Chapter 5: Market Value

While looking through the forums, my mind naturally drifted towards the ‘User-Submitted Content’. From what the description had said earlier on when I was assigning the magic system for Earth, this was an easy way to earn an income of points, though I doubted how useful it would be. For instance, how many people would assign their worlds an entirely new magic system if their own world had already progressed considerably? Most likely, the point income would come from either new Keepers, or Keepers that are starting new worlds.

However, there should be other types of content that Keepers can create and submit, such as special minerals or unique technology. This kind of content could be purchased by any Keeper, regardless of how long their world has been running. It would be an easy thing to place a formerly unknown element in a world and have it naturally discovered, or have a new technology created.

As such, I decided to look at what kinds of content was already there. To my surprise, there really was a lot. Elements like mithril, orichalcum, and a few others I’ve never heard of were present, as were many different systems. The Game System that my world was using was even listed in the User-Submitted Content, as well as several of the classes I was currently using in my world.

Well, it makes sense that was created by a Keeper. Maybe they wanted to make their world more like the Admin Room, with its video game theme. I nodded my head slightly, and continued looking. Each piece of content had its own price, as well as the ‘royalty’ which the original creator would receive. The royalty generally seemed to be 10% of the content’s actual price.

Now, what really surprised me was something else altogether. There were actually two pieces of custom content listed as being created by EarthForceOne, the username I was assigned. The first, ‘Random Power Mutation’, was listed as being worth 150 points, and caused people in the world to randomly mutate to gain special powers. However, from the comments on the thread, it did not seem like a popular choice, because of the very flaw that caused the death of the person who submitted it.

The second piece of content was ‘Warp Drive Connection’, a technology tree which allowed tech-themed worlds to connect to each other by means of faster than light travel. This one actually seemed more popular, even though it cost a whole 300 points. The price on that confused me, until I thought about it more deeply. The destination when using warp technology in scifi stories was not always fixed. More often than not, you would emerge at uninhabited worlds, or even completely empty space.

So, the high cost is actually an investment to get potentially unlimited extra worlds to start with. There was even a level of the tech tree which allowed you to choose whether or not discovered worlds were inhabited, and if so to assign them races. It didn’t say anything about what level of technology the new world would have, so I didn’t bother looking too deep. Even if I assume that I get 10% off as being technically the ‘creator’ of the content, which would normally be the royalty I receive when it is purchased, I am nowhere near able to afford that system.

Well, at least I’ll be able to get some income every now and then from people buying this. Though, maybe I should create my own content. It’s been long enough that anyone that wanted to buy the Warp Drive Connection could have done so during the previous Keeper’s reign. So again, I would probably need to wait a while before getting anything back for it.

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Tilting my head back in thought, I first decided to check what other content had been published. If I see what isn’t an option for me to create, I can get hints on what would be. To my surprise, I found multiple systems that looked like they should have been considered magic systems. The first, and most obvious example, was a ritual system. By offering up certain items during a ceremony, it was possible to receive magical effects. How is that not a magic system!?

As I was wondering that, I caught sight of a tag at the bottom. It actually was a magic system, but was tagged as ‘Advanced’, whatever that meant. Maybe only magic systems that can be used quickly were listed at the start when you create a world?

There was another system that was somewhat similar to that, listed by a LordSlow. This system was a skill-based system which awarded magical effects based on how well you performed certain skills, such as sculpting or music. I shuddered as I imagined how terrifying it would be to go to a death metal concert, and have that system suddenly activate.

Though… there was another piece of content submitted by the same person that caught my eye. This was a race template, meant to guide people to create races that would not destroy the balance of their world. This particular race was known as the Demon race. They had the unique trait of ‘Meritocracy Evolution’, meaning that they would evolve into different forms based on their own work. Their starting form was simply an imp with the lowest level of stats, but if that imp worked hard enough, and continued evolving, it could eventually become a demon king.

The Demon race content had a note attached to it, suggesting for users with already-developed worlds to wait until they received a new world in order to place the demons in. Then, connect the worlds through whatever means the Keeper wanted. That way, the demons would be able to develop without dying out as their weakest form.

I was tempted to buy that race immediately, as my world was still undeveloped for the most part. However, their cost was 50 points, and I couldn’t justify that kind of expense just yet. I’d wait until I had enough points, and if need be I would simply add them to the next world I received. That made me chuckle, as I planned for the next world to be a tech world. High tech demons would certainly be fun to play with.

For now, I at least had an idea of some things I could create. Fortunately, the last Keeper of Earth was a lazy slob, but he focused on cultural development so that he could get his entertainment. And that same entertainment industry, from books to television shows, could serve as the starting point for my new content.

Only allowed on

The first thing that I submitted was a race of my own, named ‘The Forgotten’. They had a high intelligence and comprehension rating, though low physical abilities. Where they really shined were there unique traits. First was ‘Automated Memory Deletion’, a trait I defined as ‘Any living creature, the moment they look away from the possessor of this trait, completely forgets their existence’. Then came ‘Post-Hypnotic Suggestion’, an ability that already existed in the system to implant ideas in targets, and ‘Bioelectric Field’ to give them the power to generate and manipulate electric currents.

All hail the Doctor. I thought with a small grin, as I submitted the race. Not only would the Forgotten be a good race to develop in a new world alongside another race, it would also be very useful for invasions. If you throw in a few dozen, or even a few hundred, of them during an invasion, you could potentially make the Keeper’s own people assassinate him.

