With Patch 4.1 Blizzard introduced a new tool to help you find a guild. Hopefully you won’t have to be subjected to hours of spam in Stormwind like:
“looking for a guild? join <alliance nights> a level 3 guild looking for any level players. we have bank tabs and a tabard! we are currently leveling but will do raids and PvP once we get more level 85s! pst me for more info.”
I always want to say snarky comments back to them, but I don’t. Every guild has a tabard, stop using it as a selling point!
But back to the point, the new guild finder system is actually pretty slick, so bravo Blizzard, bravo! I’ll give you a few quick opinions of the new system and a few comments from the GM side of things.
1) When setting up to list your guild, you’re given many options to what sort of settings you’d like. You can quickly identify your guild as a raid, questing, PvP, or role-playing guild. This acts as a filter when someone looking for a guild selects what they like. The more you select here, the more hits you will get. So if you’re looking for something specific, be specific.
2) Another option you have to select is your play times or the times your guild is active. It gives two options, weekdays and weekends. Vague, but I suppose if you are looking to add members to a weekend raid, you could specify this. Most people who I have seen requesting to join our guild have had both times selected. I have decided to leave our recruitment both selected as I would hate to miss out on a great player because they selected just weekends or weekdays.
3) Then you get to the option of what level players you’re looking for. Here the system gives you two options, either max level or any level. That not being able to select ranges of levels bugs me from a GM stand-point. If I select max level I get fewer requests, and our guild culture has always been kinda open, so we don’t mind people who aren’t level 85 or aren’t focused on end game things (we’re altoholics) and selecting max level means I’m not going to be listed for any 80 to 84s that are looking for a guild. But if I select any level, I get so many that aren’t even level 10 and then I have to search through them denying requests from what could be spam. To improve this feature, it would be great to offer check boxes for every 10 levels so you could specify what ranges you are looking for in addition to those boxes.
4) You can also select roles, so if you’re just looking to add tanks you can select that and your guild won’t even show up as an option for those DPS classes – sorry!
5) Finally is the most important part. The part where you get a short box to type about your guild. This in my opinion is the MOST critical part to good recruiting using this tool. Be specific, concise, and highlight the most important things to your guild. Things like, are you a PG-13 kind of guild, or is your guild chat more like a New Orleans brothel? It’s important to outline here. I also like to put something in there that’s a question or something, ask the requestor to do something like “Please write what you are looking for in a guild in your request.” Because if you do that and you get a blank request, you can be pretty sure they didn’t read it and have no guilt denying their request. Or even if you have it open to all levels but put in the text you’re looking for players of at least level 70 and you keep getting level 16 asking to join, you know they didn’t read it.
So that’s it in a nutshell. As a GM though I do a few more things outside the Guild Finder tool. Follow-up is important. I think of it like the job application process. Everyone hates to send in their resume and then NEVER hear back from the place they applied. I try to send in-game mail to those best candidates. Likewise, a company also likes follow-up. I will tell you right now, that if I got an in-game mail from someone who requested to join, I would be impressed, because that means they took the time to look up the GM on the armory. That person is more likely to get a guild invite.
When I sort through the requests, I look for those that answered my question, those that talk about their experience or what they are looking for, again in as many concise words as possible. Those with good request text will get an in-game mail from me for follow-up. PRO-TIP: If a GM mails you in-game, respond back! I also make a mental list of people I want to make sure I try to catch and talk with more about joining. If I don’t hear back from them via in-game mail once I sent it, I assume they are no-longer interested.
Okay, so that all got a little winded, but in summary for all: Be concise! Follow-up!
Those two things are going to best assist you when using the tool. Remember the Guild Finder is only the start to your recruiting process, it’s just the filter to help narrow down your specific needs as a guild or as a player looking for a guild. After that following-up with members of the guild and getting information about the guild you are applying for only impress and greater increase your chance of finding a great match for you.