What I Learned from Running a Clan in Planetary Annihilation

By Alex Kierkegaard / October 23, 2014

I made my clan the very moment I launched PA for the first time. In fact I made it before I even launched it, because the first time I launched PA I went in with three friends, so right away we had a four-man clan. We simply added the clan tag next to our names, and that was it! It really is that simple!
   But everyone else seems to think you need to apply for a mayor's permit or something, before you can be allowed to start a clan. And the moment they see a clan tag they assume that you and everyone playing with you is a top 10 player. If you beat them they whine about your "unfair" coordination, and if they beat you they make fun of how much you and your clan "suck".
   This used to be aggravating to me, but now I see it as hilarious. People really are that timid! I met four Australian guys the other day who were playing together all the time, but who were still "thinking" about making a clan, i.e. about clicking on the "change your display name" button and adding three or four capital letters and an underscore or something before their usernames. That was a week ago, and I think they are still "thinking" about it!
   Here's part of a recent discussion between me and someone I invited to join my clan:

Other guy: "I'll give signing up a think over the next couple of days. I'm going to be busy the weekend of the 22nd Nov, so much as I would love to play in the Clan Wars I'm not around for the next game. What's the minimum amount of play time per week that would make it worth joining up? I think I manage about 6-8 hours a week on a good week, more if my girlfriend is away."

Me: "Some weeks some people play for 40 hours, some weeks no one plays at all. So I don't see the value in putting numbers to it. If you want to join a clan, and get a chance to take part in some official team games, you can join us. That's all there really is to it."

   People are overthinking it so much, it is absurd. And, like I said, it's not only their own timidity that prevents them from going ahead and making or joining a clan, but also others' preconceptions. Simply put, if you stick a clan tag next to your name you should expect A WHOLE OTHER kind of behavior from the people in the MP lobby. Some are nice and respectful about it, but for the most part you will be getting NEGATIVE behavior, either of the form of far fewer people joining your lobbies because they are scared of you, or of trash talking if you don't conform to their inane "all clan players are top 10 players" preconception.
   We have given serious thought to removing our clan tags, because the moment we do this we know that all this aggravation will instantly go away, and we'll be able to set up our games and play them with far fewer annoyances and headaches than currently. But now and again someone comes in the lobby and says "I stayed up until 4AM to watch your match against VoW, and I think you guys did great", or "It was an honor to be defeated by you" (srsly, someone said that), and that makes us feel like a real team, which is the whole point of the clan thing, and balances the negativity out — and more than balances it — and makes everything worth it.