MMOs are, for the most part, designed around players participating in game content in groups. Oftentimes these groups are organized as player guilds. A guild can be a very rewarding and fulfilling experience. It can also be a frustrating waste of time. The risks of joining a guild are never more plentiful than during the pre-launch phase of an MMO. It is at this time we must be the most picky and the most honest with ourselves. Researching, selecting and choosing the correct pre-launch guild can afford you an edge in the early days of the game. The wrong pre-launch guild can set you back or worse, ruin the game for you in some ways. This guide will help you research, select and choose the best possible guild for your needs as a player.
Your strategy for joining a pre-launch guild should have three unshakable principles at its core.
The first being the understanding that a pre-launch guild absolutely needs you more than you need them. This is a unique condition to pre-launch guilds and you should take full advantage of it. Keep in mind that a pre-launch guild is usually trying to build itself from nothing or very little. It is you who will be making the guild into a reality. Know who holds the cards.
The next is to understand your needs as a player and to not compromise on those needs. Don’t feel like you have to change or aspire to something you aren’t. Contrariwise, don’t feel as if you have to settle for something you feel sets you back as a player. You can be flexible without much risk. However don’t confuse being flexible and easy going with compromising on what’s important to you as a player. You do neither the guild nor yourself a favor by compromising on your needs. Don’t compromise.
Finally, while you should always look to group with people whose company you enjoy, you must be ready to deal with people you disagree with. You need to go into things with a solid sense of reality. Sad to say, there are some people who will refuse to play in a guild with people who are different than they are. If you refuse to play with people of different ethic backgrounds or people who don’t agree with your political or religious views, you must realize that finding a guild where everyone is like you and agrees with you is going to be next to impossible. It’s perfectly acceptable—and advisable—to want to play with people who share your playtime hours, timezone, skill level and age group. It’s sometimes possible to join a guild that coincides with your lifestyle type; one can certainly find anything from Christian guilds to GLBT guilds out there. However, even in these types of “lifestyle” guilds, one is going to find a lot of diversity. A guild built around a particular way of living will still have a diverse array of political views, ethnic backgrounds, moral outlooks and so on. Don’t even think about joining a guild, pre-launch or otherwise, unless you can deal with people who hold diverse opinions. Guilds are a social enterprise.
There’s a guild for everyone. There are basic elements that a guild builds itself on. These elements set the guild on a specific posture and govern the path the guild takes both socially and as in matters of gameplay. I’m going to separate the different elements that ultimately make up a guild type. Later on in the guide you will use these elements to put together a model for the guild you are looking for.
Focus – Guilds usually label themselves as PvE (player versus environment; raiding/running instances) and PvP (player versus player; warzone combat/arena dueling) guilds. This is the first thing to look for. Some guilds may participate in both PvP and PvE as a guild. In fact, they usually do, however there is usually one strength or a focus of a guild. Most guilds will still identify themselves as either a PvP or PvE guild even if they do it all. Look for a “mixed” guild if that is your playstyle, but pay close attention to the stated focus of a guild: PvE or PvP.
Roleplay – Roleplay guilds tend to add the element of roleplay, in varying degrees, to the content which the guild participates in. You will see the roleplay designation added before the content specific designation such as, RP-PvP or RP-PvE. Ask how these guilds define “roleplay,” and don’t join a roleplay guild unless you agree with that definition.
Mentality – A guild will typically identify itself with a particular mentality. This reflects how it approaches game content, such as how much time a guild intends to put into gaming and what they expect of their members. (Some also make questionable claims of status, but we’ll get into that later.) Guilds will typically define their mentality as “hardcore” or “casual,” referring to expected time investment. A “hardcore” guild tends to invest a lot of time in the game. “A lot of time” can mean anything from three or so hours a night to upwards of eight hours a night. Hardcore guilds will also often have scheduled playtimes. In many cases this scheduled play will be mandatory and part of the informal contract between a guild and its members, such as through a tracked points system for distributing loot. A guild that labels itself as “casual” usually does so to indicate that they require minimal playtime. Definitions of “minimal” also vary, but these guilds are typically on the lower end of the scale of time played. Some casual guilds even have players that log in to play only once a week or less. A casual guild will typically be free from any type of playtime schedule.
