Friday, May 28, 2010

OT - Thanks BBB!

So I won a copy of Starcraft's Heaven's Devils from BBB today. He held a contest asking about your best memory or fanboy moment of StarCraft, and mine was really easy. It was a shared moment with a great friend, and we're really looking forward to hitting SC2 together. I'll put a review of the book up once I finish it, and then it's getting shipped off to Iraq - where my Battle Buddy (sorry, the PC term is "Warrior Companion") can read it.

So thanks again BBB - I look forward to giving this a read.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I am a slow tank

I came to a horrible realization last night while in a random dungeon on my druid. Despite my best efforts to be a 'good' tank, or even a 'great' tank - I am instead, a 'slow' tank.

I suppose it's a product of my upbringing, going through Scholo/Strat when you actually had to worry about CC and runners. BC introduced the shadow-stepping rogue who would gouge the tank and 2 shot the mage. Wrath gave us AoE heroics, that would still wipe your group at level appropriate gear.

My mistake

It is of course entirely my own fault for being slow. I tend to pull groups in manageable packs, only pulling one group or pat at a time. I chain pull, but chain pulling doesn't mean out of control - instead for me it means steady. And it's a policy I'll continue to stick with.

I suppose part of this attitude stems from playing a healer through a good part of Wrath, and a tank when I wasn't healing. I prefer to have things move at a predictable pace, in a scenario that I can control and manipulate as needed. I'd also rather spend 5 minutes doing something the 'right' way, than have to run back because someone felt the need to "Go, Go, GO ALREADY".

This might explain the LK fight

I absolutely love the H LK fight. It's intense and chaotic, with just enough scripted moments to keep things moving. It's drastically different than the way I like to run my heroics, and that may explain why it is that I prefer my heroics to be slow and controlled. It gives me a balance to the sheer insanity that is H LK.

So, I'm going to keep pulling slow and steady. Pretty soon I'll be in the Outlands with 130981 DKs - and it'll be the same thing again. Until then, if I never run BRD again, I'll be ok.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Enchanting your gear - mp5 vs. Crit

Recently I've seen a few Paladins swapping out their helm and shoulder enchants, switching from Crit to mp5. This has grown legs to the point where some applications specifically request that you make the switch as part of the application process, while others just question your choice - maybe to see if you can defend it.

This of course is the stance I took when I was recently questioned about my choice between the following item pairings.

Arcanum of Burning Mysteries - +30 SP, +20 Crit
Greater Inscription of the Storm - +24SP, +15 Crit


Arcanum of Blissful Mending - +30 SP, +10 mp5
Greater Inscription of the Crag - +24 SP, +8 mp5

Now the SP bonus in each pair is the same, so we'll discard that for now (plus this is a mp5 vs. Crit debate). First, some history.

The great Illumination nerf

Back when Paladins were men, and Arthas was pure, Illumination was an amazing stat. Providing a full 100% mana return on crit, this ability was soon nerfed down to 60% in early Wrath. The powers that be noticed that not only were Paladins not running out of mana, we weren't even having to use Divine Plea. Heck, back in BC I remember watching Reaganomics GAIN mana - while going full bore.

When Illumination was nerfed to 60%, we still didn't notice a discernible impact, so it was further nerfed to 30%. Divine Plea was nerfed to include a 50% healing debuff, and Spiritual Attunement was removed from our kits entirely. Hey, don't blame me that standing in the fire was a valid mana regeneration tool. Even with this, Paladins still have incredible mana regeneration - and a big part of our staying power (even with Blizzard pushing mp5 on us) is from our Illumination returns.

Now for the math

Now, I've covered this before, but here's the basic breakdown for Holy Light - the only spell I'm going to focus on here, as that's our biggest mana hog. Holy Light has a casting cost of 29% of our base mana, which works out to be 1274 mana. Now if you're running the Libram of Renewal, you can take 113 mana right off the top, almost a full 10%. Next, if you're running the Glyph of Seal of Wisdom, you can take another 5% off (maybe it's 5% and then minus 113 - but the numbers are close enough) bringing you down to about 1097 mana per cast. Even with my raid buffed mana pool of 44k+, that can chew a hole in your blue bar in a hurry.

