I have been playing World of Warcraft for over 7 years now, having taken my first steps into Azeroth in November of 2006. During this time I have taken breaks of varying lengths but for the last 2 years or so I have been playing pretty much constantly. The reason for this is my guild. A good guild can make you want to carry on playing long after you have run out of things to do. So what makes a good guild and why do you need one? This is the tale of my journey to find my guild.
Every player wants differing things out of a game like World of Warcraft. Some want to enjoy levelling and exploring whilst others are only interested in end game content such as raiding. I am somewhere in the middle. I enjoy levelling alts and exploring the world, collecting pets and mounts and I am a sucker for achievements. I also raid in a 25 man raiding guild which is currently 13/14 in "The Siege of Orgrimmar".
Finding a good guild has been a long journey. When I first started playing myself and my husband set up our own guild. We ended up with a bunch of about 10 of us, all new, running around together. Whilst this was fun as we all levelled none of us had any clue once we hit the level cap and the guild just kind of fizzled out as we all started quitting the game.
When The Burning Crusade hit I re-rolled horde to join a real life friends guild. This guild was fun. We levelled together, ran dungeons and heroics and smashed out some old content in just our pants (I should stress this was our in game pants, not our actual pants). Then we started to raid. A rag tag team of people who had little clue, we ran around Naxxramas for months on end before we finally killed Kel'Thuzad. Some of us learnt our classes and the fights, others did not. As the better geared and skilled moved onto hardcore raiding the rest of us were left floundering. Some personal dramas erupted into play and everything went pear-shaped. I moved onto another realm and another friends guild. This guild was small and didn't do much. They were purely a social guild and although they were an awesome bunch of people, I wanted more.
The first Horde guild myself and my hubby joined was full of my friends, the second was full of his. Although we both played happily in both guilds we both had feelings of being the “odd one out” at times. After we decided we wanted more to do, a decision was made that we would move to a place where we were both on equal terms. At this point we joined ALL OF THE GUILDS. We had a guild where no one ever spoke, a guild which was dead and another where we found all of the creepy people. We even had a guild which disbanded every week. You would sign in and discover yourself guildless then suddenly one of your ex-guildies would throw you a whisper or an invite. I think this happened 3 times in 4 weeks before we gave up.
After a move to my brother’s realm I decided to hit up the guild finder again. The idea was that myself and the hubby would find our own guild but could also run around with my brother and his partner when we wanted. I spammed a few guilds who had cool names and soon got an invite.
I was welcomed in what I recall was a comedy manner and introduced around. The guild was a random bunch of people with little in common but the desire to have a laugh and do some gaming. There were couples who played together, parents, singles and a nice mixture of genders and ages. After just 3 days I was decided that this was my home. This guild just felt right. I told my brother (who had been offline) and he was pleased. He said his guild was nice as well, also small, so maybe we could grab people from his guild and mine when we wanted to run bigger content. Then he logged into the game... of course his guild and mine were the very same. I didn't leave though as my feet were too far under the table at this point!
It is now 2 years later and I am still sat in the same guild, although no longer on the same realm. I have been thinking recently about just why I have stuck with this guild and these people for so long, through dramas and disasters. I even shelled out a considerable chunk of cash to follow them to a new server. It is because of who they are and what we do together.
When I first joined the guild we were pretty small. We ran dungeons and heroics and levelled a lot of things. We also ran some old content in search of pets, mounts and achievements. It was several months of work before we got a raid team together in Cataclysm. When the "Dragon Soul" raid was released we had 10-12 raiders. If someone dropped out our raid often fell apart. We now have a rota of approximately 30 raiders with several more on a break from the game.
We also run old content, spam heroics and scenarios, gear alts, level things and do random stupid stuff like the week we all had a 200g budget to buy an outfit from the AH. You had to buy the naffest thing you could for the money then use it to transmog your raiding gear. Interesting outfits were formed and laughs were had. Throne of Thunder has never looked so cheesy...
My little guild is all grown up now but its heart is still there. Several of us have an affinity for legendary weapons and a little group of awesome people have been quietly running raids old and new together week after week after week. Even when the weapons became outdated we carried on, working together to complete the long slow quest chains. This teamwork and commitment to one person’s desire for something outdated shows what we are all about: friendship. There are people in my guild who I know will be friends for life, regardless of whether I am playing or not.
As I approach a time when I need to take a break from the game for personal reasons I know my guildies will still be there when I go back, and even whilst I am away. We have an epically long chat on Facebook which a number of us frequent daily for a start. Some of us also have bonds which go far deeper than the game. We have helped each other through personal dramas and crisis after crisis and I owe a lot to several people I game with right now.
It all goes to show anyone can find the right guild and when you find it you will know. A good guild will support you, help you and give you a laugh. You will share goals and aims and you will ride the drama rollercoaster together through wipes and kills and love every minute (well most minutes, some minutes we don't talk about, ever). I would encourage anyone who plays MMORPGs to go and find your perfect guild. Don't settle for good enough as there is a guild out there which will fit your playstyle and your personality, you just have to find them.
I love my guild and so it is with a heavy heart that I temporarily hang up my shiny warforged healing mace and step away from the game for a while. I will miss you all guildies but for now it is so long and thanks for all the cursing.