Guilds are the lifeblood of just about any MMO. A grouping of friends… a grouping of comrades… a group of people with similar goals… well… uh…
All of the above?
Guilds come together to server many different purposes because for every player that wants to be the guy at the top taking out all the content, there is another player looking for a chat room to share his zany adventures in Azeroth — roleplayer style.
Recently, I pugged with a freshly minted 80 who was complaining that her guild didn’t ever seem to do heroics. She had joined a guild to spend time with her guildmates and do ALL content, whether it be raiding or alt leveling. She was very put out that her guild wasn’t supporting her in her effort to get geared.
My first thought, and response was, “Different guilds have different expectations and goals.”
I have been in a multitude of guilds in my time with WoW, and I imagine there are a plethora more that meet needs I haven’t and will never even consider viable.
Friends and Family
Some “casual” guilds call themselves a friends and family guild, but when I say it, I mean just that. I am currently in a friends and family guild — I know everyone’s name, telephone number, and address (or I can make them give it to me *evil laugh*) We had just enough people to get the charter signed, and honestly, we talk more about our day to day lives than I would ever share with the general population. So if you see <Vendor Trash> on Scarlet Crusade, don’t ask if you can join…. you probably can’t.
Leveling / Alt Guild
These folks don’t care one iota about content that isn’t a 5 man dungeon. Leveling or alt guilds will generally have a large enough player base that you can get a group for Scarlet Monsatary… and every character is the correct level. Expect the bank to have plenty of potions for 15 – 80 level characters and very few “raiding” staples such as elixirs, flasks or buffage food. In every leveling/alt guild I’ve been a part of, heroics are on the menu, but if you want to raid, you will have to find another home to hang your hat — although your level 7 huntard is more than welcome to stay!
Casual Raiding (Type 1)
Raiding is on the menu… when we get enough people on. Raids generally aren’t a scheduled event, more a critical mass inertia: When enough people show and clamor for the raid to start, people make it to the door. You generally won’t see anything big going down — for Northrend that means you can expect to get an EoE, VoA, or occasional Naxxramas run in. However, be forewarned, actually finishing Naxxramas will likely take two to three sessions and will likely require pugging to fill additional slots, or finish the raid ID before the week is out. Wipes will be acceptable for the most part and raid leadership will flit between the guy who’s been here before and the gal who reads all the strats.
You will see dedicated raiding types who pug outside the guild because they’re not seeing enough action as well as new players who have never raided before. Membership often fluctuates in these guilds, as people return to their leveling guild after finding they don’t really like raiding, or people take the step up to a harder hitting raid guild.
Casual Raiding (Type 2)
They have a website. They have a raid calendar. You must submit an application to join. Questions will flit between how bad ass your spec is to your favorite color. Honestly, they really want to be your friend, but they really would rather not die in the dungeon. Generally, the things separating the Type 1 & Type 2 casual raider is their willingness to be organized and have expectations. Whether they’re met or not is usually optional, but they really do TRY to get people on the same page. Content will have a farm status, and generally, it will actually be accurate barring a really bad week (which everyone understands, because we’re really just a great bunch of guys and gals!)
Hardcore Raiding (Type 1)
These are the ones that are spoken about in whispers… the true Type-A personalities. They will WIN the game! (How you win a MMO that constantly breaks out new content is not a concept that I have personally figured out yet, but I just KNOW these guys must know something I don’t). Not only must you fill out an application, you must pass a background check and provide a blood sample to make sure you have the correct balance of hormones for optimal trigger response. Failure is not permitted, and generally an applicant can be expected to be belittled and shamed before turned down for the applicant behind him who has the correct blood type. You must be available to the guild for any event the guild deems worthy to schedule — anywhere between 5-7 nights per week. While less common as raids have gotten smaller and dungeons shorter, they still DO exist on select servers.
Hardcore Raiders (Type 2)
Close cousins to type 1, type 2 gives off an aura of “and btw, we don’t care that we’re fucking awesome, we just play to have fun.” Type 2 HR’s usually have a standard between a serious casual guild and a super, extreme hardcore raiding guild. They want good people, but they generally only raid 2-4 times per week. This is where most of your “serious” raiding guilds will stand — and you can expect to clear most content in a guild with this mindset and expectation. Generally you will be expected to show up with your own food / flasks, and b.i.s. gems/chants/gear (although some wiggle room is sometimes made for new apps on gear issues). I’ve seen the gamut from super friendly do everything in the game with you including leveling alts to only show up for raid time in this type of raiding guild, so you really have to shop around to find the right fit if you’re interested in content AND something more.