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Rethinking the Guild Application

Discussion in 'Guilds, Circles and Warparties General' started by Sasquatauch, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. Sasquatauch

    Sasquatauch New Cupcake

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    For as long as guilds have been a part of gaming, there has been some sort of application. Back in the days of yore, before voice chat was around (yes, young whipper-snappers, it happened!) and assuming your guild even had a website, the need for a detailed application was really the only way you knew (or at least thought you knew) your fellow guild mates. This basically equated to what was (and still is in some cases) a job interview-esque autobiography.

    Nowadays we don't have to walk uphill, both ways, in the snow to get to know who we're playing with. We have great community tools available all over the intarwebz, voice chat is pretty much mandatory - even with pugs, and people are even getting back into video chat (aka podcasting) as well.

    Because of all of this, I've come across more and more people in the past year or two questioning the need for such a lengthy application. So, with so many ways to get to know everyone in the guild, isn't it time the Guild Application got a makeover?

    What do you all think about this:
    • Rephrase questions so that the answers can be clicked on in some manner (check boxes, drop downs, radio buttons, etc) or leave the player only having to type one or two words, and just keep it to very, very basic info
      • What is your primary character's name?
        • Simple text box
      • Are you over 18 (or whatever your guild's age limit is)?
        • Yes/No radio button
      • Are you US-based (or whatever region your guild is in)?
        • Yes/No radio button
      • What time zone are you in?
        • Drop down with PST/MST/CST/EST/Other or possibly a GMT-x list if that better suits your guild
      • What are your play times (times listed in EST (or whatever your guild's timezone is))?
        • Create a check box list that has time blocks conducive to your guild's play times
      • How long have you been playing MMORPG's?
        • Drop down with time frames fitting your guild's criteria
      • How many MMORPG's have you played (that you can remember at least)?
        • Drop down with 1, 2-3, 4-5, 6+
    • Eliminate all but one text area. The majority of players simply want some good people that they can play with on a regular basis, that will help them get things done efficiently, and seem like good enough people to get to know. Let's face it, pugging can sometimes feel like you're herding cats. So, with all of that being said ...
      • Is there anything you'd like to share with us before you put in your app (goals, aspirations, wants/needs, maybe a dirty joke)?
    That's pretty much it. Short and sweet. We've got such great communication/social tools at our disposal now, let's get out of the way of guild membership and let those tools really start working for us! What say you?
    Treylor likes this.
  2. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

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    I think the questions are too short for somethig to answer.

    I'm one of those guys they love typing in an application form for a guild, and i normally type ALOT in those. I want my guild to know everything about me that they should know in for in-game. When i'm typing it gives me some time to really think about the answers, and what i should share with them in order to maximise our guild adventure together.

    With questions where you can only give such short answers.....i fear people won't get enough info about the applicants.
  3. Sasquatauch

    Sasquatauch New Cupcake

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    That last text area is the place for you then Extatica! You can type in there all you want. Having been a guild leader and officer in several guilds I will definitely say that long responses are the exception, not the rule though (might be the other way around for RPers tho - don't know). Most players nowadays just want to be done with it and move onto trial member status. That's where the real meat and potatoes of getting to know your fellow guild mates happens anyhow.

    Thankfully, as I mentioned, we have great tools for getting to know people now. The application really isn't the best way to do that anymore. :D

    Edit: Also keep in mind that other short questions like, "Can you commit to playing at least x hours a week?" can be added as well. It kind of sounded like the questions I posed were the end-all, be-all list. That's not the case, but obviously the application gets back to being this awful, daunting process if the applicant is faced with 50 questions - even if they are short. ;)
  4. Poet

    Poet Cupcake

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    I agree no need to over complicate things. I think that short and sweet and your app covers most of them. The more important part actually is in the Guilds side so they make sure they post all info they feel is important to the potential members so they can apply to a group of folks that are a good fit for their play styles/lifestyles
  5. Bisqquit

    Bisqquit "That" Cupcake

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    If you're in a happy, clappy casual guild then yes that's all unicorns n rainbows.
  6. Poet

    Poet Cupcake

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    if you are joining a "pro guild" what I write is less relevant than how I preform and I assume the basic info in the above app will still work to get you the try out.

    If you wrote in the box you were server 1st/world 5th to clear x,y,z. Then it will be all puppy dogs and ice cream too with the above app.
    Sasquatauch likes this.
  7. Bisqquit

    Bisqquit "That" Cupcake

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    It absolutely won't. They'll want to see rotations, class knowledge, encounter knowledge. It really will be a long app.

