Joining Clans 4 Dummies
By Johnny Canuck and Ifurita
So you want to join a clan?
You're now the alpha medic on the public servers, newbies look to you for guidance, other players despair when you join the server, yet, you feel like there's got to be more to life than countless firefights with an ever-changing mix of random players. At this time, maybe the world of clan play is right for you.
The very team-based nature of RTCW seems to motivate a lot of people to begin seriously looking into joining clans - for fun and competition. Many want more than the public server (pub) experience, but don't really know how to get started. Maybe we can help you get started.
What is a clan?
At the most basic level, a clan is a group of players that form a team and play together on a scheduled basis. The emphasis here is on 'teamplay' - solo heroes and rambos need not apply. Most clans identify themselves with a 'tag', or virtual uniform, that represents the clan identify. That tag may precede or follow the player's name or could be a standard color scheme. Clans may also employ several tools to facilitate team play and team building that are not as available to public players:
- Dedicated game server;
- Clan web site with public and private forums;
- IRC channel (or other comparable chat forum);
- Specialized in-game communications software, such as Gamevoice
Why join a clan?
People have lots of reason for joining clans. Some of them might even apply to you:
- Just want to belong to a group of people with the same interests:
- Older players;
- Highly aggressive game play;
- Weapons specialty, such as sniping;
- Team killing (of all things);
- Geographic specific (such as Australia);
- Beer party play or just hanging out
- Share a forum affiliation;
- Tired of pub play with random people;
- Desire to develop team skills with a consistent set of teammates;
- Want to compete in organized scrimmages;
- Want to compete in organized matches, leagues, or ladders;
What do clans do?
At the most basic level, clans try to play together as a cohesive team rather than the random collection of individuals. Often times clan members develop and practice strategies on different maps as a coordinated team. Practice is often done by scheduling scrimmages with other clans, playing together on public servers, or competing in matches/ladders. Players often (but not always) take on pre-determined roles. A moderately performing clan, all other things being equal, will typically perform better than regular players on a public server because of the higher level of coordination and familiarity.
How do I join a clan?
Treat the clan finding process like a job search. You're going to be putting in a lot of time with your clan and at times, temps can run hot. You should know what you want out of the clan experience, and you should know (through research) what the clan wants out of you. There also needs to be a good personality fit between you and your prospective clan. Hopefully, both parties (you and the clan), after some review and evaluation, come to a mutual decision that each is right for the other at the same moment. You should be very leery of clans that take people sight unseen or who seem to have little or no evaluation criteria for recruiting. Here are some suggestions on finding the right clan with whom you can compete, grow, and have fun:
- Be confident in your abilities, but don't be arrogant;
- Be respectful of other players;
- Do not bad mouth other players or clans;
- Participate in public forums, such as rtcwcentral.com or planetwolfenstein.com to gain a sense for how people conduct themselves and interact with others;
- Introduce yourself on the forums, but don't necessarily ask to join a clan up front - if you get an offer, you'll have no idea what you're getting yourself into;
- Learn which clans frequent different servers, and identify a few that maybe of interest to you;
- Play regularly on public servers that the clan members play on;
- Get addresses of clan servers from the forums, and play there as well;
- Visit the web servers of the clans you're interested in;
- Join the clan members in their IRC (or other) chat rooms;
- See how the clan members interact with each other, and with other teams;
- Discuss clan options with other peers who are also seeking clans;
- Once you get comfortable with some of the clan members, don't be afraid to ask, "what kind of people are you looking for?" and "where is your clan going?"
Making the decision to join a clan
Before joining a clan, you will want to first consider the ramifications of joining. For instance:
- Will you start out as a junior member of the clan?
- Do they have openings for the type of class you prefer, (i.e., medic, soldier with a flamethrower)?
- Will you need to practice regularly with your clanmates, often once or more a week?
- If so, what flexibility is there if your time commitments change?
- In what time zones are most of your potential clanmates? 9:00-11:00 EST seems to be the most popular time for scrims.
- What are your playing styles?
- Is there a clan theme to which you need to conform? (e.g., special names, age, location, etc)
- Is there a $$$ cost to support the web site or game server?
- What can I give to the clan, such as web skills?
- What do I want to learn from the clan?
- Level of competitive play is the clan aiming for, ie. play for fun, ladder competition, elite status?
Before you join a clan
One of the most rewarding experiences a player can have is to be recruited by a clan for whom you have been trying out. Once you've met some experienced clan members and have received an offer to try out for or join a clan, you'll want to think seriously as to whether or not this is the clan for you. Remember, it's a significant commitment with other people. Real people. Don't feel that you have to join the first clan that invites you to join their ranks. Remember to 'treat the clan selection process like a job interview'. Not only is the clan interviewing you, you are also interviewing the clan. There has to be a good fit between you and the other clan members.
Suggestions for Recruiters (New Clans)
As experienced forum members, we often see recruiters posting for clan positions and alliances with others, only to see the clan dissolve two days later or go nowhere. Your clan has to develop some credibility in each community you are targeting for recruiting in order to attract the higher quality players. Here are some suggestions:
- Participate in public forums such as rtcwcentral.com or planetwolfenstein.com;
- Play on the forum's official or unofficial game servers;
- Develop a reasonable web site that identifies who your members are, where you play and how prospects can get in touch with you;
- Register a chat room on irc.enterthegame.com;
- Create practice and scrimmage schedules;
- Meet and play with other clans;
- Develop your code of ethics and a clear mission statement;
- Maintain a clean clan 'image' by practicing good sportsmanship and giving back to the community;
- Be respectful of other players and clans on the forums;
- Develop good clan leadership;
- Provide mentoring for junior members
Suggestions On Recruitment Postings
- Clearly identify what kind of people you are looking for
- Provide the URL of your website where people can go for more information
- Give some background on your clan (e.g., new, expanding, in several ladders, etc)
- Do not sound desperate;
- Do not offer immediate enrollment in your clan;
- Invite candidates to your IRC channel as a start;
- Invite candidates to play with your clan
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