Leadership in Albion Online is a world which is wide, wild, wily, and wise. Often the interactions and perspectives of leaders and diplomats happen outside of the view of the common line member and gatherer. This interview is an attempt to bring some of that hidden perspective to light.
As part of my interview process with the significant leadership, diplomats, and shot callers of Albion online, I used a standard set of questions for each person that is being interviewed. These views and expressed opinions are their own and, except where the interviewee is the alliance leader, are not reflective of the views or official position of their organization at large.
The following interviewee is none other than Syndic, he is the Leader of both the guild Crimson Imperium Reborn and the alliance Partnership of Equals.
VOLTEL: For those who are unfamiliar with you, who are you and what do you do?
SYNDIC: I am Syndic, I’m the guild leader of Crimson Imperium Reborn and the founder of the POE alliance in Albion.
VOLTEL: What can you tell me about yourself and what you do; i.e. your role in your Alliance?
SYNDIC: I make sure that the rules are upheld and followed in POE, I shape our diplomacy with other entities in the game, and I participate in the design and coordination of our GVG campaigns. My main role, is making sure that POE players are progressing and enjoying their game by providing them with the means and the structure to do so.
VOLTEL: How’d you get your start in Albion? Did you start with planning to run an alliance?
SYNDIC: One of our members secured an Alpha guild invite but we politely declined because we were playing another game at the time, then at the beginning of Beta 1 a couple of us were bored and decided to give it a try. We checked out the player alliances and how they were run during Beta, and it was clear that we would have to do it ourselves.
VOLTEL: What, for you, was the hardest part of growing (into) your alliance? What do you struggle most with now?
SYNDIC: The hardest part has been and remains explaining organizational concepts that we successfully employed in other games, in a way that is understandable and acceptable to Albion players. Progress is slow for my taste, but our organization is evolving at a rapid pace compared to our competition.
VOLTEL: How did you broach diplomacy when you were first growing your alliance; what were the early growing pains?
SYNDIC: Every established entity I talked to was very cagey and guarded. It was evident that at the time, all the “Beta player” entities were locked in a constant rapid cycle of friend-enemy that changed on a daily basis. Making lasting agreements was difficult, and it took a lot of work to convince some alliances that we legitimately wanted to cooperate with them and didn’t plan on backstabbing them five minutes later when our feelings changed.
VOLTEL: How does diplo currently – or continue to – shape your day-to-day and the experience of your members?
SYNDIC: Our members feel the effects of our diplomacy every day. We went from being a small newbie alliance in South West Cumbria, to the oldest alliance in Albion’s history with holdings and contacts across every continent and every organization.
VOLTEL: From the high-level, what’s the unspoken or unsung role of diplos and leaders that most people don’t get to see?
SYNDIC: To my knowledge, POE is the only alliance in the game that employs the concept of “diplos”. Most of the other alliances were and are tribal structures loosely arranged around personality cults with little lasting power.
VOLTEL: Do you ever feel leaders are sometimes in the position of creating more problems than they solve?
SYNDIC: Absolutely. Leaders governed by their feelings whose word doesn’t have any lasting value, don’t have any long term future in Albion.
VOLTEL: Let’s talk regional – A lot of recent attention has been paid to Mercia and their residents. What are your thoughts on the region and the diplomatic and political situation?
SYNDIC: I think that SBI has successfully eliminated most reasons for keeping wide swathes of territories by removing most of the income from the territories. Politically it might make sense, but economically it doesn’t make any sense to own more territories then needed.
VOLTEL: Does the situation in Mercia differ greatly from Cumbria and Anglia?
SYNDIC: Not really. Cumbria has been polarized between POE and TC (and whatever alliance they’re in this week) since the beginning of the War, Anglia is divided into roughly two-three power blocks. The world in general is polarized between two blocks.
VOLTEL: By your assessment, are their problems that leaders and Diplomats are incapable of solving?
SYNDIC: Not really, all problems can be solved at the negotiating table one way or another.
VOLTEL: Do you feel that building alliances and coalitions in Albion through diplomacy is largely misunderstood? If so, is there anything you would like to clarify for the record?
SYNDIC: Absolutely. The concept of diplomacy in Albion seems to be extremely simplified, leaders determine their external politics based on how they’re feeling at a given time. In the diplomacy game, the only currency players have is their word. Once other players cotton on to the fact that a leader’s word has zero value, it’s pretty hard to dig out of that hole.
Editors Note: This Interview is part of our ongoing series covering the different Meta Players across Albion. If you or someone you know would like to be interviewed please contact us via our discord and we would love to hear about what you do in Albion and interview you!