Don't wait, and don't hesitate! It's never too soon to join a guild, and there are plenty of good reasons to jump in even if you aren't of the same level as everyone else. Let's look at a few in this week's Guild Counsel.
You are high enough!
It can be a little intimidating to join a guild where everyone might be higher-level and have a few months or even years under his or her belt. And in some guilds, members have a hard time seeing past levels, not realizing that a new player or a low-level player is actually someone with years of experience in other games. But don't let the lack of levels deter you from trying out a guild. There are many who not only accept lower-level players but also schedule events that are inclusive to all, regardless of level. Being in a guild isn't just about raiding and PvPing, and while it might take a little legwork to find one, there are plenty of good guilds that welcome all levels.
Massively fans have a true passion for gaming, and there are plenty who are well-versed not only in games but in what goes on under the hood, like game design and mechanics. What better place to share that insight and enthusiasm than in a guild, where everyone is passionate about gaming? In a way, guilds are sort of like virtual Cheers bars, where everyone knows each other and there are plenty of lively conversations about gaming. Members hail from all parts of the world, have a wide variety of backgrounds, and might not ever connect in real life. Yet in a guild, that common interest in gaming brings everyone together, and it can lead to some wonderful moments.
For someone who's working on leveling and might be new to a game, what better resource than a good guild? Members can often offer up tips on the best hunting spots, pointers for fun content that's off the beaten path, or ideas for the best ways to make some much needed coin. Most Massively readers aren't looking for a free handout, and in fact, many choose to level on their own before joining a guild so that they can contribute right from the start. But if you're independent enough to level up without help, you're the type of player a guild would love to have and would be happy to share advice with. As a result, you get much more out of the game than you'd expect.
If you join a guild early on, you might not be able to do everything with the members, but it won't take long before you can. Guildmates will see your determination to catch up and your patience along the way, two qualities that are admired. It's also much more satisfying to reach a higher level and get a grand welcome from guildmates on your first time participating with everyone else. It's a sense of accomplishment to reach the level cap, but it's even more meaningful when others see it and celebrate it.
Don't expect it, but be prepared for some help
No one likes a beggar or a needy guildmate, but then again, guildies can be extraordinarily generous. If you're quietly leveling up and having fun with the guild, chances are you'll find a few helpful goodies in your mailbox along the way. The important thing is to not go into a guild expecting powerleveling or handouts because there's nothing that turns a guild off more than a guildie who feels entitled.
You can have your space
I've explored this before, but lone wolves can be a great fit in a guild. There's often a fear that joining a guild means you have to meet all sorts of demands and sign away your game time for the greater good of the guild. While there are guilds with high expectations, there are plenty of other guilds that are well-organized but still give plenty of breathing room to let members play the way they want to play. In fact, guilds that have been around for a long time tend to be the best about finding the balance between formal guild events and free time. There's an important distinction between being alone and being lonely. You might prefer to do your own thing, but that doesn't mean you wouldn't enjoy doing it within a guild setting.
Guilds in MMOs were originally all about survival because MMO worlds were harsh and unforgiving. If you chose to go it alone, even the simplest tasks such as travel were nearly impossible. But guilds tended to be a lot more militaristic and demanding because there was little room for error. A mistake could cost days of lost time or even the possibility of losing your character forever. That's not the case anymore, and as a result, there are as many different types of guilds as grains of sand on a beach. If you're a new player in an older game, there is still a guild for you.
If you've been reading our Looking For Guild column and mulling over sending in your information, don't shy away if you aren't level-capped yet. If you wait until the endgame, you're missing out on the best that guilds have to offer. There are plenty of guilds that fit well with new players or low-level players and don't put lots of demands on everyone. We're doing our best to play matchmaker, so if you've hesitated so far to send along your information, I strongly recommend giving it a try.
Do you have a guild problem that you just can't seem to resolve? Have a guild issue that you'd like to discuss? Every week, Karen Bryan takes on reader questions about guild management right here in The Guild Counsel column. She'll offer advice, give practical tips, and even provide a shoulder to lean on for those who are taking up the challenging task of running a guild.