Medievia Mudslinger

October 17, 1999

On Finding a Home - By Turiana

This article is meant to offer practical advice on choosing a clan, and on being, or becoming, a valuable and valued member of your clan. Although some if this advice can certainly benefit all Medievians, it mainly concerns itself with newer members of the game, and first-time clan seekers.

I've noticed that quite a lot of people don't seem to put much thought into choosing a clan -- some simply accept the first recruitment offer they receive without a thought to what type of clan it may be, while others immediately head for a high-ranked clan, looking for that juicy hitpoint bonus or the dubious privilege of rubbing elbows with 'elite' players. While the benefits of these strategies may seem obvious at first, the pitfalls will soon overshadow them for most players.

First and foremost Medievia is a game, meant to be enjoyed and not taken too seriously. That being said, I believe most people are happier in the game when they're able to spend time doing the type of things they really like, with people they get along with and can somewhat trust. When it comes to clans, there are enough in the game that practically everyone can find a group of people who share similar views and attitudes about Med-life.

Of course, there are always those people who live to create discord, who love chaos in their game and couldn't care less if they actually get along with many (or any) other people. They know who they are, and this article certainly isn't going to try to address the kind of clan in which they might be most comfortable. I suppose we can only hope they'll all meet and join a clan together where the rest of us aren't going to be affected much.

There are also going to be people who prefer the life of a "clan-hopper" -- those seemingly discontented souls who never appear to last long in one place and can boast a list of previous clans that will knock most people offline before it finishes scrolling up their monitor screen. That's definitely a choice you can make, and perhaps testing out a large number of clans will spice up your game, but I suspect that many clan-hoppers are more likely to be people who either don't know what they want out of a clan, or are discord spreaders who can't get along with anyone (probably including themselves). Some, too, may simply expect too much from a clan or their fellow clannies and find themselves continually disappointed. For them, being clanless may be the best choice.

For the rest of us, though, who are looking for a place in the game to call home and fun people to be around, finding the right clan is a little more important. It isn't as difficult as it may seem, however. A bit of research and a short amount of time is all it takes to get you into a clan that will enhance the game for you. Being a member of the right clan can add dimensions to your game that make it a whole new, enjoyable experience. Conversely, getting into the wrong clan could easily spoil all your fun.

Your first considerations should be about yourself, of course. Figure out how much time you're going to be able to spend online, and how interested you are in playing as a part of a team. If you're only going to log on once in a while to piddle around at your locker or solo fish in Toshi once a month, you probably don't need to be taking up a slot in any clan. There won't be much benefit for you or for the clan. Clans work best when the people interact; forming up for giant XP runs or trade runs, staging clan pk-fests in the clanhall, or ganging up in force to 'bank' (take over) an equipment run in Asnor is where the fun comes in. If you really aren't interested in being involved in any of those things, or with the people in your clan, then there's no sense in being in one at all. There's a place in Med for the clanless, too.

But if you love the idea of interacting with a clanload of people every day, your next question to yourself should be what's important to you in the game. Is it experience? Trading? Or is equipment the thing that makes your blood run hot? Do you live to pk or hate the very thought of it? Consider these things before taking anyone up on an offer to join their clan... a pker who joins a peaceful clan with tons of allies soon becomes a frustrated pker, and someone drooling after elite equipment will probably wind up leaving a clan that has very few people interested in running equipment.

This question doesn't end with what you need now -- think about what you want to focus on when you hero. Do you want to be a 'cpker'? Or do you want to spend a lot of time prowling the catacombs scraping up all the eggs Quza missed? The reason many people start switching clans once they hero is because the clan no longer fits their needs. The clan that was wonderful at helping you XP will most likely not be as good for you when you start wanting to run Elysium for equipment. There are some clans that cater specifially toward helping people gain experience... if your main goal for now is to gain xp until you're 'big enough' to join some high-powered, equipment hunting clan, then perhaps one of these would be your best bet.

What you're willing to offer your clan is just as important as what the clan can offer you. If your goal in Med-life is to hero, then learn every big equipment zone and corner the market in elite EQ, most clans will want you. But will the clan you're considering be able to help you do that? Does anyone in the clan know the zones you want to learn? If they don't, you have the choice of learning them in whatever way you can (soloing some, assisting allies when they run them, and downloading walkthroughs and maps) and then teaching your clannies. Being able to give this kind of value back to your clan can be much more fulfilling than simply dumping the clan and going to one that can do the work with you or for you. If you aren't willing to do this, though, keep it in mind as you research clans.

