VRMMO 003 – Time to finally leave the training field… which is a good thing.

A Certain Middle-Aged Man’s VRMMO Activity Log

Chapter 3: Time to finally leave the training field… which is a good thing.

TN: Sorry for the super long delay between chapters!

Been really busy this summer with an internship and working on a startup project of my own. School is starting up again soon and I’ll try my best to release the coming chapters more consistently.

I will probably be putting the Ice Magic LN on hold b/c VRMMO seems to have more people interested in it b/c of the manga and since it’s a bit easier to translate.

A small note, I’m going to start making my translations less word for word mostly because it makes it a lot easier for me if I don’t spend time trying to think of exact word-for-word translations of certain phrases. Unless you have read the Japanese raws you probably won’t notice any difference 😛

Also I’m just gonna call the currency Gold from now on. It’s close enough 😛

After leaving the training fields, I logged out, had a meal, and hopped in the bath…
And logged on again.

Well then, before completely leave, I better check out what equips I have.

Beginner Bow
A bow suitable for beginners. It’s weak, so it’s best to get a better weapon as quickly as possible.
Atk+2, Endurance: Unlimited

Beginner Armor
A beginner overall armor (covers top and bottom). No armor type.
Def+5, Endurance: Unlimited

So, those are the kinds of equips I have. They have unlimited endurance so you can never lose them.
Apart from using up endurance, it’s pretty much impossible to lose equipment.

Also, there are 4 types of armor masteries to help improve your usage of armor.
Cloth Armor, Leather Armor, Light Armor, and Heavy Armor.
Of course, you can wear armor even if you don’t have mastery for it, and you’ll get all the stats for it, but if you have no mastery and you wear something that’s Heavy Armor, you’ll be weighed down so much that you basically won’t be able to move.
No matter how high your defenses are, if you can’t move then you’re dead.
In other words, the benefit of armor mastery is that you can handle heavier armor and have more mobility while wearing armor.
Light and cloth armor often give benefits to magic power and evasion power.

And while we’re talking about other skills… I’ll also explain the [Cooking] skill.
In this game, there’s both [Hunger] and [Thirst].
If your Hunger bar runs dry, you lose HP, and if you’re too Thirsty then you lose MP.
Dealing with this is as simple as eating and drinking.
Thus, even I went to purchase some bread and water from an NPC.
They both cost only 5 Glows each so there’s no need to be stingy.
I mean, if you get too stingy with food you’ll literally die…
The penalty for death is a 30 point reduction in all stats and -33% durability on all equips.
If an equip’s durability reaches 0% from this, then it’ll be destroyed.

Anyways, that’s my long explanation. I’ve arrived at the field area.
Well then, I guess it’s time to hunt!… I really am just a happy guy right now.

[The first day… it’s as sweet as I expected!]

I sighed. The players in front of me…

[Ha! Burn and die, you!!]
[You’re my prey!!]
[You over there and here, you’re both dead! Haha!]
[Come on, bring on the next wave! These weaklings aren’t enough for me!]

The scene could only be described with the word “pandemonium”.
These guys are pretty wild, I thought as I stood there with my arms crossed, watching.

[Well ~ It’ll be like this for the first few days.]

Said a girl’s voice from behind me.
A precious soul who would talk to the bow-encumbered me.
Finally, my first real conversation.

[Right? Everyone’s in such a frenzy.]

[Yeah it’s really like that ~~ Trying to get in a bit of hunting before night sets in ~~]

Huh? Night?

[Um, can I ask a question? Is there a day and night in this game?]

[Ah ~ ? There’s already been one night, you know ~ ?]

[I was in the training arena and then I logged out, so I didn’t know.]

[Ahhh ~ I see ~]

The girl explained that there’s a repeating cycle of 3 hours of daytime and 2 hours of nighttime.
When night falls, vision is decreased and monsters become a bit harder to deal with.
The countermeasures are Light Magic’s Level 10 [Light], Fire Magic’s Level 15 [Torch], and Dark Magic’s Level 30 [Night Vision].
I guess I better level up my farsight skill.
It’s important for the ranger class to have farsight and night vision.

