I would also really like to see more skill lines in the tradition of mages guild and fighters guild, that any class can pick up. And so… how about some more guilder fun? Could be the focus of an entire DLC, or could be added to some DLC without anything else, and rely on daily missions for guild progression; depending… (though of course, a full DLC with a small region and a story questline would be more fun!)
I imagine, they could have a musical instrument as “special weapon” (another thing for woodworkers to craft!) and play toggle-able magical AoE spellsongs to support and buff your group, and maybe debuff (or perhaps even put to sleep) enemies that come in range?
Each song would be a different melody/lyrics, to be played with different sounds depending on equipped instrument – there could be choice of stringed instruments like lute, fiddle or harp, blown instruments like flutes, horns or bagpipes, and concussive instruments like drums… each available in racial styles for different type and visual goodieness… (So, the altmer stringed instrument might be a lyre, while the breton stringed instrument might be a lute, the khajiit stringed instrument might be a fiddle and the argonian stringed instrument might be a banjo… the bosmer blown instrument might be pan-pipes while the nord blown instrument might be bagpipes, the imperial blown instrument might be a trumpet while the dunmer might have a flute… etc.)
Some locations could even have large fixed-place instruments a bard could play to extend their buff beyond their usual AoE and throughout the whole area (big organs or magical crystal harmonium)
Said songs to be played on a toggle, continuously for an large AoE effect (as in, listening distance) for a very low magicka (or ultimate) cost – balanced by the fact that the bard is holding a dainty instrument in their hands instead of a weapon, and thus have no attacks with it – it would be entirely buff-debuff based effect from a bard practicing their craft. Naturally they could always swap weapons, ending their song to fight for their lives… And also, having an active song would make stealth impossible (duh), so no sneaking with background music, hear!
Also possible would be some “speechcraft” style passives…
And there could be daily missions usually available at the local master bard, like… playing in several different inns, one per homeland map… for guild advancement. Perhaps even a “hit that note” minigame…
As for their tales, well, a guild of bards would fit right into most of semi-civilized tamriel… I am not quite sure if the Bardic College of Solitude already exists in the second Era, but it (or its predecessor) for example would make a perfect setting for this guilds DLC, if any – as for the questline, well… Bards might happily ask musically inclined adventurers to help them out when they find themselves faced with some problem they cannot charm. And seeing how Solitude is pretty close to the Reach… and the reachmen are pretty active in ESO already… they would make a credible threat to spin a questline around, would they not? Especially one aimed at traditional bardic endeavors, like carrying messages, spreading news, seducing ladies (or gentlemen), a little spying on the side and a lot of singing and music… with the occasional styleful swashbuckling stabbings of course.
The other idea born from a post on the forums was about a guild of scholars and archeologists, hunting through old ruins and forgotten tombs for knowledge and relics of lost civilizations and bygone ages. This guild could gain its progression from finding special archeology texts that might show up at random in “ancient ruin” type dwelves and dungeons…
The “skills” used by this guild should be special in that they are not handled as usual, becoming available per guild line progression and then unlocked and morphed by skill points, but are theoretically ALL available right from the start, but dependent on finding rare items to unlock or morph them… since these skills would not be as much skills, as artifacts the players find and learn how to use. So, for example, if someone finds the “dwemer steamgun” item in some old dwemer ruin, they can either use it to add that skill to their range of scholar abilities, or use it to morph that skill if they already have it, or sell it in some guild store for someone else to buy and use.
In addition, these artifact-skills should be somewhat unreliable… ALL of them should have a small chance to fail, perhaps even backlash in some way… balanced by a lower cost as comparable normal abilities would have, to reflect the not entirely understood nature of those artifacts.
Artifact Skill Ideas:
And for DLC-ideas… well, scholarly pursuits would mesh well with Imperial backing (remember that imperial scholar you “helped” in Alik’r and Bangkorai?); the glory days of the empire may be drowned in the rubble of the imperial city right now, and fought over by the three banners war, but that does not mean that all the scholars who served the once proud imperial library have given up, right? Some may operate out of some other place, be it the colovian highlands or the nibenay valley, a blackwood coastal town or even some isle outpost in the topal sea… and hope to assemble a collection of long lost lore that will one day enable their guild to return to an restored imperial city in glory and pride… that has to be enough to work up a nice DLC questline with a “tomb raiding” theme, right? Especially when there might be other organizations who either do not want that lore to be found, or want it all for themselves… be it daedric cults, or overzealous lordlings (or both, one manipulating the other)…
Yes, the PvP-portion of the justice system has been shelved. Does not mean there isn’t a chance for PvE enforcers to happen, someday… a guild for those who really do want to play city watch type characters (without having to take an arrow to the knee first), as opposed to those “criminal scum” who join the Thieves Guild or Dark Brotherhood…
And IF the powers that be ever decide to revive their “Justice System PvP” ideas, they could just tack it onto this guild, and let the enforcers have fun hunting down characters who rack up a bounty… merely by expanding the mechanics that target NPC criminals to PC criminals as well.
