Many of our players have suggested limiting clan membership or risk having a handful of large clans dominate the realm. Likewise for alliances. We’ve been thinking about it as well, but have resisted it, and have kept on postponing it for reasons I will describe here.
However, the situation on Realm 2 has pushed us to deal with this now. I wanted to discuss our decision with you, ask for your comments, and describe a few problem with both limited and unlimited clan membership.
Most people want security, hence they are happiest in large clans. Limiting clan membership is going against human nature and as history teaches us, it is often futile.
When there is a will there are the means right? Or something to this effect…
Limiting clan membership will most certainly lead to sister clans – a family of clans really acting as one. It is inevitable… If we try to prevent it with a policy of some kind, then those clans will simply go underground – they will not advertise that they act as one, but will anyway.
This is the same issue with limiting alliances. Many of you suggest we limited the number of allies but this is simply impossible to accomplish when the actors are human beings not computer controlled characters.
External Forums for sister and allied clans
What happens with limited clan membership of limited alliances is that the sister/allied clans will just choose to communicate outside of the game, outside of our control – they will setup external forums and force members to register there.
This creates a nightmare scenario for all. Now clans setup their own outside forums, which they must administer & maintain, members are asked to sign up at those external forums leading to even more logins and password, more places to check, etc. If the one person who setup this forum leaves, or the admins are pressed for time, the whole clan will collapse. Members waste more time having to login at multiple locations, administrators have to be very careful and vigilant to ensure members in the external forum are still members of the clan and the list goes on...
Some will argue that making this difficult will discourage this. There is truth is this however many players will go to this extreme since at the beginning this does not appear to be a big deal anyway. At the end, the game gets more and more tedious due to this overhead.
Problems with large, unlimited membership clans
At the same time, allowing unlimited membership leads to many other problems. One person can lead a very large clan and dominate the realm, while at the same time the clan risks collapse if this person leaves or burns out. Information overload as hundreds or people chat on the forum, people waste time reading post from other member so far away from them that they might as well be playing on another realm. The clan flag lights so often that it will be ignored. Not to mention that the clan members page was not designed to handle such numbers! :)
With all this said, we’ve decide it is better to limit clan membership while allowing for more efficient inter-clan communication.
Limiting clan membership & solving the problem of sister clans
>> LIMIT CLAN SIZE
We will limit the clan membership to some number (probably 100). Existing clans will be given time to divide up as necessary. Please start to think about this already.
We will NOT prevent creation of sister clans. It is unwise to completely go against human nature in this respect. We will allow sister clans and will provide an efficient means of inter-clan communication.
However, this will prevent is having ONE person to be able to solely lead a very large clan. This change will require at least one admin to exist per sister clan hence naturally limiting the family.
This will also encourage geographically centered clans – since you would rather have members close to you.
>> PROVIDE EFFICIENT INTER-CLAN COMMUNCATION.
In addition to addressing the problem of sister clans communication, this will also address the difficulties of alliance communication.
Any clan Owner or Admin (perhaps forum admins as well, still undecided) will be able to create a forum with limited access. You will be able to limit access as such:
- clan members in certain roles (only owners. Only owners, admins and diplomats. etc)
- specific players in the clan, not necessarily part of any roles
- other clan members in certain roles (only owners, only owners, admins and diplomats etc)
- any specific player - does not have to be part of this or any other clan
a combination of all will be allowed.
Examples of the types of forum you will be able to create:
- Forum for all Admins in the clan
- Forum for council members of the clan – not all have to be Admins.
- Forum for Admins of all the sister clans in one family
- Forum for certain members of other allied clans
- Forum for a specific campaign / war – include whatever players you want
- Forums you will not be able to create
We will discourage creating forums for ALL player of ALL sister clans, and will disallow it as a matter of policy. It will be cumbersome to do and we may decide to police this when we feel necessary.
We are also considering an ‘open forum’ – a forum that ANYONE from outside of the clan can use to communicate with the clan.
We hope this is a good compromise... Comments?
P.S. - please note that we will NOT be limiting alliances. There is no way to do this and we feel that nothing good would come out of trying.