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Thread: Softcap Theory - The Immortal Limit Breakers of Jinyong

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    Default Softcap Theory - The Immortal Limit Breakers of Jinyong

    I've long held a theory that in the main Jinyong-verse, when people reach a certain level of martial arts skill, they face a problem of massive diminishing returns. In RPG terms, this would be where you reach the level 'softcap' of the game - you continue to gain XP, but the next level require so much XP as to be basically unobtainable, or where your damage/hp caps out at 999/9999, etc. In the Jinyong-verse, I believe this softcap is at the Greats level.

    This would explain a large number of inconsistencies in growth patterns we see in Jinyong, and how everything seems to cluster at roughly that level. For example - in DGSD, Murong Bo was initially so completely outclassed by Xiao Yuanshan that he was utterly terrified of the man, but after the two spent similar amounts of time hiding in Shaolin, they somehow reached a level of parity. Jiumozhi was awed by and in admiration of Murong Bo when they first met (at a time when Murong Bo was inferior to Xiao Yuanshan), but by the time of the events of DGSD he too had reached a level of parity to both of them.

    In LOCH and ROCH, we see all four Greats advance roughly by the same amount, and Jinyong also seems determined to keep Wang Chongyang roughly on par with them despite the passage of decades. Even Qiu Qianren somehow keeps up with everyone! Similarly, Guo Jing quickly skyrockets in LOCH to near-Great status, but even decades later in ROCH he only remains roughly on par/slightly better than them at best. Yang Guo eventually finds that snake gallbladders no longer boost his energy that much in ROCH, while in HSDS Zhang Wuji uses 9Yang/QKDNY to reach a level that's basically comparable to the century-old ZSF, who in turn comments that he's probably on par with GJ/YG.

    All of the above just makes no sense, unless there is a 'softcap' on your martial arts 'level' that everyone essentially reaches. Some reach this level earlier (Zhang Wuji/Xiao Feng), some reach the level later (Zhang Sanfeng/Murong Bo), but once you reach it - you are basically on par with everyone else.

    BUT. There are a few techniques that seem to allow you to break through this softcap. As in any good RPG, I call these 'limit breakers' - but in the Chinese context, it almost seems like they are more akin to breaking through the 'mortal' cultivation level and direct you into the 'Immortal' level.

    Below are my list of martial arts cultivation 'limit breaker' techniques, and the 'area' they limit break.

    Xiaoyao Sect from DGSD - Internal Energy Limit Breakers

    Tianshan Tonglao's 'Never-Aging Eternal Youth' technique and Wu Yazi's 'Beiming Shengong' technique.

    Xiaoyao Sect is the closest thing in Jinyong to having something akin to a Daoist 'Immortal' sect, and as you expect, it has the most limit-breakers. All of Xiaoyao Sect's practitioners gain the benefits of tremendous longevity; when Wu Yazi transferred his internal energy to Xu Zhu, he aged so much that Xu Zhu thought that he had passed out for 50 years! In turn, even though Wu Yazi was probably 80+ years old, Tianshan Tonglao was completely shocked at him dying, stating "how could he die, given his incredible internal energy?!"

    Now, Tianshan Tonglao's 'Never-Aging Eternal Youth' technique is even more advanced in this regard - it appears to essentially allow for eternal youth and maybe even eternal life (the reversion to a child effect was due to fire deviation caused long ago by Li Qiushui), allowing one to stay in maximum physical condition while continuing to accumulate utterly dominating levels of internal energy. If this isn't a limit breaker, I don't know what is.

    Similarly, Wu Yazi's Beiming Shengong is utterly ridiculous; it allows you to perfectly absorb other people's internal energy, blowing past any limitations of natural growth. What we see from Xu Zhu, when he basically took in the internal energy of all three Xiaoyao elders to become arguably the greatest internal energy powerhouse of the Jinyong-verse, is testament to how broken Beiming Shengong can be.

    Li Qiushui was a bit weaker than both of the other two, and it shows - while her Xiaowu Xianggong is amazing in allowing the user to emulate any type of martial arts technique, in and of itself it isn't a limit-breaker - which is why she was never a match in a face-on clash against either TSTL or WYZ.

    Sunflower Manual from XAJH - Speed Limit Breaker

    I think everyone knows what 'limit break' the Sunflower Manual applies - pure speed. While there's almost certainly an internal power component to it as well, the Sunflower Manual is primarily a speed limit breaker that allows its users to reach such ridiculous heights of speed that no other martial artists can compete in this arena. More importantly, that's in its bastardized form! The original Sunflower Manual was kept by Shaolin - two incomplete copies were stolen by Huashan Sect (later taken by the Sun Moon Sect and learned by DFBB), and then Lin Yuantu combined them into his own version, this 72-stroke Pixie sword technique. This means we have never seen the full might of the true Sunflower Manual, and I shudder to think of how powerful it truly is.