The in-game work of that guild would be catching criminals. Spotting them in a crowd, getting close enough, challenging them just like the NPC guards do, and then serving them some justice… either by accepting their fine from which they would keep a portion (or in some randomly determined cases, an offered bribe, which would be twice their usual portion, and pocketing it with no one the wiser… bribes could also sometimes include other stuff, like an random item, or even a few pieces of alternate currency like TV stones… something to tempt players. But… there might be a chance of being spotted taking a bribe and having to pay a fine yourself…), or by pursuing and taking down the criminal if they decide to run for it (and looting their bodies, of course… for… uh… evidence).
Naturally enforcers would be forever barred from entering outlaw refugees (ass some “Injustice Guards” to them, perhaps?), or from joining any criminal organization like the Thieves Guild or Dark Brotherhood…
Enforcer Skill Line Idea:
Storyline… well, the most obvious one would be making the enforcers guild the “Iron Wheel”, and starting the questline as a new recruit after their debacle in Abah’s Landing. At this point the iron wheel would be in difficult times, with many leaders dead or resigned in disgrace, the whole organization known to have been manipulated by a thief lord turned merchant prince, and struggling with internal issues as well, both corruption and overzealous officers… all the while news of their difficulties empowers some criminal element who might want to take advantage of that to take over (…imperial slavers, maybe? With worm cult allies?) Untangling that mess and setting them back on the path of justice might just be the story a promising new recruit would enjoy playing through… And their home base in Taneth, which is in an area of Hammerfell not yet covered by ESO, so… again, perfect place.
More Guild Interactions
I had some of it when I thought about the enforcers guild, but… what about the others? How about adding some more “either-or” choices added to the game? How about guild relationships that means sometimes you have to choose which guild you want to join, and if you do, an opposed guild would not let your character join their ranks?
I am thinking about stuff like… we have two “neutral” guilds with the Mages and Fighters guild that pretty much everyone is joining, and two DLC-powered “evil-ish” guilds with the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood assasssins… what if there were other guilds that would Not allow assassins or thieves to join?
The Bardic Guild I suggested before might be like that, Bards would rely on the goodwill of people they sing for, and thus frown at murder, since no one would welcome a bard into their homes if it became known that there are assassins in their ranks, right? Vica versea the Dark Brotherhood might frown at bards for not taking their devotion to the night mother seriously enough, and being far to flamboyant to uphold their tenants of secrecy…
Or the Scholars Guild might not allow Thieves… they are raiding those tombs for scholarly pursuits, and someone with a declared monetary motivation might seem like too much of a risk to them, as in nicking some scholarly texts to sell them before they get to add them to their library… while Thieves may not like scholars in their ranks, due to them eventually wanting to write a book or something about their exploits, which then would jeopardize all their guildmates when the city watch could just read up on all their illegal activities in the scholars guild library…
And like mentioned, Enforcers certainly would not allow either Thieves or Assassins in their ranks; in fact, any member of the enforcers guild would not be allowed to enter an outlaw refugee in the first place…
What about some additions to existing guild lines? Some “guild mastery” level? Giving access to advanced guild abilities, but with limitations as to who can choose them?
Like… fighters guild mastery, requiring all fighters guild skills/passives, as well as a minimum of two stamina weapon skill lines (meaning, no staves) maxed with all skills morphed? Or medium/heavy armor skill of 50? Or both armor and weapons? Or possibly 25+ ability points in either health or stamina? (I wouldn’t want to only count stamina as some tanks might be more on health yet still deserve to be called “fighters”)
And… mages guild mastery, requiring morphing and maxing All the mages guild skills as well as at least two of either class skill lines or staff weapons? And maybe also light armor? Or maybe 25+ ability points in magicka?
Thieves Guild mastery, requiring fully maxed thieves guild and legerdemain skill lines? Perhaps some thievery-based justice achievements as well?
Dark Brotherhood mastery, again full guild skill line, plus… say… two weapon skill lines, Legerdemain (for the sneaking and kickbacks) and murder-based justice achievements? Something like that anyways…
Bardic Guild mastery, all guild skills makes and morphed, and many non-combat achievements?
Scholars guild mastery for all guild artifact skills found and morphed, as well as a wide range of found books, both magical and mundane?
Enforcers Guild mastery for all guild skills, some weapon and armor skills and also several fitting achievements?
Possibly with passives that synergize well not only with other “guild” abilities, but with the requirement abilities as well? Fighters guild mastery helping All weapon fighting skills, not just fighting daedra & undead? Mages guild mastery enhancing ALL spellcasting, not just mages guild abilities? Thieves guild mastery improving ALL stealing, Dark Brotherhood mastery helps with Every assassination?
And of course, those masteries would have to be exclusive… as in, can be attained in only one guild? But you could always retire from one guild mastery, and pursue another, just like redoing skill morphs…
That way, everyone could join several guilds for the basic skills, but gain mastery skill line & passives in only one guild matched to their skill set… leading the players to make their choices and customize their character accordingly…