WoW life: guilds


Your guild is one of the most interesting aspects of you World of Warcraft life. It defines on which level you play, how much fun you’ll have, how far you’ll get in the game and who you hang out with. It also offers you the opportunity to create an entire social life in the game. I’ll take a closer look at my own guild experiences over the past couple of weeks and I’ll also analyse my current guild structure. I’ve even added some tips on how to find the guild for you!

For all those people who have never been in a guild or a clan or any online group: a guild is like a community. It’s a social club which offers players the opportunity to stay in contact with each other and develop relationships. In World of Warcraft you can become a member of a guild through an invite from a member. Everyone can also start their own guild by buying a charter from a guild master NPC in one of the capital cities. This then has to be signed by nine other players, after which you can hand in the charter and the guild if formed. The name of your guild will be displayed above your head, you’ll have access to guildchat and a guildbank.

A couple of weeks into my comeback to WoW I realised I was missing the green chat (guildchat is by default displayed in bright green), so I scanned the realm forum for a suitable guild. I was looking for a mature guild with a positive and playful attitude towards things, who would be doing lots of instancing and raiding, but at a casual pace and the most important aspect was to have fun and be social. The realm forum really didn’t help me much. Some guilds offered links to their homepages, but I couldn’t really get an idea of what they were like. So I went with a name: Hording Friends. Since it had the word ‘friend’ in it and their website seemed ok, I thought I’d give it a shot. And I’ve struck gold!

Hording friends is pretty much a casual, fun guild with a lovely mix of inexperienced and experienced players. They’ve got a very mature attitude, since most of them have families and other responsibilities to take care of, yet they’re also total idiots who fool around a lot, and I mean a lot. The general mood in the guild is established through friendship. A lot of people know each other in real life, since the core of the guild is a group of friends, who also play WoW together. This is extremely different from my previous experiences, in which some people I played with for months wouldn’t mix real life with WoW.

Hording Friends has a very basic guild structure with a few twists here and there. Every guild in WoW has ranks, this is the way the game has structured guilds. These ranks define the function of certain guild members and also privileges specific players can have. Although officially Phõbia is the guild master, there are a couple of guild leaders who rule the guild together and share responsibility for the entire guild. The rank below that is council, these people help the guild leaders run the guild. Then there’s the veteran rank, who also assist the council and guild leaders, yet they have less responsibilities. These three ranks can also invite new people to the guild.

Then we come to a group of ranks where I belong to. There are the raiders and members, both equally important. The only difference is that raiders are members who have geared themselves for raiding and want to raid with the guild. I’ve recently been accepted as a raider, which is one of the things I love doing in WoW. Below this are two special ranks, one of wounded hero. This rank is given to any member that will be offline for a long period of time. And then there’s the rank of trial, which indicates that the player has recently joined the guild and still needs to be evaluated in order to become a member. Every rank has their own rights in the guildbank, guildleaders can take out anything, while trial members can’t see the content of the guildbank for example.

Hording Friends has a typical structure for a World of Warcraft guild. Most guilds have one guild master and then a couple of officers, who run the guild with the guild master. Often guilds also have some kind of special rank (similar to veteran) that defines players who have been extremely loyal and are completely trusted by the guild, these people usually get a say in the future path of the guild. What’s different in Hording Friends is that although they have defined these ranks and certain privileges, everything isn’t rule-based and there’s no real hierarchy, every member regardless of rank is equally important. Everyone also seems to be able to do what they want, within reason of course. The rules aren’t that strict and this seems to work. The same goes for guildchat. A lot of guilds have a strict policy, which often leads to an extremely quiet guildchat. This guild does the opposite, everyone’s free to shout out what they want, without hurting anybody’s feelings and of course the guildleaders do keep an eye on things and tell people off every now and then.

