Wednesday, December 2, 2015

WoW's Guild Finder Tool needs an overhaul!

I saw a thread on the forums complaining about the Guild Finder tool. There were some interesting points that were brought up:
...I hopped onto another toon (guildless) to see where our guild is listed in Guild Finder to get an idea of how easy/hard it would be for prospective players to find us and apply.
After getting through 325 guilds (which was only about 20-25% of the list) I gave up but here is what I found. Of those 325 guilds:
242 had 10 or less members
50 had between 11-50 members
11 had between 51-100 members
10 had between 101-200 members
5 had between 201-300 members
6 had between 301-600 members
and only 1 had between 900-1000...
So I looked up a few of the guilds with between 10-100 members and most of them are inactive yet they are still listed... Why?!
- Rizzladin-Caelestrasz
Our guild is listed in the Guild Finder, but I have never actually used the Guild Finder tool myself, so after reading some of these comments in the forum, I thought I should go check it out and see whether our guild was easy to find.

Well!

Rizzladin was not wrong - there are TONS of guilds listed in the Guild Finder, and my computer hung before I could finish tallying all the guilds listed in Saurfang's Guild Finder, and Frostwolves was listed second from the bottom of that list.  I had only gone through approximately one third of the guild list and what I found was:
85 had 10 or less members
63 had 11-50 members
13 had 51-100 members
19 had 101-300 members
8 had 300+ members
And I had only looked through 188 guilds. And not gotten to ours. How the hell did Danleet find us in the Guild Finder, I wonder??

We do of course, have recruitment forums and trade chat where guilds advertise, but why have this tool if it's not utilised properly?


Look at us, way down the bottom of the Guild Finder.  And when I randomly selected the list halfway some of these guilds have 1 member.

I will just highlight some of the problems:
  • New members looking for a guild may be applying to inactive guilds and wondering why nobody gets back to them
  • Nobody wants to read through 300+ guilds to find a guild. There must be a better way to filter or sort the guilds.
  • Filters such as "casual" or "hard core" or "new player friendly" are things that people are actually looking for in a guild and there does not seem to be a way to find that in the guild finder.
  • People are not actually using it - I've seen advertisements in trade chat and the Group Finder (under raids), as well as the recruitement forums as alternative sites of recruitment. The problem with trade chat is that you will only see the guild advertisement if you're online at the time. You'd like to have something that was pinned permanently (GASP, like a Guild Finder tab!)
Things that are good about the current Guild Finder:
  • It's in game. You don't have to go out of the game to find a guild (ie forums). You can play and search at the same time (great when you're camping mobs!)
  • The request system is quite easy. Just send a request and wait for a reply. It pops up for Guild members who are able to invite new players (something a Guild Leader has to set up) and so it doesn't have to be an officer or GM who can chat to the person wanting to join - anyone who has a rank that has the permission to invite to the guild can see the person.
Some possible solutions or improvements:
  • Delisting inactive guilds. What's the definition of inactive? A guild where nobody has logged on for a week, I think. Or even better a Guld Listing that only remains active for a week, and then has to be relisted. That's probably a better solution and will filter out the inactive guilds as well as those that are no longer looking for members.
  • More filters in the list. Such as sorting by guilds which have a certain number of members. Another good filter could be current content raiding - such as looking for achievements where bosses have been downed in current content. People also look for guilds that have certain achievements unlocked - achievments which reward pets, mounts or heirlooms - this could also serve as a good filter. Also, as I mentioned above, "new player friendly" is probably a really good search option, as well as casual/hard core.
  • I noticed that one can only send out 10 requests for a guild. That's ok. But the requests last for a month! Perhaps shorten that period to maybe 7 days - if they haven't heard anything by 7 days then the guild they're applying to don't want them or are inactive.
I think if these things aren't addressed, you might as well remove the guild finder tool. I do admit that sometimes I have requests on my guild finder, and the person is not online and I send them an in game mail with my btag and the times that I am on, so they don't feel like they've been neglected or ignored, but the requests are few and far between. And is it a wonder why? I can't even find my own guild on the damned thing until I got to the bottom of the list, and I was actually looking for it. Imagine those who are just browsing the list!

However, I hope that the Guild Finder tool is fixed to be more easy to use. If you want to encourage new players to play (which is what WoW is notoriously bad at - the only people playing are people who have played before or coming back to the game - you want some new blood to keep the game going), then you need to provide them with the tools within the game to find people to play with. Having to go outside to forums to find a guild is too much work for a casual player who is just wanting to find a nice bunch of people to hang out with.

4 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree more. I've been one of those on the (EU) forums suggesting it needs an overhaul. It would be a great tool if it worked, but as a lot of things are, it's kinda half-assed ... it's a good idea, implemented badly.

    We're lucky in that our advert is *fairly* close to the top of the list ... I don't know if where it is in the list is related to how long the advert has been there?

    One of the suggestions I made was that each advert had a half-life .. after a set amount of time, if the interface from the guild roster/info page hadn't been accessed for an advert, then that advert would start sliding down the list .. eventually either piling up at the bottom or getting removed completely. Obviously they'd have to decide relevant time-scales .. I would suggest around 3-6 months, after which it would start creeping down - ideally prior to that there should be notification to the relevant guild leader telling them it's about to happen.

    I also like the idea of being able to sort better - even if it is just sorting by member numbers, or a filtering system.

    By the way .. you don't need to jump onto an unguilded character to see this list .. just type /gf into your chat pane.

    I had an applicant once who said he'd heard about us from /gf ... i thought he meant his girlfriend :p

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  2. Some of the modifications you suggested, such as "new player friendly" or "casual" filters, can be manipulated by guilds who only want to get more people to join up. But another idea, having the listing only active for a week, is actually a really good one. That's a passive-aggressive way of forcing guilds to be active if they want to recruit, especially if the problem is that a couple of people in a guild play but just about everyone else --including the officers-- have vanished into the ether. (That happened to my Alliance guild in Cata and then once more in Mists.)

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    Replies
    1. I wonder if they will change it. I think it will clean up the guild finder tool heaps.

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I hope these comments work! Not sure why people can't comment lately, it makes me sad :(