Out of the three main class change trees for the Mechanic class, Cannon Master was the most popular among the players. It served as a reliable ranged attacker. Mechanics and Mechanical Pugilists, due to the early stage of the game, were still quite awkward in a fight. There were close to zero contestants with those two classes.
Mechanics were definitely out of the question, especially when they were a player and did not have access to a vast number of resources that Han Xiao had. Without paying to win, the Mechanics' combat strength was nothing impressive.
Mechanical Pugilists, at this point in the game, were like a weaker version of the normal Pugilists. Moreover, they even had to repair their tools every time the durability ran out. A Pugilist would serve the role of a meat shield much better.
Han Xiao did not agree with this meta. Mechanical Pugilists were actually already pretty strong in Version 1.0. As long as they did not have awful gear, they could easily be both a tank and an attacker. They would also adapt to different environments much easier due to the variety of their equipment. However, the Mechanical Pugilist class did have a higher skill cap then Pugilists as they also had to control their machinery.
The combination of need for good equipment and harder controls meant that there were barely any who chose to play as a Mechanical Pugilist.
Although the Mechanics were quite useful in group matches, they performed poorly in individual battles. Players of the other two classes would often consider themselves lucky if they came up against a Mechanic.
After nearly a thousand elimination rounds, Mechanics had already been defeated sixty-four times, while they had only won eleven times!
Many of the players on the forums had already come to the consensus that Mechanics were not suitable for PVP. After watching several fights himself, Han Xiao understood that, as the Mechanic was a class that would take longer to develop, and also due to the class's demand for skillful controls, it was not a class that suited the PVP scene this early on in the game.
Moreover, most the equipment that the Mechanics made was not high level enough to actually make much of a difference in a fight, especially not when other classes also had access to basic equipment.
The Mechanic class was heavily reliant on the player's equipment, and as new versions of the game were released, players would gain access to better equipment and also reveal the strength of the class.
Today was Frenzied Sword's first time fighting in the tournament. The opponent that he drew against was an Esper. Han Xiao was watching this fight live.
Frenzied Sword was a Mechanical Pugilist and had received a bunch of 'benefits' from Han Xiao—well, gear that he did not need anymore. Frenzied Sword was wearing the Magnetically-Controlled Retractable Armor and also had the Heavy Mechanical Arm attached to his arm. He had also brought with him lots of other spare parts and gadgets, which all hung on his body. He was fully clad in metal, and he gave off a cold glint under the sun, looking like a heavily armored knight.
The opponent was an ice-type Esper. With the wave of his hand, he instantly covered the platform with a thin layer of ice, reducing Frenzied Sword's movement speed while increasing his own.
The Esper was a kiting player, and he then took out an enhanced Assault Rifle and started firing at Frenzied Sword, causing a shower of sparks to burst on Frenzied Sword's armor.
"Ice abilities combined with ranged weapons is indeed a good combo to kite with." Han Xiao nodded.
Firearms and other equipment were available to players of all classes, but without the Mechanic's Machinery Affinity, they could only dish out the base damage with those weapons.
Frenzied Sword moved across the ice as he tried to avoid the spray of bullets. He had very good armor on, so the Assault Rifle was not much of a threat to him. However, the Esper player planned to keep on kiting and slowly whittle down Frenzied Sword's HP.
Bullets landed one after another on the heavy armor, but they suddenly stopped. The Esper had run out of ammo. Just as he was trying to reload, Frenzied Sword took this opportunity and leapt forward with the help of the booster on his legs. His legs exploded off the ground and scattered the ice surface that he was standing on.
Frenzied Sword flew through the air and rapidly closed in on the Esper.
The Esper player hurriedly threw away his Assault Rifle and took off a grenade launcher from his back, immediately firing a shot at Frenzied Sword in midair.
An explosion occurred where Frenzied Sword was, causing a bright flash of light, followed by a cloud of dust that rolled across the platform.
A sound of gears locking into place suddenly came from within the smoke, and a thin metal cable shot out and latched to the Esper player before it rapidly pulled him back to Frenzied Sword.
The two clashed into each other and rolled around on the ground due to the impact. Melee combat was Frenzied Sword's strong suit, and he quickly took care of the Esper after a few exchanging blows.
"Smoke to reduce visibility and increase the hit-chance of the hook." Han Xiao nodded. He had focused on every single detail in the battle. Frenzied Sword was able to use the Mechanical Pugilist's abilities and equipment to a pretty good level, and he could be counted as one of the rarer Mechanic players.
Currently, no single player had reached the point where they were completely invincible. All classes had weaknesses that could be taken advantage of. In the case of the ice-type Esper, Mechanical Pugilists could use their equipment to close in the distance, Pugilists could use Energy Burst or other movement skills, while other Espers also had their own tactics to use.
As he was not popular yet, Frenzied Sword's victory did not garner much attention. Moreover, it was only an elimination round. However, Han Xiao thought that Frenzied Sword had shown a stellar performance in that fight. He just did not know if this Frenzied Sword was as good as the one in the past.
Players from around the planet went all out in the fights, and soon, twenty days had passed. Eighty to ninety percent of the players had been eliminated, and the ones left behind were the cream of the crop.
Frenzied Sword had passed hurdle after hurdle and had not lost a single match up to this point, so more people were starting to pay attention to him. There was an extremely small number of Mechanics who had made it that far into tournament. So, naturally, as a Mechanical Pugilist, Frenzied Sword piqued the interest of many curious players. Most of his earlier matches were replayed by players.
"Is this how Mechanical Pugilists fight? He seems to bring along a lot of equipment. It looks kind of complicated."
"That combo he did with multiple weapons and gadgets looked really cool, but it seems pretty hard to pull off."
"What's so great about this? He just has a lot of good gear. Take away all that equipment and let's see if he can still beat a Pugilist."
"Bruh… why would a Mechanical Pugilist fight with their bare body for no reason?"
The forums were filled with different opinions, but overall, Frenzied Sword had finally made a name for himself. In a tournament filled with Pugilists and Espers, his Mechanical Pugilist class was a breath of fresh air.
However, Frenzied Sword's rising popularity was nothing compared to the current talk-of-the-town, Hao Tian.
As a pro player from Long Sky, Hao Tian had blasted through all his opponents since the first round, and he seemed to be getting stronger and stronger after each fight. His battle team was also taking win after win in the team matches section. Hao Tian seemed like a potential candidate who could carry the future of the Chinese e-sports scene.
Aside from the three core members, none of the other Long Sky players were anything to scoff at. They had great team fights and were able to effectively complement Hao Tian's aggressive playstyle.
On the other hand, the pro players from the other gaming guilds seemed to be hiding their strength, so they were not blasting through all opposition like Long Sky.
Long Sky players demonstrated an overwhelming momentum in both solo and team matches, and they were the player favorite on Planet Aquamarine. Many video streaming channels were also focused on highlighting these players.
Bun-hit-dog's 'Suicide Hosts' team had been eliminated in a single round. Han Xiao randomly watched their match, and his eyes almost burst out of their sockets.
All six members were Cannon Masters. It was a pure ranged DPS team composition… yet they were unluckily placed in a dense forest that did not favor ranged classes at all.
To make it worse, their opponent was a powerhouse team made up of foreign pro players.
They were butchered.
Although Han Xiao knew that they did not have much of a chance in this tournament to begin with, he was still speechless at how bad their luck was.
It seems like Hao Tian has the best chance of getting a good score. Frenzied Sword's performing well in his solo matches, but his team's performance is rather subpar, and they're barely surviving in the tournament…