At that cost, our 18 mp5 from above would have to tick for almost five minutes, just to return enough mana for a single cast. Now we're obviously getting mana back from other sources in a raid setting, but we can't always count on those. We also have more mp5 on our gear, and that pushes our total mp5 up some - but the net result from that mp5 remains the same. Five minutes - you get one additional cast. Not many fights last that long.

Our 35 Crit rating equates to approx. .75% crit. Over the course of that same five minute fight, it takes only three of our Holy Lights to crit (that wouldn't have without that extra rating) to generate the mana return of 18 mp5. With a 1.2 second cast time, heck - even if you're only averaging 20 casts per minute (yeah - that's low) you're still bound to pick up three 'extra' crits in that 100 cast time frame.

But the math is wrong!

And you're absoloutely right. If I had no additional crit, and had to choose between running at just .75 crit OR 18 mp5, that mp5 might look a whole lot more attractive. I mean, if every time I push the heal button I have less than a 1% chance to crit, I'm going to be a lot more selective with my casting - and since RNG is Random it's entirely possible to go five minutes without a single crit - even with 50% crit rating.

I have yet to see this happen though (although I have seen some serious dry spells). Looking over a recent WoL though, I had about 2500 healing spells cast (I run about 1:1 HL for FoL over the whole night) and my crit rating was right around 56% - probably a little higher than my actual raid buffed rating - but not by much. This tells me that over time - that rating actually works out. Go figure - Random is Random - but over a long enough period of time, it all comes together.

And your point is?

That's it in a nutshell. Unfortunately your crit rate is subject to the RNG, and mp5 is a static number. You can always count on that 18 mp5 to be there, no matter what you're doing. I personally choose to believe that I'm going to pick up an extra crit every 1.76 min (or 3 every 5 minutes) to compensate for the loss of static mp5. Especially when the time that I need that extra mans is RIGHT NOW when I'm doing my darndest to break my #2 key. I don't need that extra Holy Light 5 minutes from now, I need a whole mess of them between now and then.

Obviously having a good mix of stats is important, but if it's Crit vs. mp5 - I'll take my crit.

Besides, who doesn't love seeing giant green numbers on their screen?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I saw this coming - AVR slated for death row

Blizzard announced today that they plan on breaking the functionality of AVR in 3.3.5. Players everywhere weep at the thought of having to find a new way to paint Zoidberg on the floor of the North Bank. Also affected are folks who lack Situational Awareness and require large pictures on the floor to assist them with movement.

Throwing rocks in glass houses

Now don't get me wrong, my whole guild uses AVR - since it's a tool that works within the existing API and provides a benefit to the raid as a whole. Just like any other add-on, AVR helped to provide useful information in a clear and compact way. It certainly helped to be able to visualize the effects of an AoE before they happened.

It was also fun to do boss strat layouts without having to round up 3 of Elune's light beams, 4 different colored flares, a stealthed pet, and hunter's trap. Especially when you had to explain it a couple of times because someone stepped away for an unannounced bong hit. There's nothing quite like hearing "LOL, sorry my dog stepped on the hamster so my cousin's homework got wet when the fish jumped out of my bong water".

Add-ons have a place

Now add-ons wouldn't be possible if Blizzard didn't open up the API and allow them to exist in the first place. Blizzard has done a lot of changes over the years, incorporating portions of the most popular add-ons into their existing UI. I think this is a great thing for Blizzard to do, as it allows for some amazing customization of the UI. Much like there is a giant blogging community and Machinima community - the Add-on development community is also quite large. By allowing players to develop add-ons Blizzard gains the programming and ingenuity of thousands of players - without paying for base R&D on their own.

All add-ons do is provide in game functionality in a slightly easier package. Boss mods, mount selectors, and wardrobe selectors - all functions in the game, just packaged for your ease of use. It's entirely within Blizzard's right to break an add-on if they so choose, and I think they made the right choice with AVR.

