Going against human nature… limiting clan membership, limiting alliances

What is this about?
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…

Sister Clans
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

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.

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:

  1. clan members in certain roles (only owners. Only owners, admins and diplomats. etc)
  2. specific players in the clan, not necessarily part of any roles
  3. other clan members in certain roles (only owners, only owners, admins and diplomats etc)
  4. 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:

  1. Forum for all Admins in the clan
  2. Forum for council members of the clan – not all have to be Admins.
  3. Forum for Admins of all the sister clans in one family
  4. Forum for certain members of other allied clans
  5. Forum for a specific campaign / war – include whatever players you want
  6. 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.


Anonymous said...

Love it! Thank you. Realm 2 is getting out of control.

Anonymous said...

My main concern is that this will make admin positions even more complicated, which may actually increase burnout rates. It will certainly make the job of the forum admin harder.

ManRay said...

As a member of OSS, and an active player, I hate this idea. At the very least, make the size limit higher so we don't have to split into so many pieces.

This smacks me as trying to compensate for the design of the game.

Anonymous said...

It is a hard pill to swallow..but we will have to find a way to get through, since it seems it is going to put into action regardless....I am OSS'er and yes it gets nuts in the forum, but it is ok, the ability to mark a thread as read helps alot.
Clan size limitations should be set at around 150 to 200 members.....

Anonymous said...

I'm not in OSS or the other larger clan, but I see how it is really unfair to them if you implement this strategy. How about you make it so that you can increase the amount of member space by buying it (using servants)?

Anonymous said...

I'm an OSS'er and having a large amount of people does increase the burnout rate for ONE leader, that is why we divide responsibilities among a larger amount of qualified people. Finding people who are ready and willing to step up to leadership positions is not easy so dividing up the clan like some pie and having to scramble to find qualified leaders and then keeping those pieces operating together will only decrease the fun factor and increase the stress levels. It's unfair because if the numbers of allies is also limited then we'll have to say goodbye to a lot of people. It's not a good idea.

Anonymous said...

i dont agree with this , we have a good clan of nearly all active players that we have spent months of time and sweat building up and now we are going to be forced to split up plus on the clan ranking page it doesnt actually show the amount of clan members that are still in the clan

annoyed said...

As someone who has spend hours of hard work recruiting people into a clan, I believe that the reason you have two big clans in realm two is that the others were too lazy to recruit - thanks for rewarding indolence.

People that comment that Realm 2 is out of hand - considering that about 2 people actually have govs and aren't part of the top two clans how is this out of hand?

Anonymous said...

Wrong. Its more like we didn't want to invite everyone and their mother. We only invited people we felt would contribute to the clan (as would be the idea in the game) not just invite every single person that joins the game in the hopes that you can swarm over everyone. There are over 100 inactive players in realm 2 OSS and the realm isn't even 3 weeks old yet!

Do not try to claim that you NEED to be able to have 600 people in a clan at a time. You spent hours inviting ever single village on the map? I think the idea is that the developers did not want that to be a strat for clans. Sending out mass invites does not make a good clan, that makes a zerg force.

Clinton said...

I vote for NOT limiting clan size and alliances. Isn't Realm 2 literally the Birth of Chaos? It's much more exciting the way it is!

Anonymous said...

I am am not an OSS and our system works fine yes it can be abit much if you have missed a few days but it works. I feel that its not the limiting that is the problem its when those who join go inactive. If a player who has joined suddenly stops using their account for more than 3 1/2 weeks that person should lose the clan name they fall under and and the village be automatically renamed to "Welcome please take me over" or "I am a multi-account take me please" or "I am inactive please take me" now if the person becomes active before the village is taken over their status is renewed.

Banshee ~ OSS Cabinet said...

I'm an active member of OSS & part of the OSS Cabinet, I think it's extremely unfair to limit clan size. OSS has a policy reguarding it's inactive players which we have been lenient with so far, as alot of our members are new to the game so we are allowing them a little extra time to see if they want to continue playing. Yes we invite alot of players, because we are not concerned if they are the most agressive or high ranking players, everyone gets a chance rather then be left to fend for themselves against stronger players. Limiting clan sizes will make it easier for the stronger players in the Realm to dominate.

Anonymous said...

I do not find it surprising at all that the largest clan with 600+ members is able to come here and skew the votes to better suit themselves with that many people. The only thing I find surprising is that there isn't 300 "no" votes already.

Cherie said...

I'm an OSS'er and I don't like the idea at all for all of the reasons already mentioned.

We already have multiple people handling various job responsibilities within the realm so that no one single person is overwhelmed. Now, if we had to split up into sister clans, can you imagine all the additional overhead that would be needed? It's like adding a bunch of red tape and middle management positions just to suit someone's idea of what the "ideal" clan should look like.

