Posts Tagged ‘guilds’

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Seri sez: How to apply to a raid guild without looking like an idiot. — WotLK Edition

March 19, 2009

As an officer of my guild, I’m pretty actively involved in recruitment. Not only do I canvas the ‘net looking for candidates when we need them, it’s also my job to review the applications that come in and mark them up with my little red pen. Although sometimes even the ones that look good on paper don’t work out, if you have a bad application you’re not going to get a second glance.

You may not be applying to my guild (if you want to, e-mail me an armory link–ha!) but every guild has a gatekeeper; if you want the keys to the kingdom, you need to put your best face forward. Don’t worry, gentle reader, I’m here to tell you how.

Before you apply…

1. Do your homework.

How much do you know about the guild you’re applying to? Do you know the GM’s name? WowArmory will tell you that. Do you know how they rank on their server for progression? How far into current raid content are they? How long has it been since they had a new boss kill? Have they completed Sarth 3D? WowJutsu will tell you that. How long have they been around? WarcraftRealms will tell you that. Do they have a good reputation on their server? Make a level 1 alt and ask around.

This is more than just peace of mind when it comes to applying to a raid guild. Raid guilds have big egos, and if you can subtly stroke their ego by saying you’ve heard good things about them (assuming you have) or are impressed by their level of progression (assuming there is something to be impressed about) you’ll make a good impression. However, with that said… don’t go overboard. Most reviewers won’t be snowballed by vigorous blatant brown-nosing.

2. Dress to impress.

First, evaluate your gear. Is it on par with the level of content the guild is running, or are you a bit behind? Before you rush to the head of the line do whatever you can to improve your gear.

Sadly, Holy Priests cannot really use PvP/Arena gear to fill in gaps the way other classes/roles can because it is so weak when it comes to mana regen. Badge gear, however, is awesome and having even a few pieces of it if not all of it demonstrates to the review team that you’ve put considerable time into gearing up and are dedicated to improving your gear outside of raids.

Once your gear is in order it’s time to give it a little polish. You should have good enchants for your helm, shoulders, cloak, chest, bracers, gloves, pants, boots and weapon. Jov posted a great guide to enchants here: Jov sez: You’ve got the gear, now what? (Part 2)

When it comes to gems, use the best quality gems available. Right now, that means blue-quality gems. Do not ever apply to a raid guild with uncommon-quality (green) gems or empty sockets.

Jov posted a great guide for gems too! You can find it here: Jov sez: You’ve got the gear, now what?

3. Spec for PvE.

Don’t apply to a raid guild with a PvP spec. Talents like Martyrdom, Improved Mana Burn, Blessed Recovery/Resilience and Spell Warding really don’t belong in a raiding build.

If you routinely swap between specs for PvP, Raiding and Questing/Farming/Dailies, try to stick to your Raiding spec for at least a day or two after you submit your application. Alternately, instead of (or in addition to) linking directly to your armory profile, provide a link to your preferred raiding spec in the Talent Calculator of your choice.

With the advent of dual spec, if you frequently swap between specs you should definitely consider sending a link to a talent calculator build. Maybe even one for each spec in your arsenal!

When you apply…

1. Write a good application.

Answer questions as completely as you can. Use punctuation/capitalization. Avoid “133t speak.” Use carriage returns. Format your response so it is easy to distinguish your answers from the questions; don’t just put a space after the question and start typing your answer unless you’re going to use color tags to make your reply distinct.

Be sure you read through your answers after you are finished. Run it through a spell-checker. Make sure you didn’t skip any questions while you’re at it!

Don’t be afraid to toot your horn a little bit, but try not to come off as overly boastful/arrogant. Your application may be the only chance you have to sell yourself, so make it count.

Last, but not least, let your personality shine. Most guilds are looking for more than skill and gear; they also want to know if you will be a good fit for their guild culture.

2. Don’t pad your resume.

Most reviewers can smell bullshit a mile away. When listing your raid experience, don’t pretend you have more than you do. Avoid making blanket statements for instances you haven’t cleared–don’t claim “Naxx” if you PUG’d the spider wing once, or if your previous/current guild couldn’t get past Sapphiron. Reviewers appreciate your honesty and candor, so try to be specific. It’s also important to make a distinction between your 10-man raid experience and your 25-man raid experience.

Your gear will usually betray you if you embellish, and We do not appreciate it.

After you apply…

1. Log out in your PvE/Healing gear.

Once you’ve submitted your application, make sure you log out in your healing gear while your application is pending. Reviewers will be accessing the armory to look you up, probably several times, and they don’t really care about your DPS/PvP set or your RP clothes.

If you want to cover your bases, you can always use a tool like CharDev or WarCrafter to save a gear profile you can link to in your application.

2. Follow up, but don’t turn into a stalker.

Don't be a stalker!Different guilds have different review processes, but if you don’t hear anything at all for 3+ days after you submit your application you’ll probably want to follow up. The best way to do this is in-game via whisper to an Officer or via Private Message on the guild forums. Do not whisper an Officer or the GM during a raid! If you can’t seem to catch them outside raids, then PM (or even in-game mail) is probably the better way to go. When you do talk to them, see if you can find out how long the process usually takes and when you can expect to hear back. Beyond that, try not to make a nuisance of yourself after going through all the effort to make a good impression. These things do take time, and if you feel it is taking too much time (or if a better offer comes along) you can always retract your application.

Bonus points!

Ok, so now you know what you can do to avoid looking like an idiot on your next raid application. You might be wondering what you can do to stand out from the pack–trust me, if you do all of these things (or even most of them) you WILL stand out. However, for the over-achievers among us, here is a brief list of things that will win you bonus points with reviewers of the T7+ variety:

  • Exalted with Sons of Hodir.
  • Possession of a 2m PvP trinket. (No, you need not log out in it, just mention it on your app somewhere.)
  • Possession of a (maxed) crafting skill that gives you a significant stat bonus for raiding. (Inscription, Jewelcrafting, Enchanting and Tailoring all have self-only perks that are pretty spiffy.)
  • Honesty. Got a weak spot in your gear? Own up to it, and say what you are doing to fix it.

Have any other tips to add? Horror (or success) stories to share? I’d love to hear them!

(Big thanks go out to all of the folks who commented on the original draft of this article back in TBC. Your feedback helped me to improve this version while I was updating it for Wrath!)

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Seri sez: The Ethical /gquit

November 6, 2008

crossroadsAt some point in every raider’s career, they find themselves at a crossroads. Leaving a guild isn’t always easy, but can be necessary as you (and your guild) change and grow over time.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably formed a pretty strong attachment to your guild for whatever reason. Maybe I wasn’t hugged enough as a child, I don’t know, but I’m a social creature (when it comes to online gaming, anyway) and my guild is something of a virtual home for me. It’s hard for me to imagine wanting to leave, but you know… nothing lasts forever and some day that day will probably come. I expect that it will be a difficult, emotional, decision and that Jov will probably get exasperated with me and tell me to stop being emo. It’s what friends do. (Or what she does, anyway.)

For others, changing guilds is sort of like changing socks; when the pair you’ve got starts to stink, you’ve got a whole drawer full of socks to choose from and think nothing of tossing the old ones in the hamper (or on the floor). Although acute manifestations of this ‘dirty sock syndrome’ can lead to the dreaded ‘guild hopper syndrome’ there’s nothing wrong with being of the mindset that you pay your $15/month to play how/where you want.

crew-socksSometimes I envy the folks who don’t seem to agonize over a /gquit, but more often I just end up having to clean up after them when they bail on raid night with an armload of plundered booty from the guild bank.

Yes, this is a game and (presumably) we all play it for recreation/fun. No one wants you to stick around in a situation that makes you unhappy, but for the love of Jaina you don’t have to be a jerk about it.

Angry Raid Leader covered many of the key points I wanted to make in a semi-recent article. I love ARL’s rants, they always seem to hit the nail on the head and as a former raid leader and current class leader I can definitely sympathize. My list is slightly different from ARL’s, but if you’ve read his article you’ll see similarities.

