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Why doesn't anyone talk in MMO anymore.

24

Comments

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 30,934
    Originally posted by Illius

    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Well that is why I usually turn off general chat. I play online games to "play" a game.

    My issue here is that I can't "turn ON" a chat channel just like you can turn it off.  It feels really good when you have options to do things your way, but when you're out of luck it's not that fun.

    I hang with friends too and most of them if not all of them play games together.  The thing is, after working all day long I come home too tired to go out and bar hop so I stay home much like my other friends and game away until the weekend where we can go out and have a good time.



     

    But you do have a choice. Join a good clan or guild.

    With a good clan you will party with people and not only have conversations in the clan but also in party.

    But then again, in party you will also be doing things so don't be surprised if it's not scintillating conversation as you have to also be paying attention.

    Havind said this, I also think part of the problem (and I'm going out on a limb here so keep in mind I am not trying to offend people) is that for many of the early games, you saw people making an effort to play online games.

    It wasn't a huge amount of people and not only was there a novelty of playing these games but you were also getting pioneers of a sort who were generally interested in connecting to other people over the internet. And for some this was a huge boon because they could be whoever they wanted to be, not judged on sex or race or bad teeth, etc.

    Or like you maybe they were too busy during the day or lived in a somewhat remote area with few real friends to talk with.

    But now that gaming is "slightly" more mainstream the game world is somewhat diluted by people who aren't seeking the types of connections that you want.

    But again, as I've said, join a good clan and this should solve your issues.

     

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  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 30,934
    Originally posted by Torak


    Remember the days when people helped noobs out...because the games were damn hard? You were usually naked with a stick, didn't have a clue what to do next, you had no idea where anything was and some rat was biting you on the arse.
     
     



     

    Sounds like a typical sunday morning...

    oh, I kid

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  • LobotomistLobotomist Member EpicPosts: 5,934
    Originally posted by Waterlily


    Since playing Everquest, my experience talking to people and amount of contacts has gone down each time.
     
    Everquest had loads of people chatting in general chat, guilds, and /say.
    Then I played Vanguard which had a bit less and only region chat and no central hub.
    Then I played Guild wars where very few people talked, only in guild.
    Then I played WoW, where absolutely no one talks almost, and where I can't access a general chat, just a region chat.
     
    I play MMO to talk to other players and to play with them.  If you don't have a general chat in your MMO, but just region chat, and no central hubs, I might as well go play single player games.
    Do you talk in new MMO?

     

    Ask yourself rather

     

    - Nobody talks in chat.

    - Everybody soloes for 99% of time , and even when they group they do it as fast as possible, to get back to their soloing

    - economy ( if it exists anyaway) is done over AH , and you never even see other player

    - You can not influence the world for other players in any way

     

    Than what is the difference form single player game ?

     

    Why are you paying 15$ a month , to play a online game that is infact singleplayer game ?

    That you can play without any subscription whatsoever !

     

    Thats today MMO , buddy

     

     



  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 30,934
    Originally posted by Lobotomist

    Originally posted by Waterlily


    Since playing Everquest, my experience talking to people and amount of contacts has gone down each time.
     
    Everquest had loads of people chatting in general chat, guilds, and /say.
    Then I played Vanguard which had a bit less and only region chat and no central hub.
    Then I played Guild wars where very few people talked, only in guild.
    Then I played WoW, where absolutely no one talks almost, and where I can't access a general chat, just a region chat.
     
    I play MMO to talk to other players and to play with them.  If you don't have a general chat in your MMO, but just region chat, and no central hubs, I might as well go play single player games.
    Do you talk in new MMO?

     

    Ask yourself rather

     

    - Nobody talks in chat.

    - Everybody soloes for 99% of time , and even when they group they do it as fast as possible, to get back to their soloing

    - economy ( if it exists anyaway) is done over AH , and you never even see other player

    - You can not influence the world for other players in any way

     

    Than what is the difference form single player game ?

     

    Why are you paying 15$ a month , to play a online game that is infact singleplayer game ?

    That you can play without any subscription whatsoever !

     

    Thats today MMO , buddy

     

     



     

    I don't think you undersatnd the whole soloing concept.

    I had a clan once where everybody soloed. but there was so much chat going on, you'd think we were in a party.

    Soloing does not preclude chatting. I am very sure about that fact from personal experience.

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  • TorakTorak Member Posts: 4,905
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    Originally posted by Torak


    Remember the days when people helped noobs out...because the games were damn hard? You were usually naked with a stick, didn't have a clue what to do next, you had no idea where anything was and some rat was biting you on the arse.
     
     



     

    Sounds like a typical sunday morning...

    oh, I kid



     

    lmao...yeah now that you mention it....

  • thorwoodthorwood Member Posts: 485

    I remember the chatting in Everquest too.  Differences about this MMO compared to current MMO's include:

    • standards were enforced - language and topics had to be appopriate and inoffensive to a mixed playerbase of various age, ethnic, religious  groups and nationalities.
    • there was lots of downtime (waiting for boats, