Right after the introduction of the thing, we actually managed to find a discipline priest who was kind enough to sign up for our guild website and ended up joining us as a somewhat infrequent but loyal raider. Then there were two or three people who applied to be social members and were invited straight away; they usually chatted for a few days and then left again or simply never logged in again.
Since then however, ninety percent of the applications we've received either contain no text at all or something like "i need a gild". I reject them with no comment, but it gets tedious. The other ten percent actually do write a line or two but then never seem to log in again either, as you can tell from the guy who applies at level 15 and says something like: "I'm a really fast leveller and will be able to join you guys at the cap in no time!" Twenty days later he's still 15 and inactive. It kind of makes you wonder just how serious the churn in this game is, or whether there are really that many people who keep rolling up new characters just to abandon them again after 5-10 levels.
I originally volunteered to take care of in-game applications, but I've been finding the task increasingly depressing. I've written so many in-game letters to people, telling them that they are welcome to join us and to just whisper any guildie next time they're online... and yet the recipients are never heard from again. It wouldn't be so bad if we still got some serious applicants every now and then, but I just haven't seen any in months. It feels as if all the energy that I'm putting into these attempts at being welcoming and friendly is being poured down a bottomless hole; it shouldn't be surprising that this gets draining after a while.
I don't know if that's just my guild, my server or what. Still, I can't shake the feeling that the guild finder is at the end of the day too much like a dungeon finder for guilds. Press button to
I could see it working much better if guilds could set up some simple filtering mechanisms for applicants, such as a mandatory "why do you want to join us" field to keep out the pure button pushers. On the other hand the tools for prospective applicants could use improving too - I can't imagine any half-serious raider (or PvPer... or roleplayer... or anyone who genuinely cares about what kind of guild he's going to join) trying to apply purely via the guild finder right now, where they'd struggle to find out anything about any guild beyond the little paragraph that the guild master can fill with information.