How to Recruit Like-Minded Players Into Your Online Guild

6 05 2009

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After playing through several different allegiance oriented MMORPGs, including Asheron’s Call, Everquest, World of Warcraft, and many others, I have discovered one important thing: people tend to be selfish. Though the intended idea of an MMORPG is teamwork and fellowship, most of the time it tends to be the exact opposite. Many players seem to try to get the most out of you by asking for favors or free items to help progress their character. Others will join an allegiance for the primary purpose of using its services and then leave once its usefulness has expired. Just how can a guild leader avoid these situations? Well, it is simple. Just do a little research beforehand and follow the tips after the jump.

The first step in creating a great guild is to find the purpose behind it. Have you played the game enough to truly understand how things are run? Do you have enough friends and supporters to help create the foundation for the guild? Will it be primarily PvE (Player vs. Environment) or PvP (Player vs. Player) based? All these have to be thrown into the equation before you follow through. Too many leaders create a guild without having the proper backing and then wonder why their group fell apart only after a week or two. Get in touch with people that have guilds of their own and ask them for advice. Each successful captain of his or her ship has a story to tell and experiences to share, which are sure to help you on your quest to create the ultimate guild.

Now step two is all about presentation. Depending on the game you are playing, there are several little appearance features that you should take advantage of while forming your guild. For instance, if you are playing Asheron’s Call, be sure to get a nice villa or mansion in an interesting or exotic location. Decorate the front and inside of the settlement in order to show off your experience and tastes. If you are playing World of Warcraft, design a cool looking tabard (cloth worn over the breastplate) that represents the identity of your future allegiance. If you are a PvP guild, go for a darker looking tabard with a fierce animal or weapon on the cover. If it is PvE oriented, have a lighter color like blue or green that represents exploration and adventure; or hey, it can even be pink with bunnies on it to show that your guild is mostly for laughs. Whatever you decide is ultimately up to you, and the decisions you make will be the guiding light in reaching other like-minded people out there.

The third step is incredibly important and it all depends on who you know beforehand. A good way to ensure that you find the right people for your guild is to make it “invite only” for the first few weeks. This means, only invite friends, family, and the people those two groups recommend. Run a few quests, raids, or PvP sessions with these new recruits and see if they pan out the way you expect. As you continue to get more and more members through this method, you will establish a positive reputation for having a unified group. More and more free agents will be drawn to this and seek a chance to get in on the fun. The longer your guild is around, the more people will look to join it. Now the next part may take some extra work and may not be for everyone, but if you can find the right connections, it will be worth your while.

You probably guessed step four, as it is the centerpiece for a lasting guild relationship: the website. Though one could say that all a guild has to do is just meet in game, you have to remember that there will be times where that is not possible. In the MMORPG world people have agendas, appointments, work, school, and so on. Also, some of your guild mates may not have access to a computer that has the game downloaded on it. By having a website, players can meet in an easy to access venue to discuss pretty much anything. In fact, a better term to use instead of website would be message boards. And unless your friends are spoiled brats, they probably won’t mind if you don’t have some elaborate website with interactive graphics attached. I personally recommend either Provision or GNU for your message board choice; primarily because they are free and easy to operate. Hooray for free things! All in all though, there are dozens more to choose from, so just surf the internet or ask a guild mate that specializes in Information Systems for assistance.

Step five is communication and in a game like World of Warcraft that revolves around instancing and questing, it is essential to have some live chat going. Ventrilo and TeamSpeak seem to be the popular ones these days, and from personal experience, neither are difficult to set up. It will require you getting access to your own private channel (which may cost a few dollars depending on the program) and then relaying the network address to your guild mates. Naturally, a headset and microphone are important as well, as they are the keys to communicating on the channel. Yes, hearing lots of people all at once can get annoying sometimes, even more so if someone leaves their microphone on with their music playing full blast. Luckily, that is what the ignore button is for.

Okay Mr. Leader. You now have a background, establishment, website, communication service, and means of accepting people into the guild . . . now what? Well, just do your thing. Based on the game you are playing, run whatever it is that interests you and your guild the most. Have polls on what everyone would prefer to do at certain points in time. If you are a raid based guild, have everyone leave a note on when it would be most convenient for them to get together. If your guild is predominantly PvP oriented, then just assemble a group every time you are on, or just join a previously started one (hey, you’re the leader, you shouldn’t have to ask to get in). Also, be sure to let the achievements of your guild known when you do something groundbreaking. If the MMORPG you are playing has a primary message board, post on that. Partnering with other guilds is also a great way to establish contacts and make connections. It’s all about who you know, both in the real world and the fantasy world.

Just remember that a guild is what you want it to be. It should stand for what you enjoy doing the most, what your beliefs are, and the people you choose to accept. Like-minded individuals will always find their way into a guild that is kind, accessible, and full of opportunity. The more you bring to the table, the more people will line up to get their fill. No matter what the game, just make sure you routinely check on your guild, your website, and the communication server; nothing like one of the three going wrong right before a meeting or guild event. I’ve definitely learned that the hard way. Nevertheless, no matter what you do or where you go with your guild, just remember one last important thing: have fun with it.

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