Thursday, October 21, 2010

How Do Introverts Find Guilds?

Pain. Agony. My lonliness burns through the cavernous caverns and this awful smelling cave..."Hold on, wait just a second! Did you see this place? I mean, really, get an interior decorator in here and give me a new lyricist cause these words are just, DANG!"

Ok, enough making fun of the Cataclysm Cinematic. Yes, the writing could have been better. I am not here today to talk about that. I'm looking for a bit of advice, and maybe your soul too, if your offering. A couple or few months back, I can't remember exactly, I realm transferred my levl 80 DK from my main's realm (Malfurion-US) to Llane-US. I had to change his name, bummer, but he now rocks that joint as the only Trezzoth in all of Azeroth. Go figure!

I sent him there for two very specific purposes: 1) to help my boys level their characters by providing them with occaisional mats, gear purchases (I don't give them gold, I work with them if they need a big upgrade, but it'll always be nothing more than a green item of the AH that is more appropriate for their level). And what else? Let's see, oh yes, I brought many of the heirloom gear items from my main's realm - which, by the way, I have but all replaced for my Worgen whatevers that I'll be rolling in Cata. Reason #2) To get away, find some peace and quiet, free of guild chatter, social pressures, raiding requests, and so forth.

For these months everything has worked out perfectly. Although my play time is far more casual as a non-raider (currently), the whole peace and quiet thing is pretty easy to come by any time I want. Because of that, something else has taken it's place, anxiety. My DK is beginning to become anxious about Cataclysm. Why? Because he stands guildless. The anxiety is not due to the loss of guild perks that many others will enjoy, I believe rather that it stems from a desire to want to get to know new people on a new realm but I'm really scared to do so.

Despite my putting myself out there on this blog for all you hundreds of thousands of readers to see, I am still quite introverted and incredibly shy. My main's guild grew out of a merger, and my initial guild that I joined when I hit 80 was as a result from a compelling recruitment post in Icecrown general chat. I had responded to the post and talked with the GL for 30 minutes before joining. Everything else just flowed from there. But here I am now, a max level toon on another server, and I don't know a soul. I no longer feel peace but emptiness when I log on to Trezzoth. I really do want to talk to people, to come out of my shell more, but the same anxiety that drives me to meet people keeps me away from them. Each force pulls simultaneously and equally strong, and I'm being ripped apart.

So, what do I do? I tried going online and checking a couple popular sites (including the official forums) for any guilds recruiting for anything that isn't HM1CC25/RS (Need Holy Priest, Feral Druid w/0/33/3 spec). Plus, and this is where the forums are messed up, the recruitments aren't sorted by realm, that I can see. What else have I done? Well, I try to pick up the weekly and try to be somewhat conversational during the 10 minutes I'm with people of the same realm. My thought is that maybe I'll click with someone or I'll be asked why I'm guildless or I'll be inspired to speak up to someone who impresses me. But so far I've had no inspiration or any conversation that would lead to becomming part of a guild.

I also keep my eyes posted to chat, because I've noticed that guilds have started recruiting again in preparation for Cataclysm. Knowing that numbers are good, the more the better in many cases, I'm keeping my eyes out for a guild that meets my needs. Which are:

*Mature (knowing when and where it's appropriate to use certain language)
*Friendly (I will not stand for a guild with people who troll)
*Allow and encourage any/all activty (raiding, pvp, RP, laughing, etc)
*Active - One thing that bugged me that I learned while leveling is that many casual guilds recruit heavily only to find their players never logging in. So one week you'll have 15 people online, and a month later you are flying solo day after day. I don't want that kind of guild.
*A guild with connections, friendly with other guilds who raid. Even though I don't raid right now, I'm rehabbing my back so that one day I'll be able to get back into it. I'm terribly excited to raid in Cataclysm, I don't want Wrath to be my only experience. Especially considering that by the time I was raiding seriously, Naxx & Ulduar were obsolete and ICC was the new IT thing to do (ToC remained something that people did who were desperate for 1 more thing or just really, really bored). I want to be able to experience the first tiers of raiding, but I need time to be phycially strong enough to do it, which means I need a guild who is casual enough to let me hang but progressive enough to want to raid as well...eventually.

I know, I'm a hard case at best. I have strange and diverse needs, and they often are conflicting and don't make much sense. But there they are, as murky as ever. I've seen what happens to people who post in chat "LF Guild", as they get lambasted and told to 'be specific', etc. Do I post a reverse recruiting message of my own with my own requirements (shortened, of course)? It's a possibility. Are there other resources that I don't know about that I can tap into to find guilds that may meet my needs and I theirs? If I knew, I wouldn't be asking.

