When guild chat gets empty, when login notifications become non-existant, when your guild leader doesn’t show up anymore and no one but you visits your guild site; if you plan to stick with a game, it finally becomes time to make a tough decision. Finding the right guild is not always easy. Some people get lucky and find their in-game home quickly while others spend a lot of time guild hopping. I’ve had a mix of both in my time in MMOs, but mostly I’ve been pretty lucky in my guild experiences. But no matter how much you might like a group of people, when they no longer play you either quit along with them, play mostly alone and essentially guildless or you find new people to hang out with who are still active.
I believe a good guild is essential to fully enjoying an MMO. I know it is essential for me. With my guild gone inactive, I’ve been thinking about my play style and what I want from a guild. I’ve been with the same guild through a couple of WoW expansions, playing up to level 50 in Rift, and now playing up to level 50 and through the initial (pre-1.2) end game in SWTOR. They have been a good fit and fun to hang out with, enough so that we’ve tried to stay together through multiple games, but I’ve come to a few realizations after trying to get the guild going, unsuccessfully, in a couple of new MMOs.
The most active members are also heavily end game focused. That worked for us when end game was plentiful and fun, but for new games where end game is pretty sparse or grindy, it hasn’t been enough. I always thought they were enough of a mix of casual and altaholics that end game wasn’t so essential, but I’ve realized lately that I was wrong. There aren’t enough of them willing to find other pursuits while waiting for new end game content to make the guild survive. Most of them didn’t even come back online to try the new operations in patch 1.2. Hardly anyone even said goodbye, which is probably what bothers me the most and makes me re-think whether relationships were that close with anyone but our guild leader.
What I want in a new guild is a pretty tall order. I need a guild that does end game and is good at it, but remains casual in their approach to end game raiding/operations. They organize ops efficiently, people know what they are doing and work hard toward success, but there is room to play other characters, take time for real life, and laugh while running operations. I want a group with minimal to no guild drama, no loot drama, and fun to chat with while not being overly chatty. One where people visit the website and contribute information or just check in once in a while; Info that is posted contributes toward the success of raids/ops, and we use tools to make organizing them as easy as possible. Website use is also something my current guild doesn’t do very well. As I’ve been their webmaster for a while, it makes what I do feel pretty silly.
I don’t like a lot of the chat requirements of social guilds, where you must say hello and goodbye all the time, must “gratz” people for every little thing they do, to the point where someone makes a program to just do that for you automatically. Insincerity and forced chatting has always bothered me. I want a nice mix of friendly and genuine joy at people’s success, but not artificially pushed.
While the guild needs to do end game and be good at it, when end game has been tackled and we’re waiting for new content to be released, the guild doesn’t evaporate. This last part is where my current guild has failed and is probably my hardest requirement. I’ve got a well geared level 50 and a pretty high legacy level, so until we have the option of character transfers, I also need a guild that is on my current server, The Harbinger. I don’t do PVP beyond dabbling, so that limits my options as well. They need to be not too big, not too small, but big enough to try world bosses and other 16 man content.
I’ve been looking, watching general chat, checking out who is online and looking for a healthy population of a guild logged in. I’ve been visiting websites and reading fan sites, hoping to see a guild recruiting that looks good. So far I haven’t found one that I’m willing to approach. Thankfully my husband plays and is still enjoying the game with me, although that complicates the picture a little bit since we both need a guild we can be happy in, and he’s less into end game than I am. Still, I’ll keep looking and keep hoping to find that perfect or nearly perfect fit. And I’ll feel sad at the inevitable loss of contact with the folks I’ve followed around for so long. I feel bad that I’m the only officer who still logs in, when there is the occasional other person online. Once I go, what will they do? But when you are the only person online most of the time, what else can you do? I need enthusiasm and a sense of fun most of all. The journey must be something we all pursue, not something a few drag the others along to do. So, here I sit, LFG.