It’s likely we’ve all attempted to pug groups (or lead them) for Highmaul and I’d be willing to bet we’re all sick of it. The hassles of setting up master loot and/or getting ninja’d, as well as our patience growing thin for inattentive and downright idiotic players may finally drive us nuts. It also can’t be helped that you keep running with two randoms in 3’s and are pretty sick of getting roflstomped into the ground because of a lack of coordination and/or chemistry. “Dude!” you yell out as you feel the warlock about to fear you and your team, “CC the hell out of him!” But, of course, even on voice chat, the hunter doesn’t get what you mean, and you are all at the mercy of his Deathknight partner in but a few seconds. When the dust clears, you’re all dead.
It’s definitely possible to find a static cross-server, but it can be more trouble than it’s worth. Most of the time, it’s always better to find a guild you can call your home where you can find the proper backup when venturing into WoW’s sea of content. It’s easy to get into a guild, but it isn’t to find one that’s near-perfect for you.
Why would I want to socialize in a multiplayer game?
If you need to ask that, I’m not sure what your reasons are for reading through this. Playing solo in a game as massively populated as WoW is an experience diluted from how it is supposed to be. Accomplishing content alone goes against what MMOs are all about and makes all your achievements meaningless if you don’t have anyone else to share it with. It will also greatly ease your grouping experience when you are surrounded with (soon-to-be) friends. I’m in no way telling you how to play, but you are simply missing out on so much otherwise.
There are a lot of things that affect your experience when finding and staying in a guild, but here are a few things to keep in mind when attempting to do so. It isn’t as much as luck to stumble into a guild fit for you, but it takes a bit of work finding the perfect bratpack to run around Draenor and Azeroth with. You could always form your own guild to suit your tastes perfectly, but, seriously, when is that ever successful these days? Just as a note, being a skilled and/or knowledgeable player are always a given, because this is something that should always be on offer when shopping around for a guild. It might be pretty hard to find one willing to accept someone who will do nothing but fill up the roster.
1. Never Accept A Random Invite
If it’s a serious guild you’re looking for, then it’s never a good idea to accept random invites from generic-sounding guilds like “Server Elites” or “PvP”. True, you may or may not see hundreds upon hundreds of players, but most likely, these are but the product of newbies getting sucked up by a mass-invite macro, and they are not at all online. While this may serve you for the time being as you leech upon guild repairs and perks for leveling, those aren’t at all the types of guilds you can rely on at endgame. Filled with the huddled masses of newbies and forlorn solo players, these zerg guilds are usually no better than the NPCs that populate Orgrimmar. Usually, that is, because there are some very rare gems out there that go against this stereotype, but, most of the time, it won’t be better than your original state of being alone, as only a few will ever talk on guild chat.
2. Know What You Want
The most common mistake for every player looking for a guild is that they have absolutely no clue on what they really want to focus on in the game. Or at the very least, have not admitted to themselves what they like best in WoW. Stating that you like “PvP” or “PvE” is very broad and general; catch-all terms that merely inhibit your true judgment on what makes WoW special for you. Underneath those two branches are an immeasurable amount of playstyles for a massive amount of content that would normally make any player lividly overwhelmed. When some folks mention PvE, it could just very well mean that they enjoy questing and not so much on raiding, or perhaps reaching only max level to obtain achievements. PvP does not necessarily mean that the person is interested in all its aspects, because there are some that absolutely abhor battlegrounds and arenas, preferring the chaos of open world combat and vice-versa. Some care little for the actual game and are more into roleplay, caring more for the fanciful comfort of friends around them as they create adventures for themselves.
There are many strange and different combinations that players choose to play their game, but that’s their business. More importantly, what is yours? Simply joining a guild without even knowing what they stand for is just as bad as accepting the random invite.
3. Numbers Matter
This is another thing you have to make sure of. The number of players within a guild will greatly affect your experience in a guild. Let’s say, at least for raiding, most guilds that run three or more teams for endgame content aren’t always good. People may feel left out because there will always be one team doing better than the other and that will always lead to drama. If you find a guild where everyone’s successful, then by all means, go for it. Otherwise, take care when inside highly populated guilds because smaller clusters of groups tend to form, leaving the new people no better off when they were playing it solo. Too few members, on the other hand, may also lead to the same kind of trouble. It’s always better to focus on joining tightly knit guilds with a decent amount of players to up your chances in finding good and decent folk.
4. Explore Before Committing
Once you figure out what you want, scope around the game and the internet for guilds recruiting in your server. Just because you saw some guy spam in trade chat about being a “laidback, open world PvP-centric guild” does not necessarily mean that they are your kind of people. Most of the time, a lot of long standing guilds would have built up a reputation in your server, and while not everything said on trade is true you should at least heed some of those signs. It’s this point of your guild hunting that gets a little complicated, because, of course, it’s always hard to tell at face value if they are going to be just right for you. If worse comes to worst, I’d suggest trying to join the guild of your choice, but don’t ever commit to anything just yet. Get to know the people in there just to see how they are for a week or two. A day won’t ever cut it as you always need time to understand something, much like everything else in life. Don’t just suddenly blurt out, “I can totes be main tank for you guys for all our runs” because you may wind up disappointed and leave, creating more than a few armor dents to buffer.
After your trial period for them, and it turns out they’re not for you, politely inform them (or at least the guy that recruited you) that your gameplay differences vary too great and it would be better to go on your separate ways. Don’t be a dick and just up and leave while mouthing what horrible people/players they are. Chill, relax, and move on, and if you so happen to make a friend during the process, even better.
5. Take Care Where You Tread
About three guilds ago, back in Pandaria, I got into a guild that were a tad bit “weak” on the raiding front, and I try to say that the nicest way possible. Their understanding of Siege of Orgrimmar mechanics were appalling at best despite their claims to have been under progression in Normal for several months. Not even past Dark Shamans, they blundered through the first seven bosses of the raid while I coached them on how to the best of my abilities. Some of them listened and all of them admitted that I was far more experienced with raiding than them, but it turned out that my knowledge and the way I coached them might have made me sound like a pompous ass. While I disagree with that sentiment, they certainly believed it and, after a bit of deliberation amongst themselves, kicked me out of the guild a week later. Sure is nice to get rewarded that way after I help them achieve their first Garrosh kill.
Did I really have an attitude problem? I may never know. But some time later, I joined another progression guild with the same problem, albeit much better skill-wise than the last one. I helped them in the same fashion as the last but did not, for even a second, think that I was some smart ass trying to run the raid. They appreciated how knowledgeable I was and considered me an indispensible asset. We went on for the next few weeks, taking down Garrosh in Heroic eventually. This goes hand-in-hand with the previous topic of getting to know a guild you plan to join. People have varying thresholds for whatever it is they can tolerate, and you’ll be surprised at the kinds of reactions people give you when faced with different factors like a knowledgeable new recruit, a skilled tank, or a talkative guy on vent. They will certainly appreciate what you can bring to the table, but the manner in which you deliver it must be done so in caution, because there are instances where you like the people, but they simply don’t like you back.
Putting the Second “M” back in MMO
I, too, like soloing far more than grouping up but sometimes we need some backup. It never hurts to have a friend or two to help you out in getting that vampire part in the Shadowmourne questline, and it certainly isn’t to your disadvantage to find that soulmate for 2’s where you inexplicably crush your way to 2k. It might take some time, but a little patience and a dash of hardwork can get you places.Related: Column, Guild, Raids, World of Warcraft, WoW Wednesday