In the interest of promoting and perpetuating clean breaks throughout the WoW community, pursuant to a more harmonious raiding environment for everyone:

  • Don’t /gquit without talking to your GM first. No one likes to be blind-sided, least of all a busy GM. Give them some notice, at least 24 hours prior to the next raid you were expected to attend.
  • Don’t be a loot whore. If you’ve decided to leave the guild, don’t spend your last raid(s) making grabby hands at all the shiny stuff.
  • Don’t lie to your GM about why you’re leaving. They’re not as dumb as you think they are. Chances are they’ll find out later anyway and they’d much rather hear it from you.
  • Don’t encourage other people to go with you. Sure, sometimes you are close friends with someone and where you go they go, but don’t use your old guild as a recruitment pool for your new one.
  • Just say no to drama. Although it may be tempting to post a scathing exposé to the guild/realm forums, nothing good will come of it. I promise.
  • Don’t raid the guild bank. You may think you’re entitled to a little something for the road. You’re not.

limbo

Although the degree of finesse you exercise in extracting yourself may seem less important if you plan to transfer servers, regardless of where your new guild is located making poor choices about how to handle the situation can come back to bite you in the ass later. After all, recruitment officers do research.

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Jov sez: What Trash Says About You

September 23, 2008

No, I’m not talking about McDonalds bags or kitty litter, I’m talking about instance trash. This is actually a bit of a tie-in with Seri’s post about apping to a raid guild. It was prompted by problems our guild has faced in the past with new recruits, so I wanted to bring it up. There is more to joining a raid guild than having the gear for the content. Finding the right “fit” is a process, and very open to pitfalls. I think we all have a tendency to just go shopping for a guild at the right level of progression, without thinking first about what sort of raid environment we enjoy. I’m not just talking about the people and vent chatter, I’m also talking about the actual process of raiding. Knowing what you need and want is your responsibility to consider before accepting a guild invite, and should be brought up by you in the interview process. The simplest, and perhaps most telling, would be to ask how the guild handles trash.

Two examples to illustrate what I feel are two ends of a spectrum:

The Meticulous Style

This is many group’s default, at least while learning content. Every pull is marked, every tank and CC’er has their target, everyone is careful. There is very little FFA healing, each healer assigned to a specific person or group/party and sticking with it. It’s also very much healing by the rules. Lots of cancel-casting, letting hots tick without being overwritten, there’s a general focus on doing what is needed and conserving resources. Healing is not a competition, you’re doing what is most needed to get the boss down cleanly. This style is very good when things go wrong, there’s usually a back-up plan in place. Also, this style is very friendly to low-healer groups. Doing content with fewer than the recommended number of healers pretty much demands this style of gameplay.

The Aggressive Style

This is almost the opposite of Meticulous. It’s perhaps best considered a controlled chaos. This is much more common on the instance you’ve farmed to death and just want to get through as quickly as possible. Tanks fight each other for aggro on multiple targets (Tank A decides he wants all his targets, plus a few of Tank B’s) AoE occurs more often than single-target DPS, and beyond assigning tank heal assignments, the rest is FFA healing. Most pulls have a “seat of your pants” feel, and you spend a good deal of the evening riding the line of something going very wrong. This sort of style usually occurs with a very strong, overgeared group. However sloppy it may look, however, it is done by people who know their capability. Tanks will steal targets, but not more than they know they (and their healers) can handle. Healers will cross-heal with abandon, but only as far as they know their mana will stretch.

The Problem

As is probably obvious, problems can occur when someone who is used to raiding with a group who uses one extreme applies to a group who goes the other way. If you were happy with the style of raiding of your previous guild, you need to also ensure your application goes to a guild which follows the same style. (If you’re not happy with the style, by all means, find a guild of the opposite style to apply to.)

If you are a meticulous healer, you’re healing by-the-books, the right way. Your target is staying up, you’re doing everything the right way. However, if you join an aggressive guild, you’re either going to be bored (because someone else is always going to have a heal land first, or overwrite your hot) or going to cause red flags with your class lead when WWS reports your effective healing numbers are half that of those who share your spec/assignment.

