When I began playing WoW I got help from my husband (who was in the same room), but didn’t know anyone else who played. Frankly, I heard enough trash talk and horror stories in chat to make me stick with playing solo. I play PvE, so that wasn’t a problem. Eventually my husband and I created what are generally known as bank guilds (guilds created just to have a mutual bank account for characters), partly just to get people to quit asking if I wanted to join a guild. (Some of them got rudely assertive.)
With the Cataclysm expansion, Blizzard changed WoW forever. One of those changes is the benefit of belonging to a guild. Before Cata, guilds were social, a source of other characters to play with, and gave you a pool of people to consult for advice or help. Since Cata, there are other in-game benefits: Faster leveling, more reputation points, faster travel time, more money for quest rewards, and achievements that mean unique loot. Am sure there are other benefits I still have not learned about.
One of my characters joined a guild. I watched the in-game guild conversations. I saw them offer dungeon training for new players. The founders offered to help my character by crafting items for the game (if I collected the materials). Yesterday my other four characters on that server joined the guild, because it would benefit them and the organization. (More members equal more and faster benefits.)
After much listening, watching, and thinking, it appears there are two keys to a good guild experience. First, the members need to be responsible. Don’t steal from the guild vault, talk nice with people, be willing to help when asked, don’t whine, the usual stuff we are supposed to learn about getting along with people. Second, find a guild that matches your style of play. There are very organized guilds, with meetings and a whole list of rules. There are very social guilds who have a lot of chatter and like to hang out together (virtually). There are guilds who specialize in raids, or PvP, or leveling, or role-playing, or earning gold, or . . . whatever. There are guilds who leave you alone unless you ask for help. Figure out what your style of play is and what you want out of a guild, and then ask around. Join a guild with one character, play that character in the guild for a few weeks, and see if you are a good fit. They will be checking you out at the same time. 🙂 See what happens. If it isn’t a good fit, you can leave, and try again elsewhere. No fault, no blame. Just remember not to slam the guild in public; what you say in private to another character who may ask you about your experience is another matter.
I’m enjoying this guild so far. The faster benefits make me want to play these characters more often, and the moderate social interaction is just enough to be pleasant without being annoying. Am happily surprised. 🙂