Friday, February 28, 2014

How Do You Find a Guild?

This is not a how to post, this is an actual question.  I've been in my main guild for so long and all my alts are either in friends guilds or their own guilds or just social leveling guilds.  It has been so long since I have looked for a guild I really do not know how someone would find one.

I can give advice on how to work your way into a raid spot.  As a raid leader I know what some people look for.  As a raider I know what I look for.  But over all it is more than just responding to a forum post, or filling out an application, or whispering someone that posts in trade.  Anyone can find a guild if they are looking for raiding.  Anyone can get a spot if they work it right.  But what about just finding a guild with like minded people you can have fun with?

I am not a social person, never have been and do not think I ever will be. I don't avoid people but I do not seek out any contract that is not what I would consider necessary to playing the game.  Being I know I am not alone in feeling that way it made me wonder if I started the game today, how would I go about finding a guild I fit with.

When I started it was a lot easier to find a guild that fits you than it is in today's game.  There was no looking for raid and there was no looking for dungeon.  If you wanted to run a group that meant a visit to our friendly trade chat and sometimes a distinct possibility of hours of waiting until you found one

Those long hours in trade chat were not fun, don't ever let anyone that says "things were better before the LFD" tell you that hand assembling groups when you were a new player with no reputation yet was a good thing, but they were better for one thing for sure.  Community was tighter back then, the LF* system has all but killed off community on some servers.

For every minute I waited for a group while reading trade, posting in trade, or flying to stones to summon people when we did get them that sucked it was actually worth it.  I made friendships, got to know people on my server and their respective talent levels from running with a lot of them, and of course, I found myself a guild that way.

After doing those dungeons daily, well, trying to get one each day at least, you would end up running with the same people often.  Sometimes they would bring guild mates and you would meet others from their guild.  So you got to see how they played, who they were, and maybe even talk to them on vent, which usually happened when you dungeoned with someone often.   So in the end finding a guild was not actually work, it just happened, thanks to having to hand assemble groups.

As I mentioned, I am not a social person, I most likely would have never had these interactions with these people if it were not for the fact I had to do so if I wanted to run any dungeons.

In the world of the game today, again, if I just started, how would someone anti social like myself find such a guild, one they can click with, without joining a lot og guilds and spending some time with them to see if they fit.  Basically becoming a guild hopper.

The LF* systems not only allows people to do dungeons on their own but allow people to do raids on their own.  It means there are fewer chances for any meaningful interactions in the game.  Any real interaction where you get to know people on your server so you can see where you might fit.

If you were a seasoned player you would know what you were looking for, so you could look directly for it, but if you were new and did not have the advantages I did, and who would have ever thought having to hand assemble groups was an advantage, how do you find a guild?

The social butterfly will never have a problem because they will talk to anyone that listens, but the anti social person only talks to people when they have to.  With the LFR and LFD, unless you plan to move into further raiding, there is no need to talk to anyone.  Even as an anti social person myself, I find that quite sad and I wonder, if I started today, would I ever be in a guild, would I even be raiding?  I don't think so because how would I even find one.


  1. for someone who claims they are anti-social, you sure do jibber-jabber a lot on yuor blog. I don't think you are as anti-social as you claim, you just don't put up with stupid people.

    I'm the same - but since I don't raid, I made my own guild with just my sister's one toon in it. She plays her toon on and off (more off than on) and has contributed to getting the guild to lvl 24. Not bad for 2 people.

    But let me tack this on - I went to that proving grounds. What a suck fest. How am I proving anything when the critters don't attack, but instead, round after round increase in number? And there is no reset of your abilities? I must have been in it for 2 hours and getting fewer and fewer kills, because I have only so much haste. Am I suppose to re=spec into Survival or MM between the rounds? Drag out a different pet (using the hyena, can't get no more hastey than that). All I know is after those few hours, I would have had more fun using a cat-o-nine-tails (I bet those cats are pissed off losing their tails!) on my self. So actually the proving grounds, how does it "prove" you are good?

    -roo remember "stupid is as stupid does"

    1. I write for me, if no one ever read it it would not bother me at all. I like to write, doesn't mean I am social. ;)

      24 for 2 people, sweet. I have a level 7 with just me in it.

