The Five Generals remained silent at that. Truly, what did they know about the game other than what Draco had taught them? And even most of that was common knowledge to gamers. These five had lived hard lives, never having the time or interest in anything that wouldn't further their goals.
Hell, the only reason they even bothered to enter this game was because a young Control master told them to, period. Oh, they would have definitely joined the game after it became popular, but they would've have been bottom feeders at that point.
Draco, when training them, had to teach them from the absolute ground up. It was similar to having to teach your grandmother how to use a computer. They had absolutely no foreknowledge on anything like RPG mechanics, typical worldbuilding, player lingo and interaction etc.
Of course, Boundless simplified a lot of these things in anticipation of people like them. However, it was like using a computer like a typical user instead of a programmer. They would eventually fall behind the rest.
In any popular game today, the best players worldwide weren't just about skill or talent. A lot of it went to the fact that they had spent hours researching the game, its mechanics, how they interacted and especially how they could be exploited. They were always up to date on any new addition so they could factor it into their playstyle.
Yet these five knew next to nothing aside from how to level up, use items and do basic combat in their future classes.
Even the classes there were heading toward were things they only found out after doing a general research on MMORPG games after Draco ordered them to create accounts. They didn't spend much time or effort researching the ones they chose, only selecting the ones they were either cool or sexy.
"You see? You know nothing about Boundless. You haven't put in the time or effort to learn more even with all you have been shown so far."
Riveting Night began walking towards a grassland and the Five Generals followed her quietly. The grassland stretched out as far as the eye could see, with the occasional tree as well as ponds here and there. There were a few thick bushes by the roadside as well.
There seemed to be a man-made path here of gravel, which they walked on comfortably.
"There is far too much depth in the operation of this world that it took Draco and I a while to uncover the most of it."
At this, the Five Generals looked between each other with uncertainty. Hadn't this game been out for just under a business week? Did the Lady Boss misspeak or did she have some form of access to the game beforehand?
Of course, with their lack of knowledge in the area of gaming, they had no idea of the existence of beta testers. Otherwise, they'd have assumed that she were one.
"I cannot and will not stuff all that knowledge into your head. That is your duty and responsibility as a member of Umbra."
Riveting Night spawned throwing knives in her hand and twirled them around her finger casually. She flicked her wrist out lightly, sending all three hurtling in different directions.
A white glow shrouded the throwing knives, adding a trail of light to its flight.
The party heard three shrill screeches come from the ground where the throwing knives had pierced. Out of the earth came three monsters, with spiky shells and a mammalian face that looked unsure of whether it wanted to be cute or ferocious.
They stood on two feet with hunched backs and their bellies were soft, dark brown flesh.
｢Name: Feral Pangolin – Specialist Rank monster
The Five Generals became serious when they saw the monsters. Even though they were five, they felt that they were trapped in a difficult situation.
After all, Specialist Rank monsters required at least a four man party of semi-pros to handle when at the same level. Meanwhile, these five weren't even Rank 1, so there was both a level and a Rank suppression on them.
These suppression effects weren't debilitating. One just needed the skill ( or equipment) to counteract this mechanic. Draco and Riveting Night were able to fight equally up to 1 Rank and 20 levels maximum of suppression. Even one small level more and they'd be fighting a losing battle.
In other words, if Draco was currently level 14, Rank 1, he could fight a monster which was level 34, Rank 1 at best till it became too hard. Of course, that was assuming he had basic equipment and none of his fusion items available.
To fight one rank above him, he needed to be within 20 levels of the rank. So at Rank 1, level 30, Draco could fight a Rank 2, level 50 monster.
Fighting skilled NPCs was much harder, so the amount of levels Draco could cross was limited.
The Five Generals had none of that skill. They could team up and barely take a Specialist monster down at their own level, but something like this was beyond them.
"Next, we'll be discussing your skills. Quite frankly, they are absolutely terrible."
Riveting Night pointed at the Feral Pangolins as she spoke.
"Two of you will each take a pangolin. I'll join the person with no partner and assess their skills for a bit. After that, I'll swap into each team to get one on one time with you all as you fight."
The Five Generals shared a worried look before nodding. If they wanted to get better, they would have to take risks!
Besides, the Lady Boss was here. Also, they couldn't really lose too much when considering the stakes. Only one item and 10% exp was easily reclaimable at Rank 0.
They split into teams then. Cobra and Kiran were in team 1 and Boyd and Uno in team 2. Poor Rina was left out and she definitely didn't like that.
"Hey, what's with this discrimination and sexism? Is this Sis really so ugly that you boys will leave me alone?" She complained with a pout.
The four gave her disdainful looks and moved away.
"Fuck! I hope you all die as virgins!" Rina cursed angrily before storming away, towards Riveting Night.
This curse got them all riled up as they retorted with indignation and fear.
