In just a few days, the Undergeared guild will be five months old. Since lately we’re doing quite well, clearing Trial of the Crusader and Onyxia, here’s a bit of background info.
It all started in December as Gevlon posted an idea on his blog to prove that you don’t have to farm gear endlessly in order to clear all the raiding content in Wrath of the Lich King. To add a level of challenge (and to make sure we don’t have to farm content we’ve already done), we’re doing it all in blue gear that everyone can get from the level 80 heroic dungeons and crafting recipes. No epics are allowed, unless they’re a bonus from your profession of choice (like the engineering helmets), and same goes for enchants and gems.
It’s also a project that aims to prove the stupidity of “LFM ToC-10 link achiv and have 5k gs” and similar idiotic announcements that are so popular in the Trade channels of pretty much every server. Unfortunately, that goal is hard to achieve without letting the word spread out a bit – hence this post, which with small changes will be probably copied by me at least onto official Blizzard forums.
Why do it now, after whole five months, and not earlier? Because now we are actually doing the content that matters. As much as I like Ulduar and Eye of Eternity, nobody will be convinced by us completing that, blues or not. ToC on the other hand, is still a very popular dungeon and I see people run it all the time. Next Saturday we’re doing our first ICC-10 raid.
Who am I anyway?
I’m Saithir, a gamer and a raider from Poland. On my current main, Vrethir, I’ve tanked the whole expansion up to Sindragosa in 10-man Icecrown Citadel – and then stopped a while ago, with the unfortunate event that is the disbandment of my guild. In I play as Misaka, the Restoration shaman, and I’ve been a healer in almost all the raids we’ve done.
It’s my first shaman character above level 10, and I’ve leveled her from scratch on Arathor-EU purely as Elemental. It was actually one of the requirements of the Undergeared project – to raid with classes you don’t raid on other servers. I chose to make Misaka, because I wanted to learn how to heal on a shaman.
At first I wasn’t very good at it, for example I’ve totally forgot to apply Earthliving Weapon on our first evening in Ulduar, so I’ve healed it all without it and never noticed – until some commenter on Gevlon’s blog pointed it out after looking into our combat logs. I’m also that shaman healer that had to portal out of Thorim’s room to get a shield instead of an offhand frill, so that the adds won’t kill me as easily – and got a green shield from the AH with strength and defense on it (and a +25 Int enchant). :) It worked, and even though I now use the more proper one from Horde Expedition, I still keep that greenie in my bank as a souvenir.
I’m still sometimes late with the totems or forget to use Bloodlust at all, but I think I’m getting better at it. ;) And I made a big blinking icon in Power Auras that tells me I don’t have my weapon enchanted with anything. :)
Why <Undergeared> and who are they exactly?
In the beginning, I thought of the project just as a tool to distract myself from my Alliance guild, and to finally level a Horde character to 80 and see the other half of the game I’ve been playing for so long. The raiding was just an excuse to do so and actually get to the endgame. ;)
However, I can’t say I didn’t like the idea of blue raiding – it adds a nice challenge because of the static (and pretty low by today’s standards) gear levels, at the same time reducing the need for doing the endless badge grind to keep up. Sure, I had to spend some time with Rawr to figure out the best gear and run some heroics to obtain it, but after I’ve finished that, I’m done – I can log onto Misaka once per week for a raid, or pop on when I’m bored and want to do some heroics, or just quickly do the daily jewelcrafting quest in 10 minutes and then log out.
As for the other players, well they’d have to speak for themselves really. We have different kind of players, more and less hardcore raiders – from ones like me that mostly do the normal modes in 10-mans, and ones that raid more hardcore and are on some heroic modes in Icecrown. It’s hard to say really, because we’re not a social guild by any means. I can’t really say I like them, because I don’t really know any of them… But I sure do like raiding with them, and that is exactly why I’m still there.
We’re not a social guild, because we don’t have to. We have a set goal, our goblinish GM routinely kicks people that aren’t online for a month, and we have to prove we can get the needed gear and put out a decent performance in a heroic or a raid before we gain the rank of Raider.
You could probably say we’re the hardcore-casual types. Hardcore enough to know the tactics, learn our classes’ abilities, get the BiS gear (even though it’s blue) and gem/enchant it properly, and replace people in the middle of the raid if the situation needs it (and the guild roster permits it). Casual enough that we only raid one evening (Saturday from 19:00 till 22:00) per week, with no vent (or ingame voice comms) and minimal attendance requirements.
What have we done so far?
We started raiding on 20th of February, two months after the guild was formed. It took that long because enough people had to level from 1 to 80, and most of them without boosts from the heirloom items. We also had some people transferring their characters, both level 80s and below.