In the end, breaking AVR isn't a big deal. Players with poor SA will continue to die to avoidable environmental damage, average players will cope, and good players will probably not even notice the loss (if they used the mod). I'm sure I'll ponder where all the blue circles are the first time I do Putricide without it - and I will miss the Spore AoE marker on Fester. It just means I'll have to pay attention for an extra second.

Or just put the game into your own hard mode - and disable every add-on.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Premium-based Remote WoW Service

Last night when I first heard about the new "Remote AH service" that would be available as a premium subscription (an extra $3 a month) I had a small knee-jerk reaction that Blizzard had finally done it. I thought for sure that unlike a non-combat pet or BoA mount, they'd finally offered a paid service to give you an advantage (in game) over non paying players.

I think I was wrong

First, I will admit that playing the AH is definitely a game. Take a look at all the gold-making sites on the internet, and you'll see that playing the AH is definately a game within the game of WoW. There is an entire sub-culture of AH grinders and prospectors. Addons have been developed solely for the purpose of helping you buy low and sell high. Trend watching, securing farmers (for mats), and speculation are the order of the day for these players. The Gold Cap is their Lich King, and they're grinding away to get there.

Much like twinks however, these players aren't playing the developers vision of WoW - so they aren't really supported. They aren't being entirely shunted off to the side either, but they aren't the developer's target audience.

Transaction limitations

First, the paid service will be limited to 200 transactions per day. Even with the built in ability to batch post stacks now, I think the 200 transaction limiter will be a ceiling for real AH workers. Plus there's no ability to work your professions with this application - so you can't cut gems, mill herbs, scribe, etc. You're stuck with working with what's in your current inventories.

Second, not having the functionality of Auctioneer to do scanning, price adjustments, etc. will definitely hurt the AH playing crowd. It's simply not as advanced a tool as they are used to using.

My questions

I'm going to sign in and use the Beta when I get home, but here's one 'issue' I can see - or maybe it's the real benifit. Right now (as an Engineer) I can access my bank and my mail from anywhere in the world at the drop of a hat. There has been more than one occasion where our raid needed something from the AH, so I'd log onto an alt in Org - purchase it and mail it to myself. Can I now skip this step by running the app on a second monitor?

Rage> Dang it I need a leg kit so I can make use of my 4-pc tanking bonus for H LK. You know, because he hits like a truck.
Me> Here you go.
Rage> You're not a leatherworker!
Me> Nope, I've just got more disposable income.

If you don't have to be logged out (or even in) a city with an AH that you can access - then I see this becoming used more by farmers and/or raiders than by the real AH players. If I can just open up a browser to empty my bags from anywhere in the world - that will cut down on having to hit a mailbox every so often. Of course you're going to be going back to turn in quests and such, so this really doesn't save you a whole mess of time.


In the end, I don't see this having a significant 'game-breaking' impact on the players of WoW. It may give a small edge, but it doesn't provide you with any functionality that you wouldn't normally have if you were logged into the game. This just lets you check on stuff while commuting (or sitting at your desk), it doesn't let you pay to play remotely.

I think this is a good thing, but it's a little closer to the bad Micro-Transactions than say the pets or mount are.

I love anonymous commenters

I love comments on my blog, as I'm sure most bloggers do. It means someone is reading my blog, and was intrigued enough by what I wrote to stop for a moment and leave a thought behind. Even if it's negative or downright trolling - it still means they took a moment to at least look (if not comprehend) what I had to say.

Now I realize I don't have the fanbase of say BBB, Tobold, or any of the other well established bloggers - so I leave my commenting system open. I don't use the "Enter this word to prove you're human" test, I leave anonymous commenting on, etc. Partly this is due to my laziness, but in part it's because I don't want to stand in the way of someone leaving me a note.

Personally, I find it irritating when I want to leave a note behind and I have to fill out a captcha, leave a DNA sample, and then confirm that my information is all correct. Often times I'm trying to drop off a comment from my phone or via a VPN connection - so going through multiple hoops to leave my thoughts behind is just a bother.