Conversely, if you’re an aggressive healer and join a meticulous guild, you’re going to spend your time feeling like you’re surrounded by a bunch of slackers. You’re not going to want to watch the DPS’s health slowly climb as hots tick, you’re going to want to give ‘em a boost now. You’re also likely to cause just as many red flags with your class lead for your flagrant cross-healing. At the end of the day, your healing numbers may blow everyone else out of the water, but you’re going to cause people to worry about your conservation and what will happen if things go wrong.

The Solution

Neither healer nor guild in either of my previous examples is wrong, they are only wrong for each other. Where the wrongness occurs is before the first raid, it’s in the interview, or even the application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to know what their style is, and to find out if that meshes with the guild they are applying to. Guilds also have the responsibility to be open and upfront with what sort of healing environment they will provide.

No guild is going to follow either style 100% of the time, nor are they always going to adhere to the extreme. Most guilds are probably somewhere in the middle. Know where you stand, so when you apply, you know you’re not setting yourself up for failure.

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Seri sez: How to Apply to a Raid Guild Without Looking Like an Idiot

September 19, 2008

(An updated version of this article for WotLK can be found here.)

As the Priest Class Lead for my guild, I’m pretty actively involved in recruitment. Not only do I canvas the ‘net looking for candidates when we need them, it’s also my job to review the applications that come in and mark them up with my little red pen. Although sometimes even the ones that look good on paper don’t work out, if you have a bad application you’re not going to get a second glance.

You may not be applying to my guild (if you want to, e-mail me an armory link–ha!) but every guild has a gatekeeper; if you want the keys to the kingdom, you need to put your best face forward. Don’t worry, gentle reader, I’m here to tell you how.

Before you apply…

1. Do your homework.

How much do you know about the guild you’re applying to? Do you know the GM’s name? WowArmory will tell you that. Do you know how they rank on their server for progression? How far into Sunwell are they? How long has it been since they had a new boss kill? Have they completed the ZA timed event? WowJutsu will tell you that. How long have they been around? WarcraftRealms will tell you that. Do they have a good reputation on their server? Make a level 1 alt and ask around.

This is more than just peace of mind when it comes to applying to a raid guild. Raid guilds have big egos, and if you can subtly stroke their ego by saying you’ve heard good things about them or are impressed by their level of progression you’ll make a good impression.

2. Dress to impress.

First, evaluate your gear. Is it on par with the level of content the guild is running, or are you a T4 Priest that desperately wants to see Sunwell before Wrath? With the expansion looming on the horizon, a lot of folks are trying to get into current “end game” content before everyone moves on to Northrend. Before you rush to the head of the line, do whatever you can to improve your gear.

Sadly, Holy Priests cannot really use PvP/Arena gear to fill in gaps the way other classes/roles can because it is so weak when it comes to mana regen. The 2.4 Badge gear, however, is awesome and having even a few pieces of it if not all of it demonstrates to the review team that you’ve put considerable time into gearing up and are dedicated to improving your gear outside of raids.

Do not ever, under any circumstances, apply to a T6 raid guild wearing the 3-piece Primal Mooncloth set.

Once your gear is in order it’s time to give it a little polish. You should have the following enchants for your helm, shoulders, cloak, chest, bracers, gloves, pants, boots and weapon:

  • Helm: Thrallmar/Honor Hold Healing Glyph (Revered Reputation required.)
  • Shoulders: Aldor/Scryer Shoulder Inscription (Bonus points for the Exalted version.)
  • Cloak: Subtlety
  • Chest: +15 Spirit
  • Bracers: +30 Healing
  • Gloves: +35 Healing
  • Pants: Golden Spellthread (+66 Healing & +20 Stamina)
  • Boots: Boar’s Speed
  • Weapon: +81 Healing

When it comes to gems, use the best quality gems that you can afford. If you have badges to spare (or a trust fund to tap), socket epic-quality (purple) gems. Otherwise, use rare-quality (blue) gems. Do not ever apply to a raid guild with uncommon-quality (green) gems or empty sockets.

