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What is a guild? A: An association of craftsmen in a particular trade, or a formal association of people with similar interests. In a computer gaming environment the common reference would be a group of players that play online games together so let’s run with that last one. In World of Warcraft you have many different types of guilds. I will break them down into four general categories: Social, Leveling, Casual Raiding, Hard core Raiding.

A social guild focuses on just that, socializing. In most cases chatting with others and just hanging out are the main focus of members of a social guild. Even though playing the game is secondary to them, WoW offers activities that can go hand in hand with the socializing aspect. For example you can just hang out and fish. You can run around killing things or you can just explore new places. If gaming is not your thing but you like to hang out and chat then this is the type of guild for you.

A leveling guild is generally very social but the main focus is to work on leveling up their characters. There are multiple ways to level up your character. You can complete quests, go into dungeons, and of course killing random bad guys. In a leveling guild people will group to quest and run dungeons together. A group is allowed up to a maximum number of five players. With the combined effort and everyone working together, players can complete quests and dungeons at a much faster pace. When players reach level 80 (the highest level) they will move on to either a casual or hard core raiding guild.

A casual raiding guild can provide a more diverse experience for the friendly gamer. Again you will be in a very social environment and guild members will work together to level up their characters by completing quests and running dungeons. Once you reach level 80 it becomes time to start gearing up so that you can start raiding. Heroic dungeons are now available to run after you reach level 80. You will now be challenged by fighting mobs and bosses that hit harder and have more health. The gear that drops from the mobs and bosses inside heroic dungeons are much better than non-heroic. You will also receive badges each time you complete a dungeon. These badges can be exchanged for even better gear. After you reach a certain gear level you can now start running raids. Raids consist of either 10 or 25 person groups. You generally start by running 10 person raids in order to upgrade your gear enough to move up to the 25 person raids. Again you will be dealing with bosses and mobs that hit not a little but a lot harder and have substantially increased health over heroic dungeons. Raiding requires researching the fights. You have to know what the boss’s capabilities are and what your specific assignment might be. There usually is on-line voice communication required because of the complexity and scale of these fights. The raid leaders will need to explain how you will be handling the boss fight as well as communicate any adjustments or announcements that need to be made during the encounter. Raids are very challenging and do have requirements before you attempt to run them. The people in casual raiding guilds enjoy the challenge but also enjoy the relaxed and friendly environment.

A hard core raiding guild focuses on one thing and one thing only…raiding. The objective is to progress to end of game content. Lich King or bust! Socializing is not high on the priority list. Although many friends hard core raid together, most of the talking is focused on raid strategy and other issues related to the raids at hand. Most hard core raiding guilds require you to schedule an interview with them to apply for a position. Raid experience, gear, and general knowledge would be factors they consider. You must have good motor skills and a complete understanding of your character. There are many in-game add-ons that you are required to use during raids. You basically need to know everything and then more on how to perform at top level. Once you get on board with them you will be assigned to a specific group and a scheduled raid -time. If you do not perform to the level of their expectations then it’s exit stage left. That’s right, they fire you. On the other hand, if you excel at your job you will be moved up in rank. This will allow you to run with the more elite players within the guild. Think of it as you would any job. If you don’t perform or don’t produce you get replaced. When you perform well you’ll get rewarded or at least retained. If you are a serious gamer and enjoy the most difficult challenges, this might be the guild for you.

One final note: There are realms in WoW that are designed specifically for people that like to roll play. They generally offer social, leveling, and casual raiding guilds only. Guilds aren’t for everyone. Many people like to escape their hectic life and adventure on their own. If you are seeking to hang out or game with people that share similar interest then joining a guild is for you. Good luck and remember to have fun. : )


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