A Response to Tobold: Another Guild Recruitment Perspective

A Response to Tobold: Another Guild Recruitment Perspective

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Image courtesy of Avolore

I read a great piece by renowned WoW blogger Tobold about guild recruitment and how they don’t look to hire players, they hire avatars. He writes that high end guilds don’t care much about the character of the person who is behind the avatar and that jumping guilds is almost expected in order to progress.

First, I’d like you to read what he has to say before you come back and read my responses and explanations behind how my Guild operates.

Done?

Excellent!

The Professional Style

Another follow up post courtesy of Two and a Half Orcs nailed it perfectly when it was written that we take two extremely different approaches to Guild progression and to raiding.

Now, a Guild is an organized group of people. I think we can all agree on that definition. What separates Guilds from other Guilds is the reason why the Guild is formed in the first place. Loyalty is an integral part of any kind of organization be it sports teams, businesses, or what not.

Refer back to Tobold’s blog for a moment and you’ll see an example of a typical Guild ad. In fact, if you browse the Guild recruitment forums right now, you’ll find any number of ads that have the same elements like:

  1. Scheduled raiding days and times
  2. Progression information
  3. Contact information
  4. Class openings

Tobold writes that these ads "do not mention people" and that these upper tier Guilds, such as the one I’m in, "don’t hire players, they hire avatars".

And he’s absolutely right.

Because those are the spots that we have available for raiding.

As a recruiting officer, I have no reason to mention that Carnage is looking for "friendly, intelligent, respectable players". Attributes like that are a given. As a student, when I browse job boards for part time openings, I never see companies advertise looking for "friendly, nice candidate with people skills" because it’s expected.

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In this case, being available from Wednesday to Friday nights 8 PM – 12 PM server time is more important.

Why?

Because you can be the nicest and generous guy in the world. But if you can’t raid on our raiding days, then there’s is absolutely no point at all for us to bring you to our raids.

Am I being an ass with this kind of thinking? No, I’m being realistic. I’m saving time for both my Guild and for you, the player.

The Recruiting Process

In any case, the truth is, the recruiting process is much more refined and filtered than that. I obviously can’t speak for other Guild officers but I personally check out applicant’s as much as possible especially if they’re from another server. Cross server applicants are scrutinized as much as possible. Just like the actual job hunting process, if we find a player that we’re interested in that can handle the basic criteria of availability, class, and gear, then we have a brief interview with that player. I’ve been a carnie for about 3 years, so let’s just assume that I can tell what kind of a personality a player has 9 times out of 10. I like to conduct interviews over vent because their voice can tell me a lot of information that in game chat just can’t do.

Assuming they pass that stage, it’s not quite over yet.

They undergo a trial by fire where we assess their abilities in game. We’re not talking a couple of heroics or some PvP. In my Guild, our business is raiding. So if we want to evaluate a raider, we check them out in raids. What the hell’s the point of putting a recruit through a 5 man if we want to see how he is in a 25 man, right?

 
Image courtesy of BluStu

Accountability goes up

The release of Burning Crusade didn’t fix a lot of issues that plagued guilds during the vanilla era. Back then, there was a progression problem where it seemed only a select few of players could advance. For example, each boss in Molten Core dropped 2-3 items. Raids consisted of 40 players. Assuming you were able to pull off a full clear and that each player wanted to overhaul their gear with epics, this meant each player needed 8 pieces of loot. 40 players multiplied by 8 items is 320 items. As you can see, that’s a lot of gear that needs to be passed around and this is assuming that each boss drops the gear that players need. While it’s true that Burning Crusade did not fix problems of officers and leaders ricing themselves up and leaving, BC made it much easier to spread the loot around and progress Guild members at a steadier and more consistent rate.

By reducing the players required to raid, it increased the overall accountability of each player raiding. Each player has more responsibility and can be scrutinized even more. It allowed Guilds to be a lot more picky and for players to be more competitive. There’s a lot of hockey teams in the NHL but there’s only so many roster slots available. Raid size reduction made it easier for Guild Leaders to find players who fit the mentality of the Guild.