    Anyone can be carried by a top guild and clear the latter half of the alphabet like you say. A 'pro' app really will catch out the lesser able.
  8. Poet

    Poet Cupcake

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    My biggest issue with Apps jut like anything else if I can google what i need to make me look good on paper but i can tell in 15 min boss fight or a 5 min interview on vent even more then i would from a paper app that takes me 20 mins to read through and critique.

    I would hope that folks wouldn't waste the time to fill out a 22 page app if they wanted but this is the internet! It becomes harder and harder to carry folks if the content is tuned correctly., which i agree with you it very rarely is.
  9. Bisqquit

    Bisqquit "That" Cupcake

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    No-one mentioned 22 pages or a 20 min read though some people are quite happy to go into detail. I've read many, many guild apps in my time, some I've recruited, some I've said no and I've rarely been wrong.

    Basically, a short 'how are you' app is fine for most guilds who will then assess you properly with a trial. A proper hardcore guild though really will require a lot of effort on your behalf.
  10. Zinn

    Zinn Cupcake-About-Town

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    I think guild applications are extremely important in helping weed out bad apples. Besides are they qualified and appropriate for the guild one of the main things I looked at in application was the effort the applicant put into the application. Is it one word answers or actual thought and attempt to sell themselves. It shows how much they care and want to be there. Second I look at the choice of words to gauge who they are and whether they are team players or out for themselves. Third I would always check other raiding guilds websites on a daily basis and see if the is applicant is applying to multiple guilds. In raiding games most people know other high end raiders or know someone who who knows them. The last thing I always did was background checks on the applicant talking to as many people about them as possible.

    I disagree I want to know as much information as possible before any interview is done.
  11. Poet

    Poet Cupcake

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    I may be prone to exaggerate but i have also seen a few 20 pagers in my day ;)

    While I agree that you can weed out some bad candidates through the application process but at the same time there is something to be said for only allowing folks a small space to be concise and get to the point. When I interview candidates for jobs, not a perfect comparison i know, anything over one page on a resume leads me to believe folks are fluffing and i know pretty quickly how to spot a, lets call them, "embellisher" pretty quickly and it is a major turn off. The same principal is applied in many colleges and graduate schools in the US. (my only frame of reference)

    They tend to use the short resume and essays as the 1st weeding out and then on to the interviews which is where you really get hired/accepted.
  12. Sasquatauch

    Sasquatauch New Cupcake

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    This format will not be for everyone simply because there are some guild leaders that aren't willing to try something new. But I have used it first-hand and have gotten a lot of great recruits and a lot of positive feedback from it.

    By actually playing with your potential recruits during the recruiting and membership process, you'll weed out the ones that have all of that application information pre-written, then copied and pasted from app to app.

    Also, this process helps guide leaders so they get to know each recruit more intimately than they might have otherwise. ;)

    Expanding on what Poet said, many apps in games like this are still using the old "resume-style" application process. While the hardcore people treat games like a job (and for the ones that are sponsored, it is), the vast majority of us use gaming as a form of entertainment, enjoyment and social interaction. We don't want to get off work only to log in and feel like we're doing another job. That's just not fun and leads to a quick burn-out of a game.

    The application process is just one part of that equation and if we can all make that a little easier on ourselves, maybe we'll get a little more enjoyment out of the games we play. :)
  13. Solomon Hans

    Solomon Hans Cupcake

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    I never really believe a good app is a sign of skill, especially for guild skill as well. Take the last time I applied to a guild when I was in WoW about 2 years ago. I got a 40man Naxx clear, with 7/9 tier for my rogue from it, and that didn't mean beans to them, because they want current numbers on current bosses (And they were middle of the road too), rather than overall dedication to a guild and skill from content that sucked your soul away from you just to make attempts on. I wouldn't point fingers and say any of the wildstar guilds would currently do this, but adding more fluff for questions and sometimes just be seen like the guild trying fluff its on "exclusive awesome nature." There has to be a middle ground, with an actual PURPOSE to the questions, rather than "put in the stuff that will make us do better than we are right now."
  14. Ico

    Ico Moderator • WSC's Gentle Flower

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    Applications should be filled out honestly and forms should be built to highlight what you're looking for, couple that with a good information section and you've got a solid application layer. It's all about cutting down the possibility of mis-communication, as a guild you should try to represent yourself in the best light without lying and as a player you should make yourself as attractive on paper as possible again without lying.

    It's when you get the guys claiming to of been in old guilds like Inner Sanctum/ Ensidia (SK and I forget the other guild that merged for that one), then they get in-game and have no idea what they are doing. There was no need for the lie, but because they have you can't just treat them as a player who needs training, but now as someone who straight up lied to you as their first act.
  15. pondfilter

    pondfilter Cupcake

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    Reading the OP made me think of the "tryouts" you had to do in Counter-Strike back in its early years. Having to beat the best player of a certain clan before you could join was pretty nervewrecking haha.

    Anyway, back on topic.
    No, no, no.
    If you're serious about your guild then you won't just let anyone in. Seeing how they type and how much knowledge they have about stuff or even the English language can tell you so much about a person. I used to be an officer for an Aion guild pre-release and we had a fairly extensive/detailed application you needed to fill in. It was mindboggling how some people expected to get invited by writing a piss poor application. I suppose I have pretty high standards, but yeah, you get my point.

    It depends if you want to make a real, dedicated guild or 'just' a guild.

    Nihilum I think.
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  16. Poet

    Poet Cupcake

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    I don't know if i want to DQ any players because they have poor written English skills. Some of the best players in the world don't type using perfect written English syntax, but can communicate well in Vent/TS with verbal English.

    There is a difference between lazy apps and making the application process simple and effective.

    Again IMO is that the app tends to be LESS important than the play the more Hardcore you get as you really need to see how folks play and preform before they make it onto the raid squad. Most "serious business" folks have extensive trial for new recruits at any rate.
  17. pondfilter

    pondfilter Cupcake

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    Agreed and disagreed. I know where you're coming from when you say that some people have trouble with writing proper English or applications but still happen to be good at the game. I'm at work right now so I can't show you an example, but I happened to take a printscreen of the worst application I have ever received during my time as an officer for an Aion guild. I'm not sure if I still have it, but basically the guy replied all the answers with 1-3 words. That's what I meant with my original message.

    The people you spoke about that aren't good at typing are the kind of players you pick up while playing the game in my opinion. Since obviously their written talents won't impress you, they should do it in-game instead.
  18. Poet

    Poet Cupcake

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    That is fair I try to differentiate between poor writing skills and lazy apps... Seems like we agree there! I mean after all I am a native English speaker/writer and I "don't do da English good" all the time!
  19. Shu

    Shu Cupcake

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    Thank you for this write up. I started my community 2 years ago and have been struggling to find members. I think it may be that my name is a bit one sided in terms of gender, but besides that I'm sort of at a loss for what's going on.
  20. TehTic

    TehTic Cupcake

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    Though it may not be needed with such a short and generalized application you limit yourself on this screening process that a person will fit in properly without causing too much commotion. This is fine as long as you are just trying to fill a slot and not looking for a specific personality type or reliability. The major reason for a lengthy application is to weed out as much as possible. As most simply cannot follow instructions whether it be posting a specific signature or a specific text or color for easy readability. In my experience this type of neglect automatically dismisses the applicant. Though I do agree there are some great tools out there. I feel the need for lengthy application is almost mandatory, as that you will not want somebody coming into your Guild making friends and then separating the guilds focus causing dissension within the ranks.

    My selected questions and reasoning behind them:
    Have you read and do you agree to the guild policy, which you can find in the Guild Information section of the forum: Eliminates many problems before they arise.

    When you play from that is home, Internet café: Many European and Asian players play from Internet cafés which can have high latency.

    what is your average FPS in largest group setting i.e. typical raid whether it is 40 man or 25 men: Current hardware configuration not capable of smoothly accomplishing task at hand.

    What is your average latency: Maybe somebody’s husband or wife is streaming Netflix every raid time.

    Do you utilize and comfortable with the guilds voice chat: Communication is the most important of any daunting task.

    Nowadays with so many mixed language guilds it seems pertinent to ask what languages you can speak fluently: Communication is the most important key elements in successfully accomplishing Any daunting task without having personal conflicts.

    Availability days and times on and what type of restrictions that are other commitments: Does the time availability it with what is needed.

    General character information i.e. armory link: Quickly and easily can eliminate this application when viewing that the person has no idea how to correctly gear his or her character.

    Specific proof of completed instances or accomplishments: Simply put is the person full of bull.

    Specific character traits i.e. tank, healer, ranged DPS: Will this character fit in the current Guild position.

    Explain your characters stat priority: This helps to figure out whether the person knows how to prioritize value of stat helps to eliminates best in slot problems and ensure maximum output.

    Guilds you have been a part of and why he left: Generally shows a pattern of the person’s reliability and personality.

    What makes you blank Guild material: Shows whether the person has confidence and or just cocky.

    Anything else we should know: Generally speaking when somebody openly talks about themselves gives the most insight into the person i.e. will this person fit in.

    This generally shows that a lengthy application is a good tool but also shows the need for a lengthy application in more serious Guild situations.

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