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Nekomimineko players live alongside bugs. They can be our biggest enemies, and they can also be our greatest friends.
The bug I exploited this time, of course, was a great friend.
It’s been described as the most convenient and exploitable bug in the history of Nekomimineko. Rumor would always have it that this bug would be fixed “when the new patch came out,” but lo and behold, it has remained present in every single patch since release.
—It was called the “Corpse Knocking Bug”.
Attacking a monster’s critical point doubles its drop rates. This is one of Nekomimineko’s game mechanics, and even the NPCs knew about it.
It’s definitely a useful mechanic, but for many monsters, these points can’t be targeted reliably because of their high agility or awkward positioning.
But at some point, a person insisted that finishing off a monster by hitting its critical point with a multi-hit skill causes the drop rate to skyrocket.
If this was true, then it would completely change how players fought against monsters with useful drops. Inevitably, a large number of players set out to verify this.
The general consensus among testers showed that “the theory was inexplicably correct.” However, results varied greatly from person to person, and no good conclusion could be drawn. But it was clear that using a high damage skill with many hits increases item drop chances.
However, the unbelievable testament of a certain player who attempted to verify the bug caused a dramatic development in the situation.
They claimed that they mis-timed a multi-hit skill and landed it after the target had already died. But even then, the drop rate increased. In fact, after further testing, they saw a higher increase in drop rates over the previous method.
The moment this finding was published, the player base responded with a resounding “it can’t be…”
“…But it’s Nekomimineko so it might just…”
And thus, the verification started again in a new direction. It ended up shedding light on an astonishing truth.
To begin, how did the game interpret “killing a monster by attacking its critical point doubles its drop rate,” and how was that implemented? The answer was apparently: when “the critical point is hit by an attack,” and “after damage calculation, the monster has less than or equal to zero HP,” then “double the chance of a drop or rare drop.”
This might seem quite standard, andt in any normal RPG, or really any other game, there wouldn’t be a problem. The moment the final hit drops the monster’s HP to 0, the monster would become untargetable, and it wouldn’t matter whether a multi-hit skill dealt the killing blow or not. There would only be one final hit and one doubling of drop rates.
But in Nekomimineko, actions can affect monsters’ corpses for a short while after they die. This means that players can be killed by those corpses’ attacks, but on the other hand, this also meant that it was possible to land hits on dead monsters.
Of course, it’s easier to attack the critical point of a corpse versus the vital point of a moving monster. Plus since it’s dead, its HP would always be below zero, no matter how weak of an attack it’s hit with. All this considered, each hit on a corpse’s critical point fulfils all requirements to double the drop rate.
Finally, the drop rate increase is a simple multiplication by two, so with each cumulative hit, the drop rate increases to 2x, 4x, 8x, etc. at an exponential rate.
What does this all mean?
—In essence, “hitting the vital point of a monster’s corpse with a multi-hit skill increases item drop rates exponentially.”
This was the “Corpse Knocking Bug”, obtaining more drops with little risk. It’s one of the bread and butter bug techniques of Nekomimineko players.
Now, in this tournament, the ranking will largely depend on the amount of rewards obtained from drop items.
There’s no way I wouldn’t use the bug here. I had been forming a plan around this bug from the moment this Golden Extermination Fest was announced.
“After Ringo halted them with her lightning strikes, I would dash in and hit them in the vitals with Sextuple Stab. We’d aim for first place with that approach, and if there were room to spare I’d have Ringo hold back slightly on her attacks so that I could deal the killing blow and raise my level. This was our basic strategy against the Golden Wild Zlimes.”
It was exactly as I had said.
To explain it in slightly more detail, after Ringo killed the Golden with her lightning strikes and stopped it from moving, I would dash in and trigger the bug with Sextuple Stab. The Golden was then almost guaranteed to drop a Gold Zlime Coin, and we would aim for first place with the drop rewards.