Now, don't get me wrong. I've stumbled onto some great blogs by following my commenter's links, but I don't think it should be a requirement. Ironically as I was typing this post up, I got an anonymous comment on yesterday's post about BOL. The fact that it's not signed with a RealID and thumbprint doesn't detract from the fact that I appreciate the few seconds it took to just say 'thanks'.

So keep on posting your comments and thoughts, and don't feel bad if you want to do so without leaving your name behind. Hell, the interent is largely anonymous as it is anyway.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Heroic Lich King 10M - OMG THE DAMAGE

We now have 38 attempts in on H LK 10m. I can confidently say that we make it cleanly into P2 75% of the time now (based on the last four attempts), but it's far from easy. As it should be, this is the single most difficult thing I've done in WoW. Here's how we're working on it.

Phase 1 - the kite and scream

Phase 1 introduces the Shadow Trap as another mechanic that will instantly wipe your raid. Similar to a Defile, it has to be dropped behind the raid as you kite the LK and his cronies from the steps to the edge of the platform. Moving as little as possible helps here, as you can quickly run out of room.

For positioning, we have the LK and melee on the left - moving from pillar to pillar (Stairs to teleporter pad area). The ghouls and horror tank are just to the right of the LK tank, with the ranged and healers to the right of that. This positioning has worked fairly well, though there are occasional accidents involving Shambling placement.

Raid setup is Feral Druid on the LK, Protadin on the adds - Holy Paladin and Disc Priest healing, and six DPS (so much damage). It's not uncommon for the LK to have 25k+ hits back to back on the MT, and it can be a challenge if Mongrr or I get hit with the plague.

Phase 2

Right now if Mongrr or I get picked up by a Valk, and there is an infest, someone is going to die. At one point we had an infest out, soul reaper, Valk, and a defile. I'm pretty sure Golemagg showed up on that attempt as well. Our best shot so far was about 50% before the proverbial wheels came off.

Phase 3


Phase 4



H LK is another fight that gives me everything I could hope for. Insane damage, personal responsibility, tight group dynamics, and it truly feels like the pinnacle of Wrath raiding. I fully expect that we'll have it down in another 30 or 60 attempts, though we're going to have to do some more drake selling or GDKP runs to cover the costs.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The power of WoL - finding your own mistakes

So we saved Valithria on H 25m last night. We brought in a tenacity pet to make use of the HL glyph splash heals, and it probably would have worked really well.

Unfortunately, I made a massive - nay gigantic - mistake. One that I will probably have to deal with for an eternity. This mistake is inline with the time Rage was calling out the bomb targets on Baron Gheddon, and then blew up the raid because he was yelling at someone. Or when I pulled the Twin Valks in Holy gear (while tanking).

I could probably have hidden this mistake from everyone except the most experienced of WoL readers, or at least another Holy Paladin who's used to reading the logs. I could tuck this mistake aside, pretend it never happened, and then go along my merry way. I will instead however, use this as a teaching moment - to show that even though I don't hesitate to call someone out for not using a flask/food/etc, that I'm also not afraid to admit my own screwups.

What I did wrong

Right before we started I switched to my PvP Holy spec, because I wanted Imp Con aura for the healers and I had the Glyph of Seal of Light in that build. I swapped out Librams for the 232 +SP to HL, and proceeded to heal the dragon's face off.

We had a tenacity pet parked near the dragon, so my HL splash would benifit from the 40% +healing provided by Blood of the Rhino (unfortunately that all doesn't transfer via BoL). I was keeping my Judgements up, and BoL and Sacred Shield on Valithria. The only problem I was noticing was that things seemed, slow.

I swapped a flask for my Int/Haste elixir combo, ate haste food instead of fish feasts, and still things weren't feeling right. Then on the fourth attempt it finally registered. I didn't have my Power Aura showing up for Light's Grace. I was getting 5 or 6 fewer casts per cycle (maybe more) than if I'd been setup properly.

That's right - by switching builds I gimped myself out of Light's Grace and the Holy Light glyph - the whole reason for having the bloody tenacity pet in the first place. It was a complete bonehead move, and one that won't be repeated. Because I checked the logs and called myself on it.

