Disclaimer: I use terms of us, you, we, them and other generalization as a point of comment, not that you, I, we, us or them fit the mold I present as a stereotype of a group of WoW players...
Side note: Running the next gold giveaway fun challenge tonight with the guild "commitment" Should be fun.
What ties people together?
What tears those bonds?
What brings people together?
What prevent bonds from forming?
Guilds still fail to capture and retain members. I think the guild advancement system, and guild reputation elements do a lot to created stronger foundations to building a strong guild. However you will always have the "real" reputation of your actions within that group. Your reputation is the tie that binds, and the blade that rips assunder.
Guilds are largely formed on 3 precepts, and most evolve into one.
1. Casual Leveling guild (what kind of guild are you later when your "done" leveling?)
2. Raiding guild
3. PVP guild
2 and 3 are easily categorized into "end game" guild
Casual guilds, can not be casual when leveling is over and there is diminishing social and group challenge of the game, so they attempt to transform into an "end game" guild.
I phrase it the "revolving door" guild... There are consistent members, who are the original often "casual" core... who remain casual and never commit to or make the shift to raiding with the success they think they should be able to attain. The rest come and go. They come, gear up, and learn encounters, and move on to the "next best thing"/"raiding guild" that is more progressed to get new gear and more encounter knowledge and training and then move on always looking for the imagined "core team" spot in the "well progressed" guild that can give them more new gear...
Over all, commitment is as elusive as a jackalope... Most of us will only ever see one in museum, but never in the wild, nor be able to catch it... AND most of us will continue to pursue the "jackalope" (more progressed/more epix) untill one day the chase is just draining and takes the fun out of the game, the day you realize you can not catch it, you have to work to "create" it...
I have been that player, I have been the GM of that sort of guild, it becomes draining and hard to maintain. Salute to those who do maintain and continue to have fun in that environment... I know I did for a long time, even through the frustration of people that came and went... but eventually, it lost its edge and I realized "chase" for the elusive "jackalope" was not in my league. Not because I could not play at that level, but because I was honest with myself about what a Game would be for me.
To be on that common ground with those elite players (not elitist necessarily), truely elite top 3% or less of the players... what you need is:
Compter to run error free (high grafics for the visual ques)
Connection to support fail free gaming (no DCs)
Massive patience (for wipe after wipe, night after night) for progression
Usually larger windows of time, and more frequent (compared to many guilds)
Cutting edge class knowledge
and on and on, and I think most will not ever be in this category.
I personally have a lot more fun being a couple steps behind them.. and watching their videos, and reading their strats/gear choices/spec choices etc..
Most who play have the desire for the elusive "jackalope", But the difference is they try to find it and not try to create it. The desire is born of the game culture and being at max level. It has 2 drivers though...
Gear and prestige. The elite think and act like prestige is a way to gear, the masses think and act like gear is the way to prestige.
What are your thoughts, and how do you play?