Hi Everyone! Hope you’re all doing well and as excited as I am about the upcoming DLC, The Dark Brotherhood!
This is a post I have been planning on making for a long time, and is really for the attention of the ESO development team, but I believe (and hope) that this will resonate with many of the ESO communities out there. I don’t often make big forum posts like this, but this is a subject which I am very passionate about and is close to many communities hearts.
So first, a quick introduction:
I’m Bel, and I’m the guild leader of a large, social, casual, respectful, fun loving community called Alith. We’ve been going for 6 years now, and have been a presence on the EU server of ESO since beta days. We have 450+ active (yes, we don’t have any inactive members..) and we’re all fun loving ESO fans. We have organised daily PvE events (raids, social events, competitions), and also have our own ESO video podcast called Alith-Cast. You can check out our official site. We were one of the very first guilds to submit our “Guild Spotlight” application sadly to this day, we never got a mention, anyway!
I wanted to give you guys some background about us, so you can understand how passionate we are about ESO – our guild is a 100% ESO guild, and we are ALL about community & family.
Which brings me onto the reason for this post:
The Elder Scrolls Online – Social & Community Features (or lack of)
I really want this to be a constructive feedback post and a desperate plea for help, and is in no way meant to be negative. This is also just my own personal opinions, but I know a lot of my community share these concerns.
I have been leading this community of ours for many years, and ESO has certainly been the game we have been most passionate about, and our guild has really loved calling this game our home. It’s with great sadness, therefore, that I share my real disappointment with the severe lack of guild / community features in the game, in comparison to other MMO’s out there.
Of all the MMO’s our community has made home in, ESO has really been the weakest in catering for player guilds & encouraging us to create real family like communities. ESO fails in some really fundamental areas, core features which any MMO really needs, to help guilds to be the best they can be. There are also countless missed opportunities, that ZOS hasn’t taken advantage of yet – the ESO world of Tamriel has some fantastic ways it could incorporate & support player guilds, but for whatever reasons, ZOS really has not given player guilds any priority and has really neglected this part of the game. Communities like ours are desperate, and in urgent need of support & help.
When I heard the news in Matt Firors “Year Ahead” article at the start of the year, with the title “Focus on Social”. It was music to my ears, and I thought finally we’re going to get some real needed guild / community features and finally we’ll be able to really integrate our communities into the game, have fun rewarding ways to build our communities (like other MMO’s have). 5 months in and…. nothing. (grouping tool improvements, are not community improvements).
So of course I want this feedback to be constructive, and specific. Therefore I want to take this opportunity to point out those missing fundamentals, and also share some really simple (and some more complex) ideas / suggestions that would SERIOUSLY help all us communities who are desperately trying to make the best guild experience we can:
Missing Guild Features & Suggestions:
Server Guild Lists & Guild Recruitment Tools – nearly every MMO i’ve played has some basic way of viewing in game, all the guilds on the server, and some even have mechanics for you to apply to various guilds in game, and also read some basic information about the guilds, giving the players a way to read up on guilds & apply to them, in game. ESO doesn’t have this.
Guild Activities – Again, nearly every MMO we’ve played, has various activities in game, designed specifically for guilds. This includes, but isn’t limited to guild quests which can be picked up and completed by guild members, which then generates rewards for guilds and their members. There are SO many ways ESO could incorporate this, and again would create a way for players to spend time in game, interacting with their guilds, and doing something which will benefit their guilds.
Guild Event Calendar – granted this is certainly more complex, but again some MMO’s we’ve played have a calendar system where officers of the guild can post up events planned for the guild, in game. Members can then view the events on the calendar in game, and even sign up to attend them. We could use this from anything from Trials Runs, Social Events, Competitions and so on.
Guild Halls – So this is something that ZOS could easily implement alongside player housing. Create a system where players could gradually contribute towards a guild building (or purchasing) their own guild hall. The hall could then be a place for communities to meet up, and socialise, You could possibly have some additional special guild quests that you can only pick up from the hall, and hell you could even put some special crafting stations there 🙂 The possibilities are endless.
