Sunday, 13 January 2013

Clan Gaming: My Experience

Since the dawn of online multiplayer gaming there have been clans.  Of course they go under different names like Guild, League, Battalion, Squad and more.  A clan is a group of like minded players who emphasise team play and cooperation over the typical lone wolf gameplay you see normally.

My experience with clans has been mixed.  I originally encountered them during the glory days of the original Day of defeat on steam and later on the free to play mod Tactical ops.  I was friendly with some of the clans members but others seemed very aggressive to non clan members.  It was always a guessing game if these players would be friendly or outright prickish to you.

Admittedly this was on the clans own server so I guess some of it was territorial in some way.  There is a perception amongst clan gamers that the public gamers are somehow less inclined to teamwork or communication, when the truth is that these players simply lack a mean of easy communication with all players on their team.

I blame the developers these days for not taking steps to implement a standard in game voice chat function.  Even modern titles like Battlefield 3 has only the most basic voice chat feature that only works via invite, when the entire team on a server would benefit more from this kind of communication tool.  I wouldn't say that random public players are less inclined to talk tactics and work together, it's simply that no one wants to speak and be the only voice on the server more often than not.

My first clan experience around the age of 14, was with Medal of Honor allied assault, or MOHAA as it was abbreviated to.  I actually forget the name of the original clan but it was pretty large and was quite open to accepting new members without forcing strict guidelines on membership.  I doubt that gaming group exists anymore, but the clan I ended up jumping ship to was called Rebel Forces or RF for short.  I was there in the early days and I left not long after it's inception.  Without going into the details it wasn't a very friendly environment to say the least, as far as the clan leaders went.  The other members were friendly but the leaders and I fell out over a pretty minor thing.

So what does a clan do that is different from everyone else on the same game?  They fight other clans competitively.  This is professional gaming at it's most basic.  Clans will develop tactics for each map, who members focus on certain tasks and communicate with some rudimentary form of military slang and a ranking system to establish a pecking order.  Outside of the clan on clan action, most clan players will simply play with public gamers and look down their noses at them.

I recently joined a Mechwarrior Online clan who I get along with pretty well.  This is my first clan in 13 years of online gaming.  I have always liked the idea of team play and doing something a little extra outside of random matches.  The appeal is there for players who want to be part of a team and not just fighting for themselves.  Mechwarrior online is all about that aspect, it's not the individual who wins, it's the team.  MWO punishes players who go for personal glory very quickly while team players and communication win out more often than not. 

Admittedly there is still the perception that the public gamers are all morons who don't know shit, but I think that comes with the territory of suddenly belonging to a group rather then being a lone wolf.  MWO has all the potential to really break out into a major clan gaming platform with it's future faction warfare system and group drops systems.  Despite what many complain about on the forums the game is still perfectly playable and the people who give a damn about the game are actually playing it and not sitting on the forums hitting F5 repeatedly.

I will probably post about my clan exploits more in the future with screenshots if Mechwarrior allows that function.  Obviously I am not mentioning the clan name and will not reveal any of the tactics used since that's taboo.  The name I am keeping out of the blog until a later date depending on how things go.

Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow for my TNA review.


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