    In addition, while we react with aversion to the castration requirements of the bastardized version, keep in mind that in classical Taoism, one of the ways to achieve Immortality is by refraining from sexual intercourse - hence we have Zhang Sanfeng, the hundred-year-old-virgin. So in a way, the bastardized versions of the Sunflower Manual that we see are kind of keeping in touch with some of the tenets of Immortal cultivation!

    Dragon-Elephant Prajna from ROCH - Strength Limit Breaker

    I know this will probably shock a lot of people, but I firmly believe that the Dragon-Elephant Prajna technique which Jinlun Fawang uses is a limit breaker, a strength limit breaker. It literally doubles in strength with each level, and has a maximum theoretical level of 13. Jinlun Fawang only reached level 10, but was already at a state where he had essentially surpassed the Greats in power! Not even Zhou Botong, arguably the strongest Great by the end of the Condor duology, was willing to meet him blow-for-blow, and instead used Vacuum Fists to ablate the power of his blows. This means in theory, someone who can master Dragon-Elephant Prajna to the fullest level would have eight times the power of Jinlun Fawang. This definitely qualifies as having blown past the power limits!

    The ties to 'Immortality' are a bit more tenuous here, but the dragon is the most divine and powerful creature in Daoist mythology, so there's at least some connection as well.

    Dugu Nine Swords from XAJH - Technical Limit Breaker

    Dugu Qiubai is the closest thing we have to a Sword Immortal in the Jinyong-verse, although he self-styled as the 'Sword Demon', and this technique of his is so bizarre and hacked that it must be included. I believe that the Dugu Nine Swords are a technical limit breaker, on the level of being reality breaking. After spending just ten days studying this technique with Feng Qingyang (and no internal energy boosters!), Linghu Chong reached a level of swordsmanship that surpassed almost everyone in the martial world, and was able to pull off feats that just make no sense, such as blinding 15 elite masters instantly when he had virtually no internal energy. In addition, DG9S has its trademark ability of 'becoming stronger when you face stronger opponents' - but more importantly, you keep that level of strength after finishing the fight! With each powerful opponent Linghu Chong faced, his sword techniques continued to skyrocket. @Ken you know how the Hulk gets stronger as he gets madder? Now imagine if Hulk calms down but still keeps his 'mad strength' as his new 'base strength' level. I shudder to think how powerful LHC would have become if he was actually ambitious and motivated to train hard, or if Feng Qingyang spent more than just ten days teaching him. Considering the nigh-reality breaking powers of DG9S, I think it definitely qualifies as a technical limit breaker.

    Taixuanjing/Heroes Island Technique from Ode to Gallantry - All-Round Limit Breaker

    This is one of the most mysterious techniques in all of the Jinyong-verse. It's never explained in detail and only appears in the final chapters of Ode to Gallantry/Xiakexing, but it propels Shi Potian to a prajna-state where he is able to defeat both of the Island Lords at the same time and essentially exhaust them to death - and the Island Lords are basically at Greats-level imo, leagues above everyone else in the world of Ode to Gallantry! There is also an Immortal connection here as well - the technique (and the name of the book) are based off of Li Bai's poem, and Li Bai is popularly known as both the 'Immortal of Poetry' and a 'Sword Immortal' in legends and myths. All this combined convinces me that the Taixuanjing technique is a true limit breaker, possibly one of the most profound techniques in the Jinyong-verse, which points the users towards a path of transcending the mortal limits.

    Honorable Mentions:

    Heavy Iron Sword + Heavy Iron Sword Technique - This is disqualified because there's a weapon component/requirement to it, but it would almost certainly qualify as a limit breaker otherwise. Yang Guo's usage of the HIS and the HIS technique allows us to see something which is almost never seen anywhere in the Jinyong-verse - a clean and fairly quick defeat of a Greats-level fighter in Qiu Qianren. Greats-level fighters are never defeated like that, with the exceptions of Shi Potian and Sweeper Monk. And this was Yang Guo as someone in his late teens! Even later on, when Yang Guo had advanced by leaps and bounds, he regretted not bringing the HIS to his fight with Jinlun Fawang - which strongly implies that he'd still be considerably better using that sword and that technique - and he was already beating Jinlun Fawang with his 'regular' Sad Palms! I consider this technique a 'force limit breaker', but because it has special material requirements, ultimately it did not make the cut.

