|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?
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