I have, what I feel, is some good ideas on clans, how useful they are, and how they could be improved.
I've been a part of quite a few "clans" or communities who've drawn me in with their desire to improve the play of those involved and to create a fun community to hang out with while we all make our general, slow and steady growth.
Now don't get me wrong, they all do a great job keeping a fun community, and a lot of times even the obnoxious people in the chat (there are always a couple) are tolerable to an extent. But one thing they simply don't do for the mid-high level players is improve their game play. The times I've gotten better at this game while being part of a clan or community are when I've found the players around my level and practiced with them on my own. I've oftentimes forsaken the scheduled practice times entirely, because they are in most cases absolutely worthless in terms of improvement.
So I'd like to make my suggestion to the community on how best to run a clan based on improvement, and possibly create such a clan if the interest is there. Regardless, I think my opinions will be very useful for many of you looking to get better, and might help a player or two get out of the platinum hells.
First thing's first, setting up the group. I don't really believe it's necessary for you to have things like forums or ventrilo available. Both are helpful, but a good skype call/chat would do just as well. It would also discourage off topic discussion.
You would eventually want to get to creating a website, because I'm assuming you would want your clan to get it's name out there. But realistically it's not that important, and if your desire is simply to get better, you can do that without broadcasting it to the world.
While I think that large clans have the ability to do well, you want to keep it smaller in size to maximize the amount of work put in by each member of the clan. I'd argue that 9-15, possibly 18 players (notice they're all divisible by 3, so an even racial distribution) would be the prime amount of players to have. This allows you to have enough people to play games, observe, and still get to know one another on a first name basis. For the purpose of this example, we're going to use a 15 person clan, with 5 players of each race.
I'm also adamant on the fact that all players should be around the same level of play. Because I'm in diamond league, I'm going to suggest that all players be diamond, with maybe a few exceptions in exceptional plat players, or new masters level players. The reason for this is that while playing against better players is the best way to get better, there will always be better players in a group. If everyone is around the same level, you'll have exceptional practice games, working on and perfecting macro and build timings, and those observing will be able to provide much better analysis, and learn something from these games themselves.
All players would be required to have a Mic, and Skype (it's free after all) and would be invited to a skype call/chat immediately to begin planning for the future.
I would also suggest a group of 3 "Race Leads" who would not necessarily be in their leading roles due to their abilities, but availability. Helping with scheduling and doing their best to keep players working towards their goals.
Goals are incredibly important. Many people who have gotten to where they intended to go will tell you that if they didn't have goals, they never would have got to where they planned to go. These goals need to be individual, and they need to be quantifiable. For example, if my goal is to "get to master league" that's something that I can determine when the goal has been reached, but I can't really determine how close I am to that. If my goal instead is to "Play 5 games where I'm able to perform Stephano's max-out style and get to 200/200 supply by 15 minutes through harass" I can determine whether or not that has happened each game, and keep track of just how well I'm doing.
With my plan, I would have a google-doc shared with all players that would keep track of their goals and where they are in achieving those. It would not be an in-depth sort of graph, just a chart showing the player, their goal, and a space for their team-mates to sign off on when progress has been made. For instance, all goals would need to be met in practice games. Each time I play a match against protoss player A, whoever was observing that match would be able to go into our google doc and initial that this goal has been met that one time. This would "keep them honest" in a way, making it so the player would not need to be in charge of marking his own progress, and make it so they could not "give up" on that goal without quitting the group entirely. Once your goal has been completed, you would be able to move on to another of your choosing.
Scheduling I feel is the biggest problem. With any group, you have people who are available at different times, and working around those different times are difficult to say the least. My solution is to plan various weekly scheduled "events", but allow the exact scheduling of those events to occur based on those involved.
For example, we'll say it's saturday, and next week is "Mirror Match Week". While players could play whoever they would like, in order to stay a part of the clan they would need to take part in this event, where you are required to play 5 games against players of the same race, with observers from the clan watching and looking for opportunities for all to improve. This would make it considerably easier to plan around the availability of 5 players instead of the 15 required to be online for a whole clan practice.