A very strong and emphatic NO from this corner, thankyouverymuch!

Anonymous said...

There are some OSS'ers who think it a good idea to have sister clans, Each member has the right to their opinion and no one forces anyone to vote either way. The information is supplied for them to make their own decission. I guess there will always be those who want to disrupt a successful clan.

Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned paying to make an alliance bigger. You are probably looking for the funds. But, then the leader could just pay, UNLESS it was decided that each person in an alliance could contribute 5$? to add one more spot to the alliance. That means an alliance of 100 could pay 500$ to double their size. alliance of 200-the 100 new people pay 500$ to add 100 new spots- etc. but each person can only buy a single 5$ spot. then there would be a very strong alliance loyalty, considering they are paying to add the new members.... (an idea- i like the limiting of alliances and I am one of the big alliances)

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Buba 100% !

Anonymous said...

Yea, I suggested that paying to make a larger alliance, just like the idea where you have clan/guild structures. Upgrade them to give bonuses to your clan. Buy and build houses to make more room for more members.


ds093 said...

Not liking this idea at all!

I'm in Millennium and among the top 10 players in that clan as far as points go. I enjoy playing, but do not care to administrate. I have enough things that I'm already volunteering my time with outside of RoE that I really just want to enjoy my time playing.

We have a great group of Admins currently in Millennium, but as another commenter mentioned, being forced to break up such a large clans and look for volunteers to become new admins of the smaller sister clans I can see being a large problem.

I think it might be better just to discourage the admins of the larger clans from sending out too many invitations, except maybe to friends of existing clan members. Then maybe include in the guided tour an encouragement to the new players to seek out smaller clans with a brief explanation of trying to keep the game from being dominated by just a few clans.

Anonymous said...

NightStalker from both realms

"WE have a clan with 2 owners, 4 leaders and a council of 10. All have all of the abilities of the clan creator. We easilly cope with 300 members. Our forums are well maintained and we have grown to the number one spot. As a player leaves a new player takes over. I can never see a situation where all 16 clan administrators leave at the same time. If one clan is ruled by one person and it fall.......GOOD!"

shoon2begod said...

I am all for limiting clan numbers and agree 100 sounds like a good number. It is one I have wanted to go with all along.

However you mention that sister clans will work in secret etc, have secret alliances. Then so be it, let them. That could be existing how the setup is right now anyways.

A second note is that I see you wish to add all kinds of forums to this hub-ub to allow sister clans to communicate and such. I think this is part of the point, the communications should not be set up centralized in game. It should be the clans leaders responsibilities to be on top of their allies/naps and make sure everything is flowing okay.

If they can't keep up with that then I am guessing it is because they have set up too many alliances/naps and in such should re-consider and only keep those they feel are valuable, they can honor, and ones they can uphold.


Josiah Ritchie said...

I don't like the idea of geographical limitations on clans.

I'm open to 100 limit. I personally think a choice to choose quantity over quality is simply a liability that resolves the problem on its own.

Improved inter-clan communication and even small groups (councils) inside the system would be most appreciated. Anything to improve the breadth of the forums would be much more welcome to me. Adding some things has been helpful, but we could use more such as a forum limited to types of members like admins and inviters or inviters and diplomats. Idealy we could create roles, limit them to certain actions (inviting) and forums. Then we could also create a forum that would allow other clan roles to interact with our own clan roles. For example, clan A, clan B and clan C could have a forum that allowed all their diplomats to make announcements. This would have one member of each clan that had admin control.

I know that's super complicated to create, but it would hugely improve communication and coordination within and between clans.

Josiah Ritchie said...

forgot, if you do geographical limitations on clans, I want a way to join a clan with my friends even if I'm on the other side of the map. I play because my friends are here primarially.

Ancient said...

Im an active OSSer and I don't support this idea of limiting clan sizes at all,even if we have to limit,the number should be larger than 100,the OSS has 600+ people,thas making us break up into multiple smaller clans.
The reasoning behind this is also flawed because we don't have one person alone burning themselves out,we have a cabinet that divides the responsiblilties.Yes our clan is big,but through the hard work of our cabinet and forum admins etc,we manage to function quite fine and communicate and help each other.I DONT AGREE WITH THIS 100 LIMIT THING AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed that the people who say not to limit the clan membership are all from OSS? I say limit the clans to 150. That leaves only 3 clans that need to split. (the 3rd is just barely over 150)

Otherwise it will end up that only the few top clans will be alive. All other players will end up switching sides or just starting a village for the big clans to take over. Why play if you know you have no chance of living over the 5 days of safety at the begining of the game?

Anonymous said...

To those who may be tempted to naysay the OSS. We simply, figuratively speaking, lead people to the water and invite them to drink. (Sometimes it's the only drink offered...)
We can't be blamed for that, surely?

