5 Things You Should Know Before You App

There are a lot of tips to applying to guilds. If you want an overall guide, check out 10 Tips to Successfully Apply to a Raiding Guild over at HotsandDots.

One particular item on their list stands out to me right now, though; and that’s what I want to focus on: Do Your Research.

I have seen applications that were well-written and honest, but completely unraveled with a second glance, all because the person who applied didn’t do their research first.

Here are 5 things you should know about a guild before you apply:

*Note: I’m going to offer suggestions of places to find information. Whispering guild members or officers will NOT be a suggestion. Why? Because if the info’s out there, sending us a tell to ask, especially when we’re IN THE MIDDLE OF FREAKING WARSONG, is lazy. Whispering someone from the guild to which your apping should only happen if they have asked you to contact them or if you’ve already checked every other available source.

schedule1. When do they raid? I don’t always understand why people apply when their availability doesn’t match with our raids. Quite a few applicants have put something like “Wednesday – Friday, 7p.m. to 10p.m.” in their availability window. We raid Sunday through Wednesday, 8 to 12, so that immediately tells us two things: 1) this person can only raid with us one day a week, and only for two hours, and 2) this person didn’t check to find out when we raid.

Places to find this information: Realm forum raiding lists, Guild website information.

2. What level of content are they on? And are you ready to jump into it? If the guild is in Heroic Icecrown and you’ve never finished normal 10-man, the learning curve is going to be extraordinarily large. Getting you acquainted with the fights in the instance, particularly on heroic mode, is going to be a hassle for a group that can blitz most of the bosses easily. Also, while gear is not necessarily an indicator of how you perform, it will affect how well you do. If we’re all in 277 epics and you’re in 232’s, your competitiveness will be limited regardless of how pro you are at your class.

As a side note, please pay attention to gems and enchants on your gear. Ungemmed, unenchanted 251/264 gear makes me want to cry. The amount of effort you put into making your gear passable is directly related to how seriously you will be considered. We can overlook non-optimized (because we can help you with that), but not trying at all? Gimme a break.

Places to find this information: Guild site (might have progression pics), Realm forum progression threads, WoWProgress, World of Logs.

3. Are they recruiting? And are they recruiting your class or role? This isn’t a dealbreaker, but it’s a good step to take to make sure you’re not wasting your time. We have apps all the time that get a “Thanks but we’re full on tanks/healers/melee/casters at this time” response, and that can be frustrating if you’ve waited a whole weekend to find out if you’re going to be accepted.

recruitment thread

Often guilds will include a phrase like “Outstanding applications will be considered,” meaning that even if we’re not currently recruiting your class, we might be willing to find a spot for you. Please note, though, that by “Outstanding,” we mean “geared and experienced enough to jump into the raid tonight without much coaching, competent and knowledgeable of the minutia of your class, and mature and personable enough to fit comfortably into our guild community.”

Places to find this information: Guild website, Realm forums (guilds frequently post recruitment threads detailing their needs), WoWProgress, WoWRaid.

4. What reasons are given for rejected applications? Some of the best clues and tips for getting into a guild is to scroll through other applications. Which ones were accepted? Which ones rejected? What were the reasons given? If there isn’t a clearly defined reason, how is the rejected app different from the accepted one? By noting why other applicants were turned down, you might be able to avoid the pitfalls that could get you rejected as well. Or you might see something on an accepted application that you can use in your own.

Places to find this information: Guild forums.

square peg?

5. Is the guild a good fit? If you want to be a causal raider, then why apply to a hardcore guild? If you’re a parent who sometimes has to go AFK for kid emergencies (*cough* ME *cough*) or have to take a night off for a kid’s swim meet, is this a guild with other parents who will understand? Or are you a 19-year-old looking for a hardcore, stay-up-til-the-boss-is-dead weekend guild?

Look at the “more about me” sections of applications (there usually is one somewhere) to find out what kind of raiders are getting in. Our guild rarely recruits someone who is not an adult, as we are comprised mostly of 20 to 40-somethings with jobs, school, and/or family responsibilities. We also don’t censor our chat, and we respect that parents probably don’t want their kids reading some of the things we talk or joke about.

If the guild has a public forum other than recruitment, read through some of the posts, or watch for guild members in PuGs or Trade Chat. What kind of jokes do they tell? Are they silly or sarcastic? Brutal or soft? Are they highly critical of other players or do they accept everyone? Answering these questions can help you determine if you’re going to be comfortable in the guild to which you’re applying and if they’re going to be comfortable with you.

Places to find this information: Guild forums, Realm forums, In-game.

In the words of CCT officers:  Good luck in your search.

If you liked this post, you may also like the other “Five” categories found here!

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “5 Things You Should Know Before You App

  1. This is fantastic advice!

    I disagree about whispering guild members though. Well, obviously you shouldn’t whisper them while they’re in a middle of a BG or raid (this should disqualify any applicant immediately!) and I would stick with whispering the guild leader, recruiting officer or at least *an* officer (if they’re listed on the guild webpage).

    Someone should always get decent background information, which you went over in your post, before whispering (or emailing, if there’s an email address for the GM or recruitment officer), but to really get a feel for a guild and see how they treat their members, talking to a current member is the best way. If someone’s not friendly and enthusiastic enough about their guild to talk about it, I don’t want to be in that guild.

