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All you need is the story of how a guild of deaf WoW players beat the odds


Today is one of those days where I feel a bit overwhelmed by the challenges life is throwing at me. I mean, she can be a relentless b1tch. Just one thing after another until you face the mountain of Doom and everything looks unconquerable and beyond what little strength you have left to muster and fight on. Then I read PC Gamer's story of How a guild of deaf players conquered World of Warcraft's toughest raids. And it's all I needed to pick up my shield, strap on my sword, and face the wind.

You should stop whatever you're doing (no after you've finished reading this article), and read the full story on PC Gamer. We've had weeks of news and opinions about America's demise situation. About disasters and the end of the world and whatnot, and we're in desperate need of something that faces impossibility in all its glory while at an unimaginable disadvantage, who smiles, and says "Challenge accepted."

That's what we need right now folks, and the guild of deaf World of Warcraft players are here to lead us back to that place where we believe in the land of opportunity.

The short of it; A WoW guild, who goes by the name "Undaunted" (formerly Durus Veritas), only allow deaf players. They're kicking ass and taking names in WoW's toughest raids. For the uninitiated; to say those end game raids are challenging is a massive understatement. In January, Undaunted not only beat Legion's Emerald Nightmare raid, but they also did it in Mythic mode - the highest difficulty level.

Besides being an inspiration to us all, their story also shows how gaming can empower people and be a force for good.

I used to play WoW for one thing - raiding with my guild. I was addicted to the challenge; to the precision and the absolute perfection it demanded - of all players (ranging from 10 to 30 players per instance). If you've never experienced it, you won't fully grasp how challenging it is to beat a raid. One mistake could wipe your whole team, and it took months to perfect a strategy. Just the fact that so many people all had to be at the top of their game and then execute a strategy flawlessly - for hours on end - is something extraordinary. Now, imagine doing that without the ability to yell at a player to cast a spell, or to scream for help. Or to issue commands or warn of danger.

Undaunted has earned the achievement "Respect of all gamers everywhere." So how do they do it? Remember, during a raid battle things happen incredibly fast, and you don't have time to spare. According to the guild master, Joseph Antle, they use mods and do a lot of preparation for things 'normal guilds' take for granted.

"“If a tank forgot to taunt a boss to deal with debuffs, the other tank would quickly type in ‘taunt’ as a reminder. Setting up assignments before raid encounters is what we always do, especially the order of healing cooldowns," explained Antle to PC Gamer. "Without those assignments, we would have gone nowhere. After first wipes, our players typically memorized their tasks, and it becomes a matter of honing our raid awareness and knowledge of the fight.”

The Undaunted guild has been raiding since 2011, and according to Antle in five years of raiding they've only ever encountered one boss that felt "abnormally unfair to the deaf community," as asked by PC Gamer. “Mythic Xavius. If someone dies right before it’s their turn to enter the dream, it’s a wipe,” explained Antle. “That’s because if nobody enters a dream pillar the portal spawns an add, complicating the raid and putting more stress on healers and DPS. If we could call out somebody to take a dead player’s spot, it’d be a lot more manageable.”

How's that attitude for facing what seems all out impossible. Millions of WoW players never go near a Raid because it's so damn difficult to play with such a large group of people where the demand for perfection is absolute. Undaunted also boasts the rank of eight best guild (out of 120) on the realm they're playing on.

"We’re especially proud that we have managed to clear the content without any kind of assistance such as voice communication. Most of our raiders have exceptional awareness and remember the assignments given to them beforehand. We currently have 9/10 heroic bosses cleared in Nighthold, and we’re ranked eighth [out of 120] on the realm according to WoWProgress.

I think that’s a wonderful accomplishment for us, but it’s not over yet. We will keep pushing as much as possible.”

My thanks to the Undaunted guild for showing us how to be "Resolutely courageous."

This article has been republished and facts edited to reflect correct dates and prices.

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