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WoW, Casually: Finding the right casual guild (Reader Mail)


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Marty wrote in earlier this month about a common occurrence among casual players: finding yourself guildless.

This morning I woke up and jumped on WoW to work the Auction house and found a letter from my Guild Master saying he has closed the Guild and moved on because the guild wasn't progressing the way he wanted. This was very surprising for me for many reasons. Primarily because I was a "Co-Leader" of the guild and had no idea this was coming, but also because for the 1.5 years the guild had been around we were really just Casual.... no expectations just basically a "Helping/Social" guild members out doing various activities and running instances together if we had enough people on... or if we didn't have enough we simply filled the holes with LFM on the channels. We never really ran any Sunwell Content in the BC days, and just recently started giving the WoTLK instances a shot on Heroic and I think we were doing alright with them! We wiped from time to time but tackled pretty much all of them..

Anyway, no hard feelings towards these guys. But my trouble is, this was only the 2nd guild I was ever in... and the first one was only for a week. So I basically spent my entire life with WoW in this guild.... I don't even know how I would find another guild that works like this..... I don't want to be in a guild with people flying in an out because they are just using the guild to level and leave when they get high enough to join someone else.

How do you casually find a casual guild? I think I am going to have my work cut out for me. Should I just start my own guild? Hope to hear from you.

/lonely in Azeroth

Finding the right casual guild can be difficult and time consuming, unfortunately. If you are looking for your first guild, check out WoW Rookie's guide. If you've already been guilded, you have the advantage of knowing what worked for you, what didn't and who you never want to be around again. There are a lot of guilds out there that are just what you need, if you know how to look and are willing to take some risks. First of all, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What are your playtime goals? Do you have enough time in each session to do some casual raiding? Are instances the most you have time for? Or are you really only looking for people to chat with while you do your own thing? There are so many different kinds of casual players and so many different types of guilds, it really helps to identify what you want from your own playtime as well as what you want from your new guild.
  • Are you married to your server? Sure you have a lot of characters on this server and you've been here for a long time, but do you really need to stay? If you feel you can be flexible in your realm and can afford transferring over your favorite characters, you expand your options for finding the right guild.
  • What don't you want in your guild? Identify dealbreakers before you start your search. Are you willing to put up with immature players and drama queens? Are there restrictions (such as no adult language in guildchat) that are not acceptable to you? Spend some time really thinking about what you are willing to tolerate and what you absolutely can not deal with. It will really save time later when investigating the rules for possible guilds.
Once you've answered the above questions for yourself, there are many options for researching possible guilds:
  • Real Life friends, coworkers and organizations: If there are people you know who also play WoW, they may have a guild that would be great for you -- just make sure they are people you really want to hang with. There are also completely unrelated organizations you may be active in that also contain fellow Azerothians. Mine your real life resources for possible guild options. I highly recommend this route for most casual players.
  • PuG it up: Group up for questing and instances as much as possible while you are looking for a guild. Try to repeat with people you like. Guilded people are constantly looking for good players to recruit, so if you have the skills and the manners, you will probably get an invite after a few playsessions.
  • Guildwatch: Guildwatch isn't just about the delicious drama, there is also a Recruiting section where all kinds of guilds advertise for new members. They will usually indicate their level of play and who they will accept (adults only, geared healers, etc.)
  • Realm forums: Check out your Realm forum, or if you decided to be flexible, the forums of prospective realms. There are always recruitment notices there and they generally tell you what kind of guild they are and how to apply. Disregard the vague ones. If they aren't willing to spend the time and effort to type out a simple guild description, don't waste your valuable time on them.
  • Trade Chat: Unfortunately, the Guild Recruitment channel just isn't used as often as Trade Chat for guild recruitment announcements. Hanging out in a major city and chatting with recruiters is an excellent way to check out possible guilds.
Now that you know what you want from a guild and you've seen what's available, it's time to choose a few to try (hopefully you've found more than one). Research their rules, talk to their members, checkout their forums and group with them as much as possible. If you find a guild you like that requires an application, take the time to fill it out completely and carefully. Don't be afraid to show your personality. The better guilds won't want you if you can't even follow simple directions, so really put some effort into applying.

Once you get accepted to a guild, you will probably be on a trial period. Make sure to mentally put your new guild on one too. Our playsessions are too short to waste on something that isn't going to work out. Pick a time beforehand (2 to 3 weeks is good) and evaluate the guild against your answers to the first questions in this article. Are they meeting your goals? Are their rules acceptable? Is there someone sucking your fun? If this isn't the right fit, just make a classy exit and move on (no reason to suck their fun by causing drama).

I do not recommend starting your own guild as a casual player. You have to spend a lot of time dealing with drama, recruitment, drama, communication, drama, leadership and did I mention drama? Sure there are successful casual guild leaders, but it can be very time consuming to get to that point.

A guild should enhance your playtime by making it easier to do the stuff you want to do with other people. Whether you want to socialize while you solo or do battlegrounds with an organized team or run heroics and gear up for possible 10 man runs -- a good guild just makes your limited playtime easier. Good luck in finding the right fit for you.

WoW, Casually is a column for those of us who are playtime-challenged. We had another good year last year and the new expansion has brought back a lot of players returning as casuals. If you have questions or tips about how to get the most out of your limited playtime, please send them to Robin.Torres AT weblogsinc DOT com for a possible future column.

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