Guild Chat: Moving up the ranks in MMORPG guilds

Welcome along to Guild Chat, the column through which the Massively Overpowered community gathers together to help one reader in need with his or her guild-related dilemma. This time, reader Jake wishes to gather opinions on the best way to fully integrate into a new guild and move out of the initiate rank and into the upper echelons as quickly as possible. Jake is new to MMORPGs, this is his first guild, and he has joined without the benefit of real-life friends already being established in the MMO world. He is part of a levelling guild with a rather large roster of over 100 characters and is having fun but is wondering how he advances the ranks and becomes a more permanent fixture in his virtual home. Read on for Jake’s full submission alongside my ideas for impressing his new guildmates. and don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

I have a question about finding out more about a guild you’ve just joined. I am new to MMOs and joined my first guild a couple weeks back to help me level and find people to play with. My gamer buddies don’t play MMOs so I am solo in this. I joined this levelling guild with about 100 people in it and I haven’t moved off the noob rank at all even though I log in every day and want to know how normal this is and what can be done to fit in with the people in this guild. Everyone is friendly and we have good talks on Discord but I want to blend in more and become a core member. Thanks!

Welcome to the crazy world of MMO fandom, Jake! Getting new recruits to the game type is every major MMO’s aim, of course, and one of the most attractive features offered by the genre is the high level of social interaction that is not only facilitated but encouraged by the gamespace. As you’ve already discovered, guilds offer a great central hub for that social interaction and help large groups of disparate players come together to enjoy the best group content the MMO has to offer. I’ll help you get to grips with the thought process behind guild rank assignment as well as talk you through my top tips for becoming a core member of any sort of casual guild.

A note on guild ranks and their function

I wanted to start by explaining to you how most guild masters use guild ranks and let you know why you may not have been ranked up at this stage of playing. The most important thing to note is that guild ranks are not always earned directly through longevity or activity and are more often heavily linked to guild permissions and controlling access to shared resources instead. What this means for you as a levelling player is that you might sit in lower ranks for the entire duration of the levelling process since you don’t need high-end access to guild resources for end-game content clearing.

This is not to say that you’ll never be promoted or that levelling is the only route to climbing the ladder: Making a great and lasting impression on the guild will most definitely help you break through the white noise of such a large guild in order to rank up. While you work on this, try not to worry about the name of your rank or how long you’ve been at that level. Unlike systems in many other game genres, ranking up is not a metric of game success since the rank means more from an internal administration point of view than it does to the wider playerbase. This is due to the lack of direct comparison of guild ranks since these are custom-created within each guild: A newbie in one guild might be a fully levelled player in beginning gear, for example, whereas in your case a newbie is someone who is currently levelling his or her main character.

It pays to be nice

Just as in other multiplayer games and social settings, the fastest route to becoming a comfortable fixture in your new online haunt is to be friendly and pay forward the help you receive. You’re off to a great start: Many players who are totally new to the MMO scene would not have found a guild and jumped on voice chat with them after only a couple of weeks of play, especially not without the backup of some familiar faces. What your new guild would like to see from you is behaviour that means they’ll not worry about you repping them in the game: Many players feed bad experiences back to the owner of a player’s guild, so guild leaders usually like to get to know players before handing them higher ranks. There’s nothing worse than getting a report that a veteran guildmate has treated someone poorly or been screen-capped spouting abuse on a wipe; it tars the entire guild with the same brush because outsiders get a feel of a guild by those who make up its main member base and management ranks.

Be positive in your approach to game content and help those of a similar or lower level than you by applying what you’ve learned so far. Think back on any sticking points you hit and offer your assistance to your guildmates when they fall into those same traps. Your guild probably goes to the effort of facilitating some group content for levelling players if that is the guild focus, and you can offer to run some level-appropriate content when you’re more comfortable.

Active involvement is the fast-track to acceptance

Aside from being a positive force when you’re playing, you’ll also want to be seen online regularly by the right eyes if you’re to be promoted. Being online at least every few days is a good start, but you can maximise the impact of this time invested by spending a solid portion of your time engaging with guild events and encouraging others to do the same. Sign up for those guild events and take the time to attend: If you’re at all interested in running regular endgame content when you’ve levelled up, this will be good practice for you in terms of getting to grips with your character and becoming accustomed to synergising with other players.