I wasn’t surprised when the race had the starting cost of 75 points, being a fairly expensive sapient species. What did surprise me, was that someone almost instantly bought it. Within five minutes, I was notified of the sale, and saw that I had two notifications waiting for me on the computer.

Congratulations, you have earned two new achievements!

For submitting your own custom content, you earned the Creator achievement. +20 points.
For selling your first custom content, you earned the Salesman achievement. +15 points.

Well, that was an easy 35… no, make that 42 points. It seemed that the system rounded down the royalties, though maybe that would mean it would give me 8 points the next time someone bought the Forgotten. I’d find out eventually. As for the other message…

Drillot has purchased the Forgotten! You earned 7 points in royalties.

To be honest, I had expected it to take a few weeks for someone to buy the new race, but maybe I got lucky and that guy was browsing just as I posted it? Either way, that brought my total up to 212 points. And, looking back at the bed, I saw that Terra was finally starting to wake up from her nap.

With a small smile, I turned to her and asked. “Still mad at me?”

There was a low purr to answer me, before she spoke up a long moment later. “Yup…”

Hmm… how to bribe a cat. “What about if I suggest fish for dinner tonight?” I swear, I’ve never seen anyone move so fast. I couldn’t even see her get up from the bed before she was sitting on the floor beside me, looking up with wide eyes.

“Really? Nyaa, that would be good!” I chuckled at the sudden change in attitude, glad that she was given most of a cat’s likes as well as their bad points. “What? Even if I don’t get hungry, that doesn’t mean I don’t want yummy food!” She looked at me and said with a smile.

“Alright, alright. Wasn’t going to say anything. Besides, I had a question for you.” When I said that, she tilted her head in confusion. “First, I wanted to ask if there are any benefits to this achievement system, aside from the extra points.”

She thought about that for a moment, and then gave a firm nod. “Any achievements you earn get added to your total starting points if you reset a world, so you don’t lose them. Though, achievements are divided into three different categories. First, you have System achievements, like what you’ve been earning so far. These can only be earned once, no matter how many worlds you start up.”

“Next are World achievements. These can be earned once per world instance. So, if you raise a world up to get an achievement and then reset it, you will still have the points from that achievement. Some Keepers use this method to farm for points, by raising a world until right before it is able to participate in the Keeper Games, and then resetting it. But, World achievements are assigned to the world rather than the Keeper, so you only get the extra starting points the next time you reset. The second reset after the achievement won’t get them. Also.. as you probably guessed, World achievements don’t carry over when a new Keeper is assigned.”

“Finally, there are Personal achievements. These achievements can only be earned while you are descended, and will give you certain buffs along with the points. For example, you could do a lot of manual labor to get an achievement that gives a small boost to strength. Like with System achievements, these can only be earned once per Keeper. However, the buff that you gain is permanent, so it is good to have them for defensive battles.”

I listened to her explanation, and nodded. “That makes sense… Now, next question… and I’m probably going to regret asking this. Do you have a record of how many people bought the Warp Drive Connection content submitted by one of the previous Earth Keepers? Specifically… during the last Keeper’s rule.”

Hearing that, Terra gave a bitter, knowing smile. “Over a thousand…. That was one of the reasons why the last companion hated him so much. He had tens of thousands of points, but wasn’t willing to spend them because it would push Earth into the level where it could battle in the games.”

I gave a sad sigh when I heard her answer. Though, that did answer one of my other questions. There were over a thousand people using tech-based worlds. That meant that there should be at least two thousand Keepers in total, counting the ones that simply decided not to buy it. “Oh, right. Someone contacted me and mentioned a Merlin route for raising civilizations, so I had another question. Is it possible to create an identity in the world, and have it be my body when I descend, but be on autopilot when I’m not using it?”

Terra blinked in confusion at that, before a wide grin began showing on her face. “Why, no Dale, it’s not. Not yet, at least.” She added that last bit with a playful wink, and I was really surprised. I mean, why wouldn’t someone have thought of that before? Were they too concerned with the possibility of their ‘Auto-Merlin’ destabilizing the world in their absence? Or did it just not occur to anyone?

Either way, before anyone else had the chance to get to it first, I submitted the idea to the system, defining it a bit more. The race had to be selected from among the races that the world already had, and it had a normal lifespan for that race. And rather than a ‘feature’, this was an ‘entity’ purchase. Meaning that, each time the host body died, the Keeper would need to buy it again if they wanted to use it.

Though… Auto-Merlin was a terrible name, so instead I referred to it as ‘World Host’. After submitting it, I saw that the cost was listed as 30 points. Not too bad for a single entity purchase. And people will need to buy it repeatedly if they want to use it with a developing world. Though, naturally, it came with a note from the system that Achievements and points could not be earned by the Host unless the Keeper was inhabiting it, and the Host could not be added to an invasion force. Lastly, there could only be one Host on the world at a time.

Seeing that I had successfully submitted it, Terra let out a happy laugh. “That should earn us quite a few points, in the long run. And it looks like you already submitted a custom race as well. Planning ahead?”

I shook my head with a light smile. “No, just not wanting to be poor. By the way, you said achievement points are carried over for starting points if a world resets. Does that not also count for points earned from the royalties?”

Terra nodded her head slightly. “It does. They are treated like System achievements in that they carry over regardless of how many resets you go through. Consider it that you are refunded all of the points you spent on that world, aside from World achievements. So, if you spend 500 points on a world, but 100 of those were from achievements that your world doesn’t have this instance, you only get 400 back.”

I nodded at that, it was easy enough to remember. “Alright. Guess it’s time to get back to guiding the world.” I said with a small sigh as I tabbed back to the map of Earth.

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