The first really critical step is to figure out your expectations. This means figuring out what kind of raider you plan to be and what kind of raid group you want to join. Theses are important things to consider, so take your time with them.
Lastly, if you are the ultra competitive player and have a whole ton of time to spend raiding then you may have what it takes to be a hardcore raider. Think carefully about this though, if you do get into a group you will be expected to be there each and every time a raid is going on or risk being kicked. Also if you are DPS, expect to be pushed, if you slip up and fall more than 10% back from the top DPS expect to have to answer as to why. DPS greatly outnumbers all other class types and so there is a lot more competition for a DPS slot in a raid. Therefore DPS players will generally take longer to find a raiding guild and more is expected of them right off the bat.
These are the basic types of raiding guilds. There are others that skirt the lines between the categories, but in general try to determine who you are and where you would fit best. Remember, even if you want to be a hardcore raider, if you canâ€™t dedicate the time donâ€™t waste your time or theirs, do what you are able to do.
Expect Rejection â€“ This is important when you first start out as you are going to be turned down a lot, especially if you are trying to get into a hardcore raiding guild. Looking for a casual or middle tier raiding guild will not be quite as bad, but still takes some time. After all, when you are in a raiding guild you tend to grow a little cliquish. You run with and raid with the same players for a while and it is easy to forget there are more players out there; you get comfortable with what you have.
Therefore, when guilds go to recruit they tend to be very picky. They know they will be spending a lot of time with a player and are looking for someone that either fits with them socially or play style wise or is the absolute best regardless of personality (people can always be muted). Even though you want it, your personality may not mesh with theirs and you may have to keep looking. Expect this and be ready for it, after all if a guild is too easy to get into, would you really want to be there to raid?
Find out which guilds are where in terms of content completionInformation Gathering â€“ While looking find out as much as you can about a guild before you actually apply to them. This may be by asking players in the guild or that have been in the guild about it and how it works. It could also involve checking their progress out online to see where they are.
Beyond where they are in the game, you want to find out some basic stuff about them, such as raid times, raid frequency, their general ages (adults only, kids only, mix), time zone most players are in, raid level, gear level, loot rules used, attendance rules, language rules, and more.
Some of the items on the list may sound small, but can add up over time. If you are an adult and join a mainly kid (under 18) guild you may not fit in due to interest, or just find them annoying, or they may not like you for saying that yes they should be doing their homewok rather than raiding when they complain about it. Also language can be a big issue for some, I am not against swearing at all, but once joined a guild where every other word in vent started with an F, C, A, or B. Not particularly nice to listen to all night. Sure they were great raiders, I just couldnâ€™t cope with it after a few weeks. Some players may not wear a headset, and this wouldnâ€™t go over well if a parent, spouse, or child walked within earshot of the computer.
Prepare for applying, make an effort â€“ We all start someplace, so even if you are fresh to max level and not in a full epic setup, make the effort, show that you care. Sure you may still have some blue items, sure you may need some upgrades, but do the best with what you can before you apply. Donâ€™t expect them to take you in crap gear. Look for best in slot blue items, epic crafted items, badge items and anything else you can. Then gem it, enchant it, and basically make it the best you can.
Even thought you will replace items, it shows you are trying to make an effort and know your character. Raiders can look at a character and see if you truly understand the class. Are you a rogue and gemming for strength, hmm may not get accepted. Following all the gem slot colors? You donâ€™t understand min/maxing.