With my Guild starting a Star Wars: The Old Republic branch, we have had some people apply to join the guild and for the most part the applications have been pretty standard and those people have all gotten into the guild. The other day we had one that was so outstanding that I just had to share it with everyone. When it came in, I had to read it several times to make sure I was reading it correctly. It represents everything that you should NOT do when applying to join a guild. It was so bad that my wife read the first few lines and instantly said Hell No to the app. I figure that I should rant about this guild a bit so if you have no interest in reading about an application to my guild, feel free to change the channel.
Now while I won't link the application here, I will be describing sections of it so you can understand how bad the app was. If you want to see the application you can head over to my guild site and find it for yourself. Here is a link to the blank application template, as you can see it has five sections but the info we ask is kind of important and we aren't expecting someone to write a paragraph for each question. Most people answer each question as best as they can and move on. The application shouldn't take long to fill out and most people fill it out rather quickly.
Now this person is a friend of a RL friend of mine who is already in the guild. The applicant wanted to join the guild to play with my friend which is fine and I had no problem with once he had filled out an application. Now the guy was told to fill out an app and that he would get an invite as soon as it was posted since he was RL friends with my RL friend. The guy took a couple of days to get the app done...this should have set off a warning that this guy was going to be trouble since he was online for a while and could have filled out the app rather quickly and gotten into the guild. But since I was busy with other things I didn't think about it and went about my business. Eventually the application was posted...and I instantly had an example of what NOT to do when filling out an application.
Our application is divided into 5 sections which focus on different areas. This is done so that we don't end up with an application that is just a block of solid text. Again its all basic questions, nothing that would require an essay to answer the question. The first section is about the applicant: first name, age, location, have you read the guild rules/about us pages. Now Mr. Bad Apper decided that he would be funny and put that his location was "your moms house." We aren't asking for map coordinates to your house for that, we would just like to know where in the world someone is located. Strike one and we're only on the first question. The second question asks if he had read the about us page (which I linked in the question so people could read the rules.) Now a lot of people don't read the about us page since the already know about us from talking to whoever told them to apply to the guild. I don't mind too much when people say that they haven't read it yet as long as they have heard about us and how our guild is.
The next question about whether the applicant has read and agreed to comply with the guild rules(also linked) and Mr. Bad Apper answered with "Depends on if i agree with the rules." There is a link to the rules and it doesn't take long to read said rules. We put a lot of effort into writing up our guild rules and if you can't even bother to read the behavior we don't tolerate in guild then you can expect to not last long at all in our guild. Strike two for this guy.
We'll skip the next question about experience in rpg/mmorpgs and move on to the question about how long the applicant has been playing WoW/SWTOR and what interests them about the game. Now SWTOR is new and I don't expect most people to answer anything than a few days or weeks but maybe someone is app'ing that has been playing since the closed beta. Mr. Bad Applicant decided to be funny yet again with his answer of "Since Thrall and Jaina fucked." No I am not kidding, he has devised some way to gauge time based on when two fictional characters had fictional sex. Strike three for Mr. Bad Apper and we haven't even gotten out of the first section.
At this point I've made up my mind to reject this application but I decided to keep reading on to see if maybe the application will get better. The next section asks about the applicant's main character, name/class/professions. Mr. Bad Apper decided to list his class as "Troll" and I can't say that he was wrong. Personally he should have listed his class as "Moron." Now the next question about his profession was the answer that made my wife instantly say no to the application. For his profession he listed "Rapist." I wish I could say that I was kidding about this one. It is sad that the saying "Common sense is never common" is accurate. We don't take jokes about rape lightly. If a guildee pulls aggro in a raid and the boss one shots them, we may tease them by asking them if the boss at least bought him/her drinks before having their way with them or things along that line but it is always light and never crosses a line. We do not make actual rape jokes. It is just not a funny topic.
Keep in mind that I don't personally know this guy. He is a friend of one of my real life friends from college but I have never met this guy. He has never guilded with us and I have never even talked to this guy over vent or mumble. To me he is a random stranger who just happens to be playing the same MMO as I am. The guy probably figured that because he knew someone in the guild he could get a guild invite without having to put any effort into it. He decided to fill out his application in a trollish manner to show us how funny he was. Maybe it would be funny if I knew the guy but somehow I doubt it.
The bad application doesn't end here either. For the next section that asks questions about alts/endgame experience, he half assed it by copying the questions but not really answering them. He also questioned that we will even do end game content in SWTOR. The last section that asks about who recommended him, his guild history, and a few miscellaneous humorous questions. Mr. Bad Apper does list my RL friend as someone who recommended him to the guild; unfortunately he did it in a very insulting manner and used a lot of cursing. If one of my friends ever talked about me that way in such a public manner, you can bet that he wouldn't be a friend for long. Mr. Bad Apper then goes on to answer the question about his previous guild(s) and the reason for leaving it/them was because "they were all fags." So Rape jokes AND homophobic language. This guy is clearly a winner.
Bad news Mr. Bad Apper: you may not have taken our application seriously but I do. For years people have asked me why I make people fill out an application to the guild instead of just interviewing them and inviting them into the guild. My answer is that if someone really wants to join my guild they will take a few minutes and fill out an application. It is the first thing that they can do to show me that they really want to join my guild. If they can't be bothered to fill out an application than I can expect to have other similar issues with them down the line. "Why do I have to fill out an application to join the guild" leads to "well why should I sign up for a raid? Can't I just get a raid invite because I'm online" or worse. There is a reason why we do things by a certain procedure: because it works.
I've been the guild leader of my WoW guild for 6 years now and I've seen guilds who just invite anyone into their guild come and go. They usually fall apart because they invite in people who aren't right for their guild environment which leads to drama and headaches for those in charge. While we are now also playing a new MMO together, that doesn't mean that my experience in such matters should be discounted. We may never be the largest guild around on our server or the furthest progressed but I can guarantee you that we are the most stable.
To those of you out there in blog reader land who are looking for a guild, my advice to you is to take a guilds application seriously. The application is there for a reason. Oh you can definitely fill out an application with a sense of humor but keep in mind that the people who read your application may not share your sense of humor. Please don't assume that people will read it and know that you are kidding, text doesn't convey emotions. Also remember that Rape jokes are not funny. Ever.
My guild is my home away from home and I don't allow just anyone to come into it and if I do invite you in, you better wipe your feet before entering! If you ARE looking for a guild in WoW or SWTOR and you are not a moron like Mr. Bad Apper, please feel free to pass by our site and fill out an application.
Now to end this with some happyness, have a fun video full of nice beats and gnomes.