Allowing Players To Join Multiple Fellowships

I know I’ve touched on this before, but it came up during a discord discussion and I was urged to do a full write up on the idea. What I’m going to do is attempt to identify the pros and cons of this sort of system and present a counterargument for as many of the cons as I can.

Pros

  1. Player Freedom
  • I’m a big supporter of the idea of allowing players to join multiple fellowships. In many other games being limited to only one fellowship/guild/clan (clan from here on out because it’s shorter) feels like a serious restriction and in this game, where each character is allowed so much diversity, I think it would be even more restrictive. It doesn’t seem right to prevent a player who is focused on progression from participating in a role-playing guild as well
  1. Creation of Niche Fellowships
  • If it came down to a decision between a fishing oriented fellowship and a progression oriented one I think most players would choose the progression fellowship. That makes it really difficult for a fishing exclusive fellowship to be successful and, in a lot of cases, prevents them from being created. If players had the option to be in and contribute to the success of both it seems like a win-win.
  1. Fellowship Specialization Allows for Targeted Perks
  • I feel like “fun for everyone” perks are actually pretty terrible. What good is being in a fellowship and receiving a 5% experience increase if every other fellowship in the game offers the same thing? By allowing fellowships to specialize on a specific area of the game you allow for the creation of more powerful and interesting perks. Having a pool of perks available for selection by fellowships as they progress (without ever being able to unlock everything) creates exclusivity and value for those perks. A progression fellowship probably wouldn’t care about a perk that added 5% line strength to their fishing rod, but a fishing guild? Yes, please.
  1. No Fellowship Hopping
  • In my experience it isn’t uncommon for players with varied interests to bounce between a variety of fellowships to get the full experience. This creates all kinds of headaches. It becomes very difficult for that person to stay connected with everything going on in each fellowship as well as being a burden when it comes to event planning. All-in-all it’s a really ineffective and annoying way of “solving” this problem.
  1. Additional Socialization
  • Finally, by allowing players to join multiple fellowships you increase the number of other players they are able to encounter. It seems like a huge part of this game is allowing people to socialize so if that’s the case this really seems like a huge benefit.

Cons

  1. Not Enough Restrictions
  • If players are able to join multiple fellowships then they’d be silly not to join all of them, right? And if everyone is allowed to be in every fellowship without contributing then no one is really benefiting.
  1. Splitting Your Commitment
  • Players who are in multiple fellowships should be expected to contribute in some manner to the success of the fellowship. Allowing players to join multiple fellowships just decreases the usefulness of each individual player to the group as a whole. No one can be in two places at once and there would eventually be conflicting event times within each fellowship. Plus, depending on how fellowships are funded, expecting players to contribute to the coffers of multiple fellowships means there is less coin for everyone.
  1. Communication
  • If a player is a member of multiple fellowships how do they even communicate with them? Right now players have the option of using the compass to communicate with members of their party, do they now get a communication crystal for every fellowship they’re a member of? Where would they put all of those? How would they sort out the constant stream of voices in their head from other players talking in all the fellowship channels?
  1. PvP
  • If players are in two fellowships that come into conflict with each other then they’ll be forced to choose between them. That could mean losing a lot of progress within your fellowship and having to start all over somewhere else. And from an administration standpoint? Spies. Everywhere.

Counterarguments

  1. Restrictions
  • Great point! A system with absolutely no restrictions would be just as bad so why don’t we enforce some sort of limit on the number of fellowships a member can join? The magic number that was settled on during the discord discussion was three. That would allow everyone to join their “primary” fellowship (whether that be progression, socialization, PvP, or whatever) and remain in it indefinitely. They would also be able to join two additional fellowships to help progress in their lesser interests within the game.
  1. Commitment
  • Worrying about not getting the most out of your members seems pretty silly to me. I think it’s unrealistic for leadership to believe that all of their members are working to progress the clan 100% of the time. They aren’t. Some are fishing, some are chatting in the tavern, and some are probably just AFK with their headset on so they can beat @Zardulu in play time. So, in my opinion, allowing players to join multiple fellowships actually increases their productivity. This way their time spent fishing can actually benefit the fishing fellowship instead of being wasted on the progression based one. Conflicting fellowship events are an added difficulty, but I still don’t see this as a downside. Yes, occasionally the player may have to choose between participating in one fellowship’s dungeon or another fellowship’s fishing tournament, but hopefully that sort of thing wouldn’t happen very often and if it did the player could probably join a fellowship for one of those things that scheduled events at a different time. Regardless, even if you do have to miss a couple events, that still feels better than having to miss every event because you aren’t a member of the other fellowship. Finally, money. It’s hard to combat this point because there just isn’t enough info about how fellowships will collect their coin.
  1. Communication
  • Man, yeah, good call. This could’ve gotten pretty crazy pretty fast. I don’t really know what the plan is for fellowship communication, but I’ll spit out a few ideas that came up in the discord discussion. The compass could have an interactive part that allowed only one channel to communicate at a time. It could be a button on the side, a replacement for the center crystal, whatever. Then, while that channel was toggled on the other fellowships and chat channels would be muted and all of your input would only be broadcast in that channel. It does limit the amount of people you can talk to remotely, but it’s the best solution I’ve heard so far. Another option is that remote fellowship communication just isn’t allowed and any fellowship interaction takes place within a fellowship-owned location.
  1. PvP
  • So, yes, this creates the possibility of being in two clans that are at war with each other, but is that a deal-breaker? I don’t think so. I can’t imagine people would be in enough like-minded fellowships that they would be caught up in this sort of conflict. I mean, if the player chose to join the “Keepers of Order” and “xoxoSnugglebunnies” (the soon to be notorious PvP fellowship) then they’ll probably have a few dilemmas to sort out, but why would someone knowingly do that to themselves? Also, why would the second fellowship allow that? And this goes into the argument against spies as well. I would think that being able to view the other fellowships that you prospective member is a part of would reduce the risk of spies rather than increase it.

