WoW has a lot to offer many different spectrum of players. As many of us have found, it’s easy to spend “just a few more minutes” to finish a quest, or do “one last 5 man”. And with Blizz’s new raiding vision of making end game more accessible (love it or hate it, we’ll talk about that another time) I’m sure you’ve joined a raid pug or two, or maybe are even part of a guild that tackles some of its own raiding.
Now Raiding guilds themselves are also diverse. You can have the casual raiding guild that shows up for a few hours a week to tackle some 10/25 man content when there’s enough people on, or maybe a guild that has a set schedule & some hard mode goals. Perhaps you’re even a progression raider, tackling content in its hardest form as soon as it available. Whatever your style or desire, a big part of the raiding game is finding a raiding guild that works for you. Contrary to popular belief, raiders are not a group of 25 people that hate each other & tolerate each other’s presence long enough to get the purples and log off. It’s quite the opposite actually. Raiding is a TEAM activity, and if a team doesn’t work well together and share the same goals, chances are, that guild won’t work well either.
So what do you do when you decide your current situation or raiding guild doesn’t work for you? First, assess why you want to find something else: Do you want more dedication from your teammates? Do you want to attempt harder content? Do you not enjoy the company of your current guild? Figure these reasons out – this will narrow down the list of guilds that are possible new homes. Read recruitment posts on MMO-Champion, the WoW forums or numerous other places. Research the ones that catch your eye: What type of reputation do they have? How is their member turn over? How long have they been around? What content do they focus on? Go as far as to make a character on the server and ask a few of the guilds’ members some questions, or ask other players what they think of the guild you are looking at.
If you are looking for any type of raiding guild, chances are, you will be asked to fill out an application. Now, if you scoff at the idea of an application in a video game, that is probably a good indicator that the guild you are trying to apply for is not a good match for you. As I said, raiding is a team activity, and any guild that raids even somewhat serious wants to make sure you will be a good fit for the team. The application is CRUICIAL. Most likely, these people do not know you. This is their first impression of you. If you turn in garbage like this or maybe this, it says that this is the kind of effort that can be expected of you. Literacy and a grasp of the English language (or whatever the main language of that guild happens to be) is also a good idea. Horrible spelling, improper grammar, run on sentences, and any use of “Internet speak” such as LOL, ROFL, Y?, UR, NE1, N (instead of ‘and’), SUM1, IMO, IDK ect should be entirely avoided. You’re trying to sound intelligent, and even a physicist that typed like that would sound like a drooling retard. Keep in mind names like “DarthDeathz”, “CritHealz” “xXDrizztXx” “IPwnHorde” ect can’t help but make many people think the person behind that name wears a helmet, so if that’s you, make sure you have a damn good application. Also, playing Johnny Bad Ass, the Internet Tough Guy, doesn’t really work too well when playing computer games, and it certainly doesn’t have the effect you were looking for if that’s the angle you play in your application…unless your goal was to give people a chuckle, in which case, you probably succeeded.
Most applications questionnaires will be given to you by the guild you are applying to, and ours is no exception – it’s a simple cut & paste job (And yet, people still manage to screw that up). Look for stickies in the application forum as well. Most, like ours, will explain exactly what they are looking for, what the main guild’s focus is, and what will be expected of you. It can save you and that guild a lot of time if you realize that their raid times, goals, expectations and objectives are not the same as yours. Also, be realistic – you may be a fantastic player, but if your raiding experience is limited to a few Naxx clears, Flame Leviathan, and a few clears of TotC in a pug, you’re probably not ready to apply to a World Top 100 guild – progression heroic raiding is vastly different than the guild that just runs a regular Ulduar or TotC once a week. Set your sights a little lower – there are plenty of guilds out there still learning and looking for smart players. Also, assess your gear (and don’t be a Gear Score Shithead – higher ilevel does not always equal better; ask to see my Hunters Spellpower set if you don’t believe me). Gear is not very difficult to come by, and many guilds are willing to help a promising player gear up. But some may need a player that is ready to hit the ground running – reading beforehand can help answer all this.
