Clans Progress Update
Today we can finally share some key features of the long awaited Clans system! We'll be taking a deep dive into the menus, which you'll use to create a Clan, assign ranks and recruit new members.
There's still a long way to go on Clans - chat isn't fully functional yet, and you can see this blog is full of placeholder GFX - but we hope to launch sometime mid-2021!
We knew that we needed certain features for easy Clan building, namely:
- Gathering and recruiting Clan members
- Listings of Clans to join
- A Clan Hall entrance (more on that later)
- And a detailed explanation of what Clans are
It made sense to gather all of these features in one place, so... introducing: The Clan Hub!
But where should it be? Considering a Clan is by definition 'a group of people', it would make sense to have it where people are already grouping together, right? We think we might have found the perfect spot: the south east corner of the Grand Exchange.
Currently it's an empty corner – and it certainly has lots of space to fit a Clan Hub! Plus, we know that the Grand Exchange is a nostalgic location that is near and dear to many of you, so we don't want this new Hub seem intrusive. Tucked in the corner, it's near enough that you can easily find folks to recruit, but far enough away that it wont disrupt the every-day broker.
We would love to hear what you think about this location. And if you don’t like it, where would you like to see it?
The proposed location of the Clan Hub in the south east corner, with the games corner in the south west.
Every Clan has its formation story that's a monumental event in the Clan’s history, so we really want to make it memorable. But you can't have a Clan of one, so you'll need to find at least five players gathered in the Hub (players can always leave after the Clan is formed). You can only create one Clan per day, so plan your Clans carefully.
To register a Clan, you first need to talk to Clerk, a friendly NPC at the Hub. Some people may already have a group of friends they want to create a Clan with, while others will want to form a group on the spot. We offer two methods for inviting people: you can right-click a player in the area to invite them (or apply to their Clan), or you could use the invite button on the Clan creation side panel. Note that this panel is only available in the Hub and only to those who are not in a Clan already (keep reading to find out about inviting people to your existing Clan).
The invite button in action, as well as the extra options to apply or invite players.
Once you have started forming your group, your Clan side panel becomes... the Creation side panel! Here you will find the following buttons:
- Invite: Press it, then click on a player to recruit them.
- Clan Name: This does not reserve the name - it only checks whether it's already taken.
- Confirm: This button checks that you have the required number of people, and if you didn’t select a name already, it will ask you what unique name you’d like for your Clan. Choose wisely because there are limits to how often you can change it afterwards. Once everything is ready, a Clan will be formed with the initial founder as a the Owner. Ranks for members will be set up automatically, but these can be changed at your leisure (more on this later).
- Cancel: Ends the Clan creation process, if you are the initial founder. Founding members can also access the button, but it will only make them leave the Clan themselves. Cancelling does not count towards your daily limit of forming one Clan - you can interrupt as many Clan formations as you want. Once the Clan has been confirmed you will be unable to form more that day.
The side panel first seen as an initial founder (Owner), then as a founding member.
The Clan name 'Wowee' is available. However, the founder wishes to create the Juggernauts Clan instead.
Ranks & Permissions
Now it's time to start deciding which of your new minions you can trust! At first you'll be the only person with any power, but you might like to grant your Clan buddies permission to kick guests from the chat, recruit new members, or even plan events. For that, you'll need to assign them each a rank.
The Members List lets you see who's currently in your Clan...
... and, as the Owner, you'll have the permission to change their ranks via this menu. So let's imagine we're promoting Sad Auntie to the rank of Colonel:
We'll have the artists draw some real icons to represent each rank before launch! For now, we're just using a little abstract 'art' as a placeholder.
Now, what can Colonel Sad Auntie do with their new authority? That's up to the Clan Owner too, and they control it via the Permissions menu:
In the illustration, you'll see Sad Auntie's new Colonel rank permits them to recruit. However they're not permitted to assign ranks to other players - only a General or above is currently allowed to do that. Nor can they edit the Clan's public profile, since you currently have to be a Deputy Owner to do that.
