Two Applicant Paths Diverged in an Azerothian Wood


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?


7 thoughts on “Two Applicant Paths Diverged in an Azerothian Wood”

  1. that’s definitely a nice process to recruit with. My guild uses a simple process you probably wouldn’t appreciate nearly as much compared to yours 😛 An applicant can get ahold of us in-game or thorugh our website. An officer talks to him/her to get a general ‘feel’ for the person.

    If they seem like a decent person, they are invitied on the agreement that it’s a trial period and we keep the option to remove the applicant at any point we feel they are not a good fit. After some time, usually a month or so, the Officers talk about the recruit, and if there’s no objections, they are promoted to a ‘general member’ type rank.

    Now of course a guild can kick someone anytime, not just during a trial phase, but we are more inclined to give benefit of the doubt to someone who’s been with us for a while, as opposed to recruits who we watch carefully to see how well they’re meshing.

  2. On the first note, Welcome Thespius and my compliments on the post.

    I can appreciate that system and I like how it can definately weed out bad-fit personalities. However, my own ideal system is something similar to what a guild on my server does. They are, however, a very top-end hardcore guild. Their system is that you must provide a thoughtful, complete application complete with some theorycraft and math involved.

    Your then given 3 weeks trial in raids and off-night content, at the end of which is a week long guild poll on whether or not you fit. So, rather than it being left up to 3-6 individual officers, the entire guild gets a vote on whether you fit or not. I think I prefer that sort of high end democracy, which can be done by all 25-45 raiders/subs in order to ensure you fit with 90% of the people your spending 5 hours a night, 5 nights a week with.

  3. That process sounds like a great idea! My one question is how many people have you had balk at the thought of having a sponsor and waiting long to become a member? I agree those that are willing to wait are usually much more dedicated, I am just curious how many people you get that do adhere to that? I wonder if this application technique works better on a higher pop server than a lower pop one.

    As for my guild we have an application and a 2 week trial member period where applicants, that pass our class lead/officer interview, will participate in our raids under our guild tag showing us why they should be given a full raid spot and also making sure they really want to be a member of our guild. Being a guild full of very strong personalities we never get angry if an applicant turns around and says “hmmm not for me.” As we expect applicants to extend the same decency on our end.
    .-= Napaeae´s last blog ..When Guildies Lie =-.

  4. 1) read the dang application process and most importaintly the application format and answer questions completely. *half ass yes and no and “just because” answers = fail.

    2) have a decent UI, know what keybinds are and how to set them and actually use them.

    3) take a butthurt load of criticism on the way in, nitpicking about spec, gems chants, anything we can do and say to make you better, and if you disagree be prepared to defend yourself… we WILL listen!!

    4) Show up every raid. fully prepared. and early.

    5) perform well through that period, and continue to improve or just flat out blow our minds.

    6) keep raiding after the trial.

    thats how we do it and its met with alot of success. there is also a vent interview and a bit of voting and discussion among the members. as well as some reaching out.

    If they stand that trial of fire, and keep doing what they were doing to get there they will reap the rewards. if not… go pug or join a scrub guild.

  5. I have to admit, the idea of filling out a big application including theorycrafting, interviews, and constant criticism seems a little more like work than gaming to me.

    I can understand why a top-notch high end guild would want to weed out the players who aren’t interested in investing time in learning their class and how to raid effectively. But so much of this stuff just seems like complete overkill to me and destroys the fun aspect of playing a video game.

    Scrub guild or not, at least it’s not a second job….mine requires enough attention as it is.

  6. quros: You’re right. It’s a lot more work than the average guild. But then again, these types of progression guilds aren’t your typical average guild. They’re the ones who are at the head of the curve who plan on going head first. They can’t turn to WoWWiki or bosskillers for strategies. They’re often the guilds that write them.

    But what is “fun”? Is fun hanging out on a friday night shooting around with some friends in some pickup raid without clear responsibilities or ideas on what to do? Is fun preparing in advance who has to do what at certain parts of a fight? Is fun wiping and dying repeatedly because someone likes to Leeroy Jenkins into a bunch of whelps 2 or 3 times for the sake of it?

    The idea of “fun” is relative and it varies from person to person. My idea of fun is working in tandem in a 25 player unit with clear coordination resulting in the killing of a boss. I am happy when I get to experience the thrill of taking down hard content for the first time with a group of players who are just as interested and invested in the game as I am.

    I don’t have fun pugging certain raids when players aren’t as sure as themselves. I don’t have fun raiding along side casual players who don’t gem or gear properly. I don’t have fun when wipes occur because players think fires mean a 50% increase in damage done and decide to run into them.

    And some players are going to view these efforts as a second job and don’t want to go through that. To others, it’s a passion or a really damn fun hobby that people want to master. Those two demographics aren’t meant to really be for each other. But this should be proof that WoW has something for everyone.

  7. I will second, third, and fourth EVERYTHING that Matt has just said.

    @smeedsc Your “trial by fire” is a great analogy to how a lot of guilds put their applicants through the ringer. Some people respond well to that. Others do not. That doesn’t necessarily mean that person is a bad player. That style of criticism just isn’t “their bag, baby”. People are bound to respond to different types of criticism. The “trial by fire” is more subtle in my guilds. It’s more of a silent “let’s see what he brings to the table and responds to criticism.

    @Quros Like Matt said, those guilds that are huge into number crunching and min/maxing their class and raid have fun doing THAT. As a buddy of mine always says, “You’re paying $15 for your account. I’m not paying it for you. I’m not gonna tell you how to play your game”. You just have to find a place that suits what you’re looking for and how you like to game. Same goes for the theorycrafters.


Leave a Comment