I've been in hardcore guilds that don't have an application process. Its was even more of an Elitist environment, anyone not up to snuff is cut. Doesn't really bring a sense of community into the guild and people are just plain <REDACTED>s to each other in vent. I think it was clear no one wanted to help each other and everyone was there for the gear. Was possibly my worst guild experience as the raid leader was a 36 year old man child. Pretty much after I fully geared myself I left. Maybe thats the environment you want, not the type for me. That said I've had plenty of casual guilds with no application process's that have been great. But for me unless their is a bit of "professionalism" and an application process to weed out the meek. Then that guild isn't hardcore and doomed to eventually be torn apart by drama. Course this is my personal view point and I think I've been called an elitist prick from time to time. Take my words with a table spoon of salt.