Posted By: Feather on 04 May 2001, at 03:32 PM
This is part two of an extensive interview with “Dragons” the Guild
Master of “The Syndicate”. The largest Guild in Ultima Online. If you
didn’t catch the first half just scroll down or check the archives.
Feather: “Dragons” Thanks again for time. Lets delve into your Guilds Structure and your thoughts on other things.
I see from your website at:
you have four basic “order’s” in your UO Guild. One for merchants,
warriors, mages and…. Spies? How much control or authority do give
these order leaders?
Dragons: Our UO orders are basically organizational. We have a detailed
internal organization in order to ensure communications reach all
members and that there are channels for feedback to myself and the SLs.
The orders exist in name and structure only and are not actually
manifested in separate entities or subsets of the guild. We are one big
team with everyone being treated with respect and as a friend.
Feather: There are a lot of petitions out there to make the UO
Guildstones, Guild Master functions accessible to more people then just
the Guild Master at the Guild Masters discretion. What do you think of
Dragons: Since I manage the largest guildstone in game, I have not seen
any need to change how they work in terms of adding etc.. I think a
feature that would allow a GM to designate certain officers to do
certain tasks (i.e. you can flag someone an officer and designate what
powers officers have ranging from just a title to add/remove/grant
titles) could be useful. We don't have a NEED of that in The Syndicate
but it’s a nice to have feature.
Feather: What advice do you have for aspiring or present Guild Masters
if they want to grow their guild into one of the “top 10” of their
Dragons: OSI's top 10 list is based on size. Any guild that is
concerned about size is doomed to fail in the long run. So anyone who
wants to be in the top 10 has already started down the wrong path with
a mental attitude that will lead to subconscious decisions that will
spell the guilds downfall eventually. If a person puts the time into
their guild and if it has value to offer players, will thrive and
maintain and be in the top 10. But the honest truth is, most guilds
will never be there either by choice (i.e. they don't wish to grow
larger than a certain size) or just because of the way things work.
About 100 guilds fall apart in UO each day and about 100 new ones form.
190,000 or more guilds have risen and fallen since UO began. A scant
few hundred have cracked the top 10 lists of all the shards added
together. As another example, OSI put out a hint book when UO first
came out. In there is a section on guilds. The Syndicate is listed as
are about 20 others. Of them next to none are left today. Guilds, based
on UO and EQ trends, come and go all the time. COMMUNITIES last. So by
OSI's definition we are a guild in UO. By our definition we are an
Online Gaming Community that happens to play UO currently as one of its
Feather: As you have played Ultima Online since “Beta” what do you
think of the many changes to UO, how do you think it compares to the
other online games you play?
Dragons: Actually i've played UO since the alpha. I think each online
game is unique unto itself. They all have strengths and they all have
weaknesses. I personally like UO's complete freedom allowing players to
make any type char they want. The UO freedom even goes down to allowing
players to place things in their backpacks in any place they wish
rather than limiting them to certain slots. That freedom empowers
players and lets each play tailor the game to their own personal
tastes. Downsides to UO include bugs that have gone unfixed for years,
housing problems, lag issues and lack of frequent team communication to
players. All in all though, UO has been a worthwhile experience for The
Syndicate and I'm glad we entered into it.
Feather: One of my “pet projects” I’m watching is “Neverwinter Nights”
have you looked at that? If so what are your thoughts on “Bioware/NWN”?
Dragons: Actually we have looked into that. The Syndicate has 2
classifications (internally) for how we break up games. Major Games are
games that we are in (like UO or EQ) where we recruit new members for
them and focus major amounts of energy on. Minor Games are officially
sanctioned games (that we might setup a chatzone forum for) like Diablo
II that members play but we don't recruit members just for those games
(you must play a major game to join us) and they are more for stress
relief and side fun. NWN is a game that will likely fit into our Minor
Feather: Dragons I, and I think our readers are most great full for your insight. Any closing comments?
Dragons: Thank you for this opportunity. When you are a guild as large
and as old as we are who is also fairly secretive about ourselves
rumors and such can start and it’s always nice to have the opportunity
to share factual information about us with other gamers. As you can
imagine, having hundreds of people as members over years has resulted
in some cases of people getting kicked out or people quitting who were
mad at the guild or some aspect of it. Those type’s of people tend to
be loud and vocal and will often say or do anything to get attention.
Since The Syndicate doesn't participate in public flames or pissing
matches with disgruntled people, some players, without articles like
yours, may only read the flamboyant half truths (or sometimes just
plain made up lies) shouted by some X member from ages past and think
that's how we really are. Whenever I am given the opportunity to speak
to those people, I just point to our track record and ask them, could
we really be 500+ people strong, having survived for years, outlasting
190,000 or more other guilds and succeeded against all odds that crush
some other guilds and really be what some loud mouthed kiddie moron
says? The answer to that is no. Of course not. Clearly they are
exaggerating, using half-truths or just making things up in order to
lash out because they have personal issues.
my closing comment to your readers would be: Take anything negative you
hear about anyone (whether its us or any guild or player) with a grain
of salt. The speaker of the words ALWAYS has a personal agenda and what
they are saying is, AT BEST, only half the story and often times is
just made up. Its the quiet, professional players who don't engage in
website flames and pissing matches who form the real backbone of our
quality gaming community.
Feather: Now THAT IS some of the best advice on “Flames” I have ever
heard! It pertains not just to guilds but forums and message boards.
Thank you so much sharing your time and experience with us Dragons.
Dragons: You are welcome. It’s been a pleasure talking to you.
Feather: There you have it folks. Wise words, from the Guild Master of
the largest Guild in Ulitma Online. We can get no better source for
info on a large Guild then from the Master himself…. Dragons, Guild
Master of “The Syndicate” The Largest and one of the oldest Guild’s in
Feather, Reporter, Markee Dragon.com