The Broken Mirror – Completed
Amidst the busiest holiday season of the year, as well as several consecutive days of server downtime and stability issues, Inverse Logic has managed to flag enough raiders for the third and final tier of The Broken Mirror and successfully defeated the remainder of the expansion’s raid content.
People who are no longer actively playing EverQuest but I remain in contact with have asked me to describe this expansion’s raid content to them. I reply that it is “Rain of Fear with a keying system.” Here’s why I say that:
- Rain of Fear had revamped Temple of Veeshan raids. The Broken Mirror has revamped Planes of Hate and Fear raids.
- Rain of Fear’s raids were easy. The Broken Mirror’s raids are also easy.
- There was some flexibility to the order at which guilds could complete raids within a given tier in Rain of Fear. The Broken Mirror is similar (you can choose what order you want to do the zones, but must complete the raid events within each zone in sequential order).
The major difference is the addition of the VoA/TDS style keying (flagging) system used in The Broken Mirror that is not present in Rain of Fear. While I won’t get into much detail here regarding this system, it changes my approach to early expansion progressive raiding. As a raid leader, this system creates “a game within the game” for me. It becomes about methodically managing people’s individual flagging progress. The raid events themselves are not at the forefront of my mind. Honestly the raid events are not complex, and because of this they are not required to be the primary focus during progressive raiding.
So what is on my mind if it’s not the raid events themselves? It’s Keys. Flagging. Scheduling. Member attendance. Planning ahead. Holidays. Flexibility.
We actually defeated our first Tier 2 raid with only 35 players flagged for Tier 2. In addition, we defeated the first Tier 3 raid with 38 total raiders flagged and had no more than 50 players in the zone for our first victory over the final raid event in Tier 3. Fortunately, I knew in advance that we would be capable of defeating these select raid events with partial raid groups. But that doesn’t change the fact that raiding in EverQuest is not about overcoming the challenge of the content itself – it’s about overcoming the challenges of managing people and their varying levels of progression in a way that allows your guild to continue to raid as efficiently as possible.
The majority of EverQuest’s raiding population has yet to defeat this expansion. We’re actually 1 of only 4 guilds to have done it to date – The broken Mirror is still very early in its lifespan. But reflecting back on it (insert a joke about a mirror and “reflecting” here), it was an overall better raiding experience (keyword “raiding experience” not “overall better expansion”) than both Call of the Forsaken and The Darkened Sea. Those two expansions had either a staggered content release or far too few raids for my liking. The Broken Mirror definitely has its flaws, and some of them have existed for far too long already. However, I’m personally very thankful that I will not be farming only 7 raids for the next year and that they won’t all be contained within the same zone.
In closing, I’d like to say “thank you” to all of my fellow raiding guildmates for doing their part to help this guild complete this expansion as efficiently as we did. Our total raid hours were pretty low this time around, and that’s mainly due to seasonal holidays that have been occurring one after another ever since The Broken Mirror was released. We are and always have been a casual guild with a casual schedule. However, we prefer to utilize our time spent raiding as efficiently as possible in order to make the absolute best use of it. Our goal with each new expansion isn’t to try to be the number one guild in all of EverQuest – we aren’t a guild that can make the level of sacrifice that is required to achieve that. Our goal each and every time an EverQuest expansion is released is to complete the raiding progression in a manner in which we can look back upon in the future and ask ourselves “Did we do the absolute best job that we could have? Did we achieve the best results that we were capable of?” Fortunately when it comes to The Broken Mirror I feel that the answer is a resounding yes.