I rolled my first character the night the servers went up. I leveled him quickly, being the 4th or 5th level 60 Warrior on the server. This made me highly sought after as a person to come tank all the “hard content” like Stratholme, Upper Blackrock Spire, and the like. But around level 57, while I was leveling and farming for Hearts of Fire to level my blacksmithing, I was approached by a Night Elf Hunter who wanted me to join their guild.
He told me how his guild was awesome, about how they helped each other, and were a great group of folks. And then he gave me 3 Hearts of Fire and said if I was interested to send him a tell. At the time I had a few real-life friends playing so I talked about it with them. I ended up joining that guild and my friends join just a few days later.
And from that point on, we were members of Ravencrest Watch on Deathwing. I became the main tank for tons of the early content, my friend playing a Mage named “Prudence” became our raid leader, and we rocked. In fact we rocked for years upon years. The guild didn’t “die” till the beginning of Serpentshrine Cavern content, which is about the time I rolled Drotara. We had the same group of raiders with very few changes for years. And many still play, with our old guild leader (who originally was a Warlock) heading the reigns of “Might” on Turalyon with at least a couple other old friends still playing. I became such good friends with some of them that a few of them were invited to my wedding. I remember some of their children being born and thinking that they are starting kindergarten or first grade now.
Before server transfers your choices in guilds relied on the quality of your server and your reputation. Create a bad reputation for yourself severely hindered your ability for progression. For example, there was a Druid who rolled on and won a Deathstriker (now affectionately known as the Felstriker). The person ended up quitting or rerolling because no one on Deathwing would take him.
I used to do create random items during the Winter’s Veil event and give them away as gifts to the random people in Ironforge because it made me smile. But the long-lasting effect it had on people was immeasurable I think. We had a Paladin in our guild at the time named Gull. He was absolutely hilarious and a blast to have around. He was pretty good too. But he told me once that during one Christmas he was the random recipient of one of my wrapped gifts, which happened to have a pair of Truesilver Gauntlets. As he was only level 41 or 42 at the time, they were amazing. He said that he knew he wanted to be in the guild that I was in.
Ravencrest Watch had a fabulous reputation on Deathwing. It was revived and still exists to this day, although with a much different core of people.
But that mentality is long gone. Are there guilds that survive for a long time? Absolutely. Has server and faction transfers opened up the ability to play with friends who you never knew played? Of course. And it helps prevent some servers from having stagnant progression, at least in theory.
But at the same time, most people would never think twice about hopping to a new guild. Stagnant progression because of bad players? Hate your guild leadership? 5 friends on another server?
Guild change. Server change. Faction transfer. The solution is there, but despite how many friends I have in-game right now, there has never been the camaraderie I had in the original Ravencrest Watch.
Do you still experience strong ties to your guild? Is it a social guild or are you looking for progression? Maybe this is an issue only in raiding guilds and not experienced in social guilds for friends and family. I would like to know what you think. So, thoughts, comments, etc. Post ‘em!