    Zhenwu Formation - This ultimate formation of Zhang Sanfeng deserves an honorable mention. Although it is a multi-person formation and thus doesn't qualify, it is still a limit-breaker in a sense because it allows 7 people to unleash the power of 64 first-class fighters with each blow! This is definitely something that is limit-breaking, but again, it does require seven specific people using a specific formation/internal energy, so it doesn't quite make the cut. But, it's still definitely badass. Alas, Zhang Sanfeng gave up on his attempt to create a formation that one person could use to achieve the same effect - otherwise, it might very well become the crowning limit breaker of the Jinyong-verse.

    9 Yin/9 Yang - Surprisingly, these two coveted techniques are not limit-breakers. Despite how much they were hyped up and their many benefits, they just don't break the limits. The presence or absence of 9Yin didn't seem to make a difference in the power level of the Greats - even Yideng with both YYZ and 9Yin was said to be just the tiniest fraction better than Qiu Qianren (who never learned 9 Yin), while 9 Yang quickly propelled Zhang Wuji to Greats levels but then no longer seemed to further any improvements. These are great techniques - but not limit breakers.

    Tendon Altering Sutra - This technique is also not a limit breaker. It appeared in two places - DGSD with You Tanzhi, and XAJH with Fang Zheng. In the former, even combined with the Ice Silkworm it only propelled YTZ to a level of internal energy that was essentially on par with Greats like Xiao Feng, while in the latter the 'pure' version only allowed Fang Zheng to reach a level that was somewhat superior to Ren Woxing. Therefore, while the Tendon Altering Sutra is powerful, it is not a limit breaker. Quite frankly, there's nothing in Shaolin's arsenal that seems to be limit-breaking, which is another reason why I've always had a suspicion/head-canon that Sweeper Monk is actually related to Xiaoyao Sect somehow - but that's a whole 'nuther topic.

    Shen Zhao Jing - This ultimate technique from A Deadly Secret is pretty impressive, but overall it just seems to be on par with 9 Yin/9 Yang. I'm not as familiar with ADS as I should be, but I *think* there might be an argument for it to be a limit breaker in terms of healing ability, as its reputed to be able to bring the dead back to life, but that's pretty much it.

    Book & Sword, SSWRB, Flying Fox, Deer and the Cauldron, etc. do not have even normal 'Greats' level techniques, much less limit breakers. By curious coincidence, all of them are set in the Qing dynasty years.

    And there you have it! My 'softcap' theory and the limit breakers that can theoretically allow one to overcome that 'softcap'. Can you think of anything I have missed?
    Last edited by Ren Wo Xing; 08-28-21 at 01:20 AM.
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    how about lightness skill like Duan Yu's ling bo wei bo? auto evade when covering eyes
    Last edited by a_tumiwa; 08-28-21 at 12:09 AM.

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    Honorable Mentions:

    Heavy Iron Sword + Heavy Iron Sword Technique - This is disqualified because there's a weapon component/requirement to it, but it would almost certainly qualify as a limit breaker otherwise. Yang Guo's usage of the HIS and the HIS technique allows us to see something which is almost never seen anywhere in the Jinyong-verse - a clean and fairly quick defeat of a Greats-level fighter in Qiu Qianren. Greats-level fighters are never defeated like that, with the exceptions of Shi Potian and Sweeper Monk. And this was Yang Guo as someone in his late teens! Even later on, when Yang Guo had advanced by leaps and bounds, he regretted not bringing the HIS to his fight with Jinlun Fawang - which strongly implies that he'd still be considerably better using that sword and that technique - and he was already beating Jinlun Fawang with his 'regular' Sad Palms! I consider this technique a 'force limit breaker', but because it has special material requirements, ultimately it did not make the cut.

    ....

    So if we have "default" YG at Lv 80 then what about end-ROCH HIS YG could he reach Lv 85+ like Xiaoyao Elders or only limited at Lv 85 like DY..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    All of Xiaoyao Sect's practitioners gain the benefits of tremendous longevity; when Wu Yazi transferred his internal energy to Xu Zhu, he aged so much that Xu Zhu thought that he had passed out for 50 years! In turn, even though Wu Yazi was probably 80+ years old, Tianshan Tonglao was completely shocked at him dying, stating "how could he die, given his incredible internal energy?!"

    Li Qiushui was a bit weaker than both of the other two, and it shows - while her Xiaowu Xianggong is amazing in allowing the user to emulate any type of martial arts technique, in and of itself it isn't a limit-breaker - which is why she was never a match in a face-on clash against either TSTL or WYZ.

    Tonglao was 96 iirc. WYZ should be early 90s. One thing, Beiming was Hexxor but it didnt make you immortal or give you some 150yr lifespan. WYZ was in a hurry to pass on his power because he had calculated that he had reached his natural lifespan limit and was going to die in any case. He mentioned it to XZ.