Pre-Sunwell, there are really only 3 stats that Priests need to worry about when it comes to gems: Spirit, Healing & Intellect. Intellect is a somewhat distant third; the only time you want to consider socketing an Intellect gem is for a set bonus. (Usually an orange Healing/Intellect gem for a yellow socket.) Do not socket mp5.

Did you catch that? Allow me to repeat: Do not socket mp5.

If you have any mp5 gems leftover from pre-2.4, you should replace them. 2.4 went live in March, you’ve had plenty of time! Slacker.

3. Spec for PvE.

Don’t apply to a raid guild with a PvP spec. Talents like Martyrdom, Improved Mana Burn, Blessed Recovery/Resilience and Spell Warding really don’t belong in a raiding build.

If you routinely swap between specs for PvP, Raiding and Questing/Farming/Dailies, try to stick to your Raiding spec for at least a day or two after you submit your application. Alternately, instead of (or in addition to) linking directly to your armory profile, provide a link to your preferred raiding spec in the Talent Calculator of your choice.

When you apply…

1. Write a good application.

Answer questions as completely as you can. Use punctuation/capitalization. Avoid “133t speak.” Use carriage returns. Format your response so it is easy to distinguish your answers from the questions; don’t just put a space after the question and start typing your answer unless you’re going to use color tags to make your reply distinct.

Be sure you read through your answers after you are finished. Run it through a spell-checker. Make sure you didn’t skip any questions while you’re at it!

Don’t be afraid to toot your horn a little bit, but try not to come off as overly boastful/arrogant. Your application may be the only chance you have to sell yourself, so make it count.

2. Don’t pad your resume.

Most reviewers can smell bullshit a mile away. When listing your raid experience, don’t pretend you have more than you do. Avoid making blanket statements for instances you haven’t cleared–don’t claim “MH” if you PUG’d a Rage kill once, or if your previous/current guild couldn’t get past Archimonde. Reviewers appreciate your honesty and candor, so try to be specific. Your reputation with associated factions will usually betray you if you embellish, and We do not appreciate it.

Caught ya!

After you apply…

1. Log out in your PvE/Healing gear.

Once you’ve submitted your application, make sure you log out in your healing gear (and un-equip your Riding Crop!) while your application is pending. Reviewers will be accessing the armory to look you up, probably several times, and they don’t really care about your DPS/PvP set or your RP clothes.

If you want to cover your bases, you can always use a tool like CharDev or WarCrafter to save a gear profile you can link to in your application.

2. Follow up, but don’t turn into a stalker.

Don't be a stalker!Different guilds have different review processes, but if you don’t hear anything at all for 3+ days after you submit your application you’ll probably want to follow up. The best way to do this is in-game via whisper to an Officer or via Private Message on the guild forums. Do not whisper an Officer or the GM during a raid! If you can’t seem to catch them outside raids, then PM (or even in-game mail) is probably the better way to go. When you do talk to them, see if you can find out how long the process usually takes and when you can expect to hear back. Beyond that, try not to make a nuisance of yourself after going through all the effort to make a good impression. These things do take time, and if you feel it is taking too much time (or if a better offer comes along) you can always retract your application.

Bonus points!

Ok, so now you know what you can do to avoid looking like an idiot on your next raid application. You might be wondering what you can do to stand out from the pack–trust me, if you do all of these things (or even most of them) you WILL stand out. However, for the over-achievers among us, here is a brief list of things that will win you bonus points with reviewers of the T6 variety:

  • Exalted with Cenarion Expedition, Sha’tar & Aldor/Scryer. (Also desirable for T5.)
  • Possession of a 2m PvP trinket. (No, you need not log out in it, just mention it on your app somewhere.)
  • Completion of the old BT attunement chain for your Shadow Resist necklace.
  • Possession of Shadow Resist gear or materials (with or without Hearts of Darkness) to craft it.

Have any other tips to add? Horror (or success) stories to share? I’d love to hear them!

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