Guilds, guilds guilds. If I analyze myself, I'm going to posit that I'm doomed to never be happy in guilds that aren't like the first guild I was ever in, Galaxies Style.
Lively personalities, excellent guild chat.
Good Leadership (though this point varied/changed/proved the ultimate downfall of the guild along with the advent of World Of Warcraft entering the MMO scene)
A core group of about five players who were reliably on, always helpful, good at recruiting new members, always working to make a guild and ultimately a city that allowed the group to thrive and grow even more.
Regular events such as hunts or doing Rebel missions/base attacks to help people advance in the GCW (Galactic Civil War).
Anyone asking for help gets it from whoever can help.
Players who were generous with their time and crafts.
But what do I really want?
I've joined, often briefly, dozens of guilds from random invites. The first things that gets me is silent guild chat in guilds with 500 members and only five ever on.
These have mostly been in Wow. Early on, guilds that claimed they'd help you level would do nothing but direct you to Thotbott with any questions. I want my lowbies to have someone help them with fights they have trouble with (doesn't happen much anymore at any level, but there used to be sticking points in WOW's terrain.)
One of the best ways to level, and most fun for me is dungeons. In any game, I'd like the guild to be willing to organize dungeon runs, just regular dungeons. This not only provides, or should provide, leveling help, but it's a great opportunity to train players in a non-harsh PUG environment how to play their classes well in a group.
Did you see Eliot Lefebvre's article http://massivelyop.com/2017/06/21/perfect-ten-mmo-grouping-advice-you-shouldnt-bother-giving/
This, as they say. None of these things are helpful to anyone in the entire dungeon group, certainly not to those trying to learn skills. Ideally, the guilded player doesn't need to PUG, and won't hear these things, and they are a far better player for it.
Sharing of resources: I know Guild Bank Management can be a pain, and people toss in all sorts of stuff, trying to contribute to the group. Most often, they have no idea what is useful and what is not. The frustrated GB manager can often be heard threatening people for putting in useless stuff which they're going to toss or sell soon. This can shake newbies to the core and make them feel like fools. How does this contribute a sense of welcome and camaraderie?
It's called Guild Chat for a reason! I have hardly ever run into a player who was a motor mouth and they never were silent. I personally don't appreciate or take part in conversations about the real world, I'm here to leave that behind zzzzzzzz. I do think that players in guilds, particularly the Officers, should be in there talking to people about the game, seeing if anyone needs help, has questions. There should be some spark of life in the place. One of the things a guild might recruit for is personality. Look for it, find it, encourage it.
Make newbies feel welcome. The people recruiting should be aware of the person's class and profession, and should help to introduce the player to the others. Let them know who is good at a particular class and profession so the player can have some idea of who can mentor them. Having players who will be new member mentors is guild role that can be key to a guild's health and survival.
My Own Efforts
I don't find these things often, and so in the past I've created my own guilds. Because we have had enough family members to keep things interesting, it hasn't gone beyond that. Early on I encouraged everyone to go ahead and invite other players to join, but aren't we all such introverts that we never did it. As the leader, I polled people and it turns out they didn't actually want strangers in the guild, making them be social and putting their mitts in the guild bank. Rofl, rofl, rofl.
Undaunted, I really wanted to be the super duper guild leader I desired to find myself.
I created a guild blog that had tips I'd learned from voracious reading about the game, and interesting articles. How I wanted to share! Nobody but my beloved spouse, who generously reads all my blogs, ever looked at the blog.
I had my crafters leveling as quickly as I could and I provided potions, scrolls, armor, weapons, every single thing I could make so people could grab and go.
I put money in the bank as I could. My formula was that any of my characters who had over 50 gold would drop the "excess" in the guild bank. Guild repair money, training money, mount money.
We did a few battlegrounds as a group. I was awful, but I went in. These didn't last too long.
Guild dungeon runs started out not too bad.
Three of us liked dungeons and enjoyed running through them whether guild or pug. The others, not so much, but they'd do it. For the weekly guild runs, which I loved because doh, I actually knew the people, I went into overdrive. I created character sheets for the dungeoneers and ahead of the weekly run, checked the WOW Armory to see what they had armor wise and sent them new pieces if I could make better. I sent scrolls, potions and jewelry for their class and level.
One person (who doesn't read this blog) had a Paladin and Warrior for the runs but only liked cloth armor and they wouldn't wear anything else. This person ultimately felt I wouldn't let them play their class as they liked because I sent things with stats that they actually needed. On the plus side, I learned a lot about the games classes.
Only one person would tank regularly, and was that dread thing, a Draggy Tank. Here's where the big disadvantage comes in to a family group--nobody would ask him to slow down or talk to him in any way about the difficulty of keeping up. Instead they complained to me. When I mentioned this to Draggy Man, he blew it off and those who were unhappy claimed they loved loved loved his tanking and wouldn't change a thing. So depressing.
That whole problem eventually ended our dungeon runs. We actually made it much farther than I imagined we ever would, up to Wrath of the Lich King dungeons. Then kablooie.
Now hardly anyone is playing, and all on different servers most days. I think sometimes of opening up one of the guilds to Real People (ha!) but then I have to play more, be there, find a solid core of officers. As you can tell I'm scattered across several servers myself in World of Warcraft, and I play ten other games at any given time so I can't the do the job right, and thus I won't do it at all, unless something changes.
The Point Of All This
My new guild, which was fun at first, has had guild chat fall mostly silent. Oddly if you say hi, you get a ton of responses, but if you ask a question, you're now getting zippo. Sad face.
It seems to now be mostly becoming a Raiding guild, and nothing else is worthy of consideration.
Guild Dungeon Runs have only ever been for Mythic and Heroic and I'm bummed because I hoped to have this guild be one where people ran dungeons together to level up. I don't know if I can think of a diplomatic way to see if regular runs, maybe even just once a week, could be set up for normal dungeoneering. Why why why am I still Pugging in a group like this?
The guild bank is on major Lockdown, I don't know what happened there, because I'm not around all the time, but every tab is Deposit Only or Locked. Lazy dog, I hoped when I started my first character here that I could just be a gatherer and toss stuff in the bank and some sweet crafter would provide basic bags and potions I needed.
I now have my alt army in place there with all the crafts covered, but you have to level those characters too in order to get anything useful for the other alts. There are only so many hours in a day, or night, as that's usually when I play.
This is kind of the point at which I usually silently leave a guild all disappointed, but I think I have to hang in there, and try to talk more in guild chat myself, try to work out some of these things, because there are many many nice people in this group, they're just chasing other goals than I have myself.
See? I do have some deep thots in my head.