I started playing my feral druid again and decided to try getting in on some pug raiding action. After a couple attempts to get into an ICC 10 and an ICC 25 that fell apart before I even got in the instance, I finally got a positive response. But before I got the invite, the raid leader whispered me asking if I was fine with doing just Lower Spire. Going further than that would depend on how the raid looked.
Though I would have liked to go further, I realized it was Sunday and my guild raids on Monday so the chances of me getting into a different ICC raid were looking pretty slim. Besides, I might get a drop or two that would boost my gear score on a server that's obsessed with "you must be this tall to ride." So I agreed.
After the invite I found myself in a group for ICC 10 that consisted of a group of 7 guildies and 3 puggers.
In terms of gear, the guildies were a group that would have been laughed out of any "respectable" raid. They were not undergeared though. They were just perfect for starting out ICC 10. The worst of the puggers was on par with their best, I was a little better (though still with no ICC 10 or 25 gear), and the best had quite a few pieces of ICC 10/25 gear.
We cleared Lower Spire with only a couple wipes on the optional raid weekly, Securing the Ramparts, which the pug hunter repeatedly moaned about. Only after being reminded that the reward was five Frost Emblems, worth two and a half boss kills, did he finally consent to a third attempt, which ended up being successful.
The guildies seemed to be in good spirits though. Friendly bunch. If they complained it must have been in their private guild chat or vent because they were nothing if not civil.
We wiped once along the gauntlet to Sister Svalna, but otherwise got her Frost Emblem. Then we went over to Festergut and they admitted that they'd never done him before.
Since I rather liked the group, they made good time, no extended AFKs, no complaining about wiping, I offered to explain the Festergut fight to them. Though I will have to say that I never want to type out an explanation about Festergut again. I've done Festergut as a tank, healer, melee dps, and ranged dps, and it's a fight where each group has different things they need to be aware of.
We gave Festergut a shot, and wiped not very far in. He'd only managed to get to the third inhale. I couldn't tell for certain, but I don't think the healers were equipped for two healing all the damage in Festergut. I remember having to heal my eyeballs out when my guild first got there and we had three healers, though granted we did not have a 15% ICC buff at the time.
When a second shot didn't produce better results, the hunter said no more, he was out of ammo and he was leaving. (I found it amusing that not bringing enough ammo was his reason for leaving.)
I thanked the group for the run and said that if they usually ran at this time on Sundays and needed a spare I'd be happy to go. They said they would keep me in mind and I dropped group.
The raid leader then whispered me saying that he was surprised that someone who outgeared his guild would be so patient with them. Most geared raiders won't give them the time of day.
I replied that I really wasn't that much better geared than them, so I understood their inability to get into raids of their chosing. Goodness knows I started responding to LFM ICC with the fact I've cleared the LK and five HMs on my main since my feral's own achievements aren't anything to write home about.
Apparently this guild was a group of friends that wanted to raid together, and while not mind boggling stellar players, they seemed a good, disciplined group whose primary fault was lack of gear due to their coming on the raid scene so late. Again, I was much impressed with the pace of trash clearing and the lack of AFKs.
Playing with them reminded me of my early raiding days in TBC, when everything was still exciting, and back before people got jaded and short-tempered around "scrubs" who couldn't plow through content while overgeared. Back when giving a boss a couple good shots was all that was really expected.
My current guild started ICC 10 with about the same gear score they did, so this guild, coming late to the game as they are, is perfectly well geared for the content they're doing, and they seem to realize that. They're not disappointed by not clearing farther and they're not having any mammoth screw-ups. They know the fights they've done and they're learning for the fights still to come.
I don't know that I'll get a chance to raid with them again next week, but even if they don't clear 3-4 wings in a single night, I think they're a fine bunch to run with and I could do a lot worse.
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