Monday, October 19, 2009
Finding a mature guild
Reader Ostirean wrote me because he has a problem finding a suitable mature guild in World of Warcraft. He says:
"For me, an ideal guild is a place with anything between 15 and 30 regular members. I'm not very prejudiced age-wise, but as a middle-aged man I have become more and more uncomfortable sharing a guild with children young enough to be my own. Call me conservative, but there it is. So I'd like to see most of the members occupying the 25+ age bracket. And perhaps most importantly: the guild would be based around the idea that the members were playing the game for enjoyment, not out of duty. Raids can be massively fun, but they would be run under the "organised chaos" principle: set a raid time and see who turns up. If more than 10 or 25 people are online and ready to raid then it's first come, first served. If you can't go to a raid one night, it's not the end of the world, basically.The only principal problem I see with his request is that his math is off. To have a reasonable chance that 10 to 25 people for raiding are online, even if raiding isn't mandatory, you'll need far more than 15 to 30 regular members.
Anyway, the guilds I have been in or started have all been one of two types: One is big with lots of kids and childish adults, organised and with little room for flexibility. The other is more or less of the type I have described above, but with one huge shortcoming: size. It seems impossible to grow a casual guild like this to a size of above 8-9 regulars. That means no raiding without pugs (which is fraught with problems), which is of course a huge drawback.
Your readership, at least most of those that take time to comment on your posts, appear to be of the of the grown-up flexibility-seeking type. Are they in guilds they like, or do they know how to find them? Should there be a place on the internet where one could match up, like a guild dating service? Given a good enough group of people, I think many people would happily pay for server transfers of even many toons. Perhaps there is a service like that."
Apart from that, Ostirean correctly identified a principal problem of WoW guild recruiting: Very often guilds recruit characters ("Guild looking for new members, need 2 healers and a tank, no huntards please"), and not people ("Guild looking for mature and loyal people willing to raid two nights a week").
And age definitely is a problem. While of course there are exceptions, generally speaking older players, with a job, family, and plenty of other responsabilities, will take playing a game and going raiding somewhat less seriously than teenagers and young adults. People of the same age group also tend to have more in common, more to talk about in guild chat. If you consider a guild to be more than an organization to get raids done, choosing your guild mates to be socially compatible makes perfect sense.
Unfortunately World of Warcraft is missing a lot of useful tools which would make a casual guild of mature people playing for fun, not achievement, more practical. Not only is it hard to find people in the first place, but once you found them, it isn't always easy to play together. Casual players are more likely to want to play on alts, and with the lack of a mentor/sidekick system, and now 80 levels in the game, finding enough people in the same level range in a small to medium-sized guild is nearly impossible. You basically need 5 friends reserving 1 character each to play together to get regular low-level groups going, not a guild.
Anyway, Ostirean was asking whether anyone of you knew of a "guild dating service" or some place similar where a player could find a mature guild compatible with his play style. Can you help the man out?