I never fell into a guild that worked well for me in WoW, which is one of several reasons I played for only a few months. I have friends across many servers, which severely limited the network effect, and my refer-a-friend buddy had a busy semester, leaving me mostly alone.
I joined a guild with friendly people I met along the way, but that was just moments before they decided to transition from a family guild to a serious raiding guild. This is possibly the worst of all possible states to be in, neither here nor there. Events were scheduled and failed to happen. Guild leaders angrily reminded people to show up if you sign up (and RSVP “no” on the required plug-in if not). Raid organizers would angrily wonder why they were bothering if people were not going to sign up. And then there were the new people…
You need a certain number of raiders (more if casual, fewer if hardcore) to ensure that you will have your 10 or 25. Getting to that threshold involves recruitment. I recognize that if you are not growing, you’re dying, but rapid growth is not only disruptive but also involves delving deeper into the barrel. I could politely refer to some as jerks with delusions of grandeur. I recall one fellow in particular who immediately announced his intention to be server- or world-first on clearing ICC (said ICC having just been announced). He was the sort to go on at great length about his awesome DPS and how horrible everyone else in all his groups was. Will the copy-and-paste from the DPS meter come before or after the stream of profanity?
My current LotRO guild is flirting with transition. It has absorbed another couple of guilds. The guild raid corps is hardcore and just the right size, which makes it difficult to cycle in folks who are not serious raiders while vulnerable to having a couple of people unsubscribe. Having a core group of just the right size, any second group active in a week is worse than your average PUG, a casual mix of the undergeared and inexperienced. We lack a farm team, but everything is okay so long as nothing ever changes.