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News & Features Discussion  » General: Book Overview: Legend of The Syndicate

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  Syndicate

Novice Member

Joined: 1/26/04
Posts: 20

9/29/07 9:15:18 AM#21

While normally The Syndicate does not post publically, since this is a site we are frequent readers of  we felt a reply to clear up a few inaccuracies by some posters was in order. 

A) In reference to comments similar to "I remember them from years ago and they were mean.. they sucked.. they were this.. they were that.." there are two relevant facts to consider.  First, a number of guild's have used our name over the years.  We were the first guild to use the name and we rapidly grew very large and were visible in a community that was much smaller than it is today.  Before too long, copycat guilds began to pop up using the name and in some cases they even pretended to be us on other servers or in other games.  As such, the vast majority of the time posts get made about 'bad' things we do, they are actually referring to other groups.  One such example is that in this thread there is a post talking about SiN which is not us. 

The second is that as Jon points out in his review, we openly discuss mistakes that we made in our early years.  Building a successful virtual community that is going on 12 years old is not done without making some mistakes and learning from them.  We are up front about those in the book in and effort to both honestly portray our history and to help other groups achieve a long term stable guild as well.  One of our core beliefs is that a strong gaming community benefits everyone and that stable guilds help build a strong community and our book, among other things, is a case study of one model of guild that has proven successful.  There are other models for success and there are other definitions of what success means.  Ours is one time tested story of success and currently its the only one published.  There will be others in the future and readers can chose the method that suits them and their guild the best or develop an entirely new one and write their own book.

B) The Syndicate is composed of a wide variety of people from across the world and from backgrounds of all shapes and sizes.  One of the little known facts about the guild is that members of almost every well known MMO development team are members of The Syndicate.  Staff from a number of the major fan sites are members of The Syndicate.  Developers and publishers of many popular non-MMO games are members of The Syndicate.   As such, over time, we have developed a number of very strong relationships with various companies that manifest in the form of things like consulting relationships, focus groups, content design meetings, formalized systems testing, private internal alpha and beta testing etc...  We don't openly brag about the specifics of what we have done or influenced but the vast majority of the readers of this article are playing or have played a game that we have had far more positive impact on than is publically known.  So, implicitly by playing the games and enjoying this feature or that boss or this rule set you are enjoying the results our efforts and are enjoying hard work that we put in to make the community a stronger place.  So we don't really take offense when someone posts says negative things because we do realize they are likely enjoying some aspect of some game that we as a guild or members of ours as developers had direct and significant impact in molding or creating.  We use our core ideals and values to work very hard to make gaming a little bit better for everyone but we don't create a massive bragging list "yep.. we designed X and our member created Y and they were producer for game Z" since that isn't our goal.  Our goal is to make gaming better both for our members and for the whole community.

C) In response to the question that was asked: "who would buy the book other than members?" .. well..  Thousands of copies have already been sold to players all across the world.  It has received many positive reviews from readers, from news sites and from members of the gaming industry.  One of my personal favorite quotes is from John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment, who wrote in his personal blog: "I have to say this is by far the best book about online gaming I’ve ever read. Once I got it, I couldn’t put it down and just read it straight through. The overall sense I got from reading the book was something that I’ve personally felt for a very long time – online gaming can lead to making lifelong friends. You spend a lot of time playing with people, and over that time these bonds can be just as powerful as friends you met back in school. I strongly believe that’s the biggest reason people like to play online games in the first place. It may not be what brings them in, but it is certainly one of the biggest drivers of what keeps them playing."  It is only natural that we would think very highly of ourselves.  That is human nature.  We also think very highly of a number of other successful players, guilds and companies.  But there is a large volume of independent media that have reviewed and evaluated both our book and our guild that have reached the same conclusion.  You are more than welcome to review their thoughts yourself and here is a cataloged link to many of them: http://www.llts.org/articles/  


Thanks again to Jon and MMORPG.COM for taking the time to review our book.  We do feel it is a worthwhile read to just about anyone into MMO gaming.  And if you seek to learn more about us without reading the book, please feel free to visit us at our website (www.LLTS.org). 

 

  BaronJuJu

Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/04
Posts: 1827

"Just because it happens to you doesn''t make it interesting"

9/29/07 9:32:21 AM#22

I had to laugh when Amazon recommends the book Exploiting Online Games: Cheating Massively Distributed Systems (Addison-Wesley Software Security Series) as a good companion to the Syndicate book and offer a package deal for them.

