TL;DR: You apply, we invite you as a initiate, and then in a few days of good behavior we promote to you to full member . Membership Applications
Thanks for your interest in United Defense! Our guild means a lot to us, so we tend to take recruitment rather seriously. This document will help you understand both our recruitment process and the philosophy behind it.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that United Defense recruits people, not avatars. Whereas most guilds approach recruitment by looking at things like character gear levels and raiding utility, UD is far more interested in the person behind the computer. Personality is everything. To better understand who we are and what we value as a guild, we encourage you to take the time to carefully read The United Defense Manifesto. Reading this document will be very useful to you in deciding whether UD is the right guild for you, in making it clear what we’re looking for in applicants, and in demonstrating to us that you’re serious about your interest in UD.
As mentioned in the Manifesto, we have worked very hard to build a sustainable, tight-knit guild culture. Accordingly, we avoid guild mergers and mass-recruiting of any sort. Though we may recruit small groups of friends from time to time, each and every applicant is evaluated and promoted based on his or her own individual merits. We recruit slowly and carefully. Our target guild size is one that will allow us to reliably field 25-man raids, and we’re not interested in growing much larger than that. UD welcomes alts, but we’re not an alt guild—that is, we only admit alts of people whose main on Daggerspine is already in UD. We are a guild of friends, and real-life friends or family of existing Members will be given special consideration in recruitment.
Our recruitment process can be roughly divided into three parts: application, initiation, and promotion.
The application period is when you introduce yourself to the guild. This can be done in a variety of ways. First, we strongly encourage you to make a post in the Membership Applications forum introducing yourself, with your main character’s name as the title. In this post, we suggest that you discuss things such as your previous guild and WoW experiences, what you’re looking for in a guild, why you thinks UD is the right guild for you, and some things about yourself as a person outside of the game. Most guilds have a standard application template; UD does not. We’ve avoided a standard template because we think it’s important to give you the opportunity to describe who you really are as a person and a WoW player; in our experience, a pre-generated application form does a poor job at that. If you have difficulty registering and posting on our forums, please talk to any of us and we’d be happy to assist you. If you already know one or more people in UD, ask your friends to help include you in guild activities so that you can meet more Members. If your friends feel strongly that you would be a good addition to the guild, those Members can choose to make an endorsement post in the private “Recruitment: Nominations” forum. If you don’t know anyone in the guild well, we recommend that you work to get to know some of our Members in an informal manner, as this will greatly increase your chance of receiving a guild invite. As already mentioned, we strongly recommend that you read this document and the UD Manifesto all the way through, since these two documents will help you understand who we are as a guild and what we’re looking for in applicants. If you show promise as a strong addition to United Defense, one of our Officers will interview you, answer any questions you may have, and extend a guild invitation to you.
Each and every player has a distinct and complex personality, and we recognize that it can be very difficult to come to truly know and understand someone without actually being able to interact with that person from within the guild. Accordingly, United Defense brings all new recruits into the guild for a trial period as Initiates. The initiate period is a time during which our Members have an opportunity to get to know you, and you have an opportunity to come to a better understanding of what UD really is as a guild. The initiate period normally lasts between three and five weeks, but can last longer in certain cases. It gives you time to decide whether UD is the right kind of guild for you, and gives us time to decide whether you are the right kind of person for UD. We regularly discuss our Initiates in weekly officer meetings, and we solicit feedback on Initiates from our Members throughout the period. If it becomes clear that UD is not the right guild for a particular Initiate, we immediately let him know that things aren’t working out and respectfully send him on his way. Similarly, if it becomes clear to a particular Initiate that UD isn’t what he’s looking for in a guild, we encourage him to let us know as soon as possible, and leave the guild with no hard feelings. If someone doesn’t make it through the initiate period to become a full Member, it doesn’t mean there’s anything “wrong” with that person or with the guild; it simply means that there isn’t a good match between that individual and United Defense. About half of those whom we bring in as Initiates can expect to be promoted to full Member.
If, during the initiate period, it becomes clear that you would be a great addition to our guild on a permanent basis, we will offer you a promotion to full Member. This decision relies heavily on Member feedback though the initiate period, and is formally made by Officer consensus. Prior to promotion, an Officer will strike up a conversation with you in order to answer any questions, address any concerns, and confirm that you are truly enthusiastic about becoming a full Member. At this time the Officer will also confirm that you: 1) have Ventrilo and can log onto our server; 2) have successfully registered for our forums and aren’t having any problems accessing them; and 3) have installed either the Big Wigs or Deadly Boss Mods raiding addons. Promotion to full Member of United Defense is an honor that’s earned—not something that’s given away lightly. Its benefits include access to members-only forums; increased consideration for raid slots and item drops; increased guild bank access and permissions; and, most importantly, a voice in future guild decisions—ranging from recruitment determinations to broader issues of guild philosophy and direction. Membership also furnishes something akin to tenure in academic institutions: the individual is treated as a more-or-less permanent part of our UD community.
Our recruitment protocol may seem rather rigorous if you are used to other guilds’ more casual approach, and it is. We know from experience that it’s the people who make the guild, so we expend a great deal of time and effort in finding exactly the right people to join us. Should you decide to apply, the best piece of advice we can give is this: above all, be yourself. We sincerely hope that one day we’ll be able to call you a friend and a Member of United Defense!