What to look for in a guild
I always think it is really interesting how different people approach applying to guilds. Before I start I would like to make a couple of things clear, I have been in very few social guilds and no pvp guilds, so I have next to no experience of what to look for in a pvp guild. If you are looking for a pvp guild I would recommend Blood Sport’s advice on realm transfers. One small note finding the information listed below may all seem hard to find out about, but if a guild is recruiting your class then its members “should” always be willing and probably keen to explain all the aspects of their guild to a potential applicant so their raids succeed.
Progression – it may sound elitist to start here, but it is exactly how I start every time. The tools available to you are very varied. Depending on what you’re looking for I would recommend one of two things.
1. If you are looking for a guild on your server then I would recommend the realm forums, there you can find the majority of the large guilds around, or if you’re feeling particularly gutsy you could even just create a post advertising yourself.
2. If you are looking for a guild but you don’t mind what server then there are a huge varieties of websites but I find the best one by miles is wow-progress. Wow-progress is a great tool for comparing guilds, or just establishing how far guilds go. Now I have a habit of spending far too much money moving players between servers, as it is £15 for a realm transfer and £20 for a faction transfer.
A few words on wow-progress, I find generally that the best way is work out how progressed you would like the guild to be, then work out what world rankings are in that range and browse using that. Sadly most guilds suck at updating their wow-progress profile so it is always worth visiting their websites to find out firstly whether they are actually recruiting what they claim, but secondly to check they still exist (yes I have got excited about guilds on more than one occasion only to find literally no trace of them left).
A second important point about progression is their history – while it is very important to look at current progress I find it is almost as important to look at their progression history, is the guild on a momentary high or have they been good for ages. A guild that has got yogg+0 before Totc would be far more attractive than a guild that hasn’t got it even if they have equivalent progression on the current content. Do not forget to have a look at when they’ve completed the achievements as it can be that guilds go back and clear the content after its current. Which is yet another statement about the guild, if you look in the about me section the guild Lunatics Convention I was in could only ever get its raiders into old content with serious bribery/motivational speeches, while it is standard protocol in AP to work on things like immortal or Yogg + 0 when we have some down time.
Raiding style – This may sound like a weird point but you find guilds that are achievement nuts, and guilds that don’t care at all. I personally would always advocate an achievement nuts guild as achievements are in themselves challenging and require a guild to work together and learn skills. If a raid leader can’t get their team to do achievements then you have to ask yourself, is that the guild for me? – interestingly though it really appeals to some people; I was in a guild who didn’t get boned until they were offered a dkp bonus for killing spikes, which to me is ridiculous, but it does point to a more relaxed nature.
Activity – I don’t know about you but I personally given all the time in the world would raid more than I currently do. Do you want a guild that is going to raid 5 nights a week and optional alt raids on the other two, or are you more interested in raiding in a guild that raids 3 nights a week. Beyond that guilds have different policies, I raided with Sublime, who very specifically stated in their agenda that they were actively looking to raid less than their stated 4 nights a week, this meant frequently they would organise a 10 man one night a week while clearing other than LK heroic on the first raid night and working on LK HC for the other two. This may all seem hard to find out about but if a guild is recruiting your class then its members “should” always be willing and probably keen to explain all the aspects of their guild to a potential applicant so their raids succeed. (Don’t forget to check that their raid times actually fit)
Raiding style – What do you want from a raid leader? It does make me a little sad accepting this but your raid leader or leaders are in all likelihood going to have the largest effect on your life in wow, so what do you want from them? Are you the kind of person who reacts badly to being called? Do you want a raid leader who is, for want of a less terrible phrase, a fluffy bunny? With one last mention to raiding style I’ll carry on; do you prefer guilds that are happy to bash their heads against a wall, and if there is no progress will give you a break, or do you prefer guilds that will call the night early and come back refreshed the next day. Now to me this sounds like too much detail, but as time goes on I care more and more about these differences between raid leaders. In Ancient Prophecies our raid leader Waldon is a character, but on a more serious note he brings to the table a willingness to call you out if you fail, be it in whispers or if its exceptional it could be on vent, but all is fine and happy if you have a reason and understanding as to what you’ve done wrong. He also is very interested in the raid performing rather than just killing bosses, so this means his raids and tactics will change so we can optimize dps, get better kill times and improve as a guild. Now this is perfect for me, but it may be that it isn’t for you.
Social aspects – Now this is just about the hardest and yet at the same time most important aspect of guilds to me. I feel like a fraud saying this but here goes – I really like an active guild, I like chatting to people and I like logging onto vent to say hi and generally dish about inconsequential wow trivia. Yet to be perfectly honest that is a lie, as recently life (and possibly pre-Cataclysm weariness) has prevented me from having the time to sit on vent and just chat. Now social means different things to different people so I think it is worth talking to the guild to find out what they do in their free time. During my time at Lunatics I ran a gold dkp every Sunday that ended up clearing 12/12 on normal and 4/12 in icc 25 heroic before I left Argent Dawn (aren’t rp servers amazing) and it was a fantastic success, Sunday afternoons went from being a boring quiet afternoon to having 10 – 20 guildies on vent chatting away and bitching about how hung-over they were (we had about 4 to many northern lads in the guild for the chat not to be about that).
So find out about the guild, do a /who of the guild during the day to see who is online and have a chat with the members to see what the social status of the guild is.
Other activities – Do you pvp seriously, there are some quite amazing guilds out there that have multiple facets, during my research I came across a guild that was part hardcore pvpers and part hardcore raiders, and while the two teams had a little overlap it appeared to have just evolved into two separate bodies. That said it could be you’re an altaholic, so if that’s the case find out what the rules are on alts and socials, do they welcome them with open hands or do they keep their core team small.
I hope this proves to be useful in some way but I’m always curious as to how people choose their guilds.