While you don’t want to be loud or obnoxious, joining in with the general chatter that happens in your guild is a great way to get to know the wider member base of your guild and to make your name one that is familiar. Know who your officers and leaders are: You’ll likely pick this information up as an active member, but if not, you can check out the guild tab for more information on who is at which rank. You might find that you miss some leaders due to your play times, but any efforts you make to meet the team increases the likelihood of becoming friendly with one. Mid-level materials are probably the most scarce in your guild bank: Your guild management likely farm the needed high-level materials and then the bulk of low-end materials are naturally supplied by newbies, so if you can fill any gaps, you’ll always be appreciated for the effort.

Your levelling guild may not become your permanent home

A great issue faced by levelling guilds is uniting players with very different experience levels and character level ranges. As more players level up, vacuums can be made in the lower-mid level brackets, and likewise, many level-capped players will move on from the levelling guild for one that focuses on endgame content. Once you reach the level cap and get more acquainted with the endgame content on offer, you might find that your levelling guild no longer suits your needs if it does not facilitate the content you’re interested in, so be sure you wish to stick around for a while before considering any ranks higher than those offered to full regular members. You don’t want to push for promotions and then move swiftly along and start all over again, after all.

Ultimately, organically rising the ranks based on your natural MMO behaviours is the best thing you can do. Ranks aren’t something to get too hung up on unless you feel that you wish to help run a guild and organise content for your guildmates. If you find yourself without access to some guild resources you need, usually a polite query to the right person will correct the matter swiftly and without fuss. Items and resources that are useful to you as a levelling player may not be as valuable to the guild management, so they often have no problem with sharing if you’ll genuinely use something. Wherever you end up, I wish you many years of MMO fun, Jake!

Over to you!

Do you worry about the rank you’re assigned in your guild? How do you break into a new guild and make friends? Let Jake know your top tips by writing them in the comments section for him.

Thanks to Jake for this week’s submission. If you have a query you’d like to see discussed in Guild Chat, email me your submission for consideration. 

MOP’s Tina Lauro is on-hand to deal with all of your guild-related questions, queries, and drama in Guild Chat. Whatever your guild issue, she’s sure to have a witty yet sympathetic response. If there’s a specific topic you’d like to see dissected, drop Tina a comment or send an email to tina@massivelyop.com.
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7 Comments on "Guild Chat: Moving up the ranks in MMORPG guilds"

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Godnaz
Reader
Godnaz

I just want to say that you Tina, Larry and Bree write very knowledgeable, grounded and well thought out articles. We need more people like you.

Reader
Dolnor .

I’ve never been interested in rising in the “political” ranks within any guilds I’ve joined…since every guild eventually “implodes” with bad feelings all around. The gaming world has changed over the years…so has the “requirements” needed for guild advancement. In the past, it was 99% “be helpful” but today I am seeing “lying, boasting, and childish bullying” gets more attention = rise in guild ranks.

I have to deal with too much political issues in my workplace, I tend to stay away from it in my gaming place.

TQQdles™

Reader
Alex Malone

When I started LotRO in 2007, I’d only played 1 MMO before (SWG) and played that quite casually. I thought I’d be the same in LotRO, yet 3 months later I was the guilds primary raid leader and not long after that, guild leader. I led the guild in LotRO, WAR and SWTOR for 4 years before I stopped playing MMOs. Here is my advice:

1) Be a leader, not a follower

This applies at all levels of the guild, regardless of rank. I never wanted to lead, but there was a lot of content and features I wanted to do. Rather than wait around for someone else, I would always form the groups. I’d advertise in guild, form the group, then recruit PUGs where necessary. I would type or talk through the tactics, handle the loot and keep things moving. That’s how I became raid leader: I didn’t want to lead raids, but I did want to complete them and leading them myself was the only way to make it happen in my guild.

2) Voice Chat – use it!

A lot of games, you can’t really play and type at the same time, especially the modern action combat games. So, voice chat is your friend. It made my life as a leader so much easier, it improved our success rate in hard content and pvp and is just an easier way to join in and have fun. Even if you only listen and don’t speak, it’s worth it.