Lifestyle – It’s not so uncommon to find a guild that caters to specific lifestyles. There are many different types of lifestyle guilds. There can be guilds set up for people who share religious beliefs. You can find guilds built around RL companies, sort of like a company softball team. There are even all-female guilds. While lifestyle guilds are rather rare, they seem even rarer than they really are given their nature to exclusive and not open to the general public. If you really want to find one, it’s worth taking the time to look around for it.
Geographic Location – It’s important to build a guild with players in the same relative timezone and geographic location for many reasons. One reason is language barriers. While English is our own “Galactic Basic,” not everyone speaks English. Even more logistically difficult, not everyone can play in an organized group of players at the same time. To solve this problem, guilds will sometimes designate their guild with something like “EU” to reflect that they are a European based guild. There are different Geo guild designations, however westerners will usually see EU or US. Another type of Geo designation reflects what timezone a guild intends to operate in. For example: a guild named “Seanberg Lives – East Coast PvP guild” would reflect that the guild is based on the east coast of the United States. Don’t be to put off by this however if you are not in the timezone of the guild. All it typically means is that the guild intends to use its designated timezone for logistical planning, i.e. if a guild event begins at 2200hr, it begins at 2200hr *Eastern time*. This can be useful if you like earlier or later playtimes than that of the current trends in your own timezone.
Server – While not really of much concern until very late into pre-launch, a server name will often be attached to a guild. For a pre-launch guild a server can only be selected and associated with the guild once the game developer makes the server information public. Still, it’s important to know what server a guild will be on for a number of reasons including what the population of the server is, what timezone it is hosted in and the current progression of the server. Your prospective guild might also be planning to coordinate with other guilds in picking a server. If true, research those other guilds.
Status – Status is something that gets thrown around by lots of people in conversation. It’s one thing to talk about status; it’s another thing entirely to enjoy status. The word “elite” will ge
t tossed around a lot. Elite should mean one of or a collection of the best. Sometimes a guild will call itself “casual,” which most people will disregard as a collection of n00bs. However there are efficiency guilds hidden in this label, which are elite guilds that accomplish their goals in the least amount of time with the least amount of effort possible. You will find guilds calling themselves “hardcore,” which many guilds will label themselves as with the intention of seeming elite rather than merely trying to convey how much time the guild invests in the game. Of all the guild elements, status is the one that is most subject to opinion and one’s perspective. It’s important to know the difference between hardcore and elite. It’s important to understand how guilds misuse these terms when referring to themselves. The only true way to assess a guild’s skill level is to observe that guild in play.
Now let’s see a few examples and breakdown the defining elements in each example.
“Seanberg Lives – East Coast US PvP” = This is a PvP guild located in the Eastern US timezone.
“This Game Has Story – EU Casual RPPvE” = This is a Casual roleplay guild focused on PvE content. The guild is using EU timezones and most likely EU servers for play.
“The Tube Shooters – West Coast US Christian Hardcore PvE – Malgus” = This guild is playing on the west coast US and in that timezone. The time investment will be hardcore and the guild is focused on PvE and most likely raiding. This guild is also going to be built around Christian values. The server is the guild plays on or intends to play on is “Malgus.”
It seems pretty obvious when you break it down by element, but the importance of these designations cannot be overstated. Just remember to pay attention to every designation and if you find something missing, such as what timezone the guild plays in or what their content focus is, just ask them. Any guild worth joining will have a point of contact, usually a “Guild Master” or “GM,” who makes sure potential members get their questions answered.
Misconceptions and Misleading Statements
Once the search for your pre-launch guild begins, it will be easy to get tripped up by misconceptions and even fall prey to misleading statements made by guilds, maliciously or not. A lot of these common misconceptions, if you believe them, make the misleading claims of guilds seem legitimate. Additionally, sometimes a guild will make claims that rely on applicants’ ignorance or the lack of their ability to fact check.