"If we don't attack them, they will attack us first. So we'd better retaliate before they have a chance to strike"

  ormstunga

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/22/04
Posts: 752

stupid is as stupid does

9/29/07 11:27:24 AM#23

Hey I'm no jerk I can understand that The Syndicate is not all bad ofc, making friends etc is a big part of playing MMOs I've always thought. Some aspects are abit over the edge (namechange threats etc) but anyways what I wanted to say was please for the luv of god dont quote John Smedley. There's got to be some guy who is more 'in touch' (or maybe 'in sync' is better suited) with the MMO community, giving this book props. Smedley lives in a mirror universe where SOE actually matters.

Goodluck with the book, I probably wont read it but hey I wont be giving out a book of my own any time soon either haha 

  chaintm

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/02/04
Posts: 977

"Shutting down threads sense 2004"

9/29/07 1:09:48 PM#24

Syndicate is actually a title of a video game franchise, got me if they still own the rights to that cool game but alas, that's how I remember that name. In my  gulp!.. 25+ years of gaming sense MUDS, I don't remember these guys, but as many have stated in certain titles in the past, allot of different kins/clans/guilds have dominated different games etc. Planetside had the Enclave and WOW had TAO, Dragonchow for EQ and more, all of which are better known in my eyes then these guys. Thou others can come on here and say they never heard of any of these guilds/clans , there are just so many that come and go.

It's cool that someone want's to make a book about MMO Guilds, thou I would have chosen a bit more of an open ended title and something that does not make it seem so self-promoting in the title. I might have just picked it up for curiosity sake, but because it seems to be more self-promotion then anything I will have to pass. Eh , it's published so someone thought it was something special I guess. Finally having one of it's members post here giving self cutos is just another reason not to get it. Talk delusions of grandeur ;P 

"The monster created isn't by the company that makes the game, it's by the fans that make it something it never was"

  Bountytaker

Novice Member

Joined: 1/09/07
Posts: 323

9/29/07 1:13:42 PM#25

 

Originally posted by Syndicate

While normally The Syndicate does not post publically, since this is a site we are frequent readers of  we felt a reply to clear up a few inaccuracies by some posters was in order. 

A) In reference to comments similar to "I remember them from years ago and they were mean.. they sucked.. they were this.. they were that.." there are two relevant facts to consider.  First, a number of guild's have used our name over the years.  We were the first guild to use the name and we rapidly grew very large and were visible in a community that was much smaller than it is today.  Before too long, copycat guilds began to pop up using the name and in some cases they even pretended to be us on other servers or in other games.  As such, the vast majority of the time posts get made about 'bad' things we do, they are actually referring to other groups.  One such example is that in this thread there is a post talking about SiN which is not us. 

The second is that as Jon points out in his review, we openly discuss mistakes that we made in our early years.  Building a successful virtual community that is going on 12 years old is not done without making some mistakes and learning from them.  We are up front about those in the book in and effort to both honestly portray our history and to help other groups achieve a long term stable guild as well.  One of our core beliefs is that a strong gaming community benefits everyone and that stable guilds help build a strong community and our book, among other things, is a case study of one model of guild that has proven successful.  There are other models for success and there are other definitions of what success means.  Ours is one time tested story of success and currently its the only one published.  There will be others in the future and readers can chose the method that suits them and their guild the best or develop an entirely new one and write their own book.

B) The Syndicate is composed of a wide variety of people from across the world and from backgrounds of all shapes and sizes.  One of the little known facts about the guild is that members of almost every well known MMO development team are members of The Syndicate.  Staff from a number of the major fan sites are members of The Syndicate.  Developers and publishers of many popular non-MMO games are members of The Syndicate.   As such, over time, we have developed a number of very strong relationships with various companies that manifest in the form of things like consulting relationships, focus groups, content design meetings, formalized systems testing, private internal alpha and beta testing etc...  We don't openly brag about the specifics of what we have done or influenced but the vast majority of the readers of this article are playing or have played a game that we have had far more positive impact on than is publically known.  So, implicitly by playing the games and enjoying this feature or that boss or this rule set you are enjoying the results our efforts and are enjoying hard work that we put in to make the community a stronger place.  So we don't really take offense when someone posts says negative things because we do realize they are likely enjoying some aspect of some game that we as a guild or members of ours as developers had direct and significant impact in molding or creating.  We use our core ideals and values to work very hard to make gaming a little bit better for everyone but we don't create a massive bragging list "yep.. we designed X and our member created Y and they were producer for game Z" since that isn't our goal.  Our goal is to make gaming better both for our members and for the whole community.

