Final Fantasy Xiv Fellowships: Overview & Review
Video version available instead
What are Fellowships?
This is a new way of finding like-minded people across the data center. Think of it like an advertisement in Party Finder, except you don’t need to refresh it every hour and it can have a lot more members.
Fellowships can have a message, a poll, and up to 5 notices from the admins and masters of the fellowship. All the other members can also use the message board which will show the last 100 messages.
There is no notification for messages in the message board, so you don’t have to worry that you’ll be spammed with messages from potentially 1000 people. Only changes to the General tab, which is only editable by admins and masters, will cause a green circle indicator in the Fellowship menu to appear.
Finding a Fellowship
So how do you find one, other than making one yourself? You can either search for a fellowship and apply, or someone who is an admin or master of a fellowship can invite you to one directly.
To find a fellowship, you will need to use the Fellowship Finder. You can use the search filters to reduce the results, hover to view, and click to apply. Only fellowship that have been set to recruit will show up and recruitment will automatically stop after a week and need to be reapplied.
To make a fellowship, you will need to put in a name. There you can edit the message, poll, notices, and the fellowship’s name, activities, blacklist or just disband entirely. You can also set the fellowship to recruit, for up to a week, and for a certain amount of people.
Masters and admins can also blacklist players, which would remove them from the fellowship and prevent them from applying again. This blacklist can be managed.
Players on a free trial can join fellowships as a regular member only, but cannot post to the message board, though they can still view it.
The opinion section
The fellowship system needs a little bit more work. It has potential, but right now that potential is limited.
#1: Searching is too limited
The categories are simply too broad, there should be more focused ones, such as specific jobs.
Furthermore, there is currently no way to search via text for a Fellowship name or description, nor can you sort or search by a person’s name. While some of these recruitments will die down over time since a recruitment lasts only a week before it needs to be reapplied, it’s still a bit of a mess.
#2 The notification circle is not enough
Let’s face it, most of us are not going to have the fellowship menu open at all times. It’s going to be very easy to forget to check if there is a notification circle and right now that’s literally the only notification. It would be better if there was also a system chat log letting you know a fellowship has been updated.
As a side note, I would like an actual notification for the message board, if it comes with the ability to customize that for individual fellowships. For example, I would probably want it turned off in a hunting fellowship because it will be mostly people asking to be invited to a CWLS, but I would want it turned on in a blue mage fellowship because it might be people asking for help getting a spell.
#3 No duty support
The fellowship system is not available while in a duty. At first this seems "fine" - why would you want to check notifications while you're fighting anyway? But the problem then comes up with longer instances like Eureka, in which you might be staying for several hours, with breaks, completely unable to check any fellowships. Without alternate means of notifications, this is a complete cut-off from the system.
#4 Poll doesn’t let you know that you already answered it from the General menu.
This is a poll I’ve already answered. By looking it at it from General, there is no way for me to tell that I’ve already answered it because it still has the Respond button. It’s only once I click on that that I can see I can no longer vote. It would be much better if a poll I’ve already answered would have the button change from “Respond” into “View Results”
#5 You can’t see the fellowship description from the fellowship, only the search.
This might seem like a silly thing, but unfortunately some people don’t give very descriptive titles. So if you’re looking at a fellowship you joined and you haven’t been using it so maybe you’re wondering if you should leave it, it might be a little bit difficult to remember what it was for in the first place! Furthermore, if a person using the fellowship to advertise the discord puts the link in the description, but not in the general tab, that means actual members can no longer see the discord link.
So what is this good for?
Well, given the above limitations, it’s probably not going to be used as a new alternative for communicating hunt locations directly, or anything that would be updated multiple times per day. That being said, it can still be viable for seasonal, monthly, or weekly player made events. It’s also a great tool for advertising a discord, cross world link shell, or even an FC, where more detailed and frequent announcements could be done via those mediums directly until the aforementioned issues have been addressed at least.
What else would I like to see?
Honestly, an in-game calendar for events. Fellowships would be great for advertising things like Baldesian Arsenal runs, challenges like 24-man healer only runs, and special role playing events. Right now people are using the Notices text, but if there was a proper calendar with time and time zones and the ability for a member to subscribe to individual events or auto-subscribe to all, with an alarm that warns you ahead of time that an event will start soon, that would just be amazing.