Feb 2006, The Syndicate celebrates a DECADE of existance as a guild.
The Syndicate formed in Feb of 1996. Ultima Online was a vague concept
at the time. Meridian 59 was in beta. The Realm was in beta.
Neverwinter Nights (the America Online version built off the old Pools
of Radiance engine) was the closest thing to an MMO that you had and
Gemstone was the pre-eminent subscription text RPG (and it was in
partnership with AOL as well). Personal websites were very few and very
far between. In fact our initial webspace was 5 megabytes in total
storage and out initial webpages totaled 150kb. Netscape was around
version 1.0. There was a very basic version of IE out that hardly
anyone used. Windows had just launched WIN95 but Win 3.1 was the
dominant version. Modems were 14.4 (soon to go 28.8 and if u were
really the shizzle u could get 32.2 if your ISP supported it).|
MMO guilds began to pop up and recruiting standards for most of us, at
the time, amounted to "d00d! you want in! We're gonna roxorZ!!! Ur
in!!! btw, whats your name?" In our case we took over a number of
smaller guilds and absorbed their members. Our roster quickly swelled
to 200.. 300..400 people. Needless to say we were born under a lucky
star or something to have survived butt-stupid recruiting practices
such as those. And we paid a price for it. There were plays for power
as we had people try to take squads and pull them from the guilds or to
undermine Dragons, the guildmaster, and make the guild implode or even
to take over. Clearly those things didn't really work or have any long
term negative affect. While they sucked, at the time, they were a good
thing in the overall guild history because they forced us to wake up
and grow up. We were naive in those days. Size beget strength, we
thought. We didn't realize that size, without standards and purpose and
direction.. and without being composed of like minded people.. just led
to infighting, high turnover and problem children. And we certainly had
our share of morons and kiddies in the very early days.
Fortunately, we did learn. We did adapt. We did improve. We did set
standards in place that we stuck to. We did put fair rules in place
that we held to. We did establish core values that we hold everyone to.
And because we learned, adapted and didn't give up, we thrived,
overcame and turned into the juggernaut we are today. A focus on
standards and QUALITY gave us size that was sustainable.. size where
although we were large we were close and you knew any member in the
guild would have your back.. and size that was all unified in our
direction and purpose.
So looking back at our past there are
alot of challenges.. but where those same challenges destroy nearly all
other guilds, we took them as opportunities to improve. We feel we did
make the most of those challenges and today we have a wonderful guild.
Clear, common sense rules.. a membership of like minded, mature, fun
loving people.. a great team atmosphere where all members matter.. and
where our guild doesn't serve the game.. the games serve the guild's
So here we sit.. Feb of 2006. Ten years have passed
since the guild was formed. We list ourselves as "Online Gaming's
Premier Guild" and that slogan catches us flak from some gamers and
praise from others. The most common piece of flak that we take is "you
dont kill XXXX end game boss as fast as YYYY powergamer guild does so
you suxorZ!". That simply illustrates that our definition of Premier
isnt in line with that one. We define our success by measuring some
factors that we feel actually really matter, in the long term, of being
an online gaming entity such as:
* The biggest single reason
is.. we are here, after 10 years. Very few groups in gaming can claim
as much and 99.999% of all guilds in existance today will never reach
that goal. That is one of the sad truisms about online gaming. The
average lifespan of a guild is six months and 99.999% of guilds fail
before even reaching halfway to our lifespan. There are many reasons
for that but being a stable guild of more than 550 members for 10 years
is a unique achievement in the gaming world that no one else can claim.
* We are in our 5th year of hosting the largest (by a large amount)
single guild conference in the history of gaming. Our yearly confernces
are larger than some MMOs player gatherings and major events. We are
quite proud of those events and are grateful to all of the developers
that attend to support us.
* We have an exceptionally low
turnover rate. More than 80% of our guild has been with us for more
than a year and up to 10 years. That percentage moves up each month. We
lose, on average, a half a person a month who feels another guild is
more to their taste. More people have to retire from gaming and our
guild for medical, family or work reasons than leave for other guilds.
* We have achieved a number of 'firsts' in the gaming world like being
the first MMO guild to receive a corporate sponsor.. being the first to
trademark our guild name and slogan and logo.. and a couple more
'firsts' that are in the works right now.
We are very proud of
our 10 years as a guild and as a supporter of the MMO community. We
have overcome many challenges and achieved many great successes. So
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY SYNDICATE!!! It has been a long road to get here but
well worth the journey.