Syncaine of Hardcore Casual asks, "what excuse do [new] people have for not joining EVE University?"
That echos a lot of advice that Eve Online players have been giving me. In many ways, Syncaine's question is aimed squarely at me, as I'm in the exact position he's asking about. So here is my attempt to give a serious answer to that question.
The thing is that I don't like leaving guilds. I will leave if it becomes necessary. But ideally, it would never become necessary. And so I really don't like joining a guild that I know I will leave. And that's the case for newbie guilds like Eve University.
This even extends into all the themepark/leveling games I've played recently (hence the reason this post is not tagged with Eve Online). My experience in WoW has led me to believe that endgame guilds are structured the way they are for a reason, because that is the structure that is most conducive to success.
As a result, I really don't like joining all these leveling guilds that dream of one day raiding. I've seen guilds that tread that path, and it never seems to work out. I just don't have faith that a random guild will navigate the transition successfully. So to me there are three choices:
1. Join a leveling guild and try to raid - almost never works out, getting that critical mass of players willing to commit to raiding is hard for an adhoc group.
2. Join a leveling guild and then leave for a raiding guild at max level - I think this is unfair to the leaders of the leveling guild. They're trying to raid, and that's hard enough to learn, without people abandoning them
3. Level unguilded and then join a raiding guild - The least-worst option. But leveling is very lonely.
The other aspect is that I think it's important that I contribute to the guild's goals. Joining a guild should be a two-way street. The guild helps me, and I help the guild.
Guilds which are explicitly aimed at new players are all one-sided relationships. It's all take and no give on the part of the new player. And that feels less like a guild and more like charity. It may not be fashionable anymore, but I do have my pride.
These the two aspects of a newbie guild that give me pause: the fact that I know I will have to leave; and the fact that I think the guild-player relationship is overly one-sided. These are the reasons that I prefer not to join guilds like Eve University or even those random guilds which whisper you in Elwynn Forest.