Role Play: Finding a roleplaying guild
Roleplaying is pretty much a social activity. You can certainly try roleplaying by yourself, but ultimately what that boils down to is just writing stories rather than actual roleplay. While I recommend and even encourage people to give walk-up roleplaying a try, it’s definitely a lot easier to find roleplay, and keep it around, if you’ve got a regular group to roleplay with — especially for new roleplayers. This is why I usually tend to recommend that people look for roleplaying guilds when they’re just starting out. It doesn’t just put you in a good place where you can find a lot of roleplay, it puts you in an environment where you can easily get beginner questions answered, too.
But finding a guild that’s right for you is a different story altogether. Not only do you need to figure out just what kind of guild you’d like to join, you also want to take into consideration what kind of guild bests suits the character you’ve created. It’s not just about finding a good fit for you, it’s about finding a good fit for your character’s story as well.
Finding a guild
There are plenty of sites out there to help players find raiding guilds, or guilds that are focused on PVP, but it’s not as easy to track down a roleplaying guild. Sure, you might see a lot of guilded roleplayers walking around, but that really tells you nothing about whether or not the guild they’re in is one that you’d like to join. In most instances, if you’re on a roleplaying server, the best place to get started looking for a guild is on your realm forums — most forums have a stickied post or two with a list of roleplaying guilds for both Alliance and Horde. Guilds on these lists usually have some kind of brief summary as to what kind of guild they are, and usually include links to guild websites, if they have one available.
But before you go applying to guilds, you may want to take a moment and think about what kind of guild you, the roleplayer, would like to be in. Do you want one with a lot of people, or just a few? Do you want a guild that casually roleplays together, or do you want a guild with an ongoing list of RP events that you can attend at your leisure? Do you want a guild that requires you to be in-character all the time, or a guild that is a little more lax?
Generally speaking, guilds that are listed as “heavy” roleplaying guilds usually require a slightly higher time investment. Players are expected to attend a certain percentage of events, and the guild itself usually has some sort of major storyline going on. If you miss a bunch of events, you’ll lose track of where the guild story is at, and fall behind — and any unexplained absences on your character’s part means that the guild has to come up with an in-character explanation for your character’s sudden absence. Casual guilds don’t usually have the giant, heavy storylines — they’re more focused on individual storylines and roleplay, and don’t have the same kind of time requirements.
Applying to a guild
But heavy and casual aren’t the only types of roleplaying guilds out there. There are a lot of guilds that run with particular themes — unifying elements that give some kind of valid reason for all this disparate roleplaying characters to suddenly want to hang out with each other. Maybe it’s a military guild, maybe it’s a guild of noble houses, maybe it’s a guild that is race-restricted, like a guild focusing on a particular Orc clan or Night Elf group. Before you put in an application, you want to make sure your character fits in these guidelines.
Application? Yes. Just like most PVE or PVP guilds out there, roleplaying guilds take applicants. This isn’t to determine your strength as a roleplayer, although that can weigh into the decision with some guilds. Mostly it’s to make sure that your character and you yourself are the kind of roleplayer that would fit in whatever particular guild environment they’ve fostered. They want to make sure you’re the kind of player they can have fun with, and that you’ll have fun while you’re there. Guilds may also ask you to attend an event or just come hang out and roleplay before accepting your application. Again, this is usually just to determine whether or not you’d be a good fit in the guild.
Is it possible you’ll get turned down? Yes, just like it’s possible with any PVP or PVE guild you happen to apply to. If you do find yourself in a position where you’re turned down, don’t take it personally — odds are good that if you’ve been turned down, this just wasn’t a guild you would’ve had a lot of fun in anyway. You can always politely ask for feedback if you’ve been turned down, or recommendations on a guild that might suit your character a little better. Who knows, you might not have found the right guild to apply to, but that person that just interviewed you knows another guild that would be a perfect fit.
Guilds and character development
The other thing you want to take a good long look at before you apply to a roleplaying guild is your character. You need to figure out what kind of guild would work best for not just you, but the character you’ve created. A loner or a criminal who doesn’t really care about the fate of the Alliance or Horde as a whole probably isn’t the kind of character that would be super invested in joining a military guild. A character who is sweet, lighthearted, and prone to comedy probably wouldn’t fit in very well with a gritty organization of thugs.
Once you’ve found a guild that seems like it might be a good match, think about how your character would feel. Why would your character want to join a guild? What would make them seek out a group of individuals? What would they like to accomplish by doing so? Do they have an ulterior motive for joining a particular guild? Are they joining because they like one or two particular people? If there is an ongoing guild storyline, is it the kind of story in which you could easily see your character taking part?
Keep in mind that the above only really applies if you’re looking for a guild with a specific theme or story to go along with it. There are also plenty of guilds out there that encourage roleplaying, but aren’t actually united under some kind of guild theme or story. These types of guilds are usually fairly casual, largely out-of-character, and simply around to bring together like-minded people and make roleplay a little easier to find when you want. As a bonus, you’re also in a guild with the usual perks, and have a group of people you can do dungeons and other group content with when you aren’t roleplaying.
It might seem a little intimidating to find a good roleplaying guild, but it shouldn’t be a difficult process at all. After all, you’re out there actively looking for a group of people to have fun with. Just keep in mind what exactly it is you’d like to get out of a guild, be polite, be friendly, and you should find a group of new friends in no time.
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