Izroth looked over the information provided to him by the system regarding Phase One: Disharmony.
'I see, so these are phases. According to the player's guidebook, phases are generally quests that players receive while inside of a raid. Without completing these phases, it becomes increasingly difficult or even virtually impossible to clear a raid successfully. Though this likely depends on the objective of the specific phase.'
The basic information about raids was contained in the player's guidebook that Izroth read before logging into RML for the first time. He remembered the guidebook stating that each raid had an undefined number of phases. Therefore, unless there was already a group that cleared the raid and knew the number of phases, there was no way for players to know how many phases to expect.
To put it in simple terms, phases were objectives that players had to complete inside of a raid. After leaving the raid, whether in victory or defeat, the phases would disappear along with the player's exit. As for the difficulty of each phase... There was no clear definition in the player's guidebook about this, however, Izroth assumed that it varied depending on the level of the raid and perhaps even the difficulty setting that was chosen.
Phase One: Disharmony
Phase Difficulty: Hardcore
Recommended Level: 50
Recommended Party Size: 24
Phase Status: Incomplete
Objective: There are 8 «Relic of the Sea» nearby that acts as the main foundation for the magic barrier that protects the outer layer of the «Great Sea Palace» in perfect harmony. Destroy all 8 «Relic of the Sea» to temporarily deactivate the magic barrier and gain entrance into the outer layer of the «Great Sea Palace». Each «Relic of the Sea» is protected by a Relic Guardian. Please note, the «Relic of the Sea» will automatically regenerate 30 minutes after being destroyed.
Time Limit: None
0/8 Destroy «Relic of the Sea».
0/1 Enter the outer layer of the «Great Sea Palace».
-Resistant To Flow( Temporary Raid Buff)
-35% chance to receive x1 «Rare Item Treasure Chest»
'The rewards aren't too bad. Though it's a shame that raids have such a long cooldown time, otherwise, I can imagine some guilds sending in parties to only clear the first phase and farming rare items from it. But given that this is due to the Hardcore difficulty setting... There may only be two or three parties even among the top guilds who have the level and equipment to succeed.'
Raids, unlike lower level dungeons, could not be entered into an infinite amount of times per day and had even stricter restrictions than high level dungeons. There was a cooldown for when a player was allowed to enter into a raid after setting foot outside of it. For this particular raid, the cooldown time was 9 days in-game time, or 3 days real-world time, before a player could attempt it again.
While this may seem like a long time, one had to remember that as players progressed to higher levels, the speed of their leveling would naturally start to slow. For example, Izroth was able to gain 5 to 10 levels in one day with relative ease when the game first started. But, at his current level, unless Izroth received an S-ranked or higher quest that automatically granted him a level up, increasing his level by even as little as one in a single day could already be seen as impressive. Though this situation was an exception. After all, how could a Hardcore raid grant players a minuscule amount of experience points?
As for phases... The most important thing to keep in mind about them was that they acted as a natural guide for players attempting a raid. So theoretically, as long as one completed each phase they should have no trouble making it to the end of the raid. Of course, completing the phases and making it to the end of the raid was a different story altogether.
After pondering for a few seconds, Niflheim said, "It's too risky for us to disregard the phases. Also, while I'm unaware of its effects, this temporary raid buff seems like it might come in handy. Not to mention, it may not be possible for us to find another way into the Great Sea Palace without destroying those eight relics of the sea. First, we'll need to locate all eight relics and decide on what direction to take from there. To do this, we'll split into four groups of six."
He then continued, "I'll remind everyone not to act recklessly. Even if you do manage to destroy the relic, it's useless unless the others are also destroyed within 30 minutes of one another. If not, the relics will just regenerate and you would've only wasted everyone's time. Avoid all hostile engagements and keep the raid party voice channel open at all times, but don't speak over it unless necessary. Once you find the location of a relic, it should appear on our raid map by itself. Maintain a safe distance from the Relic Guardian. We don't know its strength, therefore, it's too dangerous to try fighting against it with only six people."
A raid map was just like a mini-map for players inside of a raid. This map was shared by all raid party members and if one player discovered a location, then it would reveal itself on the raid maps of the entire raid party. Unfortunately, any part of the raid that a player did not visit would be blacked out. But, on the bright side, at least players were provided with a mini-map instead of having to do their own personal realm charting in raids.
After making sure that everyone was on the same page, Niflheim gave the order to move out in groups of six. They would meet up after locating all eight Relics of the Sea before deciding how to handle the Relic Guardians protecting them.
As for Izroth's group, Niflheim knew that it was best if he simply included the party members he arrived with since they already had experience being in a party with one another.
'Although it's highly likely the presences I sensed earlier are related to these relics, it's just mere speculation.'
