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Paragus Rants

Rants, reviews, and interviews from an MMO veteran and guild leader.

Author: Paragus1

Rant: Guild Recruit Spam

Posted by Paragus1 Friday October 2 2009 at 8:39AM
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Rant: Guild Recruit Spam

It's been a while since I've done a rant entry in here, so today I figure I would touch on something that has been driving me up a wall in the last few MMOs I have played, Guild Recruit Spam.  Chances are if you have played any MMO, you have seen these guild recruit spam messages flooding one of your chat channels.  I saw them in AoC, WAR, Darkfall, and now in Aion.  While general chat is hardly the place to have scholarly discussions and intellectual persuits, spamming people with your guild advertisement pretty much makes you about as cool as a telemarketer.

A vent server and a website?!  Holy shit!  Where do I sign up?  Maybe back in 1999 when I was raiding in the original Everquest this would have been exciting, but I don't see how this is really even worth mentioning at this point.  I'm sorry guys, but this is 2009. It is pretty much expected that if you are a real MMO guild, you are going to have a ventrilo server and a website.  That's like me trying to get people to join my swimclub by telling them I have a pool. It's just a given, isn't it?
 

Well apparently it isn't.  During my time in Darkfall, I was in a position where I was able to talk to a lot of people in a lot of various guilds for interviews and political dealings.  I was absolutely shocked at how many people are still using Teamspeak.  Compared to Ventrilo, TS sounds like you are broadcasting on some sort of shortwave radio from World War 2.  If you are really serious about building a guild with lasting appeal and a strong community, splurge the couple bucks a month for the vent server.

I also love when I see a guild recruit spammer claiming their guild is elite or hardcore.  Elite and hardcore groups of people don't take any random jabroni off the street into their ranks.  That would be like having the special forces accepting applications in a kiosk in your local shopping mall.  Let's assume for a minute that you were an amazing player with PvP skills placing you in the top percentile, what guild would you join?  The guy standing on street corner wearing gear from a garbage dumpster looking for friends, or a group of like-minded players who are on the cutting edge?

Aside from recruitment spam being one the worst ways to attract quality members, it also ranks you right up there with gold spammer as one of the most annoying people in the game.  People will always remember the name of a guild who spams the chat box because you felt the need to remind them every 3 minutes.  As a result, don't be surprised if people's reaction towards you and your crew in less than favorable.  Just remember, a gold spammer doesn't have to live among the people they are annoying, your guild will.
 

Up and coming guilds need to ask themselves what is more important; having more members just for the sake of having members, or settling for less members who are solid and likely to share your vision.  I look at guilds as more than just a bunch of people playing a game together, it's a family-like community.  A good guild will not have its lifespan limited to its duration in any given game, instead it will become a community of like-minded people who travel with each other from game to game.  I've used this model in Inquisition, and it is no coincidence that many of the strongest guilds in any MMO are typically those with long histories that span across many games.

The best way to find quality members is obvious and at the same so often overlooked.  MMOs are games based heavily on community, and if your looking to find good players you should be socializing in the game with people you meet.  Spamming chat channels is a good way to make your guild appear as cheap and catering to the lowest denominator of player.  It is far better to have a smaller roster of loyal friends who will stick with you, then a large roster full of random selfish members.

One quick antecdote to wrap this up. Back when I played World of Warcraft shortly after release, my guild at one point had over 130 members at its peak population.  We recruited everyone and anyone we could get our hands on.  I soon found at that peak population did not equal peak performance.  One day me and my co-leader decided we were going to reroll the guild on a new server, and cut the guild roster in half down to our best 60 members literally overnight.  Once we reached max level again on the new server a month later, we were able to defeat content that we could never imagine winning with our old roster.  These were the members who were friends of friends who shared our vision of the guild, many of which still play with us years later.  Consider this a page from a guild leader's handbook.

 

Paragus
Co-Leader of Inquisition
www.inqguild.com

paganpaladin writes:

That was a good read Paragus. Good work. You've earned yourself a firm pat on the bottom.

Fri Oct 02 2009 11:14AM Report
Trucidation writes:

I've always derided the need for externals like ventrilo (ugh), but then again guilds like those are almost exclusively (1) american, and (2) on pay games.

I agree on the spam thing though. However, most of the games I've seen don't offer a recruitment area where guilds can set up a booth/demo/park a rep there. Word of mouth only goes so far, I don't entirely blame guilds being pushed into the unenviable position of having to compete by spamming for recruits. I generally tolerate that kind of spam, as long as it's not as annoying in frequency as the goldspammers.

Then again, many games allow you to setup a private shop - you can use that mechanic by getting your recruiting officers to place their recruitment offers in their shop title text. This eliminates the need to spam, especially considering almost all games feature areas all players drop by, e.g. town teleport points.

I have zero sympathy for guilds spamming in games which already offer a recruiting area for guilds - forums not included though, since I know most players don't hang out at the official forums.

 

Fri Oct 02 2009 8:52PM Report
rsreston writes:

Quality article again, Paragus! Great to see you back!

Sat Oct 03 2009 3:01AM Report
lordy671 writes:

 

very good read ... i agree 100%


 
Mon Oct 05 2009 12:22AM Report
Korhindi writes:

Excellent blog.

I tend to be the type who will go out of my way not to join any guild spamming the channels.  I don't mind the occassional recruitment announcement, but if they spam I will never join.

And the bit of quality over quantity is so true.  I have seen awesome guilds completely self destruct because they took on too many members which changed the guild's dynamic to total chaos and discord.

Mon Oct 05 2009 2:17PM Report
catfud writes:

Don't see why people bash TS so much been on TS and Vent servers countless times and I prefer TS by far.  TS has less latency, Vent has marginaly better voice quality. I know which is more important in my book.

TS > Vent
Intel > AMD
Nvidia > ATI

Yada yada yada...

Tue Oct 06 2009 7:22AM Report
bethodonnell writes:

 

 

TS isn't that bad. I have TS because I can't afford Vent and I like having my own server. My members don't care (I'm leader of that guild <Sexy> from your post below) and so neither do I. We're social enough and laid back. Having the best quality sound just isn't as high as priority in my book. :P

Thu Oct 08 2009 11:46PM Report
Raltar writes:

Teamspeak is useless.

Beyond the fact that Vent is obviously better in every possible way, using a free service like Teamspeak sends a bad message. It says "I don't take my guild seriously and thats why I won't spend $5 a month for Vent." and when I see a guild leader sending that message I know I will never join their guild. Who wants a leader that doesn't take their own guild seriously?

Fri Oct 30 2009 12:45PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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