The Makings of a Great Guild
Due to the large number of guilds in Neopia, and how complex they can be, figuring out what makes a “good” guild can be difficult. Even seasoned members have trouble finding a new guild from time to time. Then again, you may think that picking a guild is simple. You might get lucky thinking that way, but more often than not you’ll find yourself bouncing around from guild to guild trying to find one that suits you.
Although many guilds on the boards boast about their number of members and messages, what you get in a newbie package, or their exclusivity, these things alone do not make a guild great. I am here to share with you what has worked for me in finding a guild, in the hopes that you too will find that guild that you can stay in for many years to come.
Take a Test Drive
In order to really learn what a guild is all about and what really goes on inside it, I recommend taking a “test drive”, so to speak. By actually joining the guild you’re looking at, you’ll get an up close and personal view of the goings-on in the guild, and you’ll be able to see what the members are like. You’ll also be able to view the message board to see how often people really post and what most of their posts are about. In this way you’ll experience being a guild member firsthand and so be able to judge it by more than the ads and the main page.
One of the things that drew me into my guild from the start was the fact that I was instantaneously accepted. Everyone welcomed me and there were no guild jokes or stories that they wouldn’t share with me. I think everyone should try and find a guild like this. Even if you had to meet strict requirements to get into a private guild, you should still feel accepted. It helps if you write properly, follow the rules, and are genuinely kind towards the other members. If you don’t do these things, chances are there was a good reason for your not-so-kind welcome.
Of course, one of the first things you look for in a guild is what it is about. You might want something completely general or random, or something specific, such as collecting plushies or fostering Acaras. Whatever you want, you’re sure to find a guild out there that suits you. Try and think of the things you love on and off Neopets, and find a guild that matches your taste in those things. If you’re lucky, you may even find a guild that’s crazy about multiple things that you’re crazy about.
As stated above, activity is certainly not the only important aspect about a guild. However, activity is important. It’s best not to look at how many messages have been posted, but how many are posted daily, and by how many different people. The stats on the main guild page don’t tell you enough. Although a guild may have 1000 members, that’s not much good if only ten of them post on a regular basis. You’ll also want to look at the messages themselves - are they short and spam-like? Are they interesting and thoughtful? It’s great if you see members posting multiple times each day, but if all they say is “Zafaras Rock” then those posts aren’t exactly worth much.
Chatting on the message boards and saying you’re part of a guild is all well and good, I admit. It’s one of the main things I do in my guild, and I know it’s the same just about everywhere else. There are other activities, though, and the more the better! These extra activities help you to get to know other members and have fun too. The guild you’re looking at may have a newsletter you can submit articles to, or some sort of group game going on. Whatever it is, you should look for regular participation, and of course, appeal. If the activities are no fun for you, you would be depriving yourself of a great guild experience by joining that guild. So I recommend looking for a guild with extra, fun activities for all the members to enjoy.
Look for signs of a caring, active council. Do the other members generally like their council? Are they satisfied with the way they were chosen? Do the council members participate? Are they kind to the rest of the members? If those who are in charge don’t care about the guild or its members, chances are the members won’t care much about the council or the guild. It’s guilds like these that go down the drain fast.
It’s essential that a guild have friendly members, but it’s just as essential that any disputes that arise be settled quickly. It’s unlikely that any arguments will flare up within the first few days of your “test drive”. However, it’s a good idea to keep your eyes open for any hostility, and pay close attention to how arguments are solved if there are any. There’s nothing worse than a guild full of angry and squabbling members. You want to be sure not to judge a guild on one or two members alone. There are always some people who would like to cause trouble wherever they go, and sometimes a guild can’t help it if they get a “bad apple” or two in the bunch. Just make sure that arguing isn’t the latest trend on the guild’s message board.
Time and Effort
You should be able to tell just from glancing around a bit if time and effort were really put into a guild. The layout may not be perfect, but it should look like someone tried. It may be plain, neat, and tidy, but it doesn’t need to be elaborate to show effort. Everything should be explained and written out clearly in an easy-to-locate place. This is especially true in regards to any rules the guild may have. Speaking of which…
A guild without any enforced rules whatsoever generally disintegrates into chaos. Notice that I said enforced rules. A guild might have pages and pages of rules, but none of it is any good unless they are enforced. Besides that, if there are too many rules that require you to jump through hoops just so you can post properly, most members are likely to get fed up and leave. This is why it is important to read through the rules even before you take your test drive. If you know you can’t follow the rules, you don’t want the guild and it’s likely the guild doesn’t want you either. If the guild doesn’t have enough restrictions for your taste, it’s best to go somewhere else, because no one is going to be enforcing rules that the guild doesn’t have.
Responsible, Well-Chosen Council
This is probably one of the most important parts of a stable and well-run guild. If the council isn’t responsible, rules aren’t enforced, the guild doesn’t grow, and there’s no one in place that is looking out for the welfare of the guild. You don’t want to be under someone with power who shouldn’t have it. The council should be chosen based on their competence and activeness - not just because they are the owner’s best friends. Any guild with a messed up council is done for right from the start.
Forgiving Guild Members
Both the council and regular members should be forgiving. Even if a guild has only a few reasonable rules, in your excitement it’s easy to forget one or two the first time you post. If you break a simple rule about font the first you post, but quickly mend your error or don’t repeat the offense, nobody should give you a hard time about it. You might get a few friendly reminders but everyone should get over it and move on. You don’t want to be in a guild that’s forever reminding you of your mistakes. However, to belong to a truly forgiving guild you need to make sure you obey the rules, especially the most important ones, including the ones TNT has in place on the site.
Regular updates should come along with activity, although occasionally they don’t for some odd reason. Look for updated polls, newer content or new activities. Everyone in the guild has a real life, but you should still see updates every so often.
I hope that these twelve key points will help you find that perfect guild that’s suited to you and is an ideal guild in general. You may find some exceptions to what I’ve said above, but by and large these are the things you want to look for in a guild. They are what make guilds stand out from the crowd and become successful. Good luck finding your perfect guild!
Thank you so much to NTAG, for being everything on this list and inspiring me to write this article!