Monday, September 3, 2012

World of Warcraft Newbie Guide 9: Guilds and You

Following up on the previous article, which discussed the chat feature, this article covers a core aspect of the social side of World of Warcraft, known as the guild system. In this article you will learn how to join a guild (and learn about some of the different types of guilds), learn about some aspects of a guild, and, in a sub-article, learn how to make a guild and manage it (recommended for players who want to start a guild or have a high rank in a guild).

Finding A Guild: Using the Guild Finder and More!

Guilds can be found in a variety of ways. One of the original ways of finding a guild is to use the chat. You can either use channel chats (General or Trade) to say you are looking for a guild or watch the chat for guild advertisements that catch your interest. When using the former method, you usually only need to ask a couple times for an invite but if it takes longer than that stop and try again later. When responding to a guild advertisement, send the advertiser a whisper (unless it is requested you redirect your whispers to someone else or use another method of communication) for a guild invite. Alternatively, you  can sign a Guild Charter and be a founding member of a guild (you will often receive money for this).

In the event these methods do not work, you can also use the Guild Finder, which is a tool that allows you to find guilds to request membership to. To start using the Guild Finder, you can click on the button in the game menu bar or pressing J by default:
This will open a window that will begin your process with finding a guild, as shown below:
In order to begin your search, you must fill out the first three sections, which I will explain in detail below:
  • Guild Interests details what type of guild the guild is classified as. For instance, a questing guild is oriented around doing quests and leveling together. Checking off each part will filter out guilds you find based on these interest. I will give a little tidbit on each classification below, along with additional classifications that are more specific than what the Guild Finder shows:
    • Questing/Leveling: A questing guild, probably better known as a leveling guild, is a guild oriented towards doing quests with other members at all levels. This can be reclassified to include other activities including dungeons and PvP.
    • Dungeons: These guilds are oriented towards doing dungeons (and scenarios) among members. Dungeons (and scenarios) are 5-man zones known also known as instances where you defeat much stronger enemies, including bosses. Dungeons are the direct precursor to raids, which are essentially dungeons on a more complex, larger scale. Guilds with this classification but without the "Raids" classification are often PvE guilds that are growing.
    • Raids: A guild with this classification is known as a raiding guild and do raiding content, often at the maximum level. These guilds often come with extensive application processes and are certainly not for players in the leveling phase. Raiding guilds are essentially the pinnacle of PvE guilds, though their progression (completion level of a raid or raids) determines how good a raiding guild is.
    • PvP: PvP is a very general classification given to all PvP guilds even though there are a few activities associated with PvP that may diversify this classification. In general players will do PvP content with each other, whether it's in the form of Battlegrounds (areas of contest with large groups of players and specific objectives), World PvP (skirmishes in the gaming world that involve the Alliance and Horde and are independent of the Battleground or Arena PvP system), or Arenas (gladiatorial battles to the death with partner(s) and opponents of the same level with a rating and ladder that can be seen by all players).
    • Role Playing: A role playing guild is a guild that (usually) takes the concept of RPing seriously. Players in these guilds often immerse themselves into their characters in the game world and invite other members to join them in group roleplaying. Be warned that this classification should not be taken seriously on non-RP realms.
    • Arena/RBG: This is essentially the equivalent of a raiding guild for PvP. While members may do Battlegrounds from time to time, they are dedicated to PvP and will do Arena and Rated Battlegrounds (essentially competitive Battlegrounds with a rating and ladder system).
    • Twinking/Old Content: These are guilds with members who do content that is not at level cap. Examples of this are level 70 guilds, which run Burning Crusade raids (the level cap was 70 in the Burning Crusade) and do level 70 Arenas. Some of these guilds are very exclusive in their membership and require you to stop your experience gain somehow on a character to do the content at the appropriate level with them (which is the concept of "twinking").
    • Bank: A bank guild usually accepts no members, but is helpful for players who plan to make use of the Guild Bank, which has vastly more storage space than a single character is capable of.
    • Social/All-Purpose: A social guild is often casual in nature and is more about players playing together and socializing than focusing on specific content though that doesn't mean they may have a slight focus on certain content. All-Purpose guilds are similar but they are guilds that focus on doing multiple types of content, often having groups of people who do each type of content.
  • Availability determines the general time frames you are available to play at. While it may not be that specific it will allow you to find guilds that may have players with schedules similar to yours.
  • Class Roles are the roles that you are willing to perform (each class can perform specific roles) to help the recruiters determine if you are a player they are in need of. These three roles are Tank (a role that requires players to protect the group by attacking enemies to attract their attention while also being incredibly durable), Healer (a role that requires players to keep players alive with healing spells), and Damage Dealer (a role that requires players to defeat enemies by damaging them).
Upon filling out the first three sections (and adding a comment if you wish), you can click the Browse Guilds button on the bottom right and check guilds to request membership from. This will cause you to show up as a player interested in the guild. You can only request from up to ten guilds so choose carefully based on the guild's classifications, level (which is now very easy to raise, so this matters less), and number of members. This will not guarantee membership with a guild so make sure to keep looking from time to time.

