When it Comes to Guild Apps, Pick Two

When it Comes to Guild Apps, Pick Two

pick2

Historically speaking, most of the players I’ve picked up in the past had two out of the three attributes. Rare is the player who manages to possess all three. Recruiting seems to be at an all time low according to a few GMs I’ve spoken to (10 man and 25 man, Horde and Alliance). It’s as if the majority of players just want to see the content, regardless of what difficulty level it is (meaning the path of least resistance gets selected the most or the LFR tool). It seems like the applicants I see seem to exhibit 2 out of the 3 traits.

Skilled

Manages to bring the pain (or the healing). We’re talking on a consistent basis. I often find myself wondering about the players who (over a 2 month period) go from the bottom to the top back to the bottom again.

Of course, no one wants the player who has a really hard time hitting that Hour of Twilight button and ends up burning all 3 Battle Res skills allotted. The ability to pick up what the rules and requirements for each encounter is a big plus (as is the ability to do it fast).

High attendance

Willingness to reschedule most events in their lives around raiding is an advantage. I’m not that much of a tyrant though.

Wedding? Sure.

Exam? Yeah, you better go study for it.

House on fire? Go.

But if you’re missing out on a raid to catch the series finale of American Idol, I can tell you’re just not into it. Or if a new game came out and you’re signing out of raid when I can see on Steam that you’re clearly playing Skyrim. That tells me where your priorities are and it’s clearly not with WoW.

Drama free

Perhaps drama free might not be the best choice of words to use. When I mean drama free, I’m not referring to guild splitting dramatic incidents. I’m talking about the little things that can get under people’s skins eventually leading to guild splitting incidents.

How difficult does a person need to be?

There’s been times I’ve tried to compromise on issues to reach the best approach for everyone involved. In other cases, a single course of action was settled upon because that’s what the leaders wanted to do, period. I really hate working with players who argue for the simple sake of arguing. I can tell you it takes away my efforts and focus on the next item I want to resolve. Pick your battles carefully. Otherwise the GM might exercise their right to throw you out because you keep causing problems and end up being more of a liability instead of an asset.

Now going back to the original question, if you were restricted to two selections, which two would you pick?

Two Applicant Paths Diverged in an Azerothian Wood

Two Applicant Paths Diverged in an Azerothian Wood

crazy

Once you decide you’ve reached the raid-ready threshold, it’s time to find a place to do that.  Aside from the risky and unpredictable nature of PUGs, the most plausable option is a raiding guild.  Whether casual, progression, or hardcore elite, you’re bound to encounter some form of an application process.

The process always varies from guild to guild.  Each one is slightly different, but I’ve always seen three common practices:

  1. (Trade Chat) “Lvl 80 LF Raiding Guild” -> “So-and-so has invited you to join the guild: Such-and-such”
  2. An application of varying length, seemingly focused on gear, skill, and experience.
  3. The Applicant Period -> Includes a formal application, and a “waiting period” or “trial period”.

The first of the three is relatively self-explanatory, and is usually frowned upon.  I don’t take raiders seriously that look for guilds that way, and I don’t instill a lot of confidence in raiding guilds that subscribe to that method.  This is all just from personal experience.

Just like I’d apply for a job to pay my bills, I’m applying to a guild to fulfill my raiding passion.  I want to know that the guild I’m vying to be a part of isn’t accepting just any ol’ package of pixels.  I’d be really worried about credibility if the guild just said “Yes!” without screening me or requiring any sort of “test drive.”

My personal preference is the 3rd option.  Every guild leader has their own preference, and that’s absolutely encouraged.  Each guild is obviously different.  My choice is based on permanence and personality.

I’m hugely averted to what are known as “guild hoppers”.  I’ve never been one, and I get a pit in my stomach anytime I come across someone that might be one.  I look at my guild as a family–people who work together to achieve a common goal because they enjoy that camaraderie and team work.  I invest in you, you invest in me.  Someone that sees guilds as stepping stones to higher echelons don’t interest me.  I feel it’s selfish and takes away from the “community” that I’m so fond of.

Secondly, if we are going to be spending large amounts of time together, I have to get along with you.  We have to be able to crack jokes, share stories, and simply enjoy each other’s company.  I’m not too keen on running with someone that is demeaning to other players or constantly fluffs their own ego at the expense of others.  Admittedly, if I don’t wanna hang out with you, I’m probably not going to jump up and down at the chance to raid with you.

As you know, I’m one of the Discipline Priests on Lodur’s healing team in Unpossible.  Their application process is a rather complex one, but its payoff is knowing they’re a great fit for me, and I’m a good fit for them.  It was because of their application process that I got excited, because it’s near identical to my casual guild, Team Sport.

