Two Different Experiences, One Guild

Today I’m going to paint for you two pictures of different individuals.

Both of them are in the same guild.

Both are on the same raid team and are of the same member rank. Their raiding performances are comparable to one another.

Player A: Soshal Crither

Shows up a few minutes early before the raid. Sticks around after the raid discussing the evening. Posts interesting and relevant discussion/material on the forums. Players other games with guild members in addition to WoW forging stronger social ties. Has a strong presence.

Player B: Hermy

Stays quiet and doesn’t actively engage with many players in the guild. Promptly logs out right after raids and barely squeaks in before raid start for an invite. Rarely posts on the forums and only chimes in when they’re absent. Not a big fan of hanging out on Mumble during non raid nights.

The point I want to make here is that while being a by-the-book player who does only what’s needed down to the letter can be acceptable, it doesn’t hurt to socialize every so often.

I maintain a memorable impression of players who aren’t afraid of frequenting Mumble and touching base outside of raids. Can’t lay out a theory as to why, but I reckon it’s due to repeated exposure to their presence. Sharing additional interests with other players (in addition to WoW) can create a much better guild experience then simply playing the 9 to 5 career raider.

Do you play other games with your guildies?

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.


  1. I was like player A in my original guild, was with them for years. Then the GM and several players left and our raid team died. So went to a new guild, and I like the people a lot, I am just not ready to open up and commit myself to another group of people only to have them move on (the ones that left are gone and even though the GM that left opened a section for the new game, no one talks in it, and no one talks the in the wow section). shame to be honest…

  2. I wonder if Player B could feel excluded. All the other players (Players A, if you will) have all connected on another level. They probably have jokes that only those players get. It could be Player B is intimidated by that group dynamic.

    • You may be very correct here, and that’s one of the challenges of guild management in the long-run, how to break apart self-imposed perceptions. The longer you go without “joining in” socially, the harder it can seem. I know in our healer interviews, we typically lay out both our in-raid expectations, as well as the many out-of-raid opportunities afforded by joining CQ.

      I am certain that a number of players have gone through what Loreza expresses above, and that’s why I believe we’re seeing a steady rise of “gaming communities” instead of just “wow guilds” or “raiding guilds”.

      Many social groups have that one friend who’s “the quiet one” but that doesn’t mean you need to be excluded. In fact, Hi-Ya Yan (probably the best all-around gamer I know)is extremely quiet, but still joins in frequently we asked to play any of a variety of games.

      I think the best take away from what Matt’s said here is “welcome the possibility of new experiences”. There’s nothing wrong with showing up and doing your job, but there’s certainly something better when you do that PLUS bond with your team.

  3. Hardly surprising you “maintain a memorable impression of players who aren’t afraid of frequenting Mumble”, we are social creatures, we tend to identify with those who socialize with us.

    Often though it takes new people a longer time to “warm up” to the social dynamics – it can be intimidating to be plunged into a new group where everyone seems to know each other and already share a history your not privy to.

  4. My son plays CoD with some of the guildies. I guess I do my facebooks apps. But for the most part, I barely have time for my lovely little raiding world as it is. And I finally took the plunge and did Firelands last week. Gosh it’s good to be raiding again.

  5. The come back to raid is something amazing, when you are used to it, it start a bit to look repetitive. But when you give a time and then come back, it’s amazing.

  6. I was like player B when I started in my guild.
    It was very obvious from the guild chat and vent who had formed close ties and it felt kind of hard to break into that circle.

    I don’t think I spoke on vent for two months after we started raiding.

    Although now I’m an A so that’s exciting.

  7. It’s odd that you seem to understand the difference between introverts and extroverts but you put the onus on the introverts to be more extroverted and completely ignore that he extroverts are so busy smoozing that they ignore the introverts.

    I expect my cat to act like a dog but he never does……

    • I don’t think there was any onus being placed here, so much as a discussion of “don’t feel left out if it’s in your personality to not join in to begin with”.

      Presuming an optimistic social-outlook, why would the aforementioned extroverts be perceived as exclusionary? Yes, typically when I’m at a party with my friends, I will chat with them and will not make an effort to loop in the wall-flower 40 yards away.

      I don’t expect cats & dogs to get along, but sometimes they have to live in the same house and not knock over each other’s food dish out of spite…

  8. The point I want to make here is that while being a by-the-book player who does only what’s needed down to the letter can be acceptable, it doesn’t hurt to socialize every so often.

    That sounds like the onus is on the introvert. For the record I’m not an introvert. From a real world functional perspective it’s easier to get extroverts to engage introverts.

  9. This is a bit of a condescension toward players who, for whatever reason, don’t choose to be overly social with guild members. Your vaguely masked ‘social critter’ and ‘hermit’ titles for player A and B only feed into that impression. There is nothing wrong with choosing to invest game time into raiding and not into random socializing. Certainly there are consequences in terms of not being as well-known or ‘memorable’ to guildmates and the like – so what? Not everyone wants to treat their raid group as a social circle. Other commenters have also pointed out the valid differences between extroverts and introverts – your ‘it doesn’t hurt to socialize’ remarks only reinforce the idea that somehow there’s something wrong with introverts. There is also a perfectly good middle ground between the two, which I’d say many people occupy.

  10. I agree with you to an extent. It is nice to chat before and after raids, and I tend to do that for a few minutes to wind down. However, my non-raid nights are spent coming home from my non-interesting 8-5 job and experimenting in the kitchen, showering, throwing on my bf’s t-shirt and cuddling up on the couch.

    I never made close friends with the people who immediately logged off but I did chat with them during the raid and got to know them then. Most of the time they lead busy lives and when you only have approx. 5 hours after work (5:30-10:30, if you are lucky and have a short commute) it is hard to squeeze in computer time without wearing yourself out.

