Aug 272011

Taking a moment to step away from the feral craft that usually happens here, I wanted to take a moment to discuss another great aspect to this game. No two guilds are the same in Azeroth. Determining which guild is the best fit for your situation can be intimidating at first and is a process I just went through recently. Looking into the process in depth I hope to help anyone out there who might be thinking that it is time for a change and give them the courage to tackle a very daunting process.

I know some of you might be thinking “Q?! I understand your decent on your feral, but why do I care what you think about the apping process?” Well I’ve been an officer in both a US 300th guild as well as a US 30th guild. Both times I helped determine which applicants were worthy of a trial position. Most guilds use a similar check list to determine who would be worth trialing and more often then not a personal with less than average raiding experience can still gain trials to impressive guilds if their application is amazing.

Before we can get into the application process we really have to determine why it is you are leaving your current guild. Most guilds will ask you this and there are usually only a small number of answers that don’t raise immediate red flags. In order of things we have no control over, the number one reason would be a guild disband. It goes without saying why you would be looking for a new guild if your old one has officially stopped raids. With the harder tuned fights that Cataclysm has brought forth I haven’t seen so many guilds disappear since Lich King HM.

Another reason is of course lifestyle change, as summer starts up a lot of people step away from the game. This effects many raiding guilds; however, a lot of players like the change of being able to spend more time away from the game. This can lead them into looking for raiding guilds with less raiding hours per week. I’ve personally know many who get their whole work schedule changed and have to find guilds with different raiding hours all together.

The main reason people shift guilds is progression. It seems the longer a content patch is the more people try to move to guilds that have everything on farm in hopes of getting the achievements and gear they would not be able to obtain in the guilds they were in previously. If this is the reason your changing guilds then I hope to help make your application process easier with the rest of this post and be reading through the forums, because it takes a hell of a lot of class knowledge to jump from a 1/7 heroic mode guild to a 6/7 heroic mode guild over night.

Probably bigger then the actual application step is finding the right guild for you. If you are searching for a guild there’s a few things you should do that I don’t think gets done enough when people go hunting. First is make sure your moving up in the world, unless your actually going casual and just want a place to hang out and raid 2 nights a week trading a 6/7 normal mode guild for a 6/7 normal mode guild is never fun. If you are going to be leaving your group of friends the people you have been raiding with for months or years you might as well go up in the world. Using that same logic is remember not to get too ambitious, 4/7 heroic is when you can separate the semi-hardcore progression guild to the more hardcore minded progression guild. basically if your only killing normal mode Firelands and you start guild hunting I would only app to any guild that is 4/7 heroic or lower. Once you get into the 5 or 6/7 guilds your really going to have to shine to stand out, of course you can still get in and do well but in my personal experience this will fail more times then it will work.

Once you find a few guilds you like you need to look over there parses on World of Logs. Using this parse you can determine if your personal dps will hold out in their raid group, you must also look at their raids dps verses your guilds old raid dps. If everyone in their guild is pushing 24k dps and you were pushing 20k in your guild as the top dps, while everyone else in your old guild was only pushing 17k then I can promise you that when you enter their raid group if you play on that same level you will easily push the same if not more dps then their guild members. Any good guild will be able to see this and sort of give a rough estimate where you would be with their decreased fight time involved.

The next thing you really need to look at is their raid comp. If you find the perfect guild for you, you look through their parses and you think you’d fit smoothly, and you look again to see their guild has 4 rogues and 2 other ferals you need to just check that guild off your list. Sure a lot of guilds come with the promise if you can out preform their raiders you can have their spot; however, in truthfulness by the time you put in the time for that switch to happen you could of easily got raider rank in a guild that would be more than happy to finally get that feral they’ve been looking for.

It’s a lot of work but once you’ve accomplished all that you are ready for the hard part. Applying to a guild is both time consuming and very frustrating. Most guilds application processes have way too many questions and often ask the same question in multiple ways in order to see how dedicated you are to really making that lasting first impression. The first topic to note comes as no surprise, spelling and grammar counts. As most of you have poked fun in my blog posts from the past this is an issue for me as my grammar and syntax often leaves much to be desired. However, as long as you don’t write like a complete 5 year old often minor grammar issues can be looked over through the process of standing out.

