Although some people would debate that there is no such beast, to me, World of Warcraft exists for a large part because of the community. Sure, one could perfectly enjoy the game without ever setting foot in a guild or having any friends on his or her friendslist, by simply pugging their nights away or questing or even by spending hour after hour on the auction house. But to really enjoy the game, I need my guild.
Back in the day, when we just hit level 80, the boyfriend and I started to look for a guild. We had our own little guild, The Silvermoon Bookclub, founded just so we could stand in Orgrimmar without getting guild invite after guild invite from random people, but this was never meant to be a 'real' guild: it only contained our mains and Tim's first ever character, a warlock named Festago that never made it past level 10. But we wanted more. We wanted to raid. We joined a few pugs, the most memorable one being our first venture into the new Naxxramas, where the very first trashmob dropped a purple fist weapon that I immediately rolled on and equipped. In my offhand. In my defense, I was a baby-rogue, I learned much since those days.
But pugs didn't cut it. At that point, the decision was made to either look for a guild, or quit the game: we both reached the point where just single person content didn't interest us anymore. We spent a good two weeks reading up on how this 'guild' stuff works, looking up guild websites of Turalyon guilds, spent hours idling in Dalaran or Orgrimmar to keep an eye on recruitment messages in trade chat... Until a message by this one hunter, named Jdog, came along, which made us chuckle, look up the website, chuckle some more, whisper a member and ending up in a long whispered conversation with the guild master. We filled out an application form (and took it very seriously too, I think it took us an hour of filling out, proofreading, editing and finally sending it in), joined Vintage, and ended up in a guildie's backyard in a different country a mere 2 months after for a barbecue.
When I tell this story to people that do not play the game and have little knowledge of how a MMORPG works, they have trouble believing it. I mean, we joined a group of people and it steered us away from wanting to stop playing the game altogether? Really? Does getting the right group together really make that much of a difference?! But it really does. And the longer we play the game, the more we realise that it can really make or break the game, too: one rotten egg in your carton can ruin the whole cake.
Some guilds out there make it a point to show off their guild pride in every way possible. Recently, one of the top guilds on Turalyon reached level 25 and celebrated by parading through the Valley of Strength on their freshly acquired scorpions. Some guilds flaunt their guild pride more aggressively: I've seen guilds gather up in bunches on the steps of Dalaran's North bank just to show off a title and laugh at people who didn't have it. Some had the habit of shouting their latest achievements throughout town for everyone to read. And even in real life, people show off their guild pride in the strangest ways: they paint guild-related scenes on their cars or even get tattoos of their guild name and/or logo.
While Vintage has never been about flaunting our guild name in public, in-game or real-life, (except for one Swedish loonie who wanted to tattoo 'Vintage' in the back of his neck), we're more than just a group of people that get together in-game and run instances. Who doesn't log on every now and then just for guild-chat banter? Or logs on Vent while not even in game just to chat with guildies? Even if Vintage gives me headaches every once in a while, I still smile when I talk about my guild. And that's how I flaunt my guild pride.