The King's Avatar《全职高手》- Episode 2: The Expert at the Internet Cafe

The King's Avatar《全职高手》- Episode 2: The Expert at the Internet Cafe

Ye Xiu begins his journey on Server 10 and unknowingly draws the attention of some big name players. Whether that turns out good or bad remains to be seen. In the mean time Excellent Era hold a phony press conference.


We continue where we left off in episode one in the fight with the Phantom Cat. Sleeping Moon isn't doing so well and attempts to negotiate with Lord Grim again, this time offering to give Lord Grim all of the equipment drops. Lord Grim is still not interested. The Phantom Cat drops out of the sky and squishes Sleeping Moon under it while he continues to threaten Lord Grim, saying how his guild Full Moon will get him back for this. Lord Grim doesn't give a damn and instead brings up Sleeping Moon's status details and patiently waits for him to die.

Guild - In MMOs players can band together and form organizations 
called "Guilds". Guilds can give players extra status points
greatly increasing their character's abilities.

Peace returns as Sleeping Moon is finally killed. Lord Grim picks up his weapon and begin his attacks and the true power of the Myriad Manifestation Umbrella is revealed - it can transform into many different weapons. The first form we see is the Lance form.

As Ye Xiu is playing away at the computer Chen Guo wakes up from her nap. Through sleepy eyes Ye Xiu looked as if he was playing a piano instead of tapping away at a keyboard. Waking up a bit further Chen Guo notes that Ye Xiu's hand speed (speed at which he's tapping away on the keyboard) is very slow - a waste of what she considers a pretty good looking pair of hands. Looking up at Ye Xiu's screen she is completely surprised to see that he was actually fighting against the Midnight Phantom Cat. And believe it or not, he actually achieved a server wide First Kill record.

First Kill - exactly what it says, the first person to kill a particular
monster in a server. In GLORY you get a system wide
broadcast which really helps raise your reputation 
among fellow gamers.

Deceptive hand speed

Excited she joins with Ye Xiu in checking what drops he got and was again shocked when such a low level Boss actually dropped a Skill Point Book (these things give you bonus skill points, very valuable). Ye Xiu chalked it all up to good luck. Exiting out of the dungeon instance they find Sleeping Moon spamming the world chat (game world wide chat room), calling Lord Grim a shameless asshole and trickster who killed his entire party in order to steal the Boss's drops. Chen Guo asks Ye Xiu what happened and is told the story. Chen Guo gets any on Ye Xiu's behalf and wonders why Ye Xiu doesn't seem mad. Ye Xiu tells her that his is angry, but there's no need to show his anger all the time. Chen Guo thinks Ye Xiu's pretty special to run into so much trouble the first time he raids a dungeon. Leaving Ye Xiu continue through the night, she heads off to bed and thanks him for the coat.

After seeing Chen Guo off, Ye Xiu rejoins the game but now he is unable to form a party due to Sleeping Moons' slander. Wandering around he runs into Sleeping Moon again. Sleeping Moon has pulled together a party again but this time with some of his own guild members - Seven Fields (playing a Striker), Solidary Shallows (playing a Knight) and Twilight Cloud (playing a Blade Master). Since no one is willing to party him Lord Grim asks to join Sleeping Moon party. (Hahaha!) Sleeping Moon knew that if he refused, Lord Grim might not be so kind as to keep quiet about what really happened. In the end he allows Grim to join while secretly plotting with his guild mates on a plan to kill Grim once they get into Green Forest dungeon.

Of course Lord Grim isn't so easy to kill, he solos the Phantom Cat. Defeated without having even tried, Sleeping Moon resigns himself to grinding up to level 10 so that they can enter another dungeon the Spider Cave and try there.

grind - repeatedly killing monsters or doing randoms tasks
 to gain experience points so characters can level up.

Eventually the team makes it to the spider cave but things don't proceed as they want. Lord Grim easily controlled the battlefield, utilizing high difficulty maneuvers such as 180 horizontal sweep to gain total aggro control and high combo count strikes to kill everything. It becomes almost a one man show as Lord Grim fights his way through the Spider Cave. Solidary Shallows gets completely mind blown by the skills on display.