When filling out your application, fill it out in detail, take your time, and understand & answer the questions in depth, provide your WoL/WWS logs if applicable, and demonstrate you know what you are talking about, such as you see here. If asked to explain your spec, talent choices, glyphs, gems, ect – demonstrate you understand how your class and the game works – saying you copied your spec from someone or from something you saw on EJ a few months ago will probably not go over well with the higher end guilds. If you’re still learning, no one will hold that against you as long as you’re honest and applying to a guild where members are willing to tutor you or learn together. Everyone started somewhere! But if you’re applying to a progression guild, you will be expected to make spec and gear choices based on what’s needed for upcoming content – you’ll need to be able to contribute to strategies and planning without having your hand held or looking for a strategy that doesn’t exist yet. Remember, it will usually be apparent that you don’t understand what you are doing if you really don’t have a clue.
Another big point: DON’T LIE. I’ll say it again here: DON’T LIE. The Armory is a beautiful thing, and I’m still amazed at people that claim to have done certain bosses or achievements, but a quick armory check throws that claim out the window. And for the love of beer, don’t claim you did those things on some unnamed alt on another server – no one buys that one either. They’ll probably figure it out the first time you stand in the pretty blue circles on Hodir, or eat all the black orbs w/ your white essenced face on Twin Val’kyrs. Lack of experience is not always a bad thing, so don’t lie about it. This may be one of those cases where you are more than capable if given the chance, but the guild you were in wasn’t interested or able to try those things . Another thing to avoid lying about is why you left your last guild. Try to avoid badmouthing, but be honest – most likely, it will be researched and there are sites that can track your server and name changes, so you might as well come clean. If you ran off with the Guild Leader’s wife and guild bank, they’ll probably find out.
Now if you find a guild, and they accept you, remember: you are an INITIATE. You’re the FNG, the low man on the totem pole. You may sit for some raids, and you are being evaluated on your performance & attitude in and out of raids. Don’t be that guy that whines he has to sit, or didn’t get in a group, or claim you’re better than that other player. Being a great player is only half of fitting in! Make yourself available & get involved – 5 mans, PvP, alts runs..anything guild related. Do your best when you do get in raids, and get a feel for your new guild. Also – Ask questions! You may have done fight X a hundred times, but not with this new guild – they may do it a different way, & your lack of knowledge may have a negative impact. If this guild uses forums, ask for access and familiarize yourself with their polices, strats, ect. How you react to the other players is also something to note – if you’re offered some advice, a suggestion or guidance – LISTEN. Don’t turn defensive, don’t assume you’re being picked on & take the advice to heart. These people recruited you because they had a need, and it’s in their best interest to see you succeed with them. Ignoring them or being outright hostile probably isn’t a trait in a team member they are looking for.
Keep in mind, however, you are trying them out as well as they are trying you out. How do they treat their members? Do they socialize out of raids (5 mans, Battlegrounds, ten mans, achievments, ect) and is that something you enjoy? Is the atmosphere comfortable for you? Raiding is STILL a game made for fun, and if you find you don’t enjoy your new home, politely explain that you will be moving on in some manner, and gquit after you fulfilled any raiding obligations you were expected to attend. It’s strongly recommended you don’t just ninja transfer in the night – these people spent time on you and maybe even taught you a few things and got you some gear – be courteous. Remember, your next guild just might be asking these exact things about you.
I will make a special request, however: many players move on because they seem to lose their enthusiasm for raiding or the game in general for one reason or another. If it is a distinct possibility you just may end up quitting the game in the near future (and you will know this – you don’t just wake up not wanting to play), let your possible future guild know – no one is very happy when they finally fill a vacant position with a solid applicant, only to have the player decide to do other things and never log on again. No one likes their time wasted.
Applying to a new guild can be daunting & intimidating – it’s like a first date. But by doing your research first and putting your best foot forward will determine if this could be the start of something beautiful & you’ll be getting in those epic pixelated pants, or taking a cold dunk in the Great Sea with a shriveled, ahem, ego.
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