It might be an overstatement that I’m afraid of failure in an MMO. Before grouping for an instance or raid for the first time, I’ll double and triple check to make sure I have the proper gear, supplies, that I know where my buttons are (including the rarely used “oh shit” ones), and once I’m inside, I’ll ask plenty of questions about the major encounters, whether they be bosses or tricky trash mobs. To make matters worse, I rarely play straight-up DPS classes, so I’m usually asked to do more than just pewpewpew my way through fights (though my preponderance for playing buffing classes probably helps me here, since I’m able to do more than just DPS but usually only do things to help my comrades, which don’t typically change from fight to fight).
When it comes to choosing a guild, I’m even more nervous. It’s like joining a big PUG, permanently. It’s also like being that new guy at work or at school. I don’t know anyone’s voice on chat. What if our personalities don’t mesh? What if I’m not a good enough player? What if they aren’t good enough players? What if my build is just wrong?
I know what you’re probably thinking: If the guild isn’t for you, then just move on. But I don’t like to think of myself as a “hopper.” Unless it’s a complete disaster, run by crass 14-year-olds who hit mobs with the wrong ends of their swords, I don’t just want to sign up for two weeks and then bolt at the first sign of incompatibility. That would be rude.” And these days, applying to some guilds is about as strenuous as applying for a job, and you can’t fund your 401(k) with gold pieces and epic gauntlets.
I’ve recently dipped a toe back into Rift, and I’m thinking about getting into a guild so I can have someone to consistently group with and get a better idea of endgame content. I’m at least mildly competent — on the only T2 dungeon I’ve run where I used an analytical tool, my DPS-specced mage did 23% of the damage against bosses, as compared to 25% for the other DPS-er — but I’m probably nowhere near ready to join a major endgame-raiding guild, and I don’t know that I’m willing to put forth the effort to participate in one. I don’t know how long I’ll keep at Rift or when I’ll squeeze it in, so I don’t want to commit to anything long-term. But on the other hand, I don’t want a purely social guild that considers taking down a T1 to be an accomplishment or that has about three people on at peak times.
I’m not sure exactly what my last guild’s goals were; I was only in it for about a month before it evaporated, going from having 20 people to run raid rifts weekly to the aforementioned three people on during peak hours. There was some talk of doing Greenscale’s Blight, but I was never sure how far along they got. By the time I felt ready to run T2s, the guild had already gone under, so I barely got a chance to play with them and it’s left me a little skittish about going through the effort to find another.
But hey, if you know someone who could use a mildly insecure Defiant mage, give me a holler…