C) In response to the question that was asked: "who would buy the book other than members?" .. well..  Thousands of copies have already been sold to players all across the world.  It has received many positive reviews from readers, from news sites and from members of the gaming industry.  One of my personal favorite quotes is from John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment, who wrote in his personal blog: "I have to say this is by far the best book about online gaming I’ve ever read. Once I got it, I couldn’t put it down and just read it straight through. The overall sense I got from reading the book was something that I’ve personally felt for a very long time – online gaming can lead to making lifelong friends. You spend a lot of time playing with people, and over that time these bonds can be just as powerful as friends you met back in school. I strongly believe that’s the biggest reason people like to play online games in the first place. It may not be what brings them in, but it is certainly one of the biggest drivers of what keeps them playing."  It is only natural that we would think very highly of ourselves.  That is human nature.  We also think very highly of a number of other successful players, guilds and companies.  But there is a large volume of independent media that have reviewed and evaluated both our book and our guild that have reached the same conclusion.  You are more than welcome to review their thoughts yourself and here is a cataloged link to many of them: http://www.llts.org/articles/  


Thanks again to Jon and MMORPG.COM for taking the time to review our book.  We do feel it is a worthwhile read to just about anyone into MMO gaming.  And if you seek to learn more about us without reading the book, please feel free to visit us at our website (www.LLTS.org). 

 


Hilarious response!  Thanks for my first good chuckle of the day.

 

 

For those that need help, here's a bit of a breakdown:

 

A)  The Syndicate is all good.  Any negative interactions you've had with members were not with our group.  They were with our evil clones.  From the parallel, dark, mirror universe.  You know, just like us, but with goatees.  If you've ever interacted with a real member of our group, it's been all warm/fuzzies.  The bad stuff isn't us.

B)  Even if you don't believe A, or are wary of large, game controlling guilds in general (those of the gold farming, clique making, game ruining variety), you have to like us because we've actually helped make your game more fun.  Yes, we were intergral in developing all the fun parts of mmo's....and have never once given advice or suggestions that have led to a bad play experience.  EVER!  If a boss you faced was fun, exciting, challenging, and all around great....your welcome.  If you went through a boring grindfest to get a weapon that couldn't compete with the guildraid weapons the game provides...not our fault (damn developers). 

An easy way to remember all that is...the Syndicate = 100% fun gaming for all.  Direct any other complaints to the devs and our evil twins.

C)  If you're wondering "who would buy such a book" then have I got the answer for you....the most divisive developer in all of online gaming LOVES our book.  He's a huge fan.  Big time.  That should really help our sales...since, attaching John Smedley's name to mmo's usually does WONDERS for those game's sales.  So, if you like your games Smedley style.....you'll love this book.  Be like Smed, and buy it today.

To summarize:

The Syndicate is always good...anything else was an evil twin

We helped shape the innovative, challenging, and fun mmo's you have today (direct any complaints at developers)

John Smedley is our buddy.

 

 

Great start to my weekend guys....thanks.

  chaintm

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/02/04
Posts: 977

"Shutting down threads sense 2004"

9/29/07 1:20:08 PM#26

LOL Bountytaker :) nice post.

"The monster created isn't by the company that makes the game, it's by the fans that make it something it never was"

  User Deleted
9/29/07 1:21:03 PM#27

Reminds me of Scientology....

  hadubnano

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/23/06
Posts: 91

9/29/07 4:15:33 PM#28

Well I guess its easy to claim you are the premiere group of computer game nerds when nobody else cares to challenge your claim to supremicy...

 

  Ionselon

Novice Member

Joined: 3/15/04
Posts: 254

9/29/07 5:54:36 PM#29
Originally posted by Sornin

 

Originally posted by hadubnano

Well I guess its easy to claim you are the premiere group of computer game nerds when nobody else cares to challenge your claim to supremicy...

 

 

Ha, that reminds me of the phrase regarding the Special Olympics: "You may win a gold medal, but you are still a retard."

Sornin, that was a cruel and hateful thing to say.  I just hope you never have a special needs child.  I'm sure you would just throw it out with the trash.

  jotull

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/29/07
Posts: 286

9/29/07 6:41:48 PM#30

You know I read this thread and said to myself; wow these guys sound egocentric. Then "Syndicate" posted and confirmed it.