To summarize, an interested Applicant must acquire a Sponsor.  This is done through gaming and socializing via a chat channel made specifically for the guild.  It is the Sponsor’s job to get the Applicant invited to off-night raids and bring them along on heroics or other guild activities.  This is designed to get the guild acquainted with the Applicant.

The Sponsor then solicits enough votes from the guild (along with the Applicant’s Class Lead) to invite the Applicant into the guild on a trial basis.  This begins a month period where the the guild and the Applicant get to know each other.  The Applicant can be invited into raids and has access to loot drops.  At the end of the month, the guild votes again whether the Applicant becomes a full member or not.

At any point, I can withdraw.  If I don’t feel like this guild is what I want, then I can move on.

What an application process like this does is allows me to know what I’m getting myself into before I’m fully in the mix.  It lets them sniff me out and make sure that I’m not a “guild hopper” or someone there to grab gear and run.  Like I said, I’m into the family-style guilds.  This, I feel, promotes that.

What about you?  What kind of guild process you feel best fits your style?  Are there certain styles that attract or deter you from joining a guild?

ThespiusSig

Is Applying to Multiple Guilds a Sin?

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Found this intriguing question on Twitter today that was directed to me. I’ll try to paraphrase it as best as I can.

”Is there anything wrong with players applying to multiple guilds?”

From my perspective, no. The way I see it, if I’m a guildless player who is looking to get involved with a raiding guild somewhere, I’d take the shotgun approach. I won’t get into why such a player should or shouldn’t apply to this type of guild. Let’s assume that I’ve done my homework and have answered the self-help questionnaire on the type or guild I want to be a part of. For example, I want to be in a raiding guild that’s just started Ulduar and is utilizing a DKP system that happens to only raid on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from a period between 6 PM – 12 AM.

Let’s say I hit the jackpot and there happens to be four guilds that fit the criteria.

From the applicant perspective

Why not? I want to raid. It doesn’t matter to me which guild I get into as they’re all pretty much the same. I’m flexible with my hours. I can raid from 7 – 11 PM for example. The time frame I listed above is the window that I am willing to commit myself to raiding. By applying to 4 different guilds, I get to maximize my chances. The odds are higher that at least one of them could use the role that I play.

From the guild perspective

It’s nice and flattering to hear from a player that they’ve looked only at your guild and want to be a part of it. They didn’t even consider any other option. What if the applicant doesn’t fit or if you don’t have room? It’s nice to know that the player has some other plans to fallback on. It kills me whenever I turn down a player sometimes. Some of them genuinely deserve good guilds to be a part of and wish to contribute to raids. Sometimes there’s just no space.

I’ve seen guilds who adopt this attitude that their guild is awesome. In fact, it is so damn awesome they can’t fathom why anyone who has applied to their guild also applied to other guilds. Clearly it’s an insult to such guilds. When a guild gets wind that an applicant also applied elsewhere, they just shoot them down. On one hand, it makes the process a little easier for the app as it does weed down the number of remaining guilds.

Cover your ass

When I applied to post secondary schools, I applied to no less than 3 institutions. Why? because I knew there was a very real chance that I would get rejected. It’s the same mentality when applying for jobs. Apply to many as you can and see who wants you. Then from there, you take the best possible offer.

There’s nothing wrong with the business sense. Don’t try and pull the loyalty card here either. The guild hasn’t accepted the applicant yet. There’s no incentive for them to be that loyal so early. When a player of outstanding calibre happens to apply (let’s say a player with Immortal or Champion of Ulduar or something), it’s up to the guild to change gears and sell themselves. The guild has to essentially put up a neon sign that says “JOIN US!” Ultimately, the decision is always going to belong to the applicant whether they accept or otherwise. If a guild truly wants that player, they’ll start talking and eventually extend an invite. If not, the guild will pass and one of the other guilds might consider the player.

It sure as heck saves a lot of time, too. Lots of guilds have response rates varying from hours to days to even weeks. If I were planning to raid, I’d apply to all the guilds at once. However, if there was one organization that I’d want to join, I’d make it known to them that they were my first pick. Would other guilds feel slighted? Well, probably. But if they needed the extra set of hands, they’d overlook that. If they didn’t, then the applicant would get turned down anyway regardless. It’s certainly faster than applying to one guild, waiting for a response, getting rejected, and then repeating it with a different guild over and over.

Applying to multiple guilds allows players to gauge the level of interest a guild has in their services. There’s nothing ethically wrong with that.