In February we cleared almost all Tier 7 10-man content – Naxxramas, Eye of Eternity, and Sartharion with one additional drake up. Why almost? Because our rogue was for some reason saved to the weekly raid – which also happened to be Naxxramas that week, so we couldn’t kill Noth the Plaguebringer. We also couldn’t replace the culprit, due to nobody else being online. But as we all know, Noth is a pussy anyway and doesn’t really count. ;) Some of our raiders also did the new ICC heroic dungeons, but as I wasn’t part of that, I can’t say much about it.
In March we had to make a break, as there were repeatedly weeks of not enough people signed to the Saturday raid. Unfortunately as we don’t want to appear too hardcore (and “raid 6 times a month or get out” would be surely viewed as such), we couldn’t do much about it. The current requirement of being online at least once a month comes from that though, and that’s as far as it really gets.
April was a month of doing Ulduar. It took a long time, because some of the raiders didn’t have that much experience in there, but we made it through up to Yogg-Saron. We left the mad Old God alone for now, though – it’s a though and complicated fight, with lots of things to do for everyone (which makes it so good btw), so we decided to skip it for now. We plan to get back to him later, probably as a change of scenery from Icecrown.
The rest of Ulduar wasn’t very hard. Flame Leviathan which we were afraid of (it’s the one fight that punishes us for our iLevel 200 gear with the vehicle scaling) was one-shotted instead of giving us any problems. Mimiron required only a few tries, and before the kill we wiped on sub 5% HP twice (on different evenings). Most time was spent on Auriaya (due to new tanks and pulling issues) and Thorim, due to the arena team dying horribly.
Now we have May and we’re already done with Tier 9 content. The Northrend Beasts were one-shotted pretty easily with the tank never being in any danger at all. Lord Jarraxus tested our healing abilities, as we lost our Tree Druid late in the fight, and had to two-heal the last 25 or so percent of the fight. We still somehow made it, but I have to say I was completely out of mana at the end, and if it went even a little bit longer, it would be another sub 5% wipe. We continued to clear the instance with a few wipes until Anub’Arak, which we promptly one-shotted again, with only one player dying at the very end of the third phase, as I was a split second too late with my heal.
After that victory we paid a visit to our old friend, Lady Prestor, in her cave in Dustwallow Marsh, and killed her as well. The fight with Onyxia wasn’t a problem as well. We actually wiped on the first trash, as the tank pulled one of them through the raid on accident, cleaving us all – but the boss fight itself went almost perfectly. We didn’t made any additional achievements though – a bit of a shame, but well, can’t have everything.
So why this long post?
I have to admit that I’d like to see the end of the endless spam of “LFM 5k gs” in Trade, but I’m also pretty much aware that’s really a hard thing to do – and especially not if people don’t know at all that 5k gs is not a requirement to successfully clear instances.
Will our Undergeared project be the last straw that puts an end to it? I really doubt it, but at the same time it couldn’t possibly hurt if I spark some discussion or response here. Maybe someone will “see the light”, stop asking for gearscore and instead will ask for tactics? Who knows. :)
We’re just a solid proof that you don’t need awesome gear (or to be hardcore) to successfully raid and enjoy it, that’s all.
So here we are now – almost all of the previous content cleared, in gear that wasn’t really designed to use that far. On Saturday we’ll be going into the Icecrown Citadel, so wish us luck!
Any comments, discussions or questions are of course welcome, and I’ll be lurking around here and trying to answer them as best as I can.
Few things in one post this time, mostly because I’m awfully late with them, and still thinking how to write a long serious post about other more serious subject.
Cataclysm Class Previews
My paladin is still only level 39, but I have to say there are some very cool things in the preview. Making Crusader Strike a core ability (and available from level 1) is quite awesome when you consider that early leveling is quite a pain here. Holy Shock will help as well, and fusing Blessing of Might and Blessing of Wisdom will remove a lot of annoyance, both while leveling and in the endgame. The rest sounds nice on paper, but I’ll have to level up and see.
Druids got a little note about the Ancients of War look for the Tree of Life form. Now I’m really interested in how it will look – the Ancients are quite big ingame, so I doubt we will be of the same size, but maybe something like half of it would be cool. I think it’s a nice tradeoff for the permanent old tree. ;)
Another nice bit of information. Making the rewards from 10-man raids the same as from the 25-mans and then putting both on one Raid ID is exactly what was needed. Now there’s no pressure to run the same dungeon twice a week (or four times if it was ToC), and if you don’t have enough raiding after one, there are always alts. On the other hand I’m a bit afraid that the single lockout will make PuGs less often as they are in Wrath… well we’ll have to wait and see I guess. ;)
I’m not the best source for that, but we’re on Yogg+3 and oneshotted Gormok and the other beasts in ToC. That was a nice thing to do, since they’re the most annoying there. Doing 4/5 in ToC this week will be easy, maybe with an exception of Faction Champions, but on normal difficulty they’re pussies anyway. Anub might be a little problem in the third phase, will require creative healing and keeping the raid group quite low.
I was afraid earlier that the Beasts will be more of a problem, but they didn’t pose any threat at all, even when one of the tanks got 4 stacks of Impale at one point by accident.