Navigating the Initiation Period

Congratulations! You got accepted to that guild you wanted to join!! How do you make sure your initiation period is successful? Below are some tips to try and pitfalls to avoid to make sure you move from "Who the heck is that?" to "Gee what did we ever do without you?"



Avoid making it the "Me Show" - I know you're worried about making an impression, but sit back and observe for a little while. First watch the others in the guild and the guild chat and make sure this is a place you want to be. By getting a feel for what the guild chat and members are normally like, you can learn what's generally accepted banter and who's more sensitive. You can use this information to make a good impression, rather than just an impression. Once you've watched long enough, start slow. Add an insightful or funny point to an existing conversation and add to what they are saying rather than changing the topic. After a little while it'll be easy for you to slid into a conversation or even start one of your own.

Even though I've cautioned you about not making it the "Me Show" do be yourself. If you try and pretend to be someone you're not or curb your bad habit of letting puns loose it will slowly wear you out or slip out on it's own. Let the guild see your quirky personality traits as you slowly introduce yourself, it's what makes you different from everyone else.



Know your Leaders - Quickly learn who the leaders are, what they do and how they do it. Every leader has a different personality and a different way of interacting. While the best leaders are willing to take feedback, the way you approach them will determine how willing they are to listen to you. In the end, if you and an officer disagree, take a guess who's going to win? To illustrate how not knowing who your leaders are and how they interact can hurt you, let me tell you the story of an initiate who didn't make it in The Guild.

Once upon a time Auz tagged a shaman. Now Auz is a generous leader and so one day when our guild's enhancement shaman had to take a night off, Auz lent her new shaman to the melee team. Once in the melee group, our melee lead said, "New shaman please drop Windfury for the melee team." The shaman said, "I think Grace of Air is the better totem to drop for this group, so that's what I'm going to drop." The melee lead responded with, "I'd prefer that you drop Windfury and since I'm melee I believe I have a better understanding of which totem will benefit us." To which the shaman retorted, "Too bad they are my totems and I'll drop what I want!" At this point our melee lead ended the conversation and came to me. "Auz your new shaman is not only an idiot but he's also refusing to do what I asked." After getting the whole story from my melee lead my new shaman receives the following tell from me, "The player you are speaking with is our melee lead. If you wish to be successful in our guild, you will respect all the leaders of this guild and drop the totems you are requested to drop as well as the attitude." The shaman did drop those totems, but never did drop the atti0tude. Needless to say, his initiation period with us did not end in membership.



Do your homework - I spend a lot of time making sure the information my recruits need is available to them on our website. I typed it out there so I only had to type it once. Nothing irritates me more than when an initiate fails to respect that time and the time of the 24 other people in the raids by failing to read the information I have provided. Even if your leadership hasn't explained the fights, Boss Killers, MMO Champion and several other sites have.* Take your time and read all the information that is available to you. After you've read that information if you still have questions ask them before the raid. When you are coming into a new situation make it your responsibility to know what you're doing before you get there. Bonus points if you can get that accomplished without taking a guild leader's time.

*Note there are many different ways to kill the same boss, when you read over a third party site, don't get married to the strategy they suggest. Do make sure you learn the boss abilities and go over the tips that are specific to your role.



Mind the feedback - I've said it before but I believe it so strongly that I want to say it again:

Receiving honest communication from a [person] is a gift, even if you don't like what the [person] has to say. When a [person] comes to you with something on their mind, they are creating an opportunity for you. If you make them feel like they aren't being heard, or worse derive them for their opinions, you ensure they won't give you another.

If you get feedback from a leader, listen to it; make an effort to incorporate what they've said to you into your playstyle. If you don't agree with the feedback you've received, the time to ask questions or disagree is outside of raid times. Remember, most leaders are promoted to that position because they have experience and a deep knowledge base. It can never hurt to at least try what they've suggested. Who knows, maybe they know something that you don't. Remember it's okay to disagree, but in the end the person with the final say is your leadership. If you find that you disagree too much you may want to look for a new home or you may be asked to look for a new home. Honestly, I'd like to think I'm an approachable and reasonable person, but if giving you feedback becomes a chore for me, I'm more likely to look for someone else who's more receptive to feedback, even if their initial skill set is weaker.