Image courtesy of woodsy

What GMs Want to See on Your Guild App

What GMs Want to See on Your Guild App

 application

Every day, thousands of players are released from guilds. Thousands more leave them voluntarily. Some are looking to take things easier. Others want more out of their gaming experience. What do they all have in common? A desire for a change of scenery. Yeah, it’s the same old Azeroth. But the guild atmosphere is hardly similar.

When I was 15, I landed my first job as a high school computer tech. In the weekends, the school was commandeered by an older generation of adults learning how to “make millions of dollars via Ebay and “how to use windows  (I still remember vividly the longest possible method to create a folder on the desktop).

The experiences during those times taught me the extraordinary value of patience. Because I tell you, nothing in this world prepares you for patience more than trying to teach a bunch of senior citizens where the any key is.

I was the first among my friends to have a real paying job. “Wow, they would say, “A real paying job with real money! 

You see, it’s around that time in a youth ‘s life where the desire to become independent from their parents begins to kick in. Of course, the inverse is also true. I ‘m almost positive parents want to spend less on their kids. My friends starting feeling the same way. They wanted their own CD players (that ‘s metallic discs that held around 18 songs). That‘s the stuff my generation was into as MP3 players didn’t kick in until the year later since they weren‘t affordable yet.

My advice and consult was frequently sought after. My friends all wanted jobs of their own. I was the only one among them that went through the entire stage from resume to interview. I tried to coach them with what little I knew from my own experience. I helped them prep for their interviews after proofreading their resumes.

Nothing makes mom and dad happier more than knowing that some sucker hired their son after all, right?

And now I speak to you as a raider, officer, and GM who has sifted through hundreds upon hundreds of guild applications over the past several years.

What Matticus likes

  1. Simplicity: Don ‘t use 7 words when 4 will work. I scan most of my apps unless something catches my eye. Be blunt and straight to the point.
  2. Formatting: I hate my room. It’s a mess. I don‘t want to see a reflection of my room in your guild app. Put some effort in your punctuation and capitalization.
  3. Goal: What you want to do. Make sure it ‘s something that you actually want. The successful applicants into Conquest were the ones who said “I want to raid.”
  4. Past tense: Raided Molten Core. Killed Illidan. Acquired Twilight Drake. Achieved “Gotta Go!” .
  5. Contributions: Organized sheeps. Set up main tank targets. Lit up Warlock summons without being asked. Made healing assignments. Took care of DKP.
  6. Essential stats without having to armory: 2240 spellpower. 950 MP5. Important information that‘s included without me having to click the armory right away. If I‘m really interested, I‘ll do it after the fact to make sure you‘re not giving me a plate full of bull-shiitake.
  7. Guildie endorsements: These can make or break your chances. Make sure the player actually knows you and has good things to say since it can backfire.
  8. Link to blog: Not everyone has one. Bonus points if you do. It made the difference for Amava since it lent him extra credibility (but he doesn‘t know that, so don‘t tell him ;))
  9. Hobbies: This is what gives your digital avatar a little extra personality. Whether you‘re big into sports or an avid poker player, it‘s something I ‘m curious to know. Still waiting for the day where I see “Modeled for this agency.
  10. Extra: Whatever else you did that shows your ability to think critically. I‘m not here to hold your hand. The GM isn‘t supposed to be the chessmaster that instructs where every piece is supposed to attack. They‘re the conductor who controls the rhythm, beat, and sound that an orchestra plays for a standing ovation.
  11. PM to the GM: Rarely happens. But it takes energy and ingenuity to go straight to the boss. Sometimes a private message adds a nice touch.
  12. Customize: I‘ve seen cut and paste application jobs. Sometimes applicants forget to change the name of the guild or player name.

I can‘t speak for all GM ‘s or recruiting officers. There‘s always someone out there who has more experience. I ‘m going to toss a shoutout to Kreeoni, Veneretio, and Siha as they‘re all well respected GMs in my book, and ask them what they like to see in an app (Ceruleagos, I know you‘re out there reading, too!)

As always, reader thoughts are always welcome.

6 Ways to Reject a Guild App Without Sounding Like an Angry Ex

6 Ways to Reject a Guild App Without Sounding Like an Angry Ex

In the spirit of the blogger’s challenge I laid out last Saturday, I felt it was only fair to come up with a post of a similar theme.

I issued a question to the Twitterati asking them this:

On what grounds have you had to turn away guild apps?

Of the multiple responses I received, I was able to consolidate the majority into 6 real reasons guilds reject players.