      You make a great point, how do you prove yourself against something that does not fight back. They had to make it like that, otherwise the clothies would get ripped apart.

    2. nah. :D

      thanks for the compliment on the guild level.

      But clothies have more AOE than I do as a BM and that looks to be secret. More mobs show up, more health than I can shake a stick at (shaking stick right now) time goes down, things that I used are not up yet.

      In the beginning I was running around expecting an attack, keeping sit-awareness, Keeping fido alive, then realized, those mobs aren't attacking. Now I can stand in one place? then a BIG FLAME - Time over, have to go back to square one. gimme a freaking break. I was really expecting going to a small scenario open wilderness where I had to be on the look out for things - traps, mobs, critters, etc. Not inside the White Tiger Temple. Well, I will never have a silver or a bronze. keep the faith!

      Did you get my email from last week?


    3. I noticed I very rarely needed AoE. I went more toward a priority approach and single target burn down. The fact they do not fight back actually made it a lot easier.

      I'll check my mail. I am very bad about that and always forget to check it unless someone tells me they sent something. See, anti social. ;)

    4. but I bet you have a high ilvl score though and that includes a pretty good weapon. Not pew=pew'ing, but I am at 489 with the Insect weapon. that does make a difference. But I was under the impression (right or wrong) that proving grounds was suppose to be for the non-raider equiped - am I wrong here?


      Psst - I would welcome other folks comments too, not just GEs! (hear me "R")

    5. Yes, all gear is scaled down to 463 so if you have a 489 and I have a 561 we both have a 463. The only difference is mine might have a gem slot where yours might not. That little bit helps of course, but otherwise we both have a 463.

    6. oh cool. Well, at least that part was thought out :) Thanks GE.


    7. Some classes and specs scale better with gear, so some have an easier time.

      Like with a mage, frost will do good at 463 but fire will be horrible. Could it be done, sure, with real skill, but with frost it is so much more doable.

      With that said, the proving grounds are nice and all, but not really perfect. It is not the same challenge for everyone.

    8. When you hit Silver, they start attacking you and you need to move around quite a bit. There's a Klaxxi that casts an amber blob that slows if it touches you. Best tactic I've found is to run around so that the blob hits their healer! :) I'd been dealing with random DCs during these fights, so I never achieved Silver level on my warlock. Maybe time to revisit this...

      On my healer it was easier. I was easily able to hit Silver and half way through Gold without issue.

    9. I need to get back there on my healer. Got my bronze, was nearly out of mana, said screw this, and never even attempted silver.

  2. I have no idea.

    Most of my toons are in guilds of just me for the bank and the peace of not being invited to guilds or automated whispers asking me to join a guild.

    My last few actual guilds I was in were heroic raiding guilds where I was just a friend of a couple of the raiders. I moved all my toons to a friends server when I came back with the scroll of resurrection because he was about the only person I knew still playing at the end of Cata. Unfortunately they have had very bad luck with guilds dying this expansion and I'm not willing to pay to keep transferring. So most of my toons are all on their original server where I don't know anyone because the only people I knew were in the dead guild and they all transferred.

    Back in Vanilla and BC you are right you found guilds by meeting people. Then the people in those guilds led to other guilds. I never joined a guild where I didn't know someone in it.

    1. The same for me, for the characters I actively use that is. I only join guilds with people I know someone in it. Only on alts that are solo alts on the server do I just join any old level 25 leveling guild.

      I do not know what advice I would give someone new. Seems it is not just me.

  3. I recently decided I hate the king, and started rolling horde characters. They're tons of fun, and their quests are way more interesting/funny (perhaps I've just done too many ally quests over and over). Anyhow, the point is, I now find myself having to look for guilds again. It's so incredibly different than when looking for a raiding guild.

    I would guess it will get a little easier around max level when there is content you're doing with people, but at low levels, even on my "high" pop server, I rarely see anyone else (aside from the occasional dirty alliance scum which I must shoot on sight), and when I do run into other people, we're generally fighting over the same spawn point, which doesn't make for good interactions... :-P


    1. I like trying things out from both sides. Gives you a more full experience of the game in my opinion and this expansion having a horde meant seeing the whole story instead of just parts of it. I would suggest everyone have at least one character on each side, at least if they are interested in seeing the story play out.