From time to time you may also receive blind guild invites (often through the usage of addons that are very spammy) or tells asking if you want to join a guild, courtesy of your status as an unguilded player. However, I would recommend against joining guilds like this because the superiors in such guilds look for members for their own reasons as opposed to thinking of the guild membership.

The Guild Window

When you have successfully joined a guild, the first thing you may notice (aside from the green text chat that will probably be filled with people saying "welcome" to you) is the game menu changes to show you are now in a guild. This means that the Guild Finder is now useless and pressing J will instead open the Guild window, as shown below:
This is my main guild. It used to be solely for banking.
There's quite a bit of detail to go over in these windows. The Guild tab is what will be selected by default when the Guild window is opened. This tab shows the consolidated details of several other tabs along with some additional guild information, such as Guild Perks. Here's what you need to know about this tab:
  • At the top is the guild name and  guild experience bar. In addition, the guild's level will be shown, which determines the availability of guild perks and some rewards.
    • Guild experience is earned by doing the following activities: Questing, Battlegrounds (prior to level cap), obtaining honor from honorable kills, and doing group activities (Dungeons/Challenge Dungeons, Raids, Rated Battlegrounds, Arenas, and Scenarios) with guild members (between 60%-100% of the group has to be in your guild to gain experience, depending on the group activity).
  • Right below this is the News and Events, which will shown important occurrences such as when members obtain epic or better items or when the guild levels up. This will show only a short list, but you can see more Guild news, which I will be discussing later on. Events will also be shown here. Events can be set by using the Calendar button (next to the minimap - I will go over using the Calendar a lot later since it is rarely used).
  • Near the bottom is the Guild Perks. I have linked a list above but you can click "View All Guild Perks" to see the list in-game. By default you will see the last perk your guild has gotten and the next perk your guild will get (perks are gotten every guild level up to 25).
  • At the bottom, right above the tabs, is the Guild Reputation and Members Online. Guild reputation is how much reputation you have with the guild. This is an implementation that determines the rate at which you can get rewards and is not controlled by high-ranking members of the guild. Guild Reputation is earned when you earn guild experience. The members online shows the number of online members over the total members in the guild.
The next tab is the Guild Roster, which allows you to see information about other members of the guild. When you go to your Roster, you will see something like this (though hopefully you aren't forever alone like I was when I took this screenshot):
Obligatory Sword of Truth reference character.
This tab is pretty simple, and only needs some explanation:
  • At the top right you can sort players by their status (either as an individual player or information pertaining to their standing in the guild) or see their contributions (by guild experience amounts). You can also see other statistics like how many achievement points they have or their guild reputation. Finally, you can use the drop-down menu to see what professions (and profession level) each player has and whether they are online, which helps if you need something from a certain profession.
  • The majority of the window is the roster itself. You can right-click a player's name to whisper them, invite them, and perform other social functions. You can also left click their name to see additional information that falls in line with what you would see by using the drop-down menu I mentioned above. In addition to this you can also see their guild notes, which is handy for keeping track of players or for personal comments. At higher ranks you can also change another member's rank by left clicking their name and clicking a drop-down menu (check the sub-article for more).
  • Finally, at the bottom of the window can allow you to see offline members (and sort them using the drop-down menu).
The following tab is the Guild News, which is a more extensive version of the news in the first tab, as shown below:
There's really not much to say about this tab. You can see the guild message of the day (MOTD) and seven days worth of guild news. You can also set filters for your guild news, which can allow you to filter out achievements, items acquired, and so on.

