Guilds looking for members

So, I’ve been guildless on my current two favorite characters for a while now. I actually do this on purpose because I like the freedom, and I hate hierarchies. I’ve still got my old main character and some alts in a once great guild, I should actually leave there, but that’s a long story for some other time (short: it had to do with the hierarchy). Anyway, the downside of not having a guild  is of course having to struggle with pugs, which sometimes turn out great, but often turn out bad. Still, I don’t mind the bad ones if people do their best and are generally pleasant to play with, or the mess is so big that it’s just fun to watch everyone run around yelling in panic.

But running round with no label attached to your character draws attention from aspiring guilds or guilds that are low on people. Especially if you’re a nicely geared restoration shaman or protection paladin, but especially the first one.

Now, I do not mind being in a guild again, but I do have standards if I would join one. Whenever I’m healing, I’m always top on the healing chart, even against better geared players of good guilds. Also, I’m usually also low(est) on overhealing. Now I know that’s not saying everything, but when I’m able to give the raid advice in the meanwhile, I’d say it’s very fair to say that I’m decently skilled. No.. wait.. I’m just going to say what I know is true: I’m a very good healer, period. Therefor, I would not like to be in a guild with a bunch bad players, being the one that’s constantly compensating. So I’ll only join a guild if I have a good feeling about them. Yes, I’m very picky.

How do you figure out if a guild is any good? I’ve got some ideas:

  • Playing with their members
  • Getting input from people that know the guild
  • Checking their progress
  • Doing a trial period
  • Having a job-interview like conversation with their leaders

Now the last two might seem logical. Every decent guild has trial periods, and no self respecting guild just invites random people without a chat. I also see a trial period as merely a formality after the choice has been made. It would be rather time wasting to trial each and every guild for a week before choosing.

That chatting part is what surprises me with most guilds.

I’ve noticed that it is still a big problem for most of the people out there do have a decent intake/sales chat. Now, I realize there are probably tons of kids out there that wouldn’t have a clue if they bumped into it, got up and bumped into it again, but I would still expect someone that wants to have a good guild would be happy to sell his guild to a potential member, and would want to get an idea about what he’s putting under his label. I certainly want to know what I’m getting myself into as member.

Let me just give an example of a conversation I had recently:

Guildleader: Are you interested in joing a raiding guild?

Me: I might be if it’s a decent guild, but I’m not much of a guild type.

Guildleader: So u like to pug?

— Anyone using kid speak like “u” “ur” “lolz” “xD” “wut”, etc, etc already lost most of his chance with me, but I’ll still continue while trying not to have it influence me too much. His first sentence was still ok, so he does know how it should be.

Me: Not really, but lots of guilds aren’t much better than pugs.

Guildleader: Well, we’re aiming high.

Guildleader: We’re aiming for 17th on the server.

Me: Ok, but that doesn’t say much. Everyone is aiming high.

The 17th did seem very odd to me, but I figured they were well on their way and that was just their next milestone.

Guildleader: Why don’t u just take a chance?

At this point I /who him to see what guild he’s actually representing and find out that he’s guildless himself.

Me: Wait a minute, you don’t even have a guild yet.

Guildleader to be: I’m making one

Guildleader to be: Need dedicated geared players

Me: So basically, you made that stuff about aiming for 17 up too?

Me: Hehe, but why 17 then, why not 20, 15, 5, any round number?

That might sound harsh, but to me that just sounds like some randomly picked number now, even though it does sound low. Nothing wrong with having ambition, but you need to remain realistic also. How can you aim if you haven’t even got the players, even if it’s a number that sounds reasonable. I expected him to have compared himself to other guilds to come up with a number like that, but I want to hear him say and explain that.

Guildleader to be: 15 is to hard, 20 is too easy.

Here I pause for a while, still wondering how he got those numbers, hoping he would explain this, but it remained silent for a while, so either he was expecting me to respond again, or he was finally writing some big explanation that would made sense of it all.

Guildleader to be: Well, I’m not going to waste my time with some1 who’s just being a jerk

Guess not.

Ok, story didn’t end here, but it was obvious for me this guy couldn’t handle any critical questions. That’s the most important thing for a guild leader in my book. I don’t really mind that much that he had some randomly picked goals, but he should be able to answer questions about them if he’s willing to lead some guild.

The thing is, this was actually the most decent request I got in a while.

Nearly all of them basically come down to this:

Recruiter: Wanna join my guild?

Me: I don’t know yet, tell me more

Recruiter: Want to try out?

No!! I don’t want to try out some random guild I know nothing about, with the chance of being dumped in a pool of noisy morons, which, let’s be honest, is a rather large chance. People are way to pushy, at least try to convince someone.

I get the feeling most decent guilds don’t recruit this way anymore. Or perhaps my definition of decent has been raised too much. I know top guilds get so many applications it’s hard enough to wade through those, so they don’t need to scout. Not that I’m actively looking for a guild myself, because I actually like the freedom, but I could absolutely be convinced to join one if they’re ok. I would even join a laid back guild that didn’t have high ambitions, as long as they were enjoyable to hang around with. But before I do, I just want to know what I’m getting into. I also want to know that the ones asking me did so because they know something about me, or know what I’m capable of. I don’t like to think I’m just a random filling a gap. Otherwise that guild is no better than a pug with people wearing the same label, which makes it worse, because you’re still stuck with them after the raid.

The point is, if you’re a guildleader, or recruiter, don’t settle for just anyone. It’s not just that just inviting a random automatically means that you’ll get nothing but bad players, but it’s also a sign towards those players that you’ve got low standards. Having  a chat, asking questions, checking their gear out, etc, gives the impression that they deserved the membership if the get it and therefor they’ll have more respect for the guild. They were good enough to be invited, that means something. If people have the feeling they earned a spot, they’re much more likely to become dedicated players too.


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February 2010
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