Vitare has been doing quite a bit of recruiting this last week. Unfortunately Icecrown Citadel came out at the worst possible time for us and we’ve gone in with a less than optimal raid team. Thus… we are recruiting.
I feel like I have read a million applications over the last few days and I’m disappointed to find that most of the applicants keep making the same mistakes. There is a good chance that some of these players are actually quite good but based on how they’ve submitted their application … they get declined anyway.
This post is going address the things I look for when going over an application in the hope that this information can help some great players find quality guilds to join. My own experience has been applying and reviewing applications for raiding guilds who almost always require applicants to submit a written application.
1. Stick to the Application Format
This might seem silly but I cannot stress to you the importance of following the Application Template. Nearly all guilds will have some kind of detailed form or a copy and paste blank template for you to use. Use it!
Then make sure your responses (the answers, not the questions) stand out. It will take you an extra 5 minutes but please:
- Take the time to bold the headings or put your responses in italics so that officers can easily get to your answers.
- Make sure you include lots of spaces so the responses jump out on the page.
2. Plain English, Please
Don’t shorten words or use lingo. It just makes you look immature and takes people more time to process what they’re reading. Some lingo can be off putting to a reader when they aren’t familiar with a term used. And you’re trying to fit in, not distance yourself.
Run your responses through a spell checker and review what you’ve written to make sure it all makes sense.
Summary: Keep it organised, neat and free of spelling mistakes
3. Do Your Research
Most guilds have open (public) recruitment. The most valuable research you can do is snooping through the other applications post on the guild’s website. See who got flamed and what was given a thumbs up. When writing your responses keep this newly acquired information in the back of your mind.
Double check that your enchanting, gemming and talent choices are the most appropriate for you in Patch 3.3 (or whatever is the latest Patch). You can deviate from the “cookie cutter” choices but be prepared to defend those decisions with authoritative data from Elitist Jerks or the like, Blizzard “Blue” posts or anecdotal evidence (eg. “I chose X talent because threat is an issue for me in my current 10 man group”).
Summary: Read previous applications and make sure you’re up-to-date on your own class
4. Be Yourself
Don’t be afraid to inject some personality into what you’re writing. If it helps, pretend that you are writing an email to a friend.
A bit of personality might make your future guild members like you. And even if they like you just a little, they’ll be much kinder when they respond with constructive criticism. It also gives the Officers (who decide if you’re in or not) a good idea whether you are going to fit in with the other raiders.
Always give full sentences to the questions even if you think it can be answered with a simple yes or no. Always explain why you responded yes or why the answer was no. The simple “yes” responses to the Can You Move Out of Fire? question are the least interesting or memorable.
Summary: Talk! Don’t stick to ‘yes’ or ‘no’ responses.
5. Appropriate Gear
Most raiding guilds know that skill is more important than gear in the long run. But raiding guilds also need players who are ready for their progression content from the get go. As a general rule of thumb you don’t want to be more than 1 tier behind the rest of the guild you’re applying to. If the guild is wearing Tier 10 and is a 10 man raiding guild (ilvl251) you need to be in the Tier 9 10 man gear and equivalent ilvl232 gear.
Gear can also demonstrate skill in some cases. For example, in Vitare we tackle hard mode content, so if we see an applicant wearing TOGC 25 items it shows us that the applicant has completed hard modes before. It won’t necessarily give the best gear score but it shows us that another guild was willing to take you into successful hard mode fights.
Summary: 1 Tier below the current guild members is acceptable to most guilds
6. Enhancements, Gems and Talents
If you are joining a raiding guild, even a casual one, there will be an expectation that you will look after and cherish your gear. You will be expected to have the best available enchants and gems for each of your pieces when you apply, too. I can’t stress how important this is.
Make sure you have a consistent gemming system. I know nothing about Death Knights but if an application came in and a Death Knight had used 5 or 6 different types of gems I would assume they don’t really know what stat is of utmost importance to them and which socket bonuses can be missed.
