The transport spaceships landed on the headquarters docks one after another.
As the more than 700,000 Constellation Corridor players stepped onto the headquarters grounds, the millions of army players quickly came. The harbor and the hall were all filled with players. Luckily, the army headquarters satellite was large enough to carry billions of members.
This was the first time players from different Star Fields met outside of professional competitions. Be it the Chinese, Russians, or the Australian players, they all sized each other up in this first meeting.
When comparing the two sides, the difference was obvious.
The equipment on the more than 700,000 Constellation Corridor players varied broadly in terms of color and models, it looked quite messy.
On the millions of army players side, the color of their equipment and weapons were mainly black and silver. Although their equipment models differed, they were not as messy as the Constellation Corridor players. Most of the army players used the few sets of widely recognized army combat armors with the best performances, they looked like an elite military force and looked neat. The individual tiny differences between them were not that obvious. Furthermore, their equipment all had the Black Star Army symbol on them.
After getting down from the ship, some of the more than 700,000 newcomers greeted and talked to the others, some curiously observed and looked around the headquarters, and some went to communicate with the army NPCs. Generally, they scattered around and familiarized themselves with the headquarters.
Vodka and Captain Old Henry brought along their guild officers and looked for the guild leaders of the large Chinese guilds.
While the Long Sky club was in their rented base in the Black Star Army headquarters, the leaders of Sky Territory and Ancient Dynasty, Jade Green Sky and Morning Snow Twilight Frost came to meet the Russian guild officers.
"Its good to see you, my Chinese friends. Im the vice-president of Power And Glory, Vodka."
Vodka and his friends introduced themselves.
"Good to see you too," Jade Green Sky smiled and said, the translation function relayed the meaning of his words to Vodka and the others.
They chatted casually for a while before getting down to business.
"The people above told us to build a guild branch here. Some time ago, the guilds on your side and our side have already contacted each other. The people above said that your guilds would provide us with some help in the early stages"
Morning Snow Twilight Frost smiled and said, "Thats right. If I may ask, how many guild members did you bring here to build your guild branch?"
"I brought 12 guild officers, 150 official members, and 1,200 external members," Vodka said.
The representatives of the other guilds said their numbers too, all were around 1,000. Being an officer or an official member of the large professional guilds was a proper job, they received salaries for playing the game. As for the external players, some of them were casual volunteers and some were similar to studios, they received bonuses from the clubs as well.
"For the thousands of you to start guild branches here, the road ahead is quite tough. You have to start from zero in every aspect. You will need to purchase all kinds of tools, items, carriers, which all require money; its the same for equipment repairs, enhancements, and renewals; building your bases is quite costly as well, and dont forget about the traveling fees to do missions too. Furthermore, you need to search for channels that can provide stable streams of EXP, materials, and money. The earlier you turn losses into profit, the better, right?"
Vodka and the rest nodded continuously. To them, operating the guilds was a job, they were here on a mission. Their job performance depended on how well they operated the guild branch.
Morning Snow Twilight Frost secretly exchanged looks with Jade Green Sky, smiled and said slowly,
"Some time ago, we completed the Black Star Armys main storyline mission [Secret War], many of us obtained the army exclusive honorable title [Secret Warrior]. Anyone with this title can enjoy a 10% off discount on any purchases within the army. Of course, you guys dont have that treatment."
Only the army players who took part in the secret war had such privileges, this was a limited time only title, the players who joined later had no chance to obtain it anymore.
These guilds who had just come from another Star Field knew about this long ago through the forums, of course, they were jealous.
"Yes, we can provide a channel for you to enjoy that discount. We will purchase products from the army at 10% off, and we will sell them to your two guilds at 3% off. Large guilds like us have more than enough funds and Contribution Points to fulfill your mass purchase needs Of course, you can also look for normal players and ask them to help, but theres a risk of getting tricked."
Vodka did not give a response. It was clear that Dynasty and Long Sky were planning to profit from the price difference. As the manager of this guild branch, he had to be calculative.
Compared to purchasing resources from these Chinese clubs, he was more willing to work with reliable normal Chineses players. He could lend their title to purchase at 10% off and give them some resources from time to time, which would be much cheaper than a mere 3% off.
However, Morning Snow Twilight Frost saw right through them and knew exactly what these Russian guild representatives were thinking. He smiled faintly and said, "If you purchase from us, we will provide help to you in other ways too.
"In what ways?"
"For example, quality mission resources, hidden NPC intel, if you accept some kind of high difficulty mission, we can provide manpower to help you, also we can ensure your safety."
"Safety?" Vodkas expression changed. "What do you mean?"