When I raid, I want players who work hard, are situationally aware, don’t waste time, and willing to spend gold to make themselves the best they can absolutely be. Going from 40 – 25 players means I don’t have to find 15 additional players who fit that criteria.

"Guilds do not recruit nice people and then train them how to raid."
- Tobold

I don’t think that’s true. I would rewrite that statement so that it says "Guilds do not recruit nice people and then train them how to play their class".

Raiding requires certain strategies to pull off because these bosses have their own gimmicks and abilities. It takes an insane amount of effort and coordination to kill these bosses. There is an expectation that you have gotten to 70 on your own and that you have done 5 mans on your own and that you virtually know the ins and outs of your class. New raiders that join Carnage are given an overview of the boss and what their role is.

It’s simple logic. If a player doesn’t know what he’s doing, he’s going to wipe the raid. Wiping the raid is not in the best interests of the raid therefore we make every effort to explain the encounter in detail and what their role is whether its to sheep a certain target, or heal a certain player, or move in a certain direction every 30 seconds because the main tank has to move him around.

It’s a gigantic waste of time to pick up a freshman hunter whose still learning the basics of the game like how to trap and misdirect. It holds up 24 other players who want to progress and you’re going to find an impatient player or 5 in any raiding Guild. We pull players out of other raiding Guilds that have disbanded and such because they’ve been proven that they know what to do. While we don’t know that for sure exactly, a quick inspection of loot can tell many things. If a Priest has a Band of Eternity, then we know he was a part of an organization that took down Kael and Vashj which require 25 players to actively take part in. So he knows what the heck he’s doing.

Rejection

Assuming a player isn’t nice, polite and helpful, then he’s out of the Guild. The fact is, Guilds spend anywhere from 9 – 20 hours a week working on bosses. If a player isn’t any 3 of those, why would we want to subject ourselves to 15 hours of playing with that individual? Again, at a job, if an employee is rude, unhelpful, and callous with employees, he’s going to be given the pink slip.

The onus is on the player to prove their asset to the Guild. And what does the raiding Guild do in return? We offer them a chance to raid and tackle the hardest encounters and challenges that this game has to offer.

In closing

winnars

Hopefully the insight I’ve offered will be of value to other players who wonder how and why these Guilds operate. I want to stress that my Guild is not hardcore in the sense of time. We don’t throw ourselves at bosses for 5 hours every week night. We set our standards and expectations abysmally high to weed out the freeloaders.

Building up Guild camaraderie and morale is not a problem here. When you’ve been working on a boss for 3 weeks straight with the same 25 – 28 group of people and he goes down, there’s an immense feeling of pride. Because guess what? You were part of a kickass team of 25 players that were able to coordinate their efforts in beating the hardest boss in the game.

And nothing can beat the euphoria that follows.

Unless you win the Superbowl.

Tobold Interviews a Gold Seller

MMO Blogging enthusiast Tobold managed get in an interview with a gold selling company that’s not based in China. I don’t support RMT at all in any shape. With that being said, that does not mean I’m not curious as to the motivations and foundations behind them. Im always interested to learn about everything and anything (I have Wikipedia as my home page for crying out loud). Tobold asked some intriguing questions and received some ever interesting answers.

EDIT: RMT stands for Real Money Trading (or the process of exchanging real money for virtual currency and items).

After posing this perspective I’m often asked, “So why do Blizzard ban RMT accounts then?”, and the answer is always the same. To open a WoW account requires both a CD Key and subscription, but as Chinese credit cards are not accepted this become a 60-day pre-paid game card. A Chinese workroom would pay around $35 for both these resources, the majority of which goes right into Blizzard’s pockets. As a rough estimate based on experience within Chinese workrooms, I would say 200,000 workroom accounts were banned in 2007, 99.5% of which would have been replaced by a new account (with a new CD key and pre-paid card) right away. Based on these numbers, the banning of Chinese “Gold Farmer” accounts was worth approximately $7,000,000 last year alone. Now you can better understand why RMT continues to exist and why legal action against RMT is extremely selective.