[I see, so basically it’ll be this wild until nighttime.]

[Yep, probably ~]

Well, there’s nothing I can do about it.
In that case, I better find something else to do for now.

[Thanks a lot for telling me about this!]

[No prob~! I’m Miri, wanna be friends~?]

How do I put it… she’s really carefree huh.
Well, it’s good to make new friends.

[My name’s Earth, nice to meet you.]

[Nice to meet you too ~]

After registering as friends, the girl called out [I’m heading back to town ~] as she left.

I left the field to try to find some herbs.
Activating my farsight ability, I left the hunting people to go collect some Unidentified Herbs.
Why are they called Unidentified Herbs? Well…

[Effect Unknown…]

So that’s why. It could be helpful or dangerous. Basically in the game you can’t just pick up an item and know what it is unless you’re a pro identifier. [TN: The second sentence here is トル○コでも、シレ○でもいい, I have almost no idea what it means so I just guessed. Game lingo too hard for me :(]
After you get an item, don’t know what type of item it is.
Although, it seems pretty unlikely that there’d be dangerous herbs in a beginning field… right?
Anyways I hope so, since I’m gonna pick herbs until nightfall.

Night. A ton of players returned back to town, selling their monster drops and eating. I crouched down by some stairs in a corner and began identifying my herbs.
Although you can’t tell what a herb is from first glance, if you look at it for a while then its true identity will be revealed.
The reason is…

Medicine Lv 3.

It seeems like, by having the medicine skill, you can identify herbs. I got to level 2 and then 3, and then realized I could recognize antidote herbs and poisonous herbs.
It suddenly felt really stuffy, though I was holding just a single herb.

> Suffocation Plant.

> If you eat this, you’ll stop breathing immediately and die.
> This should definitely not be eaten!

> Herb Item

Wow… that’s a super dangerous herb! What were you thinking, administrators?? I can’t be the only one who thinks this is crazy, right?

After identifying the herbs I tried making some potions.
I went to the potion shop across the street and bought an alchemy set that I could carry.
It cost 400 Gold. You start with 1500 Gold. Since the inn charges 10 Gold a night, I currently have 1080 Gold.
The other 10 Gold I had spent on food.
Those are necessary expenses so it can’t be helped.

I learned how to make potions.
Crush the herbs > Blend it with distilled water and add heat > Done!
Looks like it’s that simple.
Although it feels like if you mess it up then you’ve wasted a lot of time.
That’s the feeling I get from potion-making.

> Common Healing Potion.
> The basis of all healing items. Recover 11% of HP.

In this game if you make a potion successfully once then you can use up the rest of your ingredients all together for the rest of the potions. So, I turned all my herbs into potions.
I also made some antidote potions, although I don’t think I’ll need them yet.
My Steady Fingers skill also increased as I kept making more potions.
As for the poisonous herb and suffocation herb, I can’t use them yet.
I’m don’t meet the requirements, that’s why.

From the antidote herb, I got this item:

> Common Anti-Poison Potion
> The weakest antidote potion. Failure rate increases when dealing with stronger poisons.

By the way, there’s a potion merchant in town.
I’ll go sell my potions to him for some money.
Actually, it looks like my potions are 1% stronger so I might keep them. I think I’ll keep the antidote potions too, I might need them!

I’ve leveled up my medicine skill a bit, so I think it’s fine to stop here for today…
I went to the inn and logged out, and got ready to sleep in real life too.
I bet my colleagues are gonna be out all night again.

