You have succesfully passed any application forms, made your way through an interview and/or trial run with your new guild, and have been accepted as a trialist. This stage is usually found only in Raiding and PvP guilds, and it is a time of anxiety for more than a few people. I know from experience that the first few days can be a bit unsure, as you know few people and a lot is expected of you.
What is a trialist?
A trialist is a new member who has not achieved the full “member” status in a guild. Usually this is done to gauge your performance and how you act in the guild. Not unlike the trial period in real-life work contracts, it allows both parties to say goodbye to each other if things don’t turn out the way that was expected.
Trialists usually have a more strict requirement on signing up for raids or PvP battles, in order to be able to see what they can do. Likewise, they have a more restricted access to the guild bank (to prevent people who came in just to swipe the GB from having their way).
What can I do as trialist?
The simplest answer to this is to be yourself.
There’s nothing to be gained from being especially nice, since doing this will only lead to raised eyebrows once you show your true colors, after you became a member. It also does not allow for the guild to accept you as you really are, which is the core of being in a guild in the first place.
It is important, however, to participate in guild activities. Don’t be shy and join their heroic runs, random raids, and spontaneous Wintergrasp events. If none are happening, try to get one going if you like. This shows your interest, and is a good way to get to know your fellow guildies.
For raids, it is good to be on time and prepared, as usual. It is even more important because you will be watched, and being “the new guy who keeps standing in fires and mooching flasks” is not a great way to leave an impression. Do your best, but if things do go wrong, don’t go on the defensive too much. Raids and Arenas are all about synergy, and it takes a bit of time to get in the same flow as the rest. Be patient, accept honest criticism, and remain yourself at all times.
Some guilds place you under the wing of a mentor, usually a more experienced member of your class and often the class leader. This person’s role is to explain you any things that are guild-specific, or special tactics used by the guild. He also monitors your skill, and will give pointers and advice where needed. In turn, you can always turn to this person for help if you need it.
This helps to make sure that your questions are answered by someone who’s “in the know”, and that you get a quick answer to any questions. Remember to also ask about anything you are unsure of, or which confuses you. Knowledge is power, and being quick on the uptake and willing to learn endears you with the rest of your team.
What is that irrelevance thing in the title?
It’s about gear and experience, to be honest. As an example, when I joined Unity I had Naxx gear and experience but joined an Ulduar progression community. I was there when Unity had their first kills on the watchers, even though I was lagging behind in DPS and had never seen the fights before. I had only read about them and watched a few videos.
Key here is that if you can follow commands, be as prepared as you can be, and stay out of the fire, you will do fine. Don’t be nervous when your performance seems lower than that of the rest at first (they often have more gear and experience with the fights) because the people who will judging your performance will keep this into account if they are fair.
This also goes in reverse: your gear and experience are irrelevant if you don’t make use of it. Being underperforming even though you claim to have a lot of experience (and have good gear for the instance/arenas) will mean you will have a hard time convincing the guild that you are an asset, no matter how nice you are.
Welcome to the club
After some time, usually a month or in some cases up to three months, you will be promoted to a full member. This means you have earned the guild’s trust, that your performance is adequate, and that you are now part of the team. Good job!
Now is the time to continue on as you’ve been doing, and not slack because you “made it”. If you were being yourself throughout the trial period, this shouldn’t be too hard. Just remember to talk to your class/raid/guild leader if you have any issues, avoid making conflicts worse (there will always be a conflict somewhere, it’s Human nature) and have a good time!
Of course, there’s always the chance that during the trial period you will be asked to leave. It could be your performance, not meshing with the team, or you might have actually been naughty and broken a rule or two. Take it with pride, and don’t start making a fuss about it. Thank the people involved for their effort, and start your search again for a guild to fit in with. The same goes if you feel the guild is not your place to be, be honest and open about it, and it will cause the least amount of friction on either side.