Warrior Cats
 of the Forest

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News

Clan Identities

Posted by Ember on March 26, 2018 at 2:10 AM

Last week, River, Alien, and I sent out three surveys. The first survey, written by Alien, regarded the clans’ identities, with a focus on how members understand these identities and which clans members prefer. A clear trend arose in the responses: MoonClan and SunClan were both well-liked and generally well understood, while most members were neutral toward EarthClan but had little grasp of its identity, and disliked EclipseClan while having a fairly accurate idea of what it was intended to be. There are a few things we could do about these trends:

Firstly, we can encourage members to make more characters that actually suit their clans. I recently did a thorough clan demographics overview and found that characters’ personalities had little to do with their clan (the numbers themselves will be discussed in an upcoming Monthly Meow), which certainly contributes to the apparent lack of distinct clan identities. Creating a formal rule about this seems drastic and would over-limit member creativity and freedom, but we can make an effort to prioritize clan identities in WCF’s culture. This is something that I believe we should go with regardless of which of the following options we choose to pair it with, as no matter how much members like the written-out clan descriptions, it won’t matter if the actual in-game clans don’t reflect these ideals.

We could also simply give it more time. While a majority of members did vote for the EarthClan-EclipseClan transition, it wasn’t an overwhelming vote and the actual transition into the new clans has been bumpy. Even in the past, when new clans were created from scratch it took several rounds of leaders for them to find their stride. In a few months - and possibly with the help of more involved leaders - it’s possible that the current clan identities will come into their own without having to be rethought. This strategy only works, however, if members actually like the written-out clan descriptions and are only disappointed with the current in-game clans not living up to the descriptions. This doesn’t seem to be the case.

We could also rewrite the clans’ descriptions without drastically changing their actual identities. This seems like the appropriate response for MoonClan and SunClan, which are generally liked, but with a few common points of confusion about what they’re intended to be. For instance, some members described SunClan as “courageous” and “diverse,” neither of which are traditional SunClan traits or values.

Finally, we could redesign the clans. This seems to be the best response for EarthClan and EclipseClan, which are poorly understood and disliked, respectively. The redesign doesn’t have to be total- we even could opt to just tweak the current descriptions- and the tangible aspects of the clan identity will remain (that is, their territories and hunting styles).

As it stands, EclipseClan is currently supposed to be a resourceful city clan in which only the fiercest, most worthy cats are allowed to retain membership. However, this clan strategy relies on cats actually being kicked out for not contributing to clan life, which to my knowledge hasn’t yet happened and I imagine future leaders will also be less than willing to do with any frequency. As well, as stated above, members just don’t seem to like the clan design very much.

EarthClan, meanwhile, is currently intended to be a diverse, relaxed clan that values individuality, in contrast to the other clans’ more regimented and prescripted ways of life. However, this identity only works in contrast to the other clans, which are more accepting in-game than their descriptions make them out to be. The survey respondents’ descriptions of EarthClan were all over the place (everything from “ambitious” to “sheltered” or straight-forward about not knowing what the clan is meant to stand for. This does leave the question about whether the clan’s description should be tossed out and started anew, just clarified, or something in between.

What do you think we should do? As a starting place, here are a few questions:

In regards to MoonClan and SunClan: should the clan descriptions be edited or left as-is? What parts of the clan description should be changed, or can be improved upon? What aspects of the identity are most confusing, uninteresting, or contradictory?

In regards to EarthClan and EclipseClan: should we wait to see whether the clans become more interesting and defined on their own, or go ahead and redesign them? Should we use the current descriptions as a base, or start from scratch? We can’t go back in time and bring back NightClan and DawnClan, so should we preserve aspects of these old clans’ personalities, or are we better off trying something entirely new to avoid the new clans being endlessly compared to the old? What are the current problems with their identities? How can these problems be fixed?

Note: if you're having trouble posting a response to this blog entry, message your response to me and I'll post it for you.