Archery Lv 5
Kicking Lv 5
Farsight Lv 4
Wind Magic Lv 5
Crafting Lv 3
Cooking Lv 1
Woodworking Lv 1
Medicine Lv 7
Stealth Lv 1
Physical Ability Lv 5

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VRMMO 002 – The Crowded First Day and the Training Grounds

A Certain Middle-Aged Man’s VRMMO Activity Log

Chapter 2: The Crowded First Day and the Training Grounds

TN: Whew, finally got around to finishing this chapter! A few notes:

  • グロー is the currency. In the Manga (which I just started reading today), it’s translated as Gulor. The actual reading is Gurou, which is the word “glow” in Japanese, so I’m saying Glows rather than Gulors even though it sounds kinda weird.
  • There’s a distinction between “skill level” and “personal level/ability”. Skill level is an actual thing that makes you do more damage, access better spells, etc. Personal level/ability is how well you can use your skills – it’s not an actual level, it’s something you learn from playing the game. This is made kind of clear in the part where he talks about how he could be Lv 99 in Archery but if he couldn’t actually fire a bow (his personal ability to use the bow) then it wouldn’t make a difference whether he was Lv 1 or Lv 99.

Immediately after login.

[It really is amazingly crowded… well, that’s what’d you expect from the first day.]

I muttered unconsciously.

And then, voices from the crowd.

[Looking for people to join our party to powerlevel! Need front-line fighters!]
[Recruiting members to head towards the rocky area before it gets too crowded!]

And so on, with everyone trying to recruit teammates to level up with (technically speaking, leveling up specific skills, since there is no overall level).
The beta testers, who had already mastered all the tricks and subtleties in controlling their avatars, would definitely have a huge advantage and level their skills much faster.

Meanwhile, over here…

[New players, we’ve got good equipment here–!]
[Make sure to suit up before you head out to battle!]

Thus shouted the equipment sellers, whose voices filled the air in the open market.
The players who had already set up their shops were probably beta testers.
As I walked through the jam-packed streets, I saw countless people trading – a classic element of all MMOs.

But, despite all the people in this crowded area, I didn’t see anyone besides me who had a bow on their back.
Gossip is really a powerful thing! Especially when it’s news coming from beta testers.

And now, I encountered another thing common to all MMOs.

[Oi, the small fry with the bow, get over here.]

Yep. No matter where you go, there will always be people who look down on you.
Well, I didn’t want anything to do with those kinds of guys… I’ll just ignore them and pretend to be really gloomy.

[Me, huh…]

I tried my best to hide my fed-up face.

[What are ya doing with that trash weapon? Already given up on playing the game?]
[And also, what’s with your ugly face? You totally look like a boring NPC character. Just die already.]

The pointless insults came one after another.
Pretty unlucky of me to have to deal with such a waste of time on the first day…

Of course, with all the people on the first day, there’d inevitably be bad-mouthed people like this.
Anyways, the 5 guys were still ranting at me.
I wanted to say, “Gyahaha, are you guys a reincarnation of some Mohican tribe?”. [TN: The Mohicans are a native American tribe.]
Well, whatever. They’d get bored and leave soon.

[Well, a trash like you should just stay groveling inside the town.]

And with that, the party of 5 Mohicans left. Thanks to people like them, the idea that the bow sucked was even more widespread.

… Well, that’s convenient for me.

Since I’m probably going solo anyways, it doesn’t really matter what other people think of my skills.
It’d be nice to make a party, honestly, but I’m sure that everyone who has heard the notorious weakness of the bow will stay far away from me.

That being said, I wasn’t a big fan of being stared at, so I quickly got moving.
My destination was the training area. In this game, it was a Training Arena.

Although it’s pretty tedious to train, the beta testers didn’t even have the Training Arena.
Well, due to many complaints to the administration from beta testers about not having a good way to safely practice their swordsmanship or magic, the Training Arena was born.
On this point, I wanted to say to the beta testers, “Good job!”
The Training Arena doesn’t really change. For ranged users (archery, of course, as well as throwing and magic), there are randomly moving targets to use.
For melee players (swords, axes, spears, unarmed, etc.), there are straw targets to practice with.

It appears that you can only train skills up to Lv 5 within the Training Arena.
And as expected of a place meant for Training, it’s much slower to level up here than it is with monsters outside.
There’s also NPCs here that teach you how to use your weapon, learn magic incantations, etc.
Thanks to all this, even though this for first-timers, it’s pretty easy to get the hang of the game’s combat systems.
… that is, if you listen carefully to the NPCs.

