Ask Mo: Why MMORPGs still need traditional chat

I dug this intriguing question out of our brimming-over letters-to-the-editor bin, and it's particularly timely given the recent launch of Wander, notable for its curious glyph-based chat and language system. Massively-that-was reader NerdWithABigStick wrote in to ask about MMO chat, calling back the decision made by the devs of Divinity: Original Sin to shut down global chat within a few minutes of launch.

This resonated with me. The first thing I do when joining a game is seek out general chat and immediately turn it off. It's only in the last six years or so that I've noticed an increase in the amount of "snark" in chat. There was definitely a time when chat was fun, helpful, and yes, even entertaining. People shared their positive excitement, and while the occasional asshole did show up, it was the exception, not the norm. That time is long gone, sadly. After working a full day at the office and signing in to a game that I am loving, the very last thing I want to do is to have that happiness and the joy of the experience ruined by reading negative remarks and armchair designer opinions full of Family Guy-style "humor" and poop-slinging. So I've gotten into the habit of turning those channels off, sometimes even hiding the chat window entirely.

So I keep wondering whether more game studios, particularly MMO studios, will ever embrace D:OS's attitude? Will they ever say, "You know what, this really isn't helping our game -- or our community -- at all. It's not adding anything to the game experience or the social experience. In fact it's detracting from both. Let's shut it off."

Heck, I hope not!

Let me back up. I've been playing online games a long time too. The one constant I've found in all my travels through these online worlds is that jerks are universal. There were jerks then; there are jerks now. And a game-wide or zone-wide chat is the fastest way for them to manifest themselves in your gaming, piss you off, ruin your day, and drive you out of the game.

It wasn't always so easy for the jerks, though. Ultima Online didn't have global chat for many years; it had a primitive version of chat bubbles that floated over the heads of the folks within your immediate vicinity, and because spamming could literally cover everyone's screen, it was considered a serious violation of social etiquette to do it. You would be silenced, reported, and shunned for being annoyware in chat. If you were truly egregious, someone would probably log in his thief to harass you into shutting up. I had a guildie who liked to tame woodland critters and set piles of them to /follow and /guard annoying people around town until the spammers were forced to recall out. Mad vigilante justice, there.

The shift to tidy chat boxes and later to convenient global chat channels made chat a more casual experience -- more like everyone jabbering in IRC than trying to stay elegant and afloat at a crowded cocktail party. But there are several other factors that combined in the mid-aughts to turn chat into the monstrosity NerdWithABigStick wants to see eradicated from gaming:

  • MMO studios stopped investing in public customer service. Visible gamemasters who once kept the peace by being present were replaced with behind-the-scenes support, creating a belief, fair or not, that no one was monitoring the world or dealing with problem players.
  • Online gaming in general shifted from being the semi-private domain of the technologically privileged to being something to which a critical mass of people have easy access. Etiquette took longer to evolve and proliferate than communication tech took to weasel its way into our back pockets. Culture changed to accommodate. "Oversharing" is now a thing. A new generation of gamers grew up plugged in, with a very different conception of personal privacy, shared space, and how they ought to behave in a digital world.
  • An oversaturated MMO market, devs' reliance on easy-to-produce, unsticky gameplay, and the lowered barriers-to-entry engendered by free-to-play business models created transient communities that feel little investment in the games they play, let alone in the other people playing them or their own personal reputations.
  • Guilds and other groups protect their members from toxic chat by moving their communities to private channels, websites, and voice chats, further reducing the number of mitigating, rational voices in games' global spheres.

I don't really think the percentage of jerks on the internet has changed, but the jerks we already have are now greater in number on the whole, capable of far greater damage within a tech culture that simultaneously lowers their inhibitions and hands them a megaphone or 10 to shout into. For Gen X and the older Millennials, it's a shock to the system, and it's why I frequently join NerdWithABigStick in turning off my chat channels too -- me, the Editor-in-Chief of an MMORPG website. Seriously.

That's rock-bottom.

If seeing Melissa Bianco's text in that chat frame doesn't break your heart, you are dead inside.

Still, shutting it all down on our end is a temporary solution to a problem that needs a long-term fix from above, and the fix won't be simple.