3) Be honest about your skill level

The most heinous crime you could commit in my guild is thinking you’re better than you are. I never cared what your skill level was, I was more than happy to train up newbies and offer advice, but I absolutely hated the self-entitled idiots who thought they were amazing and thus deserved a spot in every group, when in actual fact they sucked. Be honest about yourself, seek advice, and you’ll win the respect of your guild’s officers.

4) The more you put in, the more you get out

Whilst you obviously want to focus on leveling and doing the content you want to do, make sure you take some time out to helping other people. Join their groups, even if you don’t need to do the content. Offer advice when needed. Jump on disquss and forums. When ever I saw people doing this sort of thing, it always impressed me and the other officers in my guild and so we became more likely to help them out in the future. When I did this myself, I very quickly went from struggling to form groups, to always being overloaded with people who wanted to join in.

5) Leadership isn’t for everyone – don’t be afraid to move guilds

I was very lucky (well, I worked hard I guess, but you can call it luck). By becoming raid leader and then guild leader, I got to shape my guild into what I wanted it to be: semi-hardcore endgame focused. Our raiding was focused, but on a casual timescale. PvP was optional. We ran social events etc. I made the guild what I wanted it to be and recruited like minded people. It became my home. Not everyone has this opportunity to shape a guild, so it is important that if you aren’t into leading that you find a guild that suits you properly. This can take time. I would stick in your leveling guild for now, but make sure you write down the names of other guilds that you come across whilst leveling. If you are consistently grouping with nice people from a single guild, see if you can join them.

Good luck on your search for a home within the MMO world. Guilds, in my opinion, are the crown jewels of MMOs and are what made the whole gaming experience that much better than other genres.

Reader
Robert Mann

Talk, be nice and helpful, think before you weigh in on a topic, don’t get upset or resort to any drama, and be active. If there is a need for an officer, and it isn’t the wrong type of guild, those are the things that will be looked for. Your willingness to step into such a role may or may not need to be stated, usually if you fill the above with at most a note of interest (aka, you say something once, and don’t seem too anxious or pushy) it will get you where you want to be.

There sometimes are a few problems, though. There might be no need for more officers, leaving you at member level. There might be a ‘drinking buddies club’ in the leadership, where certain people will have those roles no matter how terrible they are at them (or to other members.) There may be certain outside needs that are being looked at for any leadership roles left (aka, they want a nifty graphic for the guild, and need somebody with art skills, and want them to be involved and updating things.)

The best course is to politely ask, noting that you want to get involved, and seeing what is needed. Just don’t get all over people, constantly bugging them! That’s the quick ticket to getting blacklisted by the people you want to appeal to!

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

best way to make friends in a new guild is to jump into their voip server and say hello! assuming the guild uses that stuff.

discord is also getting popular for guilds to use these days and can be a great place for idle banter in text chat. so if your guild uses discord at all jump into that and say hey!

as for moving up the ranks dont sweat it. most higher ranks are related to some kind of leadership role of one kind or another and usually often time many guild admins won’t really promote anyone past the first rank aside from any officers.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

Guild Forums are great places to make friends too if the guild is active enough to have them.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

For me I find it always better to be the wolf than the sheep so I make guilds, I don’t join them.

I do this as what I love about games is fairly fixed and I have zero interest in compromosing on my enjoyment in order to fit in with someone else.

The net result of which is running a guild allows you to ensure you only surround yourself with those who like the things you like means your time with such people is never anything but agreeable and fun oriented because you are all looking for enjoyment in the same places through the same things.

This also sort of makes ranks in guilds I run fairly moot to such an extent that we have guild leader, officers, recruit and not a lot else in between. New folks are given recruit until such a time as we can determine if they will be a good fit for everyoen if they are they after a period of time are made officer and officers are pretty much on the same level as me we discuss everything, make decisions as a whole this avoids the whole them and us feel some guilds have were the key few members are the be all and end all and everyone else is just window dressing they barely know or notice.

In terms of moving up in ordinary guilds depending upon the guild I think it (should) largely come down to how involved do you want to be, how much time are you willing to put in and be available. With the most useful people typically also being the most available people be it to participate, do the admin or just answer the questions. Ranks than mean nothing, have no purpose and serve solely to lord over other people (the whole them and us feel i mentioned before) are why most guilds are a waste of space.

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