Warriors and Champions2
A New Game Part Two
“Hello Ray my name is Mark Rogers”, I couldn’t believe my ears this had to be a dream. “I personally want to invite you to be part of the beta team. I have watched many tournaments and national championships and I am very impressed with your skill level. Do you want to be part of this beta?”
I don’t know how my voice sounded if it was shaky, excited, nervous, or a combination, “Yes sir I accept your invitation.”
“I am glad to hear it Ray, later on today you will receive an email which will contain a code that will give you access to the game. Have a good day Ray and welcome to the team.”
I hung up the phone my hands still shaking and my heart pounding in my chest. This summer vacation just got better and more exciting than I could have ever imagined. I went back to my room and got ready for the day and kept checking my email every five minutes. A few hours later I checked my email and saw that the code had arrived. I clicked on the link and started to register for the beta. I barely finished the registration process when I heard a knock downstairs.
It was Bobby stopping by to say goodbye. “Well Ray I will see you in a few weeks.”
“Bobby you will never guess what just happened to me.”
“Uh I don’t know you dyed your hair.”
“No I got invited to be a beta tester for Warriors and Champions!”
“No way, man your vacation is going to be a lot more fun than mine will be. While I am out seeing sites you will be playing the next great game.”
“Yeah Mark said that he has watched me play in some of the tourneys and championships and…”
“Wait a minute Mark as in Mark Rogers the CEO of SK? Holy cow dude, I thought that they would just send out emails to people I never thought that he would do it so personally. Man your vacation is so much better than mine. Have you started yet?”
“No I just finished registering for it. I hope to start soon though.”
“I bet. Well have fun Ray and make sure you remember everything about the game because I will be asking about it when I get back.”
“Will do Bobby and make sure you take plenty of pictures since I will be forgetting what the sun looks like.” We said goodbye and he went to the RV and I went back inside to start playing.
The first part was choosing my character. I usually liked creating a character based off of me, including looks that was close as I could get. My play style was typically one of the sniper or ranger style. I prefer to kill my opponents at long range instead of close quarters like a tank would do. I chose a male character with brown hair and green eyes and a more medium build that would be fitting of a ranger class. I then looked through the different factions that could be chosen to be with. The two main ones were from the trailer however there were others including two mercenary factions. I was impressed with the detail that was given about each faction along with their respective histories and back stories. In addition it also talked about how each one interacted with the others and if they considered the others friend or foe.
SK had really put a lot of thought into their new game. I could only imagine how their plan of having the fans decide the fate of the land would be like. I decided to go with one of the smaller factions that were more on the good side of the charts. I usually went neutral good as my alignment. I was now ready to start my campaign. I pressed the continue button and was immersed in the beauty and majesty of Warriors and Champions.
The graphics of the intro were breathtaking and mind boggling it was if they had actually filmed the intro in real life. It started off with a prologue: ‘It was seventy years after the last battle that consumed the land and for seventy years peace spread abroad but lurking in the shadows evil waited to spread again. Astoroth also known as the Red Dragon gathered darkness and evil to him and waited for the right time to strike. And so began the War of Astoroth.’ Then the screen showed the armies of Astoroth spreading across the world setting it into darkness again. The armies of King Gwatkin marched to meet the armies of Astoroth in a mighty battle and the screen turned black again.
‘You have wandered into this new land only to find it engrossed in war and it is your choice to fight for either side and determine the land’s fate. You still have your first bow and a small dagger as weapons. Now Warrior it is time to decide your own fate to stay a Warrior or become a Champion.’
I found my character surrounded by forest and heard a small stream somewhere up ahead. I looked at my menu and went through my abilities tree and mapped out what my tree would be like. I also saw how much experience I needed to level up and what my current abilities were. I explored what the buttons were and what they did and I also looked to see if I could hot key my abilities and actions.
After spending some time learning the controls and getting the feel of how my character moved I looked back at the land and saw that indeed the environment was changed even the few arrows that I had shot were still in the trees. I made a few notes how some of the movements and controls were still a bit buggy. I started to explore the map and expand what I could see on the mini map. I soon found myself fighting against a pack of wolves and with only a bit of health left I killed the last one. I ate some food and set out again.
Just like a typical RPG every enemy is a challenge when first starting out. Although this game was a bit more challenging then some of the others I played. I really had to use my head and think about the battle.
I opened more of my map and gathered more supplies by finding random chests and soon I was almost at my carrying limit. I was mainly glad that I had found some health potions and some more arrows. I fought some more enemies and finally leveled up and it didn’t take me long to spend my points since I had already mapped out what I was going to do. One of the first perks I got was to roll while still having my bow drawn. This would really come in handy when I was outnumbered and needed to maneuver a lot. A couple of days had passed in game when I finally reached Norshire, the small village I chose to be a champion for.
I walked in the village and talked to a few NPC’s to get a better notion of the village. I learned that the Governor’s name was Bryon and that the town had a very small guard led by an outsider named Rayner. Astoroth’s rage had yet to enter their land and most of the villagers hoped that they would be left alone from both sides since they were a small and obscure village.
