Many guilds are fairly easily described by their schedules and raid progressions (or their lack of either). More likely, though, the essence of your group -- the part that gives it its flavor and makes it stand apart from other guilds -- is somewhat trickier to describe. "Social," "casual," "raiding" ...These terms describe most guilds. And even terms that seem fairly self-explanatory at first glance can be problematic for players trying to evaluate a potential fit. "We're a dedicated roleplaying guild." OK, so what's the spin? One RP guild might maintain a military structure and campaign, while another plays out some very adult-themed interpersonal dramas -- definitely not interchangeable concepts!
Our experience is that player and guild drama becomes inevitable when members end up unhappily guilded in a group that doesn't truly fit. The Drama Mamas frequently get mail from players who find their guildmates nice enough but still have that itchy feeling that something just isn't clicking. The fit you want is probably out there, but the terminology and labeling for these guilds hasn't quite caught up yet.
What are you looking for in a guild? What sort of group will help you enjoy playing World of Warcraft? Let's figure it out -- and if you're looking for a particularly specialized type of guild, we've included a few niche group suggestions to kickstart your research.
Raiding guilds can be among the simplest types of guilds to search for because you can use objective measures such as raid schedules and current progression to guide your decision. Once you've determined those basics, consider these additional points:
- Atmosphere What's their philosophical approach in terms of the scale from hardcore progression raiding to social raiding?
- Try before you buy Many raiding guilds also use the raid finder as a group, and joining their raid finder raids lets you observe their group personality and procedures. World boss pickup raids offer similar opportunities for getting a feel for guilds.
- Marks of a strong group Know what to look for in a quality raiding guild.
- Odd schedules It's possible to find guilds designed to accommodate non-traditional play times. Look for groups for morning raiding (try weekend morning raiders Veneratio of Bonechewer [US-Horde]), afternoon raiding (look for Catatonic of Bronzebeard [US-Horde]), limited-schedule raiding (one or two nights per week), late-night raiding (try Raiding In The Dark on Emerald Dream [EU-Alliance-PvE]), or weekend-only raiding. If you still can't find a suitable group, playing in another world region (an Oceanic realm, for example, or a European realm) might line better align your schedule with peak player activity.
- Submit your app Learn how to create a strong application.
- Learn the ropes Beginners or former raiders returning to the game should seek a more forgiving environment (try S O S Brigade on Dragonmaw [US-Horde]).
Specific playstyles and niche interests in the game often have their own communities, sites, and forums, and these are exactly the places you should be haunting when you're looking for a new guild home. To thine own self be true -- your goal is to find your tribe.
- Roleplaying Roleplayers face a whole different set of challenges when they're seeking a new guild home. We've got a whole article filled with advice for roleplayers. A few roleplay resources:
- The local connection To find WoW players who live near you in the physical world, try Meetup.com. Google gaming groups to find players with compatible interests. Don't be afraid to drop a game reference in conversation at the office or gym.
- Scheduling issues Work around an odd schedule by searching for realms by time zone; choose a realm whose peak evening playtime most closely matches your own play time (or the reverse, if you want peace and quiet).
- Retro play Google is your friend here, as well as WoW Insider retro raiding posts and article comments. Try iToons on Korgath (US), currently focused on level 80 content and moving into Wrath raids, or the casually paced Spectacular Death of Llane (US-Alliance).
- PvP twinking There's a website for that! Check out Twinkinfo and Twinking Dot Net.
Beyond "friendly" and "fun" lies a whole range of social groups from the casually broad to the incredibly specific. Ask yourself if you'd enjoy being exposed to people from a variety of places and backgrounds or whether you'd prefer to tuck in with other players like you.
- Social niches If you feel more comfortable with other players like you, you can find guilds of all types in Azeroth: all-male or all-female guilds, LGBT-friendly groups on Proudmoore (US) and Nordrassil (EU), politically minded groups, players from a specific city or region, real-life friends, groups with specific age ranges (30somethings with careers, college students, etc.), and even professional/career interest groups (such as players who are members of the military or firefighters/police).
- Tolerance Some guilds aim to offer tolerance and non-discrimination at the broadest level. Try Civility of Nordrassil (US-Alliance).
- Disability-friendly If you move more slowly or are working around other disabilities, look for an accommodating guild that welcomes disabled players. Try Direhunt, a RP-encouraged group on Wyrmrest Accord (US-Horde-RP).
- Themed guilds Looking for an interesting guild concept? Guilds exist with memberships that are all gnomes, all rogues, all dwarves, or all druids.
- Get professional Enjoy the heck out of your professions? Try Silent Thunder on Baelgun (US-Alliance).
- Not the chatty type You'd be surprised at the number of players who just don't like voice chat for one reason or another. If this is you, be sure the guild you're applying for doesn't require voice chat for certain activities or for raiding.
- Re-rollers If you'd like to make a fresh start with other players in similar straits, try Rising on The Venture Co. (US-Alliance).
- In service to the community If lending a helping hand makes you happiest, consider Salvation on Moon Guard (US-Alliance) or The Bearers of Light, also on Moon Guard (US-Alliance).
- WoW Insider readers Join other WI fans in It came from the Blog for special events (many times alongside WI staffers) or The Insiders for ongoing social play on Zangarmarsh (US-Horde).
- Game of Thrones fans Yes, you can even find a guild for the Stark clan! Try The Winds of Winter on Kil'jaeden (US-Horde-PvP), founded by Kristian Nairn (Game of Thrones' Hodor).
Warning: Don't make the two most common but eye-popping mistakes made by players seeking a guild full of sensible adults.
There's a world of difference between guilds for "mature" players who share commonalities like careers or families and groups whose atmosphere is centered around partying, sexual innuendo, and other adult fare. Needless to say, don't assume you know which interpretation of the term a guild intends. Ask.
Likewise, "family-friendly" is another guild descriptor to approach with open eyes. This term also means different things among different groups. One player might assume a family-friendly guild would be a great place for a child or teenager to tuck in; in reality, the guild in question might feature X-rated guild chat from off-duty parents eager to blow off steam -- coupled with a "family-friendly" willingness to start raids later in the evenings after children's bedtimes and a broad tolerance of AFKing to tend to kids' needs.
What sort of a family-friendly guild are you searching for?
- A guild with a schedule that lets you play during naptimes or after kids go to bed at night.
- A guild where your kids can play with you, too.
- A guild that will tolerate unpredictable AFKing when you need to care for your kids.
One or more of these family-friendly guild types often prove to be a great fit for career types, players with non-traditional schedules, parents, family groups and kids. Make sure to target the right family-friendly type to get the benefits you're after.
The most important thing in finding a great guild fit is making certain you've identified what specific qualities you're looking for in a guild. Once you've figured that out, it's time to kick off your search. Our guide to finding a guild will point you toward the best ways to find a group you can call home.
More Drama Mamas advice on guilds
How to leave your guild without drama or burning bridges
20 signs it's time to leave your guild
How to find a World of Warcraft guild
Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with advice from the Drama Mamas. Remember, your mama wouldn't want to see your name on any drama. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at firstname.lastname@example.org.