I've been thinking about guilds lately, and I've come to the conclusion that for all their differences, all the guilds that I've been a member of over the years are kind of the same in terms of their structure and make-up. I'm sure that not all guilds are like this, but it seems to me that personally I always find myself drawn to groups consisting of the same "types" of people...
The Laid-Back Leader
The laid-back leader may or may not possess any actual leadership skills, but they always possess oodles of charisma. Everyone in the guild loves them and more often than not this fact is the only thing that holds the guild together in times of trouble. If they quit or stop playing the game, things fall apart quite quickly. Which is strange, because to the casual observer it looks like they do fairly little actual work for the guild anyway...
The Quiet Wingman (or -woman)
Okay, so the laid-back leader may or may not be doing any actual work, but if they are not it's because they can rely on their quiet wingman or -woman to do so. This person is probably an officer - but doesn't have to be - and usually quiet during social gatherings, but they are always listening and taking note of what's going on. They are the person the guild leader can go to if he needs help, and will often also serve as the guild website administrator. In short, they do all the boring jobs that nobody else can be bothered with, and for some strange reason they seem to enjoy it. The rest of the guild usually has some fondness for this person, but nothing close to actually appreciating all the work they do.
The Passionate Guy (or Girl)
The passionate guy (or girl) only ever wants what's best for the guild - but unfortunately they frequently find themselves disagreeing with the leadership about what exactly that is. It's not that they like to argue, but they are just so damn passionate about their opinions! Their frequent headbutting can get tiresome to the officers (though the rest of the guild secretly enjoys reading the long rants on the forum), but at least it keeps them on their toes and prevents them from becoming too apathetic. Properly directed, this guy or girl's passion can be funnelled into making some very useful contributions to the guild, but if handled badly it will likely lead to drama and/or a ragequit.
The cheerleader represents the "soul" of the guild and everything that leadership wants it to be. They may not be the perfect member, but they sure try: whether that's by making conversation in guild chat when it's quiet, giving in-depth replies to every post on the forums or making an effort to get to know pretty much everyone else in the guild. They'll proudly tell everyone what an awesome bunch of people they're playing with and try to support the leadership in all its endeavours, even if they find themselves disagreeing with some decisions and arguing about them in private. They'll generally be quite popular in the guild, except with players who find their constantly cheerful and optimistic attitude grating after a while.
The Class Clown
While the cheerleader may represent the soul of the guild, the class clown is the life of the party: chattering away endlessly on voice chat and always saying and doing silly things that make the other members laugh - or roll their eyes. They might be loved by everyone or be a more divisive figure that seriously gets on some people's nerves. However, everyone can agree that the guild wouldn't be the same without their shenanigans. Having multiple class clowns in the room frequently leads to hilarity.
The Hardcore Guy (or Girl)
Hardcore guy or girl is a great asset to the guild when he or she functions well. They know all the strats, play their class perfectly and are always prepared for the next raid. They naturally gravitate towards a leadership position simply because they want to get things done and are willing to do their part and more. Depending on how willing the rest of the guild is to go along with their efforts, they might lead it to new heights of greatness... or get frustrated by lack of success. In the latter case they'll probably /gquit eventually, poach a couple of the best members and found their own hardcore guild which makes great progress for three months before it falls apart due to lack of social cohesion.
The One-Trick Pony
The one-trick pony is a member who is extremely focused on a single part of the game and only participates in that one activity to the exclusion of all else. Whether they are a compulsive daily runner, a PvP god or "that guy who only shows up for raids", their extreme focus has caused them to become very good at what they do. Their only problem is that they're pretty useless outside their comfort zone - and anyone in the guild who doesn't participate in their activity of choice might not even be aware of their existence. If their favourite activity isn't the guild's main focus, it's important for a one-trick pony to have at least one friend in the officer corps, or else they might find themselves /gkicked one day simply because nobody remembers who they are.
The Quiet Soldier
We all know this type: always shows up for raids on time and is generally wonderfully reliable. As a bonus they make few demands from leadership as long as they're allowed to keep following their usual routine. They just don't talk much, other than to say "hi" and "bye" every evening. Most guilds are lucky to have a couple of these quiet soldiers to bolster their ranks, because they provide stability where a group of nothing but loud personalities would only butt heads. Problems only occur when a quiet soldier suddenly disappears and nobody knows why, nor does anyone know them well enough to contact them outside the game.
The Infrequent Visitor
The infrequent visitor is a member who only shows up every couple of weeks or even months. Reactions to them coming online range from "oh my god, you're back!" to "erm, who is this guy?". If it's the former, the infrequent visitor will be happy to still be remembered and jump right back into the action - just to disappear again a week later. While some special individuals can maintain this status for years, most players will eventually make a proper return or drift away completely.
The Awkward Guy (or Girl)
The awkward guy (or girl) sticks out like a sore thumb. Where the rest of the guild is fairly united in their attitudes towards the game and other players, the awkward guy or girl is loud, brash, or maybe just plain annoying to the rest. If they are a new member, they probably won't last long, but it's quite possible that they happen to be a founding member or an officer's best friend. In which case the rest of the guild is probably quietly praying that they'll /gquit in a fit of rage one day... or they may have accepted that just like that awkward uncle at family gatherings, they are simply part of the package.