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26.03.2012 Veil of Alaris finished by Raging Fury by Imrahil

On Monday the 26th of March Raging Fury managed to defeat The Triune God, making us the fifth guild serverwide to finish Veil of Alaris, the 18th expansion of EverQuest. So our streak of staying among the top 5 in every expansion since Gates of Discord has continued once again, which I find quite an achievement. This success is even more remarkable considering the fact that Raging Fury has lost its main raid leader 2 times during the process of learning the final event, but with the help of our raid team we managed to overcome all obstacles while generally still keeping to our 5 raid days per week. I heard there was a guild on Drinal who raided 60 days out of 61 in a row without having beaten VoA yet - I give them an A for effort though.

While I am speaking about other guilds I would like to congratulate Realm of Insanity, Machin Shin, Shadows of Doom and Crimson Tempest for beating VoA before us. Also congrats to Triton who have finished the expansion only a few hours after us, very close race indeed.

Anyway, let's return to our own victory. The event is undoubtedly the most complex in all of EverQuest's history. I don't want to belittle events like Tunat Muram, OMM or Mayong Mistmoore, but the number of phases and mechanisms you have to learn to control is simply incredible. Imho every guild having to learn this event will at one point or another say "OMG, wasn't this already complex enough??"

On the other hand it most definitely was a challenge and beating it felt awesome (followed by a feeling of relieve not having to go here again for another week).

Let's come to some screenshots!

Here you can see a picture of our formidable adversary in his power:

The Triunity

And here he/she/it isn't as powerful anymore:

The Triunity dead

Of course we also have a picture of the victorious force inside the raid:

RF won VoA

As always upon such victories there are people who haven't been online/inside the raid when it finally happened, but who have played an important part during the learning phase of the event. This is especially true on an event like The Triune God which has taken us more than a month from the first attempts till finally beating it, so I would like to congratulate ALL members of Raging Fury upon this success, you guys have done a great job!

Of course it wouldn't have been possible without skilled players like our warrior class leader Xack, the ancient lizard (he has been in RF longer than anyone else who still plays) and his wisdom:

Wisdom of the Ancient Gecko

Anyway, as customary whenever I write news about the finish of an expansion I will add a few comments about the expansion itself. First of all the total number of raids is too low, there is no denying that 14 raids is pitiful considering the fact that when EQ moved to annually releasing expansions we were promised more developer time for content. With the current paradigm of "nothing matters, but the current expansion" every previous raid is more or less obsolete, especially since the decision to let spell foci decay, even from the endzone of the previous expansion. I still think this was a VERY bad move as it leaves the mid-tier guilds with only 4 raids (Argath, Sarith, Lunanyn, Beast's Domain) until they run into a brick wall (Rubak and Resplendent Temple).

On the other hand we have 8 tier 4 raids, so at least something to do for those few guilds who actually manage to beat the expansion. Is it arrogant and premature from my side to assume that there won't be more than a dozen guilds able to beat VoA in its current state, if that? Maybe, but I doubt it. There are simply not enough hardcore guilds left who will overcome the obstacles laid in their way. The complexity and unforgiving mechanisms of events like Pillars, Sepulcher #3 or Sepulcher #5 are simply too much for more than just a handful of guilds. I doubt there are many guilds left in this old game who just take it that they can have a maximum of 2 tries per evening on one event, because the really interesting part begins after 90 minutes. Nonetheless you can't just go on "automode" during the first 2 phases, because playing just a bit sloppy can mean a wipe or a huge disadvantage later on, so the pressure is kept up for almost 2 hours constantly. This is different to former long events and I don't think it is good design at all. Considering that the loot on this event is the same number of drops as on the other (much shorter) raids it is no wonder that many think that time investment vs. reward is not balanced at all.

I really hope that we will get a retuning of many raids in the very near future otherwise I foresee an exodus of players, which would be sad, because on the other hand we have seen quite a few new faces since EQ became "free to play" (F2P). Some of those faces are actually rather familiar, for example one of my predecessors as guild leader of RF is back (with a small namechange) and Dalrek already feels the strong lure of EverQuest again:

The Lure of EQ

Qujam feels that lure too, but of course there are opposing interests to decide upon - Insaneox made his choice as you can see:

EQ vs. Girlfriend

A final quote so you all know how much respect officers in RF get from their members:

Smart Ignore

That's it for now, Veil of Alaris is beaten, the farming starts, and I can only salute my guild for a tremendous job they have done.

Members of Raging Fury you made me proud once again!

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