    Back in the day, I had a friend who had been chosen for the epic healing mace not only because she was reliable and a great player but also because she was quiet, pleasant to speak and group with, and she hadn’t pissed anyone off. She worked a ton and was rarely on outside of raids.

    So yes it is a good thing to socialize outside of raids, but if you are a nice player and polite to those around you, you can still leave a good impression. 🙂

  11. The WoW mom in me immediately kicked after reading this and I thought, has anyone asked if Hermy is even OK? Maybe that’s why he’s quiet. We don’t know what’s going on in his/her life. We can’t assume that he doesn’t WANT to be social. For some people it’s very difficult to talk to others.

    I don’t think you meant any ill will toward Player B and I doubt Player B meant any ill will toward anyone else. I’ve communicated with extroverts and introverts and while both are capable of various means of communication, you can’t really measure an introvert against an extrovert and say that they’re anti-social.

    Is it more difficult to get to know them and grow attached to them when they don’t speak up in Mumble and don’t stick around during common social times? Sure. But for a true introvert, hours of raiding IS a social exercise. It’s exhausting. It literally saps energy from them to even exist in that social space.

    I’m sure you know the definitions of extroverts and introverts, but I think it’s important to recognize these people in WoW and approach them as differently as you would a raider who has a different learning style than your own. Let’s say both raiders play a DPS class and they’re trying to learn how to excel at a new spec. Player A can read theorycrafting and watch videos and with maybe a few dry runs on a training dummy, they get it. Player B puts in the same effort, but it just doesn’t click for them until they have hands on experience in a practical setting, like a raid.

    If they both put up the same numbers at the end, does it matter how they got there? If you know Player B just needs to get his feet wet, would you expect him to do well the very first encounter he tries with his new spec?

    Unless the introvert is completely ignoring private interaction via whispers (which in my experience, most prefer instead of trying to get a word in amid a sea of extroverts in Mumble) I think you could easily ask them to stay after the raid for a few minutes and just get a feel for how they’re doing.

  12. Not to say the guild you are describing as clique-y. But there are instances where an individual perceives clique style atmosphere and doesn’t bother. This happened to me in a guild called Might on Turalyon – they have since disbanded but it seemed like unless you were there from the inception of the guild you were kind of an outsider. I remember as a guild leader on Earthen Ring though some people just play for epics. No more no less. You can try to engage people but if they aren’t interested but dependable and they know their role and the encounter you don’t mess with what is not broken. Unless the social experience is greatly important and their lack of communication effects the guild, which I find in most cases it does not.

  13. I think the characteristics you’ve listed combine some unrelated things. Someone who isn’t ontime to a raid or cuts it close all the time is a specific behaviour (we have a 15min invite window and ppl who leave it to the last minute irk me). It isn’t limited to people who aren’t social outside of raid time. Placing that in with the less socially inclined player to me mixes up a couple of things. Some ppl have jobs that start early so they need to be offline and in bed as soon as the raid ends, I don’t see that as an unsocial behaviour. The most extroverted social butterfly still needs to make it to work on time.

    Is Player A spending their time trying to get your attention doing it for exactly the outcome it achieves? To get on the GM’s good side? Does the guild have tight cliques that dont’ make an effort to engage others? Is there certain players that monopolise the forums and online chat.

    Does Player B chat in raid chat and interact in the social conversations during raids?

    I think it is good when players are more engaged with their guild – forum interaction, participaing in chat and so on. But it doens’t mean the quiet ones are less invested in the guild. They’re just not going “look at me!”, which tbh can make a nice change. I get really tired of the constant attention, never shuts up presence of some players. If a person has never been made feel welcome, if there are tight cliques or strong personalities that take up most of the space it can be harder for people who are not as social to have a presence.

    People who dont’ make an effort to be on time, be prepared and compromise the raid are a real problem. Someone who is a bit quiet isn’t. One of our best and most loved players spoke on vent once the four years or so he was in the guild – it bacame an in guild game to try and get him talking. He wasn’t much of a social chat in guild chat and he wasn’t one for posting on the forums (11 posts in 5 years I think). But he was solid, dependable, helpful, an excellent player regardless of the role he was in and extremely loyal and dedicated to the guild. I’d have traded the chatty playes for more like him any day 🙂

  14. I’m definitely more A than B and find that I have a lot of fun being that way. I consider vent/TS/Mumble to be the equivalent of a 24/7 pub/bar for us nerdy folks.

    I know many players that fall into type B and like you my preference is for type A players and I’m sure that is down to the social bonding process that happens when socialising with people.

  15. I would have loved to stay around in vent before and after the raid but in my current guild I m afraid it is simply impossible. The only reason I stick around is because of few friends otherwise I can safely say that my raid leader and his assistants have completely ruined raiding and any kind of fun for me. Starting from nasty comments everytime I make a suggestion to even putting me down with ironic remarks. Believe me I ‘m out of there as soon as I can. It didn’t start as bad, unfortunately the previous leader had to take some time off and since then things just go from bad to worse. Its too bad, I actually really like some of the people in my group and the rest of the guild and what is the other raid group with whom I always have so much fun even when we have alt raid nights or even go mog or ach hunting, sad to say these occasions don’t occur too often because I don’t want to socialize with my raid leader and his officers that are bound to show up. Stellar example when one of the officers decided to talk behind my back in guild chat and trash me for just asking a question during previous raid night. Very classy. So you see sometimes you’re “forced” into being a social pariah even though its not in your nature at all. Why would I bother posting and being involved to a raid team that doesn’t appreciate me at all?

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