MMORPG Magazine Article...
In September of 2001, Icanmonkey.com 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
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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