I really appreciate the attitude this guild has, although I can also see that it can lead to certain problems. For instance, in one of my previous guilds I had a transsexual who was extremely offended by certain comments by other guildies. Or in another guild two players were seemingly getting along and teasing each other, until one of them suddenly left the guild in the middle of their teasing session. I had to spend several hours talking to the both of them to get them to make peace and come back to the guild. Needless to say that happened in the days that I ran a guild, I don’t have the ambition to do that ever again. My own experiences also increases the appreciation for the way things are done in Hording Friends. I know how much work goes into running a guild and keeping things going smoothly. It’s a tough job! And I very much value the fact that other people are this good at it.

Finding the guild for you

I’ve basically stumbled upon a really nice guild that suits my desires. Yet how do you find the guild that’s right for you? A good place to start is the forum of the realm. Blizzard offers all realms an official forum on which you can usually find a guild list. By scanning the forum you can also get a good idea of the progress guilds have made, what the biggest guilds are and where all the good players hang out. Next to this, keep an eye out on general chat while you are playing the game. Nobody uses the guild recruitment channel, so disregard that. Usually guildleaders will spam general chat with recruitment messages. These people are very much approachable and will answer your questions. A good indication of a bad guild is when people don’t respond, don’t take you seriously or have a badly written and not very informing recruitment message. You should always ask if guilds have a website, since the site is a very good indicator of what kind of guild it is.

Before you go searching for your perfect guild, ask yourself what you want. If your priorities lie within raiding and end-game content, then you should probably search for a hardcore raiding guild. However, know that within hardcore raiding guilds there’s usually a very different social scene. Maybe you don’t like what’s out there and think you can do better: start your own guild! Get a bunch of your friends together, sign that charter and make WoW history, yet remember that when your guild expands your responsibilities increase. Most of all, always remember to have fun! Wow’s supposed to be a game, not a job.

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  • Comments (4)
  1. Nice write up & very useful comments, Another good tip is look at the rules the guild has, very strict rules could be a sign of a “control freak” while lax or virtually no rules could mean a new guild or a guild of virtually all RL friends.

    Also when you join a guild dont be afraid to do a /ginfo which will tell you how long the guild has been running, how many unique accounts there are (i could be in the guild with 10 players, but that would only be one account.

    Another useful tool is found at http://www.warcraftrealms.com , you can use this to perform a search on the guild how many players come and go and find out if there is a churn.

    As to our lil guild while we allow people to pretty much say “almost” anything, its written in the rules to not offend other people in the guild or outside and if you are offended not to be afraid to say so.

    Ive only run and been a member of social guilds, so its not for me to comment on the hardcore guilds, just know its not my scene :)

  2. Thanks for your comments, B, they’re really useful tips for guildseekers.

    It’s not my scene either, but I had to go in and find that out what they were like before I wrote them off completely.

    • Andarno
    • November 11th, 2009

    There is a good balance to be found between a Hardcore raiding guild and a friendly social & helpful guild. The guild I am in is called “Inner Circle” of Kilrogg Realm, although I am the founding member and GM I could not run the guild alone and have a selection of ppl to assist me, including those that understand Classes to advise others, those that are good at resolving disputes, people with GOOD experiance at raiding and raid leading, and finally a few RL friends. Our guilds main goal is to always be at end game content, enjoying the privilages this brings whilst helping others achieve them. Guild chat is busy and friendly and all members can log onto a voice server to enjoy a more personal experience and social aspect. Don’t be fooled into thinking it is a friendly guild OR a hardcore guild. There are guilds out there that aim to be both and I like to think we achieve that.

    Cheers and Happy gaming.

  3. Thank for your comment Andarno. I’ve ran a couple of guilds myself and found it hard to find the balance between the social players and the raiding ones. If you’re going for raiding goals, then you need a certain quality of players and a certain balance of classes (though in WotLK this is a bit easier achieved than in TBC), this will negatively influence the socialness.

    But I’m glad you’ve found a way to do it! It’s really rewarding work (yes, running a guild is actual WORK) and I hope you’ll be enjoying the game with your friends for a long time! Enjoy.

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