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Literature / Overgeared

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How am I doing this? It's the item's attribute!
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Shin Youngwoo, known in-game as "Grid," is a 20-something young man fresh out of his mandatory military service, but life has not been good to him. His high-school career involved getting brutalized by the local bully, while the rest of the class just laughed. His Only Friend led him into a pyramid scheme where he wound up with 10 billion won of debt, the only consolation prize being a capsule that allows him to connect to the VR game, Satisfy, with him having to go to the day labor office and work his tail off every day so he can keep up with the interest of his debt. Even the game world mocks him as he gets dragged into a quest chain completely inappropriate for his character level, getting killed and losing his equipment over, and over again.

Eventually, through sheer grit, he comes to the end of the quest, but the quest giver turns on him in a rage and tries to kill him again, the moment he's got the quest item in hand, [Pagma's Lost Book]. Getting one-sidedly beat on, he decides that rather than let the obnoxious NPC steal away the prize, uses the book on himself, becoming the first ever Legendary-rated class, Pagma's Successor, but this resets him back to level 1, where he gets struck down, then the quest failure penalty steals two more levels, leaving him at -1, and forcefully logging him out for 12 hours. Then after he gets some sleep and endures a day of hard labor, returns to play again, to be spawned outside the temple for the local Religion of Evil as they're performing a Virgin Sacrifice. A powerful NPC appears and asks for his help to rescue the virgin. As he's trying to decline, because it would be suicidal to intervene, he trips, accidentally knocking a boulder on one of the cultists below, forcing him into the quest. As if the situation wasn't already dicey, one of the top ten players of the game shows up, protecting the cultists as part of her own quest chain!

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After a fierce battle, where he doesn't do much except get killed accidentally rescuing the virgin in the process, he still technically fails the quest lowering his level even further to level -3. Then as if that still isn't enough, when he respawns, he finds himself, completely broke, in a town where the nearby hunting areas have monsters at a minimum of level 100, no viable options, with the nearby NPC completely unsympathetic. Most people would Rage Quit at this point, but not Grid. He goes to the one guy who actually has a quest he can do, a quest involving cutting logs for his smithy. It is at this point that Grid realizes the strength of his new legendary blacksmith class and starts to turn his life around, quickly becoming a very powerful, influential, and most importantly, rich player that few can contend with.

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The web novel version first became available to English-speaking audiences in October of 2017, with the manhwa first being translated in April of 2020. Author: Dong Wook Lee

Overgeared tropes:

  • Adaptive Ability: The 12 Ancient Weapon golems in the Braham golem invasion. Every time one is killed the remaining ones upgrade themselves to counter what killed the last one - significantly increasing defense, agility, becoming immune to various status effects, increased immunity to magic. When Grid and the new Overgeared realize this, they arrange to kill all of the last 6 at once to prevent them from upgrading too far to be able to deal with. It works.... until Pon and Vantner start fighting over who gets to finish their golem and they fail to kill it, resulting in the final golem getting a massive set of upgrades against everything that the entire guild had used against the others. The only reason that this didn't end in a Total Party Kill was Grid had previous refused to summon Nao because he didn't want Nao getting more popular than him, and hence the golem was not adapted to counter the massive stat stealing.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: At one point Shin Youngwoo is rushing in to rescue his little sister who is being sexually harassed by four college students who insist on a "date" with her and her female friend and refuse to take "no" for an answer, with Shin even having the Korean number for 911 on his phone, ready to go if the louts don't back off, until the phone battery decides to just die on him. The thugs then decide to try to beat him up "for stealing all the pretty women." As he's fighting, Shin starts putting into practice the martial arts he was being taught in the game, and it worked. While this may seem silly to some readers, research on Virtual Learning shows that this is indeed plausible with some noted early successes.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: Among the players and the NPC, there's a mix of good and bad, but the monsters and the church of Yatan are Always Chaotic Evil.
  • Characterization Marches On: Grid starts out as an extremely cynical, greedy, jaded, and unsympathetic character who refuses to interact with others unless he's looking to exploit them. Now while this doesn't disappear completely, he does outgrow it, and it all starts with the time he finds the NPC Kahn being smacked around by criminal thugs and comes to his aid, not even expecting a reward and develops his first ever genuine friendship.
  • Corrupt Church: Two of the story arcs involve the Church of Rebecca having popes or pope candidates that are badly corrupt and looking to drag the church into the mud for their own self-interest, deluding themselves that they're actually doing Rebecca's will so as not to suffer in-game penalties, and this corruption even goes so far as to infect the players who sign up with the religion to gain the [Priest] class.
  • Dark Is Evil: The only way for players/users to learn dark magic is to join the church of Yatan.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Not only is the game setting in Satisfy extremely realistic, especially in the in-game national politics, but the "real world" politics are also right on the money. In chapter 1100, China gets butt-hurt that Grid, a Korean player, once again unwittingly quashed their attempts at in-game dominance. They launch a couple of combat jets and "mistakenly" send them into South Korean airspace as a show of force. The international backlash is extensive and universal, with S.A. group, the company that manages the game -and has headquarters in Korea- shutting down all their Chinese branches and servers, blocking the ID of all Chinese players, and putting out a statement of condemnation, declaring that they will not be cowed. The CCP comes to the international press, bowing at 90 degrees, apologizing and swearing to never do that again.
  • Eagle Land: Type 2. The only named character with US heritage that is good and decent is Toban of Tzedakah guild, and even he is compromised at one point. The rest are boors, at best, with one of the named US characters even going so far as to deliberately destroy the South Korean flag after winning a Satisfy Olympic event against Yura, receiving international condemnation in response.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The true dangers of hidden classes, like Grid's [Pagma's Descendant] is that they can turn weak, no-name players into real powerhouses that dominate the field.
  • Genius Programming: In universe. The VRMMORPG Satisfy has run for over 2 years and has a base of over 2 billion users, yet not once has anyone reported a bug. At worst, Grid has complained that the developers are manipulating the RNG against him, and the developers had to admit his results are suspicious to an impartial observer, but nobody has ever stated that the game isn't working like it should, and has been able to prove it.
  • In Medias Res: Regardless of Manhwa or web-novel, the first chapter has a high-level Grid marching into the boss room of Hell Goa, trespassing on the raid hunt being conducted by Silver Knight Guild in order to mine a rare mineral one of his guildmates need, because the mineral only spawns when the boss monster does. It takes quite a bit of time for the story to return to this point.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The official wiki has unmarked spoilers all the way to the novel's chapter 1277.
  • Light Is Good: While the human worshippers are not always good and faithful, the gods in charge of light and healing magic are benevolent, kind, and merciful, though their mercy is not limitless.
  • Narnia Time: Despite the fact that users are not 'transporting' to Satisfy, but are instead in virtual reality capsules, the Satisfy world allegedly has time passing by 3 times faster. Exactly how this works and is reconciled with many real-world TV channels and programs following events in real-time is never explained.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: In universe. As far as the company S.A., makers of Satisfy, is concerned, any and all publicity that draws people to the game is a good thing.
  • Obstructive Code of Conduct: So that the world inside Satisfy remains "family-friendly," S.A. has placed some serious restrictions on sexy-fun-times by the users. 1.) Sexual activity is [data omitted]. 2.) Sexual activity by the user can only be done with a spouse of the opposite sex. 3.) Users can only engage in sex once an in-game month. Period.
  • Quality over Quantity: The Giant Guild has well over 200 players, but they are butt-hurt that their rank is always inferior to Tzendarak who has less than 20, because every time that the former antagonizes the latter, the latter cleans their clocks, and their Leader Chris, the #3 ranked player keeps swearing vengeance for it. It gets worse when Tzendarak manages to recruit Grid into their ranks to give them better gear, Giant Guild tries to straight up kidnap Grid and then have the gall to swear vengeance because the guild fought back, and Grid himself took out a dozen of them while defending himself and his guild mate.
  • Rank Inflation: Gear and character classes fall into the following categories, from weakest to strongest: Normal<Rare<Epic<Unique<Legendary<Mythical.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: In several arcs, a main plot point is that Chinese players play Satisfy the way the CCP tells them to, regardless of how they actually want to play. China's government does indeed have a history of being that totalitarian, and worse.
  • Religion of Evil: The Church of Yatan revels in villainy, kidnaps virgin women to offer up as sacrifices to the God of Evil, and use the god's blessing to commit vile acts.
  • School Bullying Is Harmless: Deconstructed for the victim, Shin, and the lead bully! As a result of Shin being bullied in high-school, his self-esteem was trashed and he became extremely anti-social, until he met genuine friends in Satisfy. The bully, once he got out of high-school, where he was viewed as a king by the class and the teachers, kept bouncing from one part-time job to another as the only social interaction he could undertake was going around beating up people if they don't grovel before him and pay him off to appease him, but since he's doing this with adults and doesn't have an entire school classroom population backing him up, his intended targets fight back and sue him, making him pay cash settlements to stay out of jail, and losing his job, since employers don't want violent hot-heads on the payroll. The bully even develops a complex where if he doesn't find a victim that he can beat up, he can't sleep soundly at night.
  • Sinister Minister: Apart from the Yatan Church members who belong to a Religion of Evil, user Dong Pao is a priest of the Rebecca church, who exploits the positive view of users towards rare user healers to lead them to user assassins that kill them and steal their items. As Dong Pao points out - the ACTUAL requirements to be a Priest are simply to pray to Rebecca to increase their divine power, and fast/remain silent during quest periods. There is no actual requirement to do anything actually benevolent.
  • Super Power Lottery: The higher character classes are hidden, and the methods to unlock them change every time someone manages to acquire them so they stay that way.
  • Take Our Word for It: Two words. [Data Omitted].
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Most players treat NPC like props. Grid and his guild see them for what they really are, sentient self-aware beings.

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