After receiving instruction from various NPCs, I prepared right away to practice with my bow and arrow.
In the Training Arena, you get a set of training equipment, and for bows and throwing weapons, you get infinite ammo. It’s really a very useful feature.
And so, without any thought of commemorating the occasion, I prepared to take my first shot.

[Before I can worry about whether my shots are landing, there’s another problem…]

Pulling back the bow string was pretty easy, but it was much harder to load the arrow properly.
The arrow kept falling off, and I was fumbling to try to get it to stay.
To be honest, I was kind of sad that I couldn’t do something so simple

Anyways, I tried to stay positive as I practice loading an arrow, shooting, and then loading another arrow over and over again.
Well, the result of this was that I learned that my skill could be described as “Extremely inaccurate”.
Without any guides or indicators of your arrow’s path, it’s really hard to aim properly.
Even with practice, the weapon still has terrible performance, so I could finally really understand why the bow was considered a trash weapon.
After practicing about 100 shots, I managed to hit the target twice.
At least 70 shots had only feebly tumbled off of my bow thanks to my trouble with loading arrows properly.
I would probably never be able to reach a point where I could fire quickly without fumbling.

But, regardless, I still kept focusing on practicing, thinking about nothing but my bow and arrow.
My skill level had reached 5 a while ago, but my personal skill was still terrible. Even if I were at Lv 99, if I couldn’t load a bow I would still be weak.
Load, shoot, load, shoot, load, shoot. Thanks to repetition, I finally reached a point where I could load smoothly about 80% of the time and hit the random targets about 60% of the time, and the arrows that I shot mostly flew straight paths.
I think at this point I could probably fight the weakest monsters, right?

For now, I returned my bow and arrow to the NPC. Next up was wind magic practice.
Although it’s really important to have a staff to improve range, power, and accuracy, you can use magic incantations barehanded and still have a chance of hitting something.
For magic mediums (TN: as in, ways to use magic), staffs are the strongest, followed by magic books, magic hands (these are similar to gloves), and magic rings.
For pure magicians, staffs and rings are essential, and for magic fighters, gloves and rings are the best.
Although, apart from staffs, all of these things are quite valuable, and it was said that they are difficult for even high level craftsmen to make. So, it’s most practical to try to get these items from NPCs.
After borrowing a staff, I used the lowest-level magic spell.

<Air Needle!>

A few small needles made of wind appeared and struck the taget.
In this world, Wind Cutter skills are ranked fairly well, but the beginner skills are totally useless.
You can cut some simple substances, but other attributes can do more at lower levels, so for a beginner it feels kind of lame.
Magic costs MP, but it has a far better hit rate than the bow and arrow.
Although, maybe that’s just because I still haven’t mastered Archery.
Anyways, I reached Lv 5 in Wind Magic, returned my staff, and started training Kicking.

Plenty of others were here, and I saw a lot of them with one-handed swords, two-handed swords, and spears attacking the straw dummies.
For now, I began with practicing my Low Kick by watching others.
Just by kicking with no target, I was slowly leveling up my Kicking skill a bit.
As I leveled, I started practicing a Middle Kick a bit too.
In real life I would never be able to kick so high, but as expected in a game, it was possible for me to accomplish such feats here.
If I kept practicing, I could probably kick as high as someone’s head.
Having figured out the general weaknesses in my skills, I really wanted to try out fighting some monsters.

In about half the time it took for Archery and Wind Magic, I reached Lv 5 in Kicking.
Physical skills are easier to level, I guess.
My Physical Boost skill had also risen to Lv 3.
So it looks like that skill gets a bit of experience from training in any other skill.

Anyways, it’s really great that a beginner can learn things so quickly in this game.
Next up, it’s time to level up my skills as well as my personal ability through some combat.
Since I was having so much fun, it was already past 3 AM in the real world.
I rented a room at the town’s inn and logged out.
By paying the rent, I learned that the game’s currency is Glows.
I’m pretty slow, huh.

