Almost Everything I learned about Teamwork and Leadership, I Learned in Clan Lord

I’ve been threatening to write this post for about a year. I had this sitting on the back-burner for a month and asked for comments from another player also in the IT Admin field. So, without further ado…

Despite the Graphics, CL has real team-building potential

Despite the Graphics, CL has real team-building potential

For the unwashed, Clan Lord is an archaic, sorely out-of-date Multi-player Online Role-playing Game  (MORPG) that has been running since the late 90s. The single world (server) and small population make it feel like a small town, thus all of the current players have the same goal (job). Thus, like any small group with common goals, it is a bit like a company: You have your people in it who are on the ball because they work well in teams and independently, those that only work in teams because they need direction, those that lead group of people in a direction, those that specialize in a subset of knowledge about the terrain (market or technology) all of whom trade their time and risk profit (experience) to advance, and finally those that just show up to have fun. These flyby ‘fun’ people are equivalent to the people who just show up for a paycheck. In the game, one seemingly minor mistake can lead to the death of the entire group.  This necessitates departing (experience and time loss) which is a bit like working on a project  and having it fail miserable because Joe Paycheck didn’t know or care that you shouldn’t have done X.

Considering the parallels I noticed about the in game group and the group of people you work with  day-to-day, I have found several commonalities that I have taken from work to game and from game to work that have helped me navigate real life teamwork, leadership and relationships.

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The Corps…

In response from messages from readers who are a bit perturbed by the 3rd party ads interfering with the content of this blog, I am trying a new blogging service called The fees for a paid account are reasonable,  there are no ads. and I own my content. The appeal is triple-fold thus far. However, if I jump ship, I thought I would let people know why this move is necessary despite the very widespread exposure on WordPresses’ network of Blogs. First off. Not every page needs an Advertisement, and more importantly, when it is wrapped in an little pop up animation, it is disrespectful of the reader because of yet another thing vying of their attention. We are distracted enough these days. When I write, I tend to turn on my Noisehush NS400s I reviewed last week, and blast music.

Right now it is blasting my favorite Beatles Song, While My Guitar Gently Weeps in all its lossless glory that I ripped in iTunes 10.7. (FYI, iTunes is currently at version 11.0.4.) While I distracted myself to make sure George Harrison Wrote that song, Love & Rockets’ Here Comes the Comedown is up… ah distractions (kinda’)…

But as one of the lines I read for a character I played in an animation based on the best Social RPG ever (that I highly do not recommend), “But I digress….”


Usually I would have a break here, but. not his time. It is time to switch over to 10C! for the rest of this article… See you there.

Why I Don’t Recommend Clan Lord

Clan Lord: Pay No Attention to the Graphics

A Rare Challenge

Clan Lord is a veritable Methuselah among online role-playing games, the graphics—2D hand drawn sprites—are crude compared to todays 32-bit texture laden 3D graphics. The reason is that this game is on its second decade of existence having come out of beta after about a year of testing in 1998. Since then development efforts have gone into expanding the world and adding features on occasion.

The gameplay is simplistic for fighters and for the first few levels of “healer-dom.” One simply runs into what one wants to try to kill or start healing. Unlike 3D games, a 2D system allows this because there is no “ASDF+turn key” navigation needed in a 3D space, In a 2D space your mouse does quite nicely.

In addition to this lack of combat mechanic complexity, there is also a very simple items system, and thus not much of an economy. If a person is not too concerned about rapid advancement while off-line and doesn’t carry more than the maximum of allowed objects, there is almost no reason to even have coins or care about obtaining them after one gets their basic equipment needs met, aside from the 5 coin boat fare to leave the island and chain repairs.

So, what does this game so clearly lacking offer, and why are people still playing after over 10 years? Clan Lord has a radically different concept and approach to games than pretty much every other RPG online or offline out there. And the difference in the environment it came out of and exists in has both its strengths and weaknesses.

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CL: A dead horse keeps running

I sat in my virtual town for a while today while I read the Sentinel. After about half an hour, we had 3 or 4 people on for a “quick trip.” As we ventured deeper into the glenn, more and more people started coming on, so we invited them as the logged on. We ended up with about 10 people in our party going to the Mountain Glen. It was funny considering when I logged on at about 3PM (Pacific) there were barely 10 people on.


We started really strong — the party consisted of Noivad, Geo, Tafari, Shadowfire, Nyla, Quinix for fighters and Hex, Tsune, Aelyse and Veer for healers. With 4 upper level fighters and 3 upper level healers we easily made it to the main boss with no only one close call.

I then made the mistake of entering the bosses lair without unequipping my weapon. I got pulled into a few fairly strong creatures that damaged me enough so that running out, luck hits, the pull of the boss and such made me fall. I thought “no biggy, the party will just have to do without me. I’ll wait here calmly, and let them know to lure and get me.” But before I could fire up ICQ, Geo came in and fell trying to chain me. :( So, that left our party without pathfinders to let the party out in case of trouble. And trouble there was. No one filled me in on the details, but with no PF and things auto-luring from the bosses snell, the party was doomed. The hunt ended in tragedy when a few poor strategic and tactical decisions got everyone killed. In the future pathfinders need to stay in reserve just in case the party needs to retreat.

Luckily no one was upset, and everyone decided to depart. After I was invited to hit the Barrens and Mausoleum, but my battery was going to be dead soon, and it was cold outside the cafe. So, I logged off and reflected on my adventures. I realized even after all these years CL can deliver some decent amount of excitement with the right crew and the right challenge.

This dead horse just keeps running. Although the same can’t be said for the party that went to the Glen today.