All major MMO developers have our members on our team we are Gods, Smed and Garriot come to us for advice!!!! (Is that why there games have been sucking so hard of late)  Million of copies of our book has been sold on the interweb and Oprah has chosen it for book of the month!!!! 

Did I ever tell you guys about the time Jeri Ryan and I spent that week in Belize?

  Ozmodan

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 6658

9/29/07 8:46:24 PM#31

Well Syndicate your post was fine until you quoted Smedley.  Of all dumb people to quote you chose one of the maligned and ridiculed people in the MMO industry.   If I was going to support an argument for someone reading the book, you could at least pick someone reputable to quote.   You have to consider Smedley's legacy as the man who cost SOE more customers than most MMO's ever have.

If Smedley thought the book was good, you can pretty must asure yourself that it is a piece of trash.  He is that clueless when it comes to this industry.

  snowmonky

Novice Member

Joined: 7/03/07
Posts: 91

9/29/07 10:18:09 PM#32

You can tell the whole guild is egocentric considering the fact that they bloat themselves into a "legend" status. I haven't even heard of this guild. They say that they have played WoW extensively, yet I haven't heard any mention of it so far in my past WoW experience. Now servers (realms, etc.) would limit the guild's popularity and it would seem right to respect a long-lived guild. But to go so far as to act inflated with such a book title ruins any past recognition or reputation garnered thereof. I concur with an open-ended guide. However, that can be found at http://www.guildhelper.com/creation.html. It seems more reliable and effective than some fictional story about a guild. Also, it's not just any guild, but an arrogant one that pretends to contribute tremendously to the industry.

www.oblinq.com/SnowmonkeysTemple/

  skai

Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/04
Posts: 95

9/29/07 10:26:26 PM#33

http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Zul%27jin&n=Dragons

for the people interested in Dragons and The Syndicate.  The reason people haven't heard of them is because they never managed a server first, let alone a world first, or even make it in the top ten guild on the Horde side.  I remember a memo being leaked on the Zuljin forums where Dragons answered his guild growing discontent with their poor raiding performance by stating : "Any guild that is past us "raid-wise" are doing so by hacking and cheating and I'm not willing to do that". 

I remember Syndicate members not being allowed to post of the official forums and doing so could get you severely reprimanded.  Blowhards is the best definition for these guys.

 

Oh yeah, They also claimed the organized crime group called "The Syndicate" in the game was Blizzard's way of recognizing their importance in the gaming world.

  ladyattis

Novice Member

Joined: 10/22/04
Posts: 1261

Wicked Witch of Single Player Games!

9/29/07 10:33:29 PM#34

Frankly, I don't even care for guilds. It's nice to read about history, since I'm an old school MUD'er myself. In the end, a guild is a guild, I don't see it as a significant social engagement, even when I was in one on AC1 back in '99, primarily because all too often these guilds have tried to invade my privacy and I've stated prior that my identity is my own concern and not theirs (unless we're talking about an open PVP game, then I can understand some nominal identification against spying by opposing guilds).

-- Brede

  knowom

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/19/04
Posts: 190

PVP WTF's it at?

9/30/07 1:01:47 AM#35

I remember The Syndicate from UO on Atlantic LLTS they were basically the first and biggest "zerg" guild going at the time they pretty much wrote the book you might say on "zerg recruitment and deployment" the thing is the average player kinda sucked at pvp when I played back in 97-98 outnumbered me and my friends still stomped them majority of the time. Don't see myself picking up that book maybe if a more interesting and better guild made one like The Mercs/The Cabal I might be interested.

  Terranah

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 3616

9/30/07 10:55:48 AM#36

So let me get this straight, you are the guys responsible for all the cookie cutter mmo's and lack of imagination and innovation?   Thanks for you're input , but no thanks.  I'm sure the industry is capable of mediocrity without your help.

And you think Smedley is someone that is going to validate you're worth?  Hahaha...you guys weren't the focus group  for the NGE were you?  Just how many games have you guys messed up anyway?

 

  Niamb

World of Warcraft Correspondent

Joined: 4/13/06
Posts: 14

9/30/07 12:16:03 PM#37

Not everyone is into the social aspect of MMORPGs.  For some it is all about the pixels, getting the phat loots, and parading around the bank  in those awesome shoulders.  For that kind of player Nilhem or Death and Taxes is the ideal: a guild that is first through content.  If that is your definition of legendary when it comes to gaming guilds, no, The Syndicate is not on the leading edge of content.