Instead of limiting clan sizes, have the developers considered a larger play area(500*500) and/or a more random allocation of new/respawn villages away from existent villages. The overpowering of newcomers and their lack of ability to resist takeovers from larger more determined players seems to be a key issue. If a newcomer could start up a new clan in an area unlikely to be subject to attack for economic reasons (too far, too long) then chances are down the track that 2 or more larger alliances are going to bump heads.

Just promoting further discussion.


Anonymous said...

all of the OSS members seem to be rather self centered on this issue, what you have to consider is will the game be fun for other players? if one clan can basically throw it's power around and take down anyone they desire with little effort due to their vast number of members then what are other people playing for? they could waste large amounts of time making plans and trying to enjoy the game with their small clan only to months later be entirely wiped out with little effort.
splitting them up may not do much to resolve this issue as they could still easily work together and annihilate various obstacles but it has the potential to create situations of disloyalty between various admins so who knows what could happen right?

Anonymous said...

Clan membership should be limited, before the whole realm gets dominated by just 1 or 2 clans.

Clan membership limit should be based on the total number of players in that realm, to prevent a scenario where top clans are all stuck with the same size.

In addition, I suggest making a "faction" system. Since people naturally gravitate towards forming larger groups for security, we can have a system where all clans belong to one of three major factions. Clans within the same faction, are naturally allied and work towards the goal of opposing the other 2 factions.

When one faction finally conquers everything on the map, it will be divided into 3 again, and a new season will commence where everyone will have their villages reset.

Anonymous said...

I'm a member of OSS and find it counter-productive to be a member of such a large clan. So many people have been recruited just to have a large number instead of for the right reasons. The forums are difficult to navigate and keep up with and it's difficult to have a close, cohesive group at this size.

Anonymous said...

MAYBE THERE SHOULD ALSO BE AN AUTOMATIC TIME LIMIT ON CLAN MEMBERSHIP. IF YOU GO INACTIVE FOR MORE THAN 3 WEEKS THE SYSTEM KICKS YOU OUT. I have often found in Realm 2 that there are MANY in-active players that join one of the larger clans right away just so they won't be attacked and never play after that first day. I know at least one of the larger clans tries to protect every single member and prevent them from becoming farms. While this is commendable in most regards basically they are just ruining things for other players because they have nowhere to grow and those inactive players will never get any bigger. It's hard to tell when you attack one of these small villages if you are going to gain access to a new farm or get multiple threats from the whole clan that really gains nothing by keeping those villages other than to use them as multiple accounts in a sense.

Guido Costantini said...

I will post here something I just posted on the forum, suggestions which i think would eliminate the problem being addressed with the clan size limit without imposing an actual number limit:

a) joining a clan possible only if within, say, 30 squares from Clan founder's first village (Clan's capital)

a2) Clan's capital being able to be moved every, say, 30 days.

a3) unlimited number of villages being conquerable, but attacks being possible only on villages within 5 or 10 squares from a village already belonging to the clan.

b) Rivers and mountains chains, both being unpassable or severely slowing down troops movements (bridges and passes, too)

c) the ability of moving troop from village a to b to c to d, rather than only from a to b and back

d) ability to trade villages within a clan, or to assign a village to a clansmate who has lost all his possessions (however, if one player has only one villagem that wouldn't be tradeable or assignable away)

i think those thing would solve the clan size limit problem at the root, giving geographical goals and enhancing the formation of "state" clan compared to "virus" clans, also allowing for a real strategy in war (by moving troops around,able to patrol borders and strike if necessary, rather than sending them to one way and back trips).



Guido Costantini said...

Oh, forgot: and having a vote when the three clans who would be effect by this (and I'm a member of one of those) have more than 50% of the players as clansmate and are definitely in a better position to have a higher turn-up to the vote is due to give a heavily skewed result.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant!! Finally, the spammers will be no more.

Anonymous said...

100 is a bad number.

Go with 250 or 500.

Carl said...

I'd suggest 100 plus 1 per day of the the realm. Really any starting number X plus some number Y per day of the realm. This limits clan size but also allows for clan growth.

Anonymous said...

I like the clan limiting idea I doubt the top 2 clans have all their members active and come on we need these inactive villages to keep going otherwise I gotta keep killing the little guys and that aint fair - funny but not very fair -

if you didn't want to limit clan membership at least auto kick members from clans if they havn't been on the forum in the past say 20days - that would leave alot of rich fair game.

Josiah Ritchie said...

:-) That's like exactly what I wanted!

Kevin said...

I've argued this before, but there are two issues here.

1. Force inactive players out of clans after a set period of time. Then we'll have a better sense of the true size of the larger clans versus the smaller.

2. Limit size by restricting recruitment options. As a clan gets larger, the number of invites it can extend gets smaller.