Make a friend - Auz, this is too far, I wanna know how to do well in a raiding environment, not how to make friends. Random internet reader, I promise you this is good for both. While you're watching your guild (like I suggested at the beginning of this post) I want you to find two people. First find the person in your class role who everyone respects but isn't an officer. Next find the person who everyone likes and enjoys talking to. Then go to both of them and ask questions. You've read the strat for the next boss and you're not sure you understand it. Ask the person in your class, often they can coach you and are flattered that you've asked them. This takes the strain off your leaders who may be doing other things and makes you look good for knowing it without having to go to them. Just choose wisely, picking a bad person to use as a resource may end up making you look worse than if you hadn't asked anyone at all. Okay Auz, I see the wisdom in that, but what about this popular person? I'm glad you asked, while you are getting used to your new guild you're going to have to learn to interact with new people. If you need to give feedback to a leader or even another member, the popular person probably knows how best to approach that person. They wouldn't be popular if they didn't know how to talk to the other members of the guild. (Though if it's a chick and you're not a chick, you might not be able to use all their tricks) Ask for this person's help when you need tips on how to approach your new teammates.


Now it's your turn, tell me your horror stories either from the perspective of evaluating an initiate or from the perspective of being an initiate


Who interviewed whom? Auz Visits World of Matticus!

I was interviewed on World of Matticus today but when we got to the rapid fire section of the interview I turned the tables on Matt and Wyn. Anyone who's been reading too long knows I can't give single word answers. Below are Matt and Wyn's single fire responses.

Ladies First: Here's Wyn.
For those who don't know Matt has a new woman in his life (well at least his internet life) Wyn has joined the writing team, and she's very much the ying to his yang. Despite all stereotypes about women and Asians, she schools him in math.

I need rapid fire question for you before I publish my link
Auz: Shaken or Stirred?
Wyn: shaken
Wyn: wait
Auz: Dwarf or Nelf?
Wyn: chocolate milk or a martini?
Auz: you don't get to ask back!
Wyn: it's important! i like my chocolate milk shaken, and my martinis stirred!
Wyn: this is crucial!
Auz: fine milk
Wyn: okay, shaken
Auz: Dwarf of Nelf!
Wyn: Dwarf. Nelfs are only marginally cooler than Belfs
Wyn: and they're too emo
Wyn: dwarfs are drunk, which is better
Wyn: this is fun
Auz: Screaming child in the background or leet speak in vent?
Wyn: zomg, 1337 haxx ftw
Wyn: *h4xx
Wyn: h4><>
Wyn: hmm
Auz: Combat pets; cool or omg what a waste of space?
Wyn: both of my priests have worg puppies. i don't have the space or desire to collect, but i like having one special one
Auz: If you were forced to chose between going IDS or going Shadow what would you pick?
Wyn: lolsmite?
Wyn: (ids)
Wyn: i've had to before
Auz: Now that you've been both, Dirty Whorde or Bunny Kissing Alliance?
Wyn: interesting trivia: if you read the lore, the horde are the "good guys," if anyone is
Auz: Don't mess with my world view lady!
Wyn: hey now
Auz: /wink
Wyn: /hug
Auz: Best pick up line
Wyn: "I want you more than I want my 2nd Warglaive" so freaking pro.

And now here's Matt. Matt and I were more organized, I think Wyn and I had more fun.

Who's intro is more irritating, Kael or Illy?

"I kissed a girl and I liked it" or "Don't Stop Believing"?
Neither. "Livin' on a Prayer"

Wisdom or Kings?
In a high performance situation, Matticus recommends you use protection. Blessing of protection.

DoTA or Counterstrike?

Counterstrike. Great source of stress relief.