The following tab is the Guild Rewards, which show what awards you may be able to purchase as well as rewards your guild has yet to unlock:
This tab pretty much speaks for itself. You can scroll through the window to see what rewards are available and what reputations you need to purchase them (if applicable). You can also see your guild reputation at the bottom left.

The final tab is the Info tab, which shows various miscellaneous information about the guild, such as a message of the day, the guild challenges, and the guild information section which should contain information about the guild at the discretion of high-ranking members:
Like the first tab, this tab has a lot to go over, so here's what you need to know:
  • At the top you can switch between Info, if you are a high enough rank, Recruitment (Guild Master only) and Requests (anyone that can invite players to the guild will see this). The Requests tab shows players who apply to the guild through the Guild Finder (thus if you apply to a guild through the Guild Finder, this is where you would show up).
  • Right below the top tabs are the Guild Challenges. Completing these challenges requires players to perform guild activities together (as mentioned above). Each challenge will award some guild experience and money when completed and resets on a weekly basis.
  • The Message of the Day is a short message that shows in chat when a player in the guild logs in. The message will also show when it is updated by players with the authority to do so.
  • Guild Information is a tidbit of information on the guild itself. It can show anything from guild rules to rank information. It is up to the Guild Master and other members with authority to determine what information is shown here.
  • At the bottom there are three buttons:
    • Add Member allows you to add members to the guild if you have the power to do so. Alternatively, you can type /ginvite <player name> in chat.
    • View Log allows you to see a log of players who joined and left the guild as well as rank promotions and demotions.
    • Guild Control is for the Guild Master only. It determines permissions such as the ability for players to invite or remove players from the guild as well as Guild Bank (more on this shortly) permissions, among other things.
With the guild window out of the way, there is only really one other topic of discussion about Guilds left: the Guild Bank and related finances.

Guild Bank/Guild Finances

The Guild Bank is a storage that is meant for the entire guild in some way, shape, or form. However, do not expect to have access to the entire guild bank (or even any of it at all) upon joining a guild.

The first task is finding a Guild Bank Vault. You can find them where any Bankers are (just ask a guard where the Banker is in the capital cities). These will show a bag when you hover your mouse over them and can range from being actual vaults to large pillars near the bank. Once you have found such a vault, you can right click to open it. Alternatively, you can use a perk (if your guild is a high enough level)
that allows you to summon a chest that accesses the Guild Bank (check your General spells).

