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A Newbie Raider’s Guide: Not All Guilds Are Created Equal

Raid Leaders often take for granted that everyone understands raiding like they do. What they forget is that “once upon a time”, they were just as ignorant…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all guilds are NOT created equal…

Chances are you are already in a guild, whether it’s a raiding guild or not. But what do you do if you’re not in a raiding guild or in a guild that just can’t quite seem to get off the ground?

Determine What You Want From A Guild

We’ve established you’re looking to raid or you wouldn’t be reading this. So what do you want from raiding?

A chance to see end-game content, meet and beat challenging bosses, and get some upgrades along the way.

Ah, a classic answer by most raiders. Notice how the upgrades are placed last? No one wants to admit they’re in it for the loot, but there are a lot of raiders that are. I’ve seen grown men and women absolutely lose it when that one item they’ve been wanting for several weeks didn’t drop again, they lost the roll to another, or were outbid on the item.

We will not debate the positives or negatives of the loot mongers. Ask yourself honestly what are the most important items to you with regards to raiding and a raiding guild and in what order those priorities are.  Here’s mine:

  • I want to heal.
  • I want to raid. I want to see the endgame.
  • I want to experience progression raiding. I do not want to be carried afterwards.
  • I want to experience the constant wiping when others are obviously making the best effort they can.
  • I want a loot system that favors gearing the whole and not the individual (i.e. loot council).
  • I want to raid 3-4 times per week for 3-4 hours each sitting.
  • I am OK with sitting out on raids to allow others less geared and/or experienced to take my place in non-progression parts of the raid.
  • I want raids to start on time and not have to sit around for hours on end.

Notice I put “I want to heal” at the top of my list and not anything actually about raiding. Healing is important to me. I enjoy raiding with my shadow priest. It’s pretty cool actually, but ultimately I enjoy healing. Some of us have the luxury, or bad luck, of being able to respec into a different role. Some guilds will ask, force, or pressure you into a different role. Are you OK with that?

How much do you want to raid? When are you available? What kind of loot system are you looking for? Are you OK with being a backup? What kind of guild atmosphere are you looking for? Social? Aloof? Casual? Hardcore?

Start asking these questions and come up with more. Make yourself a priority list of what’s important to you. Remember that chances are no guild will offer everything you want so find out what you can and can’t live with in your priority list.

Find A Raiding Guild

Finding the right raiding guild is a near impossible task. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and some people find themselves guild hopping every few weeks. Save yourself the headache and stress by doing your homework first.

First obvious location to find a guild…Trade Chat!!! Home of the trolls, spammers, gold sellers, wackos, attention seekers, smart alecs, LFGers, guild recruiters, and the occasional person actually selling something!

Another location, although a little more difficult on certain servers, is scanning the Warcraft Forums. Several guilds on every server use this as a resource to get you to their websites, to contact them in game, or whatever else they’re trying to sell you on. Still it’s not a bad place to start.

Sites like WoWJutsu and Guild Progress are good places to find out who the established guilds are on your server. You can then usually do a Google search of their guild name with the server name to find out if they have a guild website. If you can’t find one do a /who search of the guild while online and contact someone to see if they’re recruiting or have a guild website. (And if they have an “AWESOME” tabard* you should definitely join!!! :))

If a guild has a website, make sure to look through whatever is available thoroughly. Good guilds will post their rules, loot distribution method, and what they are about. They will also include an application for you to use. Treat the application like you would treat a job application.

Applying To A Guild

Whenever applying to a guild treat it like you would a job interview. Most players I notice just jump from guild to guild never really finding what they want and then getting aggravated. The major problem I see is they don’t know what they really want, what they’re willing to accept, and then willy-nilly go out trying to find the right guild without any real effort on their part.

Recently the officers of my guild determined that due to the frustrations and problems we were having raiding we were going to stipulate certain requirements raiders needed to meet in order to be invited to raids. It was agreed upon that we would stick to this and it was then subsequently announced in our guild meeting on vent. During the meeting, one of our members didn’t take too kindly to the new requirements, or something else occurred that I am unaware of, but he promptly left the guild and a day later one of our officers was contacted about this application to the top guild on our server:


Whenever someone leaves our guild, I always wonder why, but in most cases it doesn’t matter why. I will never profess that we are the guild for everyone. We can’t be. We don’t want to be. Although I can obviously poke fun at this application, let’s learn something from it instead.

First major mistake, when a top raiding guild like this one asks for your spec, what they are looking for is why you chose your spec. It’s a test to see if you really know your toon. Saying “i don’t think so because in my eyes i am doing fine” determined the outcome before the officer even had time to finish reading the application. The important thing in this guild’s mind is do they think you’re an excellent player?

Second major mistake, don’t lie. He claims to have had 100% attendance for raids, but that isn’t true. What does “many” mean anyway. It is a relative term. I’m pretty sure that “many” for my guild is vastly different than “many” for this top guild. I’m also sure that if he had impressed the recruiting officer that the officer in our guild would have been asked about his attendance. Don’t lie!

Third major mistake, don’t ever list the reason you left a guild  as because you didn’t like the people. This flags you as a drama queen. Top raiding guilds don’t care if you like them. It’s about raiding, not liking people. Make sure your answer is more like “My raid availability didn’t coincide with theirs.”

An answer that can’t be translated into “drama” has a better shot of getting you in. Even vague answers like “they just didn’t offer me what I’m looking for” suggests that you didn’t get loot and no guild likes loot drama. Know your audience. If you’re a social player looking for a social raiding guild, then saying something about not fitting in with their atmosphere might work, but not for a top end raiding guild that’s only interested in progression. Phrase your answer appropriately, but DON’T LIE!

Choose Your Guild

If you happen to find a guild you’re interested in you can take the plunge and just join up, but I would recommend asking if you can come along for a ride on one of their raids, group up for some heroics with some of their guildies, and probably most importantly, ask if you can listen in on their vent. (If a guild doesn’t have Vent, Teamspeak, or some other voice communication software for raiding you should probably look elsewhere. Not saying it’s impossible, but it’s really hard to raid without one.)

There are websites out there that track your guild movement so try and avoid just guild hopping. Some guilds care about it, some don’t so why take the chance. Just remember, that wherever you end up, there’s always another guild willing to take you on so don’t lose hope of finding the guild that’s right for you.

Next time we’ll take a look at “How to /gquit Properly”.

* I once changed my macro to say we have the ugliest tabard on the server. 🙂 The responses were hilarious!

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