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Guilds - Which One is Right for You?


by tyleraapje

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For some time now I have been spending my spare moments in the Help Neoboard, hoping to share my "pearls of wisdom" with those just getting started or those needing advice, etc. Due to the nature of the Help Neoboard, quite a few questions and concerns are posted there that might be better placed in other Neoboards, but even still, if I feel I can make a difference in someone's experience here in Neopia, I will answer their question right there and then. One topic that comes up time and time again is Guilds and how to know which one to join. This guide is meant to help newcomers and oldtimers alike in better evaluating their options and provide a somewhat deeper understanding of the more desirable features that make up a great guild.

    Rules are Rules

First and foremost, there are rules that govern what a Guild should and should not do. One of the most commonly broken rules is that of Guilds promoting various contests and/or giveaways. Most Guilds use these type of frills to entice new recruits to their ranks, but like with so many things that *could* be great fun for all, even though many Guilds are earnestly trying to provide good fun for their members, there are those that would twist and taint it into something bad. For this reason, such things are clearly forbidden by the Terms and Conditions of Neopets. For your sake, make a point to avoid Guilds that have them, at all costs. You should not be willing to jeopardize your hard earned account for a few unnecessary frills, after all.

The very best thing to do when it comes to following the rules of Neopia is to familiarize yourself with them and search out only those Guilds that abide by them. Surrounding yourself with legitimate, hard working guildmates is the best way to ensure that you too stay on the straight and narrow. ;)

    Donations are for the Money Tree

If a Guild insists or enforces that its members donate to the guild to "earn" ranks, etc., my suggestion is to pass them up without a hesitation. While a good many Guilds may be genuine in their efforts to divvy up collected items equally among their members or use them for "good causes", the risk of falling into a bad crowd that only wants to collect what they can from you and run is enough to warrant the need for caution.

Instead, seek out Guilds that encourage generosity towards fellow guildmates by your own choice, rather than forcing it upon you. In this way, if a guild member has a birthday, then it is left to each member themselves if they should decide to send along a gift in celebration of that day, with no third party required and no need for organised collections and so forth.

There are a great many other ways for a Guild to determine ranking than by who can give them the most, such as which members are more active than others, which members have belonged to the guild for a longer period of time, which members are willing to spend extra time monitoring the guild message boards or posting special occasions on the guild calendar. So look for guilds that reward contributions of time and effort rather than wealth.

    Apples and Oranges

The theme of a Guild is an extremely important factor in your decision to join it or not. Just because a guild about Avatar Collecting has sent you an invitation, that does not necessarily mean you will enjoy being a member of it, especially if collecting avatars is furthest down on your priority list. Most guilds that carry a specific theme like this tend to fashion all their activities and discussions around that theme, like guild polls about favourite avatars or how many you have, ranks based on who has a certain number of non-clickable avatars, etc. So you see? If avatars do not interest you, then most likely an avatar guild would not be as much fun to you as it would to someone that is crazy about them. ;)

So when searching out a Guild, seek out those that represent what interests you hold dear. If you are a particularly obsessed fan of a celebrity or are an avid Neopets Battledomer, then ignore those guilds that have nothing to do with your hobbies or interests. Joining a guild with a theme that is about something you enjoy is pretty much guaranteed to enhance your guild experience.

Another option is to choose a guild that does not have a specific theme, but that is more of a general interests type of guild. These kind of guilds often dabble in a little bit of everything and therefore can appeal to most anyone and will likely open the door of introduction for you to a multitude of players with varied interests, backgrounds and nationalities.

    About 20 Bricks Shy of a Load

Whether the guild you are interested in joining has 20 members or 200, if no one is active there is hardly a point in joining it. One way to find out about the level of a Guild's activity is to actually contact some of the guild's current members. Ask them about the regular activities of the guild, how much the message board is used, if there is a guild website that is maintained, anything you can think of that might indicate how active the guild is in current Neopian affairs (such as guild discussions about ongoing plots) and in communicating regularly with one another.

    Size Can Matter

When considering the size of a guild you really need to keep in mind what type of social environment you feel most comfortable in, and which are most rewarding for you and the others you are interacting with. Large guilds usually appear to have more activity on guild message boards than smaller ones simply because of the sheer number of players engaged in the discussion(s). Small guilds usually feel more close knit and cosy.

Regardless of the size of a guild, it can be both fun and rewarding, as long as the Council and general membership are making combined efforts to include everyone in whatever is going on. The main point is if you tend to get lost or confused in all the grandeur of a large guild, then perhaps a smaller guild would suit you better.

    Acorn to Oak

Generally speaking, joining an already well established guild is the best route. They usually have a firm foundation in their rules, regulations and their line of command and tend to have a good base membership. Newer guilds tend to go through fluctuations of both membership and organization while it works to evolve into whatever its current leadership feels will make it a great guild.

In short, if helping a new guild to grow and flourish is a challenge you are willing and excited about being a part of, then perhaps a guild that is already fairly set in its ways is not for you. ;)

    Seen or Not Seen

Another aspect of a guild that you should take into consideration is whether or not it is a private or public guild. Like other factors, this too can affect the number of members in a guild and ultimately determine if you feel welcome and comfortable within it. Public guilds, especially those that make grand efforts of advertising, tend to attract quite a number of "newbies" and can often result in periodic upflows in membership and even be susceptible to outbursts of "noobish" activity in such places as the guild message board.

Private guilds tend to avoid the problems a public guild endures, simply because they are usually pickier about who is eligible to join. Often it is more of a chore to learn about what goes on inside a private guild, but with the right inquiries and persuasions, you should be able to discover the basics about the guild and decide whether or not you would want to pursue the effort of gaining entry.

    Back to the Basics

What it all comes down to is this, Guilds are supposed to be fun. If a guild offers you something that does not sound like fun to you, then do not give it a second thought and keep on looking till that little gem of a Guild comes sparkling by. The wait for the worthwhile Guild will be well worth it, I promise. :)

I hope this article has helped those searching for a guild, in knowing better what you should look for when it comes to choosing which one is best suited to your tastes and interests. I also hope that those who have created a guild, or are privy to help maintain one, find this information helpful in knowing what kinds of things deter players from joining and what entices them.

 
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