"The Shattered Star Ring is the territory which us Chinese clubs have been operating in since many versions ago. The dozens of large guilds and many more medium to smaller guilds have split most of the quality resources here. As outsiders who suddenly arrived to build your guilds, I cant guarantee no other guilds will have conflicts with you. And if it just so happens that you guys will have to fight guild wars with other local guilds, since youre just a guild branch and have very limited manpower, you will be at quite a massive disadvantage."
One of the goals those guilds which belonged to clubs had was to provide resources for their professional players, and the large guilds of the various nations were each others biggest competitors. There was no way the Chinese clubs here would watch other professional clubs peacefully operate their guild branches here. Their higher-ups have already informed these guilds to think of some ways to restraint the developments of those competitors.
No matter how rich these foreign clubs were, if there were always people disrupting their missions, robbing their resources, and chasing down and killing their members, they would not be able to grow and would always make losses.
What Morning Snow Twilight Frost said was a reminder to Vodka and the others, saying that if they did not pay some "protection fees" to them, there were more than enough people here that could find their troubles.
Of course, the Chinese clubs were not too excessive about it. After all, players from all around the world were watching the situation of these first batch of players who have traveled to another Star Field. As the host, they could not openly bully these newcomers who had absolutely no foundations here. Even though they were competitors, they had to care about how much attention this matter attracted. They did not want the other countries to have a horrible image of the Chinese professional circle, so they still gave a little bit of discount and help, so that it would look like the foreign clubs did not make too much loss on the surface.
The normal players, of course, would not be targeted. However, the clubs of the various nations were first and foremost, commercial businesses. In order for their business to bloom, they had to rely on the glory of their professional players. While they had to make profits, they also had the hopes of the players on their shoulders. Professional players fought in competitions, and they, the official guilds had to fight in the game as well. If the Chinese clubs went to another Star Field to start their guild branches, they would be treated very similarly as well, restricted in many aspects.
Vodka and the others exchanged looks then agreed with resignation. Deep down, however, they did not yield so easily. They secretly decided to look for chances to work with normal players without letting the Chinese clubs know, so they could pay lesser protection fees.
On the other side at the guild base of the Temple of God guild.
The guild president of the other two clubs, Jupiter and Cowherd Star were having a meeting with the Kangaroo Boxing guild branch president, Captain Old Henry, and the other Australian guild representatives. They were discussing the exact same thing as what Long Sky and Dynasty were
The four largest clubs had already made agreements behind the curtains to do the same thing. Compared to their plans, this bit of protection fees were just minor profits.
To the more than 700,000 newcomers, the army headquarters was their new main city.
While they were familiarising themselves with the environment, Han Xiao had returned to the office of the Army Commander. The officers who had been managing the headquarters for the past two months were reporting to him.
Han Xiao leaned on his chair and looked at the group of officers in front of him.
"Hows the army doing while I wasnt here?"
Sylvia took a step forward and reported, "We have digested the gains we made through the last expansions, as well as successfully linked with the business channels of the various allies in the Shattered Star Ring. The Black Star Armys current business range covers more than 10 industries, forming a complete trading system, intelligence system, transportation system, and many others."
Reynold said with a deep voice, "The Logistics Department has built 126 machinery workshop factories in various locations, making rushed orders of more satellite bases. According to the armys future blueprint, we will continue to build more divisions in all the seven Star Clusters and expand our forces."
Herlous nodded and said, "Due to the increase in the number of members and the size of our forces, the armys fleet is expanding as well. The Logistics Departments already have a lot of things on their hands that are yet to be completed, so I made orders with the financial groups were working with and therere new batches of battleships being built every day."
Han Xiao nodded. These were all things he told them to do before he left. He then asked, "Anything else?"
Sylvia said a little awkwardly, "Erm our funds are running out"
Han Xiaos eyes widened. "We have so many businesses, including the resource planet mining rights from many civilizations, how are we lacking money?"
"The cost of expansion was too high. The current maintenance fee of the army is extremely costly, plus the Logistics Department has been producing at full capacity all the time, which is reducing our funds at quite a terrifying speed. Furthermore, its the off-season for trading lately, many of the financial groups working with us have seen decreased sales, so the profit period of the mining of resource planets is extended. Hence, our capital flow is a little tight"
"Did you not look for the Crimson Dynasty and the Purple Crystal Civilizations men and asked them to send funds? Didnt I tell you, that you can look for them whenever were lacking funds if its caused by normal operation?" Han Xiao asked.
"I did" Sylvia replied with resignation, "They did not reject, they just said that they would only do so when you tell them personally. They only recognize you."
"Alright then, Ill contact them later." Han Xiaos mouth twitched. These two only recognized him as their ally, which was unavoidable. Although his army was enormous, its true core was still him.
