Transcendence is the name of the planned "ultimate raid" and the boss thereof. Transcendence is intended to be "unbeatable", the ultimate challenge. Players will be heavily encouraged to find ways to beat Transcendence by any means neccesarry, and even groups that discover glitches or exploits will at least be aplauded(those those glitches may be repaired).
Transcendence is a fragment of a Purified Shadow Lord, making it part of a Dark Lord, but no longer evil. Its storyline will focus around how it was imprisoned, and now emplores players to seek it out and end its life. The Transcendence story arc will begin around level 10 and involve many quests.
The storyline itself will focus around how Transcendence was originally imprisoned and purified, and since then the Marcon Alliance has taken over the prison and now seeks to use Transcendence for evil. Thus, Transcendence implores the players to come and kill it before the Marcons can use it.
This raid will be extremely challenging, the exact mechanics will be determined as development progresses. The challenge, however, needs to be built without failure conditions, making it difficult for a single player to be blamed for a raid wipe.
The raid should include very few "trash" mobs and be mostly about beating a series of sub-bosses in order to access the prison in which Transcendence is being held. The loot from the sub-bosses will still be good enough to encourage players to attempt the raid.
Transcendence is held at the top of a tower.
The Elite Tower Guard
In phase 1, the raid team has to fight the elite tower guard and close the gates, sealing the army outside and allowing them free run of the tower.The implication upon completion is that the players are now on a time limit, however in reality no such limit will exist (this is just a story element).
This phase is a largely straightforward mock-fight and will likely be completed very quickly. Players must turn a certain number of switches in order to close a gate, and then a final switch to seal it. Moderatly coordinated teams should have no trouble with this.
The Tower Core
At the end of phase 1, the wizards in the tower will seal off the upper sections (the implication being the players could have stopped this, though it will be impossible). Thus, the players must find a way through the tuned mass damper at the core of the tower to advance.
This phase will consist primarily of a series of puzzles and a number of static objects that must be destroyed in order to advance. Players who defeat certain puzzles will be able to open up paths for others to advance, thus allowing the entire raid to progress.
An optional at this point will be to destroy the mass damper, which will destabalize the tower and allow the party to later destroy the entire thing. This will be a part of a separate (1-time only) quest with special rewards, however it will also be worth additional XP and rewards each time it is completed.
The Wizard Academy
After making their way through the core, the party reaches the section of the tower where the wizards live and train. After clearing a handful of trash caster mobs, they will have to face four Magus wizards guarding a Marconian High Priest. The priest will resurrect each wizard at full health, unless they are all killed within a very short window. Once this happens, the priest will declare that he will "Deal with you myself!" and come down and fight the players.
Defeating the priest allows the party to advance to the upper tier of the tower, the jail.
The Jailer is an un-purified piece of a Shadow Lord (basically a still-evil version of Transcendence). The Jailer is also being held captive, but it works to balance-out Transcendence, effectively keeping them both locked in a stalemate. This imprisonment severely weakens the Jailer, making it possible for the party to fight him.
The Jailer is a Shadow Lord and will follow the rule set for shadow lords as established in The Path to Ascension. It will be mostly vulnerable to melee attacks but use a number of debuffs, so the mages and the healers will have to work together to keep the melees at full DPS. This battle is more about endurance than complex strategy.
Following the battle with the Jailer, the party can either finish the raid and retreat, setting off the final chain of events that will destroy the tower, or they can advance to Phase 5. If they do not advance, the Jailer comes back to life as they are fleeing and taunts them.
The battle with Transcendence is technically considered an optional, but is really the focus of the entire raid. Fighting Transcendence will require specialized weapons, advanced tactics, and on the whole is intended to be extremly challenging. Only a well-balanced and prepared party should be able to defeat him.
Transcendence is classified as a mystical creature, and can only be struck by Adamantium, Orichalcum, or Mithrill weapons that are Fine or Very Fine, and at least +5 or better. Anything less cannot touch him.
Magical resistance will be very high, starting at over 200% and reducible to 99% (and no further). This will require the combined efforts of mages casting de-buffs and melees using Dire weapons.
When Transcendence self-heals, it will also heal all players around it and regenerate the mana of mages.
The strategy for defeating Transcendence revolves around alternating between debuffs and damage: reduce its damage reduction, hit it with a damaging weapon. Alternately, have one group of players always spamming debuffs while the others continually attack with damaging effects. Remember the high requirements are just to be able to roll an attack, so loading up a cheap weapon with Dire effects will not work.
Phases 1-3 will provide chests offering random loot. For defeating phase four, each players will recieve a universal token that can be redeemed for most any crafting item. Also a few chests with more random loot.
For completing the "destroy the tower" objective, players will get a 1-time per life quest-turn in for a choice of special named items that will hint at the loot available for defeating Transcendence.
For defeating Transcendence, players will get to choose from a number of Epic Named Items unique to this raid. These should be among the best in the entire game. For first completion each time the difficulty is changed, each player will recieve a very powerful Unique item. Other Unique items of comparable power will drop very very rarely.
The idea here is to make the raid next to impossible, but not insultingly so. Players SHOULD be able to beat it, but with intense training, teamwork, and preperation. This is a challenge for the elite of the elite, the hardcore power gamers.
Each time the game's maximum level is increased, the difficulty of this raid must be changed to match it. This is always meant to be the most difficult raid in the game.