    I don't think LQS was significantly weaker than Tonglao. Tonglao started at 6 and mentioned she had 90 years of energy. She was on the last day = 89 years of energy regained when she fought with LQS to pretty much a stalemate. LQS, being late 80s, even if she started training at 1 year old, would not have 89 years of internal. Granted Tonglao was missing a leg (but it wasnt mentioned as a significant hindrance in the fight). With ~5 years less training, I dont see the skillset of LQS being any noticible amount weaker than TSTL.

    Tonglao had access to XWXG and LQS obviously had access to BMSG and LBWB. They were quite disciplined to not study it (or they deemed it not worth it).
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC View Post
    Tonglao was 96 iirc. WYZ should be early 90s. One thing, Beiming was Hexxor but it didnt make you immortal or give you some 150yr lifespan. WYZ was in a hurry to pass on his power because he had calculated that he had reached his natural lifespan limit and was going to die in any case. He mentioned it to XZ.

    I don't think LQS was significantly weaker than Tonglao. Tonglao started at 6 and mentioned she had 90 years of energy. She was on the last day = 89 years of energy regained when she fought with LQS to pretty much a stalemate. LQS, being late 80s, even if she started training at 1 year old, would not have 89 years of internal. Granted Tonglao was missing a leg (but it wasnt mentioned as a significant hindrance in the fight). With ~5 years less training, I dont see the skillset of LQS being any noticible amount weaker than TSTL.

    Tonglao had access to XWXG and LQS obviously had access to BMSG and LBWB. They were quite disciplined to not study it (or they deemed it not worth it).
    A few thoughts. First, judging from TSTL's reaction to him dying, it's likely that he wouldn't have reached his natural lifespan anytime soon had it not been for the absolutely crippling injuries he suffered at the hands of Ding Chunqiu. In fact, him not dying and living on to be late 80's/early 90's is a testament to how OP Beiming Shengong is - and if he was able to roam the martial world sucking people's internal energy, who knows? We have ordinary humans on record who have lived to be ~120+; 140 or 150 genuinely does not seem to be inconceivable to me, for someone with Beiming like Wu Yazi.

    That being said - it was stated several times in the novel that Wu Yazi passed 70+ years of internal energy to Xu Zhu, and that he did have more internal energy than the other two - so I'm not too sure about his age at time of death.

    Regarding Tonglao, I think there's no question that she was normally a good deal stronger than Li Qiushui. It was stated that she had previously carved a character into Li Qiushui's face, something that would not be possible if Tonglao was only slightly stronger than Li Qiushui. In addition, Tianshan Tonglao herself mentioned specifically that she normally would not consider Li Qiushui a threat at all, but the loss of her leg made her uncertain as to whether or not she would succeed:

    童老有道: 我神功一成,立时便要去找李秋水那贱人算账。本来那贱人万万不是我的敌手,但我不幸给这贱人断了一腿,真 气大受损伤;大仇是否能报,也没什么把握了。
    Which would make sense; the fact that TSTL was able to fight LQS evenly with only one leg is a testament to how much superior she was, imo - as was the fact that LQS never dared to even try to take revenge on TSTL for carving a word into her face prior to this situation.

    LQS did indeed have access to BMSG, but I suspect she might've only gained access to it after her backstabbing of Wu Yazi - it seems to me that their master respectively imparted one ultimate technique to each of them. Judging from the specific details of how XXDF was trained, it's also possible (even likely) that in learning BMSG, she would have to give up her up own considerable XWXG cultivation base and start from scratch. It would definitely result in a higher 'ceiling' for her in the future, but would expose her to considerable risk in the interim.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Western Eccentric View Post

    So if we have "default" YG at Lv 80 then what about end-ROCH HIS YG could he reach Lv 85+ like Xiaoyao Elders or only limited at Lv 85 like DY..
    If we go by the WuxiaMaster relative rankings? I suspect he'd be around an 83 as well. Xiaoyao Elders just have too much advantage of time on them while specializing in their techniques which are even more broken than the HIS sword/technique combo.

    Duan Yu in the rankings is too high, imo - his 85 would be his maximum theoretical potential if he was good at fighting, which he has never been shown to reach. Based even on his best demonstrated performance, I think he barely scrapes 80 at best. Do I think he would be able to defeat DFBB or come close to matching LQS in a fight? Absolutely not. I do think Yang Guo with his HIS stands a much better chance.