It's remarkable to me how I've gone from someone who didn't want interaction with anyone to somebody who craves it as much as I do now. I wonder if other people go through similar things in their games. Have you had a change like this before? How did you resolve it?

Introverts want interaction with others, I believe, they're just too afraid to make the first move, like me. Yes, some may always feel like they want to be left alone, but I think even those fine folk want to feel like they are a part of something, something that involves the good will of other people.

If you know anyone on Llane-US (Alliance side, I'm not faction changing), let me know so I can given them a shout-out. Thanks!

22 comments:

LarĂ­sa said...

I can totally recognize myself. I've been guilded all the way since level 20 and can't imagine not having a guild. But at the same time I'm mostly pretty quiet in the background, I'm definitely not a huge socialiser, not the center of the attention. More of an introvert and an observer I believe. I think I have enough of huge interaction with people at work. But on the other hand I don't want to play the game alone either, because the multi-part is kind of the point with it in my opinion.

I don't think your demands on a guild are that strange, it sounds reasonable and kind of "average/normal" to me. I just hink you need to give it a bit of time, keep your eyes open in chat and pugs like you do, and check out the realm forums. You could of course also post there yourself, a looking-for-guild post. The opposite way is the normal, yes, but it doesn't hurt to try.

Best of luck and hugs from a fellow introvert!

Gronthe said...

@ Larisa: Thanks for the feedback. True, I rarely see anything more than "LF Guild", but a well thought out post could be a good tool and keep away the "be more specific" trolls at the same time. Perhaps something like this:

"LF Guild. Seeking active, fun, and mature environment. Would like a guild that does a bit of everything and has good history of cooperation. New to server and will have questions before joining. Thanks."

Hob said...

Hi Gronthe,

It really sounds like you're describing shyness more than introversion. They are very different things. An introvert feels "tired out" by interacting with a lot of people... as if you're overwhelmed or drained, and can only be recharged by taking a break from other people and spending some time alone. Introverts can be shy as well, but they don't have to be.

Shyness is a feeling of anxiety about approaching other people, especially people you don't already know very well.

If you really like spending time with people and feel energized by it, you're an extrovert. You can be an extrovert and still be shy.

Your LF Guild statement sounds spot on.

Good luck with your endeavors!

Hob said...

Hi Gronthe,

It really sounds like you're describing shyness more than introversion. They are very different things. An introvert feels "tired out" by interacting with a lot of people... as if you're overwhelmed or drained, and can only be recharged by taking a break from other people and spending some time alone. Introverts can be shy as well, but they don't have to be.

Shyness is a feeling of anxiety about approaching other people, especially people you don't already know very well.

If you really like spending time with people and feel energized by it, you're an extrovert. You can be an extrovert and still be shy.

Your LF Guild statement sounds spot on.

Good luck with your endeavors!

Ardol said...

As a fellow introvert, I can sympathize with what you say in your post, although my anxiety over being guildless is due entirely to the perks. The past few months, which I have spent guildless, have been some of the best months of my time in WoW. I guess I'm just more introverted than most, but I play WoW mostly for the solo-play and PUG when I need to group up, so if I look for a guild, I'll be looking for one that doesn't do anything other than providing the perks. It's unfortunate, but I'm sure I can't be the only one looking for a guild like that, so I'm sure I'll find one.

On an unrelated note, there is one point within this post that I disagree with:

"Introverts want interaction with others, I believe, they're just too afraid to make the first move, like me."

What you are describing is shyness, which is not a synonym for introversion. What defines introversion is finding interactions with other people tiring and being energized by time spent alone (although I often find that time spend with people whose company I enjoy significantly less tiring than time spent with those whose company I don't particularly enjoy.) While we do want interaction, we tend to want it in smaller doses and in a more intimate form; that, in my experience, is the real defining aspect of an introvert's social life. Yes, some introverts are shy, but so are some extroverts. I'm not attacking your post at all by saying this, it's just something I hear a lot that piques me a bit.

Genk said...

Just found this through WoW Insider =D

People may suggest making a post in forums and in trade chat, but imo, that doesn't work. I'm a bit like you, Gronthe, I think. I've been in tons of guilds, and the way I usually went about finding them was doing my homework. I'd check recruitment sites, guild sites, etc. In non-instanced MMOs, I'd go to world events and just chat it up (RPing without a script usually helped a lot, but I don't RP so much these days).

In WoW? Tbh, I haven't really clicked with anyone since my Vanilla WoW, and this includes joining friend guilds. Long story short, I've started a guild that's about a month old, around ten people active at all times (even 4am PST >.<), but usually we have 15-20 people on- without trade chat or general chat spam, without me recruiting RL friends and using their connections, etc.

