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This Developer Blog is copied verbatim from the RuneScape website. It is copyrighted by Jagex.
It is written by Mod Timbo and is dated 18 March 2011.
Evolution of Clans

Introduction (by Mod Timbo)

2011 is the year of clans for RuneScape. To celebrate this we want to spread the word about our excellent clan community and how they have grown and adapted throughout the ages of RuneScape in their quest for supremacy. This article, republished from Tip.it’s 'Clan Chronicle', really captures the spirit of clans, and we want to share it with you.

Tip.it is one of our platinum-supported fan sites, and this article was written by one of their contributors, Ralph. It has been written completely from a RuneScape player’s perspective, and we’ve included a couple of "editor’s comments" to help clarify some of the terms and situations that Ralph talks about.

Just how did RuneScape's clans begin, and where are they going? Read on to find out...

Clan Chronicle article (by Ralph)

How has the clan world changed since 2001? How have clans adapted to change and accepted it? How are we being pushed even now by Jagex to change our ways and limit ourselves to the cold, cruel world they have forced us to become? The answers to these questions and more reside in this article, based on a variety of information from various clans' histories and personal interviews with old clanners. Lastly, before we get started, a tremendous thanks to Sirius from BlacKnights for all the help, along with the officials from a variety of clans who gave their time to help me out. Couldn't have done this without you!

The Beginning

In the beginning, it was just RuneScape Classic: a much smaller and far less diverse game than the one we have come to familiarise ourselves with. Every world was a PvP world, where, just outside the gates of Lumbridge, you could destroy someone and loot their corpse for limitless riches. However, there was a setback: there was no multi-combat! This may seem like a huge setback to warring to clanners today, however, multi-combat was not even really thought about until it was released (much later on). At this time in RuneScape history, there were fewer than 10 servers! However, unlike today, the small amount of servers was not a particularly large setback, because there were not a lot of clans competing at the time.

It did not take long for people to realise that PKing was easier to do in groups and teams, thus the first clans were born - BlacKnights, Gladiatorz, The Sabres, and a few besides spawned from leaders who played since the beginning of RuneScape itself. This era of clanning was a much kinder and more peaceful environment then the present day's clan world; clan fights were much more respectful and much closer than the fights seen today. Honour and respect ruled here, rarely was the thought of a devious act formed or executed. The majority of clans fought in Barbarian Village, Al Kharid and Karamja, where random PKers strayed less often. RuneScape Dinasty was also formed around this time, and closed after a little while before quickly reopening. RuneScape Dinasty was crowned #1 clan in RuneScape after defeating the Gladiatorz in a war.

The Wilderness

In 2003, the Wilderness (almost exactly as we know it today) was released. This confined clans willing to fight to the Wilderness only and, as such, clans having multiple fights on the same server became much more common than it had ever been. Fights usually disallowed returning, as it was considered a ’no honour’ act at this era of the clan world. It was very rare to see people above 100 combat even at this time, and since it was still single-combat only, tactics mattered very little in the fights that were held. Having high levels won wars during this time. As said previously having above 100 combat was very rare, because it was so difficult to train in RuneScape Classic. The Alliance, one of the first strong alliances to work out (next to the Syndicate Alliance, which was previous to it) was formed at this time, consisting of the BlacKnights, the Gladiatorz, Jagz and 'THE'.

RuneScape 2

RuneScape 2 was released in 2004, bringing about one of the largest changes the clan world had ever seen. Training became exponentially easier, making combat level difference in clans an even larger factor in wars than it had ever been. Another even larger factor came into play when RuneScape 2 was released: multi-combat Wilderness! This revolutionised the way warring happened and completely changed any tactics that were once used to defeat opponents. Piling was created here, and spamming became much more pronounced than before, due to it not being 1v1's anymore. Clans spammed [Clan][Target] (such as ‘BK on Miner’) more often than not during this saga.

Damage Incorporated opened around this time, and quickly became very powerful due to the vast levels they had. Zeonic Force was another clan that was exceptionally powerful, and challenged and fought Damage Incorporated multiple times to different results. Zeonic Force closed, however, and the Sacred Templars spawned from them. The clan known as Eternal Honour (present day) came from what was previously known as Zeonic Force and Sacred Templars. The Mighty Red Dragons were added into The Alliance in 2005, and the BlacKnights left shortly afterwards. Damage Incorporated and BlacKnights were in their prime at this time, both being very powerful. BlacKnights lacked levels, however, in comparison to Damage Incorporated, and were swept aside as Damage Incorporated became the renowned #1 clan in RuneScape. Respect was there in spades, and clans rarely fought with flames amongst each other, preferring to acknowledge defeat and praise the victory of other clans.

The Golden Age and the Turning Point

Dark Slayers was formed (roughly) towards the end of 2005, along with Divine Forces. Dark Slayers very quickly grew to seemingly limitless power, and soon became the undisputed rulers of the clan world. Dark Slayers was a strongly honour-based clan, as nearly all clans were at this time, and clans followed their example with respect and dignity.

In 2006, the minigame Pest Control was released. This indirectly affected clanning in an enormous way. Maxed combat was easier than it had ever been to attain, with levels flying by in a fraction of the time they used to take. This led to an exponential rise in the amount of people with maxed combat, and levels were finally starting to matter less and less in wars, and tactics and preparation began dictating the victors. Due to the mass increase of combat levels in clans, PKRIs (player-killing run-ins) were formed as the new way to judge the way clans were ranked. Rune sets became relatively cheaper, and the amount of servers was exceptionally great.

