Guilding: Finding the Right Guild & Being a Member
Guilds are a huge part of many Neopets users’ experience. They can be a great way to find users with similar interests and to make awesome friendships. However, finding a good guild can often be a challenge. There are many things to take into consideration when looking for a guild. Also, there are many things you can do as a member to ensure that you have a good experience in your guild. I have been a guild council member or leader of my guild for over four years, and before that I had been member of many guilds. I have seen both good and bad guild members and have put together some helpful tips to be a good guild member, as well as how to find a guild that is right for you.
What are you interested in?
First, you’re going to want to think about what kind of guild you’d like to join! There are hundreds of guilds on Neopets, and lots of them are currently active. It can be hard finding the right one for you when there are so many! To narrow it down, think of some things you are interested in. There are guilds for any theme you can think of provided it’s appropriate for Neopets. There is probably a guild out there for any of your favorite hobbies or activities. There are guilds for avatar collectors, for gamers, for Kadoatie feeders, etc. There are also guilds out there with no theme at all; they are just centered on chatting and having fun. Once you have decided what subject you want your guild to be about, your search will become a bit easier.
How frequently are you on Neopets?
A very basic but important question you need to think about. How much time can you devote to a guild? If you’re only on Neopets a couple times a month, you shouldn’t join a guild that requires you to be super active. A more laidback chat-based guild might be better for you. However, if you’re on Neopets a lot, you’ll want to find a guild that has members who are also very active.
What things are you looking for in a guild?
Are you looking for a guild that is super active with tons of activities and services like avatar items, pet lending or an adoption agency, and tons of message board posts? Or are you looking for a more laidback guild that you won’t need to check on every day, perhaps one that is more chat-based if you don’t want to participate in a lot of activities? Would you feel more comfortable in a smaller, tight-knit guild, or a bigger guild with tons of people to get to know? Is it important for the guild to have a nice layout? Maybe you’d like a guild where you know the leader is active and on the message board often. Whatever your preferences are, there is a guild for you out there!
Guild Hunting + Considering Your Options
The best place to start your search for a guild is by hitting the Neoboards. If you’re seeking a guild with a specific topic, such as avatar collecting, you might want to check the Neoboard with that same topic. (Avatar guilds are typically advertised on the avatar chat, you might be able to find a guild about Kadoatie feeding or gaming on the games board, etc.) Otherwise, most guilds are advertised on the guild Neoboard. I recommend browsing that board. Look at what guilds are out there, and make note of ones you like. Try checking the board at different times of the day so you really get a sense for what is out there. You can also make your own board stating your specifications for the guild and let people post about their guilds. This way you can see a lot of guilds in one spot. Again, go through them all and pick out the ones you like best. I suggest both methods to maximize the amount of guilds you’re exposed to.
In both cases, try to make an effort to talk with the person trying to recruit you. If you’re posting on an advertising board then try to chat with the current members on that board. This will give you a feel for what the guild’s members would be like if you joined the guild. As you are making your list of possible guilds, make note of things you especially like in the guild such as: a lot of nice members, a beautiful layout, lots of fun activities. This will help you compare the guilds more easily when you are narrowing down your choices.
It seems like a bit of work, but taking a longer amount of time to consider your options is more likely to result in your finding the perfect guild for you. If you just decide to join a guild on a whim you may find that it isn’t really what you’re looking for, which results in guild hopping. Taking the time to compare many guilds and to talk with current council and/or members of the guild will ensure you’re joining a guild you actually really enjoy. Once you’re satisfied with the list you have been keeping, it’s time to start comparing and weeding out guilds that, while you like, may not be the one for you. Do this until you find the one guild that meets all of your specifications!
Joining + Introducing Yourself
Once you feel you’ve found a guild that will be a good fit for you, actually joining is easy! All you have to do is click the join guild button. Joining a new guild can be pretty intimidating; you are breaking into a group of users who already know each other. This is especially so if the guild you are joining is larger or is well-established. Newer, smaller guilds typically have fewer members to get to know with less history than larger, older guilds.
The first thing you should do when you’ve joined a new guild is to familiarize yourself with the rules of the guild. You wouldn’t want to accidentally break a rule without knowing it; that wouldn’t be a very good first impression. Another thing to do is to browse any activities or services (such as avatar lending, special guild actions, adoption agency, etc.) the guild has going on. You don’t need to participate in them all right away, but knowing what the guild offers will be helpful in your interactions with council and other guild members. It will show that you have taken a real interest in being an active member of the guild.
Once you have done that, it’s time to post on the guild’s message board! A simple post introducing yourself and stating that you’re new to the guild is a good start. Current members of the guild will probably welcome you. However, sometimes they may not. They could be caught up in their on-going conversation, or may have just not seen your post. Don’t take it personally if they seem to be ignoring you; just try to jump into their conversation. If they still appear to be purposely not including you, then perhaps it’s best to just find a more welcoming guild.