Yes, I'm going to pitch my guild now, because in all honesty, despite how much I hate the recent changes to my main character and I don't raid, I'm having more fun in WoW than I think I EVER have, mainly because I've finally found people I can honestly enjoy and log in to chat with.

We're a community guild. We don't promise raiding or anything else atm (though we've recruited raiders and raid leaders based on community and structure alone). Through our own WoW Insider feature (http://wow.joystiq.com/2010/10/27/the-classifieds-a-little-old-a-little-new/) we've recruited a few folks, the first of which simply made a character on our server (US Dragonmaw, Horde side), chatted with us for 15 minutes, and then transfered his main over. All from just our guild chat.

The biggest problem with most WoW guilds are that they're loot machines. It doesn't matter if they were started because of a tight group of friends or not- they largely exist to get someone loot. Because we're not raiding, I think it's pretty safe to say that our members are here for something more ;)

I think that covers a lot you were talking about, but for the others:

-We have good relationships with other guilds, and even refer potential recruits to each other if we feel a member would be happier with an ally (I do this more than the others, but mainly because I'm better at recruiting on a personal level than mass recruiting ;P ).
-We cater to all players who can function socially, even RPers: http://earthbound.guildportal.com
-I already mentioned we're super friendly and active without spam recruiting, right? ;P

We're The Earthbound. We're not "Dark Mysterious Guild X" or "Internet Meme here"; we're down to earth gamers. We really are a different type of guild that honestly offers things few guilds in WoW really aim to. We're in it for the long haul, not the loot ;P

Genk said...

Just found this through WoW Insider =D

People may suggest making a post in forums and in trade chat, but imo, that doesn't work. I'm a bit like you, Gronthe, I think. I've been in tons of guilds, and the way I usually went about finding them was doing my homework. I'd check recruitment sites, guild sites, etc. In non-instanced MMOs, I'd go to world events and just chat it up (RPing without a script usually helped a lot, but I don't RP so much these days).

In WoW? Tbh, I haven't really clicked with anyone since my Vanilla WoW, and this includes joining friend guilds. Long story short, I've started a guild that's about a month old, around ten people active at all times (even 4am PST >.<), but usually we have 15-20 people on- without trade chat or general chat spam, without me recruiting RL friends and using their connections, etc.

Yes, I'm going to pitch my guild now, because in all honesty, despite how much I hate the recent changes to my main character and I don't raid, I'm having more fun in WoW than I think I EVER have, mainly because I've finally found people I can honestly enjoy and log in to chat with.

We're a community guild. We don't promise raiding or anything else atm (though we've recruited raiders and raid leaders based on community and structure alone). Through our own WoW Insider feature (http://wow.joystiq.com/2010/10/27/the-classifieds-a-little-old-a-little-new/) we've recruited a few folks, the first of which simply made a character on our server (US Dragonmaw, Horde side), chatted with us for 15 minutes, and then transfered his main over. All from just our guild chat.

The biggest problem with most WoW guilds are that they're loot machines. It doesn't matter if they were started because of a tight group of friends or not- they largely exist to get someone loot. Because we're not raiding, I think it's pretty safe to say that our members are here for something more ;)

I think that covers a lot you were talking about, but for the others:

-We have good relationships with other guilds, and even refer potential recruits to each other if we feel a member would be happier with an ally (I do this more than the others, but mainly because I'm better at recruiting on a personal level than mass recruiting ;P ).
-We cater to all players who can function socially, even RPers: http://earthbound.guildportal.com
-I already mentioned we're super friendly and active without spam recruiting, right? ;P

We're The Earthbound. We're not "Dark Mysterious Guild X" or "Internet Meme here"; we're down to earth gamers. We really are a different type of guild that honestly offers things few guilds in WoW really aim to. We're in it for the long haul, not the loot ;P

Paul said...

Strange wants in a guild? i hope not as they are exactly what i was looking for in a guild before i found mine. Im also now in the same position your in. I wanted to see horde side and so made one on a different server but now im all alone and looking for guild as an introvert is indeed hard but i always remain hopefull that some day I wont be so bad and can make some new friends. Best of luck in your searches.

Rob Dejournett said...

Find a guild that's been around forever. They have staying power. many guilds form a raid group, and the success of the guild is dependant on the raid group. Like any relationship finding a good guild takes work and alot of thought.

Anonymous said...

