This week we are taking a close look at SG, one of the longest-lived Clans in Clan Wars. SG has succeeded in striking a balance between remaining competitive while still retaining a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. As part of a gaming syndicate, SG provides its members with access to a variety of services and a tight-knit, family style environment in which its members can grow and advance.
We interviewed these players to learn more about the history and future of SG:
trireme - Commander, focuses on general direction of SG, Clan Wars positioning, and diplomacy
SilentDemise - Deputy Commander, works on map strategies, diplomacy, and calling battles
Dukebarry - Executive Officer, focuses on internal organization and logistics
maddog090 - Veteran Soldier and a core tanker in SG
trireme - I'm the current commander (the third commander that SG has had). One of the advantages that SG has is that it is a very stable, long-lived, organization. People rotate in and out of leadership as they get tired and burnt out. SG is part of a gaming syndicate and is more than just World of Tanks. We have a whole support structure at the syndicate level that takes care of the forums, website, and everything else. Guys running the individual game "portals" don't have to worry about any of that.
As such, we have a nice, stable community and as soon as one leader is burned out, he just passes it off to the next guy. That makes for a very stable Clan. We've been in it since World of Tanks came out of Beta. We've recently had a bit of an expansion. Originally, we were just SG and now we're up to three in-game Clans: [SG], [SGHQ], and [SG3].
The original SG is our main Clan Wars unit. Our most active, most experienced players with a bunch of Tier X tanks and everything. SGHQ is a more relaxed Clan Wars group. All those guys have Tier X's and are already doing Clan Wars, but they're less experienced, and still kind of learning how to do things. Now, they've started taking land on the map and I've been working a lot with the officers to help them build things up. Then we have SG3, which is a casual and social group for guys who do not have the tanks for Clan Wars, or do not feel like doing Clan Wars, they might have different time zones, or something like that. We have three different Clans that encompass a range of interest levels and commitments to the game.
trireme - SG is an organization formed back in 2000, with a group of guys playing World War II Online. They wanted to make an outfit that would stick around as different games came in and out of style. When they got bored with a game, they would move onto another one but keep the same group together with Teamspeak and everything else. Now we have "portals" for a whole bunch of different games, including World of Tanks. Each one has its own command staff to keep it organized. The basic idea is they want to be organized and competitive in whatever game that they get into. So, whenever there is a new game on the horizon that is about to go into Beta, they'll get a group of officers together who are going to organize and run things for it. That way we can hit the ground running and just be ready to go with whatever game comes along.
trireme - Well, Silent likes to organize a race night a couple times a month. Everyone grabs a light tank, he'll pick a map and lay out a course on it, and then we have a big demolition derby. I think he usually sets the limit at Tier VI. The only rule is that you're not allowed to shoot, but pushing people into the water and everything else is all fair-game. It's sort of a giant demolition derby and usually the ones who survive manage to win it in the end.
SilentDemise - During one of the winter breaks, I've held the World of Tanks Games where I had different mini-games where we do things like "precision-racing", "duck hunt", or stuff like that. It's pretty fun.
trireme - We even had a long jump. I think it was on...off of one of the rocks...
SilentDemise - It was on El Halluf, just below the "E-2" hill.
Dukebarry - I think as officers, we want everyone to check in at muster time to see what's going on and it's our responsibility to make sure that everyone is having a good time. We don't want people to get too wrapped up in or serious about the game. We find a lot of fun things for our members to do.
trireme - Well the main thing is to try to communicate as much as you can with all Clan members. You want to make sure that they know when there is something fun and interesting going on. Additionally, we have to be enthusiastic. If the officers are not fired up about something, how are they going to get the membership motivated? Lastly, we have a bunch of guys who just love this game and they are the ones who stick with it. Something that we look for with our recruits is people who are really team-oriented, want to be part of the Clan, and are not in it just for themselves.
Dukebarry - Teamwork is a big thing. I'm the newest member of the Clan. After I left [7THAD], I started my own Clan that just never got competitive. Then I went to a highly competitive Clan and the stress level got to be kind of high during the campaigns. The campaigns actually create stress, especially the second one where it has fame points, where it's like "I need to get in, I need to get in". I think the nice thing about SG is that if we go into a battle where we lose or don't do well, there just isn't any name calling. Nobody calls out anybody else. It's just like, "well, we can do better next time" and we move on. We have a very mature attitude about our fights. Some Clans want to spend an hour diagnosing what they did wrong or what they did right. I think Silent has always set the standard for that where he's "calling" a battle and we lose where he'll just say, "well, that didn't work! I'll do something different next time" and then we move on. I think that has a lot to do with the attendance being high. Everybody is happy to be here all the time.
trireme - It was about a year ago when we started having SGHQ get into Clan Wars. At first, they were just doing landings and getting practice in. In the last few months, they have been able to take and hold land on their own. Whenever possible, we try to get the two Clans in the same area so that they can support each other. There are a lot of "time zone" and "who we're fighting" considerations that go into it, but SGHQ has been making a lot of progress. We're very pleased to see that and we're trying to keep the momentum going to keep on building up their battle calling and trying to get more active players in there.
