Frequently Asked Questions
You trademarked your guild name? Can we use it for our guild too?
Do you have an age limit to join your guild?
What do you look for in new members?
Do I NEED A Referral To Join Or Are Exceptions Made?
What about joining and then quitting and then rejoining?
When you say you are anti-pk does that mean you dont pvp at all?
If I join, will you make me an officer? I'm a really good leader!
Do you have a public posting forum I can go read?
Do you use ICQ? AIM? IM? IRC? Ventrilo? Teamspeak?
What is this "World Conference" I read about on your history page?
You don't share alot of information about your internal workings on the web. Why is that?
How is the guild organized and led?
The Syndicate is HUGE! Am I just a number on a roster?
Just how low is your turnover?
I applied but I heard nothing back. Why is that?
Isn't your strict application process kind of elitist?
Are you a powergamer guild?
I heard you had developers in your guild. Is that accurate?
What is this I hear about you getting into lots of betas?
I heard you write Strategy Guides. What is that all about?
You have a book? Tell me more..
What is this that I hear about you doing consulting work too?
1) You trademarked your guild name? Can we use it for our guild too?
Yes, we did Trademark our guild name and our logo and our motto. We own the rights to those things within the online gaming universe. We do not allow for our mark to be used by any other online gaming entity. Our marks read as follows: Entertainment services, namely, an online gaming guild providing in game opportunities for proliferating game expertise and camaraderie among gamers supported by a web site featuring multimedia materials.
While the trademarking of a guild name is not widespread in the gaming world, we believe that it is an important step toward creating a persistent community of gamers. Continuity of this sort is a positive development for developers and should improve customer retention by improving the online communities that do Trademark their names. We have already coordinated with a number of game developers to enforce our marks. You can read more about the specifics of our Trademark here
2) Do you have an age limit to join your guild?
The Syndicate generally recruits only those who are 18 years and
older. Regardless of age we do expect a certain level of maturity and
professionalism in all members. Kiddies,
morons, self centered people, immature people etc.. do not have a place
in this guild and either
will fail to complete the application process or be removed soon after
3) What do you look for in new members?
We expect all members to exemplify the values
of our guild. We are team focused ("Guild First!" is our core rule). We
are friend focused. We
never backstab each other. We aren't anti-social players. We are always
unified. Always working
in the best interest of the team. And looking to have a good time. In
addition, we expect new
members to achieve some level of competence in the games we play. That
competency varies from game
to game. Personality wise and play style wise, we look for people that
match ourselves. If your style or your personality or your way of doing
things dont complement ours then membership here won't be fun for you
or for us and therefore it does neither of us any good to recruit you.
4) Do I NEED A Referral To Join Or Are Exceptions Made?
No exceptions are made to
our requirement to have a referral to join. We only accept people we
know, like and get along with.
Requiring a referral gives us a chance to get to know you and you a
chance to get to know us. We
seek members of similar personalities, values and gaming goals to our
own and the referral part
of the process aids in finding the right members. We do have a process
whereby SOME people who
lack a referral can be assigned a recruiter to get to know members
more. So it is possible, if
you dont already know members, that we can assign a recruiter to you
and you can work through them
to meet members and get to know us.
5) What about joining and then quitting and then rejoining?
We strongly feel The Syndicate
offers far more than other guilds do. That belief is reinforced that
roughly 93% of all
people who have ever quit us to join another guild have sought to
rejoin us at a later date citing
their experience here was far superior to those offered in other
guilds. Also, roughly 95%
of those who quit us for other guilds, end up quitting the game they
are playing within 2-3 months
since the grass isnt greener elsewhere. As a result, our policy on
rejoins is very strict. If you
join and quit, in almost every case there will be no chance to ever
rejoin again. We offer recruits
one shot only. The only exception we make to that is if a member has to
quit online gaming for real
life reasons (medical, work, school etc..) and later rejoins online
gaming and wishes to rejoin
the guild. If they were in good standing before they left, there is a
chance they can rejoin when they
return to online gaming.