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15 Comments

Reply Honeyy
9:41 PM on March 25, 2018 
Personally, I think that the clan identities are everywhere. I agree that I'm not really sure where Earthclan stands but that's also because I don't have any characters there so my opinion is biased, but I can agree than Sunclan has completely veered away from their skittish clan-over-all personalities and it might simply be because of how the roleplay goes and how the pride cats keep being accepted along with the generally strong-willed characters that come from there. I think that it would be better to change them to the "courageous" and "diverse" clan due to how long it has actually been since they've broken away from traditional values.
I think that we should give Eclipseclan a little time to find their identity because it's obvious that they aren't as ruthless as Nightclan was but they still have their edge. This is probably because they're so new and they're trying to get on their feet. I do like the idea that any cat that doesn't contribute gets kicked out, but that's up to Kam and Shadowstorm.
Reply ♡GhostlyBunnie♡ Lav
10:02 PM on March 25, 2018 
I agree with the clan identities and what nit, but I feel like that if EVERYONE in eclipseclan was brooding, dark, evil, blood, thirsty, etc then the clan woukd be really edgy it would be bland and have nothing but eh.
And I under stand the point of kicking out characters but the idea that someone else can just kick my character out of a clan, with out consulting me first, makes me uneasy and, personally makes me want to have nothing to do with the clan because I would have a fear of my character being kicked out. Also its a bit unfair to people who have a hard time roleplaying certain characters lile crazy or blood thirsty.

But i will agree it's time for the clans to find some sort of identity, but we can't have everyone make a character that is practically the same thing. Some individuality is important.

Sunclan has lost the qualities that made them Sunclan, but it is to be expected as new roleplayers and characters came along, it's like Sunclan 2.0

(Sorry if this is all over the place this is just my concerns or thoughts that came up as I read)
Reply Ember
12:26 AM on March 26, 2018 
Honeyy, I agree that SunClan has strayed from their path a little bit (as have the other clans), but I'm not sure if the best course of action would be to change what they are intended to be. If they're changed to be a courageous/diverse clan, they're likely to come off bland or confused. As well, they're currently very popular so I'm not certain that it's a good idea to mess with them too fundamentally.

Lav, I agree, not everyone in EclipseClan can be brooding/evil/etc. That's part of the reason why I stressed that they're resourceful in their description, which (in theory) leaves more room for a variety of personalities that center around the common themes of "the ends justify the means" and "we'll do what we must to survive" which, in themselves, are not actually evil ideas. Clearly this idea wasn't communicated very well in their description.

As for having cats being banished, if that stays, we'll have to sort out some sort of OOC system so that the power isn't abused. In the current description, banishment would only be used on cats who aren't or can't contribute. It isn't arbitrary and it would be unusual for a cat to be banished based on one incident (they'd have to really upset their leader). Mostly, it would be a tool to rid the clan of helpless or lazy. I imagine banishment won't happen often, but could be a purposeful plot point for members looking for some drama. This isn't set in stone, though, and if members want we can redesign EclipseClan so that banishments of this variety aren't hanging over cats' heads so much.
Reply ♡GhostlyBunnie♡ Lav
1:58 AM on March 26, 2018 
I feel like if we have a set list of members who volunteer that their characters get banished or a small redesign would set my mind at ease. But as long as its something that won't be abused, accident or otherwise, it would make some people with the same concerns more at ease. ^^ it i do agree it makes for interesting drama
Reply Spirit and the gang
5:42 PM on March 26, 2018 
In regards to Eclipseclan: This is all strictly my opinion based on my own experiences from when I joined the site until now, so I could be very wrong on this. Also, I do believe my opinion is a bit biased due to several reasons so I'll try my best to keep my writings as neutral as possible. I think that Eclipseclan has basically been Nightclan posing under a different name up until this point. But, if you look back at the discussions about its creation, it was always meant to be that way. Addressing the clan identity- Eclipseclan, like Nightclan, seems to be a diverse clan filled with cats of all origins. From what I've gathered, most cats seem to be pretty self sufficient and mysterious as well as dark and brooding. A shy, pansy type character just doesn't seem to fit in with the majority of the cats living in the city. That's not to say that cats like that can't live in Eclipseclan, but they don't really fit in. However, there is an exception to this. To better explain what I mean, I will use a past character as an example. Kingfish's Labrat fit into nightclan just fine, although he was quiet and cowardly and didn't display the usual hardened traits that Nightclanners typically displayed. I wouldn't have described him as shy at all, since he was more as a "jumpy" character. Characters who are "jumpy" would fit into Eclipseclan just fine, where as shyness isn't a trait typically displayed in Eclipseclan cats. I feel like Eclipseclan will come into its own identity eventually, especially as new members join the site. It is similar to Shadowclan from the original series, and so new members are likely to create characters with the same qualities and traits as the Shadowclanners.

In regards to Earthclan: We have a special opportunity with Earthclan that I feel like not many people are considering since the first discussion determining the merge. Earthclan is the one clan that it makes sense for shy, quiet cats to coexist with arrogant, self sufficient cats. If you refer to the "How Leaders and Deputies are Chosen" guide, it talks about how the leaders for different clans should display the qualities of their clans. Earthclan is a result of Dawnclan and Nightclan, therefore logically, leaders could display traits like arrogance and ambition, or traits like being level headed and calm. Unlike with my response about Eclipseclan, I feel like Earthclan's identity should be defined clearly, unless you want them to end up as the clan new members see as Riverclan. I feel like it would be a waste to make Earthclan a revamp of Dawnclan. While I miss the old Dawnclan characteristics, to pass over this opportunity would be so wasteful.

I don't have much to say about Sunclan's or Moonclan's identities. The problem seems to lay in Eclipseclan and Earthclan as far as finding an identity and sticking with it.



[edit]
I absolutely agree with Eclipseclan kicking out cats who don't carry their own weight, but I agree with Lav's concerns with this. I wouldn't want my characters, or anyone else's for that matter, to be kicked out of the clan without the owners consent.

The words ambitious, determined, and survivalists seem to describe Eclipseclan much better than simply calling them the "evil clan." It seems to me that they have the "survival of the fittest" mentality.
Reply Ace
9:36 AM on March 27, 2018 
I think that Earthclan should just be clarified. Personally, I understand it and when I first joined I thought it was really cool. My second favorite. You shouldn't change the Eclipseclan because I think that in every good clan area, you need a dark/bit mean/tough clan. Like Shadowclan for example. You should definitely clarify it. When I first got here I thought Eclipseclan was like this evil, horrible clan that the other clans just put up with.

As for Sunclan, you should clarify it. If what I read is correct and I understood it correctly, Sunclan is a brave clan and have beliefs similar to Riverclan, possibly Windclan? I'm slightly confused on what Sunclan exactly is, and so you should probably clarify it.

But I'm new here, so take everything I said with a grain of salt.
Reply Tangy
1:46 PM on March 27, 2018 
With the identities, I don't feel that I've been back long enough to give an accurate opinion. The only thing I can say is that Earthclan seems weird to me and I think that it should be tweaked to make it more understandable.

But, I do like the sound of the exiling deal. It's understandable that people don't want their characters kicked just for being oddballs, but realistically the clan leader probably wouldn't want a cat who can't even fight properly in the clan. Maybe something can be set up to where the characters have to prove themselves? That way it can be put into play without members having to sacrifice much.
Reply Honeyy
8:48 PM on March 27, 2018 
I definitely agree with Tangy's point of having them have to prove themselves before the leader can just up and kick them out, thus abusing power. This would give members a chance to build a little tension within the clan and bring some character development to their kitties.
Reply Ember
12:11 AM on March 28, 2018 
Lav, Spirit, Tangy, and Honey:
For the banishment system, we could perhaps have it set such that its determined by a (pre-determined) duel between the cat that might be banished and a different volunteer cat or a cat the leader chooses (possibly the leader themselves). If the cat loses, they could be banished, if they win, they'll be allowed to stay but will have to provide their own food for the following month. This system (or a similar system with some tweaks) would have a few additions:
1. it offers a clear way to weed out the cats that wouldn't be worthy of EclipseClan, but requires some out-of-character coordination so it couldn't be sprung upon a member who doesn't want their character to be banished.
2. any cat who passes it is shown to be worthy of the clan, but has some fitting in-character obligations (helps maintain clan personality)
3. leaders could possibly make exceptions for injured or sick cats, or cats who somehow creatively prove their worth in another way

It also has some disadgantages:
1. it takes a lot of coordination, so if it was done often, it would be all the leader ever got to do with their time.
2. depending on how leaders and members negotiate the outcome, it could seem arbitrary in-character (for instance, how tough of an opponent the leaders set the would-be-banished cat up against, or what they take as exceptions).
3. Hard to keep up with, since not all leaders will eagerly follow the system (both in and out of character).