trireme - Well a lot of it is just having a lot of communication between the officers. Duke is really good about this, about sitting down with the guys in the subclans and really finding out what it is that they want. This way it's not always SG dictating to the other two Clans what they're going to be doing. We really try to figure out what they want, what their goals are, and see how we can help them reach them.
maddog090 - I don't think there is much that is different. I think we're basically the same as a lot of people who recruit on the forums.
trireme - The only real difference is that all recruits have to go through our website. We direct everyone who is interested there. It's not too terribly complicated. Basically, they go on the website, they submit an app, we bring them on Teamspeak, have an interview, and just decide if they're a good fit from there. Fairly basic stuff.
Dukebarry - That's a tough one because I think the biggest problem revolves around having enough officers. A lot of Clans try to run with two officers. Two people trying to run one-hundred guys is too much work. You burn out your officers too quickly and then arguments start, blame games start, and all that kind of stuff. A lot of new Clans come along and they may want an 80-90% winrate right off the bat and they lose battle after battle. You can have the best players in the world, the best "strats" in the world, and you're still going to lose some games. I think what SG has is stability and the maturity to recognize that and just let things go and move on. We're in it for the long-haul, not for the instant glory. I think that's really what a Clan needs to understand to survive.
trireme - [ACES] is one of our closest allies right now. As for rivals, we get into lots of wars where some of the Clans, the Clans that we fought against the most, no longer exist. We fight a lot of battles, and we're still pretty respectful of each other and everything. We had some real good fights with [VILIN], and its sister Clan [THUGZ] awhile back. A lot of great fights there!
Dukebarry - You know what's different about us? We were in a situation where we were up against [BULLS] recently, and they are a really good Clan. Instead of just going to war and calling each other names, we used to go over there and visit. We would talk to each other and even though we were at war with each other, technically, we really became very friendly. I think that's one of the strengths of SG in Clan Wars. We just don't forget that it's a game and we don't have any particular enemies or friends. We sort of just get along with everybody. I mean, we might fight over a piece of land, just like everyone does. It isn't our way to start arguments, fight on forums, etc. We just don't do that.
maddog090 - That may be our strictest rule. We do NOT badmouth, or rub it in, or say anything nasty. If you want to do that, you just don't play in SG.
trireme - First of all, we try to see if there are any friends that we can go and help out. We always like to maintain those alliances with friends and repay people for times when they've helped us in the past. Once we're on the map, and hopefully near a friend or two, then we just look for good opportunities for fights. We try to be realistic about it. There are some Clans we know that we're not going to be able to take on, and others that we feel a lot more confident about. It's about carefully picking your battles and opponents. At the same time, we're not afraid to go and get ourselves wiped out and knocked off of the map. It's happened before, and it'll happen again, and it's all part of the game. We try not to worry too much about the land and focus more on getting the good fights in.
trireme - I think if I had to start completely from scratch, I would start with tournament teams. I would get a regular group of guys doing tournaments together. I'd have them form the core, a group of guys who are motivated because you have to be pretty motivated and dedicated to do well in those tournaments. There is scheduling and practice and all sorts of stuff to think about. Once you have a group of guys who knew how to work and fight together, then start your recruitment from there with that core of leadership to build on everything else because one or two people are not going to be able to do it by themselves. You need about a tournament-team's size worth of leadership to really build a Clan.
Dukebarry - I agree completely. I'll add, and this will give you some insight into the difference between me and Tri, I'd write a mission statement and a business plan. Then I would find people that went along with that.
maddog090 - Thank you for the opportunity to do this! I think this will definitely help us in recruiting.
Dukebarry - Yes, I do appreciate it and we're trying to grow three Clans and this is going to help us, I think. I just want to say this. There are a lot of guys out there who are old players who have been playing since Beta, and if they're looking for a fun Clan that is not going to be full of stress, this is a great place to be.
maddog090 - Hey Tri, you're our Princeton graduate. Speak up buddy!
trireme - Just one final shout-out to all of our SG tankers because they're the reason that we're doing the work here, and having the fun that we're having. It's just a great group of guys that we have!
Clan Wars Division
What: Champion Tank Companies
Who: [SG] and WGA employees
When: May 21, 16:00 PDT (19:00 EDT) to approx. 18:00 PDT (21:00 EDT)
Where: NA East server
If you face off against our Spotlight Tank Company, you'll have a chance to win Gold prizes!
If you are streaming on your own Twitch.tv channel and you send a link to your stream with the time at which you face us, your entire team will double their winnings! This link must be sent in a PM on the forums to Hypnotik by 09:00 PDT (12:00 EDT) the following Friday morning.
If you have any questions you'd like us to ask [SG] while on the stream, please leave them in the comments thread for this article or you may also ask them in the Twitch chat!
Gold from this event will be distributed by Wednesday, May 28, 2014.
|Result||If you encounter|
the Spotlight TC...
|If streaming on Twitch|