The Anti-Gear Score Experience   40 comments

“LFM ICC 25. I don’t care about your gear score, I just ask that you can stay out of the fire and follow directions. Vent will be required”.

That was my cry last Saturday night as we decided to start an ICC 25 pug. And you know what, I took anyone and every one of the first 25 people to send me a tell indicating that they were interested in going. I didn’t ask people to come to the well for inspection, I didn’t ask for an achievement link, I didn’t ask for a recitation of your raiding history since your birth. If you wanted to go…you went.

“I am a BM hunter, and I don’t have any experience in ICC at all, but I’d love to go” /invite BM Hunter

*insert French accent* “Beeeeru…take my ghetto rogue, he just dinged 80 today” /invite a certain mage’s ghetto fabulous rogue

And so I managed to mash the most rag-tag group ever together to venture into ICC. I truly didn’t care about gear score, or even GEAR for that matter. I truly didn’t care about experience. If you wanted to go, and were in the first 25 folks to send me a tell, you got an invite. We got everyone into vent, and as we started the raid we said “we don’t know how far we will get, but we’ll go until we can’t make it anymore, we are all here for fun, so please keep that in mind”.

We started on our way, and knowing that we had people with zero ICC experience, we gave an explanation before each encounter. And how did we do with our rag tag group of misfits that most people wouldn’t give the time of day, that I have openly seen other people mock because their lack of experience or gear, that people twit negatively about when they get them in PuGs? Let’s take a look, shall we?!

Lord Marrowgar – One shot, and no deaths. Bone spikes were brought down efficiently, and people largely managed to stay out of the fire! Alright, let’s keep going!

Lady Deathwhisper – and the weekly quest! Well…ok. Let’s give it a go, do we have someone that can suit up as a fourth tank for Darnavan? We do? Excellent! I think one or two people might have died, but it was still a one shot, and we snagged the quest! Awesome! Let’s keep going! (Oh, and I should mention that our ghetto fabulous French speaking rogue upgraded his green weapon with this dagger…and we made him link what he was upgrading, and everyone laughed and snorted about how that one weapon alone probably just doubled his DPS, including him!).

Gunship – well…it’s gunship. Although, I think we saw more deaths here than anywhere else =) Not sure what that says, but there you have it!

Deathbringer Saurfang – I don’t recall if we lost a mark, or had any casualties. We probably did! But we still one shot it, and the “Storming the Citadel” spam in the raid was near epic.

Rotface – Well, this is where we met our match. Surprisingly, it wasn’t from sloppy execution of the encounter. People followed instructions, took their oozes to the appropriate place, didn’t make extra slimes…until the end, when we were far past the soft enrage. Our DPS was just a touch low (ok! A lot low!), but I think we got him down into the 20s before completely falling apart 😉 Acknowledging that we had probably exceeded what we could do with our ragtag-ness, we said “well, if you want an extra frost badge (yes please!!!), we can clear the Valithria trash before disbanding”. And everyone was overwhelmingly happy to do just that, so off we went.

What I think is the most amazing thing about this experience is that earlier in the day I tanked an ICC 25 run where there was a “minimum” gear score requirement of 5300, and wiped three times before reaching Saurfang, and in the end only ended up killing those same 4 bosses. Yes, my little misfit run was technically more successful than the run I had done where everyone was dripping in their epic ICC gear…and egos.

In fact, overall it was just a cleaner run. People weren’t cocky, thinking they were beyond reproach because OMG do you even know what my gearscore is?! People were eager to learn, listen, do a good job and just experience the instance. Frankly, I felt that a lot of people were just happy to be given a chance.

People didn’t die to stupid things like standing in the fire or bonestorm, because they were interested in doing a good job which meant staying out of the bad things. People didn’t kill Darnavan or freak out because of a change in strategy, because they listened to the strategy and didn’t just assume they knew what to do, which meant they didn’t blindly damage shit.

Sure, we had the 20% buff, making the early part of the instance fairly forgiving. Sure, we had some people with experience in the zone on terribly undergeared alts, had some people that were decently geared and experienced. Sure, we had some decently experienced people in key roles, such as tanks. But when push comes to shove, we had what can be termed a “successful” ICC run. It was done without asinine requirements to get into the raid and it was done just for fun. (Fun in a game…shenanigans!).

Every single piece of loot that dropped was an upgrade for those who received it. And chances are that it was loved and appreciated and will be well cared for in its new home!

