September is a busy month on RuneScape. There is a massive raffle going on, the grouping system is here, and Elf City will be coming at the end of the month. Oh, and did I mention the small matter of the Clan Cup this month too? With all of this on the schedule for the month, it has been hard to decide just exactly what I would focus on in this article. After some deliberation, I decided to write about something that I have wanted to write about since starting with Informer, and that is making the most out of your clan experience. It seemed like a good time since we do have the Clan Cup going on. Jagex has really encouraged the growth and consolidation of clans and encourages players to join a clan. In many ways, clans have become the social fabric of RuneScape. Whether you are a clan owner, officer, or a member, I think you will find some tips in this article that can benefit your overall clan experience.
Let me begin by sharing with you my background in clans. About half of the time that I have played RuneScape I have played with a clan. The first clan I was ever in was way before Citadels and avatars. This was back in the day when a clan was basically just a loose group of friends. I was a Deputy owner of a very tiny clan that never reached more than 20 members. I learned a lot from the experience but it was a complete and utter failure. Next I tried to be a clan owner and once again this was a failure. It turns out that I am absolutely terrible at recruiting and it never really got off the ground. Which brings me to what I consider my real clan experience. I joined a very old and established clan about three years into playing RuneScape. I learned a tremendous amount of what it takes to be successful from this clan, albeit in the form of what not to do. Finally, I joined the clan that I am currently with today and I have never been happier. We broke away from the previous mentioned clan with the idea that we could do it better, and we have. And in only two short years we have a tier seven Citadel and 500 members and I was lucky enough to be there when it started. Here’s a little bit of what I have learned from these amazing people, I think the advice can benefit anybody from member to owner.
Owning a clan is easily the hardest job in RuneScape but also the most rewarding. The single most important thing to remember if you are considering starting a clan and going down this road is to be truthful with yourself about the commitment you are making. The time commitment is massive and you can never take off your owner title. You are quite literally like the president, you can never not be the president once you have assumed that responsibility, even when that is not convenient for you. Secondly, don’t be a dictator. You need an officer corps that you trust implicitly and move as a single unit whenever possible. This will help alleviate power struggles and officers from cultivating their own cliques and groups that are more loyal to them than the clan as a whole. Thirdly, when you are drafting your Constitution or mission statement and writing your rules, make sure that they are clearly defined and have specific protocols so that all members know the expectations that are set for them. This is very important, it will help you alleviate problems down the road. Lastly, be selective. Quality over quantity in every circumstance. Make sure you vet each and every potential member to your satisfaction. Make sure they have read the rules and let them guest in your clan chat for a while to let the members get a feel for them and see if it’s the right place for them and for you. Also remember that the clan is like an organism, it is ever growing and ever-changing and the more fluid and dynamic you can be the better.
I hold the rank of organizer in my clan. I have been an officer for quite some time and I have learned a lot about fulfilling that role. One thing that I have learned is to trust in your owner and your colleagues. You all hold the rank for a reason and in most cases collaboration is essential. Having an officer use their friends chat as an officer’s chat will help this a lot. Along the same lines, the single most important rule that I follow is one that many of us know from real life. Always praise publicly and address an issue privately. We have a policy in our clan that if someone has broken the rules in clan chat, we never address it in clan chat, instead we PM the person and discuss it privately. Everyone knows the rules and there’s no reason to humiliate someone in public, it’s much more effective to address the issue privately. Plus if you correct someone in clan chat, it’s only a matter of time before members start to believe they can police each other. Now this might sound good on the surface but I assure you that it is not. For the member that has made an honest mistake and is sorry for it, and then to have 20 people jump all over them, that begins to feel like sniping and really why would anyone put up with that, they are just going to leave. On the other hand, if someone has done an especially good job or has achieved a milestone or goal, congratulate them publicly. The other members will see this and congratulate each other as well and this helps to build cohesion and a sense that people care. Another thing you might want to do as an officer is always have some kind of screen capturing software running, anything that can take a screenshot will do. It’s helpful to have those screenshots if you ever have a significant problem. You want to be able to document the situation and the actions that you took. Now we get to the heart of the matter, the thing that makes a clan a clan, its membership.
Members are the clan. The leadership, the governance, all of it is for you, without you there is no clan. That being said just like the owners have to be truthful with themselves you have to be truthful with yourself. You must do what you want, that means finding a clan that lets you be you and play your game. Know what you want going into it and never settle for anything less. Try to be mature, helpful, and pleasant to your other clan mates and like Shane expressed in his article last month, having a positive attitude will enhance your experience and the other’s around you. Do your best to stay away from controversy. I try to follow the real-life rule of never talking about politics or religion amongst friends. It’s just too easy to cause some drama when those subjects are approached. Remember, RuneScape is a very large and very diverse community as a whole and people will have very different views from your own and that’s okay. On a practical note, it’s good to have ambition, good to want to move up, but if you have those desires make sure they are for the right reasons. Don’t ask for rank, just be yourself and it will come. In addition, if you ever have a problem with another clan mate address it privately with them and do your best to resolve the situation on your own. If that is not a possibility, that’s okay you don’t have to be friends with every single person but you do need to respect each other. Always follow your clan protocols and do your very best to not have anything blow up in clan chat. I know that all of this is pretty much common sense, but nevertheless I hope it has been helpful.
Finally I wouldn’t be a very good Informer writer if I didn’t at least throw out a couple things Jagex could do to improve the overall quality of life for clans. Here’s a couple of suggestions that I hope Jagex will implement in the near future. First, please make the clan cloaks cosmetic. The clan cloak has no stat bonuses whatsoever. This is a problem because I typically will wear a skill cape or another stat boosting cape for those bonuses. I want to show solidarity with my clan, however, sometimes I just can’t afford to lose those bonuses. This situation could be resolved if the clan cloak was a cosmetic override. Finally, we need a new set of permissions for officers. I know this is being looked at, but with all of the changes in the last couple years it really needs to happen soon. Once the rank of admin is reached, all doors are open to you. This is okay because most of your officers have been thoroughly vetted and you trust them, but I have seen what can happen if an officer goes rogue. I was a victim of a mass kicking from an officer going rogue and it can devastate a clan. In addition there are more admins now than ever because of the addition of avatar. Avatars are great and everyone wants them out as much as possible but to do this most clans have had to significantly increase officer corps. It’s very rare but it can happen where an officer just goes off the rails on a crazy train, so we need to be able to turn off the ability to kick and turn it on for whatever ranks are allowed to do so, within the rules themselves.
As I mentioned before, I know a lot of this is common sense. And I hope this helps you have a more fulfilling clan experience of your own and gives you something to think about if you are wanting to start a clan yourself. I want to take this opportunity to personally thank my clan owner shamantha444 for all of her help in taking the time to talk to me as I was researching this article. I want to also thank Fealty Stars, they are my clan, my home, and my friends. I can honestly say my RuneScape experience wouldn’t be the same without all of you. Until next month, happy RuneScaping.