      My horde 90 is still in a leveling guild. Lots of people but no one is ever on it seems. Would love to find a guild to join on it but being I do not raid on it, as it is a lesser played alt, finding a guild seems harder. At least with raiding you have something to look for. Like if you have 14/14 and are looking to try heroics, then picking up with a guild just starting them gives you a place to look at least.

      I still do not do anything on that character. Join a dungeon (random) or a raid (random) or some groups for the world bosses. No place to really meet anyone.

  4. I would approach finding a guild the same way I would finding a company to work for. In fact the principles you use to find a good raiding guild are the ones you would use to find any kind of guild.

    The first thing you need to do is identify your goals. What is it you’re looking to get out of the game? Is it raiding? PvP? Achievements? A place to level toons?

    Are looking for a guild on your current realm, or are you willing to change realms and possibly factions?

    What would like to get out of the guild? Do you want a small close-knit guild that runs things on a tight schedule? Maybe you need to find a large “big-tent” guild, like AIE, that embraces all types of content. One where you can log on and always find someone looking to run a dungeon, go for some achievements, or maybe do a battleground here or there, and not have to be friends with any of them.

    Next you need to try and do some research. Find out who the guild are on your realm and they focus on. Do they have websites you can visit. Check out your realm forums and see what guilds are recruiting. Maybe make a post there saying, I’m looking for a guild that does ABC, XYZ, and hope you get a real response.

    Check out the guild recruitment forums, and look at trade chat every now and then to see who’s recruiting and for what.

    The key though is to identify what are your goals, and what kind of guild do you need to achieve them.

    1. For a raider it is always easier to find a guild. You can put a number on what you are, just starting SoO, half way thought, finished normal, some heroic experience, or pressing for the end. Makes it easier to pick out who to look for, guild wise. Finding the one you fit with is still an issue of course, but at least you know which guilds to look at.

      You give some great advice. I would hope sharing the same to a new player would help just as much. I wonder how many new players really look to jump right into raiding however.

      I'd like to find a guild for my horde characters but being I do not play them often, and never really raid past LFR, it is harder. I kind of understand a little there how a new player would feel. Even more so a new player like me that is not social so would really never get the chance to just meet people on my server.

  5. All I can say is "Thank gawd for the good ol' days!". I started playing shortly before the release of TBC. I ended up in a guild by happenstance...someone either whispered me and asked me to join or they asked if anyone wanted to join in gen chat...can't remember.

    However, the second guild I ended up in was due to questing in Redridge. Back then you needed a group to kill that one mini-boss in the keep. I came across some people outside the keep and asked to join them on the quest kill. We ended up questing together (there were 3 or them from the same guild) for a few hours. At the end of the evening I asked if I could join their guild because the one I was in was small and dead (only about 12 members and I was the highest level toon in it at level 20-something). They said sure and I jumped ship immediately and joined their guild.

    From that point on all my toons became a part of their guild and I have been with them since...since early 2007.

    Seeing as how we no longer have group quests like that, I'm not sure how I would end up in a guild now-a-days.

    I guess I would just guild hop until I found one that fit. Or I could always read up on the guild recruitment forums at the WoW site to see if one sounded like it would be the right choice for me.

    1. It does seem like it would be harder for people to find a home than it used to be. Like you said, questing was a huge way to meet people. I met my lockpick friend that way, and he always opened up locks for me until I was able to. I met my first mage friend that way and she always was willing to port me if I needed. I met a lot of people while leveling and as I mentioned I met my raiding group by doing dungeons.

      When you had to interact you had no choice but to meet people and that was really good for the game and made even someone like myself who shuns most interaction that is not required open up a little bit.

      I feel sorry for the new player now, their only option really is what you said, guild hop until they find one they fit.

      I guess with no server community any longer it is not a big deal, but to me I still consider guild hoppers to be a bad thing. Maybe I am just stuck in the old days.