When the raid finished, many of the participants were so grateful just to have gotten to see the instance, they offered their thanks. Not just for the run, but for giving them a chance. We came in with no expectations. We kicked some ass. And most of all we had fun (even with that rogue with his green dagger!). When push comes to shove, I don’t think that you could ask for a better experience than that.

So what is the point of this story? Well, I suppose I wanted to just remind people that in this time of fast epics, sometimes it’s OK to focus on fun, even if it means a little less gear.

When was the last time you’ve gone against the odds for success? I find it to be hugely rewarding, if you haven’t tried it, I challenge you to try!

Edit: fixed the post! You can now see it all! Sorry about that.

Posted June 2, 2010 by Beruthiel in Gearscore, Raiding

40 responses to “The Anti-Gear Score Experience

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  1. Now why can’t you be on my server?

  2. So what happened? 😛

  3. This is awesome! I think more people need to remember this is a game and just to have a good time…. (including me sometimes)

  4. It’s a great story. A nice statement that a more relaxed attitude to gearscore might pay off in the end. You even did BETTER without it. Grats on a nice raiding experience!

  5. Now you’ve made me go and think. I wonder if we could pull that off on our server.

  6. Amazing story, and so affirming.

  7. By the way, you know you’re still my hero, right? 😀

  8. Well done!

    good leadership and good attitudes can go far!

    Funny, though, I just commented on Tam’s blog that I DO have a gs requirement before coming over here to read your entry, and noted that Rotface is one of the reasons for it 🙂

    One needs both good skill/attitude AND gear to get much further into ICC especially on heroic modes (unless you’re doing a gimmicky Gevlon experiment).

    Still, glad you had such success, indeed.

    • Eh, but this is a pug, and not a regular one. Most pugs of the 25 man variation tend to fall flat after Saurfang, no matter how geared.

      I could see requiring a bit of experience with a regular progression group, but for just a throw together, a little patience and explanation will go a lot farther.

      Then again, maybe I’ve just a soft spot for this, as back in vanilla when I went from alliance to horde, I was given a chance in my DM blues. I guess I just think everyone deserves that chance.

  9. At least one of your tanks was borderline retarded so honestly you don’t even need competent people in key roles.

  10. What a great story! Yeah, you probably achieved about as much as possible with the ragtag group, but what you did was empower 24 other people and show them that GS & Achieve ONLY isn’t the ONLY way to succeed…and have fun while you’re at it.

    • I have always hated the “link achievement” mentality, and gearscore has only made it worse.

      It frustrates me thar people want you to have the gear you are trying to get, just to let you into the instance that holds your upgrades.

  11. I think I will do the same you have done, actually I don’t have any experience in ICC but I will try and I tell you later 😉

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  13. I think it was Selej’s rogue alt that got the biggest upgrade I can recall seeing ever.

    Combat rogue, iLvl 174 green sword from BC, upgraded to Heartpierce. Over double the damage, even going from sword to dagger.

  14. That almost made me cry. It’s what WoW used to feel like a year or so ago when I was in a guild that had this kind of leadership. We had so much fun and kicked so much butt! It does me good to hear that it still happens.

    Thank you!

    • There are still reasonable people floating around out there! Just have to dig around a bit to find them 🙂

      I am lucky enough to know about 50 or so of them 😉

  15. Bravo! I heard about this post through another blog, etc. I must say that this post really inspired me! I’ve been playing WoW since just before the BC days, and it’s sad how gearscore and achievement numbers have been the roadblocks to having even a chance to participate in an ICC raid group, pug or otherwise. Beruthiel, you’re a shining light in the all-consuming darkness that is the current WoW epeen-ness. It’ssad how the game is infested with douchebag, highbrow elitists now. Soldier on! Deathwing is waiting after ICC, ya know. ^_^

  16. Pingback: Gearscore and Achievement prerequisites to raid is idiocy | Oombulance


    Thought you might like this.
    BTW did you realise your blog’s acronym is FLAW? Just you know, mentioning.

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  19. Wow. I wish you were on my server. :O I would’ve had so much fun with this. :<

    But good on you for doing that, 'cause… dude. That's just amazing and awesome and LOVE.

  20. Argh why am I only reading this now?! Loved this post, loved this idea.

    I think these days you can get the required GearScore just by throwing yourself through the Heroic Daily and then throwing yourself at desperate PuGs until you claw your way into a run for a few achievements.