While this is not meant as in indictment of guild recruitment policies and tactics, it is a useful warning to you as someone looking for a pre-launch guild. You see, a pre-launch guild enjoys a bit of a unique collection of conditions in that the guild can ask for the blind faith of its members simply because, as it matters to the game, the guild doesn’t really exist yet. This faith, if asked for by the wrong people, can end up being wasted by those putting the faith in the guild.
With that warning in mind, let’s look at some common misconceptions and consider how it will affect our search for a guild.
Hardcore = good at the game – It simply doesn’t. All hardcore means is the amount of time a player/guild invests. And even that is relative. Hardcore for one person may mean 3 hours a night, Monday – Friday. While to another it may mean 8 hours a day, every day. Hardcore, by itself, never means good at the game.
Casual = n00b – Never interpret anything MMO or guild related with the word “casual” in it to signify a lack of skill or ability to succeed. There are lots of gems hidden in the community of guilds that call themselves casual. Casual simply means less time invested. Casual can mean less time played and even less time obsessing over class details and game mechanics. The lack of time invested has an effect on a player’s personal experience to draw from and can affect the knowledge of that player. However there are lots of casual players that have simply stopped playing hardcore but have the experience and knowledge to play as an elite.
Elite = trying hard – Regardless of what some people would have us believe, elite never means someone who puts in a lot of effort and tries really hard. Elite means the best of the best. It also means accomplished. Until a guild can list its accomplishments in the game it is recruiting for, it cannot be considered elite. Pre-launch guilds can recruit elite, accomplished players, but cannot themselves yet be considered elite.
Now that we’ve looked at some of the big misconceptions, we should understand that some guilds, especially pre-launch guilds, will toss these terms around with little regard to the validity of the actual meaning behind the term, leading to confusion among applicants. However, your own perspective and opinion on the meaning of terms and specific language in a guild charter or recruitment will dictate how you perceive a guild to be. Regardless of how you define the terms and interpret the language, be aware that your own definitions may not always coincide with that of the guild you are considering joining. When applying for a pre-launch guild, demand that they explain their terms until you find common definitions. Remember, as the applicant you hold the cards.
Keep in mind that you are a much needed commodity to a pre-launch guild. They need you more than you need them and they know it. While you will have to (should have to, for any respectable guild) apply to the guild, make a good impression and behave/perform to the standards of the guild, the guild also has to be what it says it is.
Many pre-launch guilds are new collections of people that are untested as a team. In fact, many guilds are formed by people who are untested as a leadership team and sometimes by people with no experience in running a guild at all. Many pre-launch guilds will also have no real history or background to stand on. Sometimes a guild’s sales pitch will be created by someone who is not informed. This may cause confusion in the reader and allow for misunderstandings to occur during the courting process. Other misleading statements can be the product of guilds stretching the truth or having “perspective” on the truth in order to advertise striking and impressive “facts.” Still other misleading statements are made by those who feel that nobody will discover otherwise. It’s not common, but some guilds will make claims that they know cannot be confirmed or discredited without much effort by the potential guild applicant.
Below are some common misleading statements from the example guild, “Team TORO.” After listing these common misleading claims, I follow with the hypothetical truth behind it. Our givens are that “Team TORO” is a guild with a leadership of 4 guys. One is a GM and the others are officers and friends of the GM. The members are all 25 year old males, 3 of whom are living in California, USA and 1 in Canada.
“Team TORO is a hardcore raiding guild with a 10 year history of gaming excellence.”
This can really mean anything. However the statement is usually designed to have you believe that the guild is 10 years old and has a winning track record. However, Team TORO has not been around for 10 years. In fact only one of the people in the guild has even been playing games long enough to make such a statement. You see, what happened was these players got together and have been playing together in various MMO games, usually but not always, in the same guild. These players ended up forming their own guild recently in another game which lasted for a few weeks before it imploded. Because the leader of Team TORO has been playing games for 10 years, they decided it would be something to draw from and strengthen the guild’s sales pitch. And because the players have actually been in the same guild before (guilds started by other people) they decided that they have experience together as a guild unit. The only real experience the 4 have with running a guild was when they organized a dramatic split from the last guild, an established hardcore raiding guild, they were in as members, which is how their recent guild was formed, which subsequently fell apart.
