WoW vs Real Life: Employment

This is the first in a series of blogs I’m going to write about “WoW vs Real Life”. This blog will look at how joining a guild is a lot like getting a job.

Quite a lot of the skills you learn in World of Warcraft can be applied to real-life to a certain extent (ok, perhaps not the randomly killing humanoids so they drop cloth) and finding or running a guild is very similar to real-life jobhunting or running a company.

In World of Warcraft, like real life, you need money. WoW uses in-game gold as currency and to do the fun stuff, like raiding and PVP and if you’re going to be half-serious about either, you’ll need a lot of it. Quite often, getting that gold isn’t a whole lot more fun than working at McDonalds…. “Grinding” or “Farming” generally involving killing monsters or collecting items and using the Auction House to flaunt your wares to potential buyers. With that gold then you can equip yourself with better armour and weapons, and buy consumables, making yourself more attractive to potential guilds, instance groups and battleground premades.

In real-life you need a job to earn “money” (IRL version of wow gold) to get nicer clothes, thus making yourself more appealing to potential mates, colleagues and friends (IRL version of wow guilds) and other stuff to get you to places faster, like a car (IRL version of wow mounts) and of course to spend on the fun things you enjoy doing with your friends (IRL version of raiding/pvping). To get all these though, you first need to think about getting a job. ….

A good place to start is the server forums, browse through the various advertisements about how great one guild is, in comparison to another – or you can just sit around in world chat hoping to spot a potential opening for your class (kinda like real-life occupation). It’s usually good to have a browse through their website/forums to gauge what kind of guild they are – the super serious type or the more casual type.

Once you’ve found the guild of choice, you are directed to a website or forum to make an application. I’ve pretty much been in the same guild for 12 years – but I can imagine, that filling out application after application for guilds is much like being unemployed, going for dozens of interviews and getting those letters you get back from companies which read “Dear Madam, Thanks for your interest in our firm but unfortunately we are unable to offer you the position at this time….” or “Due to the overwhelming number of applicants, you have not been short-listed on this occasion”…

Being a guild master is kinda like being a real-life employer. You are responsible for the well-being and productivity of your employees and sometimes you have to fire one or two for either not doing their jobs, causing havoc with other employees or being absent for a long time (AWOL!). I’ve seen some pretty god-awful guild applications in my time. The most recent of which came from a shadowpriest. To give you some examples of his answers:-

  • PVE Experience: good
  • PVP Experience: very good
  • Why have you applied to join Pyran? it’s a good guild and u guys
  • Do you speak reasonable English? yes

Now I get that everyone might not be the most skilled at English – and that’s fine, but surely adding on what raid instances you have done to your PVE experience and actually finishing your sentence isn’t so hard? You guys what? oO If it is, then perhaps not lying about your ability to speak “reasonable” English isn’t such a good thing. I can go on about some terrible, awesome and really funny applications – but that’s probably best left for a whole new blog post.

Yes it can be very frustrating trying to get into a good guild, but the great thing about WoW applications is – you generally get as much back as you put in. which isn’t always the case IRL. If you spend your time on it and ingame on your character, eventually the right people will pay attention – even if your class isn’t particularly needed… you might even be offered another position until a “vacancy” arises.

If you manage to get past application stage, quite often guilds will offer you an interview, or sometimes even a trial/test-out to see if the application matches the player. Here you will be scrutinised through various levels of capability – because the number of frostbolts you can cast per minute matters in PVE.

If you’ve managed to get through all those stages, after a while, most guilds will offer you a “member” or “core raider” spot in the guild (kinda like passing a jobs probation period), and continue to gain promotion if you prove to be a worthwhile contributor. Much like real-life, most guilds will reward your effort with more responsibility, should you desire it.

Some firms go bust and you end up on the streets having to start the whole process again – or sometimes taking a huge pay cut (WoW version of progression) just to earn some money.

It’s always sad to see when a guild goes bust or merges, and some people get left behind or some are wandering the streets of the main city with no where to call home.

Just make sure you pay attention to that real-life job and don’t let the WoW one take over!