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Advice for Success as a Hardcore Classic Raiding Recruit  

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Lne
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Ways to Succeed (earn/keep a core slot) in a Vanilla Hard Core Raiding Guild.

Or, The Many Ways Recruits Disappoint Leadership (when they ignore this advice, or don’t take it seriously)



Foreword: I wrote this advice for new recruits to my own guild, and this advice is targeted at people intending to be core raiders in a hardcore guild, but will be rewarding if followed in any guild environment. I just wanted to share it with the community here, because too many well-intending classic wow players will spend all their time theorycrafting or farming and forget some fundamentals of what it takes to succeed in Vanilla wow.


1. Be social (use voice comms)- Vanilla is a community-based MMO; it is not the soulless Instant Random Queue MMO-Simulator that Retail has become. Not everyone can lurk in voice comms 24/7, but if you want to be a valuable part of a team or even if you just want to foster a healthy team it’s a team effort. The more social you are the better in general things will go for the guild.

2. Be social (get to know each other)-...what?...you just said this...I did, that’s how important it is. But let’s put it a bit more selfish in orientation. In any
situation involving human decision-makers, the more personable, human and real you are to the decision-maker the more likely decision are to go your way.
It’s not that leadership and decision-makers want to be biased, it’s just implicit bias...it’s hard to make a decision incorporating the needs of someone fully
if that person is a near unknown to you just as it’s impossible to completely set aside experience and knowledge of someone you have. This means that the more you talk to leadership the more you and your needs will come to mind when they make decisions that impact you. This completely puts aside the impact of you actually being able to directly voice your opinions, concerns, and who you are to decision-makers.

3. Be social (play together)- What are you a broken record?...no, again, it’s that important this is a social game and it’s designed mostly at the end game around group play...Raids require 40-man coordination, but they also require hundreds of man-hours in team prep, farming, gearing, crafting, etc to do well. If you put in your time helping the group as a team the group will do well. Also, the more enjoyable a group is to be social in the more likely it is to stay together and not fail as people grow too, frustrated, bored, or just completely disinterested.

4. Communicate (be responsible)- Related to being social, but be upfront about what’s going on in-game and IRL as well as your expectations. If you are going to be away for your computer or the game for more than a day or so let leadership know as well as your in-game friends. It's indecent/rude to commit to be part of something then go unresponsive etc...it shows a lack of respect or maturity. I can't imagine joining any organization and committing to it then
ghosting the organization. In short, If you wouldn't do it to an intramural basketball team or a work baseball team you shouldn't do it to a guild.

5. Take an active interest in your own development- This means learning everything you can about your character, it’s class, and its role in the
guild/raids; learn to theorycraft your class and the meta. It also means doing everything you can to improve it outside of guild mandated play. Farm that bis,
farm that rep, level engineering, and once you get good...learn how to be better...learn the “stupid tricks” of your class. Learn to speed run dungeons, and
learn how to best interact with different group comps.

6. Take an active interest in the guild’s development- A large part of this is again being social, but give feedback (respectfully) to leadership. Help with guild farming, goals, etc. Figure out what your guildies need to run for gear and help them. Play as much as you can and don’t do it all selfishly. Do not raid
log as the norm; figure out how you can help out once raids are over & on off days and help.

7. Treat your guild members with the same respect you would any real-world team- In hardcore raiding, you will spend more time with your team than you will in most recreational activities. Many hardcore raiders will spend more time in game than they will in full-time jobs. With that in mind, you must treat it
with the same level of seriousness. If you are the type to no-call, no show to work, or treat your colleagues with disrespect, then you will are likely well-versed in the rewards that behavior will earn you in a hardcore guild.

8. Play as much as you reasonably can, with the majority of the time spent improving your main character- I have often said that Vanilla WoW is
Pay to win, except you pay with hours spent not money, one of the wonderful things about Vanilla wow is that there is generally something you can do in
game to progress. (There is an endpoint, but it’s close to 1 year or more /played game time and thus, is fairly unattainable for non-neets)

9. Take care of your real life- It’s easy to get lost in the World of Warcraft, but many a hardcore raider has disappeared from their guild because they had
to choose between their neglected wife/job/school or their guild. Don’t let it get to this point. Similarly, try not to neglect all physical activity, healthy eating, or sleep.

