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UO's Oldest Guild Turns 16

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Syndicate, Feb 4, 2012.

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  1. Syndicate

    Syndicate Guest

    February 1st, 2012 -- The Syndicate® (The Syndicate - Premier Online Gaming Guild) is pleased to announce that we have reached our 16th year of success as an online gaming community. Founded in 1996, The Syndicate boasts over 1200 members yet has a ninety nine percent retention rate with over ninety-five percent of its membership having been with the organization for several years or longer. Within the online gaming world that combination of size, longevity and retention is unparalleled by any other organization. By way of comparison, since The Syndicate was created over 58,000,000 other guilds have been created and ceased to exist. While longevity itself is not a measure of success, when married with an insanely high retention rate plus a lengthy list of unique achievements, The Syndicate has a demonstrated track record of success in the online community space.

    Throughout its 16 years, The Syndicate has set the mark for excellence in a number of ways. The foundation of the success of the guild was created through established a strict and well managed recruiting policy. In order to join The Syndicate one must be close friends with the guild; have a compatible personality and gaming play style; and be looking for long term membership that is based heavily around building personal relationships with other members of the guild. That focus has led to the creation of a 'drama free' environment with unparalleled retention which in turn has allowed for deep friendships to form.

    In addition to that foundational premise, The Syndicate sets the bar for success in the online community space. Among the many successes of the organization are:

    * Guinness World Record holder for the oldest, continuously operated online gaming guild. This record was updated in 2011 and was featured in printed versions of the Guinness World Record books.

    * Two books have been published about The Syndicate. The most recent one was published in 2011 entitled Beyond The Legend and has sold several thousand copies. It not only discusses some of The Syndicate's history but has a large section sharing one model to creating a successful online community and another section discussing the future of MMO gaming. lulu.com and amazon.com carry both books.

    * Featured in the MMORPG documentary Second Skin which has been seen around the world both in the theaters and on television. You will also find some 'talking head' moments in Richard Garriott's recent documentary Man on a Mission that were filmed during SyndCon 2009.

    * Founded a strategy guide writing studio working for Prima Games to usher in a new era of quality strategy guides for MMO, RPG, FPS and RTS games. This past year saw 9 strategy guides written and published.

    * Became the first online gaming entity to trademark its name (along with the logo and slogan). That Trademark is now five years old and protects The Syndicate name from use as a guild name or on an associated web-page. This past year saw paperwork filed to protect the name and an agreement with EA about their usage for their upcoming Syndicate video game and our protected usage within all EA games.

    * Founded the most successful real life 'guild' event in the history of online gaming. SyndCon celebrated its tenth year of success in 2011 with several hundred Syndicate members, developer friends and special guests in attendance.

    * Helping to shape the future of MMORPGs as it has for many years now, through close relationships with a vast number of game developers. Support has run the gamut from focus testing to consulting to design and everywhere in between.

    * Raised thousands of dollars to support our chosen charity organizations: Youth Opportunity Unlimited and the American Cancer society. Donations are raised via our annual charity raffle supported by our industry friends. 2011 saw our biggest year yet for donations.

    * Formed strategic relationships with both hardware and software developers including Alienware and Bigfoot Networks.

    The Syndicate continues to push the boundaries of what an entity, founded within the online gaming space, can achieve. With a lengthy track record of success; a motivated, mature and professional membership; and a strong vision for the future, The Syndicate is both proud of its fifteen years of success and very excited about the opportunities that the future holds. Long Live The Syndicate!

    -- For more information please visit us at The Syndicate - Premier Online Gaming Guild
     
  2. Lightfoot

    Lightfoot Adventurer
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    Tel Mithrim. Founded in 1992 in Neverwinter on AOL. Still running on LS. I guess Guinness doesn't really do much checking into such things as Guild age.
     
  3. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
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    Congratulations on your new milestone, Syndicate folks.
     
  4. NuSair

    NuSair Babbling Loonie
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    Yeah, it's rather humorous the claims made by them that are simply not true, yet they continue to do so.