Best Vent Quote Ever:

"Hey Matt, I need a heal!"
"Why don't you get some ****ing raid frames then you'd know that I'm dead ***hole!"

Leading a Pug Kael or Leading a Pug Archy?
Kael. It's more methodical and less random.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

No idea, but I can stop all of them.

Favorite male Blogger:

Other than me =)?
Toss up between Big Boss Bear and Kestrel. But Bear wins by a whisker.

Worst fight to DC in:


Favorite class to Arena with:

My Elemental Shaman

So there ya go, more than ya ever wanted to know about Matt and Wyn. Plus if you click the link, more than ya wanted to know about me.


An Open Letter to my ISP

After WAY too many disconnects holding us up on a recent raid night, I've written the following letter to send to my ISPs customer service center. It amused me enough I've decided to share it with you guys too.

Dear Internet Service Provider,

We've been together for 6 years now but recently your instability is endangering our relationship. I've always relied on you to protect my data as you take me all around the world (wide web). We've shared interests, games and even some more private moments. We've connected with friends and family. You've taken me to places I've never seen before and shown me things beyond my imagination.

Recently, you've been dropping out on me when I need you most. You've embarrassed me in front of my friends, and you've made me appear like someone they can't count on. You laugh it off and say; "It's only for a moment." "What about all those other times I've been there for you?" "It's not a big deal." But it is a big deal. People DIE when I disconnect. I lose documents I'm in the middle of -


- writing. Worst of all, every time it happens, I lose a little faith in you.

I know you're going to tell me you can change. After everything we've been through together, I really hope we can make this work. But I think it's fair to tell you there is a new guy in town. His name is FiOS and I've heard that he's a real lady-pleaser. I'm sorry. I do care about you. However, if this instability continues, I might have to see if there's an opportunity to make a connection with him.



Chick GM


PS. Chick GM has now been viewed in 49 of the 50 states plus DC! Quick someone fetch me a reader from Wyoming!


Anatomy of an interview

NOTE: This post is more geared to progression or raiding focused guilds.

So you've successfully navigated a guild's application, and scored an interview with a guild. What exactly is the person doing the interviewing looking for? Interviews are as varied as applications, but again, it's my corner of the intarwebz so it's my opinion you get here.

My goal in an interview is to get a more in depth view of what the player is looking for in a guild, their understanding of their class, their attitude towards raiding, and how their personality might mesh with our members. First, let me clarify by saying my interviews are not a set process, depending on the applicant's answers, and how the conversation goes the questions change. What I'm outlining here are just a few of my frequently asked questions, why I ask them and what I'm looking for in the applicants answer. It's also fair to inform you that I do not currently conduct primary interviews for my guild, so my questions may be a bit out of date.

How has playing a changes in raids and 5 mans from level 60 to level 70?
This question is one I've retired, but I used it when TBC was less than 3 months old. I wanted to learn how the player had integrated the new tools available to their class. I found that some of the most skilled players adapted these new tools right away. Some of the more mediocre players were slow to make changes their familiar patterns.

What's your weakest piece of gear and what's your plan to upgrade it?
I believe good raiding requires self awareness and, like it or not, your gear is part of what your character can do. You can be an AWESOME priest, but if you have 900 +healing you simply CANNOT put out enough healing to keep an Illidan tank alive. I like to hear the player be able to answer right away. Bonus points for already working on it, and for the upgrade being available outside of raids.

If you had to play another class in raids, what class would it be?
This is just a discussion question. I'm listening here for what aspects of the game the applicant enjoys.

Pretend I've never seen the Illidari Counsel (or another complicated fight they have listed in their experience) before, explain the encounter to me.
Every person focuses on different parts of the fight. I'm listening here for a complete understanding of what their class does. Bonus points if they can explain with confidence all parts of the encounter and each boss ability.

What do you want out of your raiding experience and guild?
I realize that applicants ARE probably going to bullshit this answer, but even in the bullshit you can learn something about how they think. Also, if later on I'm getting feedback from them that they aren't happy with the amount of loot they are getting etc, it's nice to remind them what they told me in their interview.