10. Realize it’s a marathon and be honest with yourself and your guild- If you can’t maintain 20 hours a week for 2 years, you won’t be able to sustain hardcore raiding for the 2-year game life. That’s ok; it’s not for most people. Don’t waste your guild’s time or yours by lying about this. You can still have a meaningful and impactful existence in a hardcore guild as a more social member. You may even enjoy your time more as a casual than pretending you can keep up a raid schedule that your life just won’t allow.

32 Replies
Stfuppercut
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Provide value and you will be valuable. Create a deficit and you will be disposable.

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ColdRain
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This is all very silly, and written by someone who was in some trash can guild and thought he was hardcore.
There is only one requirement, and that is being competent. Play 99.9% perfectly.
I say that as someone who has world firsts in WoW, as well as grandmaster or equivalent in several games. None of that crap you wrote matters, because it scares away actual hardcore players.

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Stfuppercut
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None of that crap you wrote matters, because it scares away actual hardcore players.

Hardcores are not worried about posts like this because it doesnt apply to us. This "crap" does matter to OP and his guild. The game can be played in many ways. I would not say that OP's advice applies to the community as a whole, but it certainly applies to him and the group of people he wishes to interact with. Which is why I simplified the conversation. Provide value and you will be valuable. Value is completely subjective and will vary drastically between guilds. In OP's guild, value can be delivered with a friendly voice and a sense of comradely. While your value comes exclusively from your throughput in the guilds you wish to participate in. Create a deficit and you will be disposable. In a case like this, your attitude would be unappealing to guilds who are looking to build a community. You would be disposable. In a min/max guild where you are only as valuable as your throughput, you will excell. Your attitude does not matter as much in min/max guilds because you are your number and your number is high. While you and I share a similar mindset to how we prefer to play the game, you shouldn't dismiss the way that OP chooses to play the game.

edit:
I would definitely agree that the title of the topic should be changed as this is less applicable to hardcore players who are striving for throughput, optimization and progression. This is likely due to the varied interpretation of "hardcore" between players. For some players simply reaching 60 and attending raids makes you hardcore. To ColdRain's point, in a truly hardcore guild the emphasis will primarily be placed on your competence and ability, not your attitude. While attitude will always matter to a certain extent, it is less important in a hardcore guild. Players in these guilds are less concerned with the players they stand beside and more concerned with the progression and the loot. The second a guild regresses or stalls, players leave fast. The community of these guilds is built around success and winning. If a guild starts to shoot ahead in progression, these players flock to the "best guild" because their version of fun is by playing hardcore. If these guilds falter or fail, people leave quickly.

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Lne
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This is all very silly, and written by someone who was in some trash can guild and thought he was hardcore.
There is only one requirement, and that is being competent. Play 99.9% perfectly.
I say that as someone who has world firsts in WoW, as well as grandmaster or equivalent in several games. None of that crap you wrote matters, because it scares away actual hardcore players.

If you want to define hardcore as the tryhard speed running hardcore private server scene or mythic retail guild hopping, then I guess, but that is not what hardcore vanilla raiding is/was for the greater majority of vanilla wow players. But, beyond that, you are oblivious and threatened by this advice for no reason. Also, your advice is to be competent, pretty much worthless advice and just elitist toxicity.

If you are scared by the call to be social in an mmo, then you think you are hardcore when you are in fact just another neckbeard who defines their self-worth by their ability to know the meta of a video game and play competently when that is only the first ingredient to building and maintaining a successful team.

I've known plenty of people who consider themselves "hardcore" who are socially incompetent and they don't last in raiding guilds. Maybe you had the luck of the things in this list taking care of themselves, but I suspect you've never been a fundamental part of building those "world-first" achievements or you would know that a lot of the people/guilds that try and fail to perform at that level fail because of the things I listed in this advice.

