Stunned and somewhat dejected by the awful turn of events, Quill just sat quietly in his seat, mind mulling things over, while the players around him shouted and cried, fought and swore. Eventually, most people drifted out of the stadium and into the city. As the crowd thinned, Quill eventually stood. He looked around, then down at himself. Still naked. He should probably do something about that. After living in Asia for years and taking a lot of public baths, where everyone was nude, he wasn’t nearly as bothered by public nudity as he had been before going to Japan. Still, probably best to observe the social niceties.
He’d been sitting fairly high up in the stands. Behind him, on the rim of the stadium, were flagpoles, as he’d noticed earlier. More to the point, there were flags, and he could use one to cover himself up.
Enduring several jeers and laughs from players making their way past, he scaled the flagpole and tore off the flag. It was mostly red and turned out to have the symbol for some class he didn’t recognize. Folding the large flag in two, he wrapped it around his waist like a towel. The fabric was very thin, but at least his manhood was appropriately hidden from view.
Following the others, he, too, filtered into the streets outside the stadium. With no goal in mind, he aimlessly wandered, taking in the scenery. it continued to awe him. The attention to detail was phenomenal. He now understood the rage over full-dive gaming and why beta testers for Golden Impact had been so excited. He really did feel like he was in some old German or Swiss city.
Strolling down streets at random, he found himself entering a very large plaza on the edge of town. Two sides of the plaza were formed by towering city walls of curved gray stone, with a tall gate in the middle. The portcullis was up and there were a couple of players looking through the gate at the open world beyond.
The plaza was busy and a lot of players mulled around, talking and thinking, for good reason.
In the center of the plaza stood two circular portals: one fiery red and one swirling blue. Above each was a name. For red, Crimson Legion: Alko’zar. For blue, Azure Alliance: Stormstadt. Above both portals, in large, glowing red letters, was the phrase, Choose Your Faction.
As Quill had surmised, the players would be split into two camps: red and blue. He could readily enough guess that this was the city of Stormstadt and that the red portal would take him to the other main player city, Alko’zar. He watched as a couple of people emerged from the blue portal into Stormstadt. However, a goodly number more players from this side were streaming into the red portal. And a look around told him why.
The plaza was ringing with statues, each about ten meters tall. On the Azure Alliance side they were of white marble with gold veins. On the Crimson Legion side they were black marble with ruby veins. Each statue represented a player class, and they were animated. Closest to Quill, a male fighter in studded mail swung his sword and then pulled back, and as he did, he transformed into a female fighter, who made her own lunge with a two-handed claymore.
A quick glance at the circle of statues revealed a simple truth: The Azure Alliance’s classes were kind of classic and the Crimson Legion’s classes were way cooler.
The Azure Alliance classes included alchemical fighter, paladin, cleric, tattooed ranger, druid, elemental mage, robinhood monk, and artist.
The Crimson Legion classes included berserker, death knight, blood priest, demonic hunter, shifter, warlock, rogue, eldritch terror.
Not only did the Legion have cooler names and styles, it seemed likely that many of their classes would be superior in PvP and probably had open world advantages, too. This was no surprise, as the imbalance between factions had been a long standing issue throughout the history of World of Fantasy. If anything, it might have gotten worse.
Choosing a faction, and your eventual class, would be one of the first and most important decisions of the game. Whichever role you chose to play would determine abilities, who you played with, and how you advanced. And if people were really trapped in here and needed to clear the game to get out, players likely only got one shot at this decision.
He strolled along the statues, reading the info cards hovering at the foot of each.
For the Azure Alliance:
Alchemical Fighter – The tough, hard-hitting core of any offence, fighters are experts in many melee weapons, using unique potions to grant themselves temporary abilities. Abilities include: dual wield, battle potion creation, elemental infusion for weapons, enemy specialization, and more.
Paladin – Those who protect, paladins are a noble class of those who live to serve bring light to a world too often in shadows. Abilities include: spells of protection, counter damage (placeholder text)
Cleric – Spell casters of divine magic, clerics weave unparalleled healing and cleansing spells. Abilities include: healing, AoE healing, damage vs undead, resist disease, cleanse curse, and more.
Tattooed Ranger – Ranged attackers that bring death from the skies, rangers cover their bodies in intricate tattoos with mystical powers that can give their arrows newfound effects. Abilities include: tattooing, elemental infusion for weapons, enemy specialization, enhanced travel speed, and more.
Druid – Bonded to the goddess of nature, druids resonate with plants and animals of the wild and wield primal magics. Abilities include: minor healing, healing over time, the ability to shift into other humanoid forms (bee [flight], dryad [magical], merperson [swim], treant [defence], red 9-tailed panda [speed and agility], gold dragon [placeholder text]), and more.
Elemental Mage – Mastery of the magical arts flows through their dextrous fingers, giving them the ability to shape the world around them, or to bring unparalleled destructive force, according their element. Abilities include: elemental specialization, spellcasting, teleportation, and more.
Robinhood Monk – Trained as heroic warriors from a young age, robinhood monks fight with both fists and heart, with a generosity that often earns them the gratitude of the populace. Abilities include: elemental specialization, donation, skin hardening, stamina regeneration, and more.
Artist – Mysterious or legendary, their unique skills can bring victory in all sorts of surprising ways. Abilities include: (placeholder text)
For the Crimson Legion:
Berserker – Fierce fighters with unrivalled brute force and tenacity, they fly into rages that sacrifice their own health in order to dramatically enhance their attributes and damage. Abilities include: extra attacks, enhanced critical damage, raised max HP, health regeneration, and more.
Death Knight – With the ability to become immortal just shy of death, they can drain the very life of their foes in order to restore themselves. Abilities include: life drain, immortality, elemental specialization, and more.
Blood Priest – Great healers, blood priests also specialize in causing damage over time with poisons and diseases. Abilities include: offensive spellcasting, healing, and more.
Demonic Hunter – These wild killers have the unique ability to switch between ranged and melee weapons in an instant and to infuse their tools with demonic energy that paralyzes those they wound. Abilities include: dual weapon class, paralyzing, enhanced attack speed, and more.
Shifter – Animalistic warriors, shifters regain health by devouring their enemies on the battlefield and can assume a variety of forms for any occasion. Abilities include: shapeshifter (were-wolf [speed], were-bear [defence], were-tiger [power], were-tentaculous [multi-armed and poisonous], were-griffon [flight]), and more.
Warlock – Warlocks make dark pacts with demons and divine entities which grant exotic abilities, such as bonding demons to their side, and can specialize in two different magical elements. Abilities include: elemental specialization (2), demon pact (slavering abomination [tank] or succubus/incubus [life stealer]), and more.
Rogue – Thieves and assassins, these deadly foes rule the night and strike from the shadows into the backs of their enemies. Abilities include: backstab, stealth, steal, lock pick, short-range teleport, and more.
Eldritch Terror – With creepy spells, these necromancers can command hordes of undead, and even bring their downed enemies back to life to fight at their side. Abilities include: undead resurrection, command undead, curse, immortality, decay, and more.