Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

Applying to Multiple Guilds

Matt over at World of Matticus just blogged about the question of whether or not applying to multiple guilds is a sin. His opinion is clearly that it’s not an issue at all, I happen to disagree.

When my guild is recruiting we’re usually not just looking for just any pair of hands but for somebody that will fit into our guild well. Our application questionnaire therefore asks a few free-form questions that allow us to weed out people that we don’t think will fit in. If we find out that somebody filled out our questionnaire in a way that’s trying to please us but applied to another guild, trying to fit into their set of rules instead, we get suspicious. Most likely that person lied to us in the application just to make it sound good, which would be an immediate no-no.

Another time where multiple applications are very bad is when someone applies to our guild but when asked to join says that she’s still waiting for a response from another guild before making the decision. Aside from the fact that it hurts our pride to be second pickings it also means that the person is likely to leave the guild again once they get an offer that suits them better. Guild hoppers are a plague that needs to be eliminated, so that’s a no too.

There are also occasions where multiple applications are fine, however. We recently had an application from a warrior that used to main tank for one of the top guilds of our server. When they broke apart he applied to us – but freely told us that he would be applying to the server’s number one guild as well. He was a hardcore player and clearly looking for a more hardcore approach than we run, but seemed at peace with the possibility of playing with us in case that gig didn’t work out.

Honesty and reasoning go a long way when applying to multiple guilds. If you can explain it well and are upfront about it, my guild will almost never make a fuss. If you on the other hand hide your multiple applications and aim to just get in the best guild possible then you’re pretty much out of luck if we find out.

My advice would be not to do multiple applications if you can avoid it – but if you do, be honest about it.

  • Isn't the hardcore warrior a perfect example of the "Another time when multiple applications…" situation? Why the difference in outcome?

  • Here's a for instance though.

    My raid guild recently disbanded, leaving several of us with a plan, and others wondering where to go. If I hadn't had a plan, I would have sent out several applications to guilds that were at or above my progression level. Knowing that it often takes a week to get back to applicants, I can't wait while a guild makes up their mind about me.

    The difference though is that when I apply I respond to the questions honestly, and I'm up front about my intentions. Hell, I've applied to guilds just to get my name on their radar for alt/pug raids.

    If your application is 1/2 arsed or you pull the "let me see if I get into xyz first" then sure – it's an issue. But I also know guilds that will sit on an app for a while, just to keep them from going to another guild on the 'chance' that they might need them.

  • "Honesty and reasoning go a long way when applying to multiple guilds."

    Good point. The discussion on Matticus seemed to be either about applicants deceiving or guilds beeing powerhungry and egotistical.
    The reason that multiple applications is taboo is probably not about the principle, but how many guilds have experienced using time on an applicant just to find that they had secretly applied to other guilds and when it was all done: Didnt get that person they wanted in the guild.

    Also, dont understand why a corporate model is a natural model for guilds. What about volunteer organizations? Or family? or friendshipgroups?

  • Christian: The difference is that said hardcore warrior was honest about this issue and actually convinced us with his reasoning. It was clear that he would prefer to be progressing hardcore, but he convinced us that he liked our guild and would stay with us if Orion (the number 1 guild he applied to) did not take him. He also didn't ask us to wait for Orion to decide but instead immediately said that he would be fine if we choose someone else first. It was entirely our decision to keep the spot open for him for a bit.

    Adgamorix: I can fully understand why you would do that, especially if you don't have specific standards the guild has to meet. You must be wary though that if you don't have high expectations you probably won't get a guild with high standards. Those that have them might frown on your application. This is a risk you must accept when doing multiple applications. I that risk is fine for you, go ahead!

    Kristine: Indeed. I actually find the corporate model to be unsuitable for most guilds. This is a game we are playing and people don't get paid for being in my guild. There are no binding contracts, for example, that would keep a person from leaving my guild right again after getting two pieces of loot and finding a "better" guild.
    Most guilds should not just be looking for the best person for the job but someone they can actually relate to and that will enjoy being in the guild.