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Start a Gaming Clan

Sandra Prior
Jul 30, 2008
The PC may be the definite online gaming platform, but most people don't use it to its full potential. It's all very well facing the thrill of the unknown by dropping into a random server, but that way really doesn't lead to the best gaming experience.

You might be fighting against, or worse, with, total mooks, either too dumb to wield and M4 or so incredibly selfish that you or any other player is simply a sack of meat standing in their way, no matter whose side they're on.

The key to both enjoying and becoming better at online play is joining a contingent of like minded individuals - in other words, a clan. Many people are put off by the idea of forming or joining a geek clique, but the important thing to remember is that it's no more than a well coordinated group of friends, having a good time.

Online prestige or infamy may come with time, but what's more important is that you're playing tactically with people you know and trust, rather than being at the whim of whatever drifters are hanging around a public server.

Clan Mechanics

In an ideal world, you'll set up both a website and a forum for your clan. They're a key element for both promoting the name of your clan amongst the community and improving your game. Organize your forum so certain areas are off limits to non-clan members and recruits whose performance you're assessing. The public area is good for chatting about clan activities as this will generate interest from potential recruits and rivals, but you'll need somewhere to plot the downfall of your enemies. Make sure you've got a calendar there too, so everyone can see when upcoming matches will take place.

Run your clan like a business. Don't dictate roles to members or slag people off in front of the team - manage them thoughtfully. Talk with them about what their strengths and weaknesses are - what classes, weapons and positions they're best suited to - so hopefully you can come up with mutually agreed roles, or work together to improve someone's abilities.

As the top clans have management teams, so why not yours? Select players to look after the design and maintenance of your clan website and forum, get others to look after recruitment or managing existing players, allowing you as clan leader to arrange matches and promote the clan.

Put the Hours in

Above all, practice, and get organized. A vague IM conversation about maybe doing something next week Thursday, so long as the dog's already had his walkies, really doesn't cut it. You need a strict routine, getting together to play specific maps on repeat at set times every week. If someone in your clan habitually doesn't turn up for practice, you'll have to consider replacing them with someone more committed. The key to success is playing together as a team, not just being good with the sniper rifle.

To begin with, your clan will get away with turning up on a public server and trying to play on the same team. Autobalance will make getting all your pals on the same side a headache, though, and you'll be at the mercy of the server settings. Soon, you'll need to rent a private clan server from somewhere.
About the Author
Subscribe to Sandra Prior's Online Newsletter and get up to date Computer Technology News delivered right to your email box for free. See website for details http://usacomputers.rr.nu and http://sacomputers.rr.nu.
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