    There are several online guild/clans/groups that have been running around since 1996 or before - Organization Drow | A Worldwide Legion of Power Gamers - is one I can name off the top of my head that is still very active today. And I am sure it wouldn't be that hard to find others.
     
  5. Kojak

    Kojak Lore Master
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    now get back to work dropping annoying books all around the moongates :)
     
  6. Mr. Smither1

    Mr. Smither1 Seasoned Veteran
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    UO's Biggest guild is over 12 years old but we don't require members to drop those silly cult like books all over the shards.
     
  7. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
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    I'm not in LLTS. Did you mean to quote me or the OP?
     
  8. yorky

    yorky Guest

    I think you get 1 clean up point for them, might be wrong .. not that it stops me trying :D
     
  9. AirmidCecht

    AirmidCecht twitch.tv/airmid
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    Hey....yo...a second here?

    It's an accomplishment and one that is not beyond a pat on the back. The Syndicate Guild is part of the UO community and it's history. Just say well done and move along?

    No need to go on the attack for something they are proud of and accomplished. Not truly THE oldest guild around? Okay fine, they can contact Guinness themselves.

    Around here and around now we should be going, what else is cool with UO becoming 15 this year?

    :D
     
  10. Rupert Avery

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    Well done to you that is quite an accomplishment!!
     
  11. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
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    My guild "Coven" is older than that. Who do I contact?
     
  12. lucitus

    lucitus UOEC Modder
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    Has the syndicate also its own spot on youtube? The Syndicate longest running guild in existence, 10.000ths hours of action [...] would be fun :dunce:
     
  13. Poo

    Poo The Grandest of the PooBah’s
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    you cant fault people for posting some opposing views to ourlandish posts when they are made.

    "58,000,000 other guilds have come and gone" - theres a guild counting machine out there somewhere?

    "99% retention rate" so im the ONLY person that has ever quit LLTS? In that case im sorry, it just wasnt a good fit for me.... crud now i feel bad, ive messed up your stats!

    i think if the post where a little more "hey, we are having a birthday" and not "hey, we are better then everyone else" people would probably be a little more receptive to it.

    just an observation.
     
  14. Kylie Kinslayer

    Kylie Kinslayer Grand Inquisitor
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    Can't agree more with this. I have often thought it is POSSIBLE Donald Trump is actually the man behind the PR of LLTS. :p

    However congrats on the birthday, no matter what kind of PR machine you have, 16 years is a very nice milestone indeed.
     
  15. LadyNico

    LadyNico Always Present
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    With 1200 active members, how many have active UO subscriptions?

    All I ever see from The Syndicate are illegal in-game book drops advertising your real life books for sale for real life money, and roughly once a year you advertise here in UHall patting yourselves on the back for being an old guild & touting your website & books again.

    Your last post on Stratics was June 2011 when you seized another opportunity to advertise your wares.

    Before that, your last post was in October 2010, adding some info to Halister Marner's lovely, comprehensive Atlantic History thread.

    If Halister is part of The Syndicate, then I'm a fan.

    If not, then apart from collecting kudos for being an old guild, what are you doing for UO today that merits any notice?
     
  16. NuSair

    NuSair Babbling Loonie
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    Pat on the back, sure. Having been part of the leadership of a large raiding guild in EQ for over 6 years I have an idea of what it's like.

    But all the grandstanding and false statements.... no.
     
  17. Poo

    Poo The Grandest of the PooBah’s
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    SNAP Nico!

    im gonna go ahead and call that check andddddd mate.

    *sits and stares at the Syndicate*
    *TRADEMARK!*
     
  18. ACB1961

    ACB1961 Lore Keeper
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    Looong ago our guild, AMT was allied to LLTS.

    I've always been fond of LLTS members because they conduct themselves in an exemplary fashion. Congrats on your anniversary.

    I have never one time seen an LLTS member cause a problem, jack a spawn, or anything else negative in the 14+ years I've played UO. That, is an amazing thing.

    LLTS!!!
     
  19. Athelas

    Athelas Lore Keeper
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    He's not.
     