I also noticed that you didn't speak of your achievement during actual vanilla wow, and I suspect you have little to no experience in running or building a guild because the attitude I read in your post I've seen present in the leadership of so many "hardcore guilds" that I've watched collapse in the beginning of aq40 progression in both actual vanilla as well as on private servers.

To get to STFUppercuts point, nowhere in that list did I disparage the value of competency or "striving for throughput, optimization and progression," and those I treated as a given.

In fact, I had an entire point in that list dedicated to that sentiment, "Take an active interest in your own development" as well as a point about the team aspects of vanilla wow.

The difference of opinion on this isn't due to differing definitions of hardcore, but in my advice being targeted at all the things that many self-described "hardcore" players fail at completely. I assumed baseline competency in my advice.

I have had to remove more players who think that being competent is an excuse for raid logging, meter whoring while causing wipes, drama stirring, and being a douche than I've ever had to remove because of a lack of competency.

So, I guess, if you feel like the title of "hardcore" is threatened by advice that can be boiled down to "being competent isn't enough, you have to be respectful, team-oriented, and dedicated," then I hope you find someone much more competent in running a guild and building a team than you appear to be to keep the 40 players together for the long haul, because being competent without also being able to meet the needs my advice covered isn't enough. Of course, I guess you can always guild hop and get there too.

I was also gearing my advice towards guilds that are actual guilds that progress together, not raid teams the form quickly from pregeared players and guild hoppers clear a raid and then move onto the next game.

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Apol
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Lne that was a great reply to a bad comment, thanks for the good read you have great points in all the things you said

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Dolamite
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So my experience being a "Hardcore (Server First)" type raider or PVP'er..... be reliable, know your job, execute your job well, and don't be the reason for a wipe. Get back after a wipe quickly, rebuff, get everyone ready to rock and roll; rinse repeat.
- outside of that cycle, it was as toxic and dog-eat-dog as it could be. It was a great time. Sadly due to a high demand job, I couldn't maintain it beyond 2 raid tiers consecutively.

The OP's initial posting; just good "guild" tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for any imaginable guild. Just remember to have thick skin and choose your battles wisely.

my $0.02

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Stfuppercut
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So my experience being a "Hardcore (Server First)" type raider or PVP'er..... be reliable, know your job, execute your job well, and don't be the reason for a wipe. Get back after a wipe quickly, rebuff, get everyone ready to rock and roll; rinse repeat.
- outside of that cycle, it was as toxic and dog-eat-dog as it could be. It was a great time. Sadly due to a high demand job, I couldn't maintain it beyond 2 raid tiers consecutively.

The OP's initial posting; just good "guild" tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for any imaginable guild. Just remember to have thick skin and choose your battles wisely.

my $0.02

I would agree with this. OP's post outlines general guild etiquette with an emphasis on items that will be valuable in casual/social guilds.

As for the toxicity in hardcore guilds, youre absolutely right. This has always been my experience and seems to be par for the course in competitive environments. Demand is high and tolerance is low.

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Lne
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While it is easily recognized that toxicity is bred in highly competitive environments, I feel it is rationalizing and making excuses for poor leadership as well as poor behavior to believe that a guild cannot be competitive, hardcore, or successful without being toxic.

The few times I've tolerated toxic players in my raid teams in the name of stronger throughput, I've always regretted it by the end of a raid tier and had to remove them.

If self-proclaimed hardcore players want to accept every troglodyte with a keyboard and a decent understanding of the game into their "hardcore guild" regardless of how awful they are to be around, more power to them, but I'll have much higher standards of conduct for the people I play wow with at a hardcore level.

A lot of toxic leaders try to cloak themselves in the labels of getting things done, but you can have high standards and a low tolerance for avoidable failure without being abusive, dismissive, or a general douche.

Stfuppercut you are right they are items that are valuable in casual guilds/social guilds, but in my experience, they are the reason many of the more hardcore competitive guilds fail after a raid tier or sometimes two.

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Stfuppercut
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The few times I've tolerated toxic players in my raid teams in the name of stronger throughput, I've always regretted it by the end of a raid tier and had to remove them.

And thus your focus is on the social aspect of the game and not progression above all else.
Stfuppercut you are right they are items that are valuable in casual guilds/social guilds, but in my experience, they are the reason many of the more hardcore competitive guilds fail after a raid tier or sometimes two.