The skill Sextuple Stab is six hits, so when using it to trigger the Corpse Knocking Bug, the item drop rate increases by 2^6 times. That was 2x2x2x2x2x2=64 times the regular drop rate. The drop rate for Gold Zlime Coins was originally 10%, so by using this bug the drop rate increases to 640%. Unfortunately, the system wasn’t so broken that it would drop multiple items at once, but it was more than enough to guarantee a drop.
But there was one thing that I had missed at the start. This Corpse Knocking Bug actually had one small defect when the goal is to win this Fest, and that is that this trick also raises the rare drop rate.
Since rare drops supercede normal drops, the Gold Zlime Coin would not drop when the system decides to drop a rare item. The Golden’s rare drop, Golden Sakura, had a 0.1% drop rate, so after the Corpse Knocking Bug, it would have a 6.4% drop rate. Going by expected values, it would’ve been completely normal if we had gotten another three or so, but in the end we were lucky—or maybe unlucky—and only a single Golden Sakura dropped.
However, I did make yet another miscalculation.
That was Hisame’s participation.
From the very start, I hadn’t expected to be able to take first place in kills. The occurrence of this event was random, but this was still a Nekomimineko event. Even if I hadn’t imagined Hisame would show up, I had anticipated that some skilled characters would be competing.
But no matter how skilled they are, I thought that I would be able to overtake them with the difference in expected value per Golden we gained.
Normally, defeating a Golden yields 10,000, and the drop item is worth 100,000 with a 10% chance resulting in an expected 10,000, for a total expected value of 20,000 per Golden. We, on the other hand, can almost guarantee Coin drops, resulting in 10,000 for a kill and 100,000 for the drop, totaling a guaranteed 110,000 per Golden. The difference is huge.
Earlier, I had set a kill quota for us to meet, but in fact, the quota also included Gold Zlime Coins obtained by Corpse Knocking.
If our main competition only defeated the Goldens normally, then we only needed to defeat 80 Goldens using the bug to secure our lead. Even if they defeated the remaining 420, we’d be guaranteed first place. If we defeated at least 50, then they would have to defeat 275 Goldens, or more than half of the total, which means we had a good chance to take first. That’s what I had thought.
However, Hisame was a monster who could accurately target the critical point every time, earning her an expected 30,000 per Golden.
This caused my safe estimates to no longer be so safe. What’s more, from how she spoke, it seemed likely that she would hunt more than half.
An hour into the event, we had a total of 66 successes using the Corpse Knocking Bug. That corresponds to a reward of around 7,300,000, which was still short of the anticipated 7,500,000 if Hisame made good on her word. At that moment, I was at my wit’s end, and in actuality Hisame had defeated 251 Goldens and was sitting at 7,710,000.
If we hadn’t found the spawn point in the giant boulder at that time, or if Hisame had continued hunting past the 251th one, we surely would have lost.
Looking at it that way, this was indeed “a victory gained by not giving up.”
(Mhm. This was quite a tight battle.)
That was how I reflected on this Fest as Ringo and I were being recognized as the winners.
Nobody accused us of cheating, probably because this world is half a game world, despite our obviously ludicrous results. I’m sure that everyone understands it’s impossible to break the rules of the Fest.
The stage had gone quiet for a moment after our results had been revealed, perhaps out of shock. But after the announcer reported our victory once more, loud cheering and words of congratulations poured over us. Though Nekomimineko was filled with extremely evil events, another of its peculiarities was that there were many good people in it.
…Of course that was just another of the producers’ schemes, since having someone with no ill intentions trigger the most horrible events serves to bring further pain to the players.
In any case, it felt great to be praised. A natural smile appeared even on my face, as I waved back to everyone who had sent us their compliments, which included everyone around this stage.
(…Wait, not quite.)
It was incorrect to say everyone. While almost everyone was cheering for us, at the very minimum, there was one exception.
That exception, was of course…
Her emotions had completely disappeared, and she appeared to have entered a catatonic state. Her cat ears were slumped over and dead still.