Some of these reasons sound eerily familiar. Probably because I’ve been on the receiving end of all of them at some point.

It’s not you. It’s me.

@greyseer Attitude does not align with core purpose or ideals

This is the one of the more often used rejection reasons. Sometimes a player just does not fit in with the rest of the guild for whatever reason. Player personality plays a strong role in the minds of most GMs. If a personality clashes, then the door is closed. Perhaps the applicant is simply too liberal in their use of language which makes players uncomfortable. Maybe they’re looking to do nothing but PvP in a progression raiding guild. Whatever it is, the applicant just doesn’t have a place in the guild’s grand scheme of things.

You’re not open with me enough.

@asara_dragon Poor command of language on application
@cuppy Didn’t follow app instructions
@misskeli Didn’t fill app at all

First impressions matter. When GM’s are exposed to you for the first time, your language use plays an integral part in how you virtually “look and sound”. Take the time to put in the periods and capitals. Run it through a spellcheck. Come across as professional and intelligent. The guild app is your way of “selling” and marketing yourself to the guild. Even if you’re the best player around on the server, a crappy application will stone your efforts. Prove yourself out of the game or else you might not get the chance to prove yourself in the game.

Even worse than leaving a bad first impression is not following the instructions. If an applicant can’t follow instructions on a simple post, who is to say they can follow instructions in raids?

I think we need to go on a break.

@sylus Reputation for guild hopping
@Nightravyn Known drama llama
@dadexter Known to rob guild banks

These types of players are lone wolves. They travel from guild to guild exhausting their resources until they are no longer welcome. Fortunately, the names of such players spread quickly and far via trade chat and forums. It’s advisable for guilds to maintain their own blacklist for players that their guild should stay away from.

I’m just not interested in you right now.

@Threon We’ve got 4 Resto Druids
@Narayu People that app that are classes we’re full on.

Even outstanding apps have to get rejected. There are only 25 positions available in a raid. Some players already have cemented positions and it is extremely difficult to dislodge such people. It all boils down to having no room. Barring some kind of emergency, full time players who raid are full time for a reason. Their attendance is virtually flawless. This reason for rejecting players becomes more apparent in progressed guilds. They just can’t fit any more players, classes or roles into their raids. I’ve had to release some people over the past few weeks because I knew they wanted to raid and it wasn’t fair for them to be kept on retainer. They deserved to raid. There is still time for them to look for other guilds to join.

I’m too busy focusing on life and my career to get involved.

@siha You can’t make our raid times
@crazeigh Attendance and availability

Players apply with intentions to raid. Some guilds are okay with a 50% attendance rate or what have you. Other guilds expect raiders to be able to go at it from start to finish. Obviously it is not possible to expect flawless attendance. From experience, I can say that guilds I’ve been in, there is an expectation that players show up to a set amount (as a minimum). Given the choice between two identically geared and skilled players, I will always start with the player that can go from start to finish as opposed to the one that has to leave every night right before Patchwerk. From a management perspective, it just makes sense. A player that can only be available for a small amount of time is not going to be able to serve the guild well in a raid capacity.

You can’t afford me.

@Kreeoni Gear is lacking

Older friends have told me that companies generally don’t care what type of degree I have. I was freaking out because I was second guessing my program choices for school. Kimbo, an officer, explained to me that companies only care that you have the piece of paper that says you’ve got your 4 years or 120 credits. Whether it’s Psychology, Criminology, Sociology or Business Administration isn’t as big of a factor (in most cases but I know someone’s going to say “but yes it plays a HUGE factor”.

Having the degree shows you have the discipline and perseverance to work your way through school.

That mentality has some merit here. I’ve always held the belief that gear and skill are equally important. I need the weapons and armor to do my job. But I need the knowledge and skills to use my gear effectively.

Having your Sons of Hodir enchants or your exalted Rep faction gear demonstrates that you put a lot of time and effort into your character. Having high end heroic blues or a smattering of epics shows that you’re willing to grind through to get what you want. Appropriate gems and enchants show that you know how to best augment your character (unlike that one Priest I saw with nothing but agility gems. Hmm!

Finally, with raiding instances set to go up in difficulty, it becomes clear that minimum throughput of DPS and healing are only going to go up. For example, the gear requirement for pre-nerf Sunwell was much higher than a fray into Gruul’s Lair of Magtheridon’s cavern. The entire raid has to reach a certain minimum baseline performance in order to kill a boss. Otherwise the enrage timer hits or healers run out of mana and it’s game over.

Why have you or your guild rejected applicants? Do you have any good (or sad) stories you like to share?

Image courtesy of nyuszika