In future, I would agree with limiting clan size, but to make such a broad change in the realm at this point in time is asking for trouble and loss of players. People are comfortable in their current clans. As a council member in a larger clan, I can't imagine the burnout of trying to get everyone switched over into the appropriate clan. And we've already started planning for this switch by creating organizational sub-groups on our forums. Handling admin duties for my clan is already onerous without adding this to my plate.

maddog said...

So your going to limit clan membership, but make a forum where we can invite anyone we want? WHY? Basically the end result will be no different than the current situation. Everyone in the clan will simply join the new forum and continue to operate as one clan. The only change will be on the stats page. Instead of OSS being #1 followed by Millenium, it will be OSS 1-#1, OSS 2- #2, Millenium 1-#3, etc etc etc...complete waste of time. Perhaps we should force the United States to break up into smaller clans too. hmmm wait maybe that is a good idea...

Stonehead said...

Restricting clan size would not have prevented the actual problem from occurring—that being the immediate colonisation of Realm 2 by players from Realm 1 who took existing allegiances and alliances with them.

A better approach would be to restrict offers of clan membership to villages adjoining each other or in close proximity (say three village spaces apart).

With random spawning of villages, that would encourage the development of new clans and alliances from the outset. Good and active players could still develop big clans over time, but they'd have to work at it.

This would also encourage the social element of the game. You'd have to contact and work with/against your immediate neighbours instead of largely ignoring them in favour of your friends elsewhere.

Also, there could be a restriction on long-range attacks. At the moment, a player's attacking waves can pass through any amount of territory before hitting their target village.

This is ridiculous. A robber baron would have had to persuade the baronies between him and his target to let him pass. Either that, or conquer them first.

And so it should be in RoE. If attackers could only pass through allied or unoccupied territory, it would further encourage diplomacy and conlfict between clans on a geographic basis.

It would also give new players on the "frontiers"a chance to build their villages, form their own clans and develop their own alliances before the big clans reach them.

Changes along these lines would also be much less artificial than putting a limit on the size of clans.

There would also be a geographic basis to clans that would make strategic conflict more interesting. Should attackers thrust for the heartland? Cut off that salient? Isolate that stronghold? (In fact, if you had similar restrictions on silver movement life could get very interesting.)

Just a few thoughts from someone who quit R2 because the big clans were far too overwhelming for a new start.

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said...

Just like to leave a suggestion

Extended inactivity period for those who have a nobility package.

Sometimes we go on month long holidays involving rock climbing and safaris where there is no internet available. And finding someone to trust in-game is rather difficult especially when you have so many villages to lose if the steward you appointed is a sour pickle.

It would be great if the nobility package included no deletion due to inactivity.

Donald said...

I see no information as to how servants work, and what I'm getting for my money. i.e. if I queue 3 buildings does the extra building cost me a servant, and if 4, 2 servants.

You want me to spend my money, but you're not telling me what I'm actually getting.

Anonymous said...

There are only two reasons people wish to limit clan size - it is either because they wish to eliminate the threat of all their neighbours joining some large clan and they cannot run the little empire they wish to create, and 2 they don't like people having 'unfair' advantages of size and money. I think the unlimited clan size is a fact of life, one group in the world is larger and more powerful than any others (US) and all the little countries call to the UN to limit the powers of the US so 'they can have some fun too' but this simply isn't natural. If you want this to be a realistic environment as game creators, don't play the 'powerful UN' card, but let the details work themselves out. If a person is such a diplomat that he can bring together 200 people into a clan, he should be considered a genius, not slapped with restrictions. Kings like Charlemagne and Barbarossa and leaders like Napoleon have their reputations because they were such diplomatic geniuses. Don't limit clan size (and as you've pointed out sister clans will work the same as one large clan just with more inconvenience). The closer to reality the better.

Anonymous said...

i think its funny that members from oss are all complaining about the size of clans. if you think your that good then you shouldn't have a problem spliting into seperate groups.

another thing is you cant really tell if a clan is good, if you put a cap then it shows which clans are better then the rest points wise. its one thing to have 1st place with 600 members and 2nd place having 300 members but really close behind on points. for all the oss clan members, if your that organized then split up some of your owners and each one of them create a new clan its not as hard as your making it seem. if your still having problems then thats what you get for spamming invites :D

Orcman said...

In">> PROVIDE EFFICIENT INTER-CLAN COMMUNCATION.", there was a post saying we could create Inter-clan Forums:- "...Examples of the types of forum you will be able to create:
1. Forum for all Admins in the clan
2. Forum for council members of the clan – not all have to be Admins.
3. Forum for Admins of all the sister clans in one family
4. Forum for certain members of other allied clans
5. Forum for a specific campaign / war – include whatever players you want"

I am particularly interested in how to do 3,4 and 5 above. Was this ever implemented?