Developer Diary: The Clans

Fri, 07/12/2012 - 00:00

Darkfall Unholy Wars Developer Diary: The Clans

Darkfall Unholy Wars Developer Diary: The Clans

The basic role/function of clans in ‘Darkfall: Unholy Wars’ remains as it was in ‘Darkfall Online’. When we were looking at ways to improve the experience for clan members in the new game, several themes kept coming up; increasing the clans’ freedom to choose their own organisational structures, improving the clans’ ability to effectively manage themselves, giving clans a greater sense of ownership over the world & helping players find and engage in the clan aspects of the game.

To give clans more freedom in choosing their own internal structure, we have removed the old system of clan rank determining a member’s access to clan features, and replaced it with a new permissions based system. In the new system, permissions to access clan features are assigned to members individually, making it possible for clans to assign highly specialized roles to specific members, without them “inheriting” unrelated (and perhaps undesired) access. Permissions in the new system have been grouped by category (“Clan-Vault”, “Holdings” etc.) and each category has a “management” permission associated with it; clan members who are assigned the management permission have the ability to assign (or remove) permissions from within their own category to (or from) other clan members. This additional “tier” of the permissions system, we believe, will allow clans to distribute the tasks (and responsibilities) of managing the clan between any number of members, and enable them to create a hierarchical management structure, if they so wish.

We’ve seen several questions about this system on the forums, and I’d like to take a moment to clarify some things:

• The old clan ranks are still in-game, though we now refer to them as “military ranks”; these have no relationship with the permissions system, and must be earned through killing members of enemy clans during active conquest challenges. They serve only as an indicator of a clan member’s battle skills. Military ranks are “per-clan”, if a clan member leaves the clan, their rank is lost, and they start as a “Recruit” in the next clan they join. All clan members (founder and leader included) start at the lowest rank, and must earn their titles.

• The “founder” and “leader” of a clan have been separated out. The player who initially creates the clan is forever the “founder” of the clan, and their name will always be linked with the clan (even if they choose to leave). The “leader” of the clan (initially the “founder”) is the one and only clan member that has complete, and irrevocable, permissions within the clan, only the clan leader has the permission to assign (or remove) “management” permissions to (or from) other clan members. Clans now have the ability to change their leader, if they chose to.

• While we like the idea of letting clans choose their own names for the ranks and titles, this is not currently in development. If we can find a way to allow it while avoiding the many obvious abuses of the system, we may reconsider it again in the future.
A major obstacle to the effective management of clans was the user interface that was available in ‘Darkfall Online’. In ‘Darkfall: Unholy Wars’ a lot of time and effort has been put into ensuring that the clan management interfaces in our new user interface allow the clans administrators and members access to the information and setting that they need in a consistent, fluid and highly dynamic way. In the new user interface, changes made to the clan are immediately visible to all other clan members instantly.

To give clans a greater sense of ownership over the world, we’ve tried to bring more meaning into the territorial control systems. By linking villages to nearby clan holdings, and offering much improved rewards for village ownership, we hope to encourage clans to consolidate their power in specific areas or regions of the world, which in turn should give rise to more “border conflicts” and even tighter alliances, between neighbors. At the same time though, we realize that player villages have always been a hot-spots for PvP activities in the world, and we didn’t want to block that, so we have included the “resource stealing” mechanic for player villages. This system gives any player (clan member or not) the ability to steal the resource rewards from player villages, and means that the clans must police their villages to ensure they retain their potential rewards.
A big part of helping players find themselves a clan comes from the new u

ser interface, where players are able to browse through all active clans and easily view information about them. Additionally, clans can now select from a collection of “tags” that can be used to display their main activities or focus to other clans and players, allowing players to “filter” the clans based on specific tags; this system is used only for the identification and location of clans whose activities match the player’s own play-style, but if used correctly by the clans, should be a powerful tool for recruiting new members and building up their clan.

We hope these changes will bring more freedom and control to clan management, and help all players to participate in, and enjoy, the clan-based aspects of ‘Darkfall: Unholy Wars’. We look forward to your feed-back, and can’t wait to see you all in-game.