A guild audit is something that the officers of a guild will typically do right before they decide to begin their raiding experience at the start of an expansion. It can also be done randomly, in the middle of a tier of content or if the officers feel that a number of people in their ranks may not be pulling their weight or making the best choices for their characters and the guild as a whole.
While the idea of a guild audit and having your character placed under a microscope can be intimidating or even scary to think about, here are some tips or pieces of advice that you can use to make sure your character makes the cut.
Make sure you meet the iLevel requirements.
There is a suggested iLevel of at least 329 to do Heroic 5 mans and most guilds will set the bar a bit higher as they prepare to start raiding. If I remember correctly, my previous guild had a minimum iLevel requirement of 340 to step foot into Baradin Hold or Blackwing Descent for the first time. Try to reach that goal legitimately and not by stuffing your bags with items you can’t use or finding other ways to buck the system. This is especially true in 10 mans, where it is much more important for everyone on board to be pulling their own weight and where it can be more noticeable when someone isn’t.
If it can be enchanted, enchant it.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been standing outside of an instance, near the summoning stone and I inspect people that are in the same position as I am and do not have a single enchant on their gear. Not a single one. This breaks my heart.
Know in advance what helm enchant you need and which faction you need to farm rep with to get it. Tabards can help you get there quickly, if quests alone don’t do the trick for you. Make it a habit to do your dailies for Therazane, to get the shoulder enchants or make sure your Inscription is high enough to do them yourself. At entry level, we were required to at least have the Honored shoulder enchant. If you have already begun to make a serious dent in content or your guild is a bit more firm about this, you may be required to have the Exalted version. I don’t feel that getting rep with Therazane is too difficult, so this should be an attainable goal for you to reach.
Likewise, your cloak, chest, bracers, weapon, off-hand, gloves and boots should have some form of enchant on them. Enchanting mats are a bit more affordable, now that we are a few patches into this expansion. If you can’t afford to buy them on your own, try farming up mats by doing randoms and seeing if you can get mats from items that get disenchanted or use any spare Justice Points that you have to buy the mats you need. Or do dailies and farm enough gold to buy the scrolls you need to enchant your gear that way. If you are an enchanter yourself, make sure your rings are enchanted, too.
At entry level, just having some form of enchant on your gear can go a long way. I would even recommend doing that while farming for Heroics to become raid ready. Once you have a bit more experience under your belt, you may want to start shooting for the more top of the line enchants that involve Maelstrom Crystals and other more expensive mats.
Know Your Professions (and others, too).
In addition to enchants, certain professions can provide other forms of modification for your gear. Blacksmiths can make belt buckles that will give your belt an extra gem socket to fill, tailors can make spell thread for casters to put on their leg pieces while leatherworkers can do the same for melee characters. Find out which alchemists in your guild have which mastery, so you can go to them if you need potions or flasks made and have a chance of getting some extras made at no additional cost to either of you. See which jewelcrafter stays on top of their cuts and which ones they have available.
There are also certain bonuses that a profession can only provide to the person who is trained in it. Enchanters can enchant their rings, scribes can enchant their shoulders and create off hands, relics and the much sought after Darkmoon cards. Alchemists get additional benefits from drinking flasks or potions and can create alchemist stones, engineers can enhance their gear in various ways and create their own helms. Jewelcrafters can create trinkets and cut more powerful gems that only they can use, leatherworkers can add various forms of fur lining that enchant their bracers while tailors can do something similar with their cloaks. Lastly, blacksmiths can create additional gem sockets in their own gear, in addition to that of others.
Get To Know Your Local Reforger.
I’m always really skeptical when people say that every piece of gear they are wearing came exactly the way that they wanted it, with no unnecessary stats or anything else about them they would want to change. I don’t believe it and you shouldn’t either.
Reforging is great for a number of reasons. First, it can help you shave off any unwanted stats that came along with some gear that you picked up and turns them into useful attributes. I know I can’t wait to get rid of any critical strike rating that I come across and turn it into haste or mastery. Know what you need and what you don’t and use reforging to help you get enough of the former and not so much of the latter. It can also help you turn a piece that wouldn’t initially be so wonderful into something you can really get some use out of, like a piece of DPS caster gear that you can reforge to now include spirit and to make it more healer friendly.
Lastly, reforging can help you tweak your character to get them precisely where you want them. As you start to raid, you may notice your needs changing. As a healer, you may start off gearing for regen and then deciding you have enough of that and want to go for more throughput. You may be a DPS and needed an abundance of hit and now you don’t. Or the opposite can happen – you thought you had enough hit and now suddenly you need more. You can use reforging to help your character keep up with their ever changing needs.
It’s one thing to do something because a blogger like me tells you to or you read something on a forum like Elitist Jerks. It’s another to really understand why someone is telling you to do that or why something works so well. Don’t take that advice at face value. Take some time to really understand why every member of your class has that specific talent or why you should be using that ability off cooldown. This is espeecially true if you’re making decisions that are not considered to be the norm. Be prepared to explain why you’re doing things that way. Most class or role leads will make an exception, if you can back it up and show that it works or that it could work. If you’re doing things differently just to do them, they may be less inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt and you may be asked to fall in line.
There are two ways a guild audit may come to a close. Your respective lead may approach you and request to speak with you or will send you some form of communication to address their findings, related to your character and whether or not you made the cut or have things you could stand to improve on. You may be asked to get in touch with them to find out more about the audit went or you may hear nothing at all and are unsure of how to proceed with things.
If they come to you, be open and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If they make a suggestion that you can show doesn’t work for your class or spec, tell them that and don’t forget to back it up. Don’t be defensive about it, but politely state your case and why you feel that way. If they bring up a good point, admit that and acknowledge that you can improve in that area. Make it a point to say that you will get right on that and that whatever it is won’t remain that way for long. Modesty goes a long way here. Thank people for their time and their feedback and keep an open mind.
If you are in a situation where you don’t immediately hear back about the results of your audit, don’t stay in the dark for too long. Don’t take the “no news is good news” approach and think you’re alright, just because you didn’t hear anything. Approach your respective officer or GM and ask them for feedback. That will go a long way towards showing that you do care about your performance and that you are opening yourself up to feedback. Maybe that person didn’t have anything to say for a reason and you did just fine. Maybe they were waiting to see if you would wait around and let them come to you, as some kind of a test. In this situation, making the first move will almost always makes a good impression.
In any event, a guild audit can be a lot of help and an opportunity to better yourself and those around you. It can be something you can go into with your guard up and feeling like people are out to get you or you can go into it with a positive outlook and think of ways you can emerge from the process better than before. What you put into it and how you go into the process has a direct effect on how it will most likely turn out. Remember that and good luck!