MMORPG Magazine Article...

In September of 2001, is a company that specializes in gaming publications ranging from manuals to strategy guides to books and magazines on gaming. Their mid2002 project was to create a new print magazine about MMORPG gaming. As part of their lead edition, a writeup on The Syndicate was featured. Here is what the article read:

The Syndicate () is among the oldest guilds in online gaming. Founded in early 1996 and setting the standard for future MMORPG guilds, The Syndicate heavily influenced the development of other gaming groups, particularly those in Ultima Online. Guildmaster Dragons founded the guild with the concept that it should be made up of a team of mature, team-focused, friendly, and fun-loving friends. The Syndicate does not believe in player killing (“pking”), cheating, or exploiting the game code and guild members have helped locate and report numerous bugs within games. In UO, The Syndicate has also been a leader in the ongoing war with the murderous and despised "PKs.”

Although The Syndicate has never been about numbers, the focus on maturity and friendship caused it to grow quickly as more and more were attracted to the values and standards that were offered by few other guilds. As a result, soon after its founding The Syndicate could boast of hundreds of members. The Syndicate attracts a largely adult gaming crowd which includes many female and international members. This gives the guild an extremely diverse membership which has helped contribute to its phenomenal success.

Outstanding structure and good management kept The Syndicate growing stronger as tens of thousands of other guilds formed and dissolved during UO's lifetime. As time went on, most of the guilds that were once The Syndicate’s peers had long since ceased to be. New guilds rose and fell by the hundreds each week while The Syndicate remained steadfast in its core beliefs and rock solid as a team of friends. The Syndicate set the bar on what a premier guild should be and continues to raise that standard as new lessons are learned and improvements are implemented. The structure and organization of The Syndicate have been copied by many other guilds, but never with the same degree of success.

In 2002, six years into its existence, the guild is still led by Dragons and is still structured as a “benevolent dictatorship.” Ultimately, Dragons makes the final decisions and takes responsibility for any issues, but member participation in the decision making process is key. The guild was founded on the belief that each member is important and their feedback is always welcomed and encouraged. Due to the guild’s large size a strong leadership team works with Dragons. These Squad Leaders and other Guild Officers work to ensure that proper attention is given to all issues. Additionally, guild communications are detailed, frequent, and available to all members in a variety of ways.

During its tenure in UO, The Syndicate reached many milestones, including the founding of the first player-run town. Dozens of Syndicate members volunteered their time as counselors (highly knowledgeable players who helped OSI's in-game GM staff). Guild members pioneered the notion of player-run events by creating and coordinating activities such as Scavenger Hunts and Lottery giveaways. With several hundred people attending Syndicate events, they often dwarfed those run by OSI itself. In addition to achieving its goals in UO, The Syndicate expanded to Everquest upon its release and quickly established itself as one of that game’s top guilds as well.

As The Syndicate grew into a premier online gaming guild it attracted the attention of many game development companies and developed relationships with them. Members have participated in numerous beta tests and feedback sessions to help shape the future of online gaming. Well known for its mature, responsible, and friendly gamers, The Syndicate enjoys a very good reputation among likeminded gamers and developers.

Never content to rest on the laurels of past accomplishments, The Syndicate is a forward thinking and progressive organization. As such, an internal game migration team always has its eye on the future. The Syndicate is always looking for the next game to play, the next world to conquer, and the next online gaming community to serve.
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