Before LFD we'd find groups on our own server. Sometimes we'd find someone we liked and try to recruit them. People who needed guilds could run instances to find a guild that needed them. It wasn't formal like an application or realm post, it wasn't all-accepting like a trade spam ad, but it was somewhere in the middle and undeniably social.
Since you were already in a group and had a role and gear and all that, the focus was not on any of that. Instead it was on the person behind the character. Are they a good fit? Do they have the personality the guild is looking for? These are hard to find in a group, but even harder in an online application.
Ultimately they have to join and go through a trial period. Without grouping before, it's likely that more trials will fail.
Has anyone seen a trend of this yet?
Planescape Torment: The nature of a man
21 hours ago