Officers’ Quarters: Recruiting during the Legion subscriber surge
This week, Tom Chilton told Polish gaming magazine PIXEL that WoW is back up over the 10 million subscribers mark. While Blizzard has since blamed the number on a mistake or mistranslation, it’s a good excuse to talk recruitment. WoW’s population dipped to its lowest point in modern WoW history during the Warlords of Draenor expansion gap, to 5.6 million. So 10 million would be a massive turnaround for the game — and if WoW’s numbers are that high, it’s a turnaround that I hope is more permanent than the initial surge for Warlords.
For guilds, recruiting after the first six months of Warlords was extremely difficult. There just weren’t enough active players. Many raiding guilds had to cooperate with other guilds to maintain an active raiding schedule. Many others disbanded or quit for the remainder of the expansion.
But with a post-Legion surge, however, this is the perfect time to find some new players for your raiding guild. Still, it’s never a walk in the park, as this week’s question proves.
Of course there are always the old standards — forum posts, trade chat announcements, etc. — and they do work sometimes, but we’ll skip past those. As requested, these recruiting tips are mostly aimed at the Normal/Heroic level, but they could work for Mythic guilds too.
Get the band back together
The easiest people to recruit are the people you already know. Odds are you know some players who quit during Warlords or earlier. If you’re able to, reach out to them. Let them know the guild is active again and you could use their help. Tell them about your positive experiences so far in Legion. Maybe they’ll be curious and decide to resub. Maybe they’re playing on another realm because they thought your guild was dead, and they’ll come back.
The next easiest people to recruit are the people who know the people you know. Everyone in your guild knows lots of other people in real life obviously. They’ve also probably met and friended other players while playing other MMOs or games like Overwatch, Battlefield, League of Legends, and so on. If you have eight raiders and those eight raiders each have a dozen friends or family members who play games, that’s almost a hundred people.
So don’t be shy to ask your guild to ask their friends and family if they’re interested in raiding with you. They’ll be more likely to say yes because they’ll already know someone in the raid team.
Beyond that, ask your guild to ask their friends and family to ask their friends. Just a short post on social media can really help get the word out.
Speaking of social media
In today’s gaming world you need to leverage it. Your realm might have a Facebook group or even a Subreddit. Ask one of your officers to become active there, and occasionally post recruiting messages. If there isn’t one for your realm, you could create one.
Likewise, your guild could have its own Twitter account. Don’t just spam about recruiting. Post good content that people like so you can build up your followers. If you’ve built goodwill with good tweets, then they may help you by retweeting your recruitment pitch.
You can also livestream your raids (and advertise them on social media). You can do it straight from the Battle.net Launcher. People might enjoy your raid team’s offbeat sense of humor or admire that you guys don’t lose your cool when things go wrong. Seeing you in action might inspire them to join up.
Look at posts from players
Remember that posting your recruiting message in your realm’s forums is just like putting up a billboard. Lots of people will see it but very few will actually care.
Instead, it is often more efficient to look at the posts from players who are looking for a guild to raid with. Contacting players directly has much better odds of success than an impersonal forum post. You can find these posts on many different sites, not just the official forums. MMO Champion has active recruiting forums for the US and EU.
In your specific case, you aren’t looking for Mythic-level players. Usually these players will tell you what level they’re looking to raid so you can filter out those who aren’t a good fit for your team.
Back in classic WoW, a lot of recruiting happened organically. You came across another player in the world, invited him or her to quest with you, and became lifelong online friends. It doesn’t happen very often that way in 2016, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on it completely.
Being friendly costs nothing and might result in recruiting opportunities. This is particularly true when using the Group Finder to PUG Normal and Heroic raids. Be patient, be nice, and make sure to let people know at some point that you’re trying to recruit.
Add players you like to your friends list, even if they’re not interested in joining. Try to group with people on your list for dungeons and other activities.
While leveling alts, invite people you see doing the same quests to party up. Many quests still go faster when you’re grouped, and it’s an opportunity to meet someone new.
You never know what can develop once you drop the antisocial vibe that plagues modern WoW. In many cases, you’ll stand out just by saying anything. Sure, some players might react negatively, but that just means they’re self-selecting themselves as ineligible to join your team. It’s always good to know up front that someone is a jerk than to find out while wiping on Xavius.
Recruiting can be frustrating at times, and especially when you try to do it all yourself. Remember that everyone on your raid team has a stake in adding players to the roster. Ask them to help out with any or all of the above. Recruiting is far more likely to succeed when it’s a group effort.
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