Upon opening the bank, you will see the contents of your guild's bank. The following picture is a portion of my guild's bank (all of which technically belongs to me):
There's a few things to go over on using the Guild Bank, which may or may not apply to you depending on what you're allowed to do with the Guild Bank:
  • Like a normal bank, you can withdraw or deposit items by right clicking on them. You cannot deposit Soulbound items as the Guild Bank is a storage intended for many people.
  • At the bottom you can see how many withdrawals you have left for a bank tab (for instance as a Guild Master you automatically have unlimited access). Sometimes you may instead see "Deposit Only," which restricts you to depositing items into the tab. Sometimes you may not be able to do anything to a bank tab at all, much less see the contents of a tab. You can check what permissions you have for each bank tab by clicking bank tabs on the sidebar to the right (if a tab is greyed out you're not allowed to view it).
  • Right  next to the withdrawal amounts at the bottom is the Deposit and Withdraw buttons, which allow you to deposit to or withdraw gold from the Guild Bank. Withdrawals may be restricted to you and if it is, the button will be greyed out.
  • Right below these buttons is the amount of money in the Guild Bank. Directly to the left of this is the available amount of money you can use (for withdrawals or repairs).
  • Below all of this are some tabs, such as the Log and Money Log which show deposits and withdrawals. The log will show item transactions starting with the most recent (withdrawals are shown in red to better differentiate them) for the Guild Bank tab in question. The money log will show money transactions (including for repairs) related to the Guild Bank. The Info tab shows some information about the tab at the discretion of players with the authority to edit the tab information.
Another important part of the guild finances that is tied to the Guild Bank is the ability to repair with the guild's money. You may be permitted to use this money to repair your equipment, as shown below:
You can click on the right anvil when repairing equipment to use the guild's money to repair gear, but you may eventually hit a daily limit if you have to repair too much (as shown in the picture). In general it's okay to use the guild funds this way when allowed to because guilds can often finance the repairs in some sort of way. In fact, by doing activities, especially Guild Challenges with the guild, you are technically helping to provide the repair funding that you will ultimately use, so everyone wins.

Final Statements

I could give a lot more advice on the intricacies  of the guild, especially in terms of social structure. However, by the time I finished, I could probably have written several novels. This is why I will close with just a few pieces of advice given on the basis of experience and studying:
  • Behave as respectfully and maturely as possible. While some guilds may tolerate bad behavior, many guilds prefer a more stable social environment. It is okay to go out of line every once in awhile if it is in your nature, but try not to make yourself a burden.
    • Some guilds may be a little more laid back about this than others. Just watch what other guild members do for awhile and analyze whether you will fit in with them.
  • On that note, don't expect to have everything handed to you. You can ask for help and other forms of assistance, but don't be absolutely unreasonable about it (such as asking for 1000 gold as a level 20 character) and don't ask too often because it is annoying. This should (definitely) apply to a lot more than just your fellow guild members.
  • Don't be abusive of a guild's features. This means you shouldn't be taking items on a daily basis from the Guild Bank just because you can and you shouldn't deliberately destroy your own gear (with death) to drain the Guild Bank of funds through constant repairing. Though many guilds have set precautions against such abuse, it is also up to you to act with good morality. This is important because acting in such an abusive manner tends to get offending players removed from the guild, shunned by the realm community, and so on.
    • In addition, this probably means you shouldn't leech. Don't just join a guild and then proceed to do nothing with them while reaping the benefits of being in a guild (repairs, perks, etc) unless the guild explicitly allows you to (as in a high-ranking member says it's okay to do it). Don't worry if you aren't able to do any activities with fellow members. As long as you aren't trying to be malicious, you can still do activities with them later on.
    • It should also be noted that it is possible to get banned or punished for stealing from a Guild Bank (i.e. taking a lot more than you need then leaving the guild). Don't do it under any circumstance.
  • If something goes (seriously) wrong, don't get too dramatic about it. Instead, report it to members with authority (privately, which means you should use whisper) or find other ways to resolve it.
    • If you begin to feel uncomfortable or want to leave the guild, you can type /gquit to leave. Don't just leave guilds and join guilds on a whim, however. This will make you seen as a "guild hopper" and it will be much more difficult for you to get recruited.
Hopefully this advice works out well in your quest for finding a good guild. I'm always looking for more on Rexxar (US region) as well if you are interested.

In addition, I apologize for not updating this guide series as much as I would've liked. Two patch reviews within two weeks on top of additional content left me little room to add this in until now.

1 comment:

  1. I found this is an informative and interesting post so i think so it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.