“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.