    For that matter, while the general 'order' of the rankings is correct, at the very top it gets a bit fuzzy imo. I personally think there is at least a 2-3 level difference between TSTL and LQS, for example - both seemed completely certain that TSTL would win in a 'fair' fight, and the fact that TSTL with one leg was able to match LQS suggests this as well. I also wouldn't agree with Xu Zhu being ranked that high; while his internal is an absolute beast and his techniques are good, he has such poor fighting experience/instincts (compared to the others) that I don't think it would do the trick, and at the absolute pinnacle of martial arts this can be a huge detriment. For example, he is ranked 7 points above DFBB, but in a 'real' fight I think DFBB stands a very good chance of blinding him with a needle, which his internal energy wouldn't protect him against. I think the rankings for Xu Zhu and Duan Yu both assume maximum possible performances which they are highly unlikely to ever reach.
    Last edited by Ren Wo Xing; 08-27-21 at 03:25 PM.
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    Awesome tread @Ren Wo Xing!
    We have not one like this for a while.

    One correction:
    The Dragon Elephant Prana consisted of 13 levels.
    It would take the practictioner ~1000 years to master and it is 8X more internal than level 10!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Western Eccentric View Post
    Honorable Mentions:

    Heavy Iron Sword + Heavy Iron Sword Technique - This is disqualified because there's a weapon component/requirement to it, but it would almost certainly qualify as a limit breaker otherwise. Yang Guo's usage of the HIS and the HIS technique allows us to see something which is almost never seen anywhere in the Jinyong-verse - a clean and fairly quick defeat of a Greats-level fighter in Qiu Qianren. Greats-level fighters are never defeated like that, with the exceptions of Shi Potian and Sweeper Monk. And this was Yang Guo as someone in his late teens! Even later on, when Yang Guo had advanced by leaps and bounds, he regretted not bringing the HIS to his fight with Jinlun Fawang - which strongly implies that he'd still be considerably better using that sword and that technique - and he was already beating Jinlun Fawang with his 'regular' Sad Palms! I consider this technique a 'force limit breaker', but because it has special material requirements, ultimately it did not make the cut.

    ....

    So if we have "default" YG at Lv 80 then what about end-ROCH HIS YG could he reach Lv 85+ like Xiaoyao Elders or only limited at Lv 85 like DY..
    Like I have analyzed and propose all of this time, with ~hundreds of posts to persuade

    @WuxiaMaster, please add a level for post-16 YG equipped with the legendary HIS and its ingenious techniques.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    A few thoughts. First, judging from TSTL's reaction to him dying, it's likely that he wouldn't have reached his natural lifespan anytime soon had it not been for the absolutely crippling injuries he suffered at the hands of Ding Chunqiu. In fact, him not dying and living on to be late 80's/early 90's is a testament to how OP Beiming Shengong is - and if he was able to roam the martial world sucking people's internal energy, who knows? We have ordinary humans on record who have lived to be ~120+; 140 or 150 genuinely does not seem to be inconceivable to me, for someone with Beiming like Wu Yazi.

    That being said - it was stated several times in the novel that Wu Yazi passed 70+ years of internal energy to Xu Zhu, and that he did have more internal energy than the other two - so I'm not too sure about his age at time of death.

    Regarding Tonglao, I think there's no question that she was normally a good deal stronger than Li Qiushui. It was stated that she had previously carved a character into Li Qiushui's face, something that would not be possible if Tonglao was only slightly stronger than Li Qiushui. In addition, Tianshan Tonglao herself mentioned specifically that she normally would not consider Li Qiushui a threat at all, but the loss of her leg made her uncertain as to whether or not she would succeed:



    Which would make sense; the fact that TSTL was able to fight LQS evenly with only one leg is a testament to how much superior she was, imo - as was the fact that LQS never dared to even try to take revenge on TSTL for carving a word into her face prior to this situation.

    LQS did indeed have access to BMSG, but I suspect she might've only gained access to it after her backstabbing of Wu Yazi - it seems to me that their master respectively imparted one ultimate technique to each of them. Judging from the specific details of how XXDF was trained, it's also possible (even likely) that in learning BMSG, she would have to give up her up own considerable XWXG cultivation base and start from scratch. It would definitely result in a higher 'ceiling' for her in the future, but would expose her to considerable risk in the interim.
    1. I think its a toss up in terms of whether BMSG will extend your life to crazy lengths. Since there was no explicit hint that it was the injury which caused WYZ to conk out at 90+ (which seems to be what the ROCH Greats could at least live to as well). Should be fun if their Master was still alive.

    2. I am still not convinced the base skillset is a big differentiator between those 2. Tonglao did have the advantage of more years of experience and training.