This system of banishment would only be brought up for cats who are considered "unworthy" of remaining in the clan, a leader could still straight-forwardly banish any cat who acts against their orders, kills a clanmate, etc. as bannishment is currently handled.

Spirit:
I did try to inform the clan personalities on their environment, so I agree that if we did change them, it wouldn't make them a bunch of pansies.
As for EarthClan, I don't think the NightClan/DawnClan would divide last for long. Instead, as the generations pass I think that EarthClan would naturally acquire a personality of its own or mesh the traits, rather than having two different categories of common personalities. That said, clearly their current description isn't well defined. What should their new personality be? I'm honestly out of ideas.

Ace and Tangy:
Cool, thanks for the feedback. What parts of the descriptions did you find confusing or in need of clarification?
(Seeing as I wrote them, they're all perfectly clear to me-- so I need you guys' help to know what needs to be changed)
Ace, in particular, what part of SunClan's description made you think of them as brave or similar to RiverClan? And for EclipseClan? What part of their description made you think they were evil/horrible?
Tangy- What is throwing you off in EarthClan's description or what do you think should be emphasized or clarified?
Reply Ember
12:25 AM on March 28, 2018 
POST BY KAMIRA

Clan Identities- I agree that the clan descriptions need to be reworked. I'm a little more relaxed in that I think that the clan descriptions should be changed to fit what the roleplay dictates, with a general path laid out to what we want them to be. However, I think that changing the clans to fit what they're supposed to be (in a mold) would cause it to feel unnatural and forced in-game.

In EclipseClan's case, I took the fast-and-loose approach to my characters there. Fencerunner and Frecklemask both fit the description of Eclipseclan in my mind- Frecklemask is serious, an intimidating cat and decent fighter, and grew up with the harshness of the street. She takes the hierarchy seriously and tries to use shows of force to cement her standing in the clan. She is also generally busy- always trying to keep the clan in line and the cats there underneath herself and Hollowstar. This is usually met with opposition. Fencerunner is also an EclipseClan cat, and is much friendlier, happier, but still equally useful to the clan. She is capable of defending herself but is content to be pretty low on the totem pole, and instead her standing relies on other cats not wanting to see her go. She seems to be well-liked among EclipseClan members but also contributes to clan life in many ways, such as her hunting abilities and intimate knowledge of the territory. Mesquitepaw is probably the most likely to be exiled, as she isn't a powerful fighter, isn't a great hunter, and so far her only ambition seems to be causing trouble, and I would be the first to invite her to be exiled as she doesn't contribute to clan life. As far as I can tell, Fencerunner and Freckles uphold the ideals while none of them are brooding or evil-type.

Eclipseclan is possibly my favorite clan because of it's versatility- I'd like it left alone. I only think that when people make cats for EclipseClan, they believe 'useful' can only mean 'physically strong' and therefore all make cats that are good fighters with sharp tongues and bad tempers, and ignore that there are many niches to fill in a clan. The characters end up all trying to one-up each-other in-roleplay, making EclipseClan seem like all the individual cats hate each other. I am also interested in making my deputy more involved in cementing the EclipseClan ideals, and anybody is welcome to message me to roleplay with Freckles at any time. I adore having her interact with as many characters as possible.

I don't know what to make of Earthclan - I'm not very active there, though I'm beginning to be, and my characters there do fit the template. Ash is a tribe cat who is beginning to blossom under Earthclan's lenient rules into a truly wholesome warrior, and Maggie is only beginning her journey and is finding the leniency overwhelming as more pride cats join from Sunclan.

Perhaps it would be beneficial to define that Earthclan seems to be a loose coalition of cats working towards mutual survival, even less united than Eclipseclan, it seems. While Eclipseclan certainly is harsh, it seems that they do end up caring for each other more than Earthclan- who seem to separate into cliques very easily.