6) When you say you are anti-pk does that mean you dont pvp at
No, it doesnt. We have
entire sections of the guild which greatly enjoy pvp and participate in
it often. We also have
members who dont pvp. We dont force members to pvp but we do offer
support for those who do wish
to pvp in an organized, team oriented manner.
7) If I join, will you make me an officer? I'm a really good
is a very old and very well established guild. We never recruit someone
into an officer role. We always
promote from within the guild based on a number of factors including
time in guild, demonstrated
leadership ability and related qualities. If you MUST have a leadership
role to be happy, then
this probably isn't the guild for you, and your personality probably won't
match with our guild's. We are
composed of "winners" who excel in everything they do but who also
arent glory hounds and must
have promotions and leadership in order to be happy and inflate their
8) Do you have a public posting forum I can go read?
No. The Syndicate
does not maintain a public posting forum. We do have a comprehensive
and extremely active
private guild posting forum that all members have access to.
9) Do you use ICQ? AIM? IM? IRC? Ventrilo? Teamspeak?
Yes. The Syndicate maintains its own private IRC server for members
only. We also make use of some of the instant messaging tools
We prefer to use IRC and our posting forums but instant messaging tools
also play a role. We also maintain private guild Ventrilo servers for
use in the games that we play.
10) What is this "World Conference" I read about on your history page?
Once a year, large numbers of Syndicate members from all over the
world, gather together for a multi-day guild conference. It is the
largest single guild gathering in the history of online gaming
and it a very good time is had by all who attend. We highly encourage
all members who can possibly
attend to do so. Its well worth the investment and many lifelong
friendships are formed and much
guild business and planning takes place there. The conference is
regularly attended by developers so members get a chance to learn about
upcoming games or give feedback and ideas about existing ones. Members
develop friendships with many dozens of guildmates that are a major
part of what separates us from other guilds. We are not an online
gaming guild. We are not a guild that exists for any game. We are an
online gaming community, that uses MMO games as a tool to further our
friendships. Online Games are a tool to achieve our end goal, not an
end goal in and of themselves.
11) You don't share much information about your internal
workings on the web. Why is that?
The Syndicate is a private guild. We do not feel the need to brag about
ourselves on public
message boards (i.e. you will not see our members bragging or engaging
in flame wars on any
public message board nor will we wave our guild banner all over the
place in our public
signatures). We dont feel the need to share private guild information
with the public. But there
have been a number of interviews
us that will give you more insight into our inner workings. We also
have our book, Legend of The Syndicate which serves as a good guide on
our method for creating a very large and very stable guild.
12) How is the guild organized and led?
We term our guild structure a 'benevolent
dictatorship'. Said another way, there is one GM (Dragons) who is the
final decision maker on
all things guild related. There are a number of guild advisers (Grif
and Dargus) that work with Dragons to help come up with the correct
global guild policies. There are a number of Squad Leaders within
each game that we play that help create and offer feedback for game
13) The Syndicate is HUGE! Am I just a number on a roster? I am
for a family type guild and im not sure if I can get that in The
Syndicate. Can I?
Yes, The Syndicate is a huge guild. One of the largest in online
gaming. However, the primary
reason that we can be so huge yet have VERY low turnover of members and
very high unity and team focus
is that we are a family type guild. We are all friends. Everyone tends
to know everyone else
in the games they play. We joke around. We have alot of fun together.
And we have a firm
belief that every member is important. Our years of existence and very
low turnover, we feel, are proof enough that we achieve that goal.
14) Just how low is your turnover?
The Syndicate averages 4-5 people leaving us each calendar year for
other guilds. Of those, most attempt to rejoin at a later date so one
could argue that stat is really
lower since they regret leaving and want to rejoin (but are not
permitted to do so). We do
have members retire from the game they are currently playing but they
remain active in the guild
waiting on our next big game to come along. And, while real life circumstances (such as health or job status)
do force some people to quit gaming entirely, we lose almost no-one due to unhappiness and wanting to join another group. Joining
The Syndicate tends to be a decision nearly everyone is happy with for their entire gaming career. Nearly the entire guild has been a member for many years.
