Snapshot of a Heroic Guild

I started this post by calling it something more technical, more in line with my normal blogging tendencies: Applying to a Heroic Guild. Then I thought, by Elune, how bloody pretentious. I’m not a GM of a heroic guild. I didn’t exactly go through a traditional guild process when applying to my guild. And I’ve already given advice about how to apply to a guild and what to expect. That doesn’t change just because you’re shooting for heroics.

When I really thought about why I felt a post was warranted in the first place, it’s because I wanted to address some of the things that bother me in our applications. Those things that make me think “You’re in the wrong place buddy.” Heroic raiding, like raiding itself isn’t for everyone, but if you’re considering, thinking, contemplating joining a raiding guild, there’s some things you need to consider before filling out that application, because all heroic mode guilds are not the same.

Progression

Every guild deals with progression differently, and HM guilds are no exception. Most of the time, reading a guild’s charter will tell you how they handle progression, but in other cases, it’s so much a part of the guild culture, that it slips through the cracks and is never heard from.

Our guild raids 9 hours a week. It never varies. We never stay up late to put in an extra attempt for that next kill.

We also pay zero attention to our rankings on the server. Oh, it’s nice to look now and again just for a general sense of how things are going, but it doesn’t affect our decisions for our progression in any way. When DS released, we cleared it week 1. Week 2 we killed 1 heroic boss and returned to Ragnaros to get our first kill.Week 3 we started on Sinestra (I know, right?) and achieved that kill before moving to DS, killing a 2nd heroic boss, and then clearing. Monday night we were back in Firelands to farm another mount from Ragnaros.

We could have been 2/8 HM our 2nd week. We could probably be 3/8 our 3rd week. Mid-December marked the end of our raiding for 2011, and we were off until January. Who cares if an expansion released, we scattered around the country visiting loved ones and enjoying holiday spirits. Our goal isn’t to be the best on current progression, it’s to have finished all bosses and achievements in an expansion. We also like farming mounts and completing legendary weapons.

Whenever I see:

  • I want to be in a top-ranked guild.
  • I want to be at the forefront of progression.
  • I want to join a competitive guild.

All I can think is “oh boy.” We rarely take applicants who express these sentiments. They’re not looking for our experience, they’re looking for someone else’s. Likely, there are a number of heroic guilds that would love to see these sentiments expressed, but we’re not it.

Progression can be important, but it doesn’t mean it’s the central role in a HM guild. Each guild will see this differently. Just because you’re joining a HM guild doesn’t mean you’re looking at a varying schedule based on the season.

Learning the Fight & Feedback

I think everyone has been in that run. You know, the one where the guy yells throughout the fight, after the fight, and as the next fight begins. But there’s also the guild’s that stop after every push to re-evaluate their strategy. And then there’s idiots folks like us who say: this is our strategy for the night. Any questions? And proceed to bash our heads against the wall until the boss falls over or we retreat to the boards for the next night’s strategy planning session.

If you die to a mechanic, there will not be someone making sure that you know what the problem was. We expect you to understand how to recognize a debuff, see that you ran the wrong way, or read your combat log. Or, if all else fails, ask.

Although we’ve been known to tell someone to not die for the night, for the most part, if you’re just horribly bad at say…. tornadoes (my God the tornadoes)… the entire guild will not be e-moting at you mercilessly all night as you try to get your shit together. Unless people are really desperate, there won’t even be any helpful suggestions on how to handle things better. You’re a big raider, and we trust that you can figure this out.

After the raid, no one is going to filter through your logs specifically making sure you’re doing your job.

And really, I’m ok with that. I am my own worst critic, and I expect you to be your own. I expect you to love your character’s success so much that you’re happy to tear into your own performance and see what you can do to improve that little bit more. I trust you to be the most awesome <insert class here> that you can be.

Whenever I see:

  • Feedback is appreciated (especially on gear/talent choices)
  • I try to help others find out what they did wrong
  • I can take it

I know that the person applying is expecting something that we won’t be giving them. We don’t provide any appreciable feedback. We don’t need a raid-mate that is trying to fix things, we just need one that’s good at fixing themselves, and we sure don’t need someone primed to be yelled at all the time. We almost never talk, forget about yelling. Will they wilt if they don’t get the verbal abuse they’re seeking. /angst

Experience

Experience is a touchy criterion. HM guilds would definitely prefer people who already have HM experience, but it isn’t required for all HM guilds, and most are easing up this restriction to deal with a very competitive recruiting market.

But that doesn’t mean that we’re not darn picky about raiders that are coming in from different experiences. There’s always things that you can do to improve your chances of making the break into HM guilds, and make up for that lack of experience.

