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Brainstorm: clan progression

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#1 Clavus   Members   


Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:03 AM

This will be my first post here, I've heard about gamedev.net on several occasions, but never really took the time to have a look. Now that I'm at my workplace it seems I have plenty of motivation to procrastinate and write this down Posted Image

What I wanted to discuss with you fine folk is a little idea that I had just a moment ago after reading some gaming related news. The article stated Activision would remove all options of hosting your own server in their next CoD title, meaning no clan could have home-servers or that kind of thing, or private matches for that matter. I haven't played any CoD title since the second Modern Warfare, but this design choice struck me as very community-unfriendly, it'd make the game just one big ego trip for your own progression.

And that's when I had this idea: why is it that, with all the unlocks and perks you can unlock individually in games like Battlefield and CoD, you can't actually progress as a clan ( / group / platoon / team / corporation / whatever)? Like clan achievements, perks, unlocks and similar that you obtain by working together and progressing as a team. Sure, systems like Battlefield's Battlelog and CoD's Elite service have system in place to create clans, but it's nothing beyond a glorified friends list if you look at it (although I'm not really familiar with Elite).

I briefly dabbled in Max Payne 3's multiplayer and this had a sort of clan progression system on Rockstar's Social Club. You could end up having a vendetta with other clans ingame based on whether their members were killing each other a lot. There are probably more titles that explored this but they don't really come to mind.

It set me thinking on how you could make an engaging clan system that both promotes competitiveness and cooperation (in the context of a shooter to keep things focussed) between different clans. Basically making the whole clan system an integrated part of the game's design. I think there is quite a lot of potential there. Just a few examples:
  • Your clan can deploy special weapons or vehicles on the field, which they unlocked after they manage to capture a weapon facility at some point
  • Clan-specific gear and aesthetics that are only available when you play as a clan
  • Clans can mark 'home maps' to specify maps that bring extra benefits
  • Clan alliances and vendettas, influencing the flow of the game community in various ways
There are probably plenty of problems to tackle with these kind of ideas. How do you prevent disadvantaging lone-wolf players and that sort of stuff. But that's not really what I wanted to focus on.

Anyway, that's what I wanted to throw out here. Open for input Posted Image

#2 PyroDragn   Members   


Posted 03 October 2012 - 05:43 AM

I like the idea of Clan based progression, and it is something that comes across well is some games - typically in MMORPGs. The next biggest problem that has to be dealt with (I think the first problem is as you said, not disadvantaging solo players too much) when creating any sort of group/clan progression is how do you deal with people that join a group late, or swap guilds for perks. For most clan progression, your focus is going to be competing against other clans. Trying to prevent people from clan hopping all over the place is something that needs to be considered.

#3 PSvils   Members   


Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:52 AM

how do you deal with people that join a group late, or swap guilds for perks.

Each clan perk can have a certain level. Each player has a "clan level" or "clan ranking", that grows the more the battle with a certain clan (battle with, as in participate in battles on that clan's side). The higher clan ranking, the higher level clan perks the player gets. Everytime you switch to another clan, you have to build your clan ranking from 0, which would make players commit to a certain clan to finally be able to access the high level perks.

I can imagine jumping into a fight with my clan, and there's some clan perk device that heightens all players health for a period of time, but it doesn't affect me since I joined recently, and don't have a high enough clan ranking. That would make me want to belong to the clan more, and really try to get to that perk level by winning points for the clan.


#4 Bluefirehawk   Members   


Posted 03 October 2012 - 11:22 AM

I like the idea, you basically implement a meta-fight in every fight. It is a very interesting concept to play with.

To me, Vendettas and clan wars become interesting, when they can win/lose something. Fighting over a resource.
Maybe you start to hit a barrier there when your basic game is a first person shooter like a COD/CS game, you only have limited possibilities for resources.

(I think the first problem is as you said, not disadvantaging solo players too much)

Or making small clans, consisting mainly of your friends, attractive too.
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#5 slicksk8te   Members   


Posted 03 October 2012 - 12:00 PM

This idea would be awesome in many different games. Especially the clan specific perks, skins, etc.

The question then becomes, how do you create clan perks? skins?
And who is setting them? Clan leaders?

It seems if you had same pool of perks that clans chose from, it wouldn't matter what clan you joined.
However unfeasible this may be now, I think it would be amazing if clans could make their own skins/perks.
This makes all clans be unique and have its own flavor.

I also think that the idea of 'clan levels' that PSviles gave would be a really fun way to be apart of clan in a bigger way than name only.

#6 Telcontar   Members   


Posted 03 October 2012 - 12:45 PM

The best return-on-implementation would probably come from allowing clans to customize their look - giving each clan member an insignia or even a full uniform depending on how 'advanced' the clan is. This will help with group identity which in turn helps community play and increases the meaning of in-game politics (which, in my opinion, makes games a helluva lot more fun to play. Ex: Eve Online).

Furthermore, just allowing them to customize their look won't have any actual gameplay effects, meaning there are no balance issues to worry about unlike attempting to give clans their own weapons and equipment. I do very much enjoy that idea, but again the balance effects are potentially catastropic. No player will stick with a game when they feel the opponents dice are loaded. In most games you can at least have a multi character on the side of the imbalance - but clans don't recruit everybody.

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