So long as a hardcore guild maintains progression, it will yield a high rate of applicants and dedicated raiders. The social aspect of the guild is less important because without success and victory, the players in these guilds vacate anyhow.

To be clear, I don't disagree with the things you value. I also don't agree with the way ColdRain voiced his opinion. But these will not be the core fundamentals that new recruits need to focus on in a hardcore guild that is focused on progression. Throughput and optimization above all else will be valued by a team of players who are min/maxing. In most cases they wont care what your name is, your favorite color or your raiding history... They dont care if you raided in vanilla or if you are a Cata baby... They don't care if youre above 18 or a 13 year old kid. Unless you are in a position of authority and leadership, they wont even care if you have a mic, and if you do have a mic, dont speak unless spoken to. If you arent calling the strat, be quiet (many hardcore guilds dont give every person voip permission in the raid channel). Can you pull your weight and some? Can you understand instructions? Are you an exceptional player? These are the things that matter in a hardcore guild. A guild hyper focused on performance and progression.

Showup every time. Pull your weight every time. Exceed expectations every time. If you dont, you might get replaced. Conversely, if the guild doesnt lead their team to success, the raiders vacate and find a leader who will deliver success. If a raider feels as though they are outgearing the raid or outperforming the raid, they begin looking for a better guild. This is the hardcore mindset.

This is not the only way to play the game and this experience does not appeal to the majority.

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Lne
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The few times I've tolerated toxic players in my raid teams in the name of stronger throughput, I've always regretted it by the end of a raid tier and had to remove them.

And thus your focus is on the social aspect of the game and not progression above all else.
Stfuppercut you are right they are items that are valuable in casual guilds/social guilds, but in my experience, they are the reason many of the more hardcore competitive guilds fail after a raid tier or sometimes two.

So long as a hardcore guild maintains progression, it will yield a high rate of applicants and dedicated raiders. The social aspect of the guild is less important because without success and victory, the players in these guilds vacate anyhow.

To be clear, I don't disagree with the things you value. I also don't agree with the way @ColdRain voiced his opinion. But these will not be the core fundamentals that new recruits need to focus on in a hardcore guild that is focused on progression. Throughput and optimization above all else will be valued by a team of players who are min/maxing. In most cases they wont care what your name is, your favorite color or your raiding history... They dont care if you raided in vanilla or if you are a Cata baby... They don't care if youre above 18 or a 13 year old kid. Unless you are in a position of authority and leadership, they wont even care if you have a mic, and if you do have a mic, dont speak unless spoken to. If you arent calling the strat, be quiet (many hardcore guilds dont give every person voip permission in the raid channel). Can you pull your weight and some? Can you understand instructions? Are you an exceptional player? These are the things that matter in a hardcore guild. A guild hyper focused on performance and progression.
Showup every time. Pull your weight every time. Exceed expectations every time. If you dont, you might get replaced. Conversely, if the guild doesnt lead their team to success, the raiders vacate and find a leader who will deliver success. If a raider feels as though they are outgearing the raid or outperforming the raid, they begin looking for a better guild. This is the hardcore mindset.

This is not the only way to play the game and this experience does not appeal to the majority.

I don't think I can disagree with much of anything you said here beyond the implication that what you describe is the only type of hardcore guild that exists or existed. and as I noted earlier guilds can succeed while maintaining a worthwhile social environment.

I'll never understand playing classic wow in an environment that isn't rewardingly social. I've killed KT in the performance is all that matters environment and after one raid I never played with the group again because without the social environment this game isn't worth playing to me. But some people aim to level from 1 to 60 by killing only boars. To each their own. . ..

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Stfuppercut
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I don't think I can disagree with much of anything you said here beyond the implication that what you describe is the only type of hardcore guild that exists or existed. and as I noted earlier guilds can succeed while maintaining a worthwhile social environment.

