When Applying to Raiding Guilds…

So you’re thinking of applying to a new World of Warcraft raiding guild due to a new expansion, a new patch, new raid content (that your guild just can’t seem to manage to tackle), or because you’re just plain tired of the place you’re at now.

I found myself guildless with Cataclysm looming. My reasons for leaving my previous guild weren’t malicious or out of spite- I moved overseas, and schedules just didn’t align. Of course there were things I disliked about my prior guild that made the decision to leave easier but… I digress. Point being, I needed to apply to a guild, and I needed to remember how to do it. Now that I’m brushed up, I’m hoping this guide will help you hit the right points too.

There’s key components to an application. To not touch on them (or to not give them some adequate polish) will result in failure for all but the most desperate / apathetic of guilds. Here’s the key points:

 

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  • State Your Character (Name, Class, Specs, Armory Link, NEVER Gearscore) – So many people omit this key detail it’s staggering. Unless an application specifically asks for it somewhere, I’d estimate 25% of all applications fail to mention the character they’re actually applying with. You leave Officers no meaningful information that would enable them to determine whether you’re an intelligent human being or someone who makes decisions by divining words of game abilities from hairballs your cat pukes up. Make sure you refer to your character (and a summary of him/her) in your application somewhere. Lest you annoy the very people you want to like you.If you think of including Gearscore, you’ve just classified yourself as a grade-A mouthbreather to any respectable raiding team. And if the guild considers it a massive plus you for included your Gearscore, I’d run the other way as FAST AS POSSIBLE. These are the people trolling Trade not taking perfectly competent players based on some easily-manipulated (and generally meaningless) number. Because even Shadowmourne can be gemmed with +Spirit.

 

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  • Describe Your Gearing Choices (Including Enhancements) – Gear, gems, enchants, reforging decisions, etc. all play a huge factor into whether people take you. Recruiters look at these things to make sure you understand the theory behind your class and role, and can do more than just pick up gear from PUG runs you could’ve been carried through. First, pop over to Elitist Jerks and make sure what your setup jives with what they recommend (or if you deviate, make sure you have a damn good defense). Then write a quick blurb defending why you made the choices you did. Bonus points for linking to sources (i.e. EJ forums).

 

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  • Usher Them Through Your Guild History – The Guild History part should read like a resume. Yes, a resume. Thinking only names of guilds and ranks held will fit the bill is wrong. It doesn’t need to be as serious as a resume (or even include dates), but it should you should touch on key things you did in each guild to bring some life to your character. Ideally, you’ll have stories of notable achievements, positions held, reasons for leaving / joining, and other non-polarizing facts that’ll make members think more of you than “Oh, look, another application someone filled out between AFK breaks in their raid.”If you led raids, talk about it. If you got some raiding-specific mounts or difficult achievements (before they were trivialized!), write it. If your guild harassed you or you have dirt on members or leadership… keep it to yourself. This part should make you look like George Washington crossing the Delaware carrying a massive flag, leading your guild to victory… not a drama-llama that bitterly and resentfully leaves guilds, smearing them at every opportunity.

 

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  • Show You Know Your Rotation – Knowing your rotation means you can perform. It also shows you’re up-to-date on class knowledge and not using abilities that were deemed junk after the last nerf bat attack. If you’re multi-spec, talk about both specs in detail. If you don’t talk about it, make sure you say why (“It’s not a competitive spec in this patch.” / “It’s my PVP spec.”).

 

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  • INCLUDE PERFORMANCE PARSES – I’ll go easy on you here since, seeing as you’re reading about how to apply, you might genuinely be unaware what a performance parse is. So let’s get it out of the way. Performance parses are also known as combat logs that’re uploaded to a service that displays damage done/taken, healing done/taken, and other information in meaningful ways. Consider it Recount on the interwebs. Such services include World of Logs, WoW Web Stats, WoW Meter Online, etc. How do you get a log? Either someone in your raid should be capturing combat logs, or you need to get your own. Typing /combatlog while in-game will start capturing data. Typing /combatlog again stops it. If you take the file and upload it using one of those websites’ clients, you get a report.Guilds use these reports to see how well you DPS / heal / mitigate damage. It also shows how well you avoid standing in the fire. And for the hardcore parsers, it shows if you’re using your rotation properly (via ability uptime / # of times abilities are cast) or reached required stat caps (i.e. hit, expertise, etc.).

    Now that you know about parses… there is a reason this portion is in ALL-CAPS. People omit this on applications because they’re either a) unaware of what parses are or how to acquire them or b) lazy. Both reflect pretty badly on you. One shows you’re ignorant (willingly or unwillingly) and don’t have the competence to go to Google and type “Combat Log”. The other shows you can’t follow directions or just omit things that inconvenience you. You can imagine how awesome it’d be to raid with someone who doesn’t flask or read strategies because it “inconveniences them”. Yep.

    Include a parse. Even if they don’t ask for one. Just do it.

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  • Spell-, Grammar-, and Length-Check – If you can’t spell, you’ve put yourself on the same level as a 6th grader. I don’t even think McDonald’s accepts applications that have gaping spelling and grammatical errors, so why would a successful guild tolerate it?If you write sentences that don’t extend past 5 words, or just write nonsensically in general, don’t expect a guild to swoon over you. I have students here in Japan that write better essays than some applications I’ve come across. For godsakes, even if you can’t write to save your life, pass it by a friend who has writing skills before submitting. See it as less of misrepresenting your writing ability and more of reflecting your accomplishments in a way that impresses people whose reading levels exceed 4th grade.

    Finally, for those of you who find yourself at the other end of the spectrum with a 10-page application full of words… make sure you trim it down to only include necessary details. Get rid of flowery words. Bye-bye irrelevant details (see: “My Mage was AWESOME back in 2.1.1. LET ME TELL YOU HOW.”). And don’t elaborate on things that could be told in fewer words using a picture or link.

 

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  • Double-Check (Requirements & Stickies) – Give your application a once-over before submitting. Make sure links work (and point to the right stuff), your pictures are what you think they are (ain’t no better way to start a relationship than to link pronz when you meant to link your UI), and you hit every point they requested. I’ve had my own applications get submitted unfinished, and it’s pretty embarrassing. I got bored with a section and left it unfinished, forgot to click radial buttons for choices… easy stuff that, had I re-read my application, I could’ve fixed before making an ass of myself.Stickies are also key, because they pretty much tell you everything you need to look out for when applying. Some guilds even go out of their way to disqualify you by asking for code words found in special “Read Me First!!!” threads. Disregarding fact your application can get tossed before even hitting “Submit” for not including the code word “platypus” in your 4th input, stickies tend to have crucial information. Any questions you have about the guild are probably addressed there, because you’re likely not the first applicant who’s had questions. Officers notice these oversights. And they get pretty pissed, because for a question to even get stickied, it had to have been asked ad-infinitum until they broke down and wrote a thread about it. I’m sure you’ll get on their good sides by asking them the equivalent of “How old are you?” for the 500th time.

So there you have it. Some of the oft-overlooked but crucial elements every guild application should have.

Why should you listen to me? Well, I got into the guild I applied to. They’re a World Top-1000 guild. And they apparently liked my application so much that they made it the model application for future applicants. I have yet to show them I can actually swing my daggers (since I’m a Cataclysm applicant), but I got my foot in the door. Maybe you can too.

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