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11-12-2010 @ 9:38AM
My main has been in four different guilds, on two different servers, in the last 10 months. One was awful, one was all right and two were incredible. Let me tell you - size of the guild, age of the guild, etc., has nothing to do with it. In order of my membership:The smallest guild was okay. It was started by a friend, and I enjoyed it most of the time. We were all actively leveling, so there was usually somebody around to run dungeons with or help out with quests or professions. At its peak, we had around 100 members. The GM enforced free trade (tips strongly encouraged) among guild members; other than that, things were pretty relaxed. I'd probably have stayed in that guild except that the GM eventually got tired of it and disbanded the guild rather than pass it on to someone else. According to my friend list, he hasn't even logged into WoW in more than 2 months.The largest guild was also the worst - we had over 500 members and almost no control. I joined this guild on the invitation of a friend - the GM of the former guild mentioned above. I left the guild about two weeks later, after a particularly disgusting episode in guild chat that made trade chat look tame by comparison and when it became apparent that the guild leadership either weren't going to do anything about it or were actively participating in it.The next guild that I joined was awesome. We had lots of fun together. While he invited lots of people, the GM also kept a tight rein on funsuckers. I think the record was a person who joined and was kicked again within about 45 seconds. We had over 300 members, though there were a lot of alts in the guild so we typically only had 20-30 players online. The GM based guild ranks on level and behavior, so he pushed me to reach 80 so that I could reach officer level, then he pushed me to gear up so we could run heroics together. I was in this guild from my early 50's to level 80 and beyond. While the guild had a number of well-geared 80's, we never managed to put together any organized raids.Insert break here - I did a realm-transfer because my brother-in-law and sister-in-law had a couple of 70's and 80's on another server and wanted me to join them. At the time, I had a couple of low-level toons on their server, but decided to bring over my main.The guild that I'm in now is at least as good as the one I left during the realm transfer. My brother-in-law's raiding toon is also a member. Unlike my previous guilds, this one actually had an application process, not necessarily to vet raiding skills and experience so much as to act as a gatekeeper to keep out funsuckers. Only a small number of applicants are considered at any time, they are discussed in detail by the officers and go through a probationary period before full guild membership is granted. It's a medium-sized guild, with 300-some members, but it feels very friendly, almost like a family. They do have organized raids - including a number of players with Kingslayer - as well as pick-up dungeons and other fun events going on all the time.So to sum up for the TL;DR, the best guilds that I've been a part of had some level of active GM/officer control. The worst one exhibited all of the problems you mentioned, and mostly for the exact same reason - the officers either didn't have control or wouldn't take control.
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