What do you anticipate your raid attendance will be? Do you have any real life obligations that conflict with our raid schedule.
Again, what an applicant tells me and what they actually do can be expected to differ. This is an opportunity for me to express to them that it's OKAY to have a real life. Also, I am going to hold you to what you tell me. I might be looking for a druid who an make Sunday nights religiously, because one of my druids can't ever make Sundays. If you tell me you can make Sundays, I tag you and you miss 3 Sundays in a row, we are going to have problems mister.

When was the last time you died in a raid in an avoidable manner, and what killed you?
This often takes people by surprise and I tend to get an honest answer. It's good to know that a player is aware of what kills them. Bonus points if they tell me what they've changed so it won't happen again. Negative points if they tell me they've never died in an avoidable way.

Are you willing to respec if asked?
The initial response to this question is to BS me and tell me they'll be whatever the guild needs the most. I always counter this and tell them. I am the GM, my primary focus is this guild's success but I am NOT willing to go shadow. I know I'd be terrible at it and frankly don't enjoy dpsing. I clarify that the point of this question is to find out what experience have you had with other specs/roles of your class and if you personally enjoy them.

How you you like to receive feedback about your gameplay?
This is for me. Every single raider in my guild has recieved feedback from me. From "good job" to "dude quit that shit." Each one of them prefers to get it in a different way. One of my shaman likes for me to call it out in vent. One of my priests gets very defensive if I call stuff out in front of others. One of my pallys likes to hear stuff right then in the raid. Another shaman would rather I give them a short instruction in the raid but always after the raid would like me to explain my feedback in detail. I will have to give you feedback and your preferred way has to be something I can actually do. Note: I rarely ask this question unless the interview has gone well.

Have you read our guild policies?
If they say yes - If I allowed you to change one of our policies what would you change and why?
My guild does not run exactly how I want it too. There are 40 raiders in my guild and 150 accounts. When you gather that many people together you have to compromise. I seriously doubt I have a single player in the guild who doesn't have one thing they'd like to see change. Knowing what they'd change gives me insight into what they value in a guild.
If they say no - This information is available here, please read this over before our scheduled recruit run (again only if I am thinking about tagging them)
I spend a lot of time, keeping our public policies up to date. It pretty clearly outlines what to expect from us and what we expect from you. I want EVERY potential member to come into the guild with this information, so there are no surprises.

How do you evaluate yourself at the end of a raid night?
This question lets me see what a player sees as their job or role in a raid. Some hunters will tell me top dps, others will tell me strong pulls or saving a squishy with an Ice Trap. There really isn't a wrong answer, but I've found players are typically more content in a raid environment where their supervisory officers agree with what the player values.

I'd like to note the topic I tackled this time is a broad one. I have gotten great feedback regarding the application post I made. I'm hoping for similar results from this one. What questions do you ask, or have you been asked in an interview?


Applications: The good, the bad and the WHAT were you thinking

In my last post I broke down the structure of my guild's application. That post was prompted by an application I received that made me shake my head. It's been about a week since I got the app and I'm still shaking my head over it. So I've decided to expand on the last post and share with you some of the best, worst and scariest apps I've received in the past few months.

The Good

Why did you allocate your talent points where you did?: I experimented with a couple trees, but mostly influenced by shadowpriest.com for my spec and posts I read there. I feel that it maximizes by ability to mana regen my group and keep misery debuff on mobs. I also think it's the best spec to maximize my dps with my current gear. As I get gear with better hit, the tree will change slightly.
This answer indicates he's researched his class, and placed priority on the synergistic qualities of his class and spec.