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VRMMO 001 – The First Day

A Certain Middle-Aged Man’s VRMMO Activity Log

Chapter 1: The First Day

TN: As I mention here, this series has chapters 1-5 translated elsewhere. However, the translations (in my opinion) were done very poorly, with a ton of grammar mistakes as well as several fairly significant incorrect translations. So, I’ll be redoing the series from the very beginning! It looks interesting, I hope you all look forward to reading it!

…It was faster than expected.
The day that I could experience a VRMMO has come.

My name is Tanaka Daichi, and this year I’m turning 38.

Even at this age, I still haven’t stopped gaming. My parents said that it’s irresponsible and that I should stop.
I don’t think it’s really something to get angry about.
After all, I’m definitely someone who’s totally in love with games.

Anyways, games really are amazing.
Because even though I’m 38, when I enter a game, I can travel new lands with all my heart or fly high in the sky.

“Why is that so amazing?” Well, there are people who say that.
But, when you start getting old, your body will inevitably grow weaker.
Whether it’s professional baseball players or Olympic athletes, the majority of these people will retire in their mid-30s.
Although, in your teens, it’s hard to imagine that you will one day grow weak… that’s the reality.
Even I have become an Ossan [TN: middle-aged man]… I don’t like it, but it’s true.

Well then, that was a long introduction, but now we’ll start actually talking about the VRMMO!
First off, the game is called [One More Free Life Online]. It’s a pretty straightforward name, and the goal is simply to for a person to enjoy a new life.
The day before yesterday, the open beta came to a close, and 10 minutes from now is the scheduled official start.

The game’s contents… it’s a standard MMORPG where you level up your skills.
There’s no base levels, so all skill levels come from your character’s growth… so I guess it’s really a skill-type MMORPG.
You choose 10 skills at the beginning. As you get stronger, you can learn other skills “to some extent”.
Once you reach a certain level in a skill, you earn Ex Points which you can consume to learn a new skill… or at least, that’s what the beta testers said.
Because of that, if you just randomly choose your skills at the beginning, you could end up being a jack of all trades, but a master of none.
And therein lies the guarantee of the MMORPG.

Defeating the demon king, such a grand quest doesn’t exist.
The game is designed purely for a person’s enjoyment of a different life.
There are monsters, crafting, and chatting, but it’s up to the player to decide what to do.

Looks like it’s about time to begin!
I hope everyone will forgive them if the MMORPG servers crash on the first day.

… There was no problem logging in. I guess the servers are better than I thought.

Now then, time to make a character!
First of all, character name… well it’s simple, but “Earth” will do, since my name means earth (TN: Daichi = ground).
At any rate that’s just a cool-sounding name that popped into my head.

The character’s outward appearance… well, let’s go with a 19-year-old. Height, about 176cm sounds good.
Black hair and black eyes. I’m a bit picky about that. And also… there’s no need to be too good-looking.
Beautiful women and handsome boys, I always hear about them having perfect symmetry. So, let’s shift a couple things around a bit here.
The nose shouldn’t be too high either… (TN: high noses are considered elegant in many cultures)
Gender is male, of course. Well, that goes without saying. Lying about your gender is definitely a no go.

Although I, the player, am 38 years old, I haven’t grown old in my heart, so I’m picking a young character. In a world where I can move freely as a young man, there’s no need to bring in any of my smelly real life as an Ossan. My heart is totally bored of my real body. Since this is a virtual world, I can let my heart be free and feel young again.


… Alright, there we go.
Ehh, I look like a generic NPC character in a console game, don’t I?
Well, I’ll just think of it as acting as a foil for the scenery. (TN: “foil” as in, he doesn’t look particularly good, so the scenery, by juxtaposition, feels like it looks even better than it actually does.)
I’ll leave the goal of becoming a beautiful woman or pretty boy to others. I’m not the type of guy that wants to be the main character.

Next is skill selection, or something like that.
I think I’ll main in skills that, based on the news so far, are pretty obscure, or rather, based on beta reviews, totally useless. That way, I can just have a totally carefree time in the game.
You might imagine that a 38-year-old would have work to do every week.
I have today and tomorrow off, but normally I won’t be able to play more than an hour or two a day… in other words, I’ll mostly have to play solo.
If that’s the case, I don’t really want to have any worries or concerns about what’s happening in the game. That’s why I chose pretty useless skills.

