Posted in General

Casual Recruitment

uncle_4msam_hatA lot of the time I see guild recruit messages spamming chat that might as well say “INSERT TEMPLATE RECRUITMENT POST HERE” for all the originality that they give.  It’s always something along the lines of:

Knights of Templar is now recruiting!  Casual, fun guild looking for helpful people who hate drama so much that they kill theater majors on sight.  Must be a warm body to bolster our numbers, conversation and participation optional.  To entice you, we have the same exact guild features — bank, hall, cloak/tabard/shield/standard/hat/fanny pack — that everyone else does!  PST to join!

And really, how could you not want <Knights of Templar> sullying your character’s name by floating like a vulgar statement right below it?  How could you not want to join this elite order of obviously casual AND fun folks who aspire to the knightly code of combat?

In all seriousness, about 95% of recruitment messages in general/zone-wide chat are as forgettable as the guilds they advertise.  There may be lots of different flavors of guilds, but there are only two categories: casual and hardcore.  And the hardcore folks don’t use chat channels to pull in their recruits — you have to hunt them down, sign up to their forums, submit and application and blood sample, undergo a lengthy interrogation and a 14-month probation period before being allowed into their hallowed company.

In comparison, most casual guilds don’t care about quality, they want quantity.  They have a churn rate of departing guildies that have to be offset with incoming ones, and for your basic level casual guild, the only meaningful aspect to them is that they have a critical mass of bodies to keep chat alive enough so that it doesn’t appear dead (and thus lose even more folks).

Now, there are exceptions in the casual guild market where these groups are not only picky about quality but sometimes go just as far as hardcore guilds in their application process.  They might not be above using the chat channel for recruitment messages, but they’re going to try to offer you a reason why they’re better than the others, and to give you a reason to notice them (as you should do in kind when it comes to throwing your name into their hat).  I always respect guilds that take the time to (a) have a decent, interesting guild name, (b) come up with a captivating/funny/different recruitment message, and (c) have some standards of quality during the application process to weed out players who are leechers, malcontents, immature or non-participatory.

Back in World of Warcraft, I was an officer (and co-GM) of a couple guilds, and one of my main duties was to get the word out about our particular (and peculiar) in-game family through recruit messages.  Wielding the awesome power of words, I tried hard to come up with recruit ads that showed that we were a cut above the rest.  Here are some of my favorites that I saved:

  • WoW is more than just grinding, and <Time Well Wasted> knows that!  Join us for squirrel discussions, scavenger hunts, sleepovers, BASE jumping and more! PST for info.
  • Squirrel worship.  Frank discussions about gnome psychology.  Suicide charges into The Undercity.  An alt-a-holic meeting on Thursday nights.  <Time Well Wasted> knows how to get you to 200 days /played without losing your sanity.  PST for info!
  • Do you miss having fun in WoW?  Need a guild that’s your friends, support group, mommy AND crazy uncle Larry all in one?  Join <Time Well Wasted> and see what you’re missing!  PST for info.
  • <Time Well Wasted> offers ALL the BEST features: *Cool green “guild chat” font colors, *Free demotions, *Penguin Ninjas, *Sandcastle HQ, *Guild bankruptcy, *All the [Goretusk Liver] you can eat, *And so much more!  Well, nothing more.
  • !yadot nioj dna esur revelc ruo hguorht ees ot [doG lerriuqS eht fo rorriM] ruoy esU  !uoy dniheb pu gnikaens si <detsaW lleW emiT>
  • Van Cleef annihilated us.  Gnomer gave us night terrors.  Our bones line the walls of Scarlet Monestary.  Our ghosts help serve Moroes in Kara.  And zoning into Zul’Aman killed us immediately.  <Time Well Wasted> – We wipe with *style*.  PST to join today!
  • So, I had this dream last night, right?  There was a pygmy circus clown, a demon-possessed bunny rabbit and Chester A. Arthur, all chanting “Join <Time Well Wasted>!”  Then I woke up, drenched in sweat and clutching a [Rabbit Foot].  I think it’s a sign.
  • Boredomasaur dies, you gain 245 experience. (+122 exp Awesome bonus)  You don’t feel normal.  You receive loot: [Time Well Wasted guild application].  You receive loot: [PST for more info!]
  • Are you bored with not dying all the time?  Then join <Time Well Wasted>, and find yourself so engrossed in guild chat that you’ll be running off cliffs and pulling 20 mobs at once in no time! <TWW> is recommended by 4 out of 5 Spirit Healers.
  • Lost?  Confused?  Lonely?  Constipated?  Twitterpated?  Giggly?  Hurt?  Crazy?  Boggled?  Excitable?  Bumfuzzled?  Hungry?  Kidnapped?  Sweet-smelling?  <Time Well Wasted>: The guild for every state of mind.  PST for more info!
  • Are you afraid of guild drama?  Guildies with contagious diseases the doctors have yet to identify?  Raid looting rules so complex that IRS agents run screaming for the hills?  Then <Time Well Wasted> and our relaxed, mature guild might be for you!
  • Are you: * friendly * slightly crazy, but in a good way * an altaholic * looking for a WoW experience beyond the grind * prone to falling off cliffs * mature, and * dead sexy?  Join <Time Well Wasted> and find your perfect fit!