Several years ago, Karen Bryan, a columnist for Old Massively, wrote a smart piece on games with supposedly "safe chat" for kids. What she found in her investigation is that safe chat in kid-friendly MMOs is laughable. "Kids find a way," she wrote ruefully. No manner of filter or blacklist or keyword-based clicky chat stops clever kids from communicating abuse when they are determined to convey it. What heavy-handed chat restrictions do in reality is hinder legitimate communication: They hinder trade, they hinder helpers, they hinder grouping, they hinder socialization. Breaking chat breaks MMOs worse than does the abuse we're hoping to prevent. As we've seen over and over, the chat-based equivalent of "dong-detection software" can't possibly work as well as an actual moderator.

Now, maybe shutting off the chat valve works for an online game like Hearthstone, whose "chat" is as a limited as the most lawsuit-averse family MMO and cannot even be properly called chat. And maybe it even works in console ports of MMOs where detailed, long-form chat is too tedious or difficult for players to physically manage anyway.

But the core of MMORPGs -- real MMORPGs -- is community, and communities that can't communicate are doomed alongside their games. We need to be able to talk to each other, to reach out to each other, to group and trade and teach and learn. We don't need to be around people all the time, and we don't need to be engaged in conversation every moment we're logged in. I don't want either of those things myself. But without some measure of communication and a reason to chat -- even if it's an imaginary language or wiggly scarf trails -- everyone around us may as well be AI. That's a far worse fate than the irritating abuse and chaos we face in chat now. I'd rather have that messy something than nothing at all.

We've lost too much of what makes our genre our genre in the last decade, a truth devs and players of dwindling MMOs are slowly realizing. I don't want to willingly give up more.

Are video games doomed? What do MMORPGs look like from space? Did free-to-play ruin everything? Will people ever stop talking about Star Wars Galaxies? Join Massively Overpowered Editor-in-Chief Bree Royce and mascot Mo every month as they answer your letters to the editor right here in Ask Mo.
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105 Comments on "Ask Mo: Why MMORPGs still need traditional chat"

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q945
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q945

Damonvile The opportunity to determine how you live your life.
My comment was a variation of the oft quoted 'if we don't <insert soapbox theme of the day> then the terrorists win"

Werewolf Finds Dragon
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Werewolf Finds Dragon

Roleplayers have had a solution to this for the longest time. We just use emotes and turn say off, it's almost a thing that we all do. Then we just emote at each other. Not to mention that some mild, playful snark is fine in the Elder Scrolls Online, as the khajiit and bosmer both have that to them. It's in a very friendly, elbow jab sort of way, though, and it carries its own wisdom. So if you can't do it well you end up sounding like Wildstar.
No one wants to sound like Wildstar.
Still, most people get it right, and the roleplayers I've encountered in The Elder Scrolls Online on the Aldmeri Dominion have been an absolute joy to spend time with. So if you're a roleplayer, there, pat yourself on the back. In fact, AD seems to be devoid of less pleasant people, so much so that it's actually taken me off guard more than once. For example, approaching a node at the same time as someone and both back up, not just me. That's weird. I haven't seen that in a single other MMO, not once. Not ever. It's just so weird!
Do you have any conscious idea of how odd that is? In most games, you just have extroverts who hate gathering alone so they're just powering through it and if you hesitate they'll steal a node from right under your nose even if you were there first. They have no etiquette at all, since they just want their gathering over as fast as possible so that they can make their consumable sets and get back to raiding. That's normal.
That ESO isn't so geared towards that kind of person (or raiding in general) is one reason why there's less of those people there, but not by much. I've still encountered them on both the Covenant and the Pact. Intriguingly, I've even heard an extroverted acquaintance say they like the Pact best because everyone hates each other, it's all about games and manipulation, which isn't my cup of tea. And having tried the Covenant and seen that that was much the same (with the orcs being played for patsies), I began to wonder...
What if it's the setting that changes things?
The Aldmeri Dominion is an obviously left wing, Socialist environment where you're being friends with incredibly green-minded people (the bosmer). It's a faction lead by a strong, independent, progressively-minded woman who's likely going to come over as snooty simply because she's more intelligent than the average gamer (which isn't saying a lot). I found her delightful. And Razum-dar's humour is going to go over a lot of heads, the khajiit can be surprisingly sly for an MMO, in that there were a couple of jokes that I felt like an idiot for not getting right away. And that's saying something.
Such as the khajiit outside the king's chambers in Grahtwood.
So, what you have is a faction of intelligent people, who're all about non-violent approaches, diplomacy, and will generally say so many things that will go so far above the average MMO gamer's head that it'll bore them. I know, because I find their general lack of intellect boring, too. It's why I very carefully choose my friends. What I don't want is to be surrounded by a league of Happy bloody Hogans.
I ended up realising that the Dominion has so many decent people not only because ESO isn't designed to appeal to the usual MMO gamer so much (which is why so many of the usual crowd hate it), but also because the Aldmeri Dominion would be an incredibly uncomfortable place to be for the usual GamersGate-ish gamer. It damns racists, misogynists, fascists, right wing politicians, and testosterone-fuelled anti-thinkers as idiots.
It's funny because I was reading on Science Daily that that kind of person is just too 'busy' to be intelligent, I read that extroverts didn't care about being green, for example, because they were too busy trying to get involved with huge crowd of people or trying to get laid. I'm serious, this was on Science Daily, go read it for yourself.
Similarly, other studies have shown that introverts tend to be left wing, thoughtful, and green, whereas extroverts are right wing, reckless, and... reckless.