  20. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
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    :cheerleader::heart:
     
  21. Xanthril of LA

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    I've never seen an LLTS member period. I've been playing for over 6 or 7 years and only sign I've seen of them on LA is their books asking what they can do for us. We don't need the rubbish, that is about all I can think when I see the books. If they've had a successful guild on another shard, then congrats.
     
  22. Gidge

    Gidge Sage
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    Some people really like to toot their own horn. I think it is funny that (whoever made the name syndicate here) had to come post of their "own" accomplishment instead of someone else recognizing them.


    ***The Syndicate is located on ATLANTIC SHARD. You need to be at least GRANDMASTER (100+) in your core skills and have a solid understanding of UO to apply. Feel free to describe your other characters in the 'Tell us about your characters..' field. ***

    So y'all don't take in new players huh? Not that 100 is that hard to get honestly. I find snubbing new players in general is the downfall to UO and is to any game. Do all of your members support this?

    I am not against your achievement touting post but... How active are you guys on your shard? I look at the Atlantic Shard Events and I see none if any posted by your guild. I see TWT, MSI, ODE? As big as you guys are, I would suspect events quite frequently and I see none in the events forum for Atlantic for at least 8 months? *tsk tsk* What are you guys doing in UO anyways?

    As much as it may be appreciated... y'alls longevity seems veiled. Anything good must withstand the light.
     
  23. Kylie Kinslayer

    Kylie Kinslayer Grand Inquisitor
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    To their credit, LLTS has hosted a craft day type event on quite a few Sundays going back as far as I have been playing - 90 paid months range. There for a while it was every Sunday and could still be. Sunday's I do miss a good bit of playing time lately. Also, while they do not seem to allow people to join their guild until those skill levels, I have seen them helping newer players at hunting spots working their skills up and getting to know them as people. They do seem to be a tight knit group of folks, maybe by doing that they weed out the riff raff that we all know exists.

    While I don't agree with them on their PR front, I have to give credit where it's due, never met one of them that was an a-hole personally.
     
  24. Poo

    Poo The Grandest of the PooBah’s
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    wait.... are you trying to say im a a-hole?

    hahahaha
     
  25. Hunters' Moon

    Hunters' Moon Grand Inquisitor
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    Okay so llts is a 16 year old guild,but UO wont hit 15 years until September.....am I missing something,or were they in another game prior to UO?
     
  26. Meatbread

    Meatbread Journeyman

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    Anyone who plays Atlantic knows that the Syndicate has been a virtually dead guild for years. You just plain never see them in UO, and their WoW branch is like the #30 guild on some meaningless little server.

    1200 members? Where?

    I can name plenty of Atlantic guilds outside of the top ten (TWT & HHYC for starters) whose tags are fifty times more common a sight than the odd occasional lonely LLTS tag.

    It's one guy's book-selling side job at this point.
     
  27. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    Instead of jumping on the "let's attack and insult them" train I'm just going to be nice and say congrats before this thread gets locked.
     
  28. yorky

    yorky Guest

    It should have been moved from the start, Syndicate is an Atlantic guild, it should be posted in the Atlantic forums.

    Truth is I had never heard of the Syndicate until recently when I found a book next to my shards moongate telling players to leave my shard and go join ATL. I not only found it rude i put that pile of crap in the trash.
    Accomplishments .. I dont see anything special about this, there are group/guilds/businesses/communities all over the place that far exceed 16 years and while I agree its is an accomplishment, there is no need for this thread in the general forums, I wonder how many other forums this message got cut and pasted into, and do you seriously think they will bother to return and read this thread? Or the messages of goodwill..

    They are not active members of this community, they are a commercial enterprise, using thier self proclomation (which isnt even true) as an advertisement to sell some useless books.
     
  29. Blood Ghoul

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    Thats a blast from the past!! NWN was probably the most fun I ever had playing an online game (Well maybe some of the first big raids in EQ were better) When the turned off the NWN switch that was a sucky day and one that will happen to UO also someday

    BG
     
  30. Assia Penryn

    Assia Penryn The Sleeping Dragon
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    :thumbsup:

    I congratulate you on your accomplishment LLTS, but the way it comes across leaves a sour taste in my mouth. You can be proud without being pompous.
     
