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A deaf World of Warcraft guild has defeated one of the toughest new raids in the game on Heroic difficulty, continuing a long-running streak of the deaf players clearing terrifically difficult challenges in Blizzard Entertainment’s premiere MMORPG. Heroic Queen Azshara is the latest victim to the guild’s talented players — and they show no signs of stopping.
If you don’t play World of Warcraft (or MMOs in general), here’s a bit of a primer: raids are typically massive dungeons with one more bosses for 5–40 players. Clearing one of these raids in full can take hours or even days depending on the success of the people participating. World of Warcraft, in particular, also features several difficulty levels which allow players to return to raids for an even greater challenge.
What makes a deaf World of Warcraft guild beating Heroic Queen Azshara particularly impressive is the lack of voice communication. Anyone who has engaged in massive battles of this kind of scale (in any game, really) will tell you that voice communication is absolutely essential, but the men and women of the Undaunted guild manage to do it thanks to a set of specialized addons.
According to a comment on the /r/wow subreddit, 85% of their raiding team is deaf and they don’t make any use of voice communication. Currently, they’re seeking to recruit at least 6 more players in order to start tackling raids on Mythic difficulty, the absolute pinnacle of PVE challenges in World of Warcraft.
The members of the deaf World of Warcraft guild make use of certain add-ons and macros just like any other serious group of raiders, but they focus more on proper planning than anything else. Knowing the raid, your role, and when to back up is critical to successfully completing these kinds of challenges, and it becomes absolutely essential when you can’t rely on voice chat.