So a faction like the Aldmeri Dominion is going to repulse the kinds of people I wouldn't want around and be inviting to those I would. Which means that roleplaying opportunities are plentiful, and the people I've met have been delightful. It's a truly bizarre way to keep out the people you don't want, but I can see its effectiveness. No matter how much an undesirable might want to stay with the Dominion, being called constantly on how wrong and unintelligent their views are would have them give it up.
And it's completely intentional. I love it.
I will admit that in most MMOs, I tend to leave the chat off. But in AD I've left say on and I haven't been burned by it, yet. It's a pleasant surprise. It's like a private little clubhouse for people I'm probably going to like. So it's worth the risk of keeping chat around.

redtoadsage
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redtoadsage

My dream system for communication in an mmo would be VOIP based on radius of your character. Simulate how far sound carries when you talk and have other characters within that distance able to hear you. It would obviously need lots of refinement and be more complicated but I feel that would give the best experience if done right.

grimjakk
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grimjakk

tobascodagama grimjakk  I agree with that.  In my perfect, imaginary, no-developer-would-ever-do-that MMO there is no text chat outside of notes left on physical bulletin boards... open audio chat would be 3d localized with text-to-voice conversion for those of us with less than impressive vocal roleplay skills... auctions would be handled by honest-to-goodness auctioneer NPC's that would take bids for consigned items... and actual voice chat would be limited to group and guild channels.

But that's just me. ;)

Futabot
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Futabot

I wish we could have a deep cooperative exploration mmo without chat so we have to communicate with emotes and other such things.
I mean, yeah, most people will be on voip with their premade group of friends, but going in solo would be a pretty interesting experience with communication becoming a sub-game.

breetoplay
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breetoplay

Peregrine_Falcon I'm so glad I had that one... I didn't have many with pics of chat from that game, or any game, but especially that one. But I was clearly snapping just the text there (Melissa Bianco's comments in spatial there break my heart).

Robert80
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Robert80

Damonvile  The chance to be lonely among themselves...

Paaperclips
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Paaperclips

Denngar http://www.gog.com/game/divinity_original_sin

It's a fantastic game. If you were a fan of any of the Inifinity engine RPGs, (Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, etc.) It's a really good love letter to that whole genre.
And you can add to it a ton of freedom, modern quality of life improvements, and good humor. :)

Robert80
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Robert80

Personally, I wouldn't mind not having a world chat.  I don't even mind not having a smaller zone based chat.  Having to be in range for 'hearing' somebody say or yell something just feels right to me, from a personal immersion standpoint... and I usually end up just turning the other chats off.  *Every now and then I bother, and on rare occasion actually get to help somebody, but usually I just find them to be a waste.*

Darth Fez
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Darth Fez

I find that it helps me to keep the chat filter turned on. They're certainly not perfect, and some are rather obnoxious in their own right, but it still creates a better experience for me to see "****" or "*&£%!", and be intellectually aware that someone is cursing, than to actually read the words. I also tend to put the "General" chat into a secondary tab, if possible, because they're often busy. (This is doubly true when people insist on misusing the General channel for trade.) That way I can keep my local, guild, party, etc. channels with much less risk of missing something or needing to constantly scroll up to catch what someone wrote.