What do you believe your class (and spec) brings to raids?: I believe COH priest are the best healers in a raid. We have a wide variety of heals that cater to every situation and also we can put out a large amount of effective healing.
I like to see confidence in applicants, if you don't think you're the best then why are you wasting my time? This confident app turned out to be mostly right, he's an amazing AoE healer and puts out a large amount of effective healing. I, however, remain the best healer in the raid. (Sarcasm intended)

What do you believe your class (and spec) brings to raids?: The hunter class brings one handy tool to raids which is misdirect, can be very useful in the hands of a skilled hunter to be able to help out keeping healers alive that may be getting whacked on in certain situations or to just help the tank establish a strong aggro base for boss fights. Other than that we're a high dps class if played well that doesn't need group synergy with other classes to be able to perform.
What he lacks in sentence structure, he made up for in completely nailing what we expect out of our hunters. I especially like that his answer indicates that he doesn't rely on a synergy group.

What do you anticipate your raid attendance will be if we were to offer you a raiding position within our guild?: I can attend every raid. This semester, I have a class ending at 6:30 on Thursday, so I may be 5-10 minutes late for the Thursday invites.
Sweet. This tells me he didn't mindlessly tell us 100% and it's good information to have.

What do you want out of being in a guild?: Teamwork environment. Raiders that enjoy raiding and are willing to do the work, including wipe, to learn and master the encounters. Being that my balance druid raided balance prior to TBC, open minded on the abilities of the players and classes available to them for an encounter. People with a good sense of humor.
That describes us, without being too generic, though it is still pretty generic answer.

Tell us about your last guild and why you are looking for a new home.: [Name removed]. This question is a struggle as my decision to leave [Name removed] is a personal decision and I don't want to air "dirty laundry." All I really want to say is this is based on recent changes in raiding attitudes and behaviors. If you wish more of an explanation, please contact me in game.
I liked the respect this applicant gave her former guild despite having pretty serious personality conflicts with the leadership of that guild.

We ask you to prepare yourself for a new boss encounter, how do you go about this?: Get reagents together, get some gold, get some beer to soften the wipes, load my handgun in case I need to become an hero. Make sure I read up on Bosskillers so I know exactly what not to do.
This single answer got this applicant an initiation opportunity within our guild.

The Bad

Why did you allocate your talent points where you did?: Excellent solo play, and the occasional time I get to group
This is not a solo guild.

What do you believe your class (and spec) brings to raids?: I bring the best my class can offer, I chose a paladin because it has a higher survivability rate, wearing plate and using shields, meaning I will not be one shoted by a boss like a priest.
This answer scares me, because plate or not, you're going to get one shotted by a boss. Also how does this guy play that he's managing to pull aggro as a paladin healer?

What do you believe your class (and spec) brings to raids?: I believe it will bring DPS, CC is sum cases, and also missdirects.
I hate poor spelling and bad grammar. I don't want "sum" showing up in my guild chat on a regular basis. Maybe that's petty, but I'm the GM so what I want sometimes matters, even if it is petty.

Pre-BC raid experience: I ended up reaching Level 60 as soon as BC came out, so I never really went into the instances, just continued up to 70. The thought had crossed my mind but ofcourse my friends would leave me behind if i didn't continue to level. Yes yes I know.. I said friends... I had some back then :P *cry
Maybe this was meant to be cute, but it rubbed me the wrong way.

What do you anticipate your raid attendance will be if we were to offer you a raiding position within our guild?:I will be able to make possibly all of the raids, with exceptions of work and school and certain family issues.
Um, duh?

Tell us about your last guild and why you are looking for a new home.: [Name Removed] on Kael'Thas. I entered the guild, started asking simple questions, and was promoted to officer after a few months because I wasn't a retard. I left because after beating HARDMODE bosses like Solarian, VR, Lurker we were running into walls of shitty healing, shitty tanking and retarded DPS, and a Raid Leader that called for breaks so he could get more stoned. But this isn't a QQ session, and they've since gone on to become a 5/6 3/4 SSC TK + 2/4 MH guild. Whoooo.
While this applicant took me up on my opportunity to make a jerk of himself, the rest of his app was good. I interviewed him and realized this was the product of frustration. This guy is now a contributing member of the guild; he still gets grumpy when he's frustrated.

Tell us about your last guild and why you are looking for a new home.: [Name Removed] has nice people but i dont like that they raid with DKP , i havnt done DKP since mc , onyx ect feels outdated .
We use a DKP system.

