[block_right] “It’s your responsibility to make sure it is protected” – Nick [/block_right]During the recording for TESOCast #28 we discussed the interview with Nick Konkle, hosted by Shoddycast. There was some great information released during this interview, but one part really stood out to me. It made me ask myself; “Is this the most reliable way for players to create public guild stores? Is it even a viable option?”
Back in August I wrote an article explaining what the guild store is, how it works and what we can expect to get from such a system (Guild Store: The Good, The Bad, The Zerg). One of the negatives that stood out in the article was the restriction of the guild store, being locked solely to the guild that is operating it. With recent information this very restriction may have been lifted, but did this lifting introduce a new restriction?
When asked: “Will there be areas within Tamriel that allow guilds to place their guild store up for non-members to buy from?”
Konkle had this to say;
“It’s built into how the Cyrodiil keep ownership and territory control works. Basically if you have a guild with 50 people and you capture a keep or something like that, it doesn’t have to be 50 it could be a huge number, could be 500 but you capture and own a keep. It’s your responsibility to make sure it is protected, but one of the benefits you get is anyone can come visit your keep and then access your guild store and you get the benefit of the economy of being able to sell to potentially everyone who comes by –which is a huge group of people.
Because of the way the teleportation network in the game works, if you own a keep it is pretty certain that you’ll be able to get to it instantly without needing to pvp or do any risk, so it isn’t necessarily like, hey the guild store is only for people who are PvPing, it is actually a system that is open and this is the place you happen to go to see the front end for it. […]”
From this new information, they’re allowing us the ability to make our guild store public as long as we control and claim a keep in Cyrodiil for the guild. I’m all for allowing guilds to open their stores up to the masses, but as I stated before is this a reliable and viable option?
If you’ve read my article “Cyrodiil: What is your strategy?” you’ve noticed that keep flipping is something that is going to happen a fair bit in Cyrodiil, especially the ones closest to the Imperial City. If I was a guild leader and wanted a public guild store, I wouldn’t take a keep that is close to the Imperial city because I know it won’t stay in my possession for very long. Some of you are probably thinking you can just defend the keep should it be under attack, and you’d be right. Remember though, you can’t quick travel to a keep that is under attack, which means players will be unable to visit your guild store without having to play hide and sneak with the enemy just to get inside the keep or wait and see if they stop attacking.
Imagine you run a pawn shop and because of your location, you’re forced to close your doors more often than you’re open, and on top of not being open a lot, your location is in the rough part of town. When traveling to your store people will have to watch their backs to ensure they aren’t going to be mugged.
How many people do you think would be willing to travel to your store? How many people will remember your store’s name if you aren’t open very often? Even if you offered products 25% cheaper than the other guilds, people will most likely buy from your competitors even though it is a higher price strictly due to convenience.
Surely Zenimax had to look at the public stores this way, what could be their reasoning behind such a restrictive system? After recording TESOCast, Isarii from Tamriel Foundry and I got into a bit of debate about this mechanic, but we both agreed that it is a very limiting system.Why would Zenimax put such a limiting feature on such a large aspect of the economy?
After a long debate with Isarii we both came to an agreement, that public guild stores will become a lesser used outlet for players to utilize. As stated above sellers will have a very limited window of time to open and maintain a public store, and buyers will be faced with a question of, is it worth the hassle to travel to a keep without knowing if a store will be present, or if it will even have the items I want?
Isarii believes this system could open the door to an aspect of MMOs that has been lost and forgotten about – a socially involved economy. Read more on Isarii’s thoughts on this system in his article, ESO and the Resurgence of the Social Economy.