The player who received an arrow to the shoulder let out a pained scream that echoed throughout the forest. It seemed that even though he was briefed on the pain synchronisation before starting, he underestimated it and didn't turn it down, thinking he'd handle it as he hadn't experienced pain yet.
This was something he would have learnt if he just did the combat training quest, or even just fell over, as the tutorial slimes didn't hurt when they slammed into you, they were just sentient blobs of jelly.
Two more arrows flew through the air, both successfully pinging the same guy in the back. His group watched as their companion went limp, slumping onto the forest floor, he was now a lifeless corpse.
The other two started to panic, both attempting to dash away from where the arrows were coming from. Arrows were flying towards them, lodging themselves into trees or the dirt near where the two were running to. Eventually their luck ran out, as the smallest of the two had an arrow wedge itself into his Achilles tendon, sending him tumbling forward into the dirt as a wave of pain flooded his body.
Merlin took the opportunity caused by this distraction to observe where the arrows were coming from. Doing so gave him the location of several goblin archers, one of which had steered rather close to him.
Unfortunately, at this time, Merlin didn't have the stats to traverse the forest by jumping from tree to tree, so he was forced to climb down. Utilising his strength, he managed to hold a steady grip on the tree trunk and branches as he slowly climbed down, reaching the forest floor without making a sound.
Merlin drew his blade and began sneaking around to where he last saw the goblin archer. Merlin made sure to veer off from the straight path towards the goblin, circling around the goblin and approaching it from behind rather than the side. This would reduce the risk of him accidentally being spotted if the goblin just so happened to turn and see him as he approached.
Making sure not to draw any attention to himself, Merlin traversed the forest floor, making sure to avoid the dried leaves and twigs that made up a large portion of the forest floor, as any loud noise would scare off his target.
Merlin eventually reached within combat distance of the goblin, who was sneaking behind a bush taking potshots at the two players who were barely stumbling away from the arrows flying towards them.
The goblin seemed to notice something instinctively, its ears popped up and it raised its head, but before it could turn around, a sword pierced through its throat. Merlin used his other hand to cover the creature's mouth before pulling the blade out and stabbing it once more in the heart, finishing it off.
「Goblins remaining: 4」
The last standing player in the three man party turned to look at his teammate who was now screaming in pain while trying to crawl to safety. He was unable to stand due to having an arrow embedded in his Achilles tendon, every time it was bumped a wave of excruciating pain flowed through him once more, causing him to release another terrified howl of pain.
This caused a wave of fear to set in the mind of the player who was yet to be wounded, both his companions releasing deathly wails upon being struck, meaning he'd experience pain if he was attacked too. This fear caused him to abandon his friend, running away into the treeline, believing he'd be safe if he got away.
The default pain synchronisation was changed from twenty percent to five percent in the full release of the game. It was one of the biggest issues voiced by the beta testers, besides not knowing what to do within the game at first, which was also addressed in the full release.
People didn't usually enjoy being stabbed, shot or set on fire. Even though it was only twenty percent of the sensation you'd otherwise feel, it was still extremely uncomfortable to downright excruciating based on your pain tolerance.
However, there were also players who purposefully turned their pain settings to the maximum limit of sixty percent, believing that it would make them better players. Unfortunately for them, it didn't.
Those who had never faced any kind of hardship due to their upbringing were typically those who struggled the most in New Genesis. Their pain tolerance was typically low, they on average had a severe lack of ability to do arduous tasks, and their inflated egos caused them to refuse performing any form of menial job.
The man crawling on the floor watched his companion's back get smaller as he ran into the forest, leaving him helpless and covered in dirt. The only thing he could do was lay there cussing his companion out, his loud wails echoed through the forest.
Several goblins equipped with sharpened sticks surrounded the man laying on the floor. The man was helplessly flailing his sword at the goblins, but it was a short lived struggle as one of the goblins stabbed its stick through the man's arm, pinning him to the forest floor. The goblins laughed maniacally as the man screamed for help, one goblin walked on top of the man and stepped on his head, pushing it into the dirt.
Suddenly, an arrow was let loose from the bushes, piercing through the throat of the goblin standing on the man. This caused the goblins to shriek in alarm, as the goblin that was hit staggered backwards, almost tripping over the player it was walking on.
The goblin fell to its knees as its knobby green hands were wrapped around its own throat, trying to stop the black blood from leaking out. Another arrow flew through the air, wedging itself in the goblin's chest, the goblin's corpse went limp and fell on the player, the oily black blood spilling out everywhere.
「Goblins remaining: 3」
Merlin slung the goblin's bow over his shoulder and then dipped behind cover as two goblins started running towards his position. There was another archer goblin close by, he wanted to deal with that one first. Merlin backed away and dashed back into the forest, he didn't prioritise stealth this time, but he still limited the sound he was making where he could. Eventually his eyes locked on a small green creature moving in the distance.
Merlin weaved through the treeline, he was slowly catching up to the goblin. Merlin was roughly twelve metres away by the time the goblin eventually noticed him. The goblin started inhaling dramatically, this was the sign that it was about to call for reinforcements.
Merlin who was quickly closing the gap, reached down grabbing a handful of loose soil as he ran. When Merlin entered combat distance with the goblin, he shoved the handful of dirt in the goblin's mouth, muffling its cry.
A notification window appeared in Merlin's peripheral vision, but Merlin was currently too preoccupied to deal with it.
Merlin thrust his dagger into the Goblins throat, its pained growls were muffled by the dirt. Merlin slashed the goblin once more, the goblin attempted to block the slash with the flimsy crude bow, only to have it sliced in half, followed by its neck.
「Goblins remaining: 2」
Merlin looked at the previous notification he received.
「You've been granted the title, "Resourceful Fighter. (Beginner)"」
Merlin was surprised, he didn't think he'd earn this title so early, but when he remembered his time in the tutorial stage it made sense.
This title was earned by fighting dirty, such as using the environment to your advantage, like throwing grass to block an enemy's field of view, throwing sand into a creature's eyes to temporarily blind it, or shoving dirt into a creature's mouth to stop it from casting.
There were plenty more things you could do to earn this reward, and most players earned it at some point, especially when testing out the game's degree of freedom. It only required a couple of actions to earn the first one, but this was a growth type title, so upgrading it was more difficult as each subsequent upgrade had larger requirements.
Merlin checked his new title.
[Resourceful Fighter. (Beginner)]
Some may say you fight dirty, you say it's just called fighting smart.
• Wisdom: +1
Upgrade Requirements: Resourceful Fighting (0/50)
Merlin swiped the notification box away when he heard the sound of footsteps closing in. Merlin grabbed the crude arrows from the archer's quiver, dumping them in the quiver he stole from the last archer that was strapped to his back.
Merlin wiped the black oily blood from his sword before sheathing it, and then he started climbing the thick tree, perching himself on a branch several metres above the goblin's corpse. As Merlin grabbed the bow he previously slung over his shoulder, two goblins entered his vision.
The two goblins caught a whiff of blood in the distance and started moving towards it, eventually noticing the corpse of the goblin Merlin had just finished off.
As the two goblins walked closer to inspect the body, Merlin pulled two arrows out of the quiver slowly, making sure they didn't rattle around and give away his position.
A cheeky grin formed on Merlin's face as he nocked both arrows on the bowstring and aimed directly down, attempting to line up an arrow for each goblin.