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How to be a Good Recruit – Part 3

March 26, 2011

So you’ve followed my advice from Parts 1 and 2 of this guide, made a good impression, and received a guild invite. Congratulations! You are well on your way to being a valued member of your chosen community. However, your work is not yet done. Now you are surrounded by players you barely know and are trying to get a feel for the unique culture of the guild. There are friendships to be made, activities to be a part of, and expectations to live up to. How do you navigate the social minefield and become an integral part of the team?

Before I get into the advice, let me say that I have always been focused on PvE raiding; therefore, my suggestions come from my own experience with that aspect of the game. I believe that most of my pointers are general enough to apply to PvP, but I’ve never been in a serious PvP guild, so I’m not entirely sure. If you are a PvPer you might want to keep that in mind as you read on.

How to be a Good Recruit – Part 3: How to Shine During Your Trial Period

Most guilds have a trial or probabtion period for new recruits.  In my experience most trial periods are 2-4 weeks long.  Usually you will have a lower rank with limited access to perks during this time, and the guild officers will be evaluating you to see if you really are a good fit for the guild.  What they are looking for will vary a little depending on what kind of guild you have joined.  If you have joined a hard-core progression raiding guild, you will be primarily evaluated on the basis of your skill during raids.  Social guilds will be checking to see if you are a nice person that is fun to hang out with.  Most guilds will want you to be a little of both – a good person who also plays well.  Remember: You might know that you have something to offer the guild, but the trick is to use the trial period to show the guild what you’re capable of.  After all, they don’t know you yet.

Tips That Should Apply to Everyone in Any Type of Guild

1. Be yourself.

I’m listing this first so that you keep it in mind while reading the rest of my suggestions.  Yes, you want to show yourself in a positive light.  The key is, you want to show yourself in a positive light.  Don’t pretend to be someone that you aren’t.  You won’t be able to keep up the façade in the long term.

2. Log on and play your toon.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but I know from experience that some people have trouble with this.  Remember: It’s impossible to get to know someone who isn’t around.  If you have multiple alts, make sure you spend time playing the toon that’s in the new guild.  If you only log on for raids or other scheduled events, your new guildies won’t feel like you are really a part of the community, and it will look like you’re not interested in being a part of the guild anyway.  Make sure that everyone has a chance to see you around and get to know you.

3. Join in on the conversations in guild chat.

I don’t mean that you should barge in and take over conversations, or that you should feel the need to start a topic if there isn’t a conversation going already.  Just watch guild chat and contribute if you have something to say.  This is also a good way to get a feel for the social relationships already in place – you can get a sense of who is friends with whom, and how people tend to relate to each other.  Don’t be shy, but don’t be overly familiar and ‘jokey’ with people yet either.  Also, don’t be impatient or offended if people don’t respond to you right away.  Always remember that people could be tabbed out, afk, or busy at the moment.

I know it can be intimidating to talk to a bunch of people you don’t know, and some people are naturally better at navagating social situations than others.  Try your best, but if you don’t feel very comfortable with guild chat at first, there are other ways to get to know people.  Also, if guild chat seems strangely quiet you might want to check to see if people hang out in Vent – I know we do in my guild – and if so, try joining them there.

4. Participate in spontaneous activities.

This is a great way to get to know people.  Run heroics or battlegrounds with other guild members.  Ask if anyone needs to do dailies.  If you are in a leveling guild, look for other players around your level and ask if they want to quest with you.  Volunteer for groups if you see other guild members trying to form them.  Once you are in a group with other guild members, try to chat a bit and be social.  (However, don’t let your playing suffer because you are typing.)

5. Be friendly.  Be polite.  Try not to start drama.

Again, this should be a no-brainer, but a surprising number of people seem to forget this.  Try not to get into arguments with people.  If you have a conflicting opinion about something, try to discuss it calmly.  Remember that you want these people to like you.  Also, while it’s ok to ask for help with something, don’t beg for help, or plead for gold/trade materials.  Don’t spam the guild line with silly macros or troll the Trade channel.

6. Offer to help the guild out.

If you have a crafting profession, offer your services.  If your guild is going for an achievement, try to contribute to it.  This will not only make a good impression but will make you feel invested in your guild and proud of its accomplishments.

Specific Tips for Potential Raiders

1. Let the Raid Leader and Officers know you want to raid.

They might already know this from your application process, but it never hurts to make sure.  There may be several new recruits and your officers might not remember everything you told them.  If you do not have a lot of raid experience, ask if there is anything you may need to work on before they take you to a raid and be open to their advice.  However, don’t pester your raid leader or demand a raid slot.