Looking at the logs

Looking at the WoL this morning I noticed I didn't have any Glyph healing on Valithria. I'd already expected that, but it wasn't cemented in until I saw it. I could probably do the math and figure out how much healing I would have gotten in addition to what was done - but I know it's just going to be "a lot". Enough so that we probably wouldn't have wiped the attempt before at 93%.


Everyone screws up - Even Rage (though he'd never admit it - btw you ate 18 goos on Tuesday night buddy) - and sometimes it takes someone calling you out to bring it to your attention. Sometimes it's not that obvious though, and a deep look at what you're doing (an After Action Review) can often lead to simple things you can do for large gains.

Use the tools out there. If your guild isn't running a WoL, run one yourself. It's worth it.

A question for my PvP server readers

So I'm looking at bringing one of my toons over to a PvP server sometime in the relitive future. My question is - do you normally run around (for questing and such) in your PvP kit? I would assume so, since the lack of stats doesn't really hurt in leveling/questing/farming, and would make it easier to survive getting jumped when you're out and about in the world.

What are some decent PvP servers with solid Horde populations? I don't mind being beat up on, but big differences in population would seem to be a bad thing.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Consumables, enchants, enhancements, and you

The expansion is coming to a close, and you can see it in the attitudes around the realm/server. Unfortunately, this has led to some disturbing habits in raids - one that I fear will continue into Cataclsym.

Getting every buff you can

We all love gear. That shiney new piece of awesome that is your payoff for the raid. We get new gear to make us more powerful, to help us overcome some new content. Why then would you not use every consumable available on every raid attempt? Changes were made in BC to drastically reduce the number of consumables available/needed - to the point now where you can use a single flask, two different elixirs (one Battle one Gaurdian) and a single food buff.

That's it.

Most raids now even drop Fish Feasts, which provide both SP and AP - along with your standard base 40 Stamina. While this food might not be 'the best' food you can use (unless you're an enhance shaman or maybe a ret paladin) it's still free stats. The same goes for using a flask. Here's some basic food/flask stats (remember all flasks persist through death).

Flask of the Frost Wyrm - 125 SP for 1hr - your utility flask.
Flask of Pure Mojo - 45 mp5 for 1 hr.
Flask of Stoneblood - Increases maximum Health by 1300 for 1hr.
Flask of Endless Rage - 180 AP for 1hr.

Fish Feast - 80 AP, 46SP and 40 Stam - great utility food.

Now this list doesn't even go into some of the specialty foods you can use. I personally carry 3 or 4 different types for each raid (SP, Haste, mp5 and Crit) along with different elixirs (Int, SP, Haste, and Crit).

How it adds up

Just using a standard flask (18-25g), and a raid provided Fish Feast (free - or 5-10g if you buy them off the AH) will net you a whopping 171SP, 260AP, or 1700+HP. This is a huge boost to your stats, and is nothing to be scoffed at.

Let's look at the difference between the 251 and 264 Paladin holy legs. By upgrading to Santified Leggings, you gain 14 Stam, 14 Int, 12 Crit, 6 mp5, and 22 SP. The tokens for Pally/Priest/Warlock go for about 100 DKP in our guild - and this is a fairly marginal (though still nice) upgrade. I imagine that most 251 to 264 upgrades are similar, with your 251 to 277 or 232 to 251 jumps being slightly larger.

So for a small gold cost, you can gain more from a simple food/flask combo than you would from upgradeing two or even three pieces of gear. My only question is, why wouldn't you spend this if you're serious about raiding and progression?

It doesn't matter - it's farm/trash

I see this excuse a lot - and it really irritates me. Trash and farm bosses count. Bottom line. The smoother/faster trash is, the faster we can get to the boss. The faster and smoother a farm boss kill is, the sooner we can get to the progression/heroic bosses that aren't a complete push-over.

Imagine the snowball effect if everyone decides to phone it in on these encounters. Let's assume a 'balanced' raid with 2 tanks, 5 healers, and 18 DPS (9 each melee and caster). If nobody in the raid eats a Fish Feast (or flasks), you're missing out on 2340 AP, and 1539 SP just from your DPS. That's easily the DPS output of an additional raider. Most of us would balk at the thought of 24 manning content - so why would you intentionally gimp your raid in this way?


