Guilds: Friends or Foes?
GUILD HQ - What is it about guilds that make them so popular? Why do some have
more members than others, why are some more active than others? How can a Neopian
say their guild is better than anyone else's – how can they judge it? A guild
could have lots of members, but be inactive, whereas a guild could have a small
number of members, yet be extremely active. Guilds aren’t always what they seem!
Within neopets there is a wide and varied range of guilds for a Neopian to choose
from, be it an avatar, battle or stamp guild, to a Harry Potter, faerie or riches
guild. Although there are a great many – and they initially seem to be fantastic
and fun – they can be awfully misleading….however today – the foe or friend question
will be answered as the guild stages are explained.
This is known as the ‘search’ phase. This is where a Neopian is either new
– and wants to join a guild for the very first time, or has left their guild
– because it wasn’t right for them. There are many places to begin such a mammoth
task. Initially the ‘Neopian Guild Headquarters’ would seem an ideal beginning,
yet this can be very overwhelming – especially for new members to Neopets. The
questions are already forming - which neighbourhood do I choose? What sort of
guild do I want? Do I want a big guild? Is a big guild going to be impersonal?
Is a small guild going to be inactive? A Neopian can become quite bamboozled
by the task of choosing a guild – which is where they may choose to venture
to the ‘Guild Chat Boards’. These are topics that are solely dedicated to guilds
and these boards are very rarely quiet. The topic ‘Guildless’ occurs often –
in fact when I pressed the Guild Neoboards at a random time, on the first page
it occurred eleven times. However, all is not as it seems. One might assume
a topic with the subject ‘guildless’ could indicated the person is looking for
a guild, but often the topic is started by a person already in a guild, who
posts a pre-made message about their guild. Without pausing they continue to
another board in which they can advertise the guild they are in.
On the Neoboards the most common messages are pre-made recruitment messages
that a guild creates for their members to use. This can at times seem impersonal
– but those Neopians advertising their guild can’t stop and have an in-depth
conversation with each person, otherwise they would never get members. Or would
they? I conducted a quick survey on the guild neoboards and found that 8 out
of the 10 that I asked would prefer a personalized message that showed the person
had actually looked at their lookup or made some sort of personal recognition.
This could range from saying something about their pets – to how long they’ve
been at Neopets, their lookup design or even just their name.
The question of integrity is also brought up at the Guild Neoboards. With so
many pre-made messages explaining why you should join one guild in particular,
it can be hard to distinguish whether the person advertising actually wants
to meet – and become friends with you, or whether they are just trying to get
members to join to enhance their position or status within their guild. Many
guilds have reward programs for members who can recruit members. These rewards
vary in size and price and the number of members the person must recruit varies
depending on the size of the guild. For example – in a small guild of say 50
members, if you recruit 5 members – you may get a food item, 10 members – a
more expensive item and so on it goes. The sentence …. .. “Tell them that …………..
referred you” is very common throughout the guild boards – which can make a
Neopian wonder if that person is more interested in gaining a reward or promotion
rather than getting you to join and welcoming you within the guild.
Now it should be noted that there are many guilds out there that are fantastic
– and they are personal and active and have great prizes, but for someone in
this searching phase – the look of a guild home page and what they promise to
deliver can be the deciding factor in whether a Neopian joins that guild or
not. Many guilds advertise fantastic events with prizes, games, role playing,
active message boards and lots of new friends and help. This is where any guild
searching Neopian should think to themselves ‘but conditions apply’. Newbie
packs are often used in guilds – but these alone have many requirements before
a member can obtain one. Often they have to stay in the guild for a certain
number of weeks, post a certain number of messages, recruit a certain number
of new members and in some cases donate to the guild donation shop. This is
a smart tactic by the guild – because they are trying to prevent people joining
just to get freebies such as newbie packs. Guilds can end up becoming a negative
place when people join to get freebies then leave immediately after, so it’s
not just those non-guild Neopians who have to try and protect themselves. It’s
when a guild fails to deliver on promises or its word that people can turn against
each other and the guild itself.
This phase is known as the ‘settling-in’ phase. This can take anywhere from
a couple of days to a couple of weeks, depending on the guild and its members.
Rest assured though – this stage is usually a happy and exciting time. You are
meeting other people – often from all over the world; exploring the guild and
what events are happening, and often a guild has its own website which is full
of information related to the guild and its activities. So there is always to
look at or find out in this stage. This is a relatively quick and smooth phase
of transition and can set the tone for the rest of your time in that guild.
This is the final phase and is known as ‘contentment’. This can be achieved
after spending 2 weeks in your guild, or 2 years – again it depends on you and
your guild. The general notion of this phase is that you are happy within your
guild. You enjoy the time you spend with the other members, you participate
in games and events that are happening at the guild and you try your best to
help the guild where you can. Throughout your time at your guild – you may be
promoted depending on your activeness, participation, donation or recruitment
levels, this can be another exciting and reward feature – resulting in you wanting
to spend more and more time at the guild. So by now your saying – ‘a guild sounds
great! How could it be a foe?’ Perhaps not a foe in the way your thinking, but
a foe in the way that guild can become a bid distraction. The more involved
in your guild you become – be it if you are a member of the council – or a member
of a special group or committee within your guild – the more time and effort
may be required of you. Of course, you are more than happy to oblige because
you can see the rewards of your hard work, be it with more members or a new
layout for the guild. However – the responsibilities may impact on the time
you have left to play games and re-stock to earn neopoints. So you may feel
a decrease in the amount of neopoints you are gaining because of the time your
spending helping the guild, or even because of the donations you are giving
to the guild.
Not only can it impact on how you spend your time while on Neopets, however
it can impact on other times such as homework. How many times have we told our
parents we’re just doing some homework and we sneak onto neopets to have a quick
chat with our guild friends or see if there is a new game at the guild? Guilds
can be a foe in the way they act as a tool for distraction, but I think most
people would agree it’s a welcomed distraction.
I know that I’m Neopets addicted, but in particular – I try as much as I can
to check in on my guild and see what’s happening and catch up with everyone.
Often I am sitting there typing to other members and I think to myself ‘I should
be doing study’ or ‘I should be doing this or that’ and yes – often I should
be, but does that stop me? No! Guilds are like a second life. No matter what
your age – you may come home at the end of a day at school, work or even looking
after kids and click on your guild because it’s like a safe house. You know
the people there, you know what’s happening – and you’re welcomed every time.
So even though guilds can portray that ‘foe’ image, and can be a distraction
– especially in the beginning phases, most Neopians will agree when I say –
I’m glad for that distraction. Although yes, sometimes guilds don’t always suit
us, or something goes wrong, or arguments with other members can occur, the
good and memorable times outweigh these negative times, and I know without my
guild – Neopets wouldn’t be quite the same.
So… guilds … are they your friends?
Or your foes?