Once you have reached the end game in World of Warcraft and are looking to start raiding there are many things to consider. For example do you have the time to spend to do it successfully, are you really going to be into it, and many more things. Once you have decided that you want to raid though, the first thing that needs to happen is getting into a raiding guild. Sure you can PUG the odd raid, and on some servers do that very successfully, but it is not common and definitely not a real option for progression raiding.
Once you make the call that you want to raid and are looking for a new guild, how do you actually go about getting into a Raiding guild? Thats what we will walk through here. These are the nine steps that you really need to think about and complete to get into a raiding guild.
Set Expectations The first really critical step is to figure out your expectations. This means figuring out what kind of raider you plan to be and what kind of raid group you want to join. Theses are important things to consider, so take your time with them.
If you just want to get the chance to raid either 10 or 25 man to see the content and get some gear and dont care about beating the latest hard mode, nor can you be on all the time, then a casual raiding guild is probably for you.
If youre on a lot and want to see all the content shortly after it comes out, but dont want raiding to be your entire life, then what I call a semi-hardcore raiding group is probably best for you. These are the groups that have set raid teams and schedules but raid 2-3 nights a week, not all the time. They still allow some flexibility in other words.
Lastly, if you are the ultra competitive player and have a whole ton of time to spend raiding then you may have what it takes to be a hardcore raider. Think carefully about this though, if you do get into a group you will be expected to be there each and every time a raid is going on or risk being kicked. Also if you are DPS, expect to be pushed, if you slip up and fall more than 10% back from the top DPS expect to have to answer as to why. DPS greatly outnumbers all other class types and so there is a lot more competition for a DPS slot in a raid. Therefore DPS players will generally take longer to find a raiding guild and more is expected of them right off the bat.
These are the basic types of raiding guilds. There are others that skirt the lines between the categories, but in general try to determine who you are and where you would fit best. Remember, even if you want to be a hardcore raider, if you cant dedicate the time dont waste your time or theirs, do what you are able to do.
Expect Rejection This is important when you first start out as you are going to be turned down a lot, especially if you are trying to get into a hardcore raiding guild. Looking for a casual or middle tier raiding guild will not be quite as bad, but still takes some time. After all, when you are in a raiding guild you tend to grow a little cliquish. You run with and raid with the same players for a while and it is easy to forget there are more players out there; you get comfortable with what you have.
Therefore, when guilds go to recruit they tend to be very picky. They know they will be spending a lot of time with a player and are looking for someone that either fits with them socially or play style wise or is the absolute best regardless of personality (people can always be muted). Even though you want it, your personality may not mesh with theirs and you may have to keep looking. Expect this and be ready for it, after all if a guild is too easy to get into, would you really want to be there to raid?
Information Gathering While looking find out as much as you can about a guild before you actually apply to them. This may be by asking players in the guild or that have been in the guild about it and how it works. It could also involve checking their progress out online to see where they are.
Beyond where they are in the game, you want to find out some basic stuff about them, such as raid times, raid frequency, their general ages (adults only, kids only, mix), time zone most players are in, raid level, gear level, loot rules used, attendance rules, language rules, and more.
Some of the items on the list may sound small, but can add up over time. If you are an adult and join a mainly kid (under 18) guild you may not fit in due to interest, or just find them annoying, or they may not like you for saying that yes they should be doing their homewok rather than raiding when they complain about it. Also language can be a big issue for some, I am not against swearing at all, but once joined a guild where every other word in vent started with an F, C, A, or B. Not particularly nice to listen to all night. Sure they were great raiders, I just couldnt cope with it after a few weeks. Some players may not wear a headset, and this wouldnt go over well if a parent, spouse, or child walked within earshot of the computer.
If you are still not sure what raids are out there and how you stack up to them you can find a complete list on TenTonHammer here: World of Warcraft Instance Guides.
The point is, find all this out before you join if at all possible.
Prepare for applying, make an effort We all start someplace, so even if you are fresh to max level and not in a full epic setup, make the effort, show that you care. Sure you may still have some blue items, sure you may need some upgrades, but do the best with what you can before you apply. Dont expect them to take you in crap gear. Look for best in slot blue items, epic crafted items, badge items and anything else you can. Then gem it, enchant it, and basically make it the best you can.
Even thought you will replace items, it shows you are trying to make an effort and know your character. Raiders can look at a character and see if you truly understand the class. Are you a rogue and gemming for strength, hmm may not get accepted. Following all the gem slot colors? You dont understand min/maxing.
Applying to a Guild
Now that you have done all your research and gotten ready, most of your work is actually done. You know what you want, where you should fit in, and are ready to go.
Take some time and put in some effort on the application Most raiding guilds have websites and online application forms. Even if you talk to them in game, most will refer you to the website to apply. Take this seriously, it is your way to tell them about yourself. Sell yourself.
This means you need to give them as much information as possible. If the form is 10 questions and you answer in 10 sentences you are probably not going to get in. On the flip side, dont give them your whole life story hoping that they will let you in just because your dog died last week. Keep the information relevant and enlightening about your self. State who you are, what you bring to the table, what you are looking for, and why they should pick you.
Part of this application is about being neat, organized, and professional as well. Show that you care enough to spell check and grammar check. Explain yourself completely and in an organized way. Think of this as applying for a job and you wont be far off.
Be Honest While filling out the application or talking to the guild about recruitment, always be honest. If you are not, they will find out at some point and it will not be pretty. This includes answering questions truthfully even when they may not be flattering.
Say you left your last guild recently over a loot argument. Do not say I left them because they where loot wh#@$s!, that just shows you were just as worried about loot as they were, you just didnt get any. Explain politely that you had different ideas about loot distribution than the leaders did and decided it was time to move on. If you really did freak out over loot though, expect it to get around and for it to be hard to get into another guild. Never badmouth another player while applying (or ever) you never know who will pass it on to whom.
Also be honest to them (and yourself) about what you are looking for in a guild. Again this includes everything such as raid times, progression, 10 or 25 man, and more.
Try out Many guilds will now take players on a trial run once they have gone through the application processes but before they can become full members. This could be a simple Heroic run, a lower level raid run, or a full progression run to see how you fare. Take this seriously and come prepared. Remember flasks, potions, food, reagents, to repair and anything else you can think of.
Depending on what slot you are trying out for and how badly the guild needs the slot filled will depend on what an acceptable run is. Do the best you can, and ask for clarification if you need any on something. A run could be to see if you are willing to ask for help when needed.
Do your best at all times Even after you are in the guild, do your best at all times. Show up a few minutes early for a run and be ready when everyone else is. If you are working on a new boss that night, make sure you do some research before you get there, know the bosses abilities and basic strategies before you cause a wipe. Wiping is expected in a raid while perfecting strategies, but a wipe due to not following basic tactics and strategies isnt accepted for long.
Enjoy! Beyond everything else, relax a bit and enjoy the raid group and the social aspects of raiding. A good raid group will gel and can work together effectively for a long time, fast becoming close friends both in and out of the game. While the tendency initially will be to focus purely on the game, over time as you work together loosen up and learn to enjoy each other as much or more than the game itself.
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