Thursday, June 19, 2008

On Choosing a Guild

Your guild... it's your Azerothian home-away-from-home. It's filled with the people with whom you'll be spending most of your online time. Depending upon how dedicated of a player you are, you may be spending more time with these folks than with your family members! Rather like co-workers, you'll get to know them on a personal level. *You'll have to listen to them blather mindlessly about their jobs, spouses, children, schoolwork, teachers, RL friends, and family members. You'll be there to congratulate their successes and commiserate with them on their failures. Like any large organization, the guild's reputation becomes YOUR reputation, and vice-versa.

For this reason, it's especially important to choose your guild wisely, yes? Yes. Unfortunately, just picking out a reasonable and like-minded group of people isn't enough.

The All-Important Guild Name

It's shocking, really, how few fledgling guild leaders spend any quality name designing the guild name. Grammar, spelling, and originality are all necessary components, as is proper capitalization. Keep in mind, every other player on your server is going to see your guild name along with your character name. When it's especially jarring, those two labels will become connected in the viewer's mind so that even once you've moved on, they will still remember Jingleytoast as being with the guild, "lords of azoroth." /eyeroll.

  • The Illiterate: Misspelled, not capitalized, often assumed to be the product of the guild leader's cat walking across the keyboard during the naming process. At least, that's what we'd rather believe. Avoid at all costs - nothing says, "I'm a tool!" like running around with a misspelled word over your head. After all, you can't claim to have not known, right? I literally have TONS of screenshots of these, but I can't use them and still abide by the disclaimer below. This type of guild name is guaranteed to make you the object of laughter and scorn, and insures that you will never be taken seriously. And no, I'm not being too harsh. This is reality.
  • The Mad-Lib guild name: Easily recognizable by the format, _______ of _________. Legion of Doom, Defenders of Azeroth, Champions of the Alliance, etc. /yawn.
  • The (Hopefully) Clever Pun name: "Hor'de Oeuvres" was full of win and Cheetos, while "Ur Moms a Horde" was just painful.
  • The Pretentious Latin Phrase guild name: Depends. If it translates to something funny, like Seize the Buttocks (Carpe Buttockos, I'd presume, but then I don't speak Latin) then I'd say go for it. Or perhaps if the name was in Pig Latin. Otherwise, you may be writing checks that your gaming skill can't cash. In that case, I'd go for
  • The Self-Deprecating guild name: Rejects, Nihilim Said No Way, This IS My Life, etc. Almost always a good bet, if only because you have nothing to live up to. If you suck, whatever, you never claimed not to. If you're good, it's a pleasant surprise, and everyone's happy.
  • The Snappy One-Word guild name: Easily recognizable, so in this case, it's doubly important that the guild has a good rep. You don't want that one word to become synonomous with "Moron," right?
  • The Random Pop-Culture / Non-sensical guild name: My favorite. You love it when you see one of these, and actually get the reference. Or maybe you don't get the reference, but that particular turn of phrase or combination of words just tickles you for some reason. There is a guild on my server of this ilk, and I love it. Whenever I see one of their members, I'll spend the next several hours singing a jingle I created just for their guild. I can't help it. I cannot see the name without singing the jingle. Just ask D. I've often been tempted to offer them the jingle in exchange for membership, but I'm afraid I'd never log out.
  • The Obscene, Inflammatory, or Racist guild name. Why bother? It's not funny, you're not clever, and someone with more sense than you is going to see it and report it, and then you'll have to change it. Just - don't.

Now is a good time to take a long look at your guild, its members, and especially the guild name. Are you happy? Are you having fun? Do you look like a tool with a misspelled word over your head? These are the questions to ask. Now do a /who Capital City and see if any of those guild names inspire you to write jingles. Do your homework, pug with their members, and watch Trade Chat. This is where idiots tend to gather, and it's easy enough to get a proportion of guild members to idiots for any given guild.

*Guild members who send you cards and flowers while you're in the hospital are only slightly less amazing than those who advise you to double the pain meds, just this once, so you can finish that LBRS run. I love my guildies - they are the utmost Cat's Meow.

**Disclaimer - all toon and guild names in this post are the product of the author's imagination and have NOT been personally witnessed on her or any other server. That is the author's position, and even if you ARE Jingleytoast, you cannot prove otherwise. So there. All complaints will be handled by the Melted Faces legal department. This department has not yet been formed, we'll let you know.

No comments: