After a time, OSI implemented guildstones. Guildstones allowed people to group up and work together
like never before. You could have titles over your head so people knew what group you
belonged to and you could loot each others corpses under the new noto system and not take
a hit and you could even do declared wars and fight in towns!
Guilds were a super big deal as well. They cost 25,000 gold coins to establish one and that was a insane amount
of money when they were first introduced. A single player might have a couple hundred gold but nowhere near that amount.
In fact, there was little of anything. You didn't gate between cities because you couldn't afford or even find reagents in the stores
to buy. So when guild's were announced they were coming, 100+ Syndicate members came together in a marathon quest to earn the 25,000 gold and
be one of the very first to create a guild right after the server came up and allowed them. We used a method of buying Thread all over the world; boats to bring
it to our crafters; who made skullcaps and fancy shirts (as they were the most profitable to sell to NPCs); that were then loaded back on the boats which went back all over the world to sell them and return with more thread to do it again and again. NPCs ran out of everything (gold, thread etc..) very fast and took hours and hour to restock. It was a nightmare task to get that much gold so fast but we had in hand when the server went down to add guilds. It came back up and within minutes The Syndicate had been formed. It was one of the first times the guild came together as a massive team to take on a big project.
The Syndicate placed its first guildstone in the castle and added the abbreviation
of LLTS to it (4 digit ones were allowed then). We could later grow to have several
stones due to the limitations on how PvP is handled in game. The Syndicate's guildstone
in particular (and those of all large guilds) had a problem known as Stone Lag.
Stone lag had to do with a bug in OSIs code. Their code is unable to handle lists larger than
150 things. 150 guild names or 150 member names. Anyone who has ever tried to declare
a war has seen that you often have to pull up the war screen many times to find the guild
you wish since it only shows you 150 at a time. Same exact concept with large guildstones.
What Stone Lag was (its fixed now) was a the calcualtion for Fealty going bonkers on that
150 person limit and chewing up CPU like a mad man. The Syndicate had to take steps to restrict
touches to our stone to the weeee hours of the morning while OSI worked on it (and eventually
fixed it after months). Once in awhile however, the stone lag bug made AD the most unfun
place in the game to be.
Stone lag would stop you cold for 10-20min per person that touched the stone. Quite a major pain
in the rear that really limited our use of our stone because we didnt want to hurt those around AD
in the game world or our own members. Thankfully it is all fixed now. GM Rock and the Dev
Team took care of that for all large guilds.
There was one point in the guilds history when in a moment of huge lag, Dragons_LLTS was
removed from the guildstone. This led to a major pain in the rear as hundreds of chars
had to get readded and resetup to get the stone back in order. It took several weeks
to do and happened to coincide with the unveiling of OSIs site to track the size of guilds.
Designer Dragon had just released a real audio interview where he mentions the largest
guild in game is The Syndicate, by far, and we didnt show up on the guild list on day 1
at the top although we rapidly claimed our rightful place.
Guildstones have undergone alot of changes as well. The 150 limit plagued guildwars so
OSI added the ability to target people. Order/Chaos were added in. Limits were added
on how often you could rename a guild. Guild abbreviations were shortened to 3 characters.
And the ability to move a stone was added. Lots of fun stuff but that pesky 150 bug is still there.