There would still be whole clan practices planned, but because our plans are to revolve around improvement goals, they would not be necessary to harp on players who don't attend those practices so long as they are moving towards their goals.
Monthly, weekly, whatever, in-house tournaments could be held in order to get players into the tournament mindset, and recognize those players who are making improvements in general play as well.
If you read this far, I appreciate it . My ideas can be a little extreme, but I truly feel that the way we're creating these communities and trying to improve is flawed. I don't see any reason we can't use the "Team House" mentality remotely. It would not be as powerful a method of improving as living in a team house, eating sleeping and dreaming sc2 for 24 hours a day, but if you really want to get better and you want to do it as a group, I truly feel this would end up the most efficient method.
Anyway, thanks again for reading. If you have any questions or comments, obviously you can post them below, or PM me, or get at me on Skyp, where my handle is "Noobity". I'm also going to be in channel "Noobity" in SC2 if you want to come bug me or talk to me about any of this. I would only ask that if this blog has helped you in anyway down the line, or you tried something similar and it just didn't work, you let me know so I can adjust my method if possible.
Finally, if anyone would like to give this a shot and is around diamond level, send me a PM and if I get any sort of interest I'll be glad to set it up. While I'm not certain it would work, I'm certain it would work better than what we've got so far, and I'm willing to put my time where my mouth is.
Again, thanks for reading, and take care!
My name is Mike, and statistically, yours is not.
Noobity United States. July 02 2012 06:55. Posts 514
That's how the teams/clans that don't suck work in general. Make one yourself. It takes commitment and you need to find committed players who will play regularly with you, but if you had the time to type out that post you have enough time to make your own ~10player diamond team.
1 star for effort.
I am Malkovich.
Noobity United States. July 02 2012 07:13. Posts 514
I think you misunderstood the point to this post. It's not to make a team necessarily, it's to tell people who are making posts and looking to make these teams that aren't doing what they made the team to do a way that would, in my opinion be more efficient.
i played cs for years and years and to be completely honest the clan idea is a stupid one in my opinion. there is/was billions of cs "clans" which would have a website and a forum, even sometimes ranks and shit like that for realism. everyone joins one or two when they first start out and quickly outgrow them. i didnt start getting actually good at the game until i started playing with this team one team that was literally just a vent server with 5 guys in it that all had potential at the game and genuinely got along, fucked around with each other and hung out like friends while playing. we played very competitively together for the next 3 years.
sorry for rambling on about something that might not seem very related to your post. my point is that from my experience making a clan and recruiting people doesnt work. groups of players that might succeed will naturally gravitate towards each other and form a bond beyond just seeing a forum post saying a new clan run by somebody who knows how to make a website. a few people practicing together and hanging out in vent all day playing the game they love together because theyre friends is streets ahead.
goals are great but i believe that at non professional levels you should focus on just being a nerd and playing the shit out the game you love, because you actually love playing it. of course improve as fast as you can so you can smash kids even harder, but i think its unnecessary to have practice regimes and throw team meetings to try and take yourself to the next level.. just play the game cause its fun. on a related note i feel like scheduling is also sort of over complicating things at an amateur level. if you like the game and want to get better at it, youll play a shit ton if you have a tight knit group of bros that like to do the same thing and like chilling in a vent or skype channel for hours on end..
i swear im not ranting on your idea, because who knows maybe a big "clan" and scheduling and trying to practice like a progamer is what some people want to do to get out of silver league..
if i misread any of your points and made nonsensical points or anything like that I apologize, im fairly baked
I've always thought the clan idea tried to make things more complicated just for the sake of it. I was a part of a few back in the early Brood War days when I was young and all the ranks or meetings and scheduled practice sessions never worked out and were completely pointless.
I've just found certain people that love to play the game and want to improve and help their friends improve, and these are the people I've stuck around. No need for a clan or stupid rules, we just agree to be on often and play. Is this not really the core of what you want to do?
If you are willing to just be online often and want to actually improve then I would be happy to get in touch and do so. I really think you should just ditch the extra effort spent for organizing a clan, I doubt it will ever come into fruition, and a lot of the higher level players stay away from that kind of stuff for the most part anyways.
I hope the weather holds, but you don't need the sun to make you shine.