Interview with Faust-Syndicate 5/15/00

(Lectral) Okay.
(Lectral) Let's begin.
(Faust) :)
(Faust) Great!
(Lectral) When was The Syndicate created, and for what gaming platform?
(Faust) The Syndicate was founded in April of 1996. It was originally founded as an Ultima Online guild during the Alpha Test.
(Lectral) What instances occured that provoked you to look into other games since then?
(Faust) On a personal level, I had a tough time with Ultima Online. When EverQuest became a looming fact, several of our members requested an expansion. We went to the EQ beta and figured out the best way to fit into that world and made the expansion upon release. (Faust) As I was unhappy with UO, I was asked to lead the expansion.
(Lectral) Right,
(Lectral) What kind of memberbase do you aim torwards?
(Faust) We are pretty particular about a high level of maturity. We bill ourselves as "professionals," so we don't put up with petty games much. However, teamwork is also our goal. We allow for a wide range of diversity and have a wide range of players (RP, PvP, PowerGamers, and tradesmen... each adds to the team)
(Lectral) What specifically, about Shadowbane appeals to a large guild like The Syndicate?
(Faust) Shadowbane has a lot of the characteristics we've wanted for a long time. The ability for large and well managed guilds is obvious. I view it as a great oppurtunity for us to "put our money where our mouth is" to some extent. We already have the leadership in place and our structure is similar to the Shadowbane format. And it looks like a heck of a lotta fun!
(Lectral) How many members do you currently have?
(Faust) We currently have an active roster somewhere above 400 members. This is pretty evenly split between EQ and UO. There are quite a few members who are playing unsupported games such as Tribes (etc.) while we get ready for the next expansion.
(Lectral) Can you elaborate on how your ranking structure works?
(Faust) We have a single GM named "Dragons" who is Bevenolent Dictator and has last say in everything we do. Under him, we have two guys essentially AGM's for each game. Then, we have Squads with a Squad Leader and a Lieutenant each responsible for as many as 40 members who fit that squad's personality. For example, in EQ it is based on Race/Geography whereas UO Squads are based on roles such as Tradesmen, Warriors, Mage's etc..
(Lectral) Alright,
(Lectral) What is your standpoint on PKing?
(Faust) We are an Anti-Pk guild. (if you define PK as someone being a jerk about it)
(Lectral) Random killer.
(Lectral) How does a large guild like the Syndicate usually select an expansion?
(Faust) We are anti-random-pkiller. :) All for PvP if both sides want to do it for sport, but preying on others is bad and we hunt those folks down, and feed them their lunch.
(Faust) Generally, we keep an eye out for potential new games that look good. Often we are contacted for beta's and things like that. I just spent a week at E3 looking at some candidates and reviewing their strengths and weaknesses. We view expansions as very important decisions, so this is handled by an Assistant Guild Master.
(Faust) Once we determine that we want to move on a game we'll get 4 or 5 members who are known for good work and start accumulating as much data as possible.
(Lectral) What alignment is The Syndicate?
(Faust) In the Classic D&D sense of the description, I'd have to put The Syndicate as Chaotic Neutral. ::grin::
(Faust) (ala self motivated and beholden to none but itself.)
(Lectral) Does the Syndicate construct alliances, and if so what are the prerequisites?
(Faust) Thats not to say we don't support the meek and defend the just and all that wrot though :)
(Faust) At this point we have few alliances within UO and none within EQ. In EQ there is simply no point (carebear server). In UO we have had a few alliances but hey are generally no combat agreements. In that world it's pretty clear who the good-guys are and who the bad-guys are. In Shadowbane we may find a whole new need for alliances, and once we understand the games dynamics, we can make a better call on how that will happen.
(Faust) We're surely open to diplomacy, but often find that written agreements are about as good as a regular old hand-shake.
(Lectral) What transfer percentage do you expect into shadowbane?
(Faust) Unable to determine at this time. A lot will have to do with how bored people are with EQ and if Origin gets its act together. I would think UO folks would be more likely to go, but have heard a lot of support from EQ members. Further, we will be recruiting in Shadowbane if that is our next expansion.
(Lectral) What kind of screening does an interview with the Syndicate entail? Heavy? Soft?
(Faust) Generally, an applicant needs a reference. They are then given a questionaire to fill out: (which looks at their knowledge of the game they are in and tells a lot about he level of maturity of the individual.) Assuming they pass this stage, we offer them a month's membership as probationary members before adompting them all the way. We turn a lot of people away with "thanks for applying," so I would say: pretty heavy, but not unreasonable.
(Lectral) Will you be attacking weaker cities unprovoked, to expand an empire, or will you dwell in one area until provoked?
(Faust) Guess that depends on who our neighbors are. :) Without question we will explore diplomatic alliances and mutual protection agreements before initiating full scale siege, but we will also need to select a location with lots of room to grow.
(Faust) If we find ourselves boxed in without the ability to expand, we'll have to see what happens.
(Lectral) Yeah...
(Faust) I find it hard to believe that The Syndicate could live in the Shadowbane world without SOMEONE trying to take a swack at us.
(Lectral) Do you have an intelligence department,
(Faust) We do.
(Lectral) And are you weary of espionage attempts against you?
(Faust) We have a pretty extensive intellegence arm named the "Omen Squad." I was Squad Leader for nearly a year.
(Lectral) Is there anything else you would like to express about your guild at this time?
(Faust) At this point we are quite excited about the potential for Shadowbane. I met with the team the other day at E3 and couldn't help ask them if they were hiring. :) At this point we still have some questions, but it sounds terrific.
(Lectral) Thanks Faust, I appreciate your time.
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