262 Ranking Up 2
What was a class? A class was a special designation by the system that allowed a sapient entity to walk upon a path they chose. There was no being in the Boundless universe that did not have a class.
From a mere farmer to a king, everyone had a class. There were more classes than there were strands of wool on a sheep.
Some classes were archetypal, or common. Swordsman, mage, rogue, shield bearers, clerics, druids, etc. Every other class was a variation of one or more of these, and could trace their roots to them.
Classes were diverse because sapient beings were also diverse. A sign of sentience and cognition was individualism. Instead of obeying nature strictly, or thinking with the community at heart, a sapient being prioritized itself first.
They wanted to be different, to stand out from their peers. As such, their life choices tended to drift, leading to diversity in classes among them. Out of 7 people you would pick on the street, 4 would have archetypal classes while 3 would have variant classes.
What then, was a variant class?
A variant class was a sufficiently unique class that had some or all of the features of an archetypal class. It might even combine some features of two archetypal classes, but it would have stronger limitations.
So, what counted as a variant class? The spellblade, the assassin, the beserker, the mage guard, the pyromancer etc. They were all common classes that were variants of the main ones.
So then, what was the difference between classes? The key aspect of a class was, naturally, its Rank. This was not something one could check unless they were ranking up or they were changing into a new class.
A Common Rank class would have a higher difficulty increase of ranking up. So, for going to Rank 2, it might still just be 100% difficulty, yet for going to Rank 3, it would be 200% and so on.
An Epic one would have lower difficulty increase when ranking up, with 50% going to Rank 2 and 70% at Rank 3 etc.
If this was such, then how could players or NPCs be trapped at Ranks? Just get an Epic or higher class before you Rank Up? How could they be so incompetent to fail at doing this and then complain that it was too hard?
Well, what was the use of Ranking things? Why was something Common Rank while something else was Rare Rank? Was it because of its power?
That was partially it. But the main thing about the ranking was that it was denoting its rarity! The higher the Rank, the harder it was to acquire the subject matter in question.
So, if more than 90% of players (and NPCs) had been assigned Common Rank archetypal/variant classes, it made sense that very few would climb up the Ranks. It also made sense why those who had the skill or drive to Rank up would be bottlenecked by their class.
A class at a certain Rank was harder to acquire than an item at the same Rank. Before Shuro came along, such things were nothing but a pipe dream for Draco.
In the old timeline, he had gone a solid 15 years relying on the Rare Rank Avenger class, and Eva on her Rare Rank Shadow Assassin class.
The first few Ranks were a relative breeze until Rank 4, when things became challenging. So, they began researching on Optimal classes and how to increase their chances of breaking through.
However, even if they discovered how, none dared to. Boundless was a game where players weren't cradled like babies. Players were like young cubs sent into the jungle to survive for themselves.
Especially since that was around the time of Update 4-5. Who would dare to weaken themselves in such troubling times?
So, how did one acquire a class in this game then?
The mainstream method was to allocate stat points based on one's preference and acquire a class upon reaching Rank 1, level 10.
The AI had already calculated all the possible combinations of stats a person could make, as well as attached classes to stat allocations that fit the criteria.
No matter how clever you thought you were here, the AI was cleverer than you. There was even a system by which a player could gain the Optimal trait for their class should they acquire an extra stat point and allocate it into the class' main stat.
For the Avenger class, it had been 1 more stat point into Dexterity. For the Shadow Assassin, it had been the same.
Naturally this brought up another question. What were Hidden Classes? How did they fit into all the factors and criteria stated above?
A Hidden Class was a unique designation that could only be acquired through a very specific allocation of stat points.
For a normal class, the allocation had margins of error. So, if you got the allocation right for the cleric class but placed one more point into Intelligence than Spirit, you would still be able to get the class.
Hidden Classes had no margin of error! If you made this same 1-point mistake with a Hidden Class, it was gone for good. You would be allocated a Common class that was close enough to the allocation.
Out of 95 million players now, only about 10% had stumbled upon Hidden Classes! Even then, most of the newbies who got it relied on walkthroughs as well as guides of Boundless put on the internet by 'experts' - read here as idiots, as they would regret that later - so they were able to plan their path forward.
However, there were other subtler things that could influence one's class allocation.
A Hidden Class was acquired through using the mainstream method, but were there no other methods to gain a class? As the name implied, it was actually a subset of classes that were hidden in the world of Boundless that one could theoretically find.
The easiest way would be to use a scroll, yet there had been rumors about special NPCs that allowed one to try out these class change quests as well and sometimes one could stumble upon an inheritance of said class.
