Norms For Next Gen: The Clan System

Today, most clan battles are set up through a third-party websites such as Gamebattles. Looking back on this generation of gaming, I ask, ‘why is it that the same style of clan features a website Gamebattles provide were only built into a small handful of games like Killzone and Resistance titles?’

You may be thinking clan features only complicate things, but I disagree. From a personal standpoint, and from experience with the plenty of PC games that include clan support, I say it adds even more value to a multiplayer experience.

My two most memorable multiplayer games this generation were, surprisingly, Resistance: Fall of Man and Killzone 2 – Not because they reinvented the FPS genre – they didn’t – but because they were amongst the few titles that actually supported a true clan system.

The Tag system is as old as the dinosaurs.

The Tag system is as old as the dinosaurs.

You guys are going to see me using Call of Duty a lot in these articles. It’s not that I hate the game, it’s just that with all their success, it makes little to no sense to keep some of the same formulas lying around. Why in the world are we still using clan tags as a way to tell players that we are, in fact, apart of a clan? I understand that Call of Duty Elite (now free) has a dedicated clan system, but that’s basically a separate portion, apart from the main game. Call of Duty isn’t the only culprit to not have a clan true clan system, as Battlefield 3 also follows this so called “clan system”. It’s just a shock for me to see that games such as Warhawk, a title that is completely underrated and doesn’t even come close to the sales of either of these games, has a fully functional clan system with the little given resources it had.

So, what exactly made the Clan system from both Killzone 2 and Resistance: FoM so good? Well, it was the depth and the available options the games gave us. Like all Clans out there, there’s always a leader, but remember, a leader can’t always be there and sometimes they need help to make decisions. That’s where the option to appoint other commanders came in. Both these games utilized it and allowed clans to grow and develop better. That wasn’t the only option though. In Killzone 2, we actually got to set-up tournaments dedicated to just clans, along with each clan having their own spot to a dedicated clan leader board. Even an amazing feature called “Battle Replay” made it’s way in to allow players to study the way clans play and how to improve you’re own.

I can easily say that Killzone 2 probably had the best and most well-supported clan system in console gaming history.

Oddly, the iterations after the first Resistance and second Killzone saw a disappearance of all these features, which is one of the reasons why Killzone 3 did poorly. Why Insomniac Games and Guerrilla Games decided to go this route is beyond me, but it certainly left a bad taste in many players’ mouthes.

I don’t see this being a standard in multiplayer games next-gen, despite the amount of resources developers now have to work with, and how much they could enhance the multiplayer experience, but who knows. I believe there are a still a large number of gamers out there dedicated forming communities and camaraderie between others who are like-minded. It’s fun to play our favorite online shooters competitively with others who are on the same page, so why aren’t developers giving us the tools to build clans, which essentially breathes even more life into these games.

I look forward to games like H-Hour: Word’s Elite which is said to come fully equipped with clan support features, creative director David Sears told us an interview earlier.

How high does clan support in a game rate with you?

  • TheChunkyPotato

    The closest thing to a clan system in cod is the champions league in league play. But that’s not good enough.

    • ChrisBChillin

      League Play would be fine if every time me and my friends tried playing it it wouldn’t through us into unplayable laggy foreign lobby’s nearly every time we play.

  • WarHero

    Clans in my opinion is just tags right next to your name even though most games have competitive competitions but that’s just setup by random players and you win a competition you don’t have bragging rights. It’s like “Oh you won,good for you” when clans should be like “We won and have beaten the best” or a similar feeling. This is coming from an ex-competitive player.

    • zacflame

      tags almost have a different meaning.
      clans are a group of players who play together.
      the tag at this point is mostly just for show.for example, I use in most games the [A7X] clan tag. along with a couple friends. we’re technically a clan although not official. every once in a while (mostly COD) we may find other people with the [A7X] clan tag, and none of them seem to know each other. that’s because of the lazy tag system (mostly COD) doesn’t let you know, for example how many people are using the same tag and so on, so it becomes more of a 1-4 character extention of the players name.

  • Alkanida

    I agree, KZ2 had the best clan system I have seen along with best Leaderboards.
    All of it (and many other things) got left out for KZ3 and that’s the reason why it was so bad!