All of this led to clans allowing returning, and soon it became the custom. Whichever clan's members would return more would be the winning clan. Clans started becoming 'no honour' and Noobs Incorporated became very popular during this time. Although crashing was happening rather more than it had before, this was the greatest era in the clan world. Violent Resolution was also opened in 2006, a kind of merge between the clans previously known as Awaken and Hostile. Awaken came from a line of clans that were related to each other, and all were arguably 'no honour' in nature. Violent Resolution has only become stronger and stronger up until present day.

Sadly, the age was not to last. In December 2007, Jagex changed the way clans fought forever, and brought hell upon us. The Wilderness was removed, and in its place sat a hellhole called Clan Wars Arena, which was the poorest substitute that Jagex could offer to clans in recompense for destroying their world[1]. Clan Chat was released, although only clans born after the removal of the Wilderness used it for anything other than events. IRC (Internet Relay Chat) was the preferred method of communication to clans that braved to stay alive after Jagex had destroyed the world. Dark Slayers, known by most to be the strongest clan RuneScape has ever known, closed at this time.

[1] - "Activities such as Clan Wars and Fist of Guthix were meant to replace the thrill-seeking aspects of PKing. Being honest, though, none of these were really as good as what we had originally. I have a team of fantastic designers, but when you have a player base that just miss what you used to have, then no matter what you make and no matter how good it is, it's never going to be the same as what they had before." - Mod Mark

The Clan Wars Arena Saga

Only clans too stubborn to close braved through this era of the clan world. They fought without loss or gain, and with hardly any emotion as winning or losing mattered much less than it did when fighting with the thrill of losing your items lent wings to your feet. Many clans were formed during this time, and although it is considered the lowest point in clan history, many clans were born that had previously been afraid to PK and lose their items. These clans are presently known as W17 or W141 clans, and the name is tagged as if the clans were filth.

Many of the clans born during this period have turned out to become rather powerful, and many are still growing and becoming stronger. Clans born during this era are slowly expanding today and more and more are trying out Wilderness fights and finding it to their liking. Clans that were created in this era are also holding a different purpose. They are the ones we should be respecting and thanking, for it is them that keep the clan world alive. Clans that remain in Clan Wars Arena recruit completely new members that have never clanned before, and teach them the basics before they go on and join higher ranked clans in the world. They really do deserve more respect than they are given.

Using the Clan Wars Arena forced clans to improve their organisation, leading The Titans to become one of the strongest clans in the world alongside Damage Incorporated. Crashing was eliminated, even though it had never been a very large problem in the clan world, and eventually a new layout arrived that allowed every rule to be incorporated into the arena, eliminating the majority of 'no honour' acts that were common. PKRIs were also finished, and it was back to matched or full-out Clan Wars fights where rune sets didn't matter one bit, but levels and organisation did.

Also introduced during this time, was the Bounty Hunter crater. This was a better substitute than the Clan Wars Arena for most clans, however, it still wasn't a true replacement for the old Wilderness. Clans fought in the crater for a while, until Jagex managed to end even that by imposing some new rules, making it so multi-combat fighting was nearly impossible in the crater.

Awakening

At last, after roughly a year of clanning without risk, Jagex had introduced PvP worlds, and later on BH Worlds (along with +1). This has led to an increase and surge of clans being formed by people who had quit clanning when Clan Wars Arena was released, and who were starting to trickle back into the clan world as these worlds gave them heart again.

For a while, clans surged, but it wasn't to last. Although many clans were being formed, we were squished into a very small amount of servers, even including Brazilian, French and German worlds. This limited the possible amount of clean fights and crashing has become habit. The Divine Forces and Violent Resolution beef had begun, and the crash war ensued. After Divine Forces crashed a Violent Resolution war after an agreement not to crash, Violent Resolution ended Divine Forces and Damage Incorporated's fight. This ignited such a turmoil in the clan world that every clan that PKs has been affected. 'Honour' and 'no honour' have blended together so completely that nearly no clan is completely 'honour' or 'no honour'.

Today's world is truly a survival of the fittest scenario, and while this favours clans with a large amount of members/the top 10, it limits the opportunity for smaller clans to expand and become stronger, if they are being crashed every time they are out. The Titans have shown themselves to become probably the most organised and most powerful Clan Wars Arena clan during the Jagex 2009 Clan Cup, and are going to have to fight for that title again in 2011[2].

Clans have always followed whoever was #1 in the way they conduct themselves. This was apparent with the prosperity Dark Slayers and Damage Incorporated brought, but was diminished when Divine Forces and Violent Resolution took their stand against each other. Smaller clans are crashing each other now too, just to get some action, and rivalries have been taken to a whole new level.

With the recent changes coming from Jagex dealing with clans, most notably with the return of the Wildy and the Jagex Cup that has been running for two years now, we're seeing light at the end of the tunnel. The developer blogs detailing how Jagex are planning to change the clan world again are coming out too signalling that change is afoot. This could be a new start for the clan world, one that we’ll await with baited breath like we have with all other changes in the past.

[2] - "And they’ll be fighting RuneScape Dinasty for that title; the 2010 winners of the Combat Cup will not be beaten so easily! The 2011 Clan Cup will see a whole range of improvements thanks to the clan updates, easier management of your member lists, brand new sub-divisions such as a P2P skilling section, and much more! Stay tuned with future Clan Submissions Blog for more info." - Mod Timbo

The future (by Mod Timbo)

So what’s next for clans? The return of the Wilderness and free trade had another massive impact on the clan community and our clans will adapt. As this article proves, the resilience and ability to evolve are some of the top qualities our clan community possesses. As we focus on clans in 2011, we’re sure that the clan community will adapt and evolve even further with the updates, and using them in ways that we never even thought were possible.

Clans add so much to the RuneScape community, and we look forward to both greeting new clans and seeing what existing ones will come up with next.

To discuss this blog on the forums, visit this forum thread.

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