Xbox 360: Where’s the Clan Support?

Posted by clubside (20 posts) -

Originally published 5/30/2007

Where's My Clan Support?

Now it’s really getting sad. I had hoped GRAW II would be the turnaround for in-game Clan support on the 360, but Microsoft goes ahead and drops two multiplayer games without it.
 
Forza 2 is the sadder case, as the original on the Xbox had Clan support in the form of its Car Clubs. Here’s another “next” generation game with features from “last” generation removed.
 
Shadowrun’s most closely resembles the original Xbox’s Iron Phoenix, another online-only game (offline bot matches don’t a single-player game make). Iron Phoenix however supported clans, clan matches and even multi-clan tournaments.
 
Before it shuffled off the original Xbox was getting more and more Clan-enabled games. This feature was great in fostering community, adding additional replay value and encouraging more play online. Now on the 360 only Battlefield 2 and GRAW II have proper Clan support as far as I know out of dozens of online multiplayer games released. Microsoft set a bad example by launching with a clanless Perfect Dark Zero despite it being ripe for Clan-based gameplay. Ubisoft, home of the first Xbox Clan title waited for its fourth Clancy game before adding back a feature that was standard for years.
 
Where is our Clan support?
#1 Posted by clubside (20 posts) -

Originally published 5/30/2007

Where's My Clan Support?

Now it’s really getting sad. I had hoped GRAW II would be the turnaround for in-game Clan support on the 360, but Microsoft goes ahead and drops two multiplayer games without it.
 
Forza 2 is the sadder case, as the original on the Xbox had Clan support in the form of its Car Clubs. Here’s another “next” generation game with features from “last” generation removed.
 
Shadowrun’s most closely resembles the original Xbox’s Iron Phoenix, another online-only game (offline bot matches don’t a single-player game make). Iron Phoenix however supported clans, clan matches and even multi-clan tournaments.
 
Before it shuffled off the original Xbox was getting more and more Clan-enabled games. This feature was great in fostering community, adding additional replay value and encouraging more play online. Now on the 360 only Battlefield 2 and GRAW II have proper Clan support as far as I know out of dozens of online multiplayer games released. Microsoft set a bad example by launching with a clanless Perfect Dark Zero despite it being ripe for Clan-based gameplay. Ubisoft, home of the first Xbox Clan title waited for its fourth Clancy game before adding back a feature that was standard for years.
 
Where is our Clan support?
#2 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

Not everything needs a clan. 

#3 Posted by Helushune (215 posts) -

It was never promised, some photoshopped images got out and everyone ran with it.


I do agree with most of your points though, clan support would be fantastic.
#4 Posted by BraveToaster (12589 posts) -
@The_Laughing_Man said:
" Not everything needs a clan.  "
#5 Posted by clubside (20 posts) -
@The_Laughing_Man:  That's true, but we're at a point where there is no clan support in any 360 game while at least a dozen PS3 games have them.

I dredged up this old post for two reasons: to consolidate some of my writing about games in one place, and to raise this issue that continues to irk me to this day. It bothered me late in the Xbox's life when a game that cried out for clan support (looking at you, Star Wars Battlefront series) lacked it despite so many marginal releases offering the feature. On a site I developed and used to run shortly before the Xbox 360's release we even offered a clan manager so "professional" clans could group their members across games and even hold the equivalent of clan matches in games without support.

On a more personal note, I was never a big fan of Halo 2, but was a clan leader for years just for the socializing. I spent a lot of time in clan lobbies just chatting with friends and clan members, some who became friends, and it was a great way to have a "side" friends list and to meet new people, whether it was from your own clan or rivals. The clan system was the easiest way to meet cool people outside having the bandwidth to host your own large matches (as I did with Star Wars Battlefront and Far Cry Instincts). We had contests, prizes, and even ran a mega-match on Halo 2 that lasted a full week before I was finally disconnected (IP refresh) and no transfer to another player happened. I still have some video of it somewhere. I may not have been there playing or chatting the whole time but just watching people come and go, people showing off, others really getting into the battle while some just socialized was an experience that just can't be duplicated in today's matchmaking-focused Xbox Live.