Some clans strive for progress. Some clans focus on equipment running, others focus on being a staging area for newbies... helping them gain levels with the goal of sending them off to another clan in mind. And some clans don't really have specific goals, other than having a good time together. Once you have a clan in your sights, find out what kind of goals they have. Are they determined to be the top clan with a 60 hitpoint bonus? Could they not care less about a hitpoint bonus... spend all their time XPing newbies? Or are they mainly a group of semi-retired heros who use the clan as a social club? They all have their place in the game, and deciding if you fit is your job.

Researching clans isn't a tough proposition. Many clans have webpages you can visit, with descriptions of their history and a list of members. Check these out -- you might even find a statement of their goals and ideals there. If you aren't sure the clan has a page (if there isn't a link to one from Medievia's webpage), you might try asking a current member of the clan.

Looking into clans within the game is a big help as well. CLANWHO xx (xx being the clan number) will show you who is online in the clan, and keeping an eye on this will let you know how active the members of the clan are. If you only ever see one or two folks on in the clan, chances are it isn't very active -- then again, it may be active at a different time of the day or night than you are.

SHOWCLAN xx will give you the list of clan members, along with a little more important information, such as whether they're full or have room to add members, and whether they own or are part of a clantown. If they own a clantown, it will list all the sisterclans also in the town. Further, this command will fill you in on where the clan stands on clan ratings, which is a good indicator of what the clan is most active doing. If they're rated 2nd in catacomb eggs, and 25th in equipment points, it's a pretty safe guess that clan isn't doing a lot of big equipment runs.

CLANLOG xx L will also tell you something about the clan in question. Do they do a lot of contributing to the clan bank account? If they do, it's pretty likely they're a very active clan with good sources of income... namely, heavy trading, equipment selling, or egg selling. Are there a lot of people quitting the clan recently? That's a good sign that there may be turmoil within the clan, something you may or may not want to get involved in. Has there been a recent leader change? CLANLOG will tell you about those as well.

Once you have a little information about the clan in you hands, meeting members is the next step, if you haven't done that already. Getting to know a few folks in the clan *before* you join may save you the headache of looking for a new clan next week. Try linking one or two to see if they'd like to XP or go run a zone with you... or help them out if you see them getting 'bloodhunted' by some crazed hero in Riverton. Most people who like the clan they're in will be more than happy to tell you all about it. But taking the word of just one clan member is probably not a great idea, ask several. And if they won't talk to you, form up with you, or help you when they see you need it, odds are you're not going to be very happy in that clan.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. The more you know about a clan before you enroll, the better your chances are of getting into the right one for you and being comfortable there. Find out about ally and enemy clans if you can. These can be important in several ways. If you have friends in enemy clans, it can make for an awkward situation in banking a run or a pk fight, so be sure this isn't going to be an issue *before* you're enrolled. Also, a clan with many allies might cramp your style somewhat if you like the freedom to be able to pk at will.

Ask what level restrictions the clan might have, or real life age restrictions, as some clans do have them. Does the clan require any kind of dues or fees? Are there requirements for membership? Also, ask what you might be able to expct from the clan; will they help you get equipment, do trade runs, or gain experience? Knowing these things in advance may save you disappointment after you've already joined.

Find out what you're able to about the clan leader and co-leader, and meet them if you can. Those two individuals can make a huge difference not only in how a clan is doing, but in how it feels. All clans are a dictatorship, but some leaders are more diplomatic than others. Whether or not you're comfortable following a despot, or someone entirely *too* lenient, is up to you, but it pays to know what kind of leader you'll have before you sign up to follow.

Now, if you've met people you enjoy talking to and spending your online time with, think you've found the clan for you, and they don't have room in the clan for anyone new just yet... ask them to put you on a list for future enrollment. Some clans have several people a day asking to join them -- if you know people in the clan already, and form up with them when you can, your chances will be better at getting the next open slot than someone they don't know anything about.

Alright, you've found the clan of your dreams and have been enrolled. Your job is just beginning. Keep in mind that with most clans, your first few weeks (or possibly months) are to be considered a trial period, and it is you who is on trial, not the clan. It's time for you to begin proving yourself an asset to the clan, rather than just another mouth to feed. Here are some tips on how to do that, and what *not* to do if you want to remain in the clan and become part of the 'family'.