One of the more amusing aspects of being a private guild is to watch
morons and kiddies on public boards claim to "know" that our turnover
is huge. They infer that because their guild has high turnover or
because some xmember with a chip on their shoulder told them so. The
reality is that our recruiting is very focused on only adding people
with compatible values, goals, play styles and personalities that we
know very well and that we feel will be here long term. By being that
selective in our recruiting, we really do lose very few people. We do
lose a few but we currently average less than .5 people leaving a month to
join another guild (i.e. they are unhappy here). It is also funny to see people claim to be old members
from years ago (back in the 90s when we freely admit we had very poor recruiting practices and had turnover that
matched those poor practices) assuming that since things were fast and loose in the 90s that we didn't learn
the lesson that strong recruiting = a stable and fun guild. It is unfortunate they live in the past but we definitely do not. The Syndicate of
today is a far cry more mature, stable and successful than The Syndicate of the 90s.
15) I applied but I heard nothing back. Why is that?
ALL applications are replied
to in one form or another within 24hours. If you didnt hear back from
us, it is because an internet
or email glitch occurred. Please either resubmit your application OR
the application information. Make sure you include a valid email address so we can reply back to you.
16) Isn't your strict application process kind of elitist?
We do not feel that elitist properly describes our strict application
process. The dictionary definition of elitist is: The
belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups
deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as
in intellect, social status, or financial resources. That doesnt
match our recruiting processes. Said in the simplest terms: We recruit
people that we get along with and are friends with. There is no overt
or covert value judgment made as to being superior to anyone else. We
simply seek people we are friends with.
It wouldn't do the new recruit any good if we recruited someone with
gaming goals that our guild didnt afford them. They would be bored and
thus we would fail them, as a guild. It is, after all, a two way
relationship with the guild offering value to the member and the member
adding value back into the team. It wouldn't do anyone any good to
recruit them if their personality wasnt compatible with those in the
guild. That would just lead to tension and fights and 'cliques' forming
which isolated people and ultimately led to them quitting. So our
process is best summed up as: seeking people we are friends with. That
is, after all, the essence of our guild: A team of friends.
17) Are you a powergamer guild?
No. We are
not a powergamer (PG) guild. We do defeat the end game content in the
that we play but we do not powergame to achieve it. Whereas a commonly
accepted definition of a PG guild is one that spends most nights of the
week, and all weekend, raiding nonstop and will throw dozens of
attempts at an encounter in a very short period of time, that is not
us. We do have extremely skilled raiders in the guild and do defeat the
end game content
in games that we play but we do not raid every night therefore we will
take more calendar time to defeat some encounters than a PG guild does.
Conversely, nearly every
PG guild eventually implodes and ceases to exist and we have been
around since 1996 and will continue to be around for many years more.
So you gain stability and membership
in a guild where you matter and are important and are a friend and not
just a piece of meat to be used for the guilds goals (while you strive
to use the guild for your own before they kick you out or you burn
So in a word: No. We are not a powergamer guild and we are very proud
of that fact and that we still do defeat the end game content in the
games that we play, yet dont lose
sight of what is really important, to us: our members and our
18) I heard you had developers in your guild. Is that accurate?
Yes. We do have a large number of developers of MMOs and other game types in our
guild. There is a group that is from MMO developers both large and
small and a number of major label PC and console game makers are
represented in our team. Some of them are openly known to members and
some prefer a more covert existence so as to not have claims of
conflict of interest. While we are indeed honored to have a good number
of developers in our guild, we view them as any other member and
friend. It does give us an opportunity to share feedback and know that
it has been heard. It doesn't always get implemented but at least it
has been heard and we have a chance to make a positive impact on the
gaming world for all players. Many of the most popular MMOs and a
number of popular PC games, we feel, have been influenced in a positive
way, for the betterment of the gaming community, due to having
developers as members.
