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tefftorbes

Clan management - an open discussion

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IMO, the community could use a more open discussion of clan management and operation in general. A recent discussion on gold payouts was quite interesting:

 

 

Here, I would like to open a channel for all who are interested and have questions on running a clan - both in general and specific terms. I don't have anything particularly insightful or interesting to start with, so let's see how this works out as an open thread...

 

 

Ask away, if you're curious, or starting up a new clan, or wondering on how to improve your clan, and we'll see who pipes up and responds.

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Management would vary wildly depending on how cereal the clan is.

 

MP and SMP just restructured to make MP the primary clan again and it has certainly aided getting our mojo back. Obviously people out of the top 100 can be slightly miffed and there is plenty of refinement and further recruiting to do. The benefits of going through and refreshing your list were felt immediately. You have to have the officers to make the calls and do the work on it.

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Something I have wondered about.

 

Is rapid expansion as bad as stagnation?

 

Without naming, some clans explode in members and lower their standards to get people. Then they sprawl subclans for whatever reasons. Then, they realize they are full and up requirements significantly. However, at that point half their people don't even meet them and the original core that was actually good, tends to get fed up with the mass influx of random people and bails.

 

On the other spectrum, most can't even get members. Maybe their initial reqs are too high, maybe they don't have a catchy recruiting moniker, maybe they just don't recruit.. whatever the cause be. They might have good players but just not enough players. So those wanting more out of the game, leave for other clans.

 

The end result is either implosion or slow death/disbandment.

 

Which is worse, which is easier to avoid/contain/manage and easier to recover from?
 

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Which is worse, which is easier to avoid/contain/manage and easier to recover from?

 

Clans need to avoid burnout in mgmt.  That includes battle callers, people that do admin (attendance, permissions, etc), chip movement, diplo, recruitment, etc.  There are always grunts, but the people with the energy for those tasks are limited.  Anything that increases their workload is bad.

 

That means generally expansion needs to be viewed very carefully, because more likely than not it is increasing the workload without significant benefit.  If you are increasing size (whether it be subclans or initial buildup), the important thing is to make sure that you are bringing along more leaders and think about how you are going to handle membership down the road.  Generally I don't think it works well, because most people that want to take a leadership role decide it's too much.  You need to slowly bring them up to avoid having them all drop out when the going gets tough.

 

 

It's a different story if you have a casual clan, where you don't really have to worry much about the leadership aspects and can just have the players around.  If they then start to get interested in playing more and organically develop leadership that can work, but I don't think there's any benefit in trying to mass recruit players.

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On the Subject of Mgmt Burnout:

 

I find it very difficult to add new members who are suitable for mgmt roles. Sure some roles are fairly easy to train people to do whereas some are best done with someone experienced, i.e battle calling.

 

It seems like most with the experience required to be proficient at this aspire to be in the top clans, not put in the work to a smaller one and help it grow.

 

Any suggestions on the subject?

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Find players with an interest and develop them either with tank companies or with landing battles. Just keep an eye out for players that have a good strategic awareness and feel them out.

If you aren't on the map you pretty much are not going to get any experienced callers, so you'll have to find the diamonds in the rough and develop them. The important thing is to take all the other pressure off them (roster management, attendance, discipline, etc) so that they can focus on battle calling and see if it works out.

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With, I assume, the more involved Clans having a a non-playing Commander watching over a stream, aren't you separating the gameplay skills from the strategic skills?  

 

(This would reduce the workload, and remove the need for two top level skillsets.)

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With, I assume, the more involved Clans having a a non-playing Commander watching over a stream, aren't you separating the gameplay skills from the strategic skills?  

 

(This would reduce the workload, and remove the need for two top level skillsets.)

I used strategic in the sense of map awareness, in which case you need the player to be skilled at the game in general. You can't burn a spot just for a guy that is a good caller if they can't actually play their tank, but they don't need to be the best player on the field.

You are right about the non-game strategic skills. Things like diplo, chip movement, etc (plus admin stuff) can all be done by players that might not be first in line on a game roster.

