Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Time is Now, Part Five: Overview and Reader Response

The Time is Now is a five-part series on joining a raiding guild before the expansion. Part One covers reasons that now is the best time to join. Part Two details how to go about finding what you’re looking for in a raiding guild. Part Three describes how to get noticed by and join your chosen guild. Part Four goes into further detail of the pros and cons of joining a guild pre-expansion. Part Five is a cheat-sheet summary with final thoughts and response to any reader commentary or questions.

It’s been an (unfortunately) long journey to complete this series. However, it can all be summed up easily: if you want to raid in WotLK, and you want to raid in a 25-man, the time to be looking for a guild is now, hence the title. It’s better to be settled in and working with people you know than to enter the mad recruiting rush at the beginning stages of the expansion. You can find a stable environment and even find out if you want to continue raiding 25-mans when the expansion hits. Plus, 25-man experience now will give you an advantage against people trying to get out of the ten-man track.

Readers have had a lot to say about this series, and I’ve picked out some really good ones to bring to the front page and share.

First off, in reply to Part One, anonymous wrote:
one more reason: l2raid now, before wrath hits, and your fellow raiders will love you.

Right. Experience, experience, experience. Running ten man’s is much different than 25’s Learning to synergize with 24 other people, knowing different dps rotations and how your skills buff others is very important. For example, Regrowth is often necessary in tens, but mostly wasteful in 25’s.

Part Two generated a lot more, longer responses.

Anonymous also replied:
We use

to rank the guilds on a server. It's impartial and ranks guilds by scanning the toons for the drops they got.

Which is absolutely correct. Though, be careful, if the guild’s members haven’t been queued recently, WoWJutsu can be slow to update ranking.

Another response from Graylo of Gray Matter had this to say about recruitment:
"Most importantly, check who is recruiting. If they’re not recruiting, you need to look elsewhere."

I disagree with this. Recruitment thread let you evaluate your chances of getting an invite, but they are by no means a guarrentee or a wall to getting into a guild.

My perspective may be out of the norm since I play a moonkin, but I have two examples of why you shouldn't pay 100% attention to classes a guild is recruiting.

1) My first 25 man raiding guild wasn't recruiting a moonkin. I apped because a friend had just joined them. They weren't actively looking for a moonkin but they were interested in giving one a shot. I got in and raided with them for almost a year.

2) My new guild actively recruited a moonkin. I apped and got invited quickly. I was also told that I would be the only raiding moonkin in guild. I took a look at one of the recruiting thread they have up and it says they are still recruiting a moonkin. Maybe I should be worried, but the more likely explanation is that they didn't update the class recruitment.

When it comes down to it you should find a guild that best suits your needs, and app. Most guilds will make an exception for high quality applications. Plus you don't know what the situation is in the guild. Maybe one of the resto druids wants to go feral. Maybe they have a player that is a real pain in the ass, but they can't actively recruit in an attempt to keep the peace. Maybe they had someone leave suddenly. You never know.

Whats the worse that can happen? They turn you down and you go on to the next one.

He’s correct, and I’m sorry I discouraged people from going for it. It’s true, you never know until you try. However, I encouraged peopled to look for a guild actively recruiting, as it’s more likely you will not find yourself benched, but with a static raid spot.

Jeremy Rowland also replied:
I recently joined up with a 2/6 Sunwell guild even though my gear and BC raiding experience was a little underwhelming (I was an active raider pre-BC). A few things to add...

* Top progression guilds are almost always recruiting, even when they aren't, if you catch my drift. People come and go, issues come up in real life and players have to take a break from raiding. The best guilds on any server often get enough applicants without asking that they can simply bring someone in. Sometimes they keep an eye on the horizon and will recruit and gear up players (via farm bosses) they see as being at the top of their class, even if there's not a current spot for them on the progression bosses.

* Since this post seems directed to undergeared players with higher aspirations, it's important to stress any past experience you have at playing at the level they will be expecting. Progression guilds aren't about farming loot, they're about wiping endlessly on frustrating bosses night after night, and they don't want to bring you in just to find out you're a loot whore who only shows up on farm boss nights. But also be a little realistic, you're not gonna be useful even in Black Temple with only Kara gear and blues, and chances are guilds aren't gonna believe you've got what it takes anyway if that's the best you've done so far by now, in the era of "welfare epics".

* Be at the top of your game when you get a trial run invitation...I got a guild invite when they were impressed that I was outhealing the tier 6 players in my tier 4/5 and badge gear. It might not be fair, but a stupid mistake or two could cost you an invitation into the guild, so focus and make it the best raid you've ever done. Also, be sure to show up to at least 80-90% of raids for at least the first month and at least 60% for the first 3 months or so, to show you're serious about the commitment.

