There were three groups of beta testers. The first group were casual gamers who won their spots from the lottery system, while the second group were professional gamers or prolific personalities for whom a certain number of spots were reserved for. As for the third group of beta testers, they bought their accounts from resellers.
The casual gamer would only be interested in checking out the game, but the latter two shared the same reason for playing the beta: to get a head start.
"This beta test will only last for twelve days in terms of game time. It's quite obvious that doing the beginner quests here is a waste of time, but you should have noticed that we are not forced to do them at all. What we should do is to take advantage of our head start and start exploring this world! We can be the first to discover all of this planet's secrets and treasures."
Frenzied Sword nodded slowly.
As time was indeed limited, to dawdle around in a beginner zone did seem like a waste of precious time. Questing here would certainly give them a level advantage over the newer players, but that would be all.
In contrast, exploring seemed like a more promising - and definitely more fun - option!
"But why would you tell me all this?" he asked.
Sleepy Winter laughed.
"Those big guilds will definitely realize this soon enough. The problem is that they have the advantage in numbers, so they will easily be able to buy the map. What do you say to joining our party? It will definitely make things easier."
Frenzied Sword accepted the invitation without hesitation.
"How are we splitting the cost?" asked Twinkle Fried Rice.
"Since I suggested it, I'll contribute more," replied Sleepy Winter.
"I don't like to owe people, so I'll contribute a thousand," added Rainy Kim coldly. "My part's settled."
She immediately turned around and left to earn money from quests.
Sleepy Winter rubbed his nose bitterly.
'We've known each other for a few years already, why won't you give me a chance'
With the money they earned from questing, the four of them were able to procure the map the following day. Obtaining it cleared some of the fog on their maps, and it also provided basic information on the planet's current situation. They learnt of the Six Nations, the Germinal Organization, and the Revolutionary Army, amongst other factions.
"According to this, the two biggest powers are the Six Nations and the Germinal Organization. The Six Nations seem to have quite a number of training schools and academies. It'll probably be easier to learn a main class there. Let's see... seems like Stardragon isn't a bad choice."
Big Horn Mountain was situated in Stardragon, and the public train station was not too far away.
Sleepy Winter nodded.
"We don't have much time. It'll take about 3 days for us to reach the capital."
Frenzied Sword groaned inwardly. He was starting to regret having joined the party. However, he knew that it was too late for him to chicken out.
The journey could not be skipped, so the party had to sit through the entire 3 days. There were some quests available on the train, but overall, it was not a pleasant trip at all. They did, however, have the forums to stifle their boredom. On the forums, players were posting about their experiences on the different starting zones.
It provided them with much amusement - except for Frenzied Sword, who could not stop worrying about the passing time.
After three days, the train arrived at the Western Capital.
Upon arriving at the great metal fences, each of them received a system message, alerting them of a new explored location.
"So, discovering places gives experience too, huh?"
"This is amazing," gasped Twinkle Fried Rice as he looked around.
Everything was extremely realistic - down to the way that people were casting him strange looks.
The group proceeded to the security checkpoint where they were scanned for weapons.
After passing the check, the guard gave them each a temporary ID card, and they received a system message notifying them that they had unlocked reputation with Stardragon.
Current Relationship: Neutral (Temporary Citizen)
"Shall we continue as a group or go our own ways?" asked Sleepy Winter.
"I'll follow you," replied Twinkle Fried Rice immediately with a grin. The two of them were from the same gaming club.
Rainy Kim also decided to join them as some company was better than none.
"No bullying me," she said flatly.
Sleepy Winter laughed. Unintentional or not, this girl said the cutest things. They exchanged a few more lines before Sleepy Winter finally turned to Frenzied Sword and asked, "What about you?"
Frenzied Sword was furious at being so blatantly overlooked, but he understood that there was no point in forcing himself to tag along.
"No- no need." He waved his hand and stammered, "I prefer playing alone."
"Alright then, good luck!"
As Frenzied Sword watched the trio of gods depart, he mumbled to himself, "Sooner or later, I'll become popular too!"
The Western Capital was obviously a first-class city. Here, there would definitely be plenty of opportunities for him to surpass them and become number one!
Renewed with ambition, Frenzied Sword began to head off in another direction.
Suddenly, he noticed a masked man watching him.
Something about the way the man was looking at him seemed odd. As Frenzied Sword felt a chill run down his spine, he instinctively used the examine function.
Name: Han Xiao (?)
Danger Level: Fatal