"Shit, woman how could you be so mean? What kind of curse is this?" Uno asked angrily.
"How can you place such misfortune on This Daddy? What have I ever done to you?" Boyd shouted with passion.
"Hmph, your words will never come true. I have already been defiled." Cobra said while rubbing his bum.
"I have no interest in the carnal." Kiran answered quietly.
Riveting Night chuckled and moved beside an unhappy Rina, who looked like she wanted to sulk heavily. She took out two daggers that gleamed with eerie brightness. Their serrated edges made one cringe instinctively, knowing that if you were pierced by it, pulling out the weapon would be more painful than pushing it in.
"Since you have chosen your teams, move out and attack. Your aim is not to defeat your enemy, which you definitely cannot do. It is to survive until I get a handle on each of your skills."
Riveting Night's command was drowned out by the shrill cries of the Pangolins, who had decided to attack their enemies in retaliation.
Cobra began swaying in that bizarre and nausea inducing way that he did, like a snake slithering up to its prey slowly. He also utilized daggers and throwing knives, so he tossed a few out in the more traditional way.
Three out of the five knives he threw hit their mark, but did less than 20 damage altogether, even though it hit the soft underbelly of the Pangolin. Cobra was startled by this and almost got swiped into oblivion by the Pangolin's claws.
However, he was saved by Kiran, who performed a double spin kick in mid air, hitting the face of the Pangolin. The monster cried out and grabbed its bleeding snout, glaring at Kiran with monstrous killing intent. Kiran's well-timed kick had only dealt 36 damage, 18 for each spin kick.
His face became solemn as he truly understood why the Lady Boss said that they'd be unable to kill their enemies, only make sure that they survived. They were far too weak to do any heavy or debilitating damage!
They couldn't even take a single hit, or that'd be the end of them. Trying to battle the monster would be much more difficult than just dodging it's attacks.
Cobra seemed to reach the same conclusion himself, so he leapt back and stood beside Kiran. The two fellows shared a look and nodded. Cobra fished out more throwing knives that were of a low quality, practically trash-tier, and began throwing them non-stop towards the monster's soft spots.
Kiran stomped on the ground and thrust his hands forward, creating a slight shockwave that sent dust flying forward. It was a crude attempt at a smokescreen that wouldn't work in real life, but like the Lady Boss said, such marvels were possible in this magical world.
Boyd and Uno hadn't learned as quickly as Cobra and Kiran did. They were convinced that their combo of defender and attacker would be enough to wear down the monster.
Uno placed his tower shield before him and braced himself to deflect the attacks like Draco taught him. When the Pangolin's claw connected with the metallic protective cover, it scrapped deeply into it, almost reaching Uno who was behind it.
He was so spooked that he almost screamed like a little girl. The force of the attack also rendered his arm numb, making it hard to align the shield into the way of the next swipe attack.
Boyd roared and swung his large poleaxe down onto the arm of the Pangolin. His common tier poleaxe only left a while line on the skin of the Pangolin. Still, it reeled back in pain and glared at Boyd because even though the cutting aspect of the attack was useless on its hide, the force from the swing itself caused tremendous pain.
His power packed swing had only dealt 25 damage to the Pangolin, only serving to make it angrier. It ignored Uno and swiped at Boyd, who placed his poleaxe in front of himself like a shield.
Boyd was confident in this poleaxe because it had even defended against those bears in the Ursa's Cave dungeon. There was no way this Feral Pangolin could be stronger than a bear!
Boyd was right, but the problem was that these Pangolins didn't need strength. Their bodies had excellent defense, so they evolved in a way that made their claws sharper than steel.
This proven when the monster dug into the head of the poleaxe, drawing deep and terrifying gashes into the steel. Boyd, shuddered with fear as he leapt back and avoided the follow up swipe attack.
Uno threw his tower shield with all the strength he could muster, allowing it to hit the back of the Pangolin's head. The monster groaned and clutched it's noggin with pain and muddiness.
He rushed up behind it, roaring as he charged.
Uno used a classless skill of the melee type, which was Shoulder Bash. It was cheap and easy to acquire with the funds they had gotten from multiple first clears, which Draco had divulged to them without thinking twice.
He collided with the poor monster and sent it shuffling forward, almost toppling over on itself. Uno's strength was high, but not high enough to knock such a large and thick monster forward. There were various factors that went into it, like the Pangolin's lowered focus, Uno's heavy armor's weight that bled into his momentum, Uno's momentum itself and the bonuses from the skill.
Riveting Night noticed this from the side and nodded her head secretly. This was more like the Uno she knew. She had been aggrieved by the prowess of these five in her past life, but Uno had been a downright nightmare. In terms of pure combat talent, he was second to only Kiran. Even Kiran's talent was solely due to his lineage, unlike Uno was 100% human.