Town & Village Capture / ownership – and I don’t necessarily mean PvP! In some other MMO’s i’ve played, there are guild systems in place where player guilds can actually capture various regions or towns in the world! By capturing the town, we could then decorate the town with our own guild branding (flags, banners etc..). There are various ways you could implement this – a popular vote election campaign (like Tera did very successfully), maybe tie it into guild questing (complete a certain amount of guild quests, and earn the chance to capture towns that way. Guilds could benefit from capturing a town by receiving a certain % of tax from all merchant transactions (and traders). Anyway, there are several various ways you could implement a town ownership system, and let’s face it, Tamriel isn’t lacking in towns or regions! It’s also another game mechanic that will encourage your players to continue to revisit old areas!
Guild Identity in game – Oh my, where do I start. Again ESO is seriously lacking in helping us guildies to FEEL like we’re part of a community and be able to easily recognise fellow guildies. I hate to tell you but the tabard system is a very poor attempt at this. Most people don’t want to cover up their shiny nice armour they worked so hard for, with bland basic guild tabards…. I could write a whole thread on guild identity features which are needed, but let me summarise with: 1. Allow us to filter the nameplates settings, so that we ONLY see nameplates above people who are IN our own guild – that way we can spot our fellow guildies out in the world easily – WITHOUT the “you must wear your tabard” condition, which defeats the object. 2. Allow us to upload our own custom guild logos / branding, so that our guilds REALLY stand out in the game, and let us display our guild logo next to our player nameplates, like most guilds do. I realise there is some immersion considerations here, but you can always allow the option to toggle on / off. The bland emblems that we currently have to choose from, just don’t make our guilds stand out and don’t give us that real sense of identity we need. 3. Give us other ways of identifying fellow guildies without it covering up all our armour (emblems on our shields? Capes? Guild Dye Colour Schemes? etc etc) and yes, we want to be able to display our guild branding at our guild hall and villages / towns we’ve captured haha. 4. Guild Leaderboards – again, a very easy way to recognise guilds achievements, you could have both PvP and PvE leaderboards, but it would work even better with the “guild questing” or reputation system I suggested earlier. There are loads of other ways you can improve guild identity in game, and these suggestions so far are just very basic and fundamental ones – food for thought.
Guild Info section on official ESO website – as it says on the tin, why not have a dedicated area of your website where you can view, interact, and make contact with various guilds in game. A real community section which would show the guild management team, and other useful info about various guilds. And yes I know there is already a forum section for guilds, but that is really not what I am suggesting here 🙂
Special Guild Vendors – you could tie this into the guild questing / reputation system, where player guilds can unlock special vendors which can be accessed by the guild to obtain rare & useful items! Again, multitude of ways you could incorporate this.
Guild Ranks – why not allow us to “level up” our guild and have various guild ranks. The higher our guild level, the more features & benefits we can unlock for our members. You can make it very challenging to attain the levels, and again tie it into the guild quests giving our members another reason to keep doing the quests / activities.
Other in game guild features – you could add some really simple but useful additions such as custom guild member polls that we can create, to allow our members to vote on various topics. Why not have some cool & special cosmetic additions that guild members of certain rank can access (like special mount armour for guild officers, or special capes for guild raid leaders, etc etc). There’s just a lot of little simple quality of life changes that you could implement for guilds, which wouldn’t require a lot of work.
Guild vs Guild Wars – Ok, so even though I dislike PvP myself haha, I can certainly see the value in implementing some kind of PvP system for Guild vs Guild battles – again there are many many models out there of how you could could implement this, but its just another way of helping to create some guild pride & some friendly guild competition.
Guild Note – I think you need to fix this, so that guild members can all update their “own” guild notes, but not others guild notes. Right now there is only an option to let EVERYONE change EVERYONE ELSES notes – but not “just” their own – doesn’t work very well. As a result, in our guild, members have to “ask” an officer to change their own note for them, its very silly haha.
Why not have some random “events” that happen in the world, similar to the dark anchors, but events that are specifically for player guilds to tackle & accomplish. Again lots of ways you could implement this, I won’t go into specific examples, this thread is already quite long haha. In essence though, a reason for “Guilds” to go out into the world together, and achieve objectives (non PvP).