Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling reports from the front lines* of the Massively Multiplayer Multiverse.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Help Wanted. Must Supply Own Armor, Weapons

Wow, this week just flew by! I didn't realize 'til just now that my last post was last Sunday.

So MMOGC commented on a post Hunters Insight made regarding guild applications. Much of the following is from my comment on GeeCee's post. Hunter flat out doesn't like applications. GeeCee gives them a reserved thumbs-up.
I'm of two minds on this, as are many who commented on Hunter's post. I recently filled out a guild application for the first time in a long time--if ever. And some of the questions there were a little personal, in the way that Hunter objects to. GeeCee's ultimate question, "Why us?" can usually be answered by me with "a friend is in the guild and says you guys are fun to play with." I would neither apply to nor join a guild of total strangers. So I guess it depends on how serious a guild is about some aspect of the game whether they really need an application or not. The application I filled out recently was for a "casual" roleplaying guild. I'd been invited to join by a friend, and actually questioned her about the formality of the process. Ultimately, I shrugged off my misgivings and filled it out. The guild seems nice, though I haven't had the opportunity to play with any of them in-game.

The two guilds in WoW that I have been a part of that were/are arguably progression-oriented raiding guilds did not have an application process other than friends recruiting friends. None of them ever knew my real name, until we became Facebook friends. And that was long after I'd joined. I normally have little use for external guild websites, either, spending much of my non-game leisure time on Twitter, G+, and blogs. The time I have to be on the guild website is usually the same time I have to be actually playing the game itself. The MMO I have been in that required coordination for raids I was interested in joining had a built-in calendar, with raid sign-ups.

On the other hand, I was once in a supposedly casual guild that was insisting that people already in the guild sign up/participate in the external website. They had grown too large too fast to know everyone in the guild. But the way they went about it, threatening to kick people who had not registered on the site in guild-chat--and through /tells--was a huge turn-off. My lovely bride and I almost rage-quit on the spot. The guild itself later imploded and folded into another guild, for various reasons. We did not follow our former guildmates and are still guildless on those toons.

Identifying players and alts in-game is not usually too hard if the leadership uses the in-game guild interface, in my humble opinion. There are usually public notes and officer notes that can be used to identify people, if it is necessary. Plus, any guild doing "srs bsns" probably has a Vent server where people will become known by voice and name, even if that name is an alias. I am almost always Rowan in voice chat, and I knew a guy whom everyone called Joan, because his paladin was Joanofarc and all his alts were variants thereof.

So I guess I'd say guild applications have a place, but too often ask the wrong things or get too personal for something that--from my perspective, at least--is far too casual an activity.

9 comments:

  1. It's hard to comment on the same topic everywhere! :D

    I don't join many guilds, but when I do, I dislike filling out apps. I think this is a horrible holdover from the early days when people were proud of their websites and wanted to use those as hubs for communication. Now most guilds have some kind of voice comms which is a heck of a lot quicker way to get to know people then filling out a one size fits all form.

    But MMOGC's post hit on a good point: you can tell a lot about a person by HOW they write...same goes for a guild which insists on filling out an app. The KINDS of questions they ask, and HOW they ask them, is a pretty good indicator about what you're getting into. I've backed out of some guild applications based on their app.

    But I still hold a belief that most guilds aren't really run very well ANYWAY, so apps are pretty useless for the applicant, and are generally ignored by the guild beyond basic formalities anyway.

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  2. I find it interesting that jobs require applications as well. It's a tenuous link, but any guild serious enough to require an application probably takes the game *way* too seriously for my taste. I'm not looking for a job or a commitment in my online gaming.

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  3. @Scopique Well, thank you for dropping in and leaving a comment. I know you have many places to comment, and hope you will comment again soon. ;P But seriously, I generally agree with you on the application process. I am not convinced it is super useful to either the guild or the applicant.

    @Tesh I agree, didn't emphasize the link with job applications, other than the post title and pic.

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  4. I have to agree and disagree with a few things

    @scopique I think you can tell a lot about a person from an app, sometimes. Sometimes you can't. Getting to know someone is the only sure fire way of vetting people.

    I also rarely use external sites, tending to just plain talk to people rather than post on forums about something.

    This issue you had with the guild that grew too big too fast and had people doing the app after being in the guild... was that in rift? sounds familiar.

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  5. My current TOR guild is the only one that I have ever had to fill out an application for directly (though I have joined guilds that had restrictions on who could join before). And I did it because I loved the concept. If you are joining a guild with a bunch of strangers, there needs to be a glue that holds you together, and an application process can definitely be a part of that.

    I want to say more on the topic, but I'll write up a full post myself, rather than filling your comment board with a wall of text. (-:

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  6. I think the question "Why us?" is obviously more for people who have no previous link to the guild in question. Most of the time, close friends and family are automatic "ins" anyway, and everything else is a formality. But while it would be nice to know friends or family in a guild before you joined, it's not always possible for many people, more than we as avid MMO gamers realize, perhaps. And it has even happened to me before, with games I played that I knew no one else was playing. I would join and in fact have joined a group of strangers in those situations.

    My husband and I have also been put through an application process even though we were family (my brother-in-law's WoW guild). Yes, even though we were "in for sure" we had to go through the formalities, but I actually didn't mind at all. It was one of those forum apps and I thought it totally fair for everyone else in the guild to get to know their new members.

    On another note, I've always been uncomfortable with apps getting too personal and have asked my guild leader since the beginning to reconsider requiring recruits to put their real names, because I knew if it were me, it would turn me away or turn me right off. I don't mind talking about myself, or even revealing my gender and age...but I am especially careful about my real name as working the corporate recruiting business (speaking of real jobs...lol) has taught me to be extra mindful where your name might show up. Plus we all the backlash of the Blizzard Real ID thing so I knew a lot of gamers felt the same way I do. Ultimately, my GM did take my suggestion :D

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  7. Oh good. It was too late for us. What did he want with our SSNs anyway? ;P

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  8. @MMOGC In all seriousness, though, your point about real names is well taken. @Scopique and I were having a conversation about G+ and real names just the other day on Twitter.

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