After over 9 months you have your guild set up or reorganized after reading the hefty guide I posted. That’s great, in my opinion you are surpassing the most hard part of any guild; time. As you structure towards your dream guild, there is one fundamental element you are lacking after weeding out the players you do want in guild. Either for inactivity or for any reason you deem logical and appropriate, you have slots to fill.
As the guild master or officer, it is your responsibility to help set standards and procedures on how to attract new players. As the officer, you are to make the necessary recommendation and depending on the responsibilities entrusted you have to make the decisions. As the guild master, you’re primary goal is to make sure the guild essentially works whether it is in your structure you created or a liberal design. In this article, I will provide you my knowledge on how to approach and recruit new members both in an open and structured setting.
Throughout, I will use certain terminology to remain as concise as possible. When I refer to officer, I mean those provided with the most power to the guild; this means both guild master and officer. Member will reference the players who are within the guild without advanced powers or admin privileges.
Words Are Weapons – “Hi, welcome!”
As the members with the most rights provide by the system, you are essentially now a role model to everyone with less. Regardless of age or time played, you have higher responsibilities as an officer. Aside from looking good, you are to ensure all guild information is up to date and all standing orders are still being executed unless otherwise rescinded. This means in-game and out-game public recruitment.
Your task is simple, find potential new members and view any recommendation provided by members. This is where critical thinking will come handy. Though all members may say “this guy is good” or “his build might help us”, the candidate may or may not be interested. In which case, a very front question to join would not be acceptable. Best approach would be to private message this player and provide a compliment with the information provided. After a casual exchange, ask if they would like to join in a group activity. During this time, have the members who first encountered him come along as mentors to allow a bridge to see how your guild operates. If the player meets the necessary expectation from what you knew before, you can suggest joining your guild. However some people at this point would still be upfront, this is normal and somewhat appropriate to ask however it is best to establish a friendship to be able to provide some limit of trust. At this time, compliments would be a good angle to play such as:
“You sure know how to play.”
“You work pretty well in a team.”
“Glad you can tag along with us.”
Essentially, make them feel needed and not just cannon fodder. When the time is right and they seem like a match for the guild, ask it like you want someone to move in to your place. As a no nonsense guild, your question should be to the point but provide it as a choice. A “how would you like to join my guild?” would be sufficient. At this point they can say yes or no. After they tell you they would like to, give them the invite. Congrats, you got a newbie. You’re not done yet.
When I use to run through this, I found better potential guildies who were more cooperative. They would watch your back and usually have the same agenda about the game when you show them what your guild is about. At times, I would receive little to no complaints since everyone feels they’re on the same side.
Summary (The P.L.E.N.)
- Plan a group
- Learn what the new guy can do
- Ease them in, let them see who you guys are
- Never be too forward
Leg/Paper Work – “So here’s our info”
So as the recruiter, your first responsibility is to ask the few simple questions about guild operations and filling out any blanks. The stuff is like:
“Do you have VOIP and a mic?”
“Would you like to learn more about our guild?”
“Do you need our contact information?”
Those questions are to be addressed so that the member can be adjusted towards the guild and not feel like an outsider. Usually a good idea is to provide the contact info of the guild master or another officer and some names of people who are really active. That way, they’re never really alone and always have someone to chat with in the guild. Consider it like going to school for the first time and they want to sit with the cool kids; cool kids being you guys and the table is the guild.
A good bonding strategy is to be friendly. Not too friendly, but friendly enough that you two would want to just do stuff in game together or just hang around and not really care who has what task to do. It’s either that or have a open person in the guild who is really friendly to all; I doubt you will need volunteers since everyone should be happy to play with the newbie.
You can substitute the last two sections into a form where players can just fill out and send to the guild. Though this strategy does produce is bad results at times due to the impersonal nature, it does provide a vast array of candidates to join to the guild. Here’s a sample I wrote about a couple years ago.
How did you find out about us?
Tell us about you. Why should you be in our guild?
Do you have VOIP and a mic?
Very simple and to the point but very impersonal and doesn’t provide much room to handle the new guy if accepted. I find have a mix of both strategy of personal and impersonal does help to learn more about the player than to just randomly invite people.
- Information immediately
- Working relationship usually keeps them in
- Forms bring in boatloads but never all premium picks
Fodder Holes – “Yeah we’re pretty ‘active’!”
As a former guild master and current player, I still see the same tactics used by other guilds over and over again. The upside is you are well known but you begin to get a bad rep especially from seasoned players. These tactics for recruitment is pretty low and usually to trap players in situations where they would leave the guild or the game entirely. I’m talking about 2 major moves; they’re the same, spam.
First off, invite spam. They don’t know you, you don’t know them; pop a guild invite. I don’t recommend this at all. For one thing, you don’t really know the guy and he could just waste space which an officer might have to kick to open up. That’s just paper work they don’t want to do, wastes time to admin the guild. Guild should be autonomous so it doesn’t have to keep watch on itself a lot. It might have a catchy name, but it’s best to be known for reputation than with flash. “15th Black Thunder” might sound awesome, but if I see the guild list and most people are inactive for a long time; that’s a bad indication.
Chat blocks is what most players dread, but usually remedied with a simple ignore command. There I said it, no need for more. Chat spam that you are recruiting may be the best way to push out; like invite spam, but much worse. No only you attract potential players, but you annoy everyone else in the vicinity. Not a great way to make a name for your guild considering this strategy is pretty aggressive in of your relation to everyone else in game. These chat blocks seems to contain the usual catchphrases like:
“Need a guild?”
“We have [insert VOIP service name]”
Best to avoid that approach, better to be precise than having a large recruitment drive.
- Avoid fodder holes
- Fodder holes mean, players you may get may not be interested or just create chaos.
Recruitment should be a slow and steady process. Success is not a destination, but a journey. Give it time, the guild will grow. As a guild master, provide guidelines on how to recruit to your officers. Never let personal bias confuse the call of the candidates. Your decision should be based on the guild’s mantra and not of the feelings of friends. The purpose of the guild system in most games is to facilitate some socializing. If you didn’t want to socialize, then you shouldn’t have joined a guild.