I made my way to see the Governor when I got stopped by Raynor. “I have yet to meet you stranger. Tell me what you are doing here.” I read through my options and chose to say that I was a wanderer. “You have chosen the wrong land to wander through because right now we are in the middle of a war. A war that will destroy this peaceful village when it reaches here. The townsfolk hope that the war will pass over and the Governor is trying to keep up the hope but he and I both know that war and destruction are inevitable. My guards are good but few in number and they will all perish in the war. If I were you I would leave and return to where you came from and leave those that are doomed to death to die alone.” I then chose the speech option that let me say that I wanted to be part of the town’s guards and wanted to aid in the war.
“If you are so inclined stranger I will not decline a strong arm as long as it is strong. Tell me your name stranger.” I told him my name and he started to lead me to meet the Governor. As I was being led through the town I noticed that it was in desperate need of repair and maintenance and realized that the game was also going to have an economic aspect of it. Although I didn’t care for economics in games it wasn’t much of a strain to do just mainly tedious.
I was hoping that the game wasn’t going to focus a lot on the economics like some others games but I had a feeling that this wasn’t going to focus mainly on fighting since the game was designed to change the layout and destiny of the entire land. And thanks to my gaming experience I knew just how to raise money in the early stages of my games. I always liked to level up as high as I can go both in experience and money before I get far in my game. I always liked to have a very big advantage in the later parts of the games by having money to spare and more experience than I knew what to do with.
I found myself face to face with the Governor. “Rayner tells me you want to join his ranks for the impending war. Although I doubt how much one more person can do to save my people I do thank you for your service and accept your help.” I was hoping that I would have a conversation choice but there was nothing and Byron left me and Rayner alone. “Well that does it for today, you can go to the inn and rent a bed for tonight and tomorrow morning you will meet me in front of the barracks and we will discuss your training and room and board with us.”
Rayner then left and I was able to explore the town freely. As with all other games I play I like to map out the world personally and get a feel of where stuff is and the easiest ways to get there. I found a general store and went in to see what they had and to sell stuff I had collected.
Since I was a low level I didn’t get very good selling prices but at least I was able to get some money and decrease my inventory for more important items. I then started to collect better arrows and bought a better side weapon. It was a low level short sword but had a better reach and damage points than my dagger. I then left the store and went to the inn and rented my room. The screen just went dark and soon I was standing in front of the bed and I went out of the inn.
The first person I saw was Rayner and said that Byron’s daughter was missing in the forest and we needed to find her. I should have seen this one coming since one of the first missions is something like this so the people can see your skill. I followed Rayner and soon we found Byron’s daughter fending herself against some bandits. I drew my bow and used the few good arrows I had and before Rayner could attack the last bandit was attacking me and I switched to my short sword and finished him off. The daughter ran to Rayner and he led her to me. “I thank you for helping me save Lizeth from harm and I am sure she feels the same way.” I chose the speech option saying I did what I had to do.
I was amazed at the beauty that the animators had done with Lizeth. She had long flowing red hair and what appeared to be blue eyes. Every part of her was beautiful and I was a bit jealous of my character that he could be standing right next to her and I could only see what the game allowed me to see. It was a bit pathetic I was starting to fall for a computer and knew that I needed to get some sleep since it was now four in the morning. I saved the game and turned it off and went to bed.
I got up around ten and after getting ready for the day played more of my game. After saving Lizeth, Rayner helped me train and I increased my archery skills and leveled up a lot. I was also able to increase my one handed skill and was quite proficient in one-hand combat but I preferred archery. After getting to level thirty-five I was able to choose a quest where I could obtain one of the most powerful bows in the game.
However, I could only obtain it if I did everything correctly and never died. If I messed up just a little bit I would not be able to get the bow until I was almost level sixty. This was a huge risk where I could waste hours of my time if I failed. And knowing SK Studio’s reputation they loved to do these types of perks but made it very difficult to do. To date there were only five people to ever finish one of these quest types before and I could never make it pass the first challenge. My heart started to pound and my fingers ached from playing for a long time with very little rest in between my sessions.
I also hoped that there was no bug in this quest since this was their beta and SK probably didn’t spend a lot of energy trying to find the bugs of this quest during the alpha. I went to the menu and read the list of what I needed to do to finish the quest. There were five challenges that I had to do and with each new challenge the difficulty increased exponentially. I don’t know if SK had decided to make this quest easier or if I had gotten better as a gamer but I soon found myself starting the third challenge. I had totally destroyed my former self and was now forty percent done with this quest. However my joy was cut short when I almost messed up the third challenge during the very beginning of it.
I then understood that my gaming experience had increased but SK had not decreased the challenge of their quests. It took me several minutes to get my hands to stop shaking. I slowed my breathing back down and un-paused the game. I finally managed to barely finish the third challenge and wondered if I could even make it halfway through the fourth.
