreon page.