ago I was informed about a new book
"The Syndicate - Beyond The Legend" by
Sean Stalzer, also known as Lord
Dragons, Guildmaster of The Syndicate.
The book is a sequel to "Legend of the
Syndicate", which covered the first
ten years of the guild.
My own Ultima Online experience goes
back to 1997, where I played on the
Atlantic shard and I distinctly
remember several characters on that
shard having LLTS attached to their
names. This was before player guilds
and guild abbreviations were available
in the game, so a character's name was
the logical spot to show your guild
affiliation. LLTS stands for "Long
Live The Syndicate", which is the
slogan and battle cry of the guild.
Who would have thought that fourteen
years later The Syndicate would still
be around, or even that they would be
publishing a (second) book about their
history. All this made me want to read
the book to see what memories (if any)
would be brought back to me.
The subtitle of the book is "Secrets
to creating a succesful online
community". The first section starts
with a recap of the first ten years of
the guild and then focuses on the
years from 2007 until now. Because The
Syndicate is a guild that is present
in most popular MMO's the book you
will find interesting reads about
EverQuest, Lord of the Rings Online,
World of Warcraft, Age of Conan,
Warhammer Online and of course Ultima
Online. Also, there are some chapters
dedicated to the yearly Syndicate
conference, known as SyndCon, where
guild members and representatives of
the game development companies meet
The second section of the book
explains the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. factors
that you need to create and maintain a
succesful guild. Those are Stability,
Understanding, Culture, Compatibility,
Excellence, Size and Staying Focused.
If you are serious about running a
guild and be there for the long run, I
highly recommend reading this section.
The third section of the book is about
the future of online gaming, and
focuses on the expectations of players
today. Such as; Community Tools, the
"Always on" and "Play anywhere"
concepts, Setting the proper
difficulty level and Communication.
After reading the book I found myself
pleasantly surprised. Even though the
amount of Ultima Online references in
the book is small compared to the ones
related to other MMO's (mostly WoW)
there were quite a few memories
brought back to me. And the second and
third sections of the book are an
interesting read, no matter what MMO
you are playing right now.
- The Syndicate
- Order book at Lulu