  6. I've given up on guilds at this point, the ones I was in back in Wrath had a tendency to fall apart, I think I was in 4 just in Wrath, so eventually I decided to make my own guild that my toons are in and play via alliances, not by joining guilds. That's worked reasonably well but in part because some of my alliances still exist from those days, starting from scratch would be rough.

    If I wanted to find a guild, though, I'd avoid trade entirely... I'd hand-pick a guild to target. You can get a decent amount of info on a guild publicly (guild webpages, raid progression via wowprogress, # of toons from a number of places, etc) although I don't think there ANY way to judge the social aspect of the guild without an actual referral from someone in the guild. You can't trust webpages, you can't trust recruiters... they're sales tools, they don't provide real-world info.

    So, I'd handpick a guild and apply with the intent of a one-week evaluation on both sides. If there's ANY question of whether it's the right guild, drop guild and find another one and repeat. I suspect within half a dozen attempts it'd be possible for most people to find one that works.

    A softer way to test out a guild, at least in terms of raiding culture, is to ask if they run a flex raid and ask to come along to get a feel for their raiders. Since raiders will generally be the most objectionable sub-group in a guild, that should give you a somewhat worst case look into the culture. I haven't encountered any guilds where the social members are the morons so that should be a relatively safe, non-commital way to get a vibe.

    If none of those work or aren't enough, I'd go do the guild recruitment tool in-game... it's a sales tool, too, but at least it has some specific info that could at least rule some out.

    And generally, avoid guilds that advertise in trade or that auto-invite L1 toons, they're interested in having as many bodies as possible without concern for culture.

    If you're just looking for guild perks without the hassle/benefit of being in an actual guild, make your own or track down someone's personal/vanity guild and see if they're willing to take you on as a silent member.

    In terms of community, I definitely had a more active friends list in those days, I was having to do regular clean-ups to make more room... but I also regularly found myself barking for a run for hours even for current content (ToC 5-mans were a particular issue). I wouldn't want to give up LFD at least (LFR I'd be willing to discuss) and go back to that... it was hardly a flawless expansion from an experience standpoint.

    1. I too would avoid trade. Good for picking up a leveling guild or something just for perks and maybe the occasional raid. But I do not see guilds that just take anyone that whispers them as being a solid choice for a good chemistry as a group of people.

      Seems like you sort of suggest what another person did. Basically guild hopping. Seems sad but true that it might be the best way to find a guild. Just a few short years ago that would have been the way to burn any bridges you had of ever getting in a decent guild. Odd how time changes things.

      I like the flex idea and would be what I would suggest to someone. But I was more thinking about what if you are not a raider. If a non raider went on a flex they would probably not get a decent feel for the group because they would basically be getting carried. And on the other end, a real raider would not get a good feel because the mains would probably not be in the flex to compare yourself with. And if you do really outstanding of course they will kiss your ass.

      I think if they could do the new heroics like scenarios, where you need a group for them and leave normals for queue that would be a nice balance between the two.

    2. Not really guild hopping, to me a guild hopper is someone who'll stay in a guild until something better comes along and will jump at that point without concern about their previous guild's reaction. I'm talking an agreed-on one week trial where, if it isn't a fit, you gquit even if you don't have another guild lined up at all yet. The guild equivalent of speed dating... speed guilding, maybe. Shouldn't be any burned bridges, you just wanted/needed to see the internal socialization of the guild and there isn't an easy, accurate way to do that unless you're IN the guild. And if it is a good fit then you're done. Presumably you've done your homework to the point where the guild has potential so it's not like it should be a low probability of success.

    3. It makes a lot more sense, community wise, if it were an agreed on test of time there. But in the old days if I looked you up online all I see is someone joining and guild and someone leaving a guild. So without knowing what context it was in, it might still appear as guild hopping.

      I agree in today's game it would not really be much of a problem as there is so very little community any more any way.

    4. before I joined JuWun to my guild, I tried 10 or 11 different other guilds. They were not interested in any kind of chatting or helping, just only if you were lvl 90 and geared up for raiding. Otherwise they never even said hello. Boom, dropped them all. I had Icey in a few guilds too and same thing. So, I joined a lvl 25 guild got as high as I needed to get the heirloom cape and pants, I think. Can't remember if there is one more piece or not. Helm? And the armadillo pet and the mount, then good-bye.