  31. G.v.P

    G.v.P Stratics Legend
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    Haha, haters gonnna hate. I have no invested interest either way and I'm sure there are older guilds than The Syndicate, but I doubt there are any guilds as old or older with as much professional success. I mean come on, a trademarked name? Kinda makes me want to try a new MMO just to see if I get sued for using the name ;D.

    SHE guild on Ches is 11 years old, the original entity 12. If only I thought to drop some books, haha. Lot of old guilds around in UO though, talking about a game that is I guess 15-16 years old if you count alpha. Have to respect The Syndicate for their place in that history.
     
  32. Obsidian

    Obsidian UO Forum Moderator
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    Congratulations to the Syndicate on a very impressive accomplishment!

    We, as a community, should realize this speaks to the enormous success of UO within the MMORPG world. I'm glad UO is going strong and has such a rich and diverse history which is largely created by its player-base.
     
  33. Syndicate

    Syndicate Guest

    We wanted to take a second and add to this thread specifically to speak to a few of the questions asked and accusations made.

    To begin with, the 'oldest continuously operating' community Guinness World Record has several pieces to it. First, there is the word continuous. There are no breaks in our active participation in online gaming. Second, to obtain a GWR, you have to be able to prove the claim. Proof cannot be a post saying you are old. You have to supply 3rd party evidence that substantiates it. That evidence has to show continuous operation as well so for a claim of continuous operation for 16 years a substantial amount of independent evidence has to be shown. There are definitely groups that existed back in the days of 300-baud modems and BBS gaming; followed by AOL gaming but those groups almost always have breaks in their online participation (for example, NWN ended before UO entered its alpha stage. So a group from NWN could not have continuous existence unless they had a formal presence in a bridging game). The added factor of being able to actually prove a claim is what has made it, so far, impossible to challenge or break our GWR. The burden of proof is very high and very detailed yet making claims in posts on forums has no barrier to entry.

    Secondly, a series of questions were asked as to how active we are in UO; where the 1200+ members are; and what have we done for the Atlantic community lately?

    We are active on Atlantic shard in UO (with about 200 people mostly full time and another 100 that intermittently play) where we operate the first player created town and still maintain the first house placed in the game as it was part of the initial house deed test. It is so old when you speak inside the house, the people outside can see the words.

    We still operate Craftsman Day as was mentioned above. It has shifted days over the years and currently is every Sunday at 4pm EST. Gaters travel to the towns and offer rides to and from. We work to setup new players in the game with armor and items so its easier for them to get used to the game and they get less frustrated and quit. We help veteran players with all forms of crafting needs. If we have the ingredients on hand; we provide the service completely free. If we lack the ingredients; and you supply them; the service is completely free. Additionally we will open chests; sometimes help tame mounts; imbue etc.. for those that ask.

    While we do require solid game knowledge to join, we regularly mentor new players assigning them some veteran players to work with them on skills; take them hunting and generally help them to settle in. It is in everyone's best interest to keep the community strong.

    As for where the 1200 players are... some are in UO as we said above; some are in WoW; some in SWTOR; some play on our FPS teams.. and hundreds of them are involved in creating the future of MMOs. The recent juggernaut game that launched had a major Syndicate involvement as do the upcoming major ones in development. We have many people doing consulting, on-site testing; focus groups etc.. for those developers and we write the strategy guides for those games as well. So you would be correct in saying that all 1200 are not in UO. Many of you, however, will enjoy future games that those 1200 have had a hand in creating.

    In regards to the 58,000,000 guilds rising and falling in our time... actually those metrics are tracked. The development teams know how fast guilds rise and fall on their game. At one point EA commented that over 300 guilds were created and folded in UO each day. We, as a community, thought that was huge turnover only to later learn that in WoW over 20,000 guilds get created and implode every day. Working with our developer friends, we have been tracking those metrics for years and used them to conservatively estimate 58 million guilds have come and gone since 1996.