ZenDadaist
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ZenDadaist

Global chats can still be useful to glean information, but actually talking in one is pretty rare for me as usually it's a wasteland and not worth the crap that'll come your way for saying something. I do keep those subscribed but grouped up in a spammy chat window I call 'Public' and and tabbed to the back. I keep local/vicinity in my active chat tabs though, as that can be immediately important.

It can be especially eye-opening to see what people you interact with in the game in another context behave like in Public. Not long ago I discovered that someone I'd interacted with over VOIP now and then is a huge racist, homophobic arse that way. Depressing.

wolfyseyes
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wolfyseyes

I've made this point before in M-T-W, but it holds true here and I'mma lean on that crutch until it snaps: people conflate "sociable" with "social".
Folks are now growing up and in to games that make people less like humans and more like commodities to be used and tossed at their leisure, and so the loss of that human connection makes chat just that more toxic. Tying said behaviors with being "social" further confuses the distinction between chatting to a username and avatar to talking with a human.

Zo5o
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Zo5o

I've also came across plenty of people in Guilds who, while not disabled, are terribly shy or socially awkward. They are very happy to communicate via typing but would be terrified to use voip.

Zo5o
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Zo5o

I usually leave General enabled, though I may dim it. I'll keep half an eye on it, just in case the occasional genuine noobie asks for help.
I've a thick skin and there's next to nothing anyone could type that I haven't heard before. I just let it flow over my head, same as dealing with wankers IRL.
Of course so games are better than others. I see little twatery in TSW and even GLFF, a user made general chat in LOTRO, was, generally, well behaved.
In all honesty though, I have to put my hands up to being a hairs breath away from snorting coffee when read the phrase "dong detection software". :-p

mysecretid
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mysecretid

I always turn off Zone Chat, or its equivalent, in all my MMOs -- but I do leave Local Chat active.

Local Chat allows me to hear only the conversations in my immediate vicinity -- mimicking hearing range in real life.

So, if I'm surrounded by repugnant ass-monkeys, I can simply move away from them. 
I'm still connected to the game world, but in a more first-person way. I wouldn't overhear the racist or homophobic hate rants of some assholes 40 miles away in real life, so why should I hear it in game?

My opinions, anyway,

Peregrine_Falcon
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Peregrine_Falcon

+1 to Bree for including a screenshot from City of Heroes in the story. :)

Craywulf
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Craywulf

No More Tears You bring up some very valid points, it would indeed be restrictive, but I think it would also have a dramatic effect on how we behave publicly in the game. I have no qualms with shifting the balance of communication via guild, party, and whisper chats. My priority is increasing the importance of immersive communication.

Global chat should still exist, but not in-game. Set up a lobby chat at the server login.

No More Tears
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No More Tears

Craywulf breetoplay To be fair, it's not really bad programming, because endless creative potential is one of the traits of any working, living language. Any linguist probably could've told them that if you disable a language to a point where nobody can creatively abuse it, then you can arguably no longer creatively use either. Language creativity is why we can make puns and innuendo from just about anything.
Not necessarily bad programming, but definitely a waste of time and money!
I would bet that even with your pre-set sentence idea, as you add more pre-set sentences, people would inevitably figure out ways to abuse it. Sentences completely innocuous by themselves don't always stay that way when given a context:
"Come to my house."
"Help me slay the dragon."
*Player gives his sword to Player2*
*Player 2 enchants the sword*
As players call for more sentence variety, it'd just get easier to break. To prevent that, the set of available sentences would have to be so restrictive that it could hardly be considered "communication" at all, and certainly would be difficult to roleplay with. People would just whisper all the time instead and ignore the main chat, kind of defeating its purpose.
That said, I haven't tried to make such a communication system either (perhaps a business opportunity for you if you succeed), and maybe I'm misunderstanding what you mean. I guess there's a matter of degree too; the level of "abuse" I showed might be acceptable to some people.

No More Tears
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No More Tears

Denngar Divinity: Original Sin, but if you were asking what the game is about, the Steam page could probably tell you more than I could.