* Figure out what's really important to you. Do you want to be in the furthest progress guild on the server and top 50 in the world if it means a psychotic raid leader screaming and swearing at you every night? I chose my guild because it was the only top 5 guild on the server whose raid times I could reliably meet, but I was also ready to leave (and have before, from a guild at similar level, in the past) if it simply wasn't the place for me (fortunately they turned out to be a fantastic bunch). In the end, it's just a game, and there are other great guilds out there!!!

This is a great overall summary, with great advice! The comment about raid attendance is of utmost importance; the more they know they can depend on you, the more likely you’ll get a static raid spot through WotLK.

Part Three was the most responded to of the series, and many people had things to say! Most of it is about the logging out in PvE gear and spec.
Ithilien of Tarec’s Hunt-O-Rama wrote about a certain service called CTProfiles:
Re. the logging out in your gear - I've found it easier to post links to e.g. CTProfiles profiles in applications, rather than relying on the armory to be a) up to date b) functioning c) functioning corrently. Far too often have I looked up applicants for my previous guild only to find out their profile was 2 weeks out of date, the armory would be down or it would crash my browser.

Added bonus is that you can define multiple profiles with various talent builds/gear sets on CTProfiles allowing you to showcase secondary gear sets (FR/NR/SR gear sets for example) or alternate talent builds (allowing a hunter to show their prefered MM build for SWP while they're currently BM for BT/MH for example).

It's a bit of a hassle to set it up correctly the first time I'll admit, but the benefits (like always being available for starters) far outweigh that initial drawback.

This is a great service, despite the hassle involved in the initial setup, but it’s good to remember that when you haven’t actively applied to a guild, people will be scoping you out on armory first and foremost.

Jordan had this to say about applying to a guild:
Remember, too, whilst applying to a guild, if you happen to have caught the eye of a paladin in the guild, who happens to also be their multi-class officer and theorycrafter, you've higher chances of getting in. ;P

Of course, if you don’t know this, then it’s impossible to take advantage of. And if you were unsure, yes, he is referring to himself and me, and yes, we are together. ♥ Raiding isn’t just a fun and challenging thing to do, it’s also a way to meet the most amazing person in the world.

Mae of Electronic Escape had this advice to offer:
Those are really great suggestions!! I know for us, we look at armory when we're recruiting so logging out in your gear with everything appropriately enchanted/gemmed is really, really important!

Our guild app specifically asks for armory link, so with us, we get a little perturbed if an applicant doesn't include it. My suggestion would be if you're going to offer a link to something like CTProfiles or Sandbox, which are great, that you put your armory link on there also. If it's asked for an not given, the applications is incomplete, at least for a lot of guilds. We rely on the applications as the first sign that a potential guildie knows how to follow instructions completely. :D

Great post!!

Right on the money. Answer all questions completely. Offer extra information if you want/need to, but always give the guild exactly what they ask for!

No one’s offered a response on Part Four, so I’m either grossly mistaken or intensely correct. Either way, if people do leave important comments, this part of the post will be updated.

I’d like to thank all of you who contributed (knowingly or unknowingly) and for being patient while my life was in moving chaos!


Ithilien said...

CTProfiles ->
Sandbox ->

I agree with Mae of course - if the guild specifically asks for an armory link, give them an armory link and only post ctprofiles/sandbox links as an extra.

But as I said before they can be used to showcase your understanding of your class or theorycrafting, increasing your chances of getting selected over someone else, even if the others have (slightly) better gear.

After all what most guilds are after are valuable raiders, not a bunch of muppets that got lucky and run around with the warglaive set but only know how to mash their SS button.

Jive said...

:O I had no idea you and the pally from your last guild ended up together. Grats!

I think the series was well thought out and informative in general. The only part I might have disagreed with was part four, the bit about guilds having stayed together this long will stay together til the expansion - I think even after summer and school humps this is one of those most volatile times for a guild.

Many might still be recruiting while weighing what they want to accomplish in the time they have left.. and it might turn out the awesome guild you just joined is going to stop raiding anyways, without any warning to you. I think it's a huge possibility if you're shopping around now.

Not to mention exactly how that guild falls apart can get you slapped with a nasty rep on the server. Rarely have I seen things end well. :(

Toque said...

omg you got into the guild cause you're an officer's gf?? drama!


Seriously though I like all the points that you've made. I'm just getting into the 25 man raiding scene and having fun and making contacts left and right.

I am just happy to be experiencing the content that I am now.

Bell said...

@Toque - hahaha, nooo. We didn't even really connect until a few weeks in. To be honest, he thought I was still dating my ex. :P

There's also no way to take advantage of it. We don't share tier tokens, we can't transfer DKP, I was the only resto druid so I wasn't making someone else get benched...all in all, no dramas.

:) (and yes, I know you were kidding)

Mae said...

Thanks for the link back!! I read all the time, I have no idea how I missed this. Forgive my lateness in commenting. It's great to see all the feedback.