I don't join guilds. Kinships, Teams, Families, whatever you want to call them - I don't join 'em. I group with pick up groups and play solo through the lower levels of most games, simply because it's easier, more productive, and drama free.
When I get to end game where I have to group I just start up a very specific friends list of the people I like to do runs with. Since I usually play a healer and I'm capable at my class most of the time (hehe- remind me to tell you about this one time I fell off the ramps in the Forges in LOTRO going down to the second boss like 15 times in a row...) I usually have no trouble finding a group to run with when I need to.
"But Astrialla", you may ask, "why the discrimination against guilds? Why don't you join one and savor the joys of endlessly available groupage?" Well, I have to say that for me, a guild does not mean getting groups. Here's a few of the guild types I've run across in the last 6 years of MMO gaming. Yes, some of them sound fun but in the long run I've found that for me I get more done and have more fun when I'm on my own.
1. The Hardcore Guild.
This is the group that goes out to the PVP zone and dominates the field. They're known for downed bosses and completed raids and they're not above zerging if that gets them over the top and to the next level on their PVP stats. Every member has 8,000 leveled alts in every different profession and craft and if you run with them they'll sniff at your gear, boast of their latest server first and mention that they beat you at PVP on January 7th, 2004 at 12:25 am. If you're asked to join, make sure you do because they'll camp your rez spot until you say yes.
2. The Fan Club
This is the guild based around a strong personality that keeps everything running seamlessly. If the leader is a guy then all the women and half the men have crushes on him - if it's a woman then it's all the men and half the women. They're charming, adorable, kind, sexy and have great Vent voices. RL pics always show someone compelling or great looking or both. The guild is mostly concerned with either looting great stuff they can give to the guild leader or jockeying for whatever position is closest to them. All will go well until you either land in a guild job that others think is closer than them to the leader or you get on the leader's bad side by stealing attention from them by actually getting others involved in the game. Above all, never appear to be in competition for the guild members' affection with the guild leader. If you're asked to join, put warts on your rl picture and mention often in a casual way that you're quite fat.
3. The Role Playing Guild.
Don't get me wrong - some of my best friends are role players. But this sort of guild is one of the most frustrating types to be in. Depending upon the guild's construction you could have to do anything from attend weekly meetings to learn to play in the guild orchestra on an ingame tuba to only speaking in character while talking in the kin chat channel. 75% of the guild is low level because RP comes first, crafting second, and actually questing and fighting stuff comes a distant third. The drama level is insanely high with people having ingame affairs both real and RP'd and everyone taking 4 minutes to type out, "Verily, I woudst attend with thee the revels currently underway at yonder Tavern on the Hill" instead of typing "sure, I'll go". If you're asked to join, just run. Change servers if you have to but above all DON'T use any emotes when declining.
4. The Disappearing Guild.
This is the one I always seem to get into. You meet these fantastic people on a PUG run, they are smart, funny, skilled and you think that you've finally found your kinship. You do 3 or 4 runs over the span of a few days and decide that you're gonna go be a part of the magic. For the first hour after you join guild chat is hopping, everyone is talking and then suddenly, everyone is gone. Day after day, week after week you log in and no one is there. Cobwebs start to show up on the kin hall and you're left as the only one online to pay maintenance on the guild's plot/house/land. 6 months later when someone comes back long after you've left the guild they'll yell at you for abandoning ship. No matter how fun the run, beware! If they invite you to join just tell them that you'll do so an hour at a time and reserve the right to cut and run at the the first sign of an empty guildhall.
As you can see - guilds are often a messy place to be. Drop a line and mention the advantages or disadvantages of guilding as you see it and maybe I'll find out something new.