No More Tears
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No More Tears

The bit with Karen's investigation seems pretty similar to the way heavy-handed DRM practices affect consumers. Due to the heavily open and free nature of both speech and computers, trying to affect either from a top-down approach just seems like a losing battle. In both cases, "normal" or "legitimate" users are arguably the ones who get hurt the most, because just like people will always find a way to speak, people will always find a way to hack stuff.
I wonder how long it'll be before someone manages to come up with offensive sentences in Wander using the artificial language... if it hasn't already been done. Anyone try ERP in the game yet? The story of the tree who yearns to pollinate a fish... And I remember people coming up with some pretty clever messages in Dark Souls 2 during the period people were upset about the DX11 release, despite the refrigerator magnet chat -- something about horses?

Anyways, I kind of miss UO's local chat, and if you think about it, it could be a mild solution of sorts to asshats in games. Yes, asshats will always exist, but here's the thing: it takes a certain kind of person to be an asshat. If you want to get philosophical about it, if an asshat is an ass, but nobody's around to hear them, are they still an asshat? Doesn't giving them a wider audience (global chat) actually empower these kinds of people?
It empowers everyone, I suppose, leading to behavior that Bree mentions like "oversharing". Maybe there's a part of us that hasn't quite evolved as quickly as technology has. Like our bodies' craving for fats and sugars and our tendency to gobble these things up simply because they're available and not because we need it, perhaps it's the same deal with chat. It's not supposed to be a thing where we have a huge audience all the time, and the constant inclusion of global chat leads to a kind of... chat/audience gluttony and inflated egos; people crave it even though they certainly don't need it. Unlike physical gluttony though, it's a lot harder to see the negative effects on ourselves.
Basically, making it more available kind of cheapens it, if speech is a thing that can be valued. Chat, like water, electricity, speech and HDMI, is easy to forget the true value of until you don't have it. 

I'm trying to remember what my experiences with asshats in UO was. I don't ever recall being annoyed with them to the point that I had to actually run away. They were rather rare, and easy to squelch anyways. Hell, a lot of times it was even kind of funny just because it was so rare. I guess I could say that about most of my interactions in that game though -- rarer and perhaps more memorable as a result.
Getting rid of global chat doesn't mean getting rid of chat and communication as a whole. But who knows? Maybe it's not so simple if you consider the tech availability and MMO saturation points in the article above.

Denngar
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Denngar

...what is "D:OS" anyway?

Ben Pielstick
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Ben Pielstick

breetoplay MesaSage The question on this point I think is, if exposure to jerkish behavior makes people become jerks.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

what if I want to see the text bubbles of hundreds of players in one area?

With Ventrilo, Skype, or Teamspeak, it's impossible.

And having hundreds of players talking, the audio would be a fucking mess.

and maybe I want to hear what other strangers have to say, instead of being a deaf person being unable to hear what everybody else is talking about except my friends.

Craywulf
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Craywulf

breetoplay I see this as a roleplaying mechanic, hence the justification to throw time and money into developing a communication emote system. I still have no issues with guild, party, and whisper chat. As those can be moderated by participants.

Siegfre
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Siegfre

CrowingOne Xomon Would they? Blizzard could hire 1000 such people, at $20k/year, and it would cost them just 2% of what they make that year. 
And that's assuming they pay more than the (US) minimum wage.

This is also the case for MMO's that aren't WoW, just devote 2% of what they make a year to moderation staff. Or if they don't want to do that, almost every MMO can afford to hire at least a few people for moderation.
So saying it's not financially feasible seems silly. You probably don't even need all those people to monitor just global chat.
In any case, it seems clear that it's not something studios care too much about at the moment, so whether it's feasible or not, it's unlikely to be done.

Rebel Engie
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Rebel Engie

I enjoy the odd Gorn joke in Beta Quadrant chat, but I did dim the color of the channel by 50%.
It is not so much to shut out the channel, just to make it so I had to concentrate on it to be distractive.
It turned out to be a win-win situation.

Lheiah
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Lheiah

"everyone around us may as well be AI"

Pretty much what I want, more active npc's than a single player game can give me and an active economy because I really love the trade part of games. I know that sounds bad, and probably is, but it's the truth. So sick and tired of dealing with the vast majority of personalities in games that I just gave up. I play solo for the most part, and when I do group activity I log into mumble and turn to my guild where folks have already gone through a screening process by someone else that is willing to spend their time doing it. If that is not enough to work for me, there is no game content I need to do that is worth dealing with it. If I really want to socialize, then I go do it with real life friends, not put up with some immature mind on the internet.

