A Guide to the Guild Finder – Part 1
Patch 4.1 brings us a fancy new tool for matching up guilds and the guildless. While I believe the current version of this new resource is deeply flawed, it’s still worth using and hopefully Blizzard will improve on it as time goes on. I’ve spent some time playing around with the settings and figuring out how everything works, and now I’m going to pass my knowledge on to you. Part 1 will be a guide for Guild Leaders and Officers. Part 2 will be a guide for those applying to guilds. Finally, Part 3 will be my suggestions to Blizzard for how to improve this feature.
Looking for More: The Guild Finder Guide for Guild Leaders and Officers
So you’d like to recruit some more members for your guild and you heard about this fancy new Looking For Guild tool. But how do you access it? Well, first of all, you must be the guild leader in order to set up your guild listing. If you are not the guild leader, you are out of luck and must convince your guild leader to
hand over control of the guild to you set up the guild listing him/herself. However, if you are the proud owner of your guild, you need to open the guild pane and click on the last tab labelled “Info”. At the top of that tab there will be three sub-tabs: Info, Recruitment and Requests. Click on “Recruitment” and you will be able to create your guild listing.
The first thing you will notice is that your options are very limited. In the “Guild Interests” section you will want to check off the boxes for any activity your guild actively participates in. Some guilds seem to be checking off every box, which baffles me a little. I play on a PvE server and have never heard of anyone there role playing, yet multiple guilds are listing themselves as RP guilds. I’m skeptical that they actually do any RP – I figure they are just casting their recruiting net as wide as possible. I would suggest taking the opposite approach. Don’t lure people in with promises of activities that you won’t actually do. The poor person who joins hoping to role play with you will just leave disappointed and you will have gained nothing.
If you run rated battle grounds and arenas, or actively seek out world PvP, then by all means – check the PvP box. But if you have a few members who might sometimes queue for Tol Barad, you’d be better off leaving it unchecked.
Most guilds are probably going to check off both boxes under “Availability”. After all, people log in every day of the week, right? I think this is fine for leveling and social guilds, as well as guilds that schedule events on both weekdays and weekends. My own guild only checked off the weekday box, because all our scheduled raids are on weekday evenings. Sure, many of us log in on weekends, but we have no organized guild activities on those days.
Are you desperately in need of a Holy Priest? Is your raid group melee heavy and you’d like to recruit more ranged DPS? Unfortunately, you can’t specify your specific class requirements, only broad roles. I’d suggest checking all three boxes and weeding through the applications later.
Near the bottom of the form you have the option of accepting applicants of any level or only those who have reached max level. Leveling and social guilds will obviously want to choose “Any Level”. Serious raiding guilds might want to consider limiting themselves to “Max Level”only. Our guild chose “Any Level” since we do accept social members, but we’ve had a lot of requests from low level players who seem primarily interested in our guild perks and having us assist them with leveling. So I can see the appeal to accepting applications from level 85 players only…
Finally, you have a box where you can type a very brief description of your guild. And I do mean extremely brief. Four lines of about 40 characters each is all that will be visible in your listing, despite the fact that you can actually type six lines of text into that box! If a long word comes at the end of one of those four lines, it will pop down to the next line, further reducing the amount of visible text. I strongly suggest that you use an un-guilded alt to check your guild listing and make sure all the text is visible. (Don’t worry if your alt has to quit the guild in order to view your ad. You won’t lose your guild rep as long as you don’t join any other guilds and re-join your guild within 14 days.)
Things you might want to include in your guild blurb:
- The guild’s website. I suggest listing this first so there’s no risk of it being cut off.
- Your activity schedule. List the days and times that you raid or PvP.
- Any specific recruiting needs. Now is the time to say you really need a Feral Druid or a Frost Mage.
- A brief description of your guild, your goals or your atmosphere.
- Anything special about your guild.
Things you should not include in your guild blurb:
- Your guild name, guild level, number of members, or guild achievement points. The advertisement will already include all of those things and listing them again takes up valuable space.
- Anything you’ve already indicated. Don’t say that you accept players of any level, or that you like to PvP. You already checked off those boxes.
- Typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors. Please proofread!
- Nothing. A surprising number of guilds on my server didn’t write anything in the description field. I suggest that you write at least something.
One last thing you should know about that little text box: You can’t easily edit your mistakes. If you notice a typo way back near the beginning of your blurb you will have to hit backspace until you get to the error, then re-type everything over again. I suggest using a word processing program to compose your message, then copying it into the field.
When you have finished writing your blurb, hit the “List My Guild” button and wait for the applications to come trickling in.
With any luck, you will soon be receiving applications to your guild; however, you will not receive any notification when this happens. Instead, you will have to check manually to see if anyone has applied. Open the guild pane, go to the info tab, and click on the sub-tab “Requests”. The number in brackets next to the word “Requests” is the number of applications you have pending.
Luckily, it’s not just the guild leader who can view applications. Anyone of officer rank can see requests and invite or decline applicants. (The above screenshot shows the tool as viewed by an officer. There’s no “Recruitment” tab, but the “Requests” tab is visible.) You cannot change the permissions, so you can’t assign access to non-officer ranks or limit access to the guild leader only. But at least the officers can handle applications if the guild leader is busy, disinterested, or AWOL.
The information provided in an application is pretty scanty. You will be able to see the applicants name, class icon, preferred roles and level. If you mouse over an application there will be a little pop-up next to the guild pane showing you what interests and availability that person selected. With any luck, your applicant will also have written a brief comment about themselves. The applicant had as much space to write about themselves as you had to write about your guild, (i.e., not much), and part of what they’ve written is likely to be cut off. I suppose it’s possible that someone will have been able to craft a description that immediately shows they are a perfect fit for your guild, (or that they would be a terrible fit), but chances are you will want to talk to them to get more information. There’s a nice little “Send Message” button at the bottom that will let you send an in-game whisper to the applicant – which only works if the applicant is logged on. If the applicant is offline, I suggest you add them to your friends list so you can see when they come online. You might also want to send an in-game mail to the person to let them know you got their application and would like to talk to them.
If you decide to accept the application you can click on the “Invite” button to automatically send them a guild invitation. Again, this only works if the player is logged on. If you do not want that person in your guild, you can hit the “Decline” button and the application will be removed from the “Requests” tab. You have up to 27 days to make a decision before the application expires, and the time remaining is listed in the top right corner of each application. If the applicant accepts an invite from another guild or cancels their request to your guild, the application will disappear from your Requests tab.
Join me in Part 2 to see what your guild listing looks like from an applicant’s perspective!