I actually think we share a significant amount of common ground on the topic. The distinction here would be the emphasis that is placed on social etiquette and social behavior in your guild. Of your 10 pieces of advice for new recruits, 6 are based around promoting socialization and proper etiquette, similar to what we would find in a guild that is more of a social/casual guild and 2 pieces of advice (#9 and #10) are not conducive to a hardcore mindset and would not be guiding principles for the hardcore guild or the hardcore player. If you are not able to compete, you are disposable and you are replaced. Real life happens. When it does, you are demoted and replaced. No hard feelings... The raid must go on and the content must be downed. We will not work with your new schedule. We are not interested in a part time raider. You are replaced, best of luck.
I'll never understand playing classic wow in an environment that isn't rewardingly social. I've killed KT in the performance is all that matters environment and after one raid I never played with the group again because without the social environment this game isn't worth playing to me. But some people aim to level from 1 to 60 by killing only boars. To each their own. . ..

"To each their own". This is exactly correct. I appreciate that you find value in the game in your own way and honestly admire you, and your guilds core philosophies (you sound like a genuinely nice person and I appreciate your service as a retired vet). The issue here is that they are being mislabeled as "hardcore" when they are quite literally the antithesis to values that would be found in a hardcore raiding atmosphere. This can be misleading for players who are looking for information on how to actually succeed in a hardcore guild. They will prepare their mic, they will open their hearts, fill out their guild app and join the raid expecting a hardcore social experience... They will be greeted with a bunch of sweaty cavemen (me included) screeching at them for not knowing the mechanics to the fight they have never seen. They will fail and be replaced immediately. Your guild is social. You place an emphasis on community. Embrace that label and play for the social experience, because THAT is what makes the game valuable for you and your guild. Just don't misrepresent yourself as a hardcore guild. It will be disappointing for hardcore players who apply to your social guild and it will be disappointing for players who don't know any better to see a guide like this and expect a warm and welcoming atmosphere in the hardcore scene. Let the hardcore scene be what it is... Let them proudly wave their banner and lets define that environment as hardcore, so as not to confuse it with anything else. You should not try to reclaim that title and redefine it. Hardcore is not warm, it is not welcoming, it is not tolerant and it is not a pleasant social experience. Let those players silo themselves and interact with one another under the banner of playing hardcore.

Casual, social, hardcore... We use some of these labels to help draw in a group of individuals who we can relate to and who will blend well together. Use the proper terms when recruiting for and advertising for your guild. If you are primarily looking for social players, don't try to recruit hardcore players because they will be everything you hate. Topic should be "Ways to Succeed in a Vanilla social raiding guild - Be social".

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Dolamite
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I think you're spot on with most of your analysis Stfuppercut .

It's different motivations, desires, and styles. It is what it is. We had guys that literally only did guild raids; outside of that they were with their own group of friends/groups. Some even had guild chat off. It is what it is. I'm a glutton for punishment and exist within an environment like this in my profession, so its somewhat normal to me. lol

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Stfuppercut
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I think you're spot on with most of your analysis @Stfuppercut .

It's different motivations, desires, and styles. It is what it is. We had guys that literally only did guild raids; outside of that they were with their own group of friends/groups. Some even had guild chat off. It is what it is. I'm a glutton for punishment and exist within an environment like this in my profession, so its somewhat normal to me. lol

Yea, I agree completely. This is certainly the experience I have had in WoW hardcore guilds. The bond in a hardcore guild is the progression. This is the shared common goal that unites the players. The unity of players exists solely to defeat content. The way to succeed in this environment is to optimize your character and to crush the meters. The primary concern in these guilds is your performance above all else. If you are social, that's a bonus! Dont expect your fellow guildmates to reciprocate, because most wont. If you are a new recruit, keep your head down, perform, and as Dolamite said earlier, dont be the reason for the wipe. If you are consistently causing issues, no amount of socialization will matter. If you are consistently providing good value, poor social behavior will be tolerated in many cases. If something comes up in real life and you need to take a step away from the guild, you will be removed or replaced on the main raid team. If you are having scheduling conflicts and cant meet the raid schedule, you will be removed or replaced from the main raid team.

I can definitely relate to being a glutton for punishment in both the game, and real life =). Different strokes I suppose.

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Dolamite
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