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I used strategic in the sense of map awareness, in which case you need the player to be skilled at the game in general. You can't burn a spot just for a guy that is a good caller if they can't actually play their tank, but they don't need to be the best player on the field.

You are right about the non-game strategic skills. Things like diplo, chip movement, etc (plus admin stuff) can all be done by players that might not be first in line on a game roster.

 

Indeed.  You don't want to burn a spot for a guy that is a great caller with perhaps iffy (For Top Level Play) tanking skills.  Hence my question about a non-playing commander, viewing over stream and doing his C&C over TS/Raidcall.

 

The 16th player, a dedicated commander. (Full map awareness, can watch 30 tanks status, call targets across the board, etc, without the workload of driving and fighting.) I assume this happens, but maybe I'm off track.  

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Okay, couple of questions that I've been curious about Teff,

  

 

How do you train a battle caller?  What do you look for?  What can a battle caller do to help train themselves?

 

For clans with sub-clans - how do you determine who is ready to move up to the main clan?  How does that impact the morale of the sub-clan when they keep losing their top talent?

 

Lastly, as a lurker of CR/D - how in the world does someone figure out what the diplomatic agreements are?  I have a feeling there is a smoke filled teamspeak room somewhere that has all the clan leaders getting together partitioning off the map once a week. Once the map gets divided, what kind of diplomacy happens?

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Indeed.  You don't want to burn a spot for a guy that is a great caller with perhaps iffy (For Top Level Play) tanking skills.  Hence my question about a non-playing commander, viewing over stream and doing his C&C over TS/Raidcall.

 

The 16th player, a dedicated commander. (Full map awareness, can watch 30 tanks status, call targets across the board, etc, without the workload of driving and fighting.) I assume this happens, but maybe I'm off track.  

You can't call over streams, it just doesn't work. I've seen it tried once, and it doesn't work. 

I've not been in a single clan, nor do I know of any one, that has had a caller seriously calling battles via streams. 

 

Stagnate has made some fantastic points.

Division of labor in an officer corps should be concrete. If a few people are doing the entire job, burnout will set in and eventually the clan will have a husk of an officer corps. Stable, humble and generally nice officers are perpetually in demand throughout this game, at almost every level of play. You want to avoid the egos that come with a false sense of power in an internet tanks game - being an officer is taking on a shitload of work for very little instant reward/gain. 

If you want to be an officer/want to encourage people to be officers for gold - stop, the monetary payoff/increase is minuscule compared to the time invested. 

 

Okay, couple of questions that I've been curious about Teff,

  

 

How do you train a battle caller?  What do you look for?  What can a battle caller do to help train themselves?

 

For clans with sub-clans - how do you determine who is ready to move up to the main clan?  How does that impact the morale of the sub-clan when they keep losing their top talent?

 

Lastly, as a lurker of CR/D - how in the world does someone figure out what the diplomatic agreements are?  I have a feeling there is a smoke filled teamspeak room somewhere that has all the clan leaders getting together partitioning off the map once a week. Once the map gets divided, what kind of diplomacy happens?

A) You can train battle callers, but you need training from people who have been battle callers.

Rough things to look for in candidates

-Good performance in a range of tier X tanks (i.e has played meds, heavies, tds)

-Comfortable talking in TS3/to people - i.e, has self-confidence

-Can accept losses and improve from them - having prospective callers that throw ragefits/start blaming players outright is toxic for clan morale. Generally if there is a loss - the caller should shoulder the blame in most situations apart from say, clutch 12:15~ losses.  

To train yourself as a battle caller - familiarize yourself with the tanks you will be calling. If its tier x, play tier xs in pubs, get a grasp of their individual strengths/weaknesses and how they perform. Get as much experience with end-tier vehicles as possible. Then, start via calling 7/42 tourneys. Avoid Medium tank companies. They teach the wrong lessons IMHO. Only TCs as a CW-trainee caller you should be calling for are tier 8s/10s. Tourneys will help a lot in understanding the vision control meta, the concept of "flexing" and force concentration. 

Subclans, two models work.

A) You run it with an iron fist/alt from the main clan. 