I definitely think that, with the clan descriptions, the belief in StarClan should be revisited. It seems that MoonClan is the most devout, while Sunclan is the second-closest, with Earthclan being a mix, and Eclipseclan having a very interesting view where only 'worthy' cats get in. I think that, in-roleplay, this would be a very interesting dynamic to add, but it's been ignored because Starclan seems to be nonexistent here. I think if Starclan had a minor, even somewhat uninvolved, role, it would help the clans with their identities by allowing a new pathway of character development to be explored. Perhaps medicine cats could interpret omens from StarClan as right or wrong to predict certain aspects of play, and leaders could speak 'sanctioned from StarClan' more often. In general, I think a great opportunity has been ignored and its a shame.

As a new member who wasn't here for the Dawnclan/Nightclan drama, I'd like the two clans explained and their influence more clearly stated in the clan descriptions, or left out completely- its my interpretation that at least one generation of cats has lived since it's happened, and perhaps as the cats forget and mold into their own, the clans can as well- separate from the two. Hope this helps you : )

POST BY KAMIRA
Reply Tangy
12:30 AM on March 28, 2018 
@Ember
I?m just rather confused about whether or not Earthclan is suppose to be an echo of Dawnclan completely or if they?re a whole new clan entirely. I assume so, seeing as Eclipseclan has taken on a Nightclan vibe but, it?d be easier to have something in the descriptions stating something about how they carry on a lot of the traditions and traits of the clan they sort of ?filled in for?, or if they did their best to seemingly shed that skin and create a new set of personality. Of course, I was around for Dawnclan, so it?d be a major help for me, but for other newer members I?m not sure.
EDIT:
Although, I?m pretty sure my confusion is what this blog post is most likely gonna clear up.
Reply Ember
2:19 AM on April 1, 2018 
I don't think of EarthClan as an echo of DawnClan. They're shaped by the same environmental factors, but their histories and ideals are different: DawnClan's primary was peacefulness, while EarthClan's is tolerance. These traits are somewhat related, but I don't think there's enough overlap to say that they are essentially the same clan.

Here's another way to look at it:

DawnClanners think that their clan will thrive when they avoid violent conflict and instead mediate conflict verbally. To them, failure stems from brutality.

EarthClanners think that their clan will thrive when they accept individuals on their own terms and seek to promote the clan as a collection of individuals. To them, failure stems from inflexibility.

MoonClan believes that their clan will thrive when they individually respect the clan hierarchy, history, and the ideals of The Warrior Code. To them, failure stems from a lack of humility.

SunClan believes that their clan will thrive when each cat puts the identity and good of the group before their own. To them, failure stems from selfishness.

EclipseClan believes that their clan will thrive when each clanmate is treated as an asset to the clan, but not an necessarily invaluable one. To them, failure stems from laziness.

On the surface, some of these might seem contradictory (MoonClan is described as proud, often arrogant, but view a lack of humility as a failure. However, here are some stereotypical MoonClan criticisms of the other clans "they don't care about the code" "they don't respect StarClan" "they don't even listen to their leader." MoonClanners are often hypocritical- they're arrogant about having the humility to bend to norms) but I think they expose a few useful points about the clans.

For instance, EarthClan and EclipseClan are very similar, but have different responses to the same problems. Both clans value individuality and think that cats acting on their own can bring about the most good for the clan, but EarthClan thinks of cats as having inherent value and wouldn't banish a clan member lacking immediately useful skills, while EclipseClan will. This difference stems from a difference in their environments: EarthClanners are the most well-fed clan and face the fewest outside dangers, so they have the resources to support ?useless? cats, whereas EclipseClan is consistently on the edge of losing control of their borders. While EclipseClan has a consistent supply of food, they don?t have an abundance of it and the food itself is very unhealthy. SunClan and MoonClan are both group-minded and put the individual second, but while SunClan sees the good of the clan as paramount, MoonClan sees the good of their history and the code. SunClan is therefore more likely to bend the code or stoop to trickery than MoonClan. This also reflects their environment: SunClan is exposed and on a relatively barren territory, where they must always cooperate to survive and even then, finding enough food requires cleverness as well as skill and dedication. SunClanners therefore can?t devote very much time to training their apprentices to fight, so they can?t afford to have the same pride as MoonClan. MoonClanners have easier hunting and can contribute to more time to fighting training, making them moderately skilled in both. They also have the force of history behind them: they?re by far the oldest clan, the closest to StarClan, etc. They have pride in these accomplishments and the resources to get into spats to defend themselves.

