How to get into a raiding guild

Mostly by accident (or so it seemed), I’ve ended up as my guild’s recruitment officer, or at least the closest thing we’ve got to one. Applications to the guild are sent by private message to our guild master and then posted on our private forums for all raiders to comment on, but I’m the one who advertises the guild’s recruitment in the trade channel (because that seems to be the way to get noticed) and attempts to steer people who are interested in the guild in the right direction.

This tends to mean I get stupid whispers. A lot of stupid whispers, even discounting the almost daily “wuts the DS buff?” questions. It seems that a lot of people just… have no concept of what it means to be in a raiding guild.

So I’ve got this collection of screenshots of whispers, and nothing to do with it. And I figured that a post on the subject could be useful to people who want to get into a decent raiding guild but have no idea where to start (although it’s unlikely to be of much use to the people who don’t understand why whispering an officer with their class and item level, followed by “inv pls”, doesn’t work). I’m by no means the first to do something like this – better writers than me have written similar posts – but why not?

So here’s a primer on what to do to get into a raiding guild, by way of screenshots showing what not to do. All names blurred to protect the stupid innocent.

Be patient

This might come as a shock to some, but officers of raiding guilds do have things to do in their life other than raid and run the guild. Even if you see an officer sat in a capital city, advertising the guild in trade chat every two minutes, that doesn’t mean they aren’t also doing something else. (Some examples: discussing strategy in officer chat, speaking in whispers with somebody else, alt-tabbed out of the game doing something else on the internet while an addon does the advertising, briefly away from the keyboard to sort something in the house, and so on.)

If you whisper an officer and don’t get a response, wait. If you still haven’t gotten a response five minutes later, whisper again, saying something along the lines of “hey, did you see my previous whisper?”. If the person you are whispering is in a raid zone, wait a bit longer – until they appear to have either defeated the encounter or wiped would be the best. (Some boss mods, such as DBM, whisper you back automatically if the user is in a fight, and again once the fight is over. Some others, such as BigWigs, do not. Watch for zoning as an extra clue – if somebody wipes and releases in Dragon Soul, you’ll see them go to the Tanaris zone, because that’s where the graveyard is.)

If you put in an application to a guild and you don’t receive an immediate response, wait. If you haven’t received a response in a couple of days, feel free to whisper an officer to double-check that your application was received.

Do not, however, be the guy who whispers once, waits 30 seconds and then whispers the same thing five more times. Do not be the guy who asks three times a day if a decision has been made on his application, despite having been told the first time he asked that the guild has several applications for the same spot and is trying to make a decision. Do not be the guy who throws a massive hissy fit because the officer you are whispering is slow at responding, when they’re in the middle of a raid.

Be honest

By which I mean, don’t lie. Don’t lie in your whispers to the officers, don’t lie in your guild application. It might make you look better in the short term, but it’ll make you look worse when you’re found out.

Don’t say you’ve raided X instance in a progression guild on the character you’re applying with when it’s blatantly obvious you haven’t, due to your lack of achievements and/or reputation with the associated faction, not to mention the kill counter on the Armory.

Don’t say you can maintain the required raid attendance when you know you can’t, and expect that to work. (Yeah, that might get you a trial in the guild, but you’ll very quickly fail your trial when it becomes obvious you have attendance issues.)

 Don’t say you always optimize your character and make sure you’re playing at 100% of your potential when half your items are unenchanted and ungemmed and you’re 5% below the hit cap. Don’t say you research your class extensively when somebody who’s never played that class before can find out your spec, glyphs, stat priority, reforging, enchanting and gemming is spectacularly wrong in five minutes of research.

Speaking of which…

Be the best you can be

Gear and experience do matter, and guilds will obviously prefer recruiting somebody whose character matches their progression as closely as possible. Exceptions do happen, but you have to put in some effort in order to prove to the officers that you are worth recruiting.

