Updated Wed, Jan 18, 2012 by Saia
Guilds are a mainstay of World of Warcraft, just as they are of fantasy fiction and MMOs in general. We’ve already told you how to create a good impression after joining a guild and today we’re going to look at finding the best kind of guild for you.
Finding guilds is pretty easy. Just look in trade chat or use the guild finder. This is where it gets complicated; there are social guilds, hardcore endgame raiding guilds, roleplaying guilds, progression guilds, family and local guilds. What do these all mean and how do you find the right one for you?
Before you even start looking for a guild, it’s important to figure out your own play style. Do you play a lot or just on weekends? Do you work or study? Part time or full time? Are you a teen with a curfew or an adult with commitments like kids? How many characters have you got? Do you have a main and lots of alts or just lots of mains?
Answering these questions will give you a better idea of what you’re looking for. Think of yourself as the piece in a jigsaw, you’ve just got to find where you fit in the bigger picture. After all, there’s no point applying to a guild full of hardcore raiders when you can only play on weekends and haven’t even done the first tier raids yet.
What exactly do you need to fit into different guilds? Well most traits are transferable: you should be friendly and enthusiastic, willing and eager but there are also specific qualities which will help you become a valued member of a specific type of guild.
For example, if you decide to join a hardcore raiding guild then be prepared for a rigorous schedule where only the end of the world/dire and catastrophic internet failure will stop you from raiding. This means you need to make sure you’re online, repaired, in Mumble/Vent/Teamspeak and have appropriate potions and buff food fifteen minutes before the raid start. By doing this you’re showing two awesome traits already: punctuality and dedication, both of which are top of the list for the hardcore.
On the opposite end of the scale are the casual guilds. These are the chilled out folk who, even if they do some raiding, might not stick to a schedule and run on Guild Standard Time where everything runs fifteen to thirty minutes late. These guilds usually include a range of people covering all ages and demographics from parents and their kids to students and retired folk. Some guilds will include people from all over the place while others could be small and predominately local.
Depending on how quickly you want to kill the latest endgame boss will help you figure out what kind of guild to join.
In these guilds, it’s important to be chilled out and be yourself. It’s not uncommon in any guild to have guildmates become close friends or even vice versa. In some cases it even comes in handy. For example, three of my guildmates live in the next town over from me and we were friends outside of WoW before they joined our little social guild.
We were raiding one night when my three friends - who are housemates - lost their internet connection. Suddenly all three vanished and we were left without two healers and a DPS for a good thirty minutes. What followed was a fascinating use of the internet when Healer #1 called my mobile phone and, on loudspeaker via Skype and Mumble, explained to the rest of the guild why they’d vanished. You can’t make this stuff up. We were all fine with this, took biobreaks and continued on once everyone was back.
It’s things like, flexibility and also real-world contact, which make social guilds. These are the guilds where the spirit of camaraderie is more important than how many times you’ve killed Deathwing on heroic. These guilds are also the places where you’re likely to have annual real-life meet ups at events like BlizzCon and are definitely for folk who like getting to know the person behind the toon.
The other major type of guild are RPers and we’re not talking those folk on Moonguard either. RP guilds are usually found on specialist servers but do sometimes exist elsewhere. If you want to join one of these, you’ll need to be a decent actor and, at the very least, know your main’s life-story like it was your own. These guilds often have interesting rules, such as being in character at all times or even, using a specific in-game tongue such as Darnassian or Gnomish to communicate (depending on species for example).
Roleplaying guilds exist for fun and social stuff but they also take themselves quite seriously and, if that’s the kind of thing you want to be apart of then it’s important to remember that.