Yesterday, I talked about the pitfalls that can occur when filling out guild applications. But guilds work both ways. Not only does the guild have to find out if you are right for them, but you have to find a guild right for you. So you may be asking what questions should I ask myself when looking for a guild. Here is a list of questions you need to think about?
1) What times can I raid? – This is extremely important. If you know that you prefer to raid in the evening, you have to find a guild that runs on your schedule. If you can only raid two days a week, you have to find a guild that only raids two days a week. You have to set aside what times during the week you can raid. Some of the most hardcore guilds I have seen raid 3 hours a night, 6 nights a week. I would never apply to such a guild because I don’t want to raid that much. I like our current 3 night a week schedule for 3 – 3.5 hours per night.
2) What style of raiding do you like? – It is just a fact of life that some people cannot handle the rigors of hardcore progression raiding, which is fine. I like to seperate guilds into three types. Hardcore, semi-hardcore, and casual. Hardcore guilds are guilds that optimize performance and ability. If you are not doing your job, you don’t raid. Period. If you get butthurt about being told to sit for a progression raid, hardcore raiding is likely not for you. Semi-hardcore is people who are focused on progression but also focus a little more on the people. If you earned your raid spot, you have earned it and it is yours. The only way you would lose it is if you stop showing up altogether. These guilds tend to get all the content done but may never progress into things like hardmodes, etc. Casual is just as it sounds. It is extremely laid back and they focus more on being a group of people/friends over progression. You may be given advice here but you will probably not be told to sit out on fights. They will teach you or drag you a long, but you will be there. I have tried all of them and I can seriously say that I love hardcore raiding. We don’t raid all the time but when we do, we are focused on getting down content.
3) What type of people do you like? – This goes a little in hand with the style of raiding, but it is also different enough to make you think about it. If you prefer G to PG-13 humor/language, some guilds are not gonna be for you. Some guilds will advertise that they are family friendly, which is great if you have children who want to raid/play with you. Other guilds will drop “fuck” like there is no tomorrow and they will shout and yell at people in raids, etc. If you do not prefer that type of humor/language, some guilds won’t be for you.
4) What do you want to focus on? – There are a lot of PvP guilds and a whole lot more PvE guilds. If you want to focus on PvP, a strict PvE guild is likely not for you. If you want to focus on PvE, PvP guilds won’t provide what you are looking for. What I think you are going to see going into Cataclysm is that more guilds will start doing both organized PvE and PvP, which our guild is starting to do to get gear, achievements, guild bonuses, etc. especially with the rated battlegrounds starting.
5) Where are you with your gear? – I put this down far on the list for a couple reasons. One, you can always get better gear. Two, depending on the type of guild, this may be less of an issue. If you just hit 80 today and you have quest/dungeon blues and greens, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to apply to a “Light of Dawn” guild who has cleared out all the hardmodes. They are going to tell you to get better gear and comeback. Even some guilds are more strict and unless you are mostly in 264 gear, they won’t let you into their guild. Find out where their guild requirements are. Some guilds do use GearScore (Why? I don’t know.). Others will at least want you to be in somewhat current gear and then test you in a raid setting, which is the better way to do it.
6) Where is your life currently and in the near future? – Seems weird to ask this, but it is important. If you are going to be starting a job in a month, you need to find out what your hours are going to be to see if it matches your set raid times. If you just had a child, you probably want to break from raiding for a while to help take care of the child, who may be up during your raid hours. Progression raiding is not just about the current, it is about the future. Most progression guilds consider new members an investment. They may not be the best geared or the highest DPS at the time, but they put time in downing bosses, getting you gear, etc. to make it so that you will be a benefit to them. If you know your life is about to change and it may take you away from raiding, just wait and see where you are.
7) How do you handle criticism? – Again, this is far down on the list because I hope this is an answer you already know from your friends, family, and work. If you can’t handle criticism, even harsh at times, hardcore progression raiding may not be for you. As I mentioned before, hardcore guilds try to maximize everything. If you don’t like being told you have the wrong spec or are gemmed incorrectly or are not using your spells/abilities properly, you may want to find a semi-hardcore/casual guild.
8) How is your computer? – It seems silly, but it is important. Is your computer build to handle 25 man raiding? If not, there are still hardcore progression oriented 10 man guilds you can join. But a lot of older computers have problems with frequent disconnects, lag, slow frames per second, etc. that actually affect performance. I try to aim with my computer to run at ~ 20-30 FPS with a latency between 200 – 300 ms. If it is not in that range, I may say I have to sit because of lag. Nothing worse then wiping a raid because you disconnect or you are lagging severely.
9) Are you willing to research? – The more hardcore a guild is, the more they expect you to know your class inside and out. In addition, a lot of guilds do not give explanations of fights. They say watch this video, read this thread on TankSpot, and come prepared. If you are not willing to research fights and your class, you are probably not suited for hardcore progression raiding.
10) Are you willing to farm? – Are you willing to get gold, flask, enchants, gems, etc. as quickly as possible when needed? Some guilds provide some of these things. My guild provides flasks, enchants, and uncut epic gems. We have to provide money for our own repairs. However, some guilds tell you to bring your own stuff. As a note, you should always be prepared to bring your own stuff regardless of what type of guild you are in. It is just proper and polite. If you aren’t willing to do enough farming to get your own flask, enchants, gems, repairs, etc., then that guild may not be for you. I’m not saying find a guild that provides all that stuff for you since you should get it yourself, but if you want to find a guild that has perks for raiders, you can. Even more so with the guild leveling system coming out in Cataclysm.
These are my top questions to ask yourself when looking for a guild. It has provided a lot of guidance to me over the years of playing this game and are questions that I ask constantly when I have been looking for a guild.