The new guild system is among the most talked about changes coming soon (if you haven’t heard about it, I encourage you to check it out). This, along with the new shared lockout between 10- and 25-man raids, has caused a lot of people to take a step back and consider their guild situation. Those who haven’t previously been members of guilds are considering finding one, and guilds are in the process of determining what the expansion holds for them.
For many reasons, I’ve actually been thinking about guilds for the past six months or so, even before everyone started hypothesizing about guild changes. That thought process boils down to this–the five things I want from my guild. I’m going to switch things up today, though–this will be a countdown from 5 to 1, 1 being the most important to me.
5. Friendliness. We’ll get into some deeper aspects of this later on, but this is strictly on the surface. I like to talk a lot (haven’t you noticed?!), and I like having people to talk to. Not everyone is outgoing and not everyone is always in a good mood, but when the majority of a guild is made of reasonably nice people, this is going to happen on its own. People will chit chat, they’ll “grats” for big achievements, they’ll help if they can when needed, and they’ll welcome new members. It’s a natural environment created by friendly people, and it’s the kind of guild I want to be a part of.
4. (Not too) Super Serial. I like guilds that are fun. I don’t mean planning-events fun (although that’s pretty cool, too), I just mean general lightheartedness. But I also want to get serious when I raid. For me, the best guild is the one that manages to do both. Between pulls or during AFKs, or when we’re not raiding, let the chatting and joking (in chat, preferably) flow. Most of my best guild memories have a lot less to do with killing bosses, and a lot more to do with goofy things that were said or done while we waited.
Because of my situation–being a mother of two and a wife–this includes some flexibility as well. I can’t belong to a hardcore guild, because I have to AFK during trash pulls to put my daughter back to bed after a bad dream and go to sleep at midnight so I can get up at 6 a.m. I need a guild that is both serious about progressing as far as they can but is understanding of real life. This type of guild, I’m afraid, is a precious gem. If this is the kind of guild you want and you find it, don’t let go of it lightly.
3. Integrity. All you have to do to find a lack of integrity in World of Warcraft is play it (I wish I were kidding). You really can’t play the game long without running into someone who will treat you terribly or selfishly hoard loot or let their egos run the show. In fact, I had a friend who started playing a few months ago, and by level 20 he had already run into two ninja looters and three jerks who kicked him from a random because he rolled for an item one of their buddies wanted.
As I’ve said before, guild reputation is important to me. I want to be in a guild whose members value what other people think about the guild, not just in terms of progress, but in terms of politeness, helpfulness, and kindness. I want to be in a guild that has a general sense of integrity that demonstrates itself in guild raids, PuGs, and general play, because I try hard to be the kind of person a guild like that would want.
2. Raiding! The fact is, I love to raid. I’ve seldom had a night where I thought, “I just don’t feel like raiding.” When I have had those nights, my feelings generally have little to do with whether or not I want to raid, and more to do with things that have happened here in Real Life Land. I like to kill bosses, I like to feel needed, I like to push my performance, I like to progress, and I like the camaraderie that forms between raiders. I created Ambermist to raid, and it’s important that I belong to a guild that raids consistently.
1. Home. It’s a pivotal part of any social group–members in the group want to belong. If they don’t “fit in,” they’ll either cause friction or they’ll leave (or both). Just this week, I saw a GM ask someone to leave their guild because they weren’t the “right fit.” It’s more important than we realize sometimes, especially if our primary goal in a guild is the previous item I listed. Often, raiding guilds will settle for people who don’t fit in well in order to have enough members to continue raiding. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
It’s not just new people who are affected by this, though. Guild cultures change to reflect the people in them, and occasionally people who previously fit well will cease to do so as the guild changes around them. Often, their choice is to accept the new guild culture or to look for a new guild that fits them. No one is right or wrong in this situation. It just is what it is.
It’s important to me that I feel like I fit into my guild. I want to feel comfortable to talk in guild chat or raid chat without being consistently ignored or put down, and I want to know that my contribution (both as a dedicated raider and as a member with thoughts and opinions) is appreciated. I’d rather not be in a guild than to be in one in which I feel out-of-place or unwelcome.
It’s important to note that a) I don’t believe any guild is going to be able to meet all 5 of these things all the time. That would be expecting way too much, but also b) that none of these alone are enough to me. Most of these things need to be at least somewhat true for me to be happy in my guild, and it’s a weighted scale–each item is more important than the one before it. I don’t necessarily want to be full-time in a guild that is super friendly but doesn’t raid, but neither do I want to be in a guild where I raid but don’t feel at home.
Now’s the time to ask: what do you want from your guild, and are you getting it?
If you are a lover of lists like these, you should check out the other posts in “The Five” series!