B) It has its own independent leadership, and you consult them like you would an independent entity. Most clans via this model have subclan leadership that is extremely close to the leadership of the parent clan (if not being in said leadership at one point in the first place)

C) It's an alt clan for you to have shits and giggles with

Latter model(B) is stable in the long run, former isn't (A)(IMHO). 

@YOLORUSH

Once you have "bad" players in your roster, it's hard to find legitimate reasons to remove them, especially if they turn up nightly. They build relationships with people, and friendships form.

Conversely, there is no point in maintaining rigid and highly strict requirements when a new clan has no

a) record

b) gold

c) land

d) management experience

To offer prospective candidates. Like all things, you need balance. I'd suggest a staggered recruitment process - start out green, then slowly move up as your roster fills up.

As a new clan, your first goal above all should be fielding 15 tier Xs nightly. Then expand this to 2 teams (something a lot of clans struggle with), and work from there. Don't bother with diplo until you are realistically fielding two teams reliably. Then hold/clear LZs for clans you wish to work with, and start enquiring about backfilling/holding small value provinces. Over time, if you put in the hard yards you'll have the ability to get a goldpot for yourself. 

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Once you have "bad" players in your roster, it's hard to find legitimate reasons to remove them, especially if they turn up nightly. They build relationships with people, and friendships form.

Conversely, there is no point in maintaining rigid and highly strict requirements when a new clan has no

a) record
b) gold
c) land
d) management experience

To offer prospective candidates. Like all things, you need balance. I'd suggest a staggered recruitment process - start out green, then slowly move up as your roster fills up.

As a new clan, your first goal above all should be fielding 15 tier Xs nightly. Then expand this to 2 teams (something a lot of clans struggle with), and work from there. Don't bother with diplo until you are realistically fielding two teams reliably. Then hold/clear LZs for clans you wish to work with, and start enquiring about backfilling/holding small value provinces. Over time, if you put in the hard yards you'll have the ability to get a goldpot for yourself. 

This is an interesting point. I've had this experience and it's frustrating when they are active players. I'm no elitist, but going into CW with 900 DPG Batchats makes you realise why they are 900 DPG Batchats.

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How do you turn a general/casual clan into a CW one and in particular specifically how do you convince people to be available for the battles and be ready to burn their silver for CW?

 

Background: I joined a clan where I had some friends, then convinced many friends and acquaintances to start playing and join the clan which was really casual and without any performance requirements. Since I was rather early and fast learner, I got to a point where a) I wanted CW but there weren't enough tier 10 (or tier 9) around in the clan and b) I was way better than the average for the clan. Wonder what could I have done to get at least a CW team to play with?

 

So while yellow I moved to the sub-clan of a good EU clan. Was great to have CW experience and actually to be admitted in the roster almost every night. I figured that the problem was that even if there were 60+ decent players with tier 10 tanks, very few would actually be interested in clan wars. It was no easy task to get a full team on some nights and we also had some "below clan average" players who were taken to CW because they wanted to and we had no better replacements. You can imagine the rage this would lead to now and then. Wonder how could we have convinced many good clan players being online to actually join us for CW?

 

Last month, the clan split, a CW dedicated clan with stricter performance requirements was set and is now still recruiting, I only got in recently because I had to make the stats first. Now at 30+ we have a team every night, but again sometimes we struggle to convince some of us to join the CW. Any suggestions?

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I'll just bring over what I said elsewhere here: The single most important thing all good players want out of a clan is meritocracy.

 

A clan that chooses by playing ability will almost never fail.

 

Also, pick your recruiters well, you are NOT going to draw in strong players if the representative you send to recruit them is a yellow/green (my big mistake was joining CRABS). Likewise, the officer core should ideally be in the top half when possible.

 

The A team of the clan must be that, an A team, having a few shit players that lose the game in a clutch situation simply gets the good players locked out.

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snip

You seem to have the basic idea figured out - there are people who want to play clan wars, and people who don't.  It was a good move to make the split - but that's only if the people in the CW clan actually WANT to do CW.  If you're having problems, you might want to talk to those people and make sure they're really serious about playing clan wars.