Shoulder and Head Augments are a must have. This means grinding rep with both Sons of Hodir and whichever faction has the head enchant most appropriate to your class and spec.
If you haven’t maxed out SoH (especially now that you can buy Relics of Ulduar for next to nothing) and one other faction (which you can champion by completing instances wearing a tabard) because you don’t want to spend your game time “grinding” then be prepared to be declined. You’ll be labeled “lazy”.
Never submit an application before getting your gemming and enchanting perfect on the proviso “if I’m accepted, I will re-gem and buy the most expensive enchants”. This type of response is an instant decline as far as I’m concerned. Players that skimp on quality enhancements during the one period in which they are being scrutinized (during application) will be more likely to skimp on enhancements when they are a guild member under no scrutiny.
Summary: Don’t apply until you have the best enchants, gems and augments on your gear
7. Raiding Experience
How much raid experience you have with your character is important. But you need to make sure that you’re honest when outlining what you’ve completed – and on which character if not the character you’re applying with.
So many applicants imply that they have cleared all Vanilla, BC and Wrath content however from looking at their Armory profile it’s pretty clear that they only did it the once and certainly not at the intended level for the raid instance for it to count as a challenge overcome.
If you have very little raid experience be upfront about it! Alternatively, if you have taken a significant break from raiding (for example: missing at least one patch entirely), be honest about what raiding content you missed. It can also explain if you have somewhat outdated gear.
Summary: Be honest and upfront about what you’ve tackled on that character
I always check to make sure an applicant’s Sons of Hodir reputation is at Exalted so while I’m there I like to have a snoop to see what other reputations have been farmed or maxed out. While reputation grinding is by no means a deal breaker to an application, someone who has 20 or more reputations at exalted are goal-oriented and patient. I’ll definitely label you a perfectionist if you not only hit exalted, but also went and got the extra 1000 rep so that your bar is fully maxed out too!
Reputations also let me match up and verify an applicant’s previous raid experience. If someone says they have full cleared Karazhan to Black Temple however their Violet Eye reputation is at Neutral and the Ashtongue Deathsworn isn’t listed on their reputation panel – that sends up a big red flag.
Summary: Make sure your reputations back up your listed raid experience!
9. Previous guilds
We want to recruit players who are going to stick around for the long haul, not someone who switches guilds every 3 – 6 months. If you haven’t had much luck finding a home be upfront about what problems you’ve encountered in your previous guilds that have caused you to leave. Be diplomatic. Don’t ever bag your old guilds – it just makes you look volatile and immature.
Go to www.wowprogress.com and have a look at your guild rotation. Does it look bad because of the numerous entries in there? I can guarantee there will be question marks over whether or not you’re a trouble maker or a bad player not making it through your trial phase with other guilds.
Summary: Quality guilds want loyal, long term players
10. Expect Criticism
If your submitted application is published openly for all existing guild members to comment on, be prepared feedback – both good and bad. Only the existing guild members know who’s opinion matters most (ie, which members in the guild will be voting to accept or deny you) so respond to all additional questions and suggestions that come in to your application equally.
Check back every day or so until your application has been officially accepted, denied or placed on hold. You might not receive an decision for up to 1 week.
Always respond to questions about your gemming, talent or gear choices. Sometimes the player asking the question might not understand your class as well as they think, so you might need to politely explain why the decisions you’ve made are the best for your character. The most impressive applications are those made by players who can justify their choices based on a solid knowledge of the game. It’s also okay to acknowledge when you have been proved wrong.
The final piece of advice I can give is to spend a good 20 – 30 minutes writing and reviewing your application. For me to fully review 1 application I have to spend at least 15 minutes going through everything. Frankly, why should I waste my time reviewing you if you can’t take the time to show yourself off in the best possible light?
Don’t be disheartened if you are declined. No matter how good your application is some guilds just won’t have the room to take on another player of your class and/or spec, or there might be someone who put one in that was just that little bit better. All you can do is take in any feedback that was given and reapply at a later date, or try again with another guild that needs someone just like you.