How to Own Your Trial Run Like a Champion

Been addicted to read the Game of Thrones series right now. Not watching the TV show just yet. I want to get through the books at least. Also, my hometown team of Vancouver in the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 17 years! Hockey has killed some of our raid nights with about 5 of us from Vancouver. We can still work and raid if it’s just the 5, but we could certainly use more players (DPS with off specs would be great).

Recruiting’s a bummer right now. Everyone that applies could be a stud or a dud. Today’s post is a story of how an undergeared player just strolled in and wrested a full time roster position into his grasp.

Step one: Getting In

At first glance, he didn’t have the best of gear. He sporting blue quality items. What sold us for the trial though was the application. One of our questions involved a spec explanation and what is done to maximize it. He lists the correct primary stat and then goes on to list exact DPS rotation and why it had to be modified due to additional factors like glyphs and secondary stat allocation. It’s easy enough to parrot the information that can be found on prominent community websites, but those typically demand precise gear levels before optimal equilibrium can be met. Most players applying to raiding guilds don’t meet that quite yet. A little explanation on the side helps. It’s an ideal world we live in where every player is expected to be optimal.

But, we don’t live in an ideal world. We adapt to what cards we’re dealt and make it look awesome.

Step two: The Trial Run

This is where the applicant shone. He had never seen any of these heroic encounters before first hand. But you don’t need previous experience to understand that stuff on the ground is generally bad, or to run to a specific location with a bad debuff. Stand out applicants pick up mechanics within one or two attempts and maintain a high level of consistency in play.

Absolutely nailed it. You know you’re off to a good start when no one calls a Rebirth on you because you didn’t die. If you don’t stand out negatively like that, you’re golden.

Step three: The Aftermath

Didn’t do so hot there? That’s tough. I daresay most guilds allow recruits additional time to get acclimated and comfortable. You might get a second or third shot later on where you can really rock their world. The line that annoys me the most as a recruiter is the “I don’t have enough gear to make an impact” argument.

Now, I get that.

But if gear level really was that low, they wouldn’t have been screened through in the first place. This applicant barely scraped by our minimal expectations laid down in an application but came in and nailed DPS rotations and survived like the best of them. Their numbers were on the low end of the curve relative to the other players. But they kept quiet, made no excuses and did the absolute best they could. They didn’t complain, they didn’t whine when they weren’t brought in at all knowing that sooner or later their chance would come if they continued to appear. Summer is here which means roster sizes are going to be all over the place.

For me, it’s always been about the attitude. It really annoys me when performance is blamed on stuff like gear. I second guess their mental fortitude after that. What happens if they have a crappy raiding night later on? Is it going to be blamed on gear when they’ve already been outfitted with what’s available? Relax a little and do what can be done, listen to the feedback given by evaluators and run with that. Not everything needs to be a point of contention.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is sit your ass down and shut your ass up. Don’t be difficult. Our new player acknowledged his short comings and resolved to try harder. Since then, he’s worked his way into a starting spot.

* Bonus step: Fitting in

Hang out with the guild for a while after raids. Just be sociable and get to know people. They’re your new guild. Find out what makes people tick and just try to be friends. Don’t start off holding grudges against other players who do better than you or getting too competitive. No one likes a loud mouth who comes in trying to rock the boat. It just makes them seem desperate for attention.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.