"One more thing. You told me to gather the teams needed to explore the Flickering World, Ive already done so. Theyre split into many fleets and are now in standby at the various sub-bases in Colton, ready to depart anytime," Sylvia said.
"Good, Zoel will be hurrying me to get going very soon."
Han Xiao gave Sylvia a very satisfied look.
The three of them then reported some of the details. Seeing that Han Xiao had no other orders, they relaxed and started casually chatting.
"Why didnt I see Lagi? Ive returned and my vice-captain isnt here to see me, whats he been busy doing?" Han Xiao wondered.
"Hehe, hes been busy every day, either busy playing cards or busy sleeping!"
Sylvia felt angry whenever Lagis name was brought up. He then gave Herlous a stare and said, "You too. He has been dragging you to play cards every day, why dont you ever reject him?!"
"What do you know about fun between card-mates?" Herlous snorted.
"Dont mention playing cards in front of me." Han Xiao complained. "How has Lagi been teaching Tomar?"
Tomar was a protagonist character he brought back, and Han Xiao did not forget about him.
"I heard hes learning very fast."
Han Xiao nodded, then looked at Reynold and said with anticipation, "What about my godson? Has he shown any special talent in terms of machinery?"
"Err no," Reynold told the truth. "But hes learning very fast too, hes quite talented on the path of the machinery."
Sigh, I wonder if this will help in getting [Perfect Mechanical Sense] Han Xiao waved his hand with resignation.
"Ill bring him out in a few days times, thatll be all."
The three of them nodded and left the room. Han Xiao took out his communicator and contacted the Purple Crystal Civilization and the Crimson Dynasty, successfully requested for funds.
Zoel also reminded him that the Crimson Dynasty was done preparing their exploration team, and told Han Xiao to lead his people to the Flickering Worlds Dawn Star Cluster sometime soon and rendezvous with the dynastys army. By then, they would officially start to explore the Flickering World.
After settling the official matters, Han Xiao then looked at how the 700,000 new players were doing in the armys headquarters.
These Constellation Corridor players were still familiarizing themselves with the headquarters structure and map. Han Xiao had noticed something although these more than 700,000 players have already traveled to another Star Field, they were still posting on their Constellation Corridor forums page out of habit.
Although the players of both sides communicated quite a lot on the forums, only a minority of players interacted with each other in the armys headquarters. Despite all of them being army members, there were still obvious differences between the players of the two Star Fields. They were not completely avoiding each other, but they were basically playing on their owns.
"This wont do" Han Xiao shook his head.
He pondered, then quickly wrote two Faction Missions and gave them out through the faction interface to all the army players.
[[Teach a Recruit] (Repeatable)]
Mission Introduction: The most recent expansion of the Black Star Army has brought back new warriors from another Star Field. The senior members of the army can choose to teach the new members, helping them to get familiar with the tasks in the army quickly.
Mission Requirements: Team up with one or more new warriors (players) from another Star Field and complete any one army mission.
Reward: 100 ~ 300 Black Star Army Contribution Points.
Remarks: Only players who have been in the army for more than a year can accept this mission.
[Consult A Veteran] (Repeatable)
Mission Introduction: As a new member of the Black Star Army, the veterans are the best people to learn from. Go and consult them, let them help you to know more about the army.
Mission Requirements: Team up with one or more senior warriors (players who have been in the army for more than a year) and complete any one army mission]
Reward: 100 ~ 300 Black Star Army Contribution Points.
Remarks: Only players who have been in the army for less than a year can accept this mission.
"Hehehe" Looking at the two missions he had just distributed, Han Xiao giggled mischievously.
After existing for three versions, the armys Contribution Point had already become a key resource that was just as important as Enas, no amount was too much for anyone.
He did not want to players of the two Star Fields to form their own circles. Those club guilds were commercial competitors with each other so there was nothing he could do, but there was definitely something he could do for those normal players. Since they were all here at his headquarters, they were all leeks in the same field. He needed those new and old members to interact with each other and play together.
The social aspect of a game was a key factor in the players game experience!
Since players of both sides were so shy and did not interact with their foreign friends, Han Xiao decided to lure them to socialize.
This would be beneficial for the Constellation Corridor to embrace the armys system. Not only would they be able to adapt to the new environment quicker, but the "Constellation Corridor" tag on those players would also slowly disappear and they would soon just think of themselves as "army players".
This way, the personal connection between the players would become another reason for them to stay in the army. Using players to "attract" players, indirectly enhancing the appeal and sense of belonging of the faction!
Han Xiao suddenly patted his forehead and his expression became weird.
"Why does it feel similar to the oldest profession"