  • TI_21

    Have to disagree on the KZ part.
    The reason for KZ3’s downfall wasn’t the lack of clan support, but it’s sub par balance + it’s weaker maps compared to it’s predecessor.
    Some of the gameplay decisions were also questionable.
    As an example, I felt that it’s been a bad design decision to only give a single class the ability to capture spawnareas, just because they wanted to keep the tactician class in the game.

    • jameslara

      I said one of the reasons 🙂

      There’s no denying that Killzone 3 really was a let down when it came to user options. I mean they didn’t even have custom games at launch.

  • extermin8or2

    Hoping KZ2’s clan system will return to Shadow Fall as that was one of the main criticisms against KZ3 I think.

  • born2expire

    I miss CAL and IRC for CS and DOD, those where the golden days IMO.

  • Sensou-Ookami

    Black Ops 2 killed the clan system, I liked MW3’s clan system, it gave more than just a stupid clan page background if you completed a task for your clan, you got emblems too, 2xp! I want more to clanning besides a clan tag and a wallpaper. We need to assign actual ranks of leadership in the clan too, for when the leader isn’t on. Bring me a real clan system, CoD. Hope Battlefield does it too, I love joining a team and accomplishing stuff as a team to win cool stuff, like attachments, guns, emblems, tags, or camos!

    • Sensou-Ookami

      The fact is that is what players like, I like to be motivated to participate, with not only great friends, but rewards for all of us in the clan to achieve and work harder at.

    • Mitch

      That’s probably because Elite is now free.

  • potatolol

    potato anyone?

    • TheChunkyPotato


  • Eric Zimmer

    Very few games had decent clan systems. Battlefields is terrible, but at least it had one. Look at the Socom series Clan support. Socom had it right over 10 years ago.

    You can’t have a hardcore competitive shooter without clan support.

    Can’t wait for H-hour.

  • Shawn Pearson

    wrong halo 2 had the best clan system with clan battle matchmaking and several clan match gametypes for different clan sizes kz2 is pathetic and i have most of the trophys for online in that game so i don’t wanna hear it killzone is a trashy franchise.

    • Sgt. Mofo

      The main issue with Halo 2’s clan system was the ability to close a clan and remake one instantly. In order to hit level 50, which was the trivial goal clans aimed for, you had to get on quite a winning streak. Any loss practically halted a clan’s ability to ascend any higher in the ranks. If they made it so players couldn’t make or rejoin a clan for a week after leaving or disbanding one, it would’ve been a great model to follow.

  • CoDforever

    Cod>battlefield, cod supports esports !

  • Marcin Kubica

    Serious mp play starts with clan matches, that’s a fact well known to anyone who’s playing leagues and tournaments. Let’s hope developers will also see it that way.

  • As the leader of a clan that started almost 11 years ago in SOCOM 1, I almost feel like clans withing games have devolved over the past decade. Games like SOCOM 2 and SOCOM 3 had legitimate in-game clans on the PS2, but on the PS3 and 360, it seems that clans were clans in clan tags only in most cases, save for Killzone. Even BF3’s platoon didn’t do much for you. Even when you set the clan tag within the platoon, it doesn’t show up anywhere in-game.

    Thinking about it though, I’m not sure that we take games seriously enough to worry about using the resources it takes to put Killzone 2 type clan support into a game. That Killzone game replay is cool to look at, but tying to micromanage what everyone is doing on the clan just isn’t my style.

    My clan “Recognize My Disease” has evolved into something more of a “freeplay” clan over the years. We don’t participate in “clan wars”, and wouldn’t even with robust clan support. We exist purely to have fun and be organized enough to kick ass against the general public with in a game. Because let’s be honest, losing games isn’t all that fun.

    So I don’t know which it is; maybe clans have changed because the in-game clan support has changed. Or maybe in-game clan support has changed because clans and games have changed. I just feel like RMD probably wouldn’t use a robust clan support even if it was in the game, so I’d rather developers use the resources they have to make other parts of the game better rather than focusing on something that isn’t useful for most players.