JY: What Ye Xiu is doing is utilizing his mechanical skills (manual operation skills) to maximize the damage dealt while using low level skills. For example the horizontal sweep is a normal attack move and how wide you can do a horizontal sweep is dependent on how fast you swing your mouse. Getting 180 degrees means you get bonus attack power on that sweep. Low level skills generally have short execution times and low cool down (CD) anyway so they can be easily chained. For skilled players they can even utilize action cancelling to speed up their attacks.

Cool Down (CD) - wait time before you can reuse a skill
Action Cancelling - Using input or interruption to cause a character's animation
 for landing/attacking/etc to drop animation frames and stop
 early. This allows you to instantly keep moving or attacking
 rather than waiting for said animation to finish going
 through all its frames.

Moving quickly through the dungeon the group soon arrives at the Spider Cave's Boss monster (a giant spider what else?). Lord Grim charges straight in and immediately begin combo attacking. The Full Moon guild people are now completely stunned. To be able to perform the kind of attacks that Lord Grim is doing the player would required at least 200apm - this speed is considered high among non professional players. Sleeping Moon realizes he can't kill Lord Grim here either (fail XD) and a short while later the spider Boss falls to it's death. This earns the raiding party another First Kill record.

APM - Actions Per Minute. i.e. how fast you can type and
click a mouse in this context. It's a key factor affecting,
how good a player you can be, and what your play style
 would be.

At the same time in a different instance of the Spider Cave dungeon a group of players stare in disbelief at the record. They were 10 seconds short from claiming the record as their own. One of the players note that Lord Grim has been on system wide announcements twice already, just like another member of their party Blue River. The group speculate if this Lord Grim is a smurf account. Blue River orders an investigation into the matter.

Character ID: Blue Bridge Spring Snow (Main account in Heavenly Domain), Blue River (Side account Sever 10)
Class: Blade Master
Guild: Blue Brook (Srv 10 Guild Leader)

Smurf - An experienced player using a low level/new account
usually to trick others into thinking they're a newbie.

Back in the Spider Cave on Lord Grims' side Seven Fields and group have all become big fans of Lord Grim, calling him "Brother Expert". Sleeping Moon is left alone and jealous (hahaha, he's just an awkward kid). They walk further through the dungeon and lo and behold their luck is once again very good they run into a hidden boss, the Spider Monarch (an even bigger spider than last time XD).

The group is a bit worried, will they be able to do it? They're only lvl 10! But Lord Grim cool as a cucumber says, no problem, just listen to his command and give him some of the drops. Seven Field, having now converted into a Lord Grim fanboy is all yeses and tells Sleeping Moon to give "Brother Expert" the party leader position as well.

JY: Taking the party leader position means Lord Grim can decide on how the drops are distributed.

Lord Grim walks off into the gloom and engages Boss head on while the rest of party watches on anxiously. A short moment later Lord Grim and the Boss burst out of the dust, with Lord Grim calling out commands - Solidary Shallows 7 o'clock, Twilight Cloud 10 o'clock, Seven Fields 4 o'clock and "Little Moon Moon" can stay where he is (haha).

JY: The origin of "Moon Moon"

The party members are laid out in a circle and the Boss is lead inside. We're introduced to another skill - clones, as Lord Grim fixes Sleeping Moons' mistake. Another set of commands is issued, this time specifying what skill each player is to use. The formation and skill chain holds and the Boss is infinite chain CC'ed. Seven Field is mind blown now, he's never seen this kind of battle tactics before. "Did you just come up with this?" he asks. "Yes." says Lord Grim, with the class combination and skill set of the party, this is the only way they would be able to win. The battle continues and Lord Grim warns everyone to keep their tempo and be careful not to break the skills rotation, especially Little Moon Moon. Sleeping Moon screams to the Heavens to stop calling him "Little Moon Moon".

CC - Crowd Control. Skills that can cause the monster to stop attacking.
E.g. stunning it, levitating it, put it to sleep etc.
"Infinite chain CC" - chaining a series of skills together to cause the
 monster to continually be stuck in a state that can't attack.

