With the importance of guilds to the economy, it makes sense that the devs would want those with the capacity to offer the most items and a high capacity to be the ones selling to others, but it would be a fairer system if the bidding were simply blind with a random winner claiming the merchant. It will be even more important going forward to be a member of a wealthy guild (and now that players may contribute gold to the guild bank this could help) as well as a powerful guild if a player wants to have access to a good supply of items –or simply have deep pockets to buy from their merchant representatives or keep stores. Still, it doesn't sit right that the advantage is that great right off the bat, and the team should look into some way to give smaller and less wealthy guilds some access to merchants. Making them limited in lieu of an auction house type of system seems to have forced their hands in this matter, but surely some middle ground can be conceived.
Moving away to something that should be relatively free from controversy, the game is also beginning to see more improvements intended to make playing together easier. From the Future of ESO panel, we were promised changes to quests that would take place over time, but the seeds are already beginning to be sewn. Group and quest changes in this update include the following:
- “Rebalanced all public dungeons to improve the experience for a group of two. This includes group events and fighting champions.
- Adjusted many doors so all group members can more easily use them, as long as one member of the group has the associated quest.”
Additionally, when players find themselves grouped up but in different layers of the same zone, an auto prompt will pop up to travel to the group leader. Traveling to the group leader should alleviate the issue in many situations, as should the fix that makes sure that location pins will appear on the map for your fellow group members should you find yourself inside an instanced area. Playing together while suddenly having your partner's location disappear, sometimes not to return without relogging, was one of the annoying parts of early grouping. It's a more than welcome fix. If these changes are just the beginning—and they have already made the grouping experience better—this part of the work promised by the team is off to a good start.
There are, of course, multiple other changes within the update, such as the introduction of new PvP campaigns, including ones just for those who haven't reached veteran rank yet and increased XP for player kills. As someone who hasn't stepped many toes into the game's PvP yet, I'll leave those changes for another discussion. Yet from an observer's perspective, these should, along with balance tweaks and ability changes, help players participate in ESO's PvP more, considering that there are now campaigns as short as just several days, adding more choice to how people can play. Overall, this update as a whole seems to be mostly what the game needs. Those who have been on the fence or haven't played in a while due to some of the issues during the launch period, might reconsider taking another look soon.
Christina Gonzalez / Christina is a freelancer and contributor to MMORPG.com, where she writes the community-focused Social Hub column. You will also find her contributions at RTSGuru. Follow her on Twitter: @c_gonzalez