The reason why Izroth did not mention he had already located the relics was that he had no actual proof. Of course, as long as he confirmed one or two relic locations, then that would be all the proof he needed. Once he was successful in that regard, then he would let the other raid party members know of the positions of the additional relics.
Izroth, Luna, Zi Yi, Halls, Guan Yu, and Valentine were currently traveling eastward towards one of the closer relics that Izroth found using his Energy Vision Sense.
"It may not be necessary to fight these Relic Guardians head-on. Our main objective is to simply destroy the relics, not defeat the Relic Guardians." Valentine stated.
"Yes, but the question is - Are we able to gain access to the relic without having to face the Relic Guardian? Even if it is possible, I don't think it'll let us by so easily." Zi Yi responded.
"If my guess is correct, there should be no need for us to lift a finger against the Relic Guardians." Izroth said in a carefree tone.
This, of course, came as a shock to his party members. There was no need for them to lift a finger? Could it truly be that easy in a Hardcore raid?
"If you're speaking this way, then you must have something in mind." Luna commented.
"Your words are correct. Though it's just mere speculation at this point. I'll have to take a look first before I decide if it's something feasible." Izroth stated.
A few moments later, Izroth and his party reached the area where he sensed the presence earlier using his Energy Vision Sense. Approximately 30 meters away from their position was a tall and muscular figure who looked as if their body was carved from stone. Their eyes were whited out and their skin was aqua in color. The figure was 4-5 meters tall and if one looked closely, they would notice that scales were traveling along the side of its body. It was just that the scales were so well camouflaged into their skin that it was difficult to see with the naked eye.
〈System Alert: You are near the vicinity of a «Relic of the Sea»!〉
At the moment, that figure was walking in a constant circle with a blank expression on its face. At the center of the circular route it took was a floating cube emitting an emerald glow. When Izroth laid his eyes on this scene, he briefly activated his Energy Vision Sense and instantly confirmed his previous thoughts.
'So it's like this, after all.'
"Stay here. I'm going to take a quick look." Izroth said as he continued forward. He wanted to get close enough to have a look at the information of the Relic Guardian. But, he made sure to take his time advancing so as not to enter too deep into the aggro range of the Relic Guardian.
Name: Relic Guardian(Elite)
HP: 2,352,650 (100%)
Hardcore Effect(s) Active: [Bulk][Explosion]
'This part wasn't in the player's guidebook.'
Izroth inwardly furrowed his brows when he saw the "hardcore effects" listed under the Relic Guardian. But, it was certain to be something unpleasant to deal with if it was present in a Hardcore raid. As for the HP for the Relic Guardian... He felt that it was too much even for a level 50 Hardcore Elite! Izroth believed that this massive amount of HP was caused by unnatural means.
The moment Izroth stepped close enough to see the information about the Relic Guardian, it halted its steps and turned to face towards Izroth's direction. However, it did not move as Izroth was no longer anywhere to be seen. After that, the Relic Guardian faced forward and continued to silently move in circles around the Relic of the Sea.
'It's range of perception is around 20 meters. Not too large of an area.'
Izroth had activated his Light Feather Footwork and moved out of the Relic Guardian's range of perception before it became fully aware of his presence. Though Izroth had a feeling that it would not chase him even if given the opportunity to do so if its main purpose was to protect the Relic of the Sea.
Izroth did not forget to alert Niflheim after reaching the Relic of the Sea, even though it was likely that Niflheim was already paying attention to any changes on the raid map.
[Raid Voice Chat] Izroth, "We've located a Relic of the Sea. As for the Relic Guardian..."
Izroth went on to explain his findings via the raid voice chat.
[Raid Voice Chat] Niflheim, "Over 2 million HP? This is a bit troublesome... Not to mention, these hardcore effects are something that didn't show up in the player's guidebook. I've just confirmed the location of the relic on the raid map. Good work. You and your party can move to the next search area, however, be sure not to proceed too far out."
[Raid Voice Chat] Izroth, "That won't be necessary. There's no need for us to continue with our search."
[Raid Voice Chat] Nidavellir, "It can't be that you're getting lazy after having only found a single relic, right?"
Nidavellir's tone sounded half joking and half serious when those words left his mouth.
[Raid Voice Chat] Izroth, "It seems you've misunderstood. Since I've already discovered the location of the remaining relics, then naturally, there's no need to continue searching blindly."
Izroth's words caught the raid group off guard. What? It had not even been five minutes since they began their search and yet he claimed to have found all eight relics? Was this some type of joke? If so, the members of Blue Oasis did not find it amusing at all! Some of them even started to immediately question why a player who spoke such reckless words was invited in the first place!