Yeah looks great with the lighting Firenight! though it seems like maybe you could switch the chairs to face the other way or towards each other and add a third chair and some dice and make it look like a pseudo game table or something. The chairs in the center are pointing at nothing but a wall currently which would look weird with NPCs sitting in them.
Love it already! It also might be worthwhile to wait for the middle class furniture to be complete or just use the current middle class furniture instead of lower class because the Fighters Guild is fairly well off. It wouldn't make sense for this to be the center since there's only one exit on one side of the room. Also Firenight, not sure if it was ever implemented but I have a mountain lion rug for Colovia that would go perfect in the main hall here.
Solid points and I will address the last three: 1st point - Checking skills would be a way to add immersion during the initial quests, however I wouldn't choose to skip any initial quests when it comes to the Synod/College, as these guilds are very restrictive of knowledge, and their initial quests deal in gaining reccomendations. More importantly, however, I wouldn't choose to skip initial quests because then you will be missing an integral part of the joining the guild experience - unique content is a valuable commodity in video games which only has a limited supply (see talking to any character in skyrim and seeing how long it takes before their responses become unimmersively repetitive). Initial quests, why sometimes boring and repetitive, do have their purpose. They introduce what the guild is about, initial plot narratives, and important characters. Checking skills alone, though, is a solid idea for dialogue purposes and small cheats or skips and will definitely take that into consideration. 2nd point - As you probably know, that would be a decision over my head and would be up to the council as it's a whole BS thing. Would be interesting to see it and apply it in quests though. 3rd point - I do sort of deal with this problem in my questines planned, by adding a third join option already as you suggest. I'll try to flesh that line as much as I am able, however, it's entirely add-on and cuttable if development deems it too extensive. Trying to implement two mage factions is already development suicide so I'm doing my best to cut back on/make optional-to-add-in-only things easily removable, as they are not entirely essential to the story I'm telling. Adding in a few lines of extra dialogue for the thrid option should be simple enough at the very least though, so hopefully it won't be too jarring.
For the majority of the dialogue - especially general - I'm hesitant to add too much of those sorts of references. I know they are immersive and are strange not to be able to talk about/hear commentary on. But not only does that then introduce new questions - would an archmage even be able to join another faction as restrictive as our two mage guilds? Likely not - and that would cut off most players from one of our major guild questlines - why wouldn't they start the player off at the highest rank Immediately if it read the player's skill level? Why doesn't Skyrim do this then? If I start Skyrim's mage quest at level 100 in every school of magic, they still treat the player like a novice too, but even if it did make sense, there are Synod and CoW mages in every county - adding extra dialogue for such an event would add an exceptional amount of extra writing and voice acting to get out. So they way I'm dealing with it is to treat it like the other guilds in Skyrim or Oblivion. Why wouldn't the guilds of skyrim even mention that the player is already head of all the other guilds? It would create too much complexity to implement with a reasonable amount of work - because being a head of a guild wouldn't be a passing one off statement. They'd have to use that justification to give you an entirely different outcome in the questline - which would require far too much effort to implement in a non-main questline - otherwise it would feel too meta and unimmersive. So " oh, you're the holy dragonborn, who's single handedly saved the world multiple times and is head of every faction in the province (world if Beyond Skyrim releases in full one day) - so that's nice, let's still start you out at the beginning of our questline where we have you fighting rats to prove you're trustworthy." doesn't really work well
I'll definitely try add the topic where appropriate when writing - and I have a mcguffin of sorts for dealing with it in a reasonable way already - however for the most part, the guilds are planned to be a separate entity to add to our own provincial experience and not be reliant on the Skyrim plotline.
We're still too early in development to make those sort of relatively simple to add in decisions, so I honestly couldn't say. Rest assured there will be at least one really awesome player home in the mod somewhere, along with all the city player homes.
Oh gods lol Anyway to answer your question, all the inland province releases are still quite a long ways away, however I beileve both Illiac Bay and Morrowind (Illiac Bay at least) plan on putting out a pre release, though, not sure on those team's ETAs. Roscrea and Atmora are the most likely next releases, yes