Such classes directly displayed their Rank and their means of acquisition was hard. Draco had to pay tens of thousands of platinum for the three Legendary classes that Sublime and co were able to enjoy.
Even then, success wasn't guaranteed unless the player was truly destined for it. That was why Draco had carefully chosen people he knew would fit the class well, as they had the talent to manage them.
So, what about mainstream classes? Was it possible to gain a high Rank class through stat point allocation?
This bled into the thing that influenced a Hidden Class and what exactly a Hidden Class was. A Hidden Class was basically acquiring a higher than Common Rank class through the mainstream method.
So even the shittiest Hidden Class was Uncommon Rank. They varied in power based on their Ranks and allocations, so it was up to the user to make the most of it.
Of the 10% of players who had Hidden Classes, 99% of them had Uncommon classes. Only a rare few like the core members of Umbra or legend-tier players had them.
To get a Hidden Class above the Uncommon Rank, extra steps were needed. One needed three more things apart from stat point allocation, which were skills, equipment and physique.
In essence, to become an Avenger, one would have to have at least 1 Avenger skill before level 10, as well as two swords and medium armor.
When Draco had the choice of any three Uncommon skills with the Master Package, why hadn't he taken a healing skill or something? Why did he choose three Avenger skills when he could find ways to acquire them later on?
It was to maximize his chances! He only had one Common Avenger skill in the previous timeline and even that was a drop gained through utter dogshit luck.
The same logic applied to Eva, though she had a master package in the previous timeline obviously, so hers wasn't a case of luck rather than wealth.
So, a person like Slim Fatty who had started with a basic package could certainly not acquire a Sword Saintess class skill because who even knew what that was, and it was a Semi-Epic class.
However, she had the relevant equipment and physique for the class, so she was perfect. Draco had the skills and equipment for the avenger class, but not the physique, but he still got it.
A class was very important to the growth of a player or an NPC in this world. Changing a class was akin to changing one's race, a very fundamental change.
So, when Draco appeared in a realm that was like an astral plane, he was suitably impressed. It was like he was standing in space, with only distant yet brightly lit heavenly bodies all around him.
There was an incorporeal platform beneath him that seemed like a transparent mirror, but it was firm and sturdy enough to walk on without fear.
Just as Draco was examining the place like a country bumpkin entering the city for the first time, a warning appeared before him.
｢System to Player Announcement
Beginning Paragon of Destruction Class Up Procedure. Standby.｣
Before Draco could add anything, like how he felt about the matter, there was a light tremor on the world. A slight hole opened at the 'ceiling' of this realm, and a person glided down from it.
He was truly magnificent. His body was a healthy tan while his physique was similar to the current Draco, compact and sculpted by the finest artist. Strangely, he only wore what looked like a black curtain that was wrapped around his waist, reaching down to his knees.
He was barefooted, which was even stranger, and he wore nothing on his torso, leaving his abs on display.
His face was angular and even sharper than Draco's, which made him far handsomer than Draco, a feat many would cry was impossible. His nose was small and his lips were then, bearing a soft pink color.
His golden hair was another thing that captured Draco's eye, because it was like a long glowing snake that slithered upwards. It had a light blonde aura around it too, adding to the magic of his get up.
｢Paragon of Destruction – Divine Class Up Procedure
Description: As a being of Destruction with an incredibly pure and potent foundation as well as bloodline, clear the objective of the procedure in order to succeed.
Rewards: Divine Class - Paragon of Destruction｣
After reading this, Draco was confused. Why wasn't the objective shown? Normally for things like this, it would be as clear as day. How was he supposed to clear this if he didn't even know what the fuck he was supposed to do?
At this moment, the man who came through the 'ceiling' of the realm spoke after sizing up Draco for a bit.
"A human? No, something more. You have more than half of this universe's Origin Essence flowing through your soul. Interesting."
His voice was sharp and commanding, possessing so much confidence and trust in himself that it made one feel as if he was right even when he was wrong.
Draco frowned as his eyes narrowed. What was this about Origin Essence and the universe? He had none of those things in Boundless. If he had even a sliver of Origin Energy anywhere, the AI would have vanquished him already.
However, Draco finally noticed something important that he failed to see earlier when his attention was stolen away by the notification.
It was the strange fellow's eyes! They were a beautiful shade of scarlet, and a small circular pulse could be seen emitting from his pupil towards the edges of his iris.
Draco's heart chilled at this very moment because those were the same eyes, he saw in the mirror in Boundless, the very same eyes he had currently.
｢Name: Caelo – Supreme God
｢System to Player Announcement
The objective of the Paragon of Destruction Class Up Procedure has been set. Player Draco must survive against Caelo, God of Destruction, for approximately 10 seconds to clear this task.｣