    In regards to our 99% retention rate... That is our current retention rate. It is actually 99.3% for 2011. You can do the math of that relative to 1200 members and see how many people quit. That was definitely NOT true during our career. As we cover in our books, in all the gory detail, we had extremely poor recruiting practices in our earlier days. We let in plenty of morons, kiddies, jerks and forum trolls. We were very fortunate that we cleared them all out and established very detailed recruiting practices that help ensure the people we recruit have compatible personalities; similar gaming goals and play styles and want from a community what we offer. Because of that, we have virtually no turnover yet are very large in size. It has taken years to get the formula to where it is today but it is something we are very proud of.
     
  34. Kayne.

    Kayne. Journeyman
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    99.1%. I've joined and left LLTS 3 times throughout my UO gametimes. I never saw 200 people in vent..

    Congrats on your milestone.....although.......what is the "most recent juggernaught" mmo?
     
  35. LadyNico

    LadyNico Always Present
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    Rather than 1200, you tell us you may have as many as 200 and/or some part-timers, and solely on Atlantic.

    Look. Plenty of folks organise regular, even weekly, events, assist newbies & returners, and a fair few regularly beta test other games.

    Why do you imagine anyone outside of Atlantic shard might be remotely interested in your guild, its activities, or its place in Atlantic's history?

    I mean, it couldn't just be about free advertising of your real life book for real life currency, could it?
     
  36. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
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    Nico... knowing you are here makes me feel better about my lack of ability(read: availability) to participate in this thread. Thank you.
     
  37. Hunters' Moon

    Hunters' Moon Grand Inquisitor
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    I am still wondering how llts is claiming 16 years in a game that hasn't even hit 15 yet.What were they playing before UO?
     
  38. startle

    startle Siege... Where the fun begins.
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    What she said ^^^
     
  39. Ezekiel Zane

    Ezekiel Zane Grand Inquisitor
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    KGB, The Knights of Glory and Beer, was started in a game called Tanarus in 1996 during it's beta. It was later commercially released in 1997 a couple months after UO launched.

    KGB has had a continuous online gaming presence ever since. Played UO, Everquest, ShadowBane, WoW, AoC, LoTRO, currently playing Darkfall, SWTOR, BF3, CoD, EVE, Planetside 2, D&DO.
     
  40. goldenpower

    goldenpower Guest

    Re:

    congratulations, now please stop spamming the shards w/ books trying to get people to switch to WoW.
     
  41. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    Speaking of books, can you all please stop spamming UO with them. Not only is it against the TOS, but it's as annoying as the search engine/gold reseller books.
     
  42. Syndicate

    Syndicate Guest

    For the sake of clearing up a few things:

    We didn't say we had 1200 people in UO. We said we had over 1200 members (across all games and consulting activities that we perform).

    In regards to the question about how we can be 16 years old and UO only be 15. We said we were 16 years old not that we had been in UO for 16 years. That said, we have been involved in UO since the pre-alpha test which was 16 years ago. Back in the pre-alpha there were only a couple hundred players and a good percentage of them were Syndicate members. You gained levels and couple play in the area immediately around Britain. It was done as a technology test that proved the game we all enjoy today was viable.

    The consulting work we do is well before the 'beta test' phase. These days a beta test is simply a tool to market the game with some, albeit limited, value towards improving the game before launch. The work we do ranges from years before that to a few weeks before that as the core systems of the games are defined and take shape. So while it is great that people get involved in beta tests so they can find out if they wish to invest their money in a game, that is not the kind of work we are referring to that we are involved in.

    As for the comment about joining and leaving 3 times.. that is just a troll comment looking for attention. When a person leaves The Syndicate they cannot rejoin in the future for any reason regardless of how much time has passed. You may well have joined a copycat guild by the same name 3 times though.

    The replies are appreciated though as invariably they mean more attention to the thread and thus more attention to our website.
     
  43. LadyNico

    LadyNico Always Present
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    You missed my two questions, highlighted & bolded for ease of reference.
     
  44. Flutter

    Flutter Always Present
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  45. LadyNico

    LadyNico Always Present
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    Flutter, I don't begrudge anyone pride in their shard or guild or guild's accomplishments. That stuff has a place in the shard forums. Legally tradeable stuff also has a place in the trade forums.