I’m not saying that these are the way to go, but I had an above-average response due to them, and many times it would net the exact people we were looking for.

14 thoughts on “Casual Recruitment

  1. I received invitations. I never applied to any guild.

    It works. And I am not exceptional and super-good or hardcore. 🙂

    I am totally opposed to public recruiting, regardless how funny they formulate their ad.

    Play with people some instances, talk to them, as some greek philosopher said, talk to me so that I can see you… and invite them or not.

  2. Nice! There were a couple guilds on my server (Garona, US) that advertised in the same manner as TWW. One was called , who would probably be a good fit with you guys, judging by the theme of some of your ads.

  3. The first major guild that I joined while playing WAR was one which defnitely subscribed to “quantity over quality.” While numbers counted for a lot in WAR, the guild itself started out as fun and went downhill. Some people left, others fought over leadership, and a good number of the people were clawing at each other’s throats.

    Another good way to avoid getting quality recruits is to invite people without even talking to them. That happens to me twice each night in LotRO. My bet is that these “recruiters” just invite all non-guilded players in a given zone. I’m not important enough to speak with, but you want me in your guild? What’s up with that?

  4. Yep, almost all of those would have got me in. I joined the Knocturnal Knights just for their name, and stayed for the comradeship, and they were pretty much the only Guild I ever belonged to (on the Alliance side 😉

  5. I’ll tell ya Syp, I honestly prefer the active casual guilds. No guilt trip when you don’t show up for a 6 hour marathon raid. Less Guild drama about who made who mad. Less flipping out when they hear a girl on Vent. And you don’t feel bad when you /gquit for any reason at all.

    Active Casual guilds will fill up your chat box, make you smile a few times, hopefully have enough people to group with when you need a group, and who knows….you might meet a few people you have things in common with along the way.

    I guess I’m a little sensitive against hardcore guilds, after I was in one for a while and learned that the guild leader who was yelling and screaming at people all the time, was an unemployed stay at home drug addict who had been laid off 3 times that year.

    No wonder he had so much time to play…

  6. Those are chock full of win, Syp. I look forward to when you find another MMO that inspires even more creativity. I look back on some of our recruiting threads/spam in light of them with a touch of regret for lacking similar creativity.

  7. I have always liked seeing guild recruitment advertised when it is well done and perhaps most importantly in the appropriate place/chat channel. Being a role-player advertising in say a market place or tavern in my opinion added to the environment. Of course press-gangs could also be a way to go for guilds in dire-straights to get warm bodies out into the battle. I am not sure how that could be added in-game but could be something to add a touch of flavor to your role-playing experience. The Royal Navy of the 18th century did this and it both added the bodies it needed and spice to the lives of those involved, but perhaps not in a good way now that I think about it.

  8. Those are awesome! So when are we going to get you to create a Bio Break guild? Maybe when Champions comes out? 😉

    In WoW, I’m usually just impressed if a recruitment ad includes capitalization and punctuation. I prefer guilds that are somewhere between hardcore & casual. I’m not hardcore, but want them to be at least a little bit selective.

    I also like to get to know the culture of a guild, which can be hard just from an ad. I found my WAR guild by combing guild websites and looking at their forums to see where I’d fit in most. It took a long time, but it was so worth it.

  9. I’ve been lucky. I’ve been hanging around the same people virtually for almost 7 years.

  10. *has a sudden desire to go back to WoW and join ‘Time Well Wasted…for the squirrels*

  11. Okay, so you’re in the church business, if I remember correctly? With your skill with words, you probably have every geek in the area converted? These are great!

    Boris

  12. I fall off cliffs all the time. In AoC and LOTRO anyway. Too bad I don’t play WoW. TWW sounds like a great fit. 🙂 Been having a lousy run of ill-fitting guilds for so long, going solo has been more fun.

  13. These are great ideas, thank you! My husband just left the game and left a guild in my lap and I’d like to boost our numbers without making promises I can’t keep. These will help a lot.

  14. This is a really good read for me. I have been here reading for about an hour. I am a newbie and your success is very much an inspiration for me.I´ve already subscribed the feeds.Thanks a lot.

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