As I mentioned in the old post the saddest thing is developers of Xbox titles with clan support bringing out titles for the 360 without it (hey Bungie!). I just think it's a missed opportunity (like my availability blog post which despite its age remains a desired feature), and just one of the reasons the Xbox 360 version of Live has been a disappointment to me compared to the original Xbox.
#6 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@clubside said:
" @The_Laughing_Man:  That's true, but we're at a point where there is no clan support in any 360 game while at least a dozen PS3 games have them.I dredged up this old post for two reasons: to consolidate some of my writing about games in one place, and to raise this issue that continues to irk me to this day. It bothered me late in the Xbox's life when a game that cried out for clan support (looking at you, Star Wars Battlefront series) lacked it despite so many marginal releases offering the feature. On a site I developed and used to run shortly before the Xbox 360's release we even offered a clan manager so "professional" clans could group their members across games and even hold the equivalent of clan matches in games without support.On a more personal note, I was never a big fan of Halo 2, but was a clan leader for years just for the socializing. I spent a lot of time in clan lobbies just chatting with friends and clan members, some who became friends, and it was a great way to have a "side" friends list and to meet new people, whether it was from your own clan or rivals. The clan system was the easiest way to meet cool people outside having the bandwidth to host your own large matches (as I did with Star Wars Battlefront and Far Cry Instincts). We had contests, prizes, and even ran a mega-match on Halo 2 that lasted a full week before I was finally disconnected (IP refresh) and no transfer to another player happened. I still have some video of it somewhere. I may not have been there playing or chatting the whole time but just watching people come and go, people showing off, others really getting into the battle while some just socialized was an experience that just can't be duplicated in today's matchmaking-focused Xbox Live.As I mentioned in the old post the saddest thing is developers of Xbox titles with clan support bringing out titles for the 360 without it (hey Bungie!). I just think it's a missed opportunity (like my availability blog post which despite its age remains a desired feature), and just one of the reasons the Xbox 360 version of Live has been a disappointment to me compared to the original Xbox. "
Many games allow clan tags. So thats good enough. Why allow full clan support? Why have a data base some where for a few letters at the front of someones name? 
#7 Posted by clubside (20 posts) -
@The_Laughing_Man:  It might be good enough for you, and today's average "collect points and unlockables" multiplayer gamer, but for me multiplayer was always about more than competition. That Microsoft decided to make voice chat a standard back at the launch of Xbox Live really set the platform apart and allowed community building in addition to playing, an important aspect marginalized by party chat and the inability in most games to host a static server and allow others to browse for same.

Clan's were never about tags or letters for me. While I may be an awful gamer in ability I still got a lot of fun out of playing, hosting and meeting new people. But even the competition aspect of clans is relevant. I mentioned Iron Phoenix in my old post, and strangely even today its competition features outclass every game released since on any console. That's right, over five years ago you could group with your friends and their friends, and have the game manage a tiered competition not unlike the college men's basketball tournament. The only incentive may have been bragging rights rather than shiny helmets to customize your avatar, but it was still fun.
#8 Posted by melcene (3056 posts) -

Maybe I'm missing something, but I also don't see why Microsoft, overall (as opposed to an individual game) should be responsible for clan support.  They have made parties available.  I've watched groups of guys join up a COD match - they all have the same tag, and they're all partied.  It's quite obvious they're a clan.  With the advent of the party system, why is a separate clan system necessary, but moreover, why is it the responsibility of Microsoft and not individual games?   I don't ask Windows to provide a clan platform for me for my various MMOs or shooters I may play on PC....

#9 Edited by blueduck (964 posts) -
@Helushune said:

" It was never promised, some photoshopped images got out and everyone ran with it.
I do agree with most of your points though, clan support would be fantastic.
"

Yes they did say 360 would have it before the system launched. I remember because it was something I was pretty happy about the day after they started talking about it. However, now I feel like it's a stupid waste of time because clans don't even do anything anymore. Clans used to be used for competitive gaming where one clan would play another one now it's just a bunch of stuff in front of your name.
#10 Posted by Punk1984 (549 posts) -

At least you guys have cross game party chat, PSN doesn't have that

#11 Posted by MikkaQ (10291 posts) -

People still join clans? We have centralized friends lists and shit, what's the point of a clan?

#12 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@clubside said:
" @The_Laughing_Man:  It might be good enough for you, and today's average "collect points and unlockables" multiplayer gamer, but for me multiplayer was always about more than competition. That Microsoft decided to make voice chat a standard back at the launch of Xbox Live really set the platform apart and allowed community building in addition to playing, an important aspect marginalized by party chat and the inability in most games to host a static server and allow others to browse for same.Clan's were never about tags or letters for me. While I may be an awful gamer in ability I still got a lot of fun out of playing, hosting and meeting new people. But even the competition aspect of clans is relevant. I mentioned Iron Phoenix in my old post, and strangely even today its competition features outclass every game released since on any console. That's right, over five years ago you could group with your friends and their friends, and have the game manage a tiered competition not unlike the college men's basketball tournament. The only incentive may have been bragging rights rather than shiny helmets to customize your avatar, but it was still fun. "
Why should MS be the one to ask for that? Dev can easily put that in their games and support it. And why cant people outside set that up? Infact..there are many websites for clans...
#13 Posted by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -

This gets me thinking, it'd be really sweet to see Clans as a base function on XBL, Steam, and I guess PSN (if it ever comes back).  Just seeing the social dynamics of being set to a clan, and having your name always show it in every game would be interesting.

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