 

For a mostly full clan, if you want two teams every night, a good rule of thumb is attendance 3-4 days a week.  Use wotmanager or some other spread sheet to keep track of attendance.  Facilitate it by encouraging people to use teamspeak.  The people who belong in the clan will show up;  those that don't show up often enough, don't belong.  Proper recruiting is important, somebody else can touch on that.  A good way to facilitate attendance is to hit the same landing zone every night for a few weeks, and if you win it, hold it as long as you can.  Eventually, your guys will get into the swing of things and begin to show up more regularly at explicit times.  After that, have meetings when there's a lot of people on and let them know what you are planning to do in the future - "we're gonna be hitting x landing zone tomorrow and for the forseeable future" or something like that.

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Thanks, confirmation is useful. We do have a couple of maps we like to play on and rotate the landing provinces. Getting all of us used to those maps and strategies is clearly part of the key things to secure winning.

 

Reading encouraging attendance, the gold payouts thread clarified how to encourage attendance if provinces are held, we're not quite there yet, but we're working on it. Also as we're increasing in numbers, we're going from the problem of having 12-14 players, to the one about having 17-20 players and only 15 spots.

 

Any comments on how that problem is solved? We tried at some point a setup with 25 players where we had 2 landings separated and hoped that the difference of the time of the actual battles would allow the people dieing in the first battle, to join the others. Any experience on how is that assigned or any suggestions on managing 20 players eager to play in a battle?

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Thanks, confirmation is useful. We do have a couple of maps we like to play on and rotate the landing provinces. Getting all of us used to those maps and strategies is clearly part of the key things to secure winning.

 

Reading encouraging attendance, the gold payouts thread clarified how to encourage attendance if provinces are held, we're not quite there yet, but we're working on it. Also as we're increasing in numbers, we're going from the problem of having 12-14 players, to the one about having 17-20 players and only 15 spots.

 

Any comments on how that problem is solved? We tried at some point a setup with 25 players where we had 2 landings separated and hoped that the difference of the time of the actual battles would allow the people dieing in the first battle, to join the others. Any experience on how is that assigned or any suggestions on managing 20 players eager to play in a battle?

 

Don't pay based on playing the game, pay based on attending and being able to play (non of the pull into channel then leave).

 

Make sure all the players know how you pick.  Are you going to try to get play time for everyone, or are you going to pick the 14 players that have the right tanks and the battle caller wants?  Set the tone on this early, because some players WILL complain about not being picked and you'll have to decide if/when they are creating too much noise and need to go.

 

If you take the 14 players the caller wants, let people know it's preference and comfort not necessarily skill.  If you are trying to give everyone playtime know that will limit the top end, and might create more churn or dissent down the road as you get separation between players that want to play at the peak, and players either can't, won't, or don't.

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The secret to building a clan from scratch, as I see it (Regarding expand quickly or slowly) is actually quite simple. It's the implementation that is a challenge.  Before you even begin, you need players with some rapport with each other - and are good enough to attract more good players to the clan.  This is a relative term. Greens can attract yellows. Blues can attract greens. It takes purples to attract purples. As a general rule of thumb, of course. Without a core group of players, you offer new players nothing. This means that to make a new clan in this game, and succeed at it, you need to know some people, and they need to know you. You're not going to get off the ground if you go from solopubbing 100% of the time to trying to build an actual clan.

 

 

A little background:  Foxey was built from players from BURDY intially - we were essentially the players in BURDY that wanted to do CW. KingAlphyn helped us get started, but for the most part, he stepped in and gave advice, and selected our first commander - beyond that, we were on our own. The biggest advantage we had was a marketing headstart when it came to recruiting, being under the "Petco" flag - but our accomplishments and development over time is what has sustained our improvement.  We actually hit 100 players too soon, and weren't organized enough to succeed at one point, but we got some advice, battened down the hatches, and focused significantly more than we did initially. 

 

 

So when you're building your clan, you want to look for a few things:

 

Players that fit in well personality wise - a couple big egos in the wrong place at the wrong time can tear you apart. A bunch of happy, balanced, well adjusted officers will work together, not fight, and focus on getting things done.  There is a LOT of work to do, and infighting can not be an issue.

