March 24, 2017

The Case for Clans

Wizard101 has stated that clans will not be a part of Wizard101. A clan is a group of people with a common interest. There are two different types of clans in video games. Built-In Clans, as the name suggests, are built into the game. Most of the time, players can create a Built-In Clan. These clans often give built-in benefits to the players that join them. Extraneous Clans, on the other hand, are always created by players, and don't give any built-in benefits, but they may give player-provided benefits, such as help on a quest. Both clans often participate in activities and events.

As you can see, there is nothing inherently wrong with clans. Clans become harmful when they adopt the 'us vs them' mentality, where the 'us' is the players in the clan and the 'them' is the players that aren't in the clan. In other words, clans become harmful when they become cliques. Wizard101 should not ban clans as they do now, but they should ban cliques.

Wizard101 has a forum and on it, posts must be approved, and posts advertising clans are never approved. Since it is impossible to tell from a post whether or not a clan will become a clique, they should continue this practice. This practice does not stop clans from being created, however. Since clans can be hard to regulate, there are clans in Wizard101, but not very many. Not all these clans are harmful, and they can often be helpful, so if Wizard101 changes the clan ban to a clique ban nothing much would change. In other words, the change would not be harmful.

Wizard101 already lets you create groups, which is a form of a Built-In Clan. However, these groups automatically disband once all the members have logged off, and do not provide built-in benefits. Having permanent groups are useful to players because they can team up while questing, and team-ups often last longer then a day. Also, families can create a family group, which would be good for the family-friendly purpose of the game. Getting rid of the feature that automatically disbands groups would not do much. Again, there are already clans in Wizard101, and clearly they do not need groups to thrive.

Having permanent groups would make being able to delete groups and create multiple groups important features, since team-ups don't last forever, and not all groups are for team-ups. Being able to create multiple groups would actually decrease the risk of cliques forming, since players can simply create a new group for a different interest. Also, adding built-in benefits to groups would not be harmful. There is simply no logical way they could encourage the 'us vs them' mentality.

Could the expansion of the group system into a clan system encourage the creation of more clans that could potentially turn into cliques? Yes, but when cliques are harmful to players, they break rules. People already break the rules. That's what moderators are for. You see, it isn't really an issue, which is why most MMOs have clans.

Another argument against clans is that there are already too many things to beg about, and clans would cause people to beg for members. Hatching causes people to beg others to hatch pets with them, so let's get rid of hatching and make pets useless as a piece of gear! Treasure card trading causes people to beg others to trade treasure cards, so let's get rid of that too! Heck, having quests causes people to beg others to help them with quests, so let's throw them out as well and defeat the whole purpose of the game! See the problem here? If someone is begging you for something and you want it to stop, use the handy-dandy ignore button.

So now that we've dealt with why clans are okay, let's throw out some of the things clans could do. You should be able to name a clan you create, obviously. If you are in a duel with one of your fellow clan members, you could get more in rewards. Also, you could get stat boosts when fighting with fellow clan members based on their school. Item trading could be permitted among fellow clan members. A clan could have their own backpack, and the items in it could be used, for example, to craft a piece of gear for everyone in the clan; this obviously would require a collective effort by the clan.

So, what do you think about clans now that you've read this post? If you're for them, say your ideas of what they could do in the comments! Also, in the next post I plan on discussing what often causes clans, usually cliques, to form: stereotypes. Stay tuned!