Being in a clan has a lot of benefits. Lineage 2 is a team game and nothing important can really be achieved without having a party, a CP (Constant Party), a raid or siege command channel.
Clans have a hierarchy and their system rarely has anything to do with a democracy. They resemble mostly a monarchy where the clan leader basically does what he wants. Most successful clans, have a kind of agreement or arrangement with their members and a charismatic leader to enforce discipline..A clan is a lot like an army where the general has to inspire authority, charisma so that the people will follow him. The agreement between the players and the clan makes sure that the clan rules are upheld but also that the members enjoy more or less equal benefits from the team activities.
The most obvious benefits for joining a clan are the clan hall and the clan buff. Access to a clan hall makes all teleports much cheaper, faster and easier. Instead of using the Gatekeeper you can simply soe to clan hall and then port to wherever you need to. The clan buff is a big help for xping because it gives 35% more xp and also some increased stats. If you are strong enough to be on the main clan of a high level clan, you can wear the Cloak of Light which gives your character increased defense.
But, each clan has its rules and most clans will require you to participate in certain events or to show some kind of activity in some clan events. It is also logical that each clan has a certain identity and unique goals/visions. By being in a clan, you have to share those visions and be loyal to them. This is what the crest or tag represents. Being in a clan should be ultimately about achieving certain goals as a team and not about individual progress at the cost of others. That is why people who change clans every week can rarely be trusted.
A clan does have some expenses, for example the clan hall has a significant amount of rent. But, there should be 100% transparency about the items that the clan acquires from clan events, raids etc. The drops should ALWAYS be documented in the forums and to whom and when they were given. While this is hard to do, it is the only way to gain the trust of members.
There is no completely accurate system that can assess each member’s contribution to the clan but in general, attendance to clan events and the general image of a member is enough. Attendance can be recorded and examined at the end of each month. Most important items should be given to the members who contribute the most but everyone who contributed a bit should get something, even symbolically as an appreciation of their efforts. The members of a clan should NOT have to pm the leader and ask for items. Generally the hierarchy should be Leader>Clan Captains-CP Leaders. So, if a member has a request, they can ask the Clan Captain to discuss this with the leader. When items are given secretly, only to those who ask persistently, and not to those who, out of consideration, do not disturb the leaders… then this is a really bad sign. Some Clans only reward strong players with items they got from donating, totally ignoring people who dedicate their time and effort to it. Having a PVE weapon is a great help for the clan, but a member who never misses a raid and logs 3 chars every time should get something for the loyalty and dedication. Because ALL members are needed for the success of a raid, and without the 49 toons, the clan will not be able to port inside. So EVERYONE must get something regardless their gear. Also the raid leaders should never forget to thank everyone for coming at the end of raids. This is important and it is a way to show appreciation.
Signs that you are in a bad clan:
- there is no transparency about items. No records of what dropped where and who got it.
- the leader does not thank everyone at the end of raids/sieges.
- the leader and clan captains are often unavailable, when they talk they talk negatively about other clans, swearing at enemy players and bully others in the chat channels.
- the leader promises things that never happen and you keep waiting, wasting your time, while you are being used by the clan.
- you simply don’t enjoy playing with these people. You often feel like an outsider. You are not having fun. You are not included in epics or other activities.
- when you ask a genuine question you are being repeatedly ignored.
- the looting system changes in the same situations, to serve specific players.
- you are being asked to wait for longer periods of time in events, sometimes hours in a row.
- your gear is not improving even though you are investing all your time to the clan events.
Signs that you are in a good clan:
- the members have a good disposition and do not target nor bully a specific member
- you are being included in events
- your time is not wasted because the events have an efficient way of happening
- the looting system is transparent and does not change every 2 days
- the members are mostly positive and do not bully other clans
- the members support each other by helping when needed and reply genuine questions in clan chat
- the leader has a good organized and structured forum with an attendance reward system.
- the leader talks to the members periodically and encourages them, leads the sieges and thanks everyone for their efforts.
- you gear is improving and your toon becomes stronger.
- you feel happy to be in that clan and you are enjoying the game.
As you see, it is not easy to find a good clan and if you don’t really try some of them out, it is hard to know exactly what is going on. Before joining a clan, make sure that you have read the clan rules and the content of their website. Observe how the members talk in the general chat channels and how they treat other players. This will tell you a lot about the atmosphere of the clan. It is better not to rush getting into a clan, because once you are in it, it is going to be a lot harder to leave. You will form some kind of relations with its members, regardless whether these relations are healthy or not, and you may not be able to find the strength to leave. Also, a bad clan will bully you after leaving it. So choose your clan carefully.
Even when you join a clan for the academy, it may be a totally neutral experience or a negative one. I left the academy I had joined because people had started accusing me of being a spy… And it was my first weeks on the server. So… while it can be hard to level up without support, from level 85+ there are a lot of opportunities to meet people in instances and form relations.
Regardless the strength of the clan, there will always be some that have a good atmosphere. It may be strategically wise to choose such a clan while you develop your character. Eventually, when you have reached a very high level and have decent gear, you can think about joining a stronger or more organized clan. Before applying for membership, make sure you have all the minimum qualifications that the clan is asking. In my experience rushing things may get you in very hard situations, even though it may level you up faster or teach you important lessons. If you want a more pleasant game experience, wait for the right time when your toon has developed enough and research the clans before you decide where to apply. Good clans have higher expectations and it is worth waiting. Generally, clans that have higher standards and do not massively accept everyone.