What do you want out of being in a guild?: When I join a guild, I expect people to respect my time and in exchange, I respect theirs. So much fucking time is wasted in wow because people aren't prepared and/or don't pay attention during raids. If you join a raid and you don't know the strategies, you're wasting 24 peoples time, which is pretty damn selfish.

Also, I enjoy joking around in g-chat, dropping metalocalypse references and frequently linking to southpark clips and lolcats. I like getting to know people and running alts through instances and the like. I also -LOVE- ganking lowbies and camping instance stones, but y'all are on a pve server ...You really don't know what you're missing
If you like pvp so much, stay on a pvp server. This guy does have some points, but he made a jerk of himself and it wasn't even the question where he was supposed to.

What do you know about The Guild, and how do you know it?:
they raid ssc and other raiding instances, ive seen them around and played with some of the people in the guild
We don't raid SSC actually....

What do you know about The Guild, and how do you know it?: From what i have herd they are a great guild and a great raiding guild to be apart of
Did I mention I'm not a fan of poor spelling? I think this is a great raiding guild for you to be apart of (from) too.

The WHAT were you thinking?

Why did you allocate your talent points where you did?: I absolutley LOVE to heal. I play a healing class in all RPGs.
This is not an answer to question I asked.

What do you believe your class (and spec) brings to raids?: Im a VERY well rounded player ive cleared illidan 100 times on my shaman , i know how to keep things rolling. Totems/ VE/VT my spell rotations are accurate to the notch,.
Wait you have Totems and VE? Also the character linked (A shaman) was Friendly with the Deathsworn Ashtongue.

How long have you been playing WoW?: I started playing wow two years ago with four friends from work, all in the 27+ age group, with one of them being 250lbs, gay, and bald. They are all cool peopel but alas we eventually parted ways. one was into pvp and I started realy playing a lot more. Oh and I don't have anything against gays , nor am I a homophobe. In fact Im quite into women thank you very much. hence my hot sexy toon :P
Well I'm glad we've cleared that up.

What do you anticipate your raid attendance will be if we were to offer you a raiding position within our guild?:Thursday-Sunday might be able to make Monday and Tuesday on some days.
That's nice, we raid Sunday to Thursday and require 75% attendance. I'm glad you did your homework before you apped.

Tell us about your last guild and why you are looking for a new home.:
[Name Removed]. I was in the guild for only a few days, and after some stupid forum drama, (some retard accused me of being a "ninja accomplice" <--What the hell is that? Anyway.. They kicked me saying it wasn't worth the chances because they had recently had some ninjas in there guild. So I actually know the GM of [Name Removed] and the whole story ended up being that he'd ninja'd two items. The first time he got a warning because the facts couldn't be 100% confirmed. The second time he ninja'd an item from an officer of their guild and was removed.

Tell us about your last guild and why you are looking for a new home.: My last guild i was in, was on Rexxar, named [Name Removed]. I was asked to leave because my CL was threatening to kill himself over me. I was told it was over my constantly asking why i would raid for 2 months, then would sit out for 1 month.
Your last class leader wanted to kill himself because of you? I'm not sure I'd advertise that.

What do you want out of being in a guild?: to have fun and raid on my preist and make GOOD friends not fags like the ones ive met in this guild that i xfered my shaman to. I need a new home.
Goodness! That's a strong word for an application.

Who do you know in The Guild?:Oppomcpuff, corey
This person is not in my guild.


Anatomy of a guild app

Let me preface this by saying there are LOTS of opinions about guild applications. My opinion is but one of many. However, you've chosen to visit my corner of the intarwebz, so mine is the one you get to hear.

I view an application to be a tool for eliminating people I clearly don't want in my guild, with the least amount of reading possible. Basically when I'm done reading the application I want to be thinking, "Gee I'd like to talk to that person" or "Ewwwww no thanks." With that goal in mind, I'm going to take you through my guild's application. Here is a sneak peak into the pitfalls and what I'm really looking for when I read an application to my guild.

