The Syndicate prides itself on many things. One of those things is our ability to supply a large number of personnel to gaming projects on short notice. Those personnel are all very skilled at gaming, understand how to test, evaluate and provide feedback and understand the need to put in the time to do a thorough test/review and then to return after each patch and repeat the process as we help the developer iterate on the game.
That is the type of relationship we forged with Sandbox Interactive as they worked to develop their game known as Albion. The initial test featured 40 Syndicate members, broken into teams, who battled for control of territories, harvested resources and built structures. The game was very fun but had a number of things that we felt needed to be tweaked or added. 30+ pages of feedback were provided and Sandbox dove into those suggestions and worked on the game for several more weeks.
A second round of testing took place, this time with 80 people, more land and for a longer duration. The game had dramatically improved. Another round of feedback was provided and again the process of iterating through the changes took place and an even stronger version emerged.
A third round of testing commenced with 200+ personnel and included new areas and new mechanics that needed to be evaluated. The test went very well. The servers handled the load well. And yet more feedback was provided and the game continued to improve.
It is these kinds of testing and feedback relationships that The Syndicate very much enjoys doing. Often, long before the game is seen by the general public, we have engaged in tests of this sort and helped shape the game into something much closer to a 'beta' state. From there, mass scale testing can help balance things and look for hard to find bugs but typically by then the core systems and mechanics have been tested and are pretty solid thanks to many hours invested by Syndicate members.