In other words, your application to the guild must be exceptional and your character must be as good as it can be under the circumstances. In no particular order, you should:

  • Ensure you are correctly specced, glyphed, reforged, gemmed and enchanted (this includes grinding the required rep for helm and shoulder enchants, if you don’t have it already)
  • Ensure you have two proper raiding professions (and be able to justify why you picked the ones you did beyond “it was cheapest to powerlevel this one”)
  • Obtain all gear upgrades you can possibly get (this includes items from JP and VP as well as crafted items and other BoEs)
  • Go do a quick LFR or something and upload a combat log to World of Logs so the officers can see how you perform (this is especially important if you’re a DPS)

Don’t be the guy with no gems or enchants who thinks it’s a good idea to tell me that hey, it’s okay not to gem or enchant 378s, because they suck and he’s poor so he doesn’t want to waste gold, but I totally should recruit him anyway, he would absolutely gem and enchant 397s and 410s!

And if your character isn’t as good as it can be under the circumstances, and this is pointed out to you, don’t react like this guy (who, for bonus points, whispered me when we weren’t recruiting hunters):

Don’t have unreasonable expectations

Some guilds might recruit purely via people who whisper them, without a formal application process. Others will require an application (or a vent interview, or both) before trialing somebody. If the guild you want to join does have an application process, it’s extremely unlikely you will be allowed to skip it and just get a direct invite.

For example, we’ve had friends go through the application process, even though we knew already they were good raiders – in the interest of fairness and giving current members a say on who gets invited to the guild, no matter what. You’d have to be a raiding god for you to skip applying (think several Madness HM kills and almost full BiS gear – and possibly not even then, since somebody like that leaving their guild for a new one would be fairly suspicious). If you aren’t…

…yeah. Not gonna fly. Don’t be that guy.

(The guy in the last whisper is particularly interesting, because he just doesn’t get the idea. I’ve told him he needs to make an application, our guild leader has told him he needs to make an application, but no, it just doesn’t sink in. Every time we change our recruitment needs he whispers me offering some character of his or other, and of course, doesn’t want to write an application. If we ever were tempted to recruit this guy, now there’s absolutely no way in hell, not even if he was the last player of a class and spec we desperately need in the entire universe. Just no.)

More generally, never, ever, ever expect a guild to change some fundamental part of itself just because of you. I’ve had people ask (or demand, which is even worse – nothing like a complete stranger saying “I’ll join your guild if you change X”) for us to change our raiding days and/or hours, our attendance policy, our loot distribution system, our raiding size (from 10man to 25man)…

It’s just never going to happen, unless the guild is incredibly desperate – and for a guild to be that desperate, it has to be practically falling apart, in which case it’s not really a guild you want to join anyway.

Think before you speak

…or you run the risk of looking like a complete idiot. Take for example this guy:

I didn’t respond to him at first because I thought he had to have been a troll, but – guess not. Somebody who shows a lack of understanding of how the Power of the Aspects (de)buff works and who feels that ranking on websites supersedes everything else would not be a good fit for our guild.

Similarly, although confidence in one’s abilities is good and can work in your favor when it comes to convincing a guild to take you on, too much confidence can be detrimental. You don’t want to be this guy, for example:

This is not really the kind of tack you want to be taking with a 7/8HM guild, considering that you’re not going to manage to kill many bosses in heroic Dragon Soul if you have fail tanks. Also, it’s not the kind of tack you want to be taking when you’re not sure who you’re talking to… telling the main tank of a guild “good luck with your fail tanks” is not going to be particularly endearing.

Or take this guy. He was one of the many who ask if they could skip the application process, and when I said no…

…he decided to completely destroy his chances of ever getting recruited. (Not that he ever had any – our guild leader has been in PuGs with him, and mentioned that while he does good DPS, his awareness of his surroundings leaves a lot to be desired.) Yes, such an approach might work on some guilds, but it won’t work for others – and when it comes to guilds wanting a raid team composed of intelligent, mature individuals, it will backfire spectacularly.

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