The Guild Guru
Hello, my dear Neopians! If you are anything like me, then you have probably searched for the "right guild" numerous times. You have stepped over the threshold of a new and exciting guild only to find yourself leaving it days later, disappointed. You have worn your heart on your sleeve and wrote out a deep introductory to post on the guild walls only to feel rejected when nobody replies. If only there was somebody who could do the guild research for you... and allow you to spend your precious time playing Destruct-O-Match, exploring the untamed land of Mystery Island, or chatting it up with your new Petpet.... Well, lucky for you, now there is!
Just like the various food critics and gaming masters, there are now the very rare and few dedicated ones who can consider themselves Guild Gurus! Duh Duh Duh! Okay, maybe that's not so exciting to you now, but by the end of this you'll be jumping up and down with your newfound love of guilds and your readiness to commit to an active guild.
I will start with breaking down the things you should look for and the things you should avoid in your guild hunt.
There are four main things you should look for in a guild:
2) Board Posts
Starting with... Activity! Nobody wants to join a guild that's filled with promise, only to discover that the guild has been inactive for months. To check out the major activity factor, start with a little research into the top guild members. Always check out the creator of the guild and see how long it has been since they last set foot in the great land of Neopia. My rule of thumb is the 45+ day limit. If the creator hasn't been around for 45+ days, the guild is most likely not current. After checking on the creator; check out the other board members as well. I was recently visiting a guild (which will remain unnamed), and saw that everything looked perfect on the outside. The members were aplenty, the theme was interesting and it was filled to the brim with activities to do. But when I searched deeper into the seemingly lovely guild, I discovered that all the board members hadn't set foot in their guild in over 345 DAYS! It was unfortunate and disheartening... but a good lesson is that appearances aren't everything.
Next, check out the Board Posts. If there are 3000 members but only 130 posts... it's probably not a very active guild, and let's face it... nobody wants to be a part of a inactive guild. Also, check out the substance of the posts. If there are 17,000 posts and they all say "Hi! I'm new here!", you should run far, far away. It's great that people are introducing themselves, but the fact that nobody is there to receive them or welcome them into the guild is a tell-tale sign.
Thirdly, and the one surrounded by controversy, is the member count. Before you set your Skeith out to get me, hear me out. Yes, there are absolutely fantastic guilds with only 6 members. But the majority of the most active, involved guilds have at least 75 members. If you want a small guild, then by all means join a 4 member guild and go at it, but don't blame me when it ends up being not quite as dreamy as you hoped. The advantage of a bigger guild is that there are always an abundance of activities and more friends to make. Yes, I know the old argument that the smaller a guild, the deeper the relationships can be... blah blah blah. The reality is, you can not even begin to build good relationships or get involved in a guild until the basics are set. The activities, the posts, the shops, etc... etc... etc.
Lastly, and to me most importantly is the theme. Now this is going to sound super obvious, but because I see it all the time, I have to say it... join a guild... with a theme you ACTUALLY LIKE. And not just like, but love. If you love games but are nonchalant about reading, don't join a guild with the emphasis on a certain book just because your friends are in it. Join a guild that you will be actively participating in because you are passionate about whatever its focus is. Many Neopians make the mistake of joining a popular guild solely on the reason that their friends are involved in it. The best thing about friends is having varied and equally fascinating interests. So don't be scared to join a guild that you're interested just because you don't know anyone. Believe me, you can and WILL (if the guild follows my guidelines) make new friends.
Now on to the part you've all been waiting for, I'm going to be reviewing three or four guilds once a month and will feature them here in my article. If you want to be up for consideration, neomail me and I'll check your guild out. But beware, be very certain that your guild is up to par; I have many guilds to scramble through and cannot waste my time on inactive guilds. :)
For my final parting words I leave you with only this;
Choose wisely when deciding on your guild. It is an important choice that every Neopian needs to make for themselves. It can make your precious time in Neopia a time filled with joy and friends or a time filled with frustration and waste. So heed my words and follow the Four Golden Guild Rules: activity, board posts, members, and theme. As the great poet Master Pteri once said:
"There is a place of hope
A place that few have found
A place where none can mope
But can only fill with sound.
The sound of laughter, friends and love
Where hopes and dreams can build
Just like the heartbeat of a dove
Is the just, the right, the Guild."
Good luck in your hunt.
The Guild Guru