However, as the Owner, you might not be so picky. Maybe you feel that a mere Colonel, such as Sad Auntie, should be allowed to edit the public profile, even if you'd prefer not to let them hand out ranks. So you can use this Permissions menu to change what rank is required and voila:
Now the Clan's Colonels can edit the public profile too, but not assign ranks.
Sounds like a lot of big decisions huh? Well, at the top of the menu, the 'Permission access' option allows the Owner to control what rank is needed for using this menu itself, meaning that they could actually let their Deputy Owners or even Administrators change this setup for them. This sort of flexibility with permissions could come in handy for bigger groups! The default settings will lock most actions to the Owner, and you can just leave it that way if you don't want to delegate anything.
Some actions will always require at least Administrator rank, for reasons involving the game engine's own safety checks.
Maybe the military ranks don't suit your Clan's vibe? Maybe you'd prefer your ranks to involve more archaic terms such as Peons and Dogsbodies. Or maybe you'd like to use RuneScape's metal tiers from Bronze to Dragon, or the gem tiers. You could even introduce Senators and Representatives to your fantasy play if that's what you're into! These are just some of the ranks we hope to provide. We'll confirm the final list of rank titles available with the release of the Clans system at a later time.
Clans have 17 rank slots, most of which can be given names via this Rank Hierarchy menu. We won't be letting you rename the Owner, Deputy Owner and Administrator ranks, since they're essential to some game functions. However, you've got a lot of flexibility to set up the remaining hierarchy of ranks using your favourite titles from the menu (note that we won't be able to store completely custom titles that you type yourself).
Each title comes with an icon - they're just placeholder GFX in this blog, remember - and we'll aim to show that icon next to the player in the Clan's chat channel. We'd like to get more titles onto the list if possible, though we expect that players will have hundreds of great title ideas, and there's a limit to how many we can plug in without holding up the project.
We thought it'd be helpful if you could recruit new players into your Clan without having to meet up to use a Vexillum (though you'll still be able to do that if you like), so we’ve added some recruitment menus for authorised clan members.
Suppose a potential applicant is browsing a Clan’s info. They like what they see, and wish to apply...
Clans may also set some basic requirements, such as Combat level and skill total, to ward off newbie applicants (there's no rule saying that pre-existing Clan members must satisfy these requirements, by the way). There's also an anti-spam feature to prevent players from sending lots of frivolous applications.
Our newly promoted Colonel Sad Auntie is authorised to recruit for the Vaccinated Clan, so the Applicants menu lets them do this, along with editing the basic requirements.
Having clicked this, Sad Auntie will be flagged as inviting applications. Now that there's at least one authorised recruiter inviting applications on that game world, eligible applicants may apply. Their application will appear for Sad Auntie and any other authorised recruiter who's reading the same menu, any of whom can accept or decline.
Whenever Sad Auntie has had enough of recruiting for the day, they can choose to 'Stop inviting applications' again. When there are no remaining recruiters inviting applications for this Clan, the remaining list of applicants will be discarded.
Clans can advertise themselves, too. A Recruitment Board can be found in the Clan Hub, and a recruiter who's currently inviting applications for their Clan may list it there:
Players seeking a Clan to join can access Clan info and apply directly from this list, and they’ll only see listings for Clans where they satisfy the requirements. They can also filter the list according to the Clans' registered interests, and sort it by Clans' names, sizes and formation dates.
Fitting this new system into the existing game isn't easy. For a start, we've had chat-channels called 'Clan chat' for years. You'll still be able to use them alongside the new Clans system, like how they still exist in RS3, but to avoid confusion with the Clans system, we're referring to them as 'chat-channels'", rather than 'Clan chat'.
Along with renaming those channels, we need menu space, so we're proposing to update the chat-channel side-panel (ooh, that rhymes) so that it can be used for both - and maybe future expansions like Group Iron Man too.