Obviously a controversial piece like this would garner a few negative comments. Sure enough, a brief look at the comments showed several dissatisfied readers. True, Tobold had to publicize the address of the company in question but I think a link is a fair trade off in order to ask honest questions and get honest answers. The world revolves around a give and take relationship and you can’t expect to get something for nothing.

There’s been documentaries and interviews of serial murderers and rapists and other criminals done before in the past. It doesn’t mean we support what they do. Interviews like this help in expanding our understanding and view of deviant acts like this.

If you’re against buying gold or RMT in general, then it’s highly unlikely that reading an interview like this will change your mind.

In Vancouver, we have a special place in the Downtown East side called a Insite. It’s essentially a safe injection site for drug users to go to in order for them to practice what they do in a safe place. This government funded installation is meant to help drug users in a controlled environment that is fully staffed. Obviously a place like this can send the wrong kind of message; namely that the government supports illegal drug use. On the other hand, if an individual is going to shoot cocaine or do drugs anyway, at least there’s a hygienic place that exists where they can go to in order to do it safely without overdosing themselves.

Applying this to WoW and RMT, I’m more aware of the trades and practices that dealing with Chinese RMTers can do. This organization reports itself as being in America which means it is subject to American laws and business practices. I’d like to say that offers an element of comfort to players who might be desperate enough to turn to RMT in the first place.

Disclaimer: I mentioned it earlier and I’ll say it again. I don’t support RMT at all. But I still like to learn. If you’re going to comment, please do it respectfully with regards to the views of others.

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The Problem With Enchanting: Part 1 (Demand)

The problem with enchantingI was reading one of Tobold’s latests posts on enchanting and I just had to write a response. You can imagine my amazement when he wrote that he is one of the few 70′s who runs around without any major enchantments on his gear.

Why?

Because enchanting your gear is one of the most expensive things you will ever undertake.

The gear selection and vast selection of raid instances are at the point where you could replace a piece of gear you got today with one later on in the week.

So herein lies the dilemma. Why spend copious amounts of money investing in enchants for some item when it might be replaced later?

It’s like shopping for computer parts. You could upgrade your memory now or wait and watch it drop in price. You never know when a better deal might come along, right?

Let’s take a look at the price for 81 Healing to weapon. WoWecon.com reports Large Prismatic shards having a price of 19G (Ner’Zuhl has ridiculous prices with 25+G).

Primal Life: 10 gold x 8 = 80G
Primal Water: 20 gold x 8 = 160G
Large Prismatic Shard: 20 gold x 8 = 160G

That’s about 400 gold spent just to increase your healing by 81 on your weapon.

Obviously, your weapon is the most expensive piece to enchant. Factor in bracers, gloves, boots and your chest and watch the costs double or even triple on some servers. As raiders, I’m not sure what we spend omre of our money on: potions and flasks or enchants (or even jewelcrafting).

With costs like that, you want to ensure that your gear pieces that get are here to stay. I’ve had cases myself where I got an item one day only to replace it the next. What sucked the most is that I had the original item enchanted before I got the upgraded piece.

Knowing When to Enchant

Get the most out of your enchants! It should be an investment on gear that you know you won’t replace for a while. Typically, I follow the 4-week rule. If I know for certain that I’m replacing this item within 4 weeks, I won’t enchant it.

Start reading up on boss drops. Know which boss drops the items that you’re looking for. Calculate the probability of you getting an upgrade. Remember that not only does the encounter have to drop the item for you, you may need to compete with other players in your Guild for it. If you’ve got the most DKP, then you’re set since you can either bid a high amount or get first option.

Great example: Your Attumen bracers drop for you but you’ve been steadily collecting badges for better bracers anyway. You figure you’ll easily obtain the amount of badges you need within a week. Therefore you shouldn’t enchant your Attumen bracers.

Matt’s Philosophy: Assume what you want from a boss isn’t going to drop and enchant your present ones. Be the best player you can be statwise as that will help the Guild more in the long run.

Be prepared to pass on an item because your enchanted gear is better then that unenchanted piece. You can score major brownie points and save precious DKP if you pass it off to someone else.