A 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.