Founding Clans 2: Developing an identity
After a quick overview about what to watch out for when founding a clan I want to go a bit more in depth with some points and give some tips.
You are still convinced that you want to create a clan and I did not scare you enough last time? Good, then let’s figure out what you want to go for. Every clan needs mutual goals and a philosophy so everybody knows what is expected. This will influence heavily what you decide in other aspects so it is a very central topic. It also sets you appart from other clans and lays out your roadmap.
Competitive or casual?
The most obvious differentiation between clans is how competitive or casual they are. Many clans will try to get the best players possible to make a name for themselves on the battlefield. A lot of players are looking for clans with people on the same or higher skill level where they can improve, usually good players attract other good players.
Competitive gameplay requires a stricter atmosphere where everybody can focus on the game. Others however might prefer a more casual and relaxed approach. A good example would be artbot clans that focus on building good looking bots and showing them off together.
There are as many ways to play the game as there are players. Not everybody might be able to work together with everybody so you might need to decide for a wider or more narrow spectrum to balance between having a big enough target audience and minimising conflit potential.
It is possible to mix casual and competitive gameplay to some degree as long as everybody understands that not everybody in the party is on the same skill-level or even tries to get there. Extremely ambitious players can get frustrated if there is somebody dragging down the team.
Casual players might not like being dragged into extremely competitive matches with explosive emotions, they just want to relax while playing together. Some might even disapprove certain playstyles because they think they are exploitative, while from a competitive standpoint they are necessary and fun. In this case it is important to have something else in common.
In Atlas Core we are looking to recruit experienced players since most of our members are long time veterans. This allows us to work together well, as everybody already knows the basics of what to do, as long as everybody is willing to learn and always does their best. What we describe as maturity and a positive attitude is what unites us.
All people are different, mutual respect is key
A way of differentiating clans further than competitiveness are the mutual goals. That can go from simply having somebody to play with, over teaching people how to play, to developing new playstyles and building techniques or anything you can do with many people.
This is one of the main ways how you can give your clan an identity so just be creative here. Keep your goals realistic, splitting them into short- and long term is important so you don’t loose your focus. Just take one thing that is most important from the list and try to work towards that next. It doesn’t hurt to announce your endgoals as long as you don’t try to do everything at once.
It’s what you do that defines you
Requirements and rules
The easiest way of how you can achieve a well-balanced community in your clan is by setting the requirements for being accepted. What you want in your clan should be defined through rules and guidelines. You might need to adapt those along the way while you figure out better what you actually want.
Communicating clearly what you are about makes sure that people can find a clan they like to be in. Formulating a philosophy and clear rules will not only show what you expect, it also helps you later to kick somebody that is disruptive without looking like an A-hole.
The rules can be pretty basic at the start, always keep in mind that ultimately your interpretation of the rules counts, not what somebody understands. Filtering before accepting somebody should be the preferred way.
A quite controversial topic would be, how much everybody needs to play to stay in the clan. Real live should always go first, it is more important than a online game. On the other hand people should not leave for half a year and just fill up slots in your member list.
Even if you have 10 people active, having 90 inactive for a long time does not look good. A minimum level of commitment is not too much to ask. Which activity requirements you want to impose is completely up to you.
When starting a clan you should look around which clans already exist and what they do. If there is already a similar clan you need to do things better than that other clan, which is not easy since the others already have a headstart.
Finding a niche in the market will make it a lot easier to gather the first few members. Being in direct rivalry with another clan does not only mean that people have to decide and you split potential member numbers, it could also create tensions that can scare people off.
One possibility of making your clan stand from others, is which main language you are using. There are multiple successfull clans that use a language different from English, this is one way of selecting your target audience and finding a niche that is not yet claimed by another clan.
You are limiting your target audience but are more attractive to those people you want around. Many people don’t speak multiple languages so giving the players from your country a home should be a easier job.