One of the worst things you can do is immediately start demanding *anything*. While most clans have members who are more than happy to help others gain xp, get equipment, or do trade runs, the last thing they want is to hear people constantly begging, demanding, or whining for those things. It will probably only make them want to avoid you, rather than help you. If you need equipment, then a note posted on your clanhall's bulletin board will suffice. Don't expect, though, that people will fill your mail box with elite gear... be grateful for what you receive, and work on getting the super-tweak stuff for yourself. If clannies begin to 'identify' equipment on the clan channel for all to see, be sure that they're offering it to any takers before you ask for it. They may simply be bragging about something they just got for themselves.

In addition, before you go 'sacrificing' or sending to the donation room that piece of equipment you just got, remember that "one man's trash is another man's treasure". You probably aren't the lowest level member or the poorest member of your clan, and what you consider junk may be just what someone else needs. Let your clannies know before you get rid of unwanted things; if they can use it, you're doing them a service, and if they can't, it didn't take that much time out of your day to offer it.

If you're dying to level, ask once on clantalk if there are any xp forms you can join. Be sure to ask on 'town', as your sister clans may have people just as bored as you. If there are no xp runs going on, feel free to offer to lead one yourself. But the surest way to find yourself friendless in the clan is to continually spam the clan/town channels insisting that someone form with you or xp you. If all else fails, *solo*. Being a clan member is no guarantee that you'll have someone to hold your hand each and every time you log on to play. It isn't even a guarantee that they'll *ever* help you. Odds are they will, though, as long as you don't insist that they must. Most people don't like to be told what they must do, and that's no different in Medievia.

When you do get lucky and find a form to join, or some clan hero logs on and declares he'll lead a huge xp run somewhere, your first job is to quickly get into a portal or onto a dragon and get to the meeting place the form leader specifies. Making them wait on you while you sort out equipment at your locker or chat with a buddy in Medlink is a sure-fire way to certify they won't invite you along again. Your next job is to *pay attention* to everything your form leader says. Most of the time, your form leader knows the zone they're leading, so their advice is generally well-founded. If you're following someone in the Catacombs, for instance, and they tell the form to 'remove lights', then remove your light. Don't argue, don't wait, and don't put it back on unless they tell you you can... trust your leader. If you find yourself following a form leader who obviously doesn't know what they're doing, simply make a silent note to yourself not to rush to follow that person again, although bear in mind that no one was born knowing how to lead, and we all have to learn somehow. And what's a death or two among friends, after all? :) Either way, though, try to be someone easy to lead. If you're difficult to lead (don't listen, argue, ask constant questions while the leader is trying to keep the form alive...), they likely won't invite you again.

When it comes to leading a form of clannies yourself, patience is the keyword. Try to remember that they're probably not all veterans, and they certainly can't read your mind. Be as clear in your directions as you can, and if you have the time and won't be placing the form in danger, explain yourself if they need it. People are more likely to become good form leaders themselves if they follow good form leaders. And if leading is new for you, let them know it at the start. They may be able to help you if you're willing to be helped.

Now we come down to money. Money is essential in Medievia, as it is anywhere. Not only is it something you need to have so you can buy equipment, ride dragons, and pay for your locker... you also need it to help pay for your clan. Clans are expensive entities, especially clans which lead clantowns and have a lot of rooms to pay for. Each time a person is enrolled in the clan, it costs the clan money. Each room of the clantown costs the clan money in taxes. Everytime someone says something on the clan channel, it costs the clan money. Every room added to the clantown costs millions. Such is life, even in Medievia.

Some clans demand that all members contribute to the clan account on a regular basis, and some clans simply accept whatever donations members are able to give. You'll know soon enough which type of clan you've joined, if you weren't told before you were enrolled. Regardless, as a member of your clan you reap the benefits as much as anyone, so it's also your job to contribute. Whether it be a little or a lot, whatever money you can put into the clan account helps to pay the taxes for the town and clan, allows for rooms to be added if your clan owns the town, and helps pay for all those clantalks.

Beyond these things, each clan may have its own guidelines, rules of conduct, or expectations of you. Always check your clan's bulletin board on a regular basis for any important news that might be posted there and also for any notes from clannies requesting help you might be able to give. Find out what sisterclans and/or allies your clan has and write them down, rather than always having to ask, "Are we allied with...?". Keep an eye on your clan's bank balance (type BAL CLAN at any bank), and help out if you see the balance is getting low instead of waiting to be asked.

When it comes to being a good clan member... a valued part of the society you chose to join, the same basic rules and common sense apply as in any other society; be friendly, be as self-sufficient as you can, be as helpful as you're able, and don't be annoying if you can avoid it. :) Following these will help make you an asset to any clan, and an appreciated member your fellow clannies will enjoy seeing log on.