chat channels

The Daily Grind: Is zone-wide chat a good thing for MMOs?

The first MMO I ever played was Final Fantasy XI, which meant that I got used to the idea of having no zone-wide chat. If you needed to get the attention of everyone in the zone, you used the /yell command, and that was considered intensely rude. It was only when I started playing City of Heroes (my second MMO) that I started getting used to the idea of zone-wide chat… which meant it seemed noisy at first. Going back to FFXI and then later in Final Fantasy XIV, it seemed downright quiet.

On the one hand, having a zone chat feature means that you get to talk with more people on a regular basis, so in some ways it helps with socializing. But it also means socializing that you might not want; Barrens Chat in World of Warcraft was legendary for being awful, and there’s a running meme in FFXIV to just turn off /shout when people are using it heavily. Plus there are people who prefer not to have it for immersion or the sense of immediacy. So what do you think? Is zone-wide chat a good thing for MMOs?

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The Daily Grind: Do you keep your profanity filter on in MMO chat?

Bad words still make me giggle. I’ve been told that I’m not allowed to link my several examples of this, but I’m sure that isn’t necessary; you get the idea just from knowing that I find bad words funny. So one of the first things I do when logging into a game for the first time is make sure that the profanity filter is off, so I can both construct and witness new forms of compound profanity. They can be funny!

But that’s not a universal sentiment, and for some people profanity just isn’t appropriate. Maybe you’re playing Guild Wars 2 with your kids in the room. Maybe you really don’t want to hear new slurs leveled at you in a World of Warcraft battleground. Maybe you’re playing League of Legends and don’t mind seeing maybe one word of every thirty entered into chat. So today, dear readers, that’s our question. Do you keep your profanity filter on in MMO chat? And why do you leave it on or turn it off?

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