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stand out from the crowd

One of the more interesting account features on the SWTOR community site is the Guild Application. If you’re like me, you  probably didn’t even notice it at first. But it’s there, accessible by clicking my account at the top of the screen, then clicking the Guild application link in the middle of your Account Management menu on the right of the screen.

If you are planning to apply to a guild before launch, you’ll want to make sure you spend some time with this page. The fields they make available are some of the same fields you see cropping up on guild applications in other MMOs, plus a few specific to SWTOR. I’ll walk you through how to make the most of these questions to help your future GM get to know you and your strengths.

The Basics

  • What class will you play first? (you can only pick one)
  • What time zone will you play in? (PST, EST, GMT)
  • What days do you plan on playing?
  • What hours do you plan on playing? (Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Weekends)

These fields help you form a basic screening for finding a guild that’s a good fit for when you plan on being available to play. Interestingly enough, these are the sort of small details that I’ve seen numerous new applicants in guilds leave over. SO make sure that if you are a PST time player you don’t join a guild that’s full of folks who are packing up for the night when you are just getting home from work.

Tell Us a Little Bit More About You…

  • List your past MMORPG experience (550 characters)
  • What are you looking for in a guild? (1000 characters)
  • What can you contribute to a guild? (1000 characters)
  • What else is important to know about you? (1000 characters)

This is the part of the application where you get to do the five paragraph essay on why you will be an excellent addition to the SWTOR guild to which you are applying. Yes, you technically *can* get away with one-sentence answers here, but why would you want to? The guild application, as I have opined elsewhere, truly is your place to shine as an applicant, and increase your chances of finding a guild that will be a good fit.

Lets take these questions one-by one and discuss.

List your past MMORPG experience

In addition to a laundry list of all the MMOs you’ve ever played (commenting on what you thought of them is optional and may be contentious), this is a good place to note if you’ve had any leadership positions, earned any special recognition or achievements, etc. Consider this to be a brief gaming resume. If SWTOR is going to be your first MMORPG, share other gaming experiences you’ve had, or what it is that’s inspired you to start up now. Resist the urge to embellish upon your accomplishments– just like on an IRL resume, it’s the kind of thing that can come back to bite you early and often.

What are you looking for in a guild?

No, this isn’t an in-game version of your childhood Christmas lists for Santa. You shouldn’t expect a guild to hand you all of the game’s perks on a silver platter. On the other hand, if you are someone whose perfect guild is one where everyone will lend you in-game currency, run your low-level characters through instance content, and talk to you on Mumble for hours, it’s probably in everyone’s best interest that you note that here. Ahem.

Some good things to note here: your interest in end game group content (raids/operations), PvP, and altism, how social of a guild you are looking for, and if you are interested in raiding, what sort of time commitment and level of focus you would want that to be for your guild. It’s also a good place to note any special considerations you keep in mind when picking out a guild — such as looking to play only with mature adult players or ensuring the guild lives by DBAD*.

What can you contribute to a guild?

Are you a quest completionist? An obsessive crafter? A hoarder of vanity pets? Do you blog or use twitter to keep up on game news and resources? These are all great things to share in this section. Additionally, if you aspire to being an officer in a guild, go ahead and mention it. And finally, if you have friends and family already in the guild name check them here as well.

NOTE: “friend” is not someone you just met in an instance today. I had a WoW guildie in a raiding guild who was responsible for some of the absolutely most annoying friends and family adds due to her spending much of her time playing alts in lowbie dungeons and apparently encouraging everyone in her groups to apply to our guild.

What else is important to know about you?

Of these four questions, for me, this me was the hardest. What more is there to know about me that’s relevant? Since this is not a document that anyone else sees, other than the guildmaster, it’s an opportunity to share something a little more personal than you might put in your public profile, such as what you do for a living or where you live or that your cat always howls into Vent when you’re not paying him enough attention. Or you can just use it to make a targeted pitch for why you would be a great fit for a listed raiding or officer slot. It’s a place where you can show a little personality, so make the most of those 1000 characters!

The best part about the guild application is once you spend the time to set it up once, you don’t have to do it again. You can just go in and revise what you have, adding in new accomplishments or revised things you are looking for at any time. It will be interesting to see if guilds continue to use the community website’s application system and forums after the game launches, or if there will be a migration to external guild website purveyors. Only time will tell.

For related reading on looking for a SWTOR guild, read this post. Happy guild hunting!

*DBAD = Don’t be a d***.