 

You will need to develop your own officers. And this can be hard. By develop your own officers, I mean you need to find things that people are good at, and give them some level of responsibility. But you also need to be careful - giving the wrong person too much responsibility can be damaging. 

 

You will also need to develop your own soldiers.  This means that as a very new clan, you're going to want to bring in people that are improving. Experience (particularly CW experience) is very valuable, but a player with yellow overall and blue 60 day stats at a decent tier, and has 3 tier 10s and a good activity level is going to be much better at helping your clan mature than someone with similar overall stats, some CW experience in a soso CW clan, and 20 tier 10 tanks. The latter may sound attractive, but that player is done improving, whereas the new blood could become a very impressive player in time. A lot of old guard Foxey members joined us new to CW, and have improved a lot as players in the last year.

 

If you bring in too many soldiers, and you don't have enough officer support, you're going to be in a very tough situation. In order to keep a 100 person clan running smoothly, you need to keep people interested in the game, willing to sign on during CW times, and you need to be able to have an influx of players that is higher quality than the outgoing. This can be a challenge, and if the officers are not up to the task, the clan members will leave or become less active.  A failure here is directly related to the performance of the officers, full stop.  Once you're at a level where you can take land, you need to actively manage your roster, particularly relating to inactives, but also potentially for player quality.  Different types of clans should be able to expect different activity levels, but a mainline CW clan should be able to field 2 teams simultaneously. The most active clans can field 4 teams.  If you have 14 people on at CW times in a clan of 100, you're in trouble.

 

In the end, the most important things are:

Developing a sense of community amongst your players

Bringing up new, capable officers that you don't overburden

Not expanding too quickly for what you're capable of handling - A 100 person clan with bad players in it for the chips is going to seriously negatively affect your recruitment efforts. You need to be realistic - if you set recruitment standards too high you won't be able to bring players in, a little bit flexible, and always looking towards the future. But if you dump your recruitment standards too low, you will expand too quickly with players below your standard, and things will not go well.

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I'm aware that most all big clans have the quality of membership that no one ever does training, but I'm curious if anyone can give any pointers regarding holding training for a clan.

 

Here's the situation: I basically gave myself the duty of whipping up the guys in my clan (which is the social/training clan) into CW shape since I'm basically doing nothing otherwise.  The clan leadership thinks it's a great idea and so I'm holding weekly practices.  The problem is I'm not exactly sure how much they're helping.  I've held one so far, last week, and I'm going to be holding another one tomorrow.

 

Last week's practice was me going over the basics of focus fire.  I didn't go into the theory behind it, I just wanted to make sure people could focus on a target that the leader called.  I basically followed the format the first Tank Academy video laid out, and I had mixed successes, as in people could on occasion focus their fire if they didn't think that another target was juicier.  I'm going to need to hold another practice on that later, as there's basically no chance of winning anything competitive if you can't focus fire.  What recommendations would you make to help it sink in better?

 

Also, I also got a couple complaints that the practice was quite boring.  While I never expected nor planned it to be the "zOMG BESTEST THING IV EVAR DUN !!!!111!", if it's too boring people aren't going to be showing up and getting better.  What's a good way for spicing things up other than lining the teams up on opposite sides of Malinovka field and having them shoot at each other, while basically being just as simple?

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The best practices are iterated scrimmages on the same map. Have the callers draft the teams and the give a few minutes break between each match for rest and discussion.

Also to improve focus fire, run a drill where you line everyone up on 2 teams on the malinovka field and ask your guys who they are shooting at, one at a time, and why they chose that guy as a target. Generally you want people to target autoloaders over mediums or huge alpha TDs, heavies are less important and superheavies are to be ignored. The groupthink will set in pretty soon. If they are picking bad targets, let them know why they are a bad target, show them some better ones, and move on to the next one. We run that every few months or so here at foxey and there are usually 1-2 new guys that need some direction. But even more important than that, once everyone is on the same page you will have people automatically prioritizing the best or at least good targets.

Some of the best practice you can get is jumping into an LZ tourney, too. They give you battles in quick succession against opponents that can range from bad to very good.

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