Conclusion
That turned into a monster. So just to summarize, I think there are a ton of benefits to allowing players to join multiple fellowships without seeing any serious drawbacks at this point. I’m sure there are a few things I overlooked on both sides of the spectrum so definitely give me your feedback!

Thanks for reading :smile:

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Honestly, I’m more for having only one fellowship. In most other games I’ll be a solo drifter for a while, but once I found a guild I liked, I was very loyal to it until it went down due to inactivity or something like that. I think that having multiple fellowships could somewhat dum down the sense of loyalty to your fellowships.

@leotheshade Did… Did you even read the post? If your going to respond, maybe you should try to discuss pros and cons like the purpose of the post instead of “No, [repeat point with counterpoint you didn’t read made in post].”

On a different not though, I am very interested in the communication aspect of being in multiple fellowships. I feel like this would be the biggest challenge for me.

To spur further discussion, do niche clans/fellowships have to exist as clans/fellowships, or are these things that can be broken out into a different sort of group/team? PvP has often existed as it’s own entity outside of guilds/clans in other games - maybe there is a structure that could be worked in outside of just fellowships?

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I mean, nobody is keeping you from joining only 1.

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Elder Scrolls Online allows for each player to join up to 5 different guilds so we can look at that as a model for certain elements of this. What you see there is a wide array of guild types, including but not limited to; roleplay, traders, pvp, pve-casual, pve-hardcore, fishing, theorycrafting, etc, and every combination under the sun. There typically aren’t a lot of conflicts regarding split loyalty or guild dedication, though in fairness there are often basic financial contributions expected in trader guilds (to afford guild traders), and attendance requirements in hardcore pve and pvp guilds. Overall, I’d say it works extremely well in allowing guilds to focus as much or as little as they want, and gives players the flexibility to tailor their membership according to their interests.

I agree with @Damage_Da_Mage pretty much across the board on this one, including what I see as the biggest hurdle by far, Communication. Everything else on the list seems pretty manageable to me, either by the player, by the guilds themselves, or with some basic game support, but communication is a really tricky one to manage. Honestly, I’m not even sure how I see this working with 1 fellowship. I don’t know how we don’t end up in a situation where we have to pick between disruptive audio come in from your guild while talking/fighting with your group OR missing important audio messages from your guild to assemble or support them. Maybe something like queued voice messages? A guild audio message board that sends an indicator to your compass when updated? Mutually exclusive compass communication modes?

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I’m in favor of a one fellowship system. I feel being able to join multiple fellowships diminishes the whole point of a fellowships\guilds. I played many MMOs that would allow multiple guilds and you tend to get members that are only there because your guild can help them clear this or do that. These people would never help other members if they needed help doing things like leveling, crafting, gathering etc. After they do what ever it is they needed your guild for they would just go back to rep there main guild. Which prevents your guild/members from growing/bonding.

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A lot of interesting ideas being kicked around in here. At this point, we know almost nothing about Fellowships except that they exist. That’s not a criticism, it’s just the way it is right now. Once we know more about the basic characteristics of Fellowships, I think some of these pros/cons will resolve themselves.