    Advertising for real life items for real life currency does not belong in-game (book drops) nor does it belong in UHall.

    Does "building of community" mean any poster is entitled to drop advertising in our UHall posts, as long as there is a link, however tenuous, to UO?

    Heck, my 9yr old daughter's first name is quite deliberately an abbreviation of a UO spell, while her middle name is part of a LoTR location.

    Perhaps I should just write an e-book. I mean, with the links in my daughter's name to both UO & LoTR, it certainly seems acceptable to drop adverts for such a book in both the UO & LoTR Stratics forums. Free advertising is awesome!

    Heck, tell ya what, I won't even profit - I'll just donate 100% of anything raised to a local special educational needs charity. Can't really say fairer than that, can you?

    So, Petra, can I? Can I, huh?

    ps: I already have a working title in mind!

    pps: a muse is upon me!
     
  46. goldenpower

    goldenpower Guest

    what guild performs "consulting activities" for gaming companies? sounds more like your "guild" is a business to me.
     
  47. Cogniac

    Cogniac Grand Inquisitor
    Stratics Veteran

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    The Syndicate is merely a convoluted pyramid scheme designed to inflate the wealth, industry influence, and self esteem of one Sean Stalzer. We have been dealing with this nonsense on Atlantic for years and years now.

    The Syndicate, as the marketing machine that it is, ascribes to the notion that "any press is good press," so the more negative responses this thread generates, the more they will egg it on in order to generate publicity.

    Since this thread is simply meant to be an advertisement intended to sell more of Mr. Stalzer's books and to make him feel more important, and due to the cavalcade of flame posts that are already filling it, and the inevitable trollfest that it is bound to turn into, it really should just be locked or deleted outright. Trust me, it only goes downhill from here.
     
  48. the 4th man

    the 4th man Lore Master
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    I noticed something, el sydicate has yet to defend. the book dropping guff.

    Listen man, if an online game thing is your claim to fame in life, if it's all you got, I wouldn't brag about it at family gatherings. Revenge of the nerds ring a bell dude?

    Like I said, it's a computer game, nothing more.........want to pat your own back, cool, go for it. As you can see though, alot of us think yer lame.

    later kid.
     
  49. Woodsman

    Woodsman Guest

    If they acknowledged it, then they would publicly be acknowledging that they break the TOS to sell a third party book that's barely related to UO.

    We may look down upon the Syndicate people, but they aren't dumb. There is no way they will publicly acknowledge breaking the TOS.
     
  50. Meatbread

    Meatbread Journeyman

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    Obvious hogwash to anyone who's taken a walk around Atlantic in the last half a decade. The most LLTS characters I've seen in recent years is the five or so toons you see standing around the castle on Crafting Day, only one or two of which ever appear to speak or react to their environment. The whole thing looks a lot like one or two guys running multiple clients.

    HHYC is a much more visible presence on Atlantic, and they're a newbie-training guild that dramabombs and sheds a third of their members every five or six weeks.

    The WoW branch of The Syndicate contains 403 characters and as of this writing is currently ranked as the #26,777 raiding guild in WoW. (That's not even the highest-ranked guild called "The Syndicate" in that game!) Also, let's not pretend that those 403 characters each represent an individual active player, okay?

    I guess you could have hundreds and hundreds of guys playing SWTOR or whatever the FPS of the moment is, but I really kinda doubt it.

    Are you trying to imply that someone from your guild has a hand in SWTOR without acutally saying so? Names, please, and don't try to pretend that this is confidential information. It is, for example, public knowledge that Jeff "Tigole" Kaplan and Alex "Furor" Afrasiabi (from EQ guilds Legacy of Steel and Fires of Heaven, respectively) both went on to become major developers of World of Warcraft.

    Listen man, shovel this stuff somewhere else. I'm not some middle-aged nongamer who hasn't played anything but UO in the last 10 years. I play the games, I read the blogs, and The Syndicate isn't anything anyone talks about. It's some loser WoW guild ranked outside the top twenty-five thousand, and a UO guild nobody has seen more than four members of in the last five years.
     
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