HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

10 Tips to Successfully Apply
to a Raiding Guild

A selection of actual answers from our last batch of applicants to a simple question: <br>Can you move out of the fire?

A selection of actual answers from our last batch of applicants to a simple question: Can you move out of the fire?

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

8. Reputations

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.

Final Advice

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.

Good luck!

15 Responses to “10 Tips to Successfully Apply
to a Raiding Guild”

  1. KeevaNo Gravatar says

    I can’t stand seeing applications that clearly took a grand total of 5 minutes to complete, with answers like “yup” and no explanations, no expanding on anything.

    And if there’s a question like “tell us a little more about yourself ” or “anything else you’d like to add?” – complete it – it shows you’ll take take a few minutes to complete an optional question, which I always equate with someone who CARES about their application, and isn’t just throwing something together as fast as possible.

    Drives me crazy when someone puts minimum effort into their application. If you really want to be part of this guild, why isn’t there any drive in your app? This is not a chore – it’s your first impression – don’t waste it!

  2. VokNo Gravatar says

    Back in Obs, around one, one and a half years ago we had an app from a Troll Hunter.

    We’ were Alliance…..
    .-= Vok’s last blog … Let there be lag =-.

  3. ClickityclopNo Gravatar says

    Phew sounds like I did mostly right.

    I was actually expecting tons of critique. I had looked though numerous apps in the old forum before writing one and because I’m a somewhat squishy person I was mentally preparing myself for flames, because I know regardless of being harsh critique or not critique is incredibly useful. Plus I was worried I might have missed something. Almost disappointed that I didn’t get any, but no news is good news right?

    Or maybe it’s cause Malv didn’t access the new forums till after I got accepted as trial, he seems to be on fire with the app critiques :D !

  4. NatarumahNo Gravatar says

    A good point is also that if this character is a main-switch, meaning that someone switched from say, a priest to a warrior, past experiences count differently.

    While a person might have been an awesome healing priest, this is only partially relevant to being an Arms warrior. However, knowing the fights, the tactics and the foundations of not standing in fires and what to do if you have aggro are relevant to all classes and specs.

    So many people I’ve seen either apply with their previous raiding experiences on another character (even if it is a completely different toon) or not mention it at all (because it is a completely different toon).

    My tip to applicants would also be to show how what you learned as one class in a raid benefits your current character, even if it isn’t 100% relevant. I like to know that a person knows how to do Mimiron Hardmode even if it wasn’t as their current toons ^_^.
    .-= Natarumah’s last blog … Goodies for Shades – ICC25 =-.

  5. WindsoarNo Gravatar says

    Generally, I discount previous expansion raid experience–not because it isn’t necessarily relevant–because I have no way to know whether the player is experienced in the content without a complete disclosure of lord knows how many alts. I have no problem listing my past raid experience with roles; however, I rarely bother to go through that many character names.

    The armory is a great tool, but it is relatively new to the game. I still have my original raiding rogue, but I abandoned her before BC ever came out. She had MC experience, heck, she even had loot from MC on her body, but the armory did not count it for the achievement system.

    Generally, any raid experience past current expansion (unless you haven’t been playing the game in awhile) is irrelevant–and if you’d had that big of a break from raiding, you’ll have to explain anyway.
    .-= Windsoar’s last blog … Evaluating Your Raid Team: Restoration Shaman =-.

  6. SpinksNo Gravatar says

    Personally, I’m not a big achievement fan, so I don’t really see the great benefit in someone having a load of pointless old reputations. It just says ‘I have no life’ to me, or ‘I can’t prioritise my time and goals well.’

    I’d rather see a few achievements that all directly relate to current content. Or some reasoned arguments behind why the player picked some achievements and not others.

  7. PapaNastyNo Gravatar says

    imo top tip, although would prefer any applicants for Vitare not doing this since it’s sorta cheating lolz

    Goto the Armory, look at the guild ranks, find the top 2 ranked players of your class / spec in the guild you are applying for.

    Check their gemming + spec + item choices, then go in line with them (So long as it’s not an officer alt or some wierd pvp / gimmic fight spec). This way you can’t be wrong, even if you’re too lazy to do the theory craft yourself.

  8. One comment about being critical having multiple types of gems:

    Gems are the final “tweak” knob for your stats. Gear will give you what it gives you, and enchants are often prettly limiting in what they can offer, variety-wise. If you look at my tank, now I have most defense (to get to def cap) plus some other gems to get my hit cap (for threat), and now I’m working on dodge & parry. So, I have 4 or 5 different gem types.

    And as you grear gets higher, most toons won’t need 9 sockets worth of SP, AP, STR, etc (some still will, obviously) so they will spread them around. Gemming for one thing, and one thing only, can look like a talent build with all talents in one tree.

    Now, slightly off the bend here – the whoole application process, and “rdr srs bzns” aspect of WoW is just beyond me. I can’t imagin putting me through that much stress. Then again, people look at me weird when I say I actually enjoy working on cars…
    .-= SlikRX/Balthazario’s last blog … I… Don’t Wanna Work.. I Just Wanna Bang on the Blame All Day… =-.

    • ShannonNo Gravatar says

      it better:J’ay grand peur qu’il ne me tue.C’est un faux vilian, jalouxC’est un vilian, rioteux, grommeleux.Je suis jeune et il est vieux.But let’s not split hairs. Alas has many other fine qualities as well.

  9. PapaNastyNo Gravatar says

    Balth, raiding in a top end guild is generally actually less stress than pugging :)

    As the raids usually run much more smoothly, everyone is focused and working towards a common goal, rather than just being in it for themselves. Not to mention, that you’re raiding with the same group of guys & gals all the time, so you are all friends etc. Sometimes on progression bosses things can get a bit stressful and frustrating, but on the whole if you can find a good srs bsns raiding guild you’ll probably really enjoy it.

    Also yeah, sometimes you need to tweak your gems, i.e. getting to hitcap or def cap etc, but generally there’s one stat which is simply better than everything else. Usually str, agi or spellpower for dps, and stam for tanks.

  10. VidyalaNo Gravatar says

    A great guide, Lath. I wish some of our applicants would read it. More importantly, I wish you luck in finding quality, loyal and long-term folks to fill Vitare’s spots!

    I like what Natarumah said about mentioning cross-character experience. When I applied to my current guild, I had to reference my holy priest (did Naxx), and my resto druid (did Ulduar) in order to convince them that I could be a good mage. They were taking a bit of a chance accepting me but I don’t think anyone regretted it, least of all me! Being in a guild you’re happy with is worth jumping through all the hoops and making sure to write a great application.
    .-= Vidyala’s last blog … SM: Did you know it can also mean ’sadism’ and ‘masochism’? =-.

  11. CassandriNo Gravatar says

    In regards to Raid Experience I think it’s better to say “I’ve completed all of Naxx & Uld, but on my Rogue” than to leave it out or just say you’ve “done it all”.

    Absolutely you may need to gem in order to reach certain stat caps – Hit, Defense, Haste or whatever but in general I find that most well geared players try and get those stats on their gear first which means you can socket your empty gem slots with the absolute BEST gem for you.

    I use 4 different gems for Cassandri. But there’s definitely still a pattern.
    .-= Cassandri’s last blog … 10 Tips to Successfully Apply to a Raiding Guild =-.

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