Breaking into a new guild with a group of people who already know each other can be hard. Everyone already knows each other and is used to each other, so you might feel like an outsider. The easiest way to fit in is to just jump into conversations. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a guild member complain they are being ignored, when in reality they just weren’t trying to get in on the discussion. It shouldn’t be expected that every time you come onto the guild boards and say nothing but hello, that people will immediately stop what they are talking about to greet and welcome you. When you come online and say hello, ask how people are doing today, or read a couple posts back and add something in response to those to your own post. You could also just bring up your own topic for discussion and people will probably join in.
Remember to just be yourself, as cliché as it sounds. Don’t feel you need to “buy” your friends by giving your guild’s council or your guildmates gifts to make them like you. There is no need to try and suck up to your guild’s council or to otherwise be fake. All you need to do is to treat people with kindness and be you! Your guildmates will recognize how genuine you are, and you’ll have no problems at all making friends!
Once you have established yourself in the guild and have made friends, staying active is important. Many guilds require their members to remain active, and threaten the removal of inactive members. If you are in a guild like this, try to stop in on your guild boards whenever you get a free moment on Neopets so that they know you are around even if you can’t stay and chat for very long. Even if there is no such requirement, being an active member will still be good for your guild. Guilds often close just because the members stop being active. Also, if a guild has activities, participate in them when you can! You can’t get prizes from them (as it’s against Neopets terms and conditions) but they can still be tons of fun! It will make whoever put the activity together really happy to see you take the time to take part, and the interaction between members that activities can involve will help make the guild more active and will help you make friends!
Working Your Way Through the Ranks
Guilds have a ranking system built into them. There are the five council members that you can clearly see on the guild’s sidebar. In addition, there are five regular ranks that guild members can achieve. Typically the guild’s leader or council decide what guild members must do to achieve these ranks. Posting a certain number of times and being in the guild for a certain amount of time are the most common. Whatever the requirements for reaching the next rank, doing so usually comes with more prestige. Also, frequently guilds will have things like avatar lending where you can borrow more expensive avatar items or rarer avatar pets the higher your rank in the guild is. For the most part, just being active will have your rank increasing over time, so remember to participate in your guild as much as possible. Ranking up helps you and also helps the guild maintain a good activeness level if people are continually trying to raise their rank. Remember not to spam your guild’s message board or break any of your guild’s rules in the process of trying to get your rank raised, though!
Respect + How to Deal with Issues
Respect is an important part of any guild. If the council and members don’t respect each other, then the guild will surely fall apart. You can’t control what other people do, but remember to be respectful at all times. You may not get along with every single member of the guild, but try to remain civil with them for the good of the guild. Remember that each user has feelings, so be tactful with your words. Council members put in a lot of time to making the guild successful, so be respectful and appreciative of their efforts. Also remember that they too have feelings and have interests on Neopets outside of guild upkeep, and may make mistakes from time to time. In addition, without members there wouldn’t be much of a guild. Mutual respect is important for the guild to succeed.
Sadly, sometimes problems will erupt. Sometimes arguments break out because of a misunderstanding, sometimes simply because a user chooses to make drama. Whatever the reason, the way you handle yourself can determine your level of happiness with your guild, as well as the overall success of the guild you are in. If there is a fight happening on the boards, don’t egg your guildmates on by saying something like “Oh, a fight, let me grab some popcorn.” That is just giving the issue unnecessary attention. The better course of action is to ignore it if it doesn’t involve you. While it may be tempting to jump in on the side of a friend in an argument, that will just exacerbate the situation. Let your friend fight their own battles; jumping in is just going to make the other side more defensive or make someone else jump into the fight on the other person’s side. The situation will likely get worse and worse until the whole guild is in an uproar over something that probably started out as something small. Again, do not make the problem worse by egging people on or taking sides. Just ignore the people arguing and allow a council member to take care of it.
If it’s you who is experiencing a problem with another user, consider taking your argument to Neomail. A simple Neomail saying, “Hey, what you said there hurt me, could you please not do that anymore?” will probably solve the issue. On the other hand, calling them out on the guild board will just make the person feel cornered and embarrassed. The situation is then more likely to spiral into a yelling match as opposed to a polite conversation. If a person calls you out for something on the guild boards, while it may be tempting to react with anger, tell them that there are better ways of handling the situation and that you won’t argue with them on the guild boards. There is no need for you or other members to make spectacles of themselves on the board.
The main points of a guild are to have fun and make friends. If your guild isn’t doing this for you anymore, then maybe it’s time to move on. If the guild is causing you more stress or upset than not then it’s definitely time to find a new guild, or create your own.