I knew that this would push me over my limits as a gamer and would either make or break me as one. This was now not only a quest to retrieve a bow but a quest to create a true gamer of myself. This was now the only thing I cared about finishing I needed to know how good I really was. I had to use every bit of cunning and skill I possessed and almost slipped up many times but I finally was able to make it to the last challenge.
During my quest I had traversed over most of the land in game and met many people both good and bad. I was mainly glad that those people only saw me as an outsider and never knew about my alliance with Byron and his people. During all of my conversations I made sure to keep them out of the conversations. So I remained an outsider but a powerful outsider. There were many people that wanted me to align with them even the King wanted me to join his ranks.
My last challenge would lead me close to the lands of Astoroth and would have me face a mysterious presence. As I walked closer and closer to the lands of Astoroth I saw how much the landscape changed. I was amazed at how much detail the animators had put into the landscape. I saw the gradual decay of the greenery and soon the land was very brown and sickly looking. SK had really done a good job at creating a powerful mood and feel to the land and I knew that Astoroth had to be defeated and the land restored to its true beauty and I would increase my gaming skills to make sure that I could defend the land from other gamers that liked to play the evil alignment. I was soon awakened from my midgame dream by narrowly dodging an arrow shot from behind me.
“I have been watching you for a long time stranger and have found you worthy to face me to see how worthy you really are. If you can defeat me you will prove your worth and you will have my bow to show your worth to the world. Now face me.” A mysterious voice said coldly.
I looked behind me and something white hide behind a stone pillar. I looked all around me and saw that I was in an old outside temple of sorts and also saw that I was in the middle surrounded by pillars. I dodged another arrow and nocked my own. I moved to a pillar and started to sneak from pillar to pillar hunting my hunter. If I made a single mistake the hunter’s retribution would be swift. I saw something move but held my bow low and moved in the opposite direction and fired behind me and nocked another arrow. I was running full speed and realized what I was doing I was running into a trap! The person was above the whole time making a fool of me. I stopped behind a pillar and saw a white cloak directly in front of me on the opposite side of the temple.
I then knew what I could do to stop the game of cloak and dagger. However I had never been able to successfully execute my planned move. It was a series of precise moves where my character shoots rapidly and can allow me to lead a target to a place where I lay in wait to catch them. I have to time my presses of the buttons and hot keys to do it correctly. I wanted the person to stay still and keep their eyes off of me and only focus on dodging my attack. And since a straight line is the quickest way to get to from one point to another I would use the pillars to ricochet my arrows.
I sat straight in my chair and got my hands to the ready right next to the appropriate keys and started my attack. I started running right at my target shooting to the left and right of me and then midway through changed my plan and shot at the cloak and pinned it into the pillars and shot at my target’s shoulders.
I climbed up the pillar and knocked the hood off the person’s head with my bow but her lower face was covered by a white scarf. Her eyes were very fierce and wanted to kill me but she spoke instead. “You stranger have proven your worth and I will hold up the end of my bargain.” She ripped her cloak free of my arrows and stood up with her bow handed out to me. “Take my bow and show the world that you are the best marksman in the land. Now it is your turn to take on this bow and increase your skill to a place that it could never go without it.” I took the bow and saw my experience shoot up and my archery skill maxed out. The wind picked up and the cloaked woman vanished with the wind.
I couldn’t believe it I had finished one the greatest quests that SK Studio’s had ever made. I was now one of six people to complete one of these quests. And not only had my levels increased dramatically because of the quest, I was now level fifty, but my gaming experience increased like I could never before have imagined. I looked in my inventory and saw that I had also gained two very different sets of arrows. One set was meant to be used against Astoroth and the other was meant to be used against the King and all other good people. I started back to Byron and his people. I cut directly south for awhile swimming through marsh land and going through thick forests and then I started southwest and came to an old ruin.
There was something glowing in the middle and I got out my new bow and readied an arrow in case. I went right up to the middle of the ruin and saw a small pedestal with a spinning glowing cube floating above it. There was an option to interact with it and after doing a quick save I had my character touch it.
My screen went white and the light gathered into a ball and started to speak. “Hail Hero of Norshire I am an Oracle, a Guide to those who seek me. You have increased in skill like no other person I have ever beheld. When you first started your journey your skill was admirable but now it is one of the best in the world however your mind has not increased. It is still of one of a boy and you need to be a man for there is one that seems like he wants to harm you but is really trying to reach out for a helping hand. Will you be able to see his sadness?
“As you stand now you cannot beat the enemy that holds you captive nor can you heal the wounds in your heart. Come Hero, come and meet your destiny.” The screen turned white again and I was all kinds of confused when the screen got brighter and brighter to the point where I knew that my screen could not generate that much light.
Then I felt my body being pulled towards the light and the light started to swirl and looked like a vortex. A vortex that I was being pulled into I tried to scream for help but I couldn’t make any noise. I put my hands on my desk and tried to push away but the vortex was stronger and soon I lost the fight was pulled into the vortex and I blacked out.
© 2014 RichardBBenson