Riveting Night turned to watch Rina, who was struggling with their own monster. She was auto-casting her basic attack, but the monster just roared through the pain and chased after her. It created a sight that most MMORPG players of the olden days would find familiar, where a player with ranged abilities would have to stay mobile while assaulting a melee enemy.
One of the most classic techniques of RPG games. Rina had no idea what kiting was, but circumstances had forced her to adopt the technique in order to survive.
Riveting Night wasn't being much help, only making sure that the Pangolin didn't get a chance to gnaw on the alluring fire mage easily.
Riveting Night watched them for a bit before switching out with Boyd, fighting a Pangolin with Uno. Boyd and Rina made a terrible combo and Riveting Night had to switch out again with Kiran in order to balance it out somewhat.
They fought like this for a whole quarter of an hour before Riveting Night threw three gleaming throwing knives right into the eyes of the Pangolins, breaching through to the other side. Unlike Cobra, who threw with a typical throwing force of an adult man, Riveting Night threw with her Body of Godliness activated.
It meant all the force in her body was concentrated in the throw, making her projectiles hurtle at scary speeds. With such an effect, even blunt items could turn into the sharpest projectiles, much less an actual sharp weapon.
When the monsters fell to the floor and became motes of pixels, Rina rushed out like a wild animal and grabbed all the coins that had fallen. She didn't even care if she dirtied her robes or her body as she grabbed them shamelessly.
The other four were panting and shaking from the intense fight, but they made doubly sure to look away from Rina, pretending not to know her.
Riveting Night watched this all with amusement before making her point.
"As you can see, you five have no grasp of the utilizations of your skills. Your timing and usage were below trash-tier, falling into the abhorrent category."
Boyd looked at Riveting Night strangely. "I might not be much of an axe user in real life, but I'd say my handling of one wasn't that bad. Also Cobra nd Kiran are adept in their fields of combat, so how could our skills be trash?"
"That is because you do not understand what I'm saying. When I say skills, I do not mean techniques. Those are different and are ruled by separate mechanics." Riveting Night answered while crossing her arms.
"When I say 'skills', I mean your active and passive combat skills. I'm referring to the skills that can only be utilized in the game."
The four of them looked startled because they had never considered it from that angle. They had assumed she was referring to their general combat abilities, not those combat skills they had purchased and learned.
"What's the difference between a technique and a skill?" Kiran asked the most prudent question at the moment.
"A technique is an application of knowledge in any field or from any field that has no assistance by the system." Riveting Answered, turning to Cobra this time.
"For example, Cobra, our ability to throw knives is something we do on our own, without the help of the system, is it not? That is an example of a technique."
She turned to Uno this time. "Uno, when you used Shoulder Bash, that was a skill, wasn't it? You could've just run normally and performed a manual shoulder bash, but you used a skill to do it. Can you describe the difference for your mates?"
Uno was startled at being in the spotlight, but he nodded his head and became quiet. He pondered his words carefully before speaking.
"When charging at enemies myself, it feels normal in the sense that I have to control everything. My speed, my footwork, my posture, my target. However, when using the skill all of that was… automated. It was handled for me and optimized to function at its best within the limits of my strength. That's how I felt."
Riveting Night nodded. "That is the main difference between skills and techniques. One is activated at its optimal form within your limits while the other is manually controlled yourself."
"Which of the two are better?" Rina asked after pocketing the coins quietly.
"Neither. Skills have their advantages and disadvantages and so do techniques. What is most important is the application and timing of both."
Riveting Night started walking again and the Five Generals followed behind. This time, instead of fear and a little bit of dissatisfaction, they followed with respect and familiarity. They had accepted their Lady Boss, eerie as she was, because of her insight and her skill.
"For example, a person might purchase a throwing knife skill while another might spend day and night training to develop the technique. The benefit the skill has over the technique is that it is instantly learned, easily usable and optimized. The con for the technique is that is hard to master, takes a lot of time to learn and might be clunky, depending in the way it was trained."
Riveting Night spawned a throwing knife and used her same throwing method to send her knife piercing through a thick bush that was situated in the plains. The party heard a squeal before a boar waddled out of the bush with the knife in its eye, falling down in death.
"A person with the throwing knife technique has one advantage that the person with the skill would never possess."
"That is the ability to break through their limits. Skills are optimized to bring out the best effect within your stats and general character make-up. Techniques have nothing to do with stats, but your understanding and application. Of course, stats influence them, but not as much as they do skills."
"The key to this lies in balance. I cannot teach you this either, you'll have to learn what skills best suit you and develop or learn techniques on your own. Since techniques require more time, you need to acquire as many skills as possible while you can."
"Demand and supply in this game is ferocious. Skills that could be purchased now at reasonable prices would shoot up in the future. Do you understand?"