I am a Veteran (Officer, Veteran, Member, Initiate) in my Guild but rarely speak up in Mumble or gchat. I don't know anyone in the Guild personally. It is a very awesome amalgamation of Casual with 10m Progression with alts and mains getting equal time in a safe environment. I've been a member of this Guild for 1.5 years and I feel like leaving once a month because I'm a crazy introvert. I am petrified by typing "Congrats" for Guildies achievements, would rather logoff than run a Heroic and /pst people because I don't want to frighten people by typing in Gchat ("Who the hell is this and why is he typing?").

I like my Guild a lot. I get along with the people I do reach out to, but it's just really difficult for me to meet new people and not feel like I have to keep them interested in order to continue speaking to me. I don't understand how people can have a lot of friends or just say "Hello" to anyone they even barely know. I'm just glad my Guild understands and leaves me alone. I'll still contribute my random pets to the Gbank and send new people level-appropriate gifts.

Basically, I found a Guild because I submitted an application and was accepted. I ASKED to join, which is one of the hardest things an introvert can do.

Anonymous said...

In all honesty, what you describe is not introversion, it's social anxiety. An introvert doesn't desire to have more social interaction, but seeks to either maintain the little social interaction they have, or even lessen it.

Someone with social anxiety however, can show signs of introversion, but the difference is the DESIRE; specifically, the desire to fit in. A true introvert doesn't seek a social life to "energize" themselves, they find that energy in being alone. In fact, social situations are very draining to an introvert.

For either person, the prospect of joining guilds can be a tough experience, but the reasons for this difficulty are polar opposites.

Brian said...

You sound an awful lot like me, and your situation is somewhat similar to my own. I was introduced to WoW by my wife and spent my early WoW years playing with her and some RL friends. They all quit the game long ago and I have been adrift since then, trying to balance my predominant need for solitude with a strong desire to raid and socialize from time to time. I have yet to find a situation that really satisfies me, and I don't hold out much hope that I ever will.

WoW seems like the perfect arena for a shy person like me to come out of my shell and be more assertive, more sociable. Yet somehow, I'm even MORE shy when hiding behind an avatar. It's weird. I don't know why I'm like that.

Anyway, I'm not sure what the point of my post is, other than to say you're not alone in your search for a place to belong in Azeroth. If you ever start up a guild... I'll join!

Cinderblade said...

I wish you were on Cenarius. I have typically been content as a solo player, but tag along on his raiding adventures. We stumbled into a guild with some fun folks, and all of a sudden, got bumped up to leadership. Now we're trying to recruit folks who want pretty much the same stuff you do. A laid back atmosphere with responsible folks who are trying to get a handle on the whole end game raiding thing. Good luck on your new server, though.
Cinderblade, Cenarius-us

Watermist said...

I'm an introvert, too, to such a point that I need at least two hours to myself each day.

I really lucked out when it came to guilds in WoW, really. When I started in 2005, my uncle invited me to his guild along with my dad and my sister.

Cue five years later - I'm still in that guild (even though my uncle has left); quite a number of people had stayed over the last five years.

So, judging from my one experience of guilds, I would say that family-based guilds are the way to go.

Dave said...

Gronthe -- that's a perfect ad.

Post that to trade a few times during your peak play times and see if you get any bites. I've gone guild hunting a few times with a very similar post (I usually add something about my peculiar time zone needs, as well, though). In my experience, your mileage will vary a lot between posts. Some times I get 3 responses, other times I can post a few times and get nothing back.

The one thing I would suggest, is that you tell the guild leader when you sign up that you are interested in trying it out for a fixed period of time (give it a week) to see if it fits. If you aren't feeling it, /gquit and try again.

You're basically posting a personal ad. You have to go on a few dates before you find a worthwhile connection.

Another thing, the personal ad approach to guild hunting tends to attract starter to medium sized guilds. Size matters -- ask how many people are on right now before signing up. If the number is less than 5, you are probably talking to a starter guild. Best to stay away. 7-15, and you have a small guild -- could have a great personal feel for an introvert. 15-30 would be a moderate size, and I would be surprised if someone said anything larger than that. Those guilds tend to be more personal invites.

Anonymous said...

I can also find myself in a similar situation. I"m not a big show boat in guild chat which usualy makes me the unknown person in a new guild. My last guild fell apart as people took time off and i finaly settled with some friends i know and see how that goes. I also play on Llane if you want to look up a guild. My main is Silverhammer and I joined Damaged. See how it goes from there.

Charlie said...

You're certainly not alone - that set of criteria would get you dozens of responses if you were starting a guild. A lot of players are looking for something pretty active yet casual yet well rounded with access to inter guild co-op for more rigorous content.