“Team TORO is only looking for the best of the best to fill its ranks, preserving a tradition of excellence. Scrubs need not apply.”
A tradition of excellence sounds great and something we all should want to be a part of or aspire to. However in this case Team TORO is merely trying to from a guild similar to that of which its founding members were once a part of. This statement is typically made to imply the guild has a higher set of standards, which is great. However one needs to question if this tradition actually exists. Are the founding members even at the level of play they are seeking from others? How are they evaluating the skill of incoming players?
“Team TORO Is an international gaming guild with members all over the world.”
Sounds great and technically the members are not all located in one country, but international? This line is usually used to imply that the guild is some sort of highly organized and far reaching endeavor. While not having all the guild’s members in one country technically makes the guild international, the language is very misleading to how most people perceive the ter
m’s meaning to be and takes advantage of that. Also, Team TORO being a “hardcore” raiding guild, having an international guild membership may be logistically counterproductive. Getting all the members together to raid and actually make progress will be a chore. Again, the term is tossed around with little regard to its meaning and is designed to mislead people or make the guild seem attractive.
“Team TORO will be at the forefront of raid progression.”
This is a very common form of statement. It tells the player that this guild will be at the bleeding edge of progress. In truth, Team TORO was never even highly ranked on their own server, let alone at the forefront of US/World progression. This statement is made for two reasons — the guild founder(s) actually believes it and is dreaming big, or the guild founder(s) know feel that nobody will be inquisitive enough to research the gaming careers of the guild leaders.
Now, you’re probably wondering why the misleading statements seem to be skewed to that of the hardcore flavor. This is because the misleading statements are generally made by those guilds trying to seem to be more than they actually and to impress you by doing so. A casual guild is more likely to tell you how it is and to be more accurate about the direction the guild is going in as well as what’s behind the guild. This is not to say that hardcore guilds are full of liars and the casuals are angels. There are certainly misleading statements made by casual guilds, especially by those who claim to be casual but restrict the distribution of gear to a privileged few within the guild. However, the hardcore guilds just tend to try to sell themselves harder, and like any successful salesman, sometimes the facts are embellished or skewed.
Conducting Your Search
Now that you know a bit about what to expect when looking for your guild, it’s time to actually get out there and search for one. Keeping your strategic principles in mind and using what you know about the elements that make up a guild, you can identify and select a guild to apply to with a reasonable amount of confidence in your selection.
The First Step
A guild will typically have its own website. These websites will usually be “advertised” or linked to within the official forums for the game(s) the guild is based around. For our purposes you can look at the BioWare official forums in the guild hall section. Many of the fansites will also have a special forum section dedicated to guild networking. Remember, you’re just looking for a link to a guild page. Once you start taking links you will be clicking to guild websites of various qualities. You will likely find a guild forum with a topic dedicated to applicants seeking membership. Some of the more fancy sites will have a web based template for you to fill in and submit. But before you hit the post or send button, let’s take a closer look at the guild you have selected.
There are things to look for when sizing up a guild of interest. Taking inventory of some key identifying markers can really help you narrow down your search and afford you some insight into what’s going on within the guild. Here are some things to look for.
A Professional Website – Most guilds will have an actual website dedicated to their guild. These sites typically have guild announcements and news on the front page with links to things like guild forums, guild FAQ for applicants and a link to the recruitment area. Some of the more fancy sites will have a shoutbox or some kind of real time social networking tool and even a few widgets like guild voice chat status, gamer server status and so on. A well done and great looking website says a lot about a guild. At the very least there is one guy in the guild that knows how to build and maintain a website. And at the most the guild cares enough about its image and its members to provide them a home out of game. While there are rare occasions where a worth while and self-respecting guild will simply have a forum for its online presence, a guild without a nice looking website is typically lacking in organization and may not be a good choice. Again, a good looking website provided by a guild to its members is a basic courtesy and can be key for organizing guild members, boosting moral and celebrating the guild’s accomplishments. In the case of a pre-launch guild, a good looking and functional website is critical.
Active Guild Community – When on a guild’s webpage or in their voice chat server, pay attention to the level of activity that can be found. The level of activity (chatter, forum posts, people in voice chat channels, etc) can speak volumes about the guilds ability to organize, the level of interest in a guild by its members, and the overall quality and stability of the guild. An active guild obviously has a better chance at being productive in game and also offers you more of a community to be part of. Any actual cooperative gaming regularly carried out by a guild is the best indicator that the guild is serious and active.
Leadership Involvement – Identify who the leadership members are within the guild you are interested in. Try to gauge the level of involvement of the leadership versus the general guild membership. Good GMs will be very active, supportive and approachable. Guild Officers should be a compliment to the GM or Guild Council (leadership persons of equal “rank,” influence and authority) and help to organize, motivate and aid the general guild membership. It’s up to you whether there is too much or not enough involvement by the leadership. However, understand that for any reasonable expectation of success, no matter what the guilds goals in game are, the purpose of forming a guild should be to bring players together and organize them in-game. If a leadership team is disinterested or lacking the skills to run its own guild, you will be wasting your time and you will be a part of nothing more than a chat room/forum site.
Appropriate Recruitment Methods – There are a few factors to look for in the recruitment process itself. One of them is ease of process. If the instructions are easy to follow and the process is user friendly, it says a lot about the guild leadership’s ability to give instructions. In fact, the instructions for recruitment should always be very simple and concise. Most guilds will actually prescribe a template to follow. Along with the actual “application,” people should get some feedback on their application from the GM, the Officers and even the other guild members. If the guild uses forum based applications, take notice of the quality of the questions, critiques and comments to past and current applicants. There should be a very apparent theme to the nature of the feedback being given. In most cases this will give you a basic idea of the mood and culture within the guild. Sometimes there is a bit of hazing that can take place within a guild application. Know this ahead of time, especially when applying to a hardcore or elite guild. In any case, the methods and protocols should be appropriate to the type of guild being applied to. For example: A roleplay guild may ask about your character’s back-story, which makes perfect sense. The methods used by a guild in its recruitment process should make sense to you if you expect to fit in well with the guild.
Now that we’ve covered some things to look for in a guild, we should also be looking for potential hazards. Keep in mind that some of these red flags by themselves may not be enough to be a deal breaker for you. However, if you start seeing more than one red flag in your guild of interest it’s safer to just keep searching than it is to join a risky guild. Remember, one of the key strategies for joining a pre-launch guild is to not compromise on your needs as a player.
Lofty Promises – Earlier in the guide we touched on misleading statements made by pre-launch guilds. Misleading statements are pretty bad and can say a lot about a guild’s leadership. When a guild makes misleading statements as well as making lofty promises about the guild’s future, this is a very big red flag. At best it makes them seem uninformed; at worst it makes them seem malicious. There are currently pre-launch guilds out there with recruitment materials and media that make statements like, “Be unbeatable,” and “Our guild has sponsors already lined up to support our guild. Join us and get the chance to be a professional gamer.” Misleading statements are bad enough, but when a guild outright promises things to its potential members that seem fantastic, they probably are and the guild is probably not worth your time. Never give a guild more than a glance if you see this particular red flag.
All Hat and No Cattle – A pre-launch guild should be a lot more than a chat room and some forum posts. There are few excuses for not playing anything as a guild before the release of the focus game (the game that the guild is built around or focused on). Whether hardcore, casual, elite or otherwise, the guild you are looking at should be participating in games as a guild. There should a
t the very least be small groups of guild members playing various games together. The reasons for this are myriad. However there are two big ones. The first is the concern that the guild will be going into your new MMO as an untested group with guild members who are unfamiliar with each other. This is especially troublesome when the guild intends to be hardcore or plans to be competitive. If your hardcore and competitive guild goes into a new game with an unorganized and untested team, you could be spending a lot of “hardcore” time just spinning your wheels. Another concern is that leading a guild is so much more than making inspiring forum posts and being personable in voice chat. A leadership team can’t be properly tested until it has to manage a guild playing as a guild team, organizing guild events and mediating member disputes. Also you won’t get a true feel for how well your leadership team interacts and deals with its members.