To chart this out, here?s the relationship between the clans using the axes of individualism and resources:
Individualistic Group-oriented
Few resources: EcC SC
Many resources: EaC MC
Reply Ember
2:19 AM on April 1, 2018 
All of these things ultimately stem from environment-- EcC can?t be group-oriented because they?d attract too much attention in the city, SC can?t be individualistic because their hunting style requires group cooperation. EcC can afford to be individualistic due to their resources and safety, while MoonClan can is group-oriented because their traditions and long history of war demand it.

DawnClan, meanwhile, never made much sense to me. They claimed to be peaceful, but got into as many fights as everyone else and ultimately ended up getting pushed around a lot. The clan was usually just a place for romance plots and whatnot or everyone?s whipping boy. When they did have interesting plots, these didn?t align with the clan?s actual values (ex. med cat uprising). EarthClan will be stronger than DawnClan and will be able to take a more active role in plots, because their base values creates more opportunity for conflict than DawnClan?s did.

Excuse me for writing an essay, haha, this is just something I?ve thought a lot about in the past.

As for bringing StarClan in more, I think that would be a good thing to do. While it's cited in the clan descriptions and occasionally comes up in-game, individual cats don?t seem to care much about The Warrior Code or StarClan. This may be a result of the Medicine Cat uprising and general suspicion about how belief in StarClan or strict adherence to the code can be altered, but enough generations have passed (three years out of character!) that these sentiments might be fading. Perhaps we could work belief in StarClan into the war somehow? Have MoonClanners taunting the other clans for their lack of belief, EarthClan calling MoonClan superstitious, etc?
Reply Ember
12:40 AM on April 4, 2018 
If it helps anyone, here's the outline I first made when I proposed the clans. We don't have to stick with this if we don't want to (please speak up if you think we shouldn't), but it might help to know what they were intended to be, so we can pinpoint where things went wrong.

MoonClan
Proud/arrogant, honorable, and courageous
Conformist and the most nationalistic clan
Moderately skilled hunters and fighters
Highly value discipline; regimented day to day lives; strict clan hierarchy
Suspicious of outsiders
Strong belief in StarClan and The Warrior Code

NightClan
Cunning, fierce, and ambitious.
Individualistic
Strong fighters but weak hunters, mostly scavenge for food
Loose clan hierarchy and administration, with a low value placed on discipline
Very accepting of outsiders
Weak belief in StarClan and in the value of the Warrior Code

DawnClan
Peaceful, compassionate, and forgiving.
Individualistic with low value on discipline
Moderate hunters and weak fighters, have the unique skill of fishing
Paternalistic leadership style with a flexible hierarchy and a Leisurely day to day existence
Moderately accepting of outsiders
Moderate belief in StarClan and generally follow the Warrior Code

SunClan
Cautious, intelligent, strive to embody ?clan before the individual.?
Value teamwork and place little stock in the individual; conformist
Strong hunters but weak fighters
Strict leadership style and hierarchy, highly demanding expectations of warriors
Suspicious of outsiders
Moderate belief in StarClan, but follow The Warrior Code to the letter.

EclipseClan
Resourceful, fierce, domineering
Individualistic
Strong fighters but weak hunters, mostly scavenge for food
Rigid clan hierarchy and administration, with each rank asserting themselves over lower ranks
Moderately accepting of outsiders. Only accepts those who they deem strong enough, or alternatively, those who actually seem committed to their clan. Expect all outsiders to assimilate into clan life.
Weak belief in StarClan, but a high degree of value in Warrior Code

EarthClan
Tolerant, compassionate, and grounded
Individualistic with low value on discipline, strives to encourage each cat?s strengths rather than make a uniform
Moderate hunters and weak fighters, have the unique skill of fishing
Paternalistic leadership style with a flexible hierarchy and a leisurely day to day existence
Very accepting of outsiders
Extremely variable beliefs in StarClan and the Warrior Code
Reply ❄️SnowyBreezes❄️
2:50 PM on April 5, 2018 
Yes the fact that there are banishments makes me a little uneasy as I was gone for a bit and the history page wasn't very helpful when it came to current Rp.