JY: The circle formation is to keep the monster in one location - imagine kicking a football between your friends. Here the 4 party members each perform 1 skill in rotation in order to create infinite chain CC. It's important to keep the skill rotation and tempo because if you fail to cast or cast (a skill) too fast or too slow it could give the monster a window to exit out of CC state and escape or kill everyone. Also if you cast too fast the skill the next person needs to use might still be in CD which would definitely induce a window. The novel details how difficult it was to find the tempo and then maintain it for however long it takes to kill the monster.

Scenery Porn, please ignore Little Moon Moon.

Having left the dungeon Blue River and his guild mates hang around a busy market place and he checks on what information has been gathered on Lord Grim. A guild member reports that Sleeping Moon cussing Lord Grim out on world chat earlier in the night and then somehow the two ended back up in a party again. Just as they were puzzling through this the another system announcement comes through congratulating Lord Grim's party for getting the First Kill record for the Spider Monarch Boss.

Blue River immediately asks after the two other hidden bosses in the Spider Cave dungeon and is told that one was First Killed by the Tyrannical Ambition guild, the other by the Herb Garden guild and unfortunately for them, their Blue Brook guild didn't get any. Tyrannical Ambition, Herb Garden and Blue Brook are currently the 3 biggest guilds in GLORY. It's very embarrassing that their record was stolen by some unknown guild. Out in the real world, in a darkened room a man takes an interest in Lord Grim. This is Xu Boyuan the player behind Blue River.

Xu Boyuan and his atypical haircut

Back at Joyce Flourish Cafe the Full Moon guild boys thank Ye Xiu for his generosity for giving them pretty much all the drops. Ye Xiu meanwhile laments at the pitiful amount of rare materials he managed to gather (he got 1 strong spider silk after doing all that raiding). Dismissing the inventory panel Ye Xiu is caught by surprised by a screen full of friend invites from Blue River. Ye Xiu accepts the friend request and immediately receives a private message from Blue River introducing himself as Blue Rive river from the Blue Brook guild (he's actually Blue Brooks' server 10 guild leader) and that his main account is Blue Bridge Spring Snow.

Spring snow fell at Blue Bridge inn when you returned,
the Autumn wind blue over Qinling (Mt. range) when I left.
-- from "Seeing Yuan Jiu's poem at Blue Bridge Inn", Tang Dynasty, Bai Juyi

Not quite sure who this Blue River/Blue Bridge guy is, Ye Xiu asks the Full Moon boys. Seven Fields is surprised Ye Xiu does not know. Blue Bridge Spring Snow is one of the five experts in Blue Brook Guild and this guild is backed by the professional eSports Club Blue Rain. On team Blue Rain there's a famous Blade Master class account named Troubling Rain (or Annoying Nighttime Rain depending on which sub you have) dubbed the Sword Saint in the competitive scene. "Oh" says Ye Xiu, he knows Troubling Rain, the person behind the account is Huang Shaotian.

Team Blue Rain's Logo and Troubling Rain
JY: did you guys get all the names?

In game guilds - Professional clubs sometimes sponsor in game guilds
in order to maintain a certain level of notability in the game
itself. In the TKA universe, Guilds are responsible for scouting
new talents for the club, gathering materials for the club and
advertising the club etc. Many top tier members are actually paid
by the club to manage the guilds but they're not actually professional
 athletes just very experienced players. Professional players don't
 usually hangout on casual servers like server 10.

After clarifying this, Ye Xiu contacts Blue River back. Blue River replies by asking Lord Grim if he's free to join their raiding party for the the Frost Forest dungeon as they're one member short. Ye Xiu immediately sees through the excuse, how could a large guild like Blue Brook be short on people to form a raiding party? Blue River doesn't bother contradicting Ye Xiu and says that they're actually aiming to set the First Clear record for Frost Forest. Having an expert like Lord Grim on their party would be perfect.

Ye Xiu refused saying he cannot keep up with the leveling speed of major guild members - Frost Forest is a level 20 dungeon. Disappointed, Blue River tries again and asks what about helping them with a Record Clear? He could give Lord Grim all the equipment drops that they get in the runs. Spying an opportunity Lord Grim asks Blue River if he could receive rare crafting materials instead. Blue River instantly recognizes Lord Grim as someone who knows what's what with the game. Blue River magnanimously tells Lord Grim to name his price - big mistake. Ye Xiu smirks and types out a huge list of materials. They eventually reach an agreement but Blue River is quite heart broken by the steep price (poor thing XD). Ye Xiu reminds him to bring the payment tomorrow night when they do the dungeon run.