    And as a guildie, I’m far more likely to vouch for someone I’ve talked to before and seems like someone I’d want to be playing with.

    Not to mention that most guild websites, if you’re even able to find them, are outdated, horribly ugly or really, really hard to navigate. When I was guild shopping, I was reading hundreds of guild websites. If I couldn’t find what I was looking for right away, I moved on the next one. Pages with email addresses for their recruitment officer at least got a second thought.

    • battlechicken

      I agree with you on a lot of that. I was more targeting those who whisper before doing any research. To specifically find out information on these 5 things, I hope people at least try, or if they whisper, are looking for clarification. “I saw your recruitment post on the realm forums, but I was wondering if your needs have changed at all. Would you possibly have a spot for an elemental shaman?” Is waaay better than, “is an officer on? no? do you know if they’re recruiting? can you give me their names?” Which is what I got in that Warsong the other day. Someone who sends a tell like the first one is more likely to get answers to more questions too–bonus!

      I also can’t stand hard-to-navigate guild sites. Ours isn’t beautiful, but it’s clear, up-to-date, and easy to navigate. People tend to overdo guild sites a lot, I think…

      I think it’s a great idea to stick the recruitment officer’s name on there for potential applicants who might want to ask a few questions before they apply. We only recently got an officer in charge of recruitment (it was mostly based on class or first come first serve, which is why our recruitment thread lists all the officers). Might need to pass that one up the chain. :-P

  2. I wouldn’t stress points 2 and 3 to much. Point 4 is also a little iffy for me.

    Point 2 – Yes the gear gap matters. An undergeared or under experianced player will have a harder time getting into a guild. However, anything can happen with an exceptionally well done application. I’ve seen relatively new 80s accepted into good guild base purely on awesome applications. If you can show that you would be a strong asset to the guild then gear and content experiance don’t matter as much.

    Point 3 – What guild is recruiting is actually the last thing I look at. It is the least important information that the guild provides to you and probably the most inaccurate. The first thing I look for in a guild is schdule. The second thing I look for is their focus/goals. If it looks like the guild fits my needs then I will app no matter what their recruitment needs say. Not only do most guilds make the exceptions for exceptional players, you also don’t know what is going on inside of a guild. A spot may be opening up but not posted yet.

    Your goal is to figure out if the guild fits your needs. Let the guild figure out if you fit theirs.

    Point 4 – I’m a little leary of any guild that makes there apps public to the world. I think it is unprofessional and limits the type of apps they will get. That said, if they do make their apps available, I definately read them. They give you a lot of info. A lot more then what you are suggesting. If all the apps are from idiots it tells you that a good portion of the guild will be idiots also. I would also pay more attention to how the guild responds then to what they say in the responce. You can’t trust the reasons given buy guilds because you don’t know if that is the whole answer. Pay more attention to, are they polite, or do they agressively insult the people they deny. That is likely how they are going to treat you in raid.

    • battlechicken

      I don’t disagree on the public app part; personally I think a private app would be better. As it is, though, a lot of guilds keep their apps public (including mine). It’s got its good points and bad. There’s a transparency and an accountability that comes from public applications, but the drawback is that unless you lock the topics or limit the posters, anyone can comment. The drama potential is huge, and I’ve certainly seen it happen more than once. Paying attention to how the guild responds is just as important as the applicants themselves, and I’m sorry I didn’t think of that when I was writing the post.

      As for 2 & 3, I think there are always exceptions to any established guideline. We’ve had undergeared apps who blew us away, and overgeared ones that turned out to be…less than ideal. But I still think that having all of the information before you apply is a good step. I’m not an officer; the most I do is check out druids who come into the guild because there’s no one else to do it. As someone watching from the membership, though, these are the things that come up in guild chat, class channels, or in our private forums repeatedly, so it certainly bears some consideration.

  3. Bryan Kasch

    Most guilds expect their members to be respectful to an applicant, you can see right off the bat how a guild acts by how they respond to applicants. when I have applied to guilds I look right off the bat for people of my class who have applied and been turned down to see why it was.

    • battlechicken

      We’ve had some issues with people getting rough on the recruitment forums. This usually results in the officers asking all members to refrain from commenting. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t.

  4. Actually, I’ve applied to the #1 progressed 25 man guild on my realm, while only being at 10/12 normal 10 man myself. I’ve shown through my application that I know my class well and I’ve stated that I have no reason to not just want the best. I *want* to be with the best and I *want* to be a part of that, carrying my own weight as any other member of the team.

    I got a trial, so as soon as my work schedule allows it, I’m back to raiding fulltime and kicking some ass :)

    • battlechicken

      Awesome! There are always exceptions, and it sounds like you are one. Congrats to you, hope you have fun in your new guild. :-D

  5. I wish there was a way to make folks applying to my guild read this post. Sometimes the applicants we have may be solid players deep down, but we’d never know that from the effort put into the app.

    • battlechicken

      Yeah, and that’s the part that stinks. Sometimes guilds are willing to take the gamble and sometimes they aren’t. Always helps to stack the odds in your favor with a good app!

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