Ever wanted to start an online gaming clan? Thousands of people have already tried, most have failed. So how do you form a lasting gaming group on the internet? I’ve seen this question posted on forums many times. I’ll explain it all here according to my experience.
Back in the late 90’s when I was in college, I started a Starcraft clan. We called ourselves the Metal Militia, after an early Metallica song. We had over 50 members. One of the best features of the group was that we had one of the best clan websites out there. On the site, there were rosters, rules, calendars, map downloads, strategy guides, and more. This article from the original clan website might still be useful today. The concepts are general enough to apply to Starcraft, Starcraft II, or even other games.
I. First, you need a backbone of good friends who will dedicate themselves to the game. With an initial group of dedicated members, the clan will still live even if things fall apart around it. It’s also easier get your first members if you have a few starters. Politicians call this “priming the pump.”
II. Make a nice looking website for your clan. Your primary audience is students who spend all their free time playing games online. These people love great graphics. And since all online gamers have access to the internet, a website is crucial. Your website will represent your group, so it better be good. If you build a great clan site, people will come. Just make sure you advertise your site somewhere (but no spamming!).
III. If your game has clan resources, use them. Clan forums are an excellent place to advertise your group and get members. Just don’t spam because that makes people mad and gives your group a bad reputation.
IV. Have plenty of group events. People join clans to increase their chances of playing a good game (supposedly). So set up lots of tourneys, wars, and events to give them those good games. Clans that just sit around and chat don’t go very far. Group activity is key to clan survival.
V. Set up a group hierarchy. Gamers love competition, so this is a good way to add some competition to your group. The democratic and equality thing is good in the case of a clan formed of friends, but it isn’t as good in cases where a number of members are random Internet gamers. People who don’t know each other need leaders to bring them together.
VI. Split up the work among your dedicated members. One person doing all the work can easily lead to frustration and “giving up” on the clan. Also, if only one person runs the whole show, the group goes down as soon as that person goes on vacation or goes to school.
VII. Make it easy for people to join and quit your group. About half of the people who say they want to join your clan never actually join. About half of the people who join will be active. Everybody has a life to deal with. Understand that only a small percentage of the people who join will take an active role in your clan and you can do nothing to change that.
IX. You will need to draw up some good rules. This part is crucial because the foundation determines the way things run in the future. It’s much harder to change the rules once they’re already in effect. Wars and revolutions start because of bad rules.