Even though your "LF Guild" blurb looks perfect, I wouldn't recommend spending a lot of time posting in game chat or in the forums. The kind of guild you're looking for isn't likely to seek people out in those venues - there's just too much crap to sift through. Instead, I'd suggest picking your favorite activity and using that to meet people. I joined some pug raids and pre-made BG's and found a few people that I liked who were active and good organizers. Once I had a decent sense for their play style and personality, I'd ask about guild openings. With the upcoming Cataclysm guild perks, getting an invite is pretty easy. I'd kinda hang back to see if everything gelled while continuing to look around for other options. You can get a pretty decent sense of the guild tone and activity level in a few days of watching gchat.

If it's not a good fit, don't be shy about jumping ship. It took me a few near misses before I found a guild that met most of my criteria. Don't burn bridges, though. When gquitting, I'd send game mail citing an external factor (e.g. "My RL friend's guild re-formed and blah blah blah) and include some kind of gift to compensate for the effort that the guild had spent on me. The gifts made enough of an impression that I kept many of those officers as friends and now have several friendly guild options when my guild doesn't have anything going on.

Good luck!

Gronthe said...

@ Hob: You're right. It's a good thing I'm not a professional psychologist; I probably should have classified it as social anxiety. Thanks for the correction and insight.

Anonymous said...

Quite surprisingly, I am in exactly the same boat. My husband and I transferred my 80 priest and his 80 Shammy to the Ally side of Llane a few months ago, and then had to quit for a while because of RL crazyiness. We just recently started back up, and are starting to look for a good guild.

I have found that my social nature in wow goes in cycles--I have quit the game a number of times, mostly because of a confluence of social lack and RL demands. If I don't have a network of people to interact with within the game (or if that network becomes too demanding), I'm much more likely to quit. But somehow, I always end up coming back. :) I think it's important to recognize the cyclic nature of things, even your own social needs within the game.

I echo your sentiments about the kind of guild you're looking for--the problem I have is that I'm never sure I'll know it when I find the right one. If you end up finding a sure-fire solution, I'm sure the rest of us lonely transfer toons out there would love to know. :)

Anyway, all this is to say you're not alone...even on Llane! :) Holler at me in the game if you want to chat -- my name is Elaborate. :)

Lazaros of Llane said...

Heya, Gronthe. We may not presently be what you're looking for (a raiding guild), but we may match up with some of your particulars, if you want to give us a shout.

We are Jolly Rogers, an Alliance guild on Llane. We're small, having until recently only been a tight group of ex-raiding friends who now have real lives. We're planning for non-bleeding edge 10-man raiding at some point in Cata, and hope to be a resource for new people as well. (I tend to be a Santa / mentor and magnet for new players.)

Give any of us a shout sometime, if you think we may even be a passing fancy for you. I'm usually on Lazaros (later at night), though any of us should be able to help you.

Anonymous said...

I think cata will essentially require any ambitious person to be in a guild due to all the guild percs. Which is unfortunate. So I think the best course of action is to just get through most of cata and realize that it will be my last expansion.

I think Blizzard will find that "forced grouping" is not desired by a number of players, but I doubt they will change.

Hob said...

@Anonymous

I think cata will essentially require any ambitious person to be in a guild due to all the guild percs.

Absolutely. The incentives are intended to create and reinforce strong social glue in the community (cf Farmville), and also to force nasty people to change their behavior... they have to get along with others and play nice, or they can go play in the corner by themselves, without any new toys. (Or they can leave the game altogether.)

Which is unfortunate.
It is unfortunate for those of us who are polite, friendly, and can get along with others, but feel drained by social interactions and don't really want to make friends or build new relationships online.

So I think the best course of action is to just get through most of cata and realize that it will be my last expansion.
Let's see how it plays out. Blizzard is really sensitive about their gold economy, and I suspect that introverts (such as myself), who spend a lot of time farming and crafting, contribute significantly the WoW economy. If we have no incentives for solo play ~ in fact, we're given penalties for solo play ~ we may start to leave (or play less often, or play on low level alts), which would remove legitimate, high end materials from the auction house, creating a new niche for gold farmers. I mean, if the average guild is busy role-playing and raiding, they're not farming mats and crafting. And if I - the loner - am not farming mats and crafting because I'm either playing with low level alts or playing something else altogether, then who will farm and craft?

I think Blizzard will find that "forced grouping" is not desired by a number of players, but I doubt they will change.
It's certainly desired by very vocal players who will angrily shout you into a corner and lecture you on the meaning of "multi-player" (which they inevitably think means "group play" instead of "people playing at the same time"). How many players don't want this change? Well, we're probably not the vocal, shout-y type. We'll probably fade away or let our accounts expire without complaint or fanfare. I don't know how the remaining community will operate without a social buffer zone of solo-players, but it will be interesting to hear about it.