I usually turn off all chat channels except guild. If I can minimize or turn the thing off I do that except when I want to use it. If, I can't do any of the above, I just ignore it, nothing more than white noise now. So, if someone wants to socialize with me, they need to catch me in mumble or jump up and down in front of my character in game and hope I don't log off and go play another game.

I know all this makes me seem antisocial as hell, I'm actually quite social around peeps I'm comfortable with; I've just spent to many years online gaming that I will not deal with it to find the roses amongst the thorns.

Akami
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Akami

When EQ1 released I got my cousin into EQ1, which allowed him to branch out socially with many people that he never would have gotten to socialize with otherwise.  You see, my cousin in deaf.  Text chat while playing video games was perfect for him.  He was able to break out of the social circles he was stuck in regarding school and the local hearing impaired culture.

Unfortunately the shift to VOIP has driven him away from most of the guilds & organizations in our genre in the last few years.  It is very difficult to find a guild that will still communicate via text now days during raids & PvP.  But for about 4 years, the experience was a very enjoyable escape for him.  For a long time, while VOIP was available, it wasn't normally used or required by many gamers & clans.

I'm not saying we should all go back to typing in games, but this gives a somewhat unique perspective of why Text chat is still important in MMO's, as there are still many people out there in our genre that can't or won't use VOIP in their games.  If we get rid of text chat all together, these people will simply leave the genre and possibly gaming all together, which is a real shame.

Zoel
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Zoel

The best system I ever saw for regulating chat was in puzzle pirates, where lots of players had the /blackspot command if they were a ranking officer in their crew.  If you used it, it globally muted the person for a time period relative to how many times it had been used on them, and blackspots were reviewed by a small number of GMs.

In general though, chat is mostly reflective of how people act on social media.  I'm sure plenty of people have the facebook experience that I do, where people who are actually normal-seeming human beings that you know and interact with in real life show a pretty ugly side based off of politics or opinions on game of thrones.  It strikes me as a relatively recent change.  Ten years ago people weren't as keen on being outwardly hostile to friends, now... not so much, especially with people much younger than me.

Ramellan
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Ramellan

Topics like this always stir up mixed-feelings in me. I'm... Well. I don't think of myself as New to the MMO world, I've been playing these games for years. Going on... I don't even remember, when did WotLK patch 3.2 come out? That's when I started MMO's.
But when things like this come up, I always feel like I'm being targeted. I'm a 'casual noob' who's long-since missed the glory days and is living in a faded shadow of what was. People would always tell me BC was the greatest time for WoW. No, classic was the best time, flying ruined WoW! WoW is a casual care bear game, EQ was where it's at! Where's the hardcore? Where's the role-play? Where's this, where's that? I Don't Know! I only just got here, why are you telling me that our genre has gone to hell?! I liked WoW for a long time, and I liked Swtor after that. I've played GW2, and now I'm playing FFXIV. Subscription, FTP, BTP, I liked things about all of them. And I never thought of global chat as a bad thing. I do miss the floating chat bubbles of WoW, I thought they were pretty cool, but global chat has always been like this to me. Flying has always been around for me. Everything has always been like this for me. In MMO terms I was born in this era, and I don't mind it. There was no flying in Swtor or GW2, and I was okay with that. There are no chat bubbles in FFXIV, and I miss that but I deal with it. I do some raiding, and i like it. I role-play in FF now, and I love it. What exactly is so wrong with today's MMO's that I can't see? Why is my being a casual so wrong?
I can't help that I was born a few years later than you. Why are you mad at me?

Damonvile
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Damonvile

Win what?

Serrenity
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Serrenity

AvatarOP

Its for the dev's of a game to decide what kind of talk they allow in their game.

Hey! Welcome to the larger MetaMMO community.  You must be new here. See MMO gamers are a special breed who often get up in arms over little things, like the conduct of non-studio affiliated mods of game fan sites. Giving anyone this kind of authority in a game would take one person making a call that one person didn't agree with and the internet explode in a ball of rage and "YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER" finger pointing.  

In all seriousness, it's a wonderful idea, but really - gamers go batshit crazy over little things.  Gamers would go batshit crazy over this.

