Working on the World of Raids Guild Recruitment I needed to make sure the user was really member of the guild he claimed to represent. Since there is no official API and we don't want to ask for the user login and password, we had to find an other way.

The idea is to take advantage of the official Armory. When the user logs off the game, his character profile is updated on the website. To make sure the user is who he pretends to be, we are going to ask him to make a change on his character, wait for the armory to update and verify.

Since it's a tool that can be useful to anyone, we decided to make it a standalone service with an open API. If you have a World of Warcraft website and feel the need to verify that your users are genuine, this is your chance!

It has been in activity since the launch of the recruitment tool. So far 100 conflicts have been automatically resolved thanks to this tool.

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In World of Raids Guild Recruitment Tool, we wanted the search to be instant! We achieved this goal by not having a single page refresh or ajax call while updating the settings. Since it runs in the browser, performance was a real concern. We will see in this article what were the tricks used to make this real.


In order to sort the guilds, each guild is given a matching score (between 0 and 65535) based on the current filters. At start, each guild has the maximum points. Then, each filter is giving a malus. For example when a specialization doesn't match, the guild loses 10%.

This means that everytime you change a filter, you have to recompute that matching score for all the guilds. Instead of recomputing the whole matching score, the guild holds the result of each filter. Everytime a filter is updated, the value of this filter is upated on every guild. The global matching score is now recalculated by summing all the partial precomputed scores.

Every bit of code in the matching function has been optimized, no more jquery code, loops are unrolled and great use of lazy boolean expression evaluation. The sort function itself also got boosted thanks to a trick I commented on my previous article Speed Up Javascript Sort().

Guild Recruitment Search Filters


Once we have the data sorted, it has to be displayed! And this is another big time eater. When it takes 50ms to sort the data, it takes about 150ms to display 10 guilds!

Since we wanted performances, DOM elements are created at page loading, they are then only being updated as the guilds change. And still, only the required changes are made, for example tooltips are created as the user trigger the mouseover event.

The main problem with this is that we are not able to make bulk changes. Everytime you make the slightest change, the whole UI has to be redrawn which is a waste of time. I hope there will be such API in the future.

Guild Display

Since it's a web application, we had to maintain the url up to date, this is done using SmallHash, a small library of mine that compresses filter data into the smallest possible hash.


Having all the data being sent at page loading is a pain, it makes it load slowly. One way to avoid this problem would be to use the localstorage to keep these data accross sessions and only send the updated guilds. However at the time I started developping the application there was no released browser supporting HTML5.

However, the application is focused on World of Warcraft guilds. This is a limited audience and there is no need on heavy scaling there. So we decided that it was a good option to go.

Up to 3000 guilds, this is pretty much instant in every browser in my MacBook Pro. When increasing that number to 10 000 it is taking more than a second to update on IE8. It requires 50 000 guilds for Chrome 3 to get slow, which is a pretty good score. It means that it is possible to do heavy processing, the bandwith now being the limiting factor.


World of Raids Guild Recruitment

Guild recruitment is a recurrent problem in World of Warcraft, many attempt have been made but none succedeed so far. After a brainstorming we decided that the following points were crucial.

  • The guild recruiter has to spend less time as possible to set-up a guild and maintain it.
  • The guild search must be easy and focus on what people expect from their guild.

With these points in mind, we had to find technical responses in order to make the World of Raids Guild Recruitment Tool.

  • What You See Is What You Get: The guild management interface is the final display, there is no intermediate step.
  • Tailored Widgets: About every widget has been heavily customized to fit the user need.
  • Automatic Save: Every time you make a change, it is automatically published and available to anyone!
  • Javascript Search: Having all the guilds fetched during the loading allows to have a complex filtering system instantly updated.

Guild Search

Looking for a guild should no more be a pain! You just have to tweak the filters and result appear sorted as you edit them! No more long page reload or even ajax requests. It is instant!

We focused hard on making filters one click away. We also took great care of the raid time filter, it is an important aspect of the guild choice that is too often avoided because of its complexity.

For more details on the optimizations made, see the post Guild Recruitement – Search Optimizations.

Guild Management

Our original goal was to be able to create a guild in less than a minute (yes, 60 seconds!) and we pretty much did it. The proof in the following video.

In order to achieve this, we opted for a Wysiwyg approach to remove the need of making two interfaces for both display and edition. Every widget has been tailored to fit the user needs. For example, as soon as you enter your name and realm, it automatically gathers your progression from the official website.