After we had to say goodbye (for now) to a few user-based tools that helped us to distinguish good from bad players the Aion community reverted to questioning the gear by whispering the player. However, this doesn't necessarily result in sucess or can even sometimes lead to missunderstandings.
Therefore I want to talk about a few points that came up over the past few weeks and months:
1. Let's talk about gear requirements
1.1 Lakrum Gear
We often encounter these group searches stating "no Lakrum". This is certainly simple, but not necessarily fair (nor realistic). It may depend on the class, on the individual gear composition and last but not least on the stats. Aethertech for example is even mighty if you have no gear since you can reduce the defense, boost your stats by DP and buffs and considering you are a tank you have a lot of HP as well compared to some other classes. A sorcerer with your gear may have 30k HP while you have 40k+ - and I can assure you that even a highly Lakrum-geared AT may be fine in instances such as Narakkalli or Holy Tower. Therefore it is recommanded to have basic knowledge about different classes to determine their capability before you judge them. The Spiritmaster for example can boost itself permanently (including the HP) which enables them to participate successfully early as well.
Certainly only having Lakrum gear should result in someone doing Garden or garrisons first - but do not commit the mistake to judge the book by its cover only.
1.2 Prometun? At least full legendary
This is similar to the Lakrum discussion. Some classes have lots of opportunities to cover up their stats or maybe don't require too many stats to be "enough". Especially server-only groups are rather lenient about gear, but they still suceed (at least in Prometun). Certainly being prepared to adjust can be expected, but a half-ancient Chanter for example can do fine indeed.
1.3 Pre 6.x Gear
Most of the old gear appears to be rather useless nowadays. However, it is different for classes that use dual weapons. Having an old dagger/sword can be rather useful and an old pistol is not that bad either (and old feathers are sometimes alright as well). This should be common knowledge, but especially new people might react confused - still, an assassin (or sometimes a gladiator) that uses one old weapon usually knows what to do.
2. Post your weapon
People often ask me to post my weapon - but in fact I'm unable to post a majority of the weapons I own due to a bug that came up with 6.x. Most people accept it when I state that I cannot post it, because they wouldn't be able to see it. At least if it's a fused weapon. Therefore it's pointless to ask for weapons unless you're dealing with a class that mostly uses single-handed weapons (Assassin, Cleric...). Instead you could ask for stats (e.g. Attack, Accuracy, PvE Attack). Don't forget though that Attack and PvE Attack are equal stats (therefore some people add them up).
3. Support (Makarna)
Especially in Makarna I often see these groups with a setup like this:
2-3 clerics, 1-2 bards, 2 chanters, 1 templar... that's already half of the group and sometimes it's even more. You don't require a zillion dispel/support classes for Makarna and considering the average gear it isn't wise to rely on support too much either. These classes are not known for their high dps and though there might be exceptions you can't count on those when building a random alliance. You have to know that Beritra usually targets the group with the main tank with his debuff, therefore it's fine to have either two dispels for this group or even rely on a single determined cleric (especially if you run with 6 people or other small groups you can just position 2-3 players (including the maintank) on one side and let the cleric deal with it by AoE dispel + Single dispel [first the rest, then yourself] + Ripple of Purification). At least you don't require a support bard and certainly not an afk chanter.
In case of mediocre dps you rely on everyone that can help. And do not assign chanters to the left boss on the right at the beginning unless your group is very fast. The dispel of the debuff is essential to survive.
4. Nobody loves Aethertechs
Even though they are not pleasant-looking they are one of the stronger classes these days. Clerics, however, dislike them because they can wear magical chain. Well, they can wear magic leather as well and nobody wants magic leather in the first place, so consider them as magic leather and Aethertechs may go for leather themselves. Be flexible! [make sure to address this beforehand though]
5. What's your dps?
Never ask this question. Lots of people have no Rainmeter and even if - the question is rather pointless, because dps is highly related to time and setup (and the dps shown in ARM depends on your class and playing style too). This might be interesting if you have a detailled ranking where you can check for setups, buffs and rotation, but otherwise it's not. For example your dps can double if the time and push is right which would be a huge difference.
6. Only class XY needed
This isn't a try to make you share your gear, however, talking to the applicant sometimes may clear up things rather quickly. Maybe they want gear for another character or only require non-class-specific stuff. Especially when you are wasting your time anyway it can be worth it to listen first. Sometimes "only class XY" roots in prejudies such as "class XY is no good" or "they won't deal enough damage". In this case it might be worth listening as well or sometimes to build up your class knowledge first.
7. You're the boss... technically
Smart people who were rejected a few times came up with a great idea: Build your own groups instead. This can be fine if you take into consideration that you still need to meet minimum requirements and that your party has to compensate whatever you may lack. Furthermore it requires basic knowledge about the instance (e.g. how do I structure the groups in Makarna, what classes do I need, what are realistic requirements etc). Even if they compensate for you (which is your right as the leader), you're still responsible for your party's success and have to do your utmost to ensure it. Meaning if you have less than 50.000 HP buffed you should eventually stay away from Makarna.
8. Smart questions
Sometimes you want players to know an instance well. This might not be as important currently, but sometimes it's better not to ask "Do you have experience?" but go for a specific question instead "Do you know how to handle X?". Like this you can determine whether the person even understands the respective language and has a general idea. Especially unresponsive people can be sometimes very annoying otherwise.
This is a subjective collection which may be continued. Thank you for your attention. Feel free to discuss this below and leave your input.