Aincrad, 74th Floor, the labyrinth area…
On a stairway somewhere deep in the labyrinth, a player with chestnut-colored hair exchanged attacks with a skeleton knight. The sound of parries and blocks echoed in this battlefield.
Not far away, Wu Yan observed as Asuna attacked the skeleton monster like a nimble butterfly. He nodded with satisfaction, he praised her with his eyes.
There are two primary attributes in SAO: Strength and agility
Each player is given the choice to allocate points to the attribute of their choice upon level up. Players can choose to balance strength with agility or specialize in one attribute.
However, there are other parameters and modifiers in the status of a player. For example, there are resistance attributes like poison resistance. Otherwise, Wu Yan wouldn’t be dizzy from looking at the literal wall of text and figures in his user interface.
The two primary attributes decide the future path of the player. There are also no items that can reverse the choices made so each decision should be made with careful considerations. For instance, Wu Yan added almost all his attribute points to Strength. His ridiculous speed came mostly from his equipment. Meanwhile, Asuna placed all her points into agility.
Agility-specialized fighters or speedsters can fight better against monsters because they can dodge and attack quickly in fights. The downside for specializing in agility is the inability to quickly kill monsters. But, this didn’t apply to Asuna.
Her attack speed is way ahead of the average player. She can unleash attacks so fast it’s hard to keep up with a normal vision. Her average attack per second is between 12 – 20. Her attack is about average but she more than made up for it with speed. Moreover, she enhanced her attack through her equipment so her attack can pile up to deal a ton of damage.
With a stable output of damage and the agility to deal quickly attack or retreat, she might not be able to take on a boss on her own but she’s more than enough to deal with any monster that might block her path. With Wu Yan’s high standard, her ability passed in his books.
She pushed the monster away with skill and she turned around to yell at Wu Yan.
Using another heavy-hitting skill, she used her rapier shining with pink light to stab the monster on its shield.
The force from the ensuing impact staggered the monster. Asuna was also stunned from this exchange.
A figure streaked by and the figure slipped behind the monster.
Almost blinded by the sword skill light coming from Wu Yan, she narrowed her eyes. When she recovered, the monster was already flying away. It shattered into data fragments in the sky.
Asuna’s mouth turned into an ‘o’-shape.
Wu Yan quickly scanned the drops from the monster and he noticed Asuna’s expression.
“You looked like you saw a ghost…”
Asuna noticed her present look and she grabbed Wu Yan by his collar. Her bold move came as a surprise to Wu Yan.
“Just now, was that a double-heavy strike?”
Wu Yan blinked in confusion, he tilted his head.
“Yeah, something wrong?”
“What do you mean something wrong? What the hell was that?”
Asuna’s face turned vicious.
“Why didn’t you enter Post-motion?”
Post-motion is the rigid state players enter after executing a skill. The higher the level of skill, the longer the duration of this rigid state.
This is the reason why the Switch in SAO is very important. Letting a teammate tap in after executing a skill can attract the aggro of the monster and buy time for the player to recover.
Cooldown is also a point of consideration. A player can’t use the same skill in an instant, that’s just impossible.
Wu Yan did just that, he unleashed the same skill twice.
Cooldown time can be reduced with strength but not to the point of 0-second cooldown which could theoretically allow the player to unleash consecutive skills. Also, Post-motion means a player has to stop after a skill, making consecutive skills even more impossible.
How? Just how did Wu Yan avoid Post-motion and use his skills twice in a row.
Wu Yan realized the source of her bewilderment and he begun his explanation.
“I did get the Post-motion!”
“How did you avoid getting hit by the monster? You even used two heavy strikes…”
“Are you messing with em? How can you dodge attacks in a rigid state?”
“I have a small technique that assisted me…”
Wu Yan chuckled.
He looked around and he located a lizardman monster. He told Asuna.
He lifted his Heaven Gazer and the skill light attracted the monster’s attention. Without waiting for it to come to him, he brought the fight to the monster with the first hit.
Pushing the monster away, the lizardman shrieked in anger. It swung its longsword at Wu Yan.
Wu Yan couldn’t move because of the Post-motion effect.
Asuna covered her gasp, she couldn’t believe what is happening.
But, when the attack reached Wu Yan, he somehow managed to dodge the attack.
Asuna’s eyes widened with disbelief.
Wu Yan struck the monster once more. He dodged again despite being frozen by Post-Motion.
If any other player saw this, they would write lengthy reports about this perceived bug exploit.
Asuna’s eyes lit up with inspiration.
He tilted his body right before the rigid state grabbed him.
This tilt and the movement of his center of gravity meant that he could dodge the monster’s attack by relying on inertia.
Asuna couldn’t find any words to describe this.
How gutsy would you need to be to pull off something like this?
This move required accurate prediction of where to dodge before the attack even landed. Effectively, this allowed Wu Yan to tide-through the Post-motion with pre-planned motions. This came with the immense risk of prediction failure resulting in Wu Yan crashing into the monster’s attack instead of moving away from it.
To use this move effectively, the user must have a strong almost inhuman ability to predict the monster’s attack direction with almost 100% accuracy.
This isn’t something a player can do!