      Then my sister made a toon who I joined to my guild and she joined both of my toons to it.

      You are right, guilds have changed - the people have changed. I always told the GM, I was trying them out for a week or two to see if we would be a good fit. They did not seem to understand. I always thanked them for the look-see and said bye. And when I /gquit, no one asked why. thats ok.

    5. Seems like guilds are more a marriage of convenience more than anything else. What you have to offer them and what they have to offer you.

  7. I think guild perks have hurt guilds as well. People just join a lvl 25 to get the XP bonuses, etc. And people just mass-invite noobs to level their guilds to 25 to get the perks... No one cares about community anymore.

    I was looking for a new guild, but couldn't really find one that looked promising and I don't really know anyone left on the server anyway. Now I'm GL of my old guild that transferred. Just keeping it on life support and slowly leveling it back up. It still has a ton of members but very few are active. I just don't have the energy for recruiting though. I did enable the guild recruiting stuff in-game and actually got a new member from it. Was quite surprised actually.

    So shameless recruiting plug:
    If anyone needs a friendly alliance guild on Drak'Thul-US (or Skywall after the March 6th connection), check out Drak Thul Knights. Even if you just want to hide from the guild invite spammers or are just looking for a temporary home, that's fine too. Or if any other guild on Drak'thul or Skywall is interested in a guild alliance/merger, let me know.

    1. I think they have well. Exactly the opposite of what they were intended to do. Community has taken a huge hit to begin with, I do not think guilds are hugely to blame for that.

      Hopefully you get some people from here. I don't think many read it however.

    2. Oh, I don't really expect to get any recruits. If I do, it's just a bonus. It was just on my mind at the moment, so I posted it as part of my comment.

      Yeah, guild levels and rep were "supposed" to prevent people from guild hopping and to encourage community. Instead, they've encouraged people to not create/join new guilds and instead congregate in large guilds that are already level 25 (which are often quite annoying guilds because there are too many people) or do what many have mentioned here and just have their own personal guild for the perks.

    3. Starting a new guild now is kind of hard because people all want the bonuses. So only the guilds that are already 25 get the people. It is good for them, to continue building, but it sucks because there is never anything new. People just stick where they are, not for the guild but for the bonus.

  8. I guess I should feel lucky. I've had 4 toons in the same guild since about BC. In it's heyday we raided, we had an arena team running, always someone on line to run dungeons. Nowadays, we still have about a 5-6 active players. We're not raiding, heck we're seldom on at the same time, but we help each other. The other night, a guildie hunter was online and she offered to attempt to 2-man Twinbraid for the Legendary quest line. The adds killed us (twice), but she was willing to take the repair bill probably because guild pays(?) and I helped her 2 man Sartharion for the 25-man drake.

    With all the cross-realm options, including flex-raiding, and LFD, why do you even need a guild, except for the perks? You really just need to find a casual guild, probably like OOT, reap the perks.

    Guild hopping is OK, but starting over with Guild Rep sounds dreadful, unless the guild is very active.

    1. That makes sense if you are just looking for perks. Most raid groups want the raiders to be in the guild so I guess that is why guild hopping still happens.

    2. Everyone remembers Wrath, the glory days of 12M players, pre-LFx when community meant something and accountability was a thing.

      I joined my first guild in early Wrath and later joined a second one on an alt. Both friendly guilds, both doing a bit of raiding but nothing serious. Both had complete leadership voids by mid-Ulduar and basically fell apart.

      Moved to a mid-tier raiding guild at that point now that I knew about raiding (in BC, WoW was an entirely single-player game for me), that got me through most of ToC until it too experienced a sudden leadership void... and fell apart.

      Moved from there to a more serious raiding guild (25s!), although my former 10 group from the previous guild stayed intact within that guild too so we 10 were running two full raids a week. In the late days of Wrath that guild, too, fell apart due to a sudden leadership void.

      4 guilds, within about 18 months, in the most active, vibrant period the game has ever had.

      So yes, you should feel lucky... I remain friendly with a couple of guilds that I met late-Wrath after the final guild dissolved but I never joined any of them and some of those died in early Cat, too.

