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Instant Guild Application, just add mouseclicks…

Having arrived on the PTR guildless, I noticed a new icon on my action bar almost immediately after logging: clicking on it calls up the following (new) feature: Looking for Guild. I’ll be honest here and say I had to suppress a chuckle when I first saw it: devolving how you’d spend your time in Guild to one of three buttons seems at least to me somewhat laughable. There’s clearly no provision for anyone with alts (only your current online roles are highlight-able) and I’ll be actively testing later how much descriptive text you can enter in the Comments box before running out of space.

It’s clear that Blizzard takes it’s commitments seriously, and knows that a lot of content’s simply going to go by the wayside if you don’t belong to a Guild. Giving people the opportunity to at least have a way to find somewhere to hang their hat is laudable. However anyone who’s run a Guild at any point will know just how hard it is to find the right people to fit into the very unique dynamics that this can throw up. The chances of anyone being able to show their abilities and strengths on a single page is slim to none. On the flipside, being able to tell if someone could cause an issue or not fit in on the strength of this little information… well frankly, it’s a minefield. I realise this feature is only at the initial testing phase but I for one can think of a few ways that Blizzard could actually make this feature work to the benefit of more people.

The main one that springs to my mind would be to build a Looking for Guild ‘template’ on the Blizzard website. This would link all your current character information, allow you to write a not-restricted-by-space-ingame CV for yourself and (if it were linked to your character) there surely must be a way to ‘link’ this to your LFGuild application in game. With the amount of information now available via statistics on what any single character has done it might be nice for any Guild Master using this service to be able to access a player’s paper doll and recent activity in game via this service as well. I think it’s going to be a prerequisite to provide details on whether a character has recently left a Guild or transferred servers too, and I am sure there also has to be a way to log this, even if it only happens from when the service starts up. I’m not advocating we get five years worth of stored data on Guildie Applicant X but some idea of why he’s looking for a Guild if he’s 85 and been playing since Vanilla would certainly be an advantage.

If only getting asked to join a Guild was this easy all the time…

It’s genuinely encouraging to see Blizzard taking on board the task of improving the general game environment, and no-one will deny how useful the LFGroup queuing system has become since it’s introduction. Whether trying to repeat this with Guild recruitment is a good idea though will remain to be seen: I’m going to watch the development of this feature with a great deal of interest on the PTR as a Guild Master who’s always on the lookout for new people to join our ranks. I wonder, can Blizzard pull off the (seemingly) impossible and make this feature viable?

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