A while back, while talking about my goals in game, I noted that one of my primary drivers of in-game satisfaction was actively contributing to my guild's success. As happens all too often on the internet, where everyone assumes everyone else has the same definitions as they do, the other half of my conversation thought I meant progression through raid instances was my primary driver.
This was a funny miscommunication given that I purposefully left a progression raiding environment to re roll horde and start over in a more positive casual environment. Although I do expect to progress in a reasonably timely manner through any instance my guild or alliance is working on, progression itself in the greater sense is not, by any means, my definition of success.
For me, guild success, for me entails a number of things:
- A collegial, friendly, overall positive environment
- Guildies who understand their class and their roles in groups and perform them to the best of their capabilities
- A diverse cross-section of members whose skills and talents are put to work in the service of the guild
- A collaborative environment with every member pulling their own weight and contributing in their own way regardless of rank or amount of time in guild
Upon further reflection of what kind of organization in the real world most mirrors what makes up a successful guild in my mind, I came to the conclusion that I like my guild to be sort of a hippie commune.
For those of you who didn't grow up in Northern California, where there were a number of such communes, I've borrowed Wikipedia's definition of the three common characteristics of a commune:
– communes specifically rejected hierarchy or graduations of social
status as being necessary to social order. Second, human scale –
members of communes saw the scale of society as it was then organised
as being too large. Third, communes were consciously anti-bureaucratic.
Having played for three and a half years, I have been in several guilds as my interests and playtime have changed over time. One thing that most of the guilds wherein I have felt the most personal pride — and that I made the most positive impact — had in common were these characteristics. Yes, the all had a strong officer team, but the officers were inclusive and did not feel compelled to take every guild task or decision upon themselves. All members who showed the interest and initiative had their own responsibilities– be it collaborating on boss strategies, or corralling a list of the rare items the guild crafters could make, or managing class assignments. Everyone had a job of some sort they could call their own. A visible way in which they were contributing to the community. Contributions that were recognized and valued by the other guild members.
I never expect any guild to be perfect, but I do want my guild to strive for success, by my criteria. That's sort of the point of allying yourself with like-minded individuals in a guild rather than remaining unguilded and PUGging your way through WoW.
Thanks to the diversity of folks who play WoW, you can find a guild that meets your playstyle and your definition of success. It may take a while, and some trial and error, but as long as you are clear in your mind, you will know it (and recognize the not it) when you experience it. And eventually, you will find a guild you can truly call home.