Bloated Leadership Systems – One of the big mistakes a pre-launch guild makes is to create a leadership system that is far too complex. Guilds that make this mistake often do so for the sake of giving all its founding members “power” within the guild. Another reason guilds make this mistake is due to inexperience. There are some guilds with 30-40 members that have a GM, a Guild Council, Officers, Assistant Officers and Class Leaders (for each class in game). This is simply too much bureaucracy for one guild. An average guild needs no more than a single GM, a couple of officers and perhaps a separate position for a raid leader. Another guild model is a guild council consisting of about three members (in place of a single GM) and possibly a separate position for a raid leader. Class leaders should only be needed if a guild is at the elite status level and pushing content. To put this in perspective, Sean Stalzer a.k.a. “Dragons” from The Syndicate (LLTS!) leads the largest, oldest guild in the world, which is truly an international guild and is spread over many MMO titles. The Syndicate is also deeply involved in producing strategy guides, closed testing, game design review and consulting work. As far as gaming is concerned, The Syndicate is run by a single GM, two officers for the overall guild admin functions and a squad leader for roughly every 50 members. When needed, leaders with specific roles (such as leading raids) are used within the games they play. While The Syndicate has a huge number of members, they strike a balance between having too many leaders and providing each member a clear chain of command and clear line of site to the leader for any issues they need support with. An elaborate, bloated guild leadership structure does little more than to serve egos and facilitate “hall monitor” mentality. An effective guild leadership structure need not be large or have layers upon layers of guild bureaucracy. When this red flag presents itself, be wary of the guild in question.
Vanity Guilds – Sometimes a guild will be more about appearance than performance. Even a laid back casual guild can suffer from being based on vanity. An example of a vanity guild can include a bloated leadership system as described above. In the case of a vanity guild, leadership systems exist to fluff the egos of the guy(s) at the top, not to improve guild play. A dead give away of a vanity leadership system is the presence of very formal names for the positions. If you find that the GM is to be called the “Grand General” or the “Supreme Commander,” chances are the guy at the top is taking his position way too seriously. Similarly, formal “ranking” systems for members can be a sign of a vanity guild if it goes beyond mere roleplaying, with members being expected to slavishly defer to those with seniority. A vanity guild will also attempt to put particular members on a pedestal and try to generate faux celebrity within the guild for those members. If a guild is more concerned with putting out things like a podcast, a webcomic and making little fan films all starring, you guessed it, those few members at the top of the leadership system, chances are they are more concerned with vanity than running a quality guild. If you get the impression that your pre-launch guild revolves around a few members, you’re probably right. If you feel like the guild is all about image and not so much about getting things done, you’re probably right.
Lots of Rules and Protocols – When a guild has an inordinate amount of rules and an excessive amount of guild leadership, layers of people in positions of ‘authority’, the risk of breeding a hall monitor mentality becomes very high. The leadership may take itself too seriously and even become hostile towards its members. This is indicative of some massive power tripping, usually by the guy on top. If the guy at the top never has time for you or refuses to deal with you until you have gone through “proper channels,” then chances are there are going to be problems for you down the line. The risk becomes especially high when the code of conduct includes activity requirements or performance expectations. A member of leadership may feel compelled to berate or scold members for not adhering to these requirements and expectations in the name of “looking out for the best interests of the guild.” Such a guild will sometimes have a very lengthy “Code of Conduct.” By comparison, most reasonable versions of these documents can be summed up by simply stating, “Don’t be an ass or you will get kicked.”
Mandatory Schedules – Sometimes a guild will have scheduled playtimes. This is very normal for hardcore guilds and guilds looking to compete or make progress in more difficult content. However, understand that these schedules may end up being trouble for you down the line if you are not able to show up on time or if you are consistently tardy. Your good intentions may not be good enough if people have to wait on you and you are blamed for holding up the show. You should see a red flag when any guild that presents itself to be casual also has scheduled guild playtimes that are mandatory. A lot of guilds that claim to or intend to be casual make the mistake of having mandatory guild playtimes. Make sure that any schedule either meshes with your available playtimes or are not mandatory. Ask how they intend to enforce these requirements.