Blue Rivers guild mates soon contact him asking how come it sounds like they're hiring Lord Grim to help them with Record Clear? Weren't they just trying to test Lord Grim's abilities? Blue River slaps his head and realized that he somehow got led astray by Lord Grim.

JY: In the novel the negotiation process was much more drawn out but funnier I have to say. Lord Grim is definitely the most shameless haggler I've ever seen lol. And a good note for MMO players, low level equipment is only temporary, they're not that valuable in the long run. 

First Clear Record - First group/person to defeat a dungeon
Record Clear - fastest time to defeat a dungeon

Morning comes cold and snowy, Ye Xiu successfully lasted through the night, bidding Chen Guo a good morning he heads off to bed only to realize he didn't even know where he could sleep. Chen Guo leads him upstairs to a lovely little studio room but no that was not his room, that was where Chen Guo lived. Ye Xiu room was a tiny little storage room filled to the brim with spare computer parts. Chen Guo apologetically explains that the employee dorms were full and this was just temporary. Ye Xie did not mind, he only needed a bed, and falls asleep almost immediately.

Chen Guo Rooms - I like it :)

Ye Xiu's closet - :(

It was evening before Ye Xiu wakes up again. Coming down into the Internet Cafe area Ye Xiu finds all the lights out and the customers glued to a new broadcast. Looking over Ye Xiu realizes that Excellent Era was holding a press conference to announce his retirement. Recounting "Ye Qiu's" awards and contributions to the professional GLORY league over the years, he is named a towering peak in the professional Competitive Alliance. 

"Life is only a few decades long and Ye Qiu dedicated his most precious decade to GLORY. From this day onward, One Autumn Leaf will remain, but Ye Qiu will not."

MVP - Most Valuable Player
DPS - Damage per Second

Unable to listen further Ye Xiu heads outside for a smoke and unexpectedly finds Chen Guo sobbing in the snow. Ye Xiu asks why she is crying and Chen Guo angrily calls him an "asshole". How could he not feel something at this piece of news? Ye Xiu answers that he feels more than anyone.

After getting Chen Guo some tissues the two hang out together in the cold, each sorting through their own emotions. Having calmed down a bit Chen Guo heads back inside and tells Ye Xiu to come in soon as well, since it was cold outside. 

Staring at Excellent Era's building across the street, Ye Xiu agrees, it really was cold.


Another enjoyable episode with many ups and down. The light hearted start lead to some serious mmo pve (player vs environment) action that contrasted nicely with the stark reality Ye Xiu is in. The difference between a star eSports athlete and a washout retired nobody was clear. We got a glimpse of what the lives all those 'retired eSports athletes" could be like through Ye Xiu but Ye Xiu was a lucky one, he managed to find Chen Guo, not everyone could be as lucky.  

The difference in attitude towards "Ye Qiu" is also stark. The 'cold' and profit driven decisions made by Excellent Era contrasted nicely with the love and humanity as displayed by Chen Guo. The world really blows hot and cold.

Through all of this we also got a lot of developments in the story with Lord Grim having unintentionally caught the attention of one of the three major guilds. Where that'll lead is anyone's guess.

For anyone confused with all the Blue things:

Blue Rain - the professional eSports Club
Blue Brook - the in game guild for Blue Rain
Blue Bridge Spring Snow - is Xu Boyuan's main account in Heaven's Domain server, he's considered one of Blue Brooks top five experts.
Blue River - is Xu Boyuan's account in server 10. He is the guild leader of Blue Brook in server 10.
Troubling Rain - is a Blade Master account known as the "Sword Saint" that belongs to team Blue Rain. It's player is Huang Shaotian.

Heaven's Domain - is a cross server domain where characters from the different servers can enter after completing a series of very difficult quests. This comes later.

Novel Tracking: This episode covered about halfway into Chapter 32. Some of the event orders where switched around a little.