2. Sign up, show up and be prepared.

This should really be the mantra for every raider at all times.  If your guild is using the in-game calendar for raid sign-up, then accept the invite.  If you have to decline, or know you will have to be late/leave early, make sure that the Raid Leader or an officer knows why and is ok with it.  Find out what encounters the raid will be doing and then watch strategy videos or read up on the fights.  Ensure your gear is properly gemmed and enchanted.  Ensure that you have enough reagents, buff food and flasks for the duration of the raid.  Show up at least 15 minutes before raid and be ready for an invite, even if you are on the alternates list.  (You can’t get in if you’re not online.)

3. Understand that you may be an alternate.

As a new recruit, you may not have priority for a raid spot, especially for progression bosses.  You are untested and untried, and established raiders may have seniority.  If you are asked to sit out, don’t take it personally.  (There are a lot of variables that go into making a raid roster.)  Also, try to stick around for the duration of the raid.  If you want to switch to an alt while you wait, let someone know so they can contact you.  The Raid Leader might decide to sub you in for a later fight, or someone might need to leave and you could be asked to replace that person.  Trust me – if you show up, have a positive attitude and a willingness to stick around just in case, you will make a very good impression.  If you do have concerns about getting into future raids, wait until after the raid is over and then politely discuss your concerns with the Raid Leader.

4. Follow good raid etiquette.

Provide buffs and any little perks your class might offer, like mana cake or soulstones.  Pay attention to all fight explanations and speak up if you need clarification.  Don’t argue strategy with the Raid Leader or complain that your old guild used a different strategy.  (It’s much easier for you to adapt to the guild’s strategy than it is for 9 or 24 other people to learn your strategy.)  If you have vital strategy information, you might want to whisper it to your Raid Leader, but don’t take offense if they don’t use it.  Keep vent chatter to a minimum during an encounter.  Don’t complain if you wipe.  Run back with everyone after a wipe, or help with rezzes when people die and you are a class with a rez.  Keep a positive attitude, play your best, and have fun.

5. Admit any mistakes you may make.

Admit if you cause a wipe or are struggling with a mechanic.  Be willing to listen to advice and try to learn from your mistakes.  Also, don’t point out the mistakes of others or lay blame on other people.  (Hopefully you won’t have to if other people are owning up to their mistakes too.)  Be willing to apologize if you screw up or lose your cool.  If you are asked to improve on a specific aspect of your game play, work on it and improve for the next raid.

6. Seek out mentors.

If your guild has class or role leaders, or if there is an excellent player of your class and spec in the guild, seek them out and ask for their advice.  If they are willing to help, ask them to look over your spec and gearing choices.  Discuss rotations and spell usage with them.  Ask if they can recommend useful add-ons or macros.  It will make a huge impression if you show that you are trying to improve your game play.

Guilds are an integral part of the WoW experience for most players.  A good guild will feel like home to you.  You’ll make friends and enjoy your gaming experience to the fullest there.  The recruiting process is about trying to find the best fit for you and the other guild members to minimize the stress and drama that so often comes with any group activity.  If you find that your new guild isn’t working out for you, for whatever reason, remember that you can leave at any time and continue looking.  Politely let the Guild Leader or an Officer know you are leaving and thank them for the opportunity to join their guild.  It’s best not to burn any bridges just in case you end up playing with them again in the future.

So there you have it – you are now the world’s greatest recruit!  I wish you the best of luck in your new home!  But hey – if you’re ever in the market for a guild in the future come look me up.  We could use a good player like you.  🙂

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 28, 2011 12:02 am

    Khizzara,

    I have really enjoyed reading these three posts about seeking, getting to know, and becoming a member to a guild. WoW is indeed a social aspect in its very nature, otherwise people would not log in to an online game with other avatars running around whether in resistance or hit capped gear. I am currently in a very fun, and casual-core guild, and plan on staying with them for a long haul with my two characters. Would you mind if I passed this site along to my officers and founders, because we use a council system for major issues? There has been an influx of new members and I thought that this might provide some nice basic information for them to utilize.

    Much Appreciated,

    Draccus Moonsayer

    • March 28, 2011 2:23 am

      Thank you so much! When I started this series I didn’t think anyone would even be interested in the topic, and I’ve been amazed at the positive response I have received. I would be very honored if you passed the link on to your new members. I hope it helps them to get settled into your guild. 🙂

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