All guilds are different. They have different goals and ways of operating. My recent free agency and guildlessness (and talking the whole situation over with my friends) got me thinking a lot about guilds. Who they are, what they’re like, their rules, and most importantly, how I would fit in with those aspects. I had to sit down and think about what was important to me, really, and what I’m looking for in a guild.
In any MMO, your guild is like your family. When I played WoW I was only in two guilds, and I was with both of those for at least a year each. Guilds allow you to get you to know your peers and form relationships with the people you spend some serious time with. I’m still very close with quite a few people from my WoW days. Guildmates share your triumphs and tribulations in game and outside of, and become your confidants and even significant others. You spend hours of time with them, sometimes doing things and sometimes not. Hell, I’ve even sat in Mumble with 3-4 guildmates and watched Game of Thrones with them. So, if a guild is the MMO family you get to pick, what are the deciding factors when finding your virtual home?
Your guild helps define you in the MMO universe. That tag under your name lets others know who you are, what you do, and how serious you are about it. There are many types of guilds; PvE, PvP, RP, and some who do a combination . Some guilds focus on leveling mostly, and there are casual guilds and hardcore guilds for both PvE and PvP. What your guild does reflects what you want to do as a player and is probably the most important aspect of deciding on a guild. I look for hardcore guilds that do PvE but with players who enjoy competitive PvP. Usually these guilds have some sort of application process and gear or experience requirements. Leveling guilds are good for players who like to make alts and experience the story of the game. Usually the leveling guilds have an open recruitment and many members so it’s easy to find someone to play with. Casual guilds are good for people who like to play without a lot of pressure or massive time commitments but want to do Elder game or organized events.
The personality of the guild is also important, how social a guild is, what the general attitude is, and how they conduct themselves. I prefer a talkative guild where people like to do random things together. I also need an “adult” guild because I can’t be bothered not to swear. I’m ok with a little trolling as well, but I do prefer a little more maturity. I don’t particularly mind trolls, but that could be because I tend to be one every once in a while. While I am pretty hardcore, I do like a casual, fun attitude. People who know when to be serious and when to be silly. Mostly, people need to get along and for there not to be “cliques”. I’m always accused of this, but I swear I don’t do it on purpose. I just usually get friendly with the people who like to PvP and end up spending a lot of time with them.
There is also the way a guild operates to take into consideration. Uncomplicated hierarchies and a clear chain of command is always important, knowing who is in charge and who to talk to if you have a problem. Communication is key and goes a long way in feeling comfortable in a guild. The hierarchy aspect also means that there is room for advancement. While I don’t necessarily want to be an officer sometimes, knowing that by working hard and performing well I can reach that status is important to me. The way loot is granted is also a factor when deciding on a guild. There are many ways this happens; rolls, DKP, loot lists, ect. I personally have always liked DKP or loot lists for distributing loot. DKP, or Dragon Kill Points, works by giving raiders points for participation and setting loot values for certain items. Members can “bid” on items and the individual with the most DKP receives it from those bidding. In <Suckafish> we awarded loot based on a predetermined list. Raiders submitted their “Wish Lists” and the officers gave loot based on which upgrades were the most important. DPS would usually receive loot first, followed by tanks and healers, but everyone got a piece at least every other week. This made players accountable for their gear and guaranteed people got the pieces they needed based on importance.
Other than simply being able to play with others, MMOs usually give some sort of incentive for being a part of a guild. For those who level a lot the Guild Reputation and Experience bonus, up to 10%, is probably the most beneficial. This is based on qualifying accounts so it helps being in a guild with a lot of people. With Guild Ships approaching, additional benefits will be available as well. For people who PvE, the bufffs and transport will be useful for Operations. There will also be guild domination of planets to look forward to, and the bonuses and achievements that will open up.
Myself, I could never be guildless. I wouldn’t be able to accomplish what I want in game and would be really, REALLY lonely; some people like being lone wolfs, but its just not for me. What about everyone else though, what are the important factors when it comes to finding and joining a guild for you? Is it content or quality? Do you just want to play with friends? What makes a good guild in your opinion?