Anyone who can't be bothered to use the best, regardless of the reason, has no place in my raids. It's been shown time and time again that gear can help push through encounters, so why not use everything you can on every pull. Players who don't use top gems, enchants, or consumables are telling me that they are content with where they are Stat/Gear wise, and don't require upgrades. If you don't need any upgrades, then you shouldn't be taking gear away from those who do - and you shouldn't be taking raid spots away players who DO need those upgrades. Especially when they're willing to put forth the maximum effort every time.

Go big, or go home.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My best PUG /facepalm moment

I run a lot of PUG heroics. Partly because I use a TON of gems (INT Holy, SP Holy, PvP Holy, Ret, Prot, Ret PvP-lol), and partly because I just enjoy running them. 95% (or more) of my PUG runs have been smooth as butter, and some have been downright enjoyable. I've even had runs where there was actual chat and banter going on.

Shocking, I know.

I have however taken to dropping my Kingslayer title off when I PUG, even though it's not a completely uncommon title any more.

A non-scientific study

Quite a while ago when Lodur over at World of Matticus got his Val'anyr, he started noticing that PuGs reacted different when they saw one in the 5-man. I'm pretty sure this well before ICC (and probably sometime during early ToC), so the Val'anyr was still relatively new and rare (not like it's totally common now). Lodur noticed that PuGs would take this as an invitation to go completely crazy, and pull without reservation. He started swapping out for a normal weapon, just to see the effects it had.

Now in today's world of 245/264+ gear falling off the trees, getting someone to slow down at all is in and of itself a minor miracle. DPS run with the philosophy that killing it before it kills you is a valid tanking method, tanks pull without looking at mana, and getting a full conversation out of someone is a challenge in and of itself. This is fine in most runs, but everyone has their limit.

I reached mine in an Utgard Pinnacle run, where the tank rand off while the group was buffing. I was still getting Kings out, checking for melee that might benifit from a Might instead, etc. I look over and see the tank with the first pull, plus the Abom on him, and watch him fall over.

Me> Just a suggestion, it's always best to give a heads up, or at least make sure the group is ready before you go taking off.
Fail Tank> *!#&$ you lazy healer. At least I don't get the 30 min debuff after a death. Enjoy your wait.
Fail Tank has left the group.

I think it was 90 seconds before we got a replacement tank, did the run in about 14 minutes or so, and generally had a good time. Sometimes having an ounce of patience will pay off.

Really though, please - think of the starving children and wait a few seconds before running off to tank everything - because I will let you die.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Guild Applications - from posting to /ginvite

This may be slightly recycled (and It's certainly been covered to death), but I'm bringing it up again today after seeing some seriously lacking applications hit my current guild's site. Granted, the application that uses leaves something to be desired (in my opinion), but that doesn't excuse the quality of the applications that we're seeing. It also doesn't excuse the quality of responses that I see from the guild.

As a disclaimer, I'm not an officer in , so there's probably discussions I'm not seeing behind the scenes. What's on the surface though, and what the applicant see's, is what I'm going to talk about here.

Before you put fingers to keys (or pen to paper)

