Caster's Realm: Planning your Everquest Goals

You worked a hard day for the man. Whether its Mrs. Crabapple the English teacher or Mr. Murdoch, your boss in accounting, you need a break. You brave the traffic home, drop in front of the computer, and double click that pretty blue shield icon. Your other world opens up to you. You're on a hill in Greater Faydark watching the end of the spire's bursts of blue light as it sucks a party of adventurers to the Nexus. But... now what?

It's a rare thing to have to establish your own goals for a game, but Everquest isn't like any other game. Some days we log in and the world feels so vast around us that we can't even begin to know what we should do. Some enjoy spending time chatting with their friends. Some work on tradeskills. Some join raids against large horrible beasts. Some feel lost or panicked because they feel like they should be doing something, anything, but don't quite know what it is. Wherever they are, they want to be somewhere else.

One way to wrangle your time in EQ around the jobs you most want to accomplish is to establish goals. In this article we discuss both personal and organizational goals, their advantages, and their pitfalls. If you take this to heart, you may have a far more enjoyable and relaxing time in the vast worlds around us.

Goals help you focus on what is important to you. Goals also help you avoid wasting time on unimportant activities. A good set of goals helps you focus each day on a measurable success. A bad set of goals can lead to frustration and ruin.

Guilds and organizations should also establish goals and make them clear to the members of that organization. It is important for the leader of this organization to understand the desires of his or her members, but he or she should follow a well planned layout and not continually change directions based on popular opinion.

Goals don't always have to be item or encounter based. I often add goals for helping new players learn how to play, hosting weekly buffing events, I even establish goals for writing articles such as this one. Your goals should be anything you wish to accomplish within or around the game.

Lets take a look at some good criteria for our Everquest goals:

Make goals realistic. Think clearly about each goal you plan out and make sure it is achievable. Understand what it will take to accomplish that goal and know what the critical components are for success. If you want to finish your epic 1.5 quest, make sure you understand what sorts of raids you will have to put together. Have an idea where you can gather the resources for such an event. If you are a raiding organization, make sure your organization has the resources, the power, the time, and the desire to accomplish a raid goal.

Make goals flexible. Things change. Norrath changes. We change. Our organizations change. Make sure your goals are realistic. As an individual, if it doesn't look like you will accomplish your epic quest, scratch it off of the list and work on something else. If something new pops in that interests you, add that to your goals.

This is extremely important for raiding organizations. As Norrath changes, the organization's goals should change. Why exactly must you get to the Plane of Time now that Omens of War and Gates of Discord have events that are more entertaining, more rewarding, and always available? If people don't show up for your backflagging raids, you need to remain flexible and ask what raids they will attend.

As the game changes, reevaluate at your goals. Every expansion comes out within six months of the previous. The vast differences in Norrath after the release of an expansion require a review of personal and organizational goals. While you may have desired to get Kodtaz flagged so you could try out the Ikkinz trials, that may not be as important to you now that Omens of War has Dranik hollows, sewers, and catacombs expeditions. Perhaps you lusted after a suit of armor that isn't as shiny as armor reachable elsewhere. It is usually a month after a new expansion's release before you know enough to establish or reevaluate goals.

Goals help individual players focus on what is most important to them. Goals help organizations focus their members on a single path of progression. Hanging on too tightly to your goals may be worse than not having goals at all. Pick realistic goals and remain flexible as the Norrath changes. Goals may help you grasp the maximum amount of entertainment for your time and dollars.

Loral Ciriclight
15 December 2004