Here's the current side panel, showing a channel named 'House Of Fun':
We're proposing to reformat it slightly, so that the space can be used for the same 'House Of Fun' channel, as well as for your own Clan ('Vaccinated') and perhaps another Clan whose channel you've joined as a guest.
The design for these is still open to change. We've gone with tabs to be consistent with various other side-panels, but if you'd like to pitch your own ideas, you'd be most welcome! The chatbox needs a new tab too, though we can fit that in without changing the style at all.
We bring you some words from Mod Boko, who's taken over much of the Clans engine work following the departure of Mod Atlas:
Back at RuneFest, Mod Sween originally outlined the "long and difficult road” of tech work for Clans, and that's certainly come to pass! It's been a sizeable undertaking which encompasses so much more than just technical requirements - it's the literal backbone of a community.
A Clan is essentially a group of players with a united purpose. This could be entirely socially focused, they could be frequently looting together or perhaps they're simply seeking to crush another Clan - but the system must reinforce players coming together, and facilitate discourse. Naturally, chat functionality will be identical to how the current 'Clan chat' performs and will be changed to 'Friends chat', mirroring RuneScape.
We must also consider the ongoing management of this ever developing, living entity. We needed to ensure that the infrastructure will allow for frequent changes. Clans can also be a blueprint for any other form of player groups (such as Ironman exclusive groups) which can be handled in the same way in future.
Elaborating on what Mod Boko says, once the game can handle defined groups of players we have the foundation for Group Iron Man, due later in the year! We've also got some rough concepts for how the same infrastructure could be used to pass a bit more player data between game worlds, allowing cross-world minigame group formation systems in future. And, while the initial Clans launch won't come with highscores, the engine work for those must be delivered for Group Iron Man, after which we'll have more scope to come back and apply it to Clans too!
We know the Clans project has been frustratingly slow to arrive (it's safe to say 2020 didn't go as planned for any of us!) but we hope this big investment in building our infrastructure will bring all sorts of benefits for Old School RuneScape for years to come.
We briefly mentioned Clan Halls at the beginning of this blog and you might be wondering what they are. Well, we're not quite ready to show them yet, but in short they're a private area just for your Clan! They will be accessible through a portal in the Hub, and will contain some interesting features for you to explore. You can open them up to guests or, if you're feeling exclusive, reserve them only for certain ranks in your Clan.
Clan Halls are not like Player Owned Houses. For example, there are currently no plans to let you built things within the Clan Hall, and we won't require you to spend many hours in there to pay an upkeep either. We would rather have you out in the world, doing what you love. Think of the Clan Hall as simply a place where you can kick back and relax with your Clan, show off your fashion-scape, or have a beer at the bar!
There are of course lots of cool potential features for Clans, and we wish we could add them all! Our initial update will include the best features we can provide with the resources available to us while making sure we have the stable, fundamental groundwork in place. Hopefully we can add some more of the ideas from our 'cool features' list in future updates...
That's everything Clans-related for now. We hope to get this out to you towards the middle of the year, and we cannot wait to see what cool Clan names you come up with! What do you think of it so far? We'd love to hear your feedback so please let us know what you think via our official forums, on the 2007Scape Reddit, or the community-led OSRS Discord in the #gameupdate channel.
Mods Acorn, Arcane, Archie, Argo, Ash, Ayiza, Banjo, Boko, Bonsai, Brow, Bruno, Curse, Daizong, Deagle, Dibber, Ditto, Ed, Elena, Errol, Fed, Flippy, Gayns, Gecko, Gee, Grub, Halo, Husky, Jndr, John C, Kandosii, Katies, Kieren, Kirby, Lenny, Light, Lottie, Mack, Maylea, MikeD, Morty, Nasty, Nin, Oasis, Roq, Ry, Sarnie, Squid, Steve W, Sween, Tide, Vegard, West, Wolfy & Zuko
The Old School Team