Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Guild Recruiting: There has to be a better way - Redeux!

I was catching up with an old friend and I mentioned unto him this blog. He commented on my entry about guild recruiting, and how it would be so much easier and more successful with the proper tools to do so. Also thought that my idea would be capable of applying not only to WOW but to other places as well, and that it sounded like an idea for a social network.

I wanted to elaborate a bit more on the idea and how it would work just to write it down.

Playtime
One of the most important things to do when trying to match someone to a group is find schedules that match. I've seen a lot of sites do this with timezones and they don't always seem to work well and they make searching a pain.

The first thing a registering member would do, aside from register, validate e-mail address, jab at captcha, etc, would be to enter their timzeone and their full playtime.

Time values should be stored in military time at the GMT timezone and then converted and displayed accordingly. When someone enters their timezone, all dates and times for everything listed when they're searching will be listed as the time in their own timezone.

A guild that raids on Wednesday morning at midnight would appear as raiding on Tuesday at 11PM for someone in Central, 10 for Mountain, 9 for Pacific. If someone chooses to search for a guild, at this point the algorithm should pull up all guilds that have core activities based in the players playtime range. Default sorting would probably be if the entire mandatory raid time would fit or if only some of it would, then progression would be listed.

A guild registering could enter their core and optional playtimes and other related stuff. I would assume that optional play not matching a potential recruit's playtime isn't a bad thing because it's optional. Progression would be entered.

Values
Different people enjoy different things and have different priorities. Different people will put up with different things for the sake of progression. I've met players who are in raiding guilds that are completely miserable because of how they're treated.

A registrant could take a quiz or something that asks them a bunch of questions to determine what they value most and to determine their play intensity.

Some players may not care about atmosphere or guild climate so long as they're killing bosses and getting loot, while others would want to be among others with common interests. determining which elements have which weight for different people would ultimately effect how things are sorted and delivered to the user.

I would probably stay away from terms like 'hardcore' in favor of 'progression' or 'relaxed' 'low stress'. I know some players on a casual schedule who are extremely hardcore when it comes to skill, and some 'hardcore' people that suck more than 'casuals' do.

Interests
A'la LiveJournal, users could add in interests. They'd get a tag cloud and be able to see other users with the same interests. It's possible that a matching algorithm could be applied on a user to user basis to let users find gaming friends outside of a guild structure.

Players in guilds could also sign up and 'join' their guilds on the site. Like on wowheadhunter, personalities can be calculated. Interests could be displayed as well with tag clouds where the bigger the word the more people that have a particular interest.

You could find a guild full of goons or btards or furries (or all three existing in harmony) who enjoy dividing by zero, comicbooks, drawing, anime, blogging, alting and tragic canoeing accidents.

Playtimes other than the guild listed playtime, like, individual member playtime could be graphed somehow showing if people are on earlier or later.

Depending on someone's value, a guild with lower progression but higher similar interests and personality could show up on the recommended list for someone seeking a guild.

Progression and a guild's ability to clear stuff requires people, without people guilds can't progress very well. One or two more good players may be all some of the 'not as progressed' raids need, and the right environment, attitude, and interests could attract those people.

Fun for Guild members
It's possible that guild members could have fun with this as well. It'd let players break the ice with each other. Two people might have a common interest and not even realizing it.

I didn't realize just how much into Anime members of my raid were until we were running through a FoS and one of them mentioned watching Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, and the conversation from there evolved into everyone talking about their favorite shows, new ones, old ones, suggesting stuff to watch to each other.

Mentioning "Rune Soldier" prompted a response of "Louie Punch!" from one of my guildmates. I just about died.

It could make existing guilds a healthier place, too.
It could be made into some form of fun social network, too.


Unfortunately I fear the CPU power required to make such a keen site would probably make Dreamhost bitch-slap me and tell me to get a far more expensive dedicated hosting plan instead of my colocation plan. This means that the service would not be without either advertisements or premium membership. Perhaps member to member matching could be a premium membership feature. Perhaps it could be wired in a way that people's 'membership' stuff went straight towards account credits somehow.

For legal reasons, it'd be best that if I were to pursue some project to incorporate myself, which means talking to laywers and other fun crap.

Glee.

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