    I’ll bet your average PuG member might not really know the strategy or care. Your raiders, on the other hand, really did care and didn’t assume they knew it all. Sounds like they trusted you to make it work as well.

    I wish I was willing to raid lead a 25 man to do this. Or that I had a unsaved character that I *wanted* to take into ICC. Perhaps, when a few of my friends – just returning to wow – want to see ICC I’ll improvise a 10 man with zero prerequisites.

  21. unfortunately, according to game rules, you and i are enemies. i am on the alliance side of llane. i often wonder what goes on on the horde side. the alliance side of llane is obsessed with gearscore. my gearscore is over 5900, and here lately, i have been destroying everyone in dps when i go into icc (or anywhere) pugs. but, i want more. i want to go heroic, but pugs don’t do heroics. i’ll get to the point. i have asked for invites to guilds and have been told my gearscore is too low. one of those guilds is your counterpart, Anguish. actually the whole top 12 on llane alliance rejected me. most of which i have pugged with, and kept them going when their tanks failed to keep threat, and dps tanked for last million or so health. maybe fury warriors are underappreciated. i don’t know. i started playing this game last summer. i agree with you. this is a game. games are fun. the experienced players need to remember that they too were once “noobs” with tiny little gearscores. this is why i don’t get mad when you guys invade alliance cities and embarrass all those “leets”. they get on to me for not joining in and protecting the turf, but it’s fun to watch them wipe against level 80 hordies while they are making fun of others for not being as super awesome as they are. honestly, i’m just a guildless noob with epic gear and a high dps. i am considering leaving llane or jumping to the other side when blood elves can roll warrior. but i can’t hate on llane alliance too much, if it weren’t for their elitist attitudes causing me to completely solo to 80, and pug or solo every instance i have been in, my lonely warrior wouldn’t be as tough as he is. and i must also thank wowwiki, youtube, and the inspect function on character for teaching me all that i know about this game. i sometimes secretly cheer for monolith to overtake anguish for top realm guild. i’m not a traitor, i’m just acknowledgeing the decency and intelligence of the enemy, while wondering why it doesn’t exist among my allies. have fun. if you see me, give me a wave.

  22. wow this is great, finally people who don’t care about gear score just having good old fashion fun!

    keep up the awesome work guys hope to see more!

  23. I am in a fun guild so if / when we do ICC everyone can come. Of course this often means we only down 6 bosses, or maybe council or dreamwalker (never professor mind you 🙂

    On my resto druid just this weekend i got declined for icc25 because OMG, gs lower then 5500, no you cannot come (as restro druid i still wear the t9.5). The next day i got into a random pug with a RL with your attitude, we did 6 bosses and a few tries on Prof and guess what ? I was second on healing behind the ICC25 hc equipped druid.

    “!Bring the player not the toon.!”

  24. Thanks for this post. I have done the same thing, meaning I invite whoever wants to come with the ONLY requirement being they are willing to “vent up”. It’s so important to be able to talk. 🙂

    Even when putting together the “hard core” groups, I have to admit, I NEVER, EVER check gs on a person. It makes me crazy all the energy (mostly negative) that gets put into such silliness. Let’s play, let’s kill some shit, let’s have some fun!!! Rock on.

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  26. I’m here via Cassandri’s latest post about her own experience. (Whether that’s a good thing is open to interpretation. 😉

    I think your experience –and hers– reinforces what I’ve felt all along, that skill and desire will get you farther than people will give you credit for.

    Thanks for this post.

  27. This sounds *EXACTLY* like a pug I went to! Right down to someone upgrading from a green weapon to an epic on Deathwhisper! I had to recheck the server to see if it was possible that this was your run, but I do not have any level 80’s on your server.

    After reading this post and all the comments, I wanted to add one request. Don’t be *too* strict about requiring vent. I lost my hearing several years ago, and I have been declined raid invites or kicked out of the raid because I couldn’t hear what they were saying on vent. I tell people up-front that I am deaf. Most people think I am just making an excuse to not get on vent, so I will sign on. I can speak very well, but I can’t hear, and I do just fine in raids most of the time. It helps to be familiar with the fights already, but if other people can remember to tell me what they say on vent, I do pretty well.

  28. Your post was a very warming read indeed.

    Thankfully I know these “rag tag” raids happen on my server as well, maybe you started a movement? 🙂

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