Zerg Guilds – You will notice some guilds boasting of having very large membership numbers. This usually happens when the guild has cast such a large recruitment net that it gets dozens of applications per week. If such an influx of applicants makes it into the guild, be it for lax recruitment standards or simply a desire for a guild to have tons of members, a guild with good intentions could end up becoming a zerg guild. A zerg guild is basically a guild that has more numbers than quality players. The problem with zerg guilds lay in the absence of quality and a lack of cohesive priorities. When a force relies on numbers to succeed, the quality of the individual contribution is second to simply contributing. An even bigger danger is that many of those who remain ‘active’ in the guild until 0 day are still not ‘battle tested’ and the guild will be faced with staffing problems later down the line due to members leaving out of frustration which can cause drama and splinter the guild.
Identity Crisis – The last and most rare red flag to watch out for is the identity crisis. Sometimes guilds will not be sure what they are or what they want to be. Even worse, a guild will truly think it’s one thing but function as another. For example: a guild may think it’s (and very much want to be) a successful, hardcore elite PvP guild. Yet to
observant people the guild will appear to be a hardcore RP guild. The guild may have its own little web comic about its own members, a virtual cantina where heavy RP takes place, and cute little titles for its members yet strangely be missing any organized PvP and team building as a guild pre-launch, i.e. PvPing in other games as a guild. This is not to say that a guild can’t participate in PvP and also have a great time doing RP, but it’s rare that a guild can be the hardcore PvP guild and rise to elite status while functioning as a hardcore RP guild. Organizing and succeeding in elite PvP and elite RP (and there is such a thing) both take tremendous effort to do properly. A guild must be aware of what it truly is. It must have a common vision.
Joining Up and Jumping Ship
Finally, after you have searched for your guild and made your selection, you will apply and join one. You’ve searched for a guild with the elements that comprise your ideal guild. You’ve stuck to your principles and kept an eye out for identifying markers as well as red flags. You feel pretty good about your choice and you’re going to give it a shot. Now the trick is to give the guild a fair chance.
How much time?
Give a guild no less than 2 weeks before deciding if you like it or not. In fact, if you have the time and the patience, give a guild a month. A guild will usually put its new members on a trial membership anyway. These trial memberships last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month on average. A guild’s members will usually take time to warm up to you depending on your personality type. There will also be some members who give you the new kid on the block treatment. Others may try to get to know you and see if you are a good fit for the guild. If you have followed this guide and joined a guild based on the principles and methods prescribed, you should have joined a guild worth giving a chance anyway.
I love the guild. Now what?
So you love your new pre-launch guild? That’s great! Both the guild and you deserve congratulations for finding a good fit. Now start being a useful, active part of the guild community and get to know your new team! Make plans, make friends and have fun with guild members. Chances are you will be spending a lot of time with them in a great game, and there’s no reason to wait for launch to start gaming together.
Nope. I’ve changed my mind.
It’s perfectly fine and acceptable to quit a guild. You don’t have to give a reason and you don’t have to explain to anyone. As long as you make a tasteful departure you should have no problems. Even if sudden drama has occurred, you can still bow out without making a scene or leaving a mess behind you. Even if you joined the guild with a group of friends, it’s fine for you to quit. If your friends care about you they will respect your decision and want you to join a guild that is better for your needs. Like any other relationship, the guild-member link depends on compatibility, and if either of you have second guesses, the best thing to do is to politely cut that tie before launch.
I’m guildless. Now what?
Try again. There’s a pre-launch guild out there that’s right for you. Follow the process in this guide again and you will find a guild that’s right for you. Don’t be frustrated or lose patience. Remember that it’s easy to get caught up in a guild’s self-generated hype and you can’t really know what a guild is about until you join up and see it from the inside. Following this guide will greatly increase your chance of success and help to weed out the guilds that are surely not right for you. With a little luck and patience you will locate a guild that is great for you, hopefully but not necessarily before launch.
I hope this guide was useful to you. Maybe it will be useful to a friend that you know too. In any case I hope that it’s understood that there are many pre-launch guilds out there with new ones being formed every week. You will find a guild that works for you.
Good luck and have fun!