Guilds 101: Foundation and types

Many people in World of Warcraft join guilds, and often without actually having knowledge of what a guild actually is, or what this means to them. Common reasons for wanting a guild is because people wish to be involved in a social group, want to achieve goals parallel to a guild’s goals, or because having a guild tag above your head makes you more respected.

A lot also choose to remain unguilded, sometimes because they are intimidated by the idea of being part of a guild, or out of anxiety of interacting with people they don’t know. I decided to dedicate a few posts on guilds and guild matters. For additional advice on building and maintaining a guild and resolving dilemmas and conflicts, I refer to the excellent guides over at World of Matticus.

What is a guild?

A guild is a group of people with common goals who gather together, sharing a single guild name, under the leadership of a single Guild Leader. The Guild Leader often has trusted people who assist in keeping the guild running smoothly, called Officers.

How to join a guild

Guild invites can be done by the Guild Leader, and anyone who has been given invitation rights by the Guild Lader, often the officers. Joining one can be simple or complicated, depending on the type of guild you wish to join. Raiding and Roleplaying guilds are typified by stringent entry requirements and interviews, with an invite after successfully passing this stage. Other guilds invite anyone who wishes to join.

Finding information on guilds on your server is usually very easy. The realm forums generally have messages or stickied posts detailing the various guilds that are open to recruiting, while the guild recruitment and trade channels are usually full of people spamming recruitment messages, detailing the kind of guild they represent and what they are looking for in players.

Guild types

There are many kinds of guilds, catering to the different needs of their members. Make sure that you join a guild that has common goals with what you like to do ingame, or you might face serious disappointment later on.

Social Guild
A social guild is primarily centered around hanging out together and being friends. While they can PvP, raid or run heroics, the focus of the group as a whole is enjoying their time together. Usually such guilds don’t advertize much, relying on people to bring in people they have met and whom they enjoyed playing with. You will find many people in these guilds are groups of real-life friends as well.

A subtype of this kind of guilds is the National guild, which functions the same way but restricts who can join based on their nationality/language. This happens most often on English EU realms, where people from France, the Netherlands and certain Scandinavian or Balkan countries band together so they can speak their native language in /guild. I imagine that on US servers something similar would happen with Spanish-speaking guilds.

Raiding Guild
One of the most famous kinds of guilds is the Raiding Guild, focusing on doing content at the highest level available. Some focus on 10- or 25man specifically, while others will raid both. Expect this kind of guild to put some demands on your gear and quality of play, as well as requirements on attending raids, learning tactics and having signup and loot distribution systems.

PvP Guild
These guilds focus on Battlegrounds, Arenas, raiding enemy capital cities and/or world PvP combat. Gear requirements here will be present, but skill is generally counted higher. Like raiding guilds, there will most likely be an interview and some sort of test in a PvP environment to gauge your skill. Depending on the leadership, this guild could be a competitive hierarchy or a helpful group of PvP specialists.

Leveling Guild
These guilds are always in flux, as they consist of characters of all level ranges assisting each other with dungeons and quests, or questing together in areas. Most people who join such guilds linger some time after reaching 80, but most often will “graduate” to one of the other guild types soon after.

Roleplaying Guild
On RP servers, you will find many of these guilds, usually arranged around a common theme. Such themes may include playing a group of Scarlet Convertors, a band of thieves or guardsmen, a clan of Magi or an order of Paladins. If you have a character that matches the guild’s story and you enjoy RP, joining a guild like this can be a great experience. Note that most of these guilds require you to have at least some knowledge on roleplaying, and willingness to stay in character. Invites are usually out-of-character, but interviews and any form of initiation or promotion in the guild will most likely be in-character.

Banking Guilds
A specific kind of guild usually run by one or a handful of players to take advantage of extra bank space offered by having a guild bank. These guilds normally do not have invitations, and usually provide no service other than storage. The reason I include it here is mainly because many people like the guild name and ask to join, and then are insulted that they are replied with “this is a banking guild, we do not invite”.


Know you know what kinds of guilds there are, try and see what kind of guild fits best with your way of playing the game. Check the realm forums and friends you have online what guilds there are within that category, and see if (and how) they are recruiting new players.

Next post will discuss applying to a guild with entry requirements (such as Raiding or PvP guilds) and a rough overview of a guild’s social dynamics. I will also make a comparison with similar games who have guild structures, and try and point out the differences (positive and negative) compared to World of Warcraft.

Any questions, ponderings and feedback are greatly appreciated to increase the quality of this post, and flesh out what is yet to come!


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