    Back to BMSG. It definitely is too OP due to the sucking ability. Frankly, anyone who learns it can abuse it to Level 999999 (assuming a human doesnt explode once they get to say 2x Xuzhu) if a 'normal' elite was only Level 1000. If Su Xinghe just kidnapped one or two Wuliang scrub level a week for WYZ, he could probably start walking again using the cloth of his pants like how YG can move his sleeve within a year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    If we go by the WuxiaMaster relative rankings? I suspect he'd be around an 83 as well. Xiaoyao Elders just have too much advantage of time on them while specializing in their techniques which are even more broken than the HIS sword/technique combo.

    Duan Yu in the rankings is too high, imo - his 85 would be his maximum theoretical potential if he was good at fighting, which he has never been shown to reach. Based even on his best demonstrated performance, I think he barely scrapes 80 at best. Do I think he would be able to defeat DFBB or come close to matching LQS in a fight? Absolutely not. I do think Yang Guo with his HIS stands a much better chance.

    For that matter, while the general 'order' of the rankings is correct, at the very top it gets a bit fuzzy imo. I personally think there is at least a 2-3 level difference between TSTL and LQS, for example - both seemed completely certain that TSTL would win in a 'fair' fight, and the fact that TSTL with one leg was able to match LQS suggests this as well. I also wouldn't agree with Xu Zhu being ranked that high; while his internal is an absolute beast and his techniques are good, he has such poor fighting experience/instincts (compared to the others) that I don't think it would do the trick, and at the absolute pinnacle of martial arts this can be a huge detriment. For example, he is ranked 7 points above DFBB, but in a 'real' fight I think DFBB stands a very good chance of blinding him with a needle, which his internal energy wouldn't protect him against. I think the rankings for Xu Zhu and Duan Yu both assume maximum possible performances which they are highly unlikely to ever reach.
    @Ren Wo Xing and @WuxiaMaster:

    Post-16 YG base (six-year ocean training + happy Sad Palms): level ~80.

    Post-16 YG (six-year ocean training + full-powered Sad Palms): level ~83.

    Post-16 YG (six-year ocean training + Heavy Iron Sword and its ingenious techniques): level ~85+.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FeilongZ View Post
    Awesome tread @Ren Wo Xing!
    We have not one like this for a while.

    One correction:
    The Dragon Elephant Prana consisted of 13 levels.
    It would take the practictioner ~1000 years to master and it is 8X more internal than level 10!
    ...and because nobody lives to be anywhere near 1000 years old, nobody will ever achieve this hypothetical level.

    It's like those prison sentences that last hundreds of years. Yes...you can sentence a convict to a multi-century prison term, but you know he/she won't ever serve its full length.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    If we go by the WuxiaMaster relative rankings? I suspect he'd be around an 83 as well. Xiaoyao Elders just have too much advantage of time on them while specializing in their techniques which are even more broken than the HIS sword/technique combo.

    Duan Yu in the rankings is too high, imo - his 85 would be his maximum theoretical potential if he was good at fighting, which he has never been shown to reach. Based even on his best demonstrated performance, I think he barely scrapes 80 at best. Do I think he would be able to defeat DFBB or come close to matching LQS in a fight? Absolutely not. I do think Yang Guo with his HIS stands a much better chance.

    For that matter, while the general 'order' of the rankings is correct, at the very top it gets a bit fuzzy imo. I personally think there is at least a 2-3 level difference between TSTL and LQS, for example - both seemed completely certain that TSTL would win in a 'fair' fight, and the fact that TSTL with one leg was able to match LQS suggests this as well. I also wouldn't agree with Xu Zhu being ranked that high; while his internal is an absolute beast and his techniques are good, he has such poor fighting experience/instincts (compared to the others) that I don't think it would do the trick, and at the absolute pinnacle of martial arts this can be a huge detriment. For example, he is ranked 7 points above DFBB, but in a 'real' fight I think DFBB stands a very good chance of blinding him with a needle, which his internal energy wouldn't protect him against. I think the rankings for Xu Zhu and Duan Yu both assume maximum possible performances which they are highly unlikely to ever reach.
    Yeeep I agree too YG shouldn't deserve at Lv 85 even with HIS the difference between him and DY was so high especially in terms of internal strength..

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    Quote Originally Posted by CC View Post
    1. I think its a toss up in terms of whether BMSG will extend your life to crazy lengths. Since there was no explicit hint that it was the injury which caused WYZ to conk out at 90+ (which seems to be what the ROCH Greats could at least live to as well). Should be fun if their Master was still alive.
    I'm also of the impression that XY arts allow them to keep their youthful appearance but they're still gonna crap out at whatever natural age they're supposed to live up to. I don't recall any record of XY practitioners living to like 150yo. On the other hand, plenty of Greats live to 100yo, like ZBT, HYS, YD, with ZBT showing no sign of kicking the bucket anytime soon (his hair even got dark). ZSF at 120yo is still one-hit KO-ing fools and inventing Greatl level arts. FQY seems old as hell as well (he calls Ning Zhongce a "little girl").

