Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Guild Applications: Run the Gauntlet

So you want to join our Guild eh?

My recent guild swap directed my focus to getting people to like me.
Heh.

I've been on both sides of the recruitment page.

My frequent moves and schedule changes over the wow-years has forced me to change guilds several times, and being an officer/GM in the past has meant that I've spent hours with bleeding eyes reading applications from hopefuls.

In light of that, and a few reminders from being on the applicant side of things this past week, I thought I'd share a few thoughts on presenting oneself well when apping to guilds, especially when you don't know anyone in the guild you're applying to.

1. Make sure you're hit capped. But not too much.

Everybody knows you need to be at 262 hit, right? If you're not at that number, expect questions. I've seen more applicants rejected because many guilds infer that if you're not at hit cap, you clearly don't know how to gear/gem/play wow.
My typical spec for some time - as you may recall - has been 2-handed unholy. As a Draenei, fully raid buffed I'm hit capped at 230. I've actually been hovering around that number, but a recent gear change left me at 224 hit. I also recently switched to a DW spec. So, when I apped to guilds, one of the first questions I got was, "you know you're not hit capped, right?" I had to explain that I rarely missed when 2-handing it, but that yes, they were right, I should increase my hit. DW DKs shouldn't prioritize too much hit beyond the 'special' hit cap, but having well over 300 is still a fine thing to prevent too many offhand misses. The easiest way to avoid this scrutiny is to ensure you're hit capped.
On the other hand. Having too much hit is something guilds tend to pick up on right away as well. A warlock that apped to my new guild the same time I did was ripped for being over the hit cap by more than 100 rating, and was eventually rejected. So, balance is key.

2. Expertise capping (26 expertise). Although guilds make much less of this either for being under or over the cap. In fact, one of the primary dps DKs that questioned my hit was sitting at over 40 expertise rating. That's a ton of expertise that is for the most part completely wasted. I wisely didn't point this out during my application process. Which leads to....

3. Don't come across as a know-it-all
. You may be a regular poster at Elitist Jerks and as such a recognized 'expert,' but when applying to a guild, THEY know it all. You don't. You're a peon. Explain why you do what you do and be prepared to back it up, but calling them out in most cases is going to give them a very bad impression of you.

4. Don't skimp on your gear. You may be anticipating getting that shiny new Triumph chest piece in a few days, but your old Naxx chest still needs to have at least +8 to stats, and epic gems. I've seen lots of people say, 'but it's just a temporary piece.' High end guilds are min-maxers. They expect you to not care about gold - and if you apply with less than fully gemmed/enchanted gear, you probably won't get much of a look.

5. Log out in your pve gear/spec. Nothing annoys someone trying to see if you'd be a good fit more than if they review your armory profile and see gladiator gear and hungering cold in your spec.

6. Make sure your spec is kosher. I've tinkered enough with specs to know my current spec is highly effective vis a vis the 'cookie cutter' builds. On the other hand, most of the guilds you're applying to aren't going to see an usual build as a good thing. If you don't have the commonly-expected spec, at least be prepared to show that you know what the commonly-expected specs are, and explain why you're not using it. I had to spend a lot of time explaining that running unholy DW Glyph of Disease spec means no points in frost (Icy Touch talents are wasted if you never IT except at the beginning of a fight).

7. Use complete sentences. Now is not the time to be 1337. Most guilds will see poor writing as indicative of laziness, immaturity, and lack of attention and intelligence. Also, answer every question. Leaving a question blank is sure to evoke the wrath of the reviewer, even if it's 'would you prefer your gnomes served in pie, or cake?' They are asking each question for a reason - answer them.

8. Max your relevant professions.
Jewelcrafting and Blacksmithing are the de facto min-max professions for dps DKs, but if you choose another profession, at least max it out. It shows pride in your work and your intention of getting everything you can out of your toon.

9. Be prepared.
Do the research to ensure you're up to snuff on your class. But that's a given if you want to raid, right? Sadly, it's not always the case. But what I'm really getting at here is research the guild you're wanting to join. Armory them. Know how many DKs (or x class) they have, and their specs. Read what public information they have posted about their organization, expectations, and policies.

10. Vent it up. The last step in the application process is the vent interview. If you've gotten this far, it means they like you and are most likely going to offer you a spot. You can still mess it up, however, so be prepared. Give brief, but on target answers. Don't talk too much about yourself. Be ready to ask relevant questions like how they do loot, attendance expectations and the like. Be polite. A joke or two is ok, but - at least at first - don't be too crass or laugh too much; that can be annoying.


I'm sure there are many more, but these are the ones that struck me from my own application process and reading others' apps over the past week as well.

Good luck with the app!

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