Posted by: innerfire | February 9, 2006

Warcraft Tips

Looking over Valdesta’s WoW Tips Blog gave me a few ideas for what I’d like to do in the next few posts. I’m going to build on her work a bit, and offer some server-specific tips as well as general things you can do to improve your time in-game.

Finding a WoW Guild

Whether you’re looking to make friends, find RP, people to raid and group with, or simply folks to learn from, guilds are an important part of gameplay. Guilds give you access to groups of people you might not normally meet thanks to the guild chat, and can help expand your knowledge of the game through tips, suggestions, and general collection of knowledge within the guild. Some guilds pool gear into guild banks for the use of members, some offer the fruits of their professions free to anyone in the guild, and others believe in independence and earning the “rewards” of guild membership.

However, guilds are (as she has noted) occasionally at “war”, or even disliked by a substantial number of people on the server. On Cenarion Circle, Kaos Knights was incredibly effective, farming Molten Core, Onyxia, and Blackwing Lair regularly and marking the firsts on our server. However, they had a substantial population that refused to do any business with them, speak to members, or would even outright train mobs onto members, trying to make their lives hell. Certain Alliance guilds may be at war with Horde guilds, and so forth. Some require substantial time to be devoted to the guild (especially heavy raiding guilds), or even regular donations of gold, items, tradeskill items in exchange for membership. (Donations are incredibly rare, at least on my server.)

Deciding What You Want

I work as a mostly neutral party (even I have biases ^_^), referring people to guilds that meet their requirements, and attempting to smooth the path toward joining. The first question I ask folks who come to me is really a compound question. “What are you looking for in a guild?” Pinpoint exactly what you want from your guild. How big do you want the guild to be, how close-knit, how mature, how much emphasis on end-game, how much emphasis on guild-grouping, how much roleplay? Write down your answers to those questions, and keep it for reference. There are hundreds of guilds on any server, so don’t be afraid to hold out until you get exactly what you want on all the questions. Smaller guilds will make concessions for you, but larger raiding guilds will expect you to be flexible, because you’re coming to an established system that has proven effective. Keep that in mind as you begin your guild-seeking journey.

How Can I Tell It’s a Good Guild?

To some extent, I would argue, you can tell whether a guild is “good” or not based on how they fit into your questions. Maybe they are exactly what you want for five items, but that sixth they just don’t. Decide how important it is to you that they fit: perhaps you’re a strong roleplayer, and the guild you’re looking at doesn’t roleplay at all? If they’re supportive of it, just not an RP guild themselves, you might feel differently from a guild that hates RPers. Ask questions of members, and do a /who for a week to see how (and who) active they are. The guild leader is usually the most active member, followed by officers.

Don’t be afraid to ask the guild leader questions. Most guilds are eager for new recruits, and asking questions will show that not only you have an interest in them, but it “keeps your hand” and they’ll be more likely the negotiate with you if you don’t sound overly excited. Don’t use offensive language, and take the time to write out in full words (not “leet speek”) what your questions for the leader are. Typing out full sentences shows you’re intelligent, and few guild leaders want someone who appears immature or lazy. Make a good impression. This is as much an interview for the guild leader to see what you’re like as it is to find out information.

Finding That Guild

I disagree with using the General channels as a way to find groups. The General channel tends to be spammed by guilds that are just starting up, and thus unstable, or have lost a great many members or desperately needs more. None of those denote a healthy guild.

Ask friends. Ask the people you group with. Find out what their guilds are, ask about the “big” guilds around, and find out their opinions of their guild and others. Check your realm forums and look at the advertisements there, as well as the discussions on various guilds, or even Guild Listing threads. Cenarion Circle has a Wiki which lists RP guilds along with detailed descriptions, which can give you a hint about what a guild is like and whether you’ll be a good fit there.

Joining a Guild

Joining a guild can be as easy as saying “Hey, I like your guild, can I join?” or as complex as Heaven and Earth’s “trial”, which requires constant attendance and work to pass the tests and join as a formal member. I’ll be addressing the middle.

Ask guild members what the process is to join. Some guilds require trials, some require an application on the guild forums, others an interview with the guild leader… Check if the guild you’re looking at has a website, and use it to get some “inside” knowledge that you can use when you talk to the leader or write your application. In an interview, one of the great ways to get brownie points is to print a page from the company website, bring it with you, and ask questions. Guilds are no different. Companies and guilds are very proud of their websites, so use that to your advantage. Try not to kiss too much ass though.
Make a good impression. Ask questions of the guild leader, ask members questions, but avoid doing it when they’re obviously busy. Asking the guild leader things while he’s raiding Molten Core? Bad idea. You not only distract them, but you leave a bad impression of disrespect. If time is of the essence, leave a note with your target raiding guild leader along the lines of “Sorry to bother you, but when you have a break, I’d like to discuss your guild and what it’s about.”

Give yourself one week before you make a judgement on whether you like the guild or not. Make -certain- that you go on at least one group/party/raid during that time, to get an idea of what the people are like when only around guild members. Don’t beg for groups “plz take me to scholo” is a bad way of making friends. Offering yourself when people ask, or saying “I’m available today/tommorow/whenever for instances” is a very good way of making friends and keeping the game from conflicting with your schedule.

Speaking of schedules. Never, ever join a guild that forces you to decide between raiding Molten Core (or anything else for that matter) and real life. Real Life should always come before the game, and any guild that can’t understand that isn’t worth your time. Eating, sleeping, moving periodically, and keeping all your real life friends is a GOOD thing.

Leaving a Guild

So, you’re saying to yourself “Holy crap this guild sucks!” The command to leave a guild is /gquit. Make sure you have a quick discussion with the guild leader to clear up any issues, so that you avoid people misinterpreting your leaving. Keep it as positive as possible, even if you have to lie through your teeth. No use making enemies in the game just because you’re angry for a few minutes.

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