    I do agree with the OP that BMSG is an internal energy limalso think that the sucking and pooling internal energy ability of BMSG is a bit too much BS, even for Wuxia physics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    ...and because nobody lives to be anywhere near 1000 years old, nobody will ever achieve this hypothetical level.

    It's like those prison sentences that last hundreds of years. Yes...you can sentence a convict to a multi-century prison term, but you know he/she won't ever serve its full length.
    This is true to life

    But like @Ren Wo Xing sugguested that the Dragon Elephant Prana arts could propel one to break the natural internal cap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    If we go by the WuxiaMaster relative rankings? I suspect he'd be around an 83 as well. Xiaoyao Elders just have too much advantage of time on them while specializing in their techniques which are even more broken than the HIS sword/technique combo.

    Duan Yu in the rankings is too high, imo - his 85 would be his maximum theoretical potential if he was good at fighting, which he has never been shown to reach. Based even on his best demonstrated performance, I think he barely scrapes 80 at best. Do I think he would be able to defeat DFBB or come close to matching LQS in a fight? Absolutely not. I do think Yang Guo with his HIS stands a much better chance.

    For that matter, while the general 'order' of the rankings is correct, at the very top it gets a bit fuzzy imo. I personally think there is at least a 2-3 level difference between TSTL and LQS, for example - both seemed completely certain that TSTL would win in a 'fair' fight, and the fact that TSTL with one leg was able to match LQS suggests this as well. I also wouldn't agree with Xu Zhu being ranked that high; while his internal is an absolute beast and his techniques are good, he has such poor fighting experience/instincts (compared to the others) that I don't think it would do the trick, and at the absolute pinnacle of martial arts this can be a huge detriment. For example, he is ranked 7 points above DFBB, but in a 'real' fight I think DFBB stands a very good chance of blinding him with a needle, which his internal energy wouldn't protect him against. I think the rankings for Xu Zhu and Duan Yu both assume maximum possible performances which they are highly unlikely to ever reach.
    Very well thoughts and analysis.

    What is the chance of post-16 YG with Dugu's HIS and its techniques against DFBB?

    -Six-year ocean training
    -9yin defensive skills that ZBT couldn't do anything to him.
    -The HIS which boosts YG's overall power and its Great++ techniques.
    -Great lightness kungfu and speed demonstrations.
    -Jinyong said overwhelming force overcomes speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FeilongZ View Post
    Awesome tread @Ren Wo Xing!
    We have not one like this for a while.

    One correction:
    The Dragon Elephant Prana consisted of 13 levels.
    It would take the practictioner ~1000 years to master and it is 8X more internal than level 10!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    ...and because nobody lives to be anywhere near 1000 years old, nobody will ever achieve this hypothetical level.

    It's like those prison sentences that last hundreds of years. Yes...you can sentence a convict to a multi-century prison term, but you know he/she won't ever serve its full length.
    Correct, there are 13 levels, I'll fix. Definitely a limit breaker!

    @Ken and @FeilongZ On the ~1000 years thing, I actually thought about that. That is for 'ordinary' practitioners. It's said that the difficulty is exponential - mastering the 1st level takes 2 years, the 2nd level takes 4, the 3rd takes 7-8, the 5th takes 30, etc. - which means that the tenth level, which no one is able to master before Jinlun Fawang, would take hundreds of years. But, Jinlun Fawang is clearly able to master it in a few decades, and felt he had a shot at mastering the 11th level - which means that sufficient talent and compatibility with this technique can drastically shorten the amount of training time required. This is similar to Qiankun Danuoyi; it was said that experts would need 7 years to master the 1st level, while ordinary martial artists would need 14 years. And this was just the first level! But, thanks to 9YSG, Zhang Wuji was able to master all seven levels of QKDNY in literally a few hours! To me, all the evidence suggests that the same is true for Dragon-Elephant Prajna - a person with sufficient 'compatibility' to this technique would probably be able to master level 13 without literally needing a thousand years, just like how Jinlun Fawang only needed a few decades and not literal centuries to master level 10.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    Correct, there are 13 levels, I'll fix. Definitely a limit breaker!