Research the intended guild. I like to accomplish this in the following ways.
  • Troll their forums - while you probably won't have access to the good stuff, you can sometimes see previous applications and see the questions asked there. This can help tip you off to potentially unseen land mines. If you see every application getting ripped for using poor grammar or spelling, you'll know that's something to focus on. Even though WoW isn't a spelling bee, your goal is to get into this guild.
  • Read the loot rules - make sure you understand raid times, loot system, ranking/structure, etc. Most guilds have a "Read this first" section. Make sure you do that.
  • Try and PUG with them - keep an eye out for a PUG run being put together, or take notice if they land in your random. Even if the PUG is something you're not interested (EoE for example), getting in on something simple can give you an idea of how the guild works.
  • Talk to existing guild members - I'm not just talking about the officers either. Random guy standing on the bank in Dalaran (especially if you see that the guild is in ICC) is a great place to start. Talking to the rank and file members will generally give you a more honest feel for the guild.
  • Look them up on a tracking site - know exactly where they are in progression. Look for recent achievements and gear on their players.
  • Watch trade chat and realm forums - idocy will often surface here. Make sure you want to be a part of what you see.
Gather your data and links.
  • Most guild applications that I have seen ask for a screenshot of your UI, and some form of WoL/WWS log report. Before you start your app, get a current screenshot (in and out of combat - preferably in a raid) and load it up to a host site like imagecave or photobucket.
  • Get a WoL/WWS report. Going to will get you started (there's lots of posts on how to create a WoL report), and getting into a raid of any kind is the next step. Even if you have to land yourself in a lower tiered content PUG (ToC is great for this), it will at least give you a place to start.
  • Start a Word or notepad type document with wowhead links to things like flasks, spells, glyphs, food, etc. Being able to link these can help show that you know more than just what's on your character page.
  • Get your Armory link, as well as a separate link to your talent build. These can be helpful in answering specific questions.
Filling out the application

Here's where the rubber meets the proverbial road. Depending on the type of system used by the guild, your application may be publicly scruitinized by the entire guild - or kept private for just officers/class leaders. Personally, I prefer the open system, as it gives everyone a chance to look you over and spot potential issues. Plus, these are the folks that you're going to be raiding with, they're going to be judging you sooner or later.

Now, this is the opportunity for you to really shine, and to stand out from your peers. It is imperative that you answer every question, as each blank space is one more section that they cannot get information about you from. Think of it like a resume - you won't get a call back if they don't like the way it looks. Take your time here, as five minutes spent proofreading can help you out quite a bit.

One giant pointer - never, ever, lie on your application. Don't list kills you didn't get, guilds you haven't been in, or achievements you haven't gotten. Someone will dig them out and make that information public, generally in a way that is unflattering to you. Being up front and honest about your accomplishments is great. Saying you farmed Sunwell when we can see you got the achievement in 2010 doesn't do much for your credibility.

Investigating the application - Guild Side

Now that a new application has hit your site, it's time to don your Deerstalker and start the investigation. Every application (and applicant) is different, but here are some key things to focus on.
  • Glaring contradictions - things like saying they've completed all current content, but don't have the requisite achievements or reputation to go with it.
  • Gearing/Gemming/Talent choices - these are big ones. If someone is applying to a top end raid guild (even on a low end server) they should be dropping the gold for top of the line gems and enchants. Check and see that their glyphs and talent choices line up with current "BIS" standards.
  • Red flags or "trouble bumps". Sometimes reading an application will just give you that 'feeling' about someone. Trust it, and ask the follow up questions to help ease your concerns.
  • ASK THE TOUGH QUESTIONS I cannot stress this enough. Simply looking at an application and saying "Yeah, looks good" is probably asking for a first class ticket to trouble/drama. Probing into someone's application isn't being a douche, it's called following through - or due diligence. Probe beyond the surface, and eventually you'll get the real answers (or at least make them think a little).
While I'd love to give you some sample follow up questions, it's fairly impractical to cover every scenario for every guild application. Don't be afraid to ask why they're leaving, or why they're changing servers/mains/guilds. Question talents and gear choices that go against the established norm. Exceptional players know where they can deviate, and where they can't, to truly maximize their performance - though nobody should ever have a 71 point talent tree.

Following up - The Applicant

If your application gets posted in an open portion of the guild forums, keep an eye on it. Respond to posted questions on the forum (if you can), or directly in game. Being proactive in your application process will help you along. Don't however bug guild officers consistantly about your application. If a week goes by and you don't get any kind of action, then politely follow up. If still nothing, then maybe this guild may not be the best for you.

If you're contacted for a trial run/vent interview - be punctual. Missing something like this is a pretty sure way to guarantee you don't get that ginvite. You're probably only going to get one shot at it, so make sure it's your best one.


Finding the right applicants, and the right guild, can be a tough process. Don't be afraid to ask questions of your new guild, and don't be upset when you're grilled about your talents/gear/experience. Above all, be open and honest - in both directions. There are a lot of guilds out there, it just takes time to find the right one.