If you use Tinder, you’re probably just looking for a quick hookup or, if you’re really ambitious, the love of your life. What you might not expect to find, however, is a new World of Warcraft guild. But, hey, sometimes love can be found in the most unexpected places, especially if you’re a lonely orc looking for someone to grind with.
That’s what Adam (known as ‘Arianord’ in-game) was hoping for when two weeks ago when he decided to use the dating app to bring in new recruits to his guild. If you live in the Bay Area of San Francisco and are a frequent swiper, chances are you’ve already seen his profile.
“Times are tough for guilds these days and sometimes you gotta get creative,” Adam tells me over Discord. “I was joking about buying out this billboard they have on the expressway for $200 for a month, but my girlfriend convinced me that maybe spending that much on a billboard advertising a WoW guild wasn’t the most efficient advertising.”
Advertising to lonely singles on a dating app, on the other hand, makes much more sense. But then again, looking at the bio in the guild’s Tinder profile, who wouldn’t swipe right?
“Are you a powerful wandering hero who frequently meddles in the world-ending plans of powerful demons?” . “Do you enjoy long walks on the Broken Shore, peaceful nights in Suramar, and spending your weekend knee-deep in the corpses of your vanquished enemies? Then <Aphelion> might be right for you!”
Hell, that’s way more interesting than most of the legitimate Tinder profiles I’ve seen, and apparently I’m not alone in thinking so. Adam tells me that since he posted the profile, he’s had a few dozen matches and some promising prospects so far but no actual recruits. “I was pretty goddamned surprised with the number of matches,” Adam laughs. “There were quite a few people who were interested right up until they realized I was serious about our Alliance-only rule. Turns out Northern California is pretty big with the Horde.”
At the heart of all this is a tragic reality that MMO guilds are a dying breed. Finding good people to play with just isn’t as easy as it once was. As modern MMOs have become more solo-friendly, with tools like automatic dungeon matchmaking, the need for a guild has almost died entirely. But when I join Aphelion’s Discord to chat with Adam, I find it full of people happily chatting and playing the game together. That’s a rare thing these days.
“If you’re just looking for bodies, you’ll never find a shortage,” Adam says. “But the key is finding ones who are worthwhile. There’s a lot of guilds out there and a lot of them are hurting.” As someone who knows how impossible it can seem to find a guild that’s actually active and social, I can sympathize.
Aphelion has been playing together for eight years and Adam tells me many of founding members still play today. In a game all about farming rare legendary items, a guild that tightknit seems special. “We’re a bunch of fun people and we have a really relaxed atmosphere, we’re really positive,” Adam says. He started the guild back when he was 13 because he simply wanted to kill the Arthas back in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, and now it’s grown into a group of 90 members, many of who frequently attend Blizzcon together each year.
“People who tend to like us the most are the ones who got to spend a few raids with us and say, shit, these guys are actually really fun to play with. That Tinder ad was just our atmosphere crystallized into something more immediately digestible.”
Adam runs the guild with his girlfriend and says that this is his first experience using Tinder. I couldn’t help but feel like this might be the most elaborate excuse ever for a girlfriend finding out you secretly have a Tinder account, though. When I ask if that might be the case, Adam laughs. “When I made it, I was like, this is hilarious I’m going to go tell my girlfriend, Wren, and then I’m like, you know what? I’m not entirely sure how funny she’s going to find this. I should be careful about how I present this information to her.”
Fortunately, Wren saw the humor in it and now helps Adam sort through his matches. Predictably, they both had very different approaches to swiping. “My rule of thumb initially was to swipe right on everybody,” Adam says, which is pretty much the strategy employed by 95 percent of guys on Tinder (the other five percent are really, really good looking). “Wren is more discerning. I would be about to swipe right, and she’d be like, ‘Don’t swipe right on that person. He looks like an asshole, he’s shirtless—we don’t need someone like that.’”
That’s not the only typical Tinder bullshit Adam is making use of either. For example, if you’re under 5'8", the guild doesn’t want you. Sorry.
If you’re on the Aerie Peak server and looking for a guild, check out Aphelion. They seem like wonderful people. Their raid nights are Tuesdays and Thursdays and you can get in touch by messaging Arianord in-game. Or, if you’re in the Bay Area, just whip out that phone and start swiping until you see the handsome grin of Adam’s human warrior. Just remember, Aphelion is looking for more than just a one-night stand.
Thanks to Eric Sapp, who found Aphelion’s Tinder profile and shared it on Twitter for us to see.