    @Ken and @FeilongZ On the ~1000 years thing, I actually thought about that. That is for 'ordinary' practitioners. It's said that the difficulty is exponential - mastering the 1st level takes 2 years, the 2nd level takes 4, the 3rd takes 7-8, the 5th takes 30, etc. - which means that the tenth level, which no one is able to master before Jinlun Fawang, would take hundreds of years. But, Jinlun Fawang is clearly able to master it in a few decades, and felt he had a shot at mastering the 11th level - which means that sufficient talent and compatibility with this technique can drastically shorten the amount of training time required. This is similar to Qiankun Danuoyi; it was said that experts would need 7 years to master the 1st level, while ordinary martial artists would need 14 years. And this was just the first level! But, thanks to 9YSG, Zhang Wuji was able to master all seven levels of QKDNY in literally a few hours! To me, all the evidence suggests that the same is true for Dragon-Elephant Prajna - a person with sufficient 'compatibility' to this technique would probably be able to master level 13 without literally needing a thousand years, just like how Jinlun Fawang only needed a few decades and not literal centuries to master level 10.
    Doesn't make much sense to master one inner power builder (9 Yeung Jen Ging) just to try to master another power builder (Lung Jeung Bor Yeh Gung). That's like having two keys, but no lock to open.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    Doesn't make much sense to master one inner power builder (9 Yeung Jen Ging) just to try to master another power builder (Lung Jeung Bor Yeh Gung). That's like having two keys, but no lock to open.
    I agree - that's why I used the word 'compatibility'. The thing is, QKDNY was a cunning application of internal power, which was why a very strong internal power-base was needed to master and unleash it, making 9 Yang a perfectly compatible art for it. We don't know enough about Dragon-Elephant Prajna and how it is practiced to say what would speed it up - but we do know what JLFW's talent and compatibility was enough to let him master in a few decades what normally took centuries. So there almost assuredly is a way - we just don't know what, exactly.

    A max-level Dragon-Elephant Prajna is definitely a limit-breaking art - we just haven't found the right person (with the right karma, as the Buddhists put it) to train in it.
    Last edited by Ren Wo Xing; 08-28-21 at 01:33 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    I agree - that's why I used the word 'compatibility'. The thing is, QKDNY was a cunning application of internal power, which was why a very strong internal power-base was needed to master and unleash it, making 9 Yang a perfectly compatible art for it. We don't know enough about Dragon-Elephant Prajna and how it is practiced to say what would speed it up - but we do know what JLFW's talent and compatibility was enough to let him master in a few decades what normally took centuries. So there almost assuredly is a way - we just don't know what, exactly.

    A max-level Dragon-Elephant Prajna is definitely a limit-breaking art - we just haven't found the right person (with the right karma, as the Buddhists put it) to train in it.
    If I not wrong JY said that it's due JLFW old age that he couldn't reach level 11 not because he not "talented" so I think if he learn level 10th of Dragon/Elephant Prajna since early-ROCH or 10 years younger he would reach at least Lv 11..

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    Quote Originally Posted by CC View Post
    1. I think its a toss up in terms of whether BMSG will extend your life to crazy lengths. Since there was no explicit hint that it was the injury which caused WYZ to conk out at 90+ (which seems to be what the ROCH Greats could at least live to as well). Should be fun if their Master was still alive.

    2. I am still not convinced the base skillset is a big differentiator between those 2. Tonglao did have the advantage of more years of experience and training.

    Back to BMSG. It definitely is too OP due to the sucking ability. Frankly, anyone who learns it can abuse it to Level 999999 (assuming a human doesnt explode once they get to say 2x Xuzhu) if a 'normal' elite was only Level 1000. If Su Xinghe just kidnapped one or two Wuliang scrub level a week for WYZ, he could probably start walking again using the cloth of his pants like how YG can move his sleeve within a year.
    1. The main hint we have is TSTL's reaction - she couldn't believe that WYZ would die, given his internal energy (which was stronger than hers due to BMSG, despite him entering later): 那女童全身颤抖,问道:怎么他会命在垂危?他他一身武功突然转悲为怒,骂道:臭和尚,无崖子 一身武功,他不散功,怎么死得了?一个人要死,便这么容易?

    2. She had more than Wu Yazi as well, but the narrator stated WYZ had superior internal energy. Honestly - when you have been training for 70 years vs 75 years, in every other case in every Jinyong novel it basically makes no difference. In fact - the very fact that there was a difference strongly suggests that it was due to the skillset.

    But yes, BMSG is ridiculously OP. I can only suggest that the reason why this wasn't done was because the damage done to Wu Yazi was targeted at areas which couldn't easily be healed with internal energy, such as the meridian channels themselves, etc. So Wu Yazi probably still had his massive pool of energy, but no way to effectively make use of it - hence his 'early' death.
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