Anyways, my skill choices were: Archery, Kicking, Sharp Eyes, Wind Magic, Crafting, Cooking, Woodworking, Medicine, Stealth, and Physical Boost.

Those are the 10.
At a glance, they look pretty bad, huh. From the news, out of those… at least 6 are useless!
Archery, Kicking, Wind Magic, Medicine, Stealth, and Physical Boost.

The problem with Archery is aiming, since there’s no automatic targeting system.
Furthermore, the skill doesn’t perform particularly well even if you put a lot of effort into it.
And even worse, the damage you do is only about 75% of what you could do with a one-handed sword.
It’s kind of a useless skill to choose, huh… for long-range attacks, magic does the job much better.

As for Kicking… if it’s as reported by the beta testers, the skill has no Arts – that is to say, something like a special ability.
For other skills, upon reaching level 10 you get some kind of special technique, but for kicking, well let’s just say that there were people saying “What the hell, I’m at level 30 in Kicking and there isn’t anything special. What a shitty skill.”
(By the way, most skills that involve physical [Striking] get special techniques.)
The truth of the matter is that, aside from already lacking in solo capabilities with the bow skill, not having any close-range combat ability is pretty dangerous for me.

Wind magic… well, at a glance it sounds like its useful, but if you look closer, you’ll see that it’s pretty lacking. Although there’s a pretty decent buff skill that increases your speed, everything else is lacking in both attack power and recovery power.
It falls far behind the other elements in attack power (the elements being Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, Light, and Dark, for a total of 6). As for recovery, wind magic is only anywhere from 1/2 to 1/4 as good as water and light recovery skills.

Medicine is the skill for making potions. It’s pretty useful in normal MMOs, but…
In this game you can buy good potions in bulk from NPCs at low prices, so making your own potions only makes you look like an idiot.
Also, since the cooldown timer for using potions is pretty low, there’s no real point in needing to use particularly strong potions.
That’s what the beta testers all strongly agreed to.

Stealth… although being able to become hidden seems to be a great power, the cost is just cruel.
It costs 1% of your max MP per second. If you use it for 10 seconds, the cost increases to 2%; at 20 seconds, 4%, and so on, with the cost jumping up every 10 seconds.
And also, there’s monsters with smell, sound, and heat detection, so against them Stealth is totally useless.

Physical Boost… it improves things like running, weapon attack speed, crafting speed, etc, which is all nice, but…
At the end of the day, you just end up being a jack of all trades, and a master of none. When compared to more specialized skills, it’s far weaker than everything else.
Since it does boost a lot of things, the end result is a character who’s well-balanced but with no particular strengths.
Well, since I just want to do a variety of things, I guess it’s a good choice for me.

Anyways, that’s about it for character creation.
By the way, I haven’t mentioned this game to anyone I know in real life.
No, that’s not say I don’t have friends… it’s just that my friends all like to drink.
In reality, they’re all nice people, but for someone like me who can’t drink, being with them is sometimes like being surrounded by demons.
Why can’t I be someone who can drink endlessly without a care in the world?

It’d be nice to make a new acquaintance in the game, someone that I can enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime playing experience with.
Although I’ll be burdened with a bow and quiver on my back, I’m prepared for something like that. It’s just the fate of playing an MMORPG.
If there are good people out there, to be able to meet them, that would be really fortunate, huh.

As for my playstyle… I guess I’ll try to be a Ranger.
There’s nothing like a “job” within the game, but I’ll have plenty to do between finding treasures hidden in a forest, going hunting, cooking food to eat, making a bow through woodworking, and collecting the cost parts for making arrows. And I can even collect herbs in the forest to make pots. When it’s dangerous, I’ll just use Stealth. And with all of those things, Physical Boost will be helpful.

That’s my dream at least. My dreams have really changed as I’ve grown up, but I’m happy with it.
Well, it’s time to login. I hope I’ll have fun enjoying my new life.

[Welcome to One More Free Life Online!]

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