Guilds 102: A job like any other
Guilds that lean heavily on group activity and success (such as raiding and PvP guilds) rely on a system of requirements and trials to make sure that those who join their team have the skill and experience required to contribute to their success, rather than depriving it.
When you seek to join a guild like this, there are a few hurdles to take, and sometimes things you will have to do or achieve in order to make it in. This post takes a closer look at some of these hurdles, and how to overcome them.
Guild Requirements and Manifesto
Guilds who advertise on trade or the realm forum for members usually include their website. This has a few reasons besides showing to the public what they have achieved. It also allows for them to explain their rules and expectations to prospective members before they seek to apply, meaning less administration.
Usually called “raiding requirements”, “about us” or “what we expect of you”, these kinds of posts explain to you beforehand what the guild expects of you in terms of experience, conduct and gear. It usually also details if there are any required programs or addons (like DBM, Proximo or Ventrilo) you will need, what times the raids will be run, as well as an overview of their loot system.
Go over this information carefully, make sure you understand it and can agree with it. Nothing hurts you and your credibility more than applying without knowing the rules, arguing about the rules with the guild management, or breaking these rules after reaching member status. It may sound simple, but many applicants never read it, and proceed to make a fool out of themselves.
Applications are like applying for a job interview, and you have to make the most out of it. That’s also why WoWinsider, HDO, and Hots&Dots all supply great tips when filling in your application, with a view from both sides of the fence.
Is it really that important?
Well, if you make an application with spelling errors, l33t speak, rants or even blatant lies you are not likely to be accepted. But you will also lose credibility with the people who read your application (at least guild members, but many guilds’ application area is public) and may get called out on the forums.
Like with the news, good news you never hear of but bad news makes the front page. Don’t be bad news.
This is also a great opportunity to ask questions. If something’s not clear in the guild charter or raiding requirements, ask it. This does not only give you the information you need, it also shows you pay attention and have read them. I know guilds who place a grievous, terrible sentence in the middle of their guild charter, and ask in the application form whether they have read the charter. Everyone says yes, but when that particular error comes up, they draw a blank.
Usually when your application appeals to people, you will be contacted by an officer or class leader of said guild to have a chat. This could be through email, ventrilo or in-game, it matters little for the actual content. This is where the people of your prospective guild try and get a measure of you, how you think and what kind of person you are. Not only to filter out the lolbois, GBthieves and Recount/loot whores, but also because when you join a cooperative team effort like raiding or PvP you have to work as a team, and having an incompatible or disruptive person in the team can spell danger for the continued existence of the guild.
Think I am kidding?
Guilds have fallen because of minor arguments, single loot incidents or differences in philosophy. It takes an alert and diplomatic team of officers to successfully run a guild, it’s really a work of art to see it in motion. People have arguments, or differences of opinion, which is quite alright. But when people start holding grudges, fail to communicate or start cutting the guild up in cliques, it becomes an uphill battle. It has happened before, and it will happen again.
What does this mean?
Raiders and PvP guilds are not just looking at your achievements, gear and Arena Rating. They want to know whether you will mesh in with the team they already have. This is why your reputation is quite important, as a bad rep makes it harder and harder to get into the guilds you want. If an officer has to make a choice between you and the team, you will have to go (or at least, won’t be coming in).
Likewise, this is the chance for you speak of what you like, and what you wish to achieve. Purposeful guilds require motivated, hungry people to gain greater success, and members who are motivated to achieve what they want are worth their weight in gold.
It is also the chance to determine for yourself whether you would mesh in with the guild, and can be happy playing and raiding or PvPing with these people. Don’t feel bad if you decide that the guild does not happen to be what you were looking for, or feel pressured to join anyway. Simply state your decision in a polite and respectful manner, and there will be no hard feelings. You are then free to move on in search of what you look for, while the guild has avoided unnecessary drama down the line.
For those who do decide to join, remember that there is always the trial period to confirm whether this is the place for you.
Make sure your application is correct and well-written. Have it proof-read by a friend, or leave it for a day or two and then read it to yourself again. Be polite, but firm about what you want, and make sure you will mesh with the guild you wish to join. Remember that your reputation precedes you, and that if you’ve done bad things, people will have heard. Do not ever lie when applying or in an interview – you will be declined and your reputation will be all the worse for it.
Next post will be about Trial runs and the period as a trialist in a competitive guild.