I think it’s a fair assessment to say that most raiding Guilds have some kind of a trial procedure before a new player truly gets accepted. Complications arise when they raid begin to raid. Oh sure they’ve got the right to loot and all, but what about the guys that have worked on the boss for three weeks? Let’s back up for a second here and talk about trialing.
From the new player perspective
So you’re the new guy who is eager to prove yourself to the other members in the Guild. You might experience some difficulty breaking into the atmosphere. You’re a little shy and intimidated. After all here’s a Guild that doesn’t run Karazhan anymore, crushes Solarian, mops the floor with Leo, rides Al’ar like a pony, and turns Lurker into sushi. The only raiding experience you have is to your fridge at midnight. The first thing you need to do is relax. The second thing you need to do is to prove yourself worthy of being in such a Guild.
Different Guilds will have different methods of evaluating you as a player and as a person. A PvP Guild examines players based on how well they PvP. A raiding Guild examines players on their raiding performance. When you join a Guild initially, chances are you’re not “technically” in the Guild yet. But at the same time, you’re kind of “in” the Guild. It’s similar to hockey. Some players who don’t have contracts with various clubs will start by trying out with the clubs and seeing how well they fit in. That’s where you, the new guy, will be: in the Guild but not quite yet. Now the time period could range from a day to a month. Most tryouts would not involve you running in a five man or a heroic. Five man instances are vastly different from raid instances. If there happens to be a roster slot open for you, you’ll get thrown into the frying pan. The first time you raid with a new Guild will make or break your application. Because if you’re inactive or heaven forbid that you some how screw up somewhere, you will always be labelled as such a player. When I started doing Lurker a few months ago (gosh it’s been so long), I would consistently get blasted by his Spout because my computer’s frame rate was not high enough for me to compensate. It didn’t take long before other players old and new alike were told to not “pull a Mallet”.
Usually on first raids, most players will be quite forgiving. They’ll understand that it’s your first raid with them and they’ll be extra patient. But that extra patience will begin to wear thin. You need to stay extra focused and on your toes. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for clarification. Better a raid to spend an extra five minutes on explanations then thirty on wiping and dealing with trash respawns.
My trial experiences went something along the lines of this:
During my period with Angelic Advocates, I did not have the ability to speak in Guild chat (quite a nuisance by the way, don’t do that to new people). My trial run consisted of being thrown into a 40 man Raid group and completing BWL from start to finish. I was immediately promoted (with speaking privileges) the moment we downed Nefarion. Oddly enough, it was a Guild first (Six Priests and I was the only fear ward).
When I was trying out for Aurora, I was asked to step in and raid Karazhan at 11 PM. We downed Attumen on the first try and I was signed within days.
After a lengthy 20 minute interview with the recruiting officer for Carnage, I was invited on a trial basis. It took me several Gruul runs and a Magtheridon death before I was finally accepted with open arms.
My experiences all have one thing in common: perseverance. I’ve run into my share of players who would leave the Guild immediately if they wipe 12 times in Karazhan on a single night. If you can’t handle wiping in a minor instance like Karazhan, then there is not a chance you can handle raiding in a 25 man instance where raid wipes in the 20s are not uncommon. People seem to expect a free ride from high end raiding Guilds. I think that is one facet of the game that really annoys me.
The worse possible thing that can happen is that you and your potential new Guild just don’t mesh. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be. Nothing will stop you from hopping over to a new Guild and beginning the process anew.
From the Guild perspective
Here is one possible method for handling loot and new players. It’s going to work if you use a DKP system to help manage all the purples that drop. You can set a period of two or three weeks where players allowed to accumulate points but are not eligible to bid for or spend their points on loot. This is plausible if some players are in the negatives. However, if no one in the Raid needs that particular item, then the new player can exercise his option and ask for it. If you think about it, it’s kind of like a big giant “need before greed” situation. The rest of the Guild has option before it is then passed to the new player.
It’s up to every Guild member to make the new player at home and help him out a little bit if needed. You don’t need to give him your 30 Uber Fires and Uber Nethers for his Ubercloth set, but do help him out if he wants a small quest done or needs a mob killed. The point here is to encourage participation. If you’re doing dailies, ask him if they’ve done it yet. If you need an extra spot in a five man instance, go to the new player FIRST and see if they want in. Not only do you make the new player welcome, but you can subliminally see how that player performs and interacts with the Guild. All it takes is for one Guild member to say “Ubernoob said this to me and wouldn’t do this because he didn’t want to do it” and he is placed on the scrutiny list. I’ve seen cases where new players ask for help in running an instance and some Guild members say “sure, just a sec” and Ubernoob drops off the face of the planet leaving the Guild members hanging and scratching their heads wondering where he went (twice from what I’ve seen :O).
With this additional examination process, it allows more opportunities for Guild members to check out the Ubernoob. Guild Leaders who may not be around as often or don’t have the time to play with the Ubernoob can ask players who have had experience with him to report their thoughts. Leaders can then make judgments based on the type of information they receive which leads to one or two directions: Ubernoob is considered an asset and receives a nod or Ubernoob is a liability and is not what the Guild is looking for.
Finally, whatever decision that is made by the Officers should be respected and should not be second guessed. They usually have more information then Tony Raider and should be trusted to make the right decisions.