Syndicate sprang up as a UO guild in early 1996, just in time to see UO's earliest
form in action. UO began its life with a 'pre alpha' test. No one had made a game
like UO before and the best connection speed most people had was 28.8kbps, so
whether or not technology at the time could even handle the game had to be proven.
As part of that test, I recall you would gain levels like in the single player
games and pretty much just fought orcs and skeletons. The game of 'Knight Tag'
(hitting a monster, running into town, letting the guards kill it, and looting
the corpse) was popular, and the land was small and just encompassed the area
around Britain. The Syndicate was there and had a lot of fun as part of the anti-PK
team that would hunt down the anti-social players who killed others.
"Finally, the beta came and players rushed into the game. Lag was the
largest issue faced, but it was brought under control and the world was explored.
I recall when I first entered the beta, I talked to an NPC. He told me 'A lich
with a magical bow is to the west.' Wow! A lich! And a magic bow! I felt sure
I was going to find him and kill him and take that bow. After hours of searching,
I never did find that lich, but I had a lot of fun trying.
"This was a whole new gaming experience unlike most players had ever seen
before, and just exploring the seemingly infinite world was an adventure in and
of itself. You didn't Recall anywhere in a single click. You didn't have awesome
stats and super equipment. There was no bank to store your items in. And there
was plenty of danger from monsters and other players to keep you on your toes.
You could really feel alive during those early days. Everything was new. Everything
was exciting. And everything was challenging.
"The beta ended, and then on Sept. 25th, 1997 the final version of UO
went live. There were only a couple servers that went live on the first day and
The Syndicate chose Atlantic as our home base and Vesper as our starting town.
A great many adventures and many wondrous tales have come to pass in the six years
since then. But despite the passage of so much time, UO continues to grow, and
while the challenges are different, it remains as fun today as it was so many
years ago. UO set the standard that other games seek to exceed, and as time has
proven, that standard is very hard to meet."
Dragons - The Syndicate