19) What is this I hear about you getting into lots of betas?
we have been around since 1996, and because we have a very large and
very stable membership base, we have developed strong relationships
with most large and small MMO developers. We pride ourselves on being
able to test a game and not only track down bugs but also provide
valuable comments on balancing and on features needed to help the game
be a success. We have a proven track record spanning almost every major
and minor MMO that has been created. We have entered into formal
arrangements with some developers to test their games with dozens or
hundreds of members at once. We have done small scale testing of
specific components. We participate in round table discussions and get
asked to do writeups/critiques on design plans. They Syndicate has
developed a relationship with a book publisher to write a book about
The Syndicate. We maintain a relationship with a major print publisher
of strategy guides to do contract work for the writing of MMO guides.
We are very engaged in the entire lifecycle of MMO gaming. We have
written articles and chapters in development books about making
successful MMOs that have been widely read. We strive to do the best
job we can to benefit the entire MMO community. Playing the game is
only one small aspect of what we do in the MMO world.
20) I heard you write Strategy Guides. What is that all about?
2006, The Syndicate joined forced with Prima Games (the industry
leaders in print media strategy guides) to help usher in a new era of
MMO guides. Historically MMO guides were of limited use since they
included only the basics of the game itself and often the player's
experience quickly relegated them to collecting dust on the shelf. The
Syndicate, working with Prima, provides Expert Strategy Content for
many MMO guides. Typically you will find Class Guides, Crafting Guides,
PvP Guides and things of that nature that are written by our members.
You can most often tell guides we have worked on by our logo being on
the cover. One of the guides we did major work on (the Lord of the
Rings Online guide) made it to #3 on the Amazon.com best seller list
for Internet Gaming related products. The SWTOR Atlas was even more successful
and although Prima chose to release only an Atlas, FAR more content was created
for the book which, ironically, was the exact contact some players complained should
have been released in place of the Atlas. The Syndicate also works directly with game
developers to write strategy content for them.
21) You have a book? Tell me more..
We actually have two books. The first is entitled Legend of The Syndicate and the second edition printing can be found at LuLu
. The book is described as:
Embark on a fascinating look at the history of online gaming through
the eyes of The Syndicate, one of the most successful online
organizations in the history of gaming. Discover the origins of online
role-playing fantasy games, such as Everquest and World of Warcraft,
that have captivated more than 8 million people worldwide. Relive the
challenges and triumphs, and journey into distant lands of magic and
mystery where every turn is fraught with danger and every decision
could spell the end of years of hard work. Follow The Syndicate as they
navigate the ever-changing online world and develop into an unstoppable
juggernaut that shaped the future of the virtual world.
The book itself
has been critically acclaimed by such legends of the gaming industry as
John Smedly, President of Sony Online Entertainment. We strongly
encourage you to check it out. Thousands of copies have been sold and
it has received numerous rave reviews from independent news sources.
Our second book is entitled Beyond The Legend
and covers the next 5 years of the guild's existence. It also adds a large section detailing one formula to create a successful guild. And there is a large section talking about the future of MMO's (as seen through the eyes of gamers in 2011) and what developers need to be addressing to keep players engaged. The Forewords of the book are written by Curt Schilling and John Smedley.
22) What is this that I hear about you doing consulting work too?
Over the years, The Syndicate has built a track record of being able to provide quality feedback on game design; systems design; class balance;
end-game content and much more. We have built personal relationships with most game developers that led to getting an opportunity to both demonstrate those skills and also demonstrate we can meet deadlines and then not name-drop on the forums (or leak any information what so ever). It is because of those high quality results; on schedule; on budget and with the upmost degree of confidentiality, that The Syndicate has been able to branch into doing a great deal of consulting work. We take our roles very seriously. We put our best people on those projects. We produce excellent results. And we don't "kiss and tell" and have never had a leak of any information from one of those projects. This enables even the most security focused development team to engage us very early in the process and receive the very valuable 'player perspective' early enough in the design phase to affect change before systems are locked in place and changes become exceedingly expensive.