We ask that all applicants read our guild policies before applying.
Please use the following template for your application.
This is your warning, make sure you know what you're signing up for, and fill this stuff out.

Character Name: I do need to know what to call you. Also if your name is Buttfloss or something equally dumb I generally stop reading here.

Class: Yep, this is important too. If you spell your class wrong, I'm not interested.

Armory Link: Sure we could ask for your detailed history OR you could just give me the link. I check this for rep (Don't tell me you've been farming BT for 6 months and have your Deathsworn Ashtongue Rep at Honored.) Did you gem, gear, enchant, or spec in a way that meets our expectations for raiders?

Why did you allocate your talent points where you did?: Defend your choices. If I see the words pvp or solo here I normally stop reading. This is a raiding guild. It's not a pvp guild and it's not a let's go solo guild.

What do you believe your class (and spec) brings to raids?: This is the first question I ask where I'm looking for an insight into the player's class knowledge and play style. "I pew stuff" indicates a different personality and understanding of a class than "I provide CC, biscuits and high AoE damage."

How long have you been playing WoW?: I'm honestly not sure why we have this here. I think one of my officers wanted it. As long as the answer is above 4 months or so I'm normally fine with it.

How long have you been playing this character? I want this answer to be over 4 months also.

Pre-BC raiding experience: What did you do before BC? Honestly at this point Naxx isn't a deciding factor, but it does tell me that you've had experience in our type of raiding environment before. With less experienced players you have to determine both if this type of raiding commitment AND if this guild is for them at the same time.

BC raid experience: What do I have to teach you to get you up to speed with our current progression?

What do you anticipate your raid attendance will be if we were to offer you a raiding position within our guild?: I don't trust 100% I don't want to hear about well my dog or school comes up sometimes. I want a good guesstimate of how often your real life interferes with your raiding plans. If you tell me 95% and it ends up be 60% imma be pissed.

What do you want out of being in a guild?: This is honestly about your expectations meeting our offerings. If you expect a military style raid that's not what we offer. If you want us all to be best friends and not care that you have green gems, this is also not the place for you.

Tell us about your last guild and why you are looking for a new home.: This is my "Plays well with others" section, where I give you a chance to make a jerk of yourself. If you trash your old guild as a bunch of jerks who don't understand, that raises red flags for me. (Especially if I know your old GM.) If you were booted for ninja looting, I'd make up something about not having compatible raid times.

What do you know about The Guild*, and how do you know it?: Have you done your homework about my guild? If you haven't, how flattering can you be?

Who do you know in The Guild*?: Do you have someone in my guild to vouch for you? If you do, do they actually know and like you?

We ask you to prepare yourself for a new boss encounter, how do you go about this?: This is kind of a give me. Tell me you read strats, get consumables, and/or talk to friends that have done the fight. Just remember, I keep this application if I tag you. So I'm going to remind you that you do these things.

Please allow us up to 3 days after acknowledging receipt of your application to review your application and post an update before you contact us and ask for an update.
Don't pester my officers 20 minutes after you apply.

If your contact requests that you get in touch with them and you fail to do so within a week, your application will be considered withdrawn and no longer considered.
Don't make us go looking for you.

Unless otherwise stated, officers are not available to discuss applications during TD's raid hours. We're all an active part of the leadership of raids and it's unfair to our guildmates, our applicants and ourselves to attempt to give both your application and the raid the attention they deserve at the same time.
Don't pester my officers during a raid; they are raiding.

Please delete the instructional portions of this form before submitting your application.
This is my idiot check. I don't need to read my instructions to evaluate your app, however, if you've deleted my instructions, then I know that you have read them. If you don't follow directions on your application, you probably won't follow them in raids either.

*Name changed to confused the truly obtuse.


Reviewing a healing strat

Sorry for being quiet, it turns out that away from this mystical land of intarwebz there are demons that via for your time and attention. I just faced down an elite one, and as I'm a holy priest (and I was caught in my healing gear) all I could really do was put my shadow word pain on it and heal myself and wait for it to tire of me.