Separating yourself from other ferals is not as hard as people may seem. When a guild ask for a picture of UI include one, but if you’ve ever fraps’d yourself doing an encounter include that as well. A guild being able to watch how you handle yourself from your PoV in a fight is huge. Sure parses can tell you when you use your dps cd’s but a video will explain the thought process even further. I’ve always enjoined watching other ferals do encounters and would love to make a section on the fluiddruid forums to watch people do encounters and offer feedback on the fight like we already do with parses but I digress. Other forms of standing out is mentioning how involved with the class you are. This website and others like it are great for that, simply adding in anywhere on the app that you do go to a feral theory crafting site and participate on numerous forum discussions is huge in helping you gain the advantage over other applicants. These are the types of things needed if your applying to guilds much higher in progression levels then your old guilds.

The last thing to note is personality. No one wants to read an application from a robot. You don’t talk to your friends with single word answers, so remember to add a lot of you to the way you answer a question a guild gives you. If you can make the person in charge of applications laugh then that raises your chances of getting in by a large margin, unless he’s laughing at how horrible you are with enchants or gemming. In which case I suggest you go to the gearing and execution thread on the forums for help with that ;)

Hopefully this post will help push anyone who thinks it might be time for a change into making it, just remember that applying to a new guild is a bit time consuming and it should be. Why would you not want to take time to find out if a guild is going to be the right fit for you if you plan on spending an average of 12 to 20 hours a week with the same people for quite sometime. Just remember never be scared to fill out an app, at worse you don’t get in but at the end of the day nothing really changes right?

I know post like these aren’t the norm, but it’s been awhile since you guys have heard from me so I thought that this would be a topic that would hit home for a lot of people. I’m always looking for off topic things that would make interesting reads for blog posts so if you think you got something feel free to PM me and I’ll see if I can make it work, just as long as I can tie it into something useful for feral’s I’ll give it all good attempts. Feel free to comment on any tips and tricks you use when looking for a guild and let me know if you like these kinds of off topic blogs so I can write more in the future.

As always feel free to PM me with any suggestion or questions for forums, the youtube page (which will be updated soon), or anything in general I am here for you guys after all.

Until next time


Jun 292010

Interesting article on the website today about how guild leadership experience translates well to the business world; claims that Starbucks’ CIO succeeded in his career to his WoW experience. (Thanks, Keredria!) It probably shouldn’t surprise me when I see things like this, but WoW seems to be getting more mainstream each day.

Anecdote: Myself and several other young officers were invited to a lunch with an Army four-star general the other day. (No names, but this general is responsible for hundreds of thousands of people and billions of dollars of assets.) During the Q&A period, he was asked about ways to find training time for soldiers. His response? “In the future, unconventional methods will be a large part of our military’s training. Look at World of Warcraft…an online game where many players have to come together as a group to accomplish a common goal, underneath a leader who has to keep that group happy. Group leaders in the game exhibit many of the same skills that our junior officers do today.” He then asked who there played WoW; I raised my hand, as did one other officer next to me. He turned to me and asked if what he had said was accurate. I agreed, and he then replied, “I’m glad you’re learning something. Now stop playing and start doing your homework. :)”

Aug 212009

Bell has a long post up about elitism at 4Haelz, which inspired this post.

First, /signed. Second, I understand completely where she’s coming from. As someone who has limited playtime, I like to maximize  what I can do in that time. Yesterday was good…two heroics in a bit under two hours (including a break while the daily popped). Day before; 1.5 hours in H Oculus, didn’t finish. Frustrating. Pretty much, here’s my standards:

  • Hardmode (not that I do them, due to time): Fully enchanted/gemmed/glyphed/flasked/foodbuffed (only the best), best gear possible, willingness to change out gearsets/talents for better raid buffs/composition, ability to stay out of fire 95% of the time, excellent skill at assigned role.
  • Prog raid: Fully enchanted/gemmed/glyphed/flasked/foodbuffed (second-tier enhancements okay), good gear, proper talents, ability to stay out of fire 90% of the time, good skill.
  • Farm raid: Mostly enchanted/gemmed/glyphed, reasonable talents, ability to stay out of fire 80% of the time, okay gear, okay skill.
  • Heroic: Don’t be bad, know that fire is not pretty.
  • All: Good attitude (or silence), ask questions if you don’t understand something, be reliable (random long afk’s are bad).

I don’t think those standards are elitist. Pretty much, if you don’t meet those standards, your raid will fail to complete the objective, which wastes everyone’s time and drains morale. The difficulty I’ve run into as a raidleader is telling people they don’t meet standards in a way that inspires them to get better, not quit.

On a related note, I also don’t really have a grudge against people who ask for overly high standards for PUG groups. (i.e. full Epic for Naxx, etc.). By doing so, you’re trading group formation time for a better chance that you’ll clear the instance, which is never a bad thing. I think it’s misguided (those groups usually never fill, and even when they do, half of them are either achievement fakers or people for whom gear != skill), but I’m not opposed.