What makes The Syndicate legendary is its longevity.  What other guild has been around for 12 years and is still a significant presence in one game, needless to say two?  I first became aware of The Syndicate when I was playing UO.  They played on a different shard (they are on Atlantic, I played on Cats), but I had still heard of them.  I guess I read a great deal of Stratics back in the day and they were always sponsoring an event: a fair, a crafting day, or other activity.  Still, unless you're one to read outside of the narrow field that defines your guild , your server, or even your game, it is not surprising many have not heard of them.

As it happened, I starting playing World of Warcraft on the same server as The Syndicate.   I became aware of their presence there from the server forums.  Everything I read said this was a sympatico guild for me, but they were Horde and my toons were Alliance.  So I just filed information about The Syndicate away.....till my long-standing guild fell on hard times.

I'm a mature, female player.  Not every teeny bop guild is going to be a good fit for me.  I wanted to raid end-game.  I wanted a mature, stable community.  Ultimately I decided to level up a horde toon and apply to The Syndicate.  A friend from my old guild was now a TS member and he urged me to apply.  I did.  I was accepted (not many make it over that hump) and today I am proud to be a member of one of the premier guilds in online gaming.

The Syndicate is not premier because they are on the cutting edge of end-game content.  They are premier because they comprise a mature, caring community, which enables people to form lasting friendships within the context of gaming.  Our guild master, Dragons, pours time and effort into this guild and it shows in a hundred ways.  He, along with our Squad Leaders and Raid Leaders, works hard to create a fun, fair and caring community in which to enjoy the virtual parts of our lives.  A core guild creed is Real Life Comes First.  How many hard-core raiding guilds have that as their keystone?  Maybe that's why they won't be here in a year or two, but The Syndicate will still be around.

I've been the guild master of a couple of guilds: The Village of Edinburgh in UO and in many ways defacto GM of The Defenders of Justice in World of Warcraft.  I am always amused when some young pup decides having their own guild will be fun.  Running a guild, or at least running it well, is work.  It is a lot of work and it is at its core often a thankless job.  Sean's book will give any nascent guild master insights into what it takes to run a successful guild, one that will live past the changes in the next expansion.  Besides that, as a long time gamer, it was a fun read: a real walk down memory lane.

  jotull

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/29/07
Posts: 286

9/30/07 4:35:36 PM#38
Originally posted by Niamb

 

I've been the guild master of a couple of guilds: The Village of Edinburgh in UO and in many ways defacto GM of The Defenders of Justice in World of Warcraft.  I am always amused when some young pup decides having their own guild will be fun.  Running a guild, or at least running it well, is work.  It is a lot of work and it is at its core often a thankless job.  Sean's book will give any nascent guild master insights into what it takes to run a successful guild, one that will live past the changes in the next expansion.  Besides that, as a long time games, it was a fun read: a real walk down memory lane.


Young Pups?  God talk about Nerd-egocentricity.    Poor souls that think games should be a means of entertainment. I love the Hobby, but man some of its fans are such an embarrassment..

  huxflux2004

Novice Member

Joined: 8/20/04
Posts: 758

9/30/07 6:46:30 PM#39

Their official game is WoW and the guy that recommends their book is Smed. Why not the boss of Blizzard?

 

Anyways thanks for making such a fuss about yourselves. Now I know to avoid joining a guild named The Syndicate(TM) on any game.

  Isane

Novice Member

Joined: 5/24/06
Posts: 2696

"Some do , Some don''t , Others just cry"

Jean Sali

9/30/07 7:05:13 PM#40

 

Originally posted by jotull

You know I read this thread and said to myself; wow these guys sound egocentric. Then "Syndicate" posted and confirmed it.

All major MMO developers have our members on our team we are Gods, Smed and Garriot come to us for advice!!!! (Is that why there games have been sucking so hard of late)  Million of copies of our book has been sold on the interweb and Oprah has chosen it for book of the month!!!! 

Did I ever tell you guys about the time Jeri Ryan and I spent that week in Belize?

What a looser ... These guys have published a method used to develop a long running guild. Trials and tribulations, for most who spend hours trolling on these forums I guess it would be a perfect read.

 

But then thats not what most of the negative loosers who post here are all about. Well done to the "Syndicate" contribution and effort are always welcome, in my book.

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