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This article was written by the player Ouch, and posted on Oct 16, 2008. Ouch also maintains a large website about Alter Aeon that has many articles, the Ralnoth Times e-zine, and lots of other useful information.

How To Start Your Own Clan

So you think you're ready to start your own clan? But are you really ready? This article may be a helpful checkpoint. From here on be ready for your old clan mates to brand you a traitor, your enemies in the game to increase, and a number of problems you have never had to deal with come up.

On the flip side, much like starting your own business in real life, starting a clan is for many a freedom that is one way road worth every inch of the challenge. Be it the privacy and safety of your own hideout, a common message board with unforgettable friends, or the win-win scenarios that clanning together brings about, life will never be the same.

Here are some additional things to consider:

Theme

What is your reason for being? How does no one else have it? Is there a theme or a common history of running from a within a group of friends?

It's important for a clan to have some history, something that can be expected to bind the clan together and give it a reason for existing. Sometimes, your clan history can be enhanced via a backstory; sometimes the clan exists only for logistical reasons. Other clans are purely social. Define what you want your clan to be, and keep your clan theme in mind.

Finances

Most clans that fail, fail for lack of gold. Every member costs you around 90k gold per month in dues, and there is a minimum amount of dues required to keep the clan alive. While this may not sound like much, convincing clan members to do this regularly can be difficult.

On the plus side, most of the minimum level of dues can be waived by having a good website for your clan. There is a detailed guide on to how to create a suitable clan website here. The basic rules are to try to avoid sites with pop-up ads (try Google, they have free web page space), make sure your site is viewable by blind players (this usually means tagging your pictures and images), and most importantly actually writing something interesting about your clan.

Another thing you may want to consider is sending money to the mud to take care of dues for a few months until you get your clan on its feet. Ten dollars will buy you four million gold worth of clan dues, which will be your insurance to cover unforeseen events as you start growing the clan. Keep in mind that once paid, this gold can only be used for dues and is non-transferable!

Membership and Dues

Now that you know each member is not free, how many are you planning on having? Will you be charging dues? If so - how much, and how often? Will you give clan members loans from the clan account? Do you know what a clan account is? What happens if someone can't make the gold payment?

If you haven't considered all of this, now a good time to think about it. These sorts of decisions help make the difference between a smooth, well-run clan and a clan with infighting and drama.

Another major concern is the selection of your elders. Elders in general should be people you really trust. Elders have a lot of power. You should also make it clear to people coming in if they can ever be elder or not and what the criteria are. Not making this clear can cause people to leave, or even worse, can cause everyone in your clan to end up being an elder.

Clan Commands

Be sure to know all the clan commands you need to run the clan. This includes at a minimum:

As the creator of the clan you need to know these things before you let others in.

Membership Criteria

A good rule of thumb is the better criteria you have, the more you are sorting who fits your clan and who will stay in the long run. If you open your clan to all, don't expect much loyalty or much regard for the purpose and goals of the clan.

The same applies to elders - have clear criteria about who can be an elder, and what they have to do to get there. It is perfectly reasonable to say that there is no path to becoming an elder, and simply declare yourself to be the supreme leader.

In regard to elder criteria, you have to delegate decision making very clearly: who can decide what and how can it be changed? The more criteria you have, the better off you are. Have you refined your criteria?

Some common questions to ask are: Should experience or equipment runs be mandatory? If so, how often? Can non-clan members join? Are there a number of test runs people have to make before joining?

Your Clan Area/Base

Do you have a plan of what you want your base to be like? Or is it something you want to discuss with members after you get some? Are you counting on a god to do it (if so, prepare to be disappointed)? Or can you learn the commands and build your clan base yourself?

There are a few things to remember with bases. First, you want them safe. This means you have to be able to control teleporting, summoning, etc. into your clan area.

Second, you need to get your logistics down: are rooms just fancy names or do they have operational purposes? For example, climbing to a room can help clan members develop the climbing skill in the long run. Another example might be a room where casters can use and practice magic. heading home to be healed between runs.

Finally, access control: are some rooms limited access? To whom? You may want some parts of the area so that they are only accessible to certain people, such as elder-only rooms and private rooms.

Private rooms open up another big question. The basic clan fee only entitles you to 19 rooms; if you have more than 19 members, giving each a personal room may be impossible. If you want to have a common clan area, you run out of personal rooms much more quickly.

Even if you are not pk or ppk, I recommend building your base as if you were. You never know who will join your clan or what will happen to you in the future. The safer your base, the better. So, for example, when people want to mutually link clan headquarters with you, refuse! There is no reason whatsoever for others to be walking around your base. That's how things go missing, people get killed, and problems get started.

Encouragement / Psychology

I want to encourage you to go all the way if you are starting your own clan. Don't hesistate to ask people for advice along the way. And learning is half the fun!

Be psychologically prepared for others to bombard you with harassing messages, everything from making fun of your new clan to wanting to be in your clan. Just remember that it's your decision to make, and everything will be okay from there.

Good luck!


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