Just speaking for myself, I hope the devs pursue the simplest implementation first. Getting the logic and UI right, so that we can easily create Fellowships, add members, list members, assign privileges, remove members, dissolve Fellowships, and so on, in a real-time multi-user VR environment, seems like a big job for a small team working on a short deadline. If we start adding in things like Fellowship Halls, shared storage, ability to buy various stat buffs, to say nothing of the very thorny problems around facilitating communication between members that @Draven brought up, and then enable multi-guild membership on top of that, turning a one-to-many problem into a many-to-many problem… I don’t know. That really seems like a lot, considering everything else that’s on the roadmap.

I won’t be disappointed if, when the game enters Early Access at the end of the year, the only use of Fellowships is to allow a small group of like-minded players to form a persistent group of merciless PKers called the “xoxoSnugglebunnies” and be visually identified as such, so that I can join the “Rabbit Stew Crew” and tirelessly hunt them until every last member renounces the syndicate to do community service in Highsteppe teaching newbies how to cast Fireball. :man_with_turban:

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Damage brought up some good ideas but I think I would prefer 1 guild. There can be small groups in the guild that can pursue other adventures whether it be fishing, artificing, progression, etc.

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@Damage_Da_Mage
Thanks for doing the write up! Just like we discussed. I’d love to see something along the lines of Major Fellowships and small “guilds/fellowship” that would be like secondary and would be the other 2 that could be joined.
So yea
1 Major Fellowship
2 Minors:
fishing, Collecting, Farming, What not being all thats added as secondary skills.

Maybe there will be message boards around a fellowship hall or something as far as the communication goes. But the Friends list Should shed a lot of light on how chat would be pertaining to a fellowship :smiley:

As for the xoxosnugglebunnies They wait in the shadows from what I hear. Something to do with @Logan

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Oh, for sure. I definitely realize that all of this is a very tall order. I would be shocked if even a majority of this made it in by the early access release. I’d actually be pleasantly surprised if a majority of this made it into the game at all. I just wanted to get a discussion started on the topic that way if there’s anything the dev team hasn’t decided on already maybe the community could help fill that gap. I definitely think it would be best, if the ideas discussed here do fit in with the dev team’s vision, to identify them early so it will be easier to implement in the future.

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I am very much like @leotheshade. I’ll join a guild only after I’ve had a chance to experience the game as a solo for a while. Once I’ve joined the guild, I am a loyal member. I’m not much on having multiple guilds, simply because its just too much to juggle. I have a hard enough time remembering MY character name let alone multiple guilds filled with people.
With that said I must add that I have no problem with the game having multiple guilds. I will always only belong to one, but just because that is how I prefer it, doesn’t mean everyone else must do it my way. But, as @Zardulu “The Tireless” said, all of this could be moot until we find out what the devs are able to put together within the limits of a VR MMORPG.

I didn’t know ESO had a multiple guild option, that’s pretty cool. That might be the extra push I needed to finally check out that game.

Communication is definitely tricky. I threw out the couple ideas I had just to try and get discussion rolling, but delayed audio and message boards would be pretty cool as well. I was always a big fan of the wristwatch in rec room. Perhaps you could do something similar with a guild communication bracelet?

I think it would be fairly important to allow multiple guilds since the game is likely going to be focused on having one character and changing classes. Hopefully there will be the option to have a second character at launch, but that’s not guaranteed. Usually if you wanted to be a part of a second guild, you’d just create another character for whatever the focus was: PvP, Raids, RP, etc.

One way to do communication could be to give the compass an outer ring that spins. If there’s a 3 guild limit, the compass could have an arrow on the outer ring that points in and 4 colored dots/guild symbols/names at 90 degree intervals, 1 of which is an all channel. Spin the outer ring to align the compass to the guild channel you want to communicate with and have the all channel be listen-only.

Some sort of “knock knock” system might be useful for guild members to get the attention of a specific member who is in a different chat, perhaps a light in the direction of the communicating guild or something on the overlay if there ends up being one.

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If you’re going to immerse yourself in a reality that is virtual but which incorporates many of the features of our reality, then it is somewhat silly to have only one fellowship membership. In our own lives, we are members of many, many, many communities from a very young age with drastically different concerns. Such is the same with fellowships and guilds. I am an avid ESO player and I love the multi-guild system. I hope we have that in Orbus also.

I can also understand that some people have a desire for fellowship exclusivity, so I would propose that there be an option for a Fellowship to be exclusive only, such that when you join it, you must relinquish all other fellowships. Then you can have your fellowship cake and eat it too. Those who care about having a single fellowship can start or join a fellowship with the exclusivity flag set and then they can be assured that only like-minded individuals will be in their fellowship.

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I’ve been reading all the comments in this thread. I don’t really have a solid answer for this, yet, which is why I haven’t replied. A lot of it is going to come down to how the Fellowship communication in-game works. Looking at the current dev backlog, it’s going to be a couple of tests before we tackle that, but when we do we should have more information on this.

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