      And yeah, in some cases there really isn't much benefit to being in a guild, except as GE mentions, sometimes that's a requirement to raid... but not always, I'm currently raiding with the #2 guild on the server and at least 3 of the regulars, myself included, aren't guilded with them. There is a perception of raiders being more accountable if they're in the guild, though, even though leaving a guild takes all of 6 keystrokes. It's a durable perception, though, so there must be at least something to it.

    3. I guess I should consider myself lucky then to be in a guild that has been rocking it since vanilla. Never thought of it as anything special. Find a place you fit, stay there. I guess a huge factor is we never had that leadership void because the guild is a casual family friendly guild, so we pass leadership back and forth as people need a break. Never a worry about an absent leader.

    4. Yeah, for whatever reason (certainly wasn't anything I was looking for) all the guilds I joined had a strong leadership focus... basically, if the leaders weren't on, not much happened of note. If they were going to miss a raid it was more likely to be cancelled than go on regardless. Didn't help that in all 4 cases the leaders just disappeared... stopped logging in entirely and without warning (and they were all adults, we're not talking a kid whose parents can just pull the plug or stop paying).

      4 times bitten, very shy. Now I just run my own little guilds, mostly just my toons but a few buddies have toons in as well. Works fine for me although if I ever do want to join another guild there's nothing stopping me from doing it besides my unlucky history.

      You'd also probably be surprised how many guilds that have been around for a while haven't necessarily been consistent... quite a few of the top guilds on my main server have basically had to build back up from scratch at least once in the past few years, I'm not sure any have been consistent over time time frame even though you often don't see the turmoil if you aren't in the guild.

  9. One other comment... for someone looking for (or thinking about looking for) a new guild, especially for raiders, now is the best time to be doing it... players are starting to play less, raids are starting to come up short of bodies when they weren't before, some players are looking to try out different roles... it's a period of flux and uncertainty, especially for 10H raids who are facing having to double their roster size for when 6.0 hits (the new 20-man Mythic size is coming in 6.0, apparently, not when WoD hits, so ballpark 3 months).

    Guild are going to be hungrier now than at any other point in the last year and will probably only get hungrier. Even if they aren't advertising, if a guild has caught your eye that you're interested in, make some casual inquiries, you never know. If you want to push into progression raiding, check out a guild's current progression on WoWProgress or similar... when was the last time they killed a new boss? If it's been more than a few weeks it's likely they're having issues and are probably swapping players in and out, maybe bringing in some pugs or alt specs and it's possible they'd prefer to have a dedicated regular who they could help gear up quickly. They may also not be advertising this fact if they don't want word getting out, once other raids hear they're having difficulties (since they probably are too) they could start putting pressure on raiders to make a move. The worst scenario for a bunch of RLs is when they're all consistently coming up a body or two short, none are short enough to consider disbanding or allying but but they're all too short for consistency.

    1. Now is a great time. Guilds are looking to move up to 20 and they are trying to get the people to do so sooner than later.

  10. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    Really examining your personal desires of leveling or PvP or some form of raiding should be the basis for any guild search. In other words what as a player do you want?

    Once that is figured out, the actual guild search can begin. For that, there are a variety of ways to gain information, some in game such as listening /trade and /general and others such as the in game advertisement page. Outside of the game, look up the guilds that might be of interest both using WoW's armory and other sources such guild websites. For serious raiders, additional resources online might be used to determine the quality of the raid team.

    Once the player has made some determination of what guilds look interesting, it is a matter of apply and try. This may well lead to guild hopping as it were, as one guild after another may turn out to be less than optimum. All you as a player can do is try and see.

    Of course, guild hopping is nothing new at all. It was going on from the vanilla WoW. Heck, no matter how good a guild is to some folks, others will not find it as attractive. Our guild is a perfect example of this. We have existed almost from the beginning of the game and have had large number of folks who tried us out and found that for one reason or another, they did not fit. No harm in that. Most left on friendly terms and some continued to be friends.

    It is true that the de-emphasis of leveling and the reduction in importance for world group quests/world elites during the leveling process along with the LFx system have radically changed the grouping and getting to know process for the game. Personally I find that a less than wise choice but it was not mine to make.