Thursday, January 13, 2011

Recruiting as a Guild Officer

Recently in my career as a guild officer I tasked myself with recruiting new members. I discussed the idea first with the guild master and we both agreed that it would be nice to add a bit of new blood to our guild. Then the question came up of what type of players we are looking for. We discussed it in guild chat and came to the consensus that we wanted a mature player who was not an asshat. That unfortunately is hard to find World of Warcraft. After a little more discussion here is what I came up with the spam in trade chat.

Morningstar is a casual working guild that intends to do PvP and PvE progression at our own pace. We are looking to expand and find more core players. Our bank has 4 Tabs and we help our lower level members. Pst if interested!

And spam it I did. I must have said that in trade at least 20 times before I got a response from a level 61 DK. I was exited that I had gotten a bite so I invited him into the guild. He was going to be my first recruit, my apprentice, the Anakin to my Obi Wan. Clearly he has read my message so his must be a casual players who wants to meet new players and like to help out. I didn't say 'NO ASSHATS' but it was implied. I wanted core players to build our guild around, that's not too much to ask it it?

Before we go any further let me tell you a bit about our little guild, we are small but pretty advanced. Although we only have 5 real members at this time we have almost 40 toon in our guild. Most players in our guild have at least 2-3 alts in the guild and our guildmaster has 5 level 80+ characters. 4 of our 5 core members have at least one end-game character and we have at least 1 of every profession leveled over 450. And finally we have a guild back with 4 tabs which always seems to be full. Although most raiders would consider our guild casual, I think we are very focused on progressing through the content. We even PvP a little.

Back to my story. I invited this DK into the guild and we chatted a bit. I told him about goblin night (because we were going to be playing in a about 2 hours) and invited him to be our 5th. I thought what a great way to welcome our newest member. Having him participate in goblin night would be an awesome way to show him how cool Morningstar is. I said, "IF you can get a goblin to level 7 before 10:00 server time you can level with us." He seemed pretty excited and I left him to his work, I was logging off for a hour and a half for dinner before goblin night. I said goodbye and see you in a couple of hours. Before I logged he asked me to be promoted from noobie, the lowest rank in our guild.

To promote or not to promote, that was the question I was faced with. I didn't know this guy at all, but he was my new apprentice and I didn't want him to leave. The fact that the asked to be promoted within 20 minutes of joining the guild should have been a sign, but I didn't catch it. I panicked and logged off quickly like I didn't see the message. After all, how could he be offended if I didn't know what he had asked. More on this subject in another post.

I came back online a little before 10:00 to make sure I could find our new goblin and get him in the guild before goblin night began. I found him and got the invite sent, but he was only level 5 at this point. I asked him how things were going and if he would be able to make level 7 in the next 20 minutes before everyone else got there. At this point he freaked a bit because he wasn't going to be ready. He thought I meant 10:00 am, not 10:00 pm. I thought this was a bit weird because I had said "I'll see you in a couple of hours" but I can see how the mistake was made. I told him to keep leveling and he should be able to catch up. Unfortunately we could not go back and help him because of the phasing but that is a different issue altogether.

I introduced him to everyone as they came online and I assured him that he could catch up if he kept playing. After all, goblin night goes pretty slow when we were looking for all the drops 4 times. He kept asking us to wait for him and I felt bad because of the misunderstanding but I couldn't stop goblin night in progress. We had all been looking forward to goblin night for awhile and I was not going to throw that away for someone new. Its really hard to get 4 adult's schedules lined up for a 2-3 hour block of time. We had planned this a week ago and I had no idea when the next one was going to be. I kept telling him that I was sorry and that he could catch up. He kept whining in guild chat for us to wait for him. Now I was feeling bad for bringing this on the guild, we were trying to enjoy ourselves and this guy just keeps asking for stuff. After 30 minutes of this I felt like a complete turd for inviting this douche along for goblin night. Eventually our guild master logged off his goblin, got on his level 85 shaman and kicked the guy from our party and guild.

My apprentice was gone, my hopes of helping a new player level and join the guild were crushed. I felt like a jackass for ruining goblin night. Where did I go wrong?

Later that night I talked with the guild master about it. I apologized for inviting the new guy and I really felt like I had let him down as a guild officer. He told me that it was not my fault and that you can't know what a person is going to be like until you actually run with them. I learned a lot from this experience. I was too hard on myself, it was going to take some time to build a larger group of mature players. But my guild is AWESOME and my guild master was very understanding. I'm really glad I didn't promote the guy. Back to trade chat to try again!


  1. Ouch - what an unpleasant experience. I know what it's like when you invite someone into a guild, you feel horribly responsible for them and then they inevitably turn out to be a wanker, says Tam cynically. I think you navigated a stressful situation with grace, though. He sounds like a bit of an entitled idiot, tbh, but I'm glad your guild is so resiliently awesome :) I guess it's the necessary perils, I don't know if having an longer chat pre-invite would help screen out the dickhead-factor, y'know find out what they're looking for from a guild and a bit more about their personality before they have a chance to blow anything up.

  2. Thanks for the feedback. Yes my guild is resiliently awesome and that's why this was more of a learning experience than a disaster. I have considered various screening processes but they all seem so off-putting (which I guess is the point). I'm thinking about writing some guild guidelines/rules and seeing if that helps the new recruits.