Guilds - Which One is Right for You?
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
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.