Serrenity
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Serrenity

CrowingOne Damonvile EatCandy but what would that industry be "once the dust settles."  not that anyone knows, but I would think it would be far far less of an amazing place than it is now.  It's one thing to take a small genre and infuse lots of money into it, then it is to take the inflated genre and pull lots of money back out.  Changes are very real the whole genre as we know it (good and bad) would collapse in on itself because it doesn't have the money to support itself.

mbbrazen
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mbbrazen

CrowingOne mbbrazen paragonlostinspace wild_abyss Agreed. We generally have a great community.

mbbrazen
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mbbrazen

Craywulf MesaSage I agree that many players do need to be taught. Unfortunately, without adequate monitoring, there is no way to make sure players understand that the ToS provisions do need to be followed. On the other hand I disagree that you should not tell people how to behave in chat. If someone is violating the game's ToS that person should be made aware of it. But again, without adequate moderation, it's like throwing water in the ocean.

mbbrazen
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mbbrazen

Craywulf mbbrazen Perhaps I was being too subtle. It was the other players who were actually being the jerks. They did not want to follow the game mechanics and they were unhappy because I did follow them and thus triggered the reward.

spacecampclan
Guest
spacecampclan

Chat isn't bad because of terrible players. Chat itself is bad, as it completely breaks immersion and distances people. Typing into a futuristic text box and chatting with players you can't even interact with makes no sense in your standard MMO. Area voice chat, character voices and emotes all make way more sense and help bring people closer together.

Not that most people care about anything like that. Your average gamer is happy with standard voice chat and instanced based gaming. Role playing has been dead since we entered the age of teenage angst MMOs.

q945
Guest
q945

Turn off global chat and the jerks win

neserbohy
Guest
neserbohy

You know what's nice to have? Chat moderators.
Nothing fancy, just bestow a bunch of respectable player volunteers with rudimentary muting privileges, so they can nip any trouble in the bud and forward the matter to GMs. It would help greatly to make the global chat a nice place.

BBSs of old used to have such systems in place, where the owner would delegate a community member to take care of a forum or a chatroom. It worked wonders.

DPandaren
Guest
DPandaren

TierlessTime More like, is there anywhere that I haven't done anything like that on Moonguard?

DPandaren
Guest
DPandaren

Veldan melissamcdon I like it because I'm the type of player who never looks at the chat box in the first place. I never notice and I generally don't pay any attention to.

Damonvile
Guest
Damonvile

EatCandy The attitude of anything that bothers me means I quit the game and never look back is what's created the ultra high risk mmo market in the west. 
Not communicating with developers and just leaving in a huff doesn't make better games.

Veldan
Guest
Veldan

melissamcdon That's exactly why I always liked chat bubbles, it ties chat to location and makes distance in the world have more meaning.

Porculasalvania
Guest
Porculasalvania

SneakySmirk TERA's chat, in my opinion was better before the F2P conversion.  I tend to switch away from TERA global chat these days in favor of area chat which strangely enough I feel tends to be not as bad.  All the divas use Global chat.

The worst are the diarrhea mouths who give away movie spoilers. What kind of soulless inhuman monsters would just blurble out spoilers for movies I haven't seen yet?

melissamcdon
Guest
melissamcdon

I think you have to have chat channels, people have to be able to communicate fully.
Chat bubbles are great for localized chat, I like them.   It emulates the "being within earshot" experience.

TierlessTime
Guest
TierlessTime

breetoplay CrowingOne Exactly why when I apply some evolution to the genre the old crop is so different than the new crop of MMORPGers. Due to the difficulty and costs many OG MMOers were a crafty capable group of people with a much different mind set and POV than the ones that came for WOW and after.

AvatarOP
Guest
AvatarOP

Xomon at least if you want to insult someone, you have to give a good reason why you do. thats my moto.

slap them with the glove AFTER the smart insult.

TierlessTime
Guest
TierlessTime

Because back rooms in cantinas wouldn't be as fun without it?

Selym
Guest
Selym

Very good article miss Bree

Goronmon
Guest
Goronmon

DisgruntledGoat Celestial Reddit is basically like a mini-Internet. The subreddits are effectively separate websites (whoever creates a subreddit has complete control over it) that you can visit and participate in.

wpDiscuz