Starting a Clan by nogame
I’ve seen so many clans come and go, and I figured its about time to talk about what clans are all about in my experiance We’ll move by this in sections of course, because I feel its easier to organize both this essay as well as my thoughts.
· Decide what the clan’s ideals are
· How do people join this clan
· Contacting players, and IRC Ops
· standard of skill
· standard of person
· standard of teamplay
· standard of effort
· standard of maturity
· how often do you practice
· will you scrim
· are your players dedicated enough to practice
· who plays in matches
· what is the best time to schedule matches
d) Keeping the Clan Together
· Use first names
· Talk about other things than quake
· Be patient and open-minded
· Always keep a leveled head
· Don’t be quick to judge
· Give people a 2nd try
· If a problem arises, sleep on it
· Don’t forget your standards
· Patience Patience Patience
Didn’t think it could be so complicated eh? Well I am just being anal, so don’t feel too overwhelmed. Every thing I will make an analogy about will be things that I have experienced through the years in the quake community. So get a soda (or beer) and gluck reading.
Posting a set of rules is very important to any clan. They let you prepare for things to come, and basically pre-assign answer questions that will be asked. Don’t understand? Okay, example:
RULE: No hpb will be accepted, this is an all lpb clan.
That may not seem like much, but if you have that posted on a webpage, and you have an hpb eventually ask to join… there’s your answer! At that point, there is no need to explain your position, just mention that its posted.
You must decide what your clan’s ideals are. Why is this clan being formed? Is it to have local buddies have a team to play on, or will it be to compete in tournaments? These are questions that need to be answered up front, and every player needs to know about them. While they may change throughout your clan’s career, it is why people will join, or why they shouldn’t ask.
How will people join the clan? This is a complex issue. What I like to do, and have done in the past, is make that player wait at least 2 weeks to join. Sometimes it took up to a month, but this is just a good solid number to go by when starting a fledgeling clan. What is the 2 weeks for? For a good chance to get a look at your tryout. To get some games in together, and to see what he’s like as a person. An asshole can allude attention for 3 days, but in a 2 week period its harder for him to keep his patience. Patience is what you will need. Some clans form and get broken up by people who quit and take some power out of the team. That’s because those player’s don’t have patience. The 2 week waiting period is to basically prove their worth to the clan. To show they are really interested in joining. I personally don’t want a hot-shot player who just wants a good team to play with, I want a player that shows dedication and doesn’t mind a short wait to show how dedicated he is to being a member.
If you decide to go on that logic, what happens when an infamous asshole asks to join your clan? This person may be better than all of your players, and would make a nice spot in your lineup, BUT DO NOT BE HASTY! Picking that player up could mean the demise of your clan. If that player actually wants to be in your clan, he should be able to prove it. I always tell them to wait at least a month, if they can show their dedication and prove that they are a better person than the rumors say, as well as passing all the other tests, maybe then may he join.
Contacting players is a big concern. When a player is accepted into my ranks, I get a few things from them. Most of which are to put on the webpage but things such as email, and icq # are very important to keeping that player updated on the clan’s actions. Always make sure to get your player’s contact information as soon as he joins, and keep it handy, because you will need it.
Every clan has standards, there is no doubting this. In fact, the only thing that differentiates clans are the standards that they make, and how well they live up to them.
The most important thing about standards is keeping them. Don’t feel bad if you need to turn someone down that wants to join your clan. The reason your feeling bad, is because they are a good person that just isn’t up to par with your standard of skill. If this is the case, then he will know why, when you say “no”. I promise you though, those players who you feel bad turning down, will always be your friend. This is because they are good people, and if they weren’t, you wouldn’t feel bad in the first place.
Please excuse me if I mention ‘turning away’ other players more than accepting them. I think in terms of this though, because if they are to be accepted, there should be no questions, and no problems of why they’d join. The problems occur when that person doesn’t quite make the criteria of your clan.
The Standard of skill is something you need to be sure of. Make your mark, and be secure with it. If your striving for competition, you, yourself should be the standard. If you want to compete, you will only want the players as good as yourself. So, when you get beat, its probably a good idea to find out who he is, and then begin your ‘tryout’ speech.
The Standard of person has got to be the biggest standard as far as I’m concerned. If your making a clan, your trying ot make something stable that will be around for a long time. By picking up good players without any respect, you jeopardize your clan’s stability. Your clan has got to get along. If not, it will break up. Also, your clan has got to maintain a reputation. Its much easier to get games when you have a good reputation. Trust me, many more doors are unlocked when your team is respected in the community.
The Standard of Teamplay is optional. I for one, enjoy playing teamplay. Holding positions, controlling the level, that’s what I like to do. Some clans, disagree. The great mage clan is definitely superior to all other clans in terms of “Standards of Person” but the standard of teamplay just wasn’t there. If this is a concern of your clans, then it will be recommended to play with your tryout and see what he’s got. Play with, play against, play many many games. Its important to see him from all angles before you get a good judge of his teamplay
The Standard of Effort is somewhat hard to judge. Effort is the amount of time that player will devote to the clan. Will he be sticking around long? Will he be doing clan politics? Or will he just be joining because of the reputation your clan holds. The only sure-fire way to find the answers to these questions is to give him time. If you have no previous knowledge of his quake career then you’ll just have to see how he acts during his tryout. Don’t let a piker into your clan!
The Standard of Maturity is huge! Well, at least for me it is. I’m now 22 years old, and 4 out of the 6 members in my clan (at this time) are 20 years old, or older. I personally like quake to just chill out and watch how the community unfolds. I personally don’t want my teammate in my private channel spamming “OMFG” over and over while the others say “GAY”. I’m just too old for that, and I strive for a little more maturity in my clan. With maturity you also get patience, as well as dedication to your clan. Its important to recruit these players, because they are the biggest asset to any great clan.
How competitive will your clan be? Will you be playing many games together, or will you just join a ladder to have some fun? It’s also something that is important to touch base with.
If you’re a practicing team, how will you practice, and how often? If you are living up to your standards and you have a dedicated team, you’ve already fielding a team that’s ready to practice. You need to set up a weekly time, or daily time when your team has inner-clan practice as well as scrimmages. I will say, in my experience though, setting up a designated time for practices each week usually hurts clans. People get mad at others for not practicing, and then the word “inactivity” comes into play. It is important to know how you will handle all of this, before it starts though. So think of a plan, and find out what your players want to do.
Scrimmaging is one of the best ways to make your team better. Find another team and play 2 or 3 games with them, on different maps. Winning isn’t the important part here, think in terms of practicing new strats. To scrimmage, you usually need one person of the clan to be a very social fellow and to channel surf until he finds another team who wants to 4 v 4.
Who plays in the matches? This is a hard call. I would leave this up to your smartest, most intellectual member, sometimes we like to call him “captain”. The captain has got to be able to look at the talent he has, and pick those players to play in the match. If your players are intelligent, they’ll want the best for your team, and if the captain isn’t picking that player, its because of things that should be addressed at another time. The person that sits that game just needs to root for his team. After all, you do want the same outcome.
It is also to find out the availability of your players. When can they play, when cant they? Make a master list and refer to it often when making dates for scrimmages and matches. An unprepared leader isn’t much of a leader at all.
d) Keeping the Clan Together
One of my personal favorites is to use first names. Hell, I do this when players aren’t in my clan. I just like keeping it personal to some of the guys. I hate not knowing something so small like my friend’s name. It just lets you keep a personal note, and you know have something in common.
Talk about something other than quake damnit! Quake is fun, and it’s a game, but there are times when its nice to know something about your teammates. Chances are both of you play the same sport, or do the same kind of work. Who knows,, your quest to be a better friend might get you a reference at a job someday. We all have an interest in computers, crazier stuff has happened.
Problems arise in every clan, the clans that deal with them, and talk them out are the ones that don’t die. Since you have your standards, and all your members live up to them, they should be able to deal with each other in a similar manner. Depending on their maturity and effort, they should be able to deal with just about any problem with an open mind.
Problems can, and will always happen within your clan. Just remember to keep a leveled head. Don’t be rash, just talk things out. By being calm and patient about the situation helps your clan. Don’t think in terms of yourself, think in terms of your clan, then yourself. Will this be better for the clan, or worse? After answering that, ask yourself why you have a problem with it, and can it be resolved? How? Just talk it out. Its important to the success of your clan.
As mentioned before, you should be able to think of the clan first, and your job in it. Its not good to judge things quickly. If a person is trying out for your clan, and you don’t like him, don’t say “NO! Never!” The only thing you do is prove how rash you are to your clan leader, and how unwilling you are, to be patient to see if he’s worth a look. Always give a player a second chance. If you have had problems in the past, try to resolve them. Its hard for a real asshole to change, but I have seen it happen. If a tryout is taking the time to wait for a chance to get into your clan, you should be able to take the time to look into him.
Inner-clan problems are best dealt with, with consideration. Thinking through things is the best solution for any problems. I can’t tell you how immature it looks when a player quits a clan after losing a match the night before. How immature and rash is that? I would think that player obviously didn’t things through. I really wouldn’t want a player screwing my clan over like that. SLEEP ON IT! If you get an idea in your head, that seems exciting and provoking, please sleep on it. You can still follow through with it in the morning, but at least you will have a more clear point of view. The luster of that idea just might be gone, or it might still have some left in it. At least enough to further think about it, before making a hasty decision.
PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE!!!! Making a person tryout for a week longer, or trying out for a week longer never hurt anyone. But by putting that player in your clan prematurely you might just be jeopardizing your whole clan. If that person really wants to play, he won’t mind the wait.
The final note I leave you is DO NOT FORGET YOUR STANDARDS! Set them well, and live by them DEARLY. I promise you, once you go below one of your standards, all of the rest will start to decline, and then you have ruined the one shot you had at making a great clan. Every clan I have ever seen fall, is because they didn’t put their standards high enough.
Just be smart, and be fair.