So aside from the intro that probably means I've been reading too much Ratters, we were able to test my Brutalus healing strat Monday night. Like any good strat it took some tweaking. Like Runycat suggested, I pulled in one additional resto druid and tasked him with HoTs on the Burn victims (The holy pally and resto druid were then put into a team I called "The Burn Unit") and when possible toss some HoTs on the active tank or on a transition the next tank. My pally IS amazing, but the burn damage ended up being a little more than he could handle on his own (which honestly was the most presumptive part of my strat.) Once that was in place, the healing strat looked pretty stable. We had some wipes due to healers getting used to what to expect from Stomp damage, some due to tanks figuring out the best time to taunt, some due to soakers that didn't understand Burn plus refreshing your Meteor Slash = dead DPS. (It's the increased fire damage for those of you who also don't read closely) But at the end of the night we were getting solid attempts with stable healing, which to me means a successful healing strat.

But Auz you said there would be evaluation! All I see is carebear happy stuff, where's the numbers. Well I'll be honest, when the raid's successful I don't dip so deep into the numbers. I did wander through every pre-wipe death in WWS and figure out what happened. (THANK GOD DEATH REPORTS ARE BACK!) What I saw bore out my thought to bring in the druid for burn HoTs. I've found that if my tank healers don't chain cast through Stomp, the tanks won't live. My Disc priest did a nice job making sure the two of us weren't synced the whole night. Inspiration was on the tank about 90% of the night, leading credence to my raid leaders's and my inspiration math. I'm currently trying to decide how to make that math available on the intarwebz. If I keep feeling lazy, you'll just a get a link to spreadsheet you'll have to download.

In even better news, Illidan finally dropped his car door for our main tank, so our attempts tomorrow will be even easier for our healers


Building a healing strat for Brutalus

So I've hesitated to post this for fear of being wrong and looking like an idiot, but I've decided this is part of what I do as a GM and maybe it'll help someone. Also, after singing to you guys, I can't really embarrass myself much further.

We finally killed the big blue menace on Tuesday and I've spent the past few days building our Brutalus healing strategy. I've looked over kill videos, WWS reports, and strategies that include listing of the boss abilities. I know that at my guild's place in progression I could jack someone else's strat and do no actual thinking for myself, but my EQ roots make coming up with my own plan a matter of pride. Also no one else knows my healers as well as I do, so I doubt their strats would be as strong as my own for my guild.

So here's the plan for our guild's initial Brutalus attack:
1 CoH Priest and 1 Shaman to heal Meteor Slash
1 Pally to heal Burn targets (With help from the meteor slash shaman at the final tick)
1 Holy priest, 1 Disc priest, 1 pally and 1 shaman on the MTs.

The shaman and I are going to spend some quality time together figuring out what rank of Lesser Healing Wave he can cast continuously for 6 minutes (fully raid buffed). In the fight he will stand still and continuously cast Lesser Healing Wave. The holy priest will be casting max rank Greater Heal to land in time with the main hand weapon swing (both 2.5 seconds, coincidence I think not!), and keep renew up and the Disc priest thinks on his feet and will alternate his heals but I anticipate at 4 casts in 15 second average. The pally is a Holy Light spammer.

The heart of this plan is maxing our inspiration/ancestral fortitude uptime to counterbalance Stomp. I've done some math with my raid leader and determined that with this configuration we can keep inspiration/ancestral fortitude on our tanks 94% of the time.*

So, that's my initial healing plan. As my raid leader buddy says, "no good plan survives contact with the enemy." I'll check in after our first night's attempts and let you know what worked and what didn't work.

*I found that in my scouring of the intarwebz there is no Inspiration/Ancestral Fortitude uptime calculator or formula published so I had to make my own. It's not perfect but it's the best estimation I could put together without delving into derivatives. Using the math my raid leader and I put together I will be creating a calculator in the hopes of preventing someone else from having to do all that math.