  • Capping: While I don’t think every raider in the known universe is a failure if they don’t cap every week, if you are in or are applying to a HM guild, you should be putting in the effort to cap every week, and if you haven’t, be able to have a satisfactory explanation as to why that’s the case.
  • Gear Yourself: We expect our raiders to get every piece of shiny loot outside of the raid that they possibly can. We get that sometimes gear on the AH is a bloody freakin’ fortune, but anything you can afford to get is a big plus.
  • Improve Your Experience: Haven’t raided much this tier, even in normal modes? What are you doing outside your guild raid times? Are you running LFR? Killing the BH bosses? Organizing older tier runs to see some of the fights you missed? All group experience is valuable, even if it’s done after the fact. Mechanics get re-used frequently. Practicing standing out of the fire is always valuable. Sell the effort you have been able to make.
  • Don’t ever, ever sell yourself on accomplishments you don’t have. If you don’t have the experience, just say so. Some guilds have members whose sole job on the boards is to run through new applicants and put the “NUB” stamp on those lacking experience. Maybe you can’t get into your ideal guild on the first shot. That’s much, much better than getting in under false pretenses and having  your name blackened across the community. We check references. I’m sure other guilds do too.

You don’t have to be afraid to apply to a HM guild just because you’re lacking some experience. If a guild is looking for your class/spec, and you’ve been seriously making the commitment before you apply to kit yourself as well as you possibly can, then there’s many a guild that will take a serious look at your application.

Attitude

If you have one, I hope you can manage to keep a cap on it. Or if it’s just who you are, throw it out in all its brazen glory so we can send you on the next guild pronto.

Every guild culture is different. HM guilds aren’t any different in this regard. Some seem to run off high drama. Some are so professional you wonder if you need to wear a tie while raiding. Others have a grand old-time with a joke every minute. Finding the right fit for your personality is a must. No matter how great of a player you are, dealing with heroic content is designed to engender at least some stress, and we all tend to have our worst personality traits come to the forefront when we’re under pressure. Finding the right guild in this regard is absolutely necessary.

But this section is really about attitudes: attitudes towards your teammates, your server, and yourself.

Our guild “slogan” is: Leave the drama to the actors.

Our guild is comprised of working professionals for the most part. For most of us, those 9 hours in raid are the bulk of our game time. I don’t think I’m alone in my attitude of wanting bullshit kept to an absolute minimum so I can sit back and enjoy the game.

Anything that makes me nervous about the fact that you might not play well with others raises a red flag. I personally want to avoid drama at all costs, and if that means passing on a great player with a snotty attitude, I’ll do it in a heartbeat.

The person who explains how they are at the pinnacle of their raiding skills is also a flag for me. If you’re already that awesome, you’re way better than the rest of us. Go find a better guild.

I will almost always favor the applicant who’s eager, who’s excited, who wants to test themselves over a player with gobs of experience and a poor attitude, a step away from burnout, or wishing they were with a better group.

Conclusion

The only bar to joining a heroic raiding guild is yourself. Experience can be gained and gear can be earned. What a heroic guild is not going to provide for you is enthusiasm, dedication and perseverance. You must be willing and able to critique your own performance. You must be willing to eke out limited resources of information and be comfortable configuring you own gearing and talent strategies to meet new content. You must be able to commit to a set schedule, and you absolutely must be prepared for failure… because you will fail.

However, too many times, I see wonderful people who would likely be a perfect fit for our guild choose another home, not because they can’t meet our schedule or our attitude screening, but because they see heroic mode guild. Having been in one for a year now, I can say that the raiding experience for me isn’t appreciably different from any other guild I’ve been in, except now I’m not telling someone who doesn’t know my class why, yes, that is how my logs should look.

It also makes me wonder if there’s some weird aura that is produced by people who are in heroic guilds. Why is their fear involved in joining a heroic guild? There shouldn’t be. You don’t have to be cocky, just good! ^^

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6 thoughts on “Snapshot of a Heroic Guild

  1. I can only speak for myself here, obviously, but my first exposure to… how do I say this? They were the best guild on my server but it was back in BC. So ‘heroic guild’ didn’t exist as a term back then. But I guess it’s the same idea, more or less.

    Anyhow, my first exposure to them was negative in every way. We ran a few joint 25s together and their Raid Leader came in verbally abusing everyone and left verbally abusing everyone.

    One of my real life friends tanked for them for a while before ending up gkicked due to taking a vacation. Which is how he came to be in my first guild just as we were trying to make a go of raiding. He and I ended up in an argument because he believed the only way to get people to perform was to crucify them if they made a mistake. After all, it was how his last RL operated (and, I suspect, all the ones he’d had before).

    Of course it’s not right or fair to paint all heroic guilds with the same brush, but if you’ve been exposed to a really bad one, I think it’s understandable to be wary.

  2. This should be burned into everyone’s forehead.

    QFE
    “The person who explains how they are at the pinnacle of their raiding skills is also a flag for me. If you’re already that awesome, you’re way better than the rest of us. Go find a better guild.

    I will almost always favor the applicant who’s eager, who’s excited, who wants to test themselves over a player with gobs of experience and a poor attitude, a step away from burnout, or wishing they were with a better group.”

    One of the most destructive attitudes to any raid team is the raider with the GOD SKILLS complex. Competitive is fine, but if you flaunt meters, logs and just skills every single pull, you are not going to fit in any team.

  3. My gosh, you have just described the exact kind of guild I want to be in….

    I would live to be able to raid but not raid lead knowing that everyone is doing their thing so that I don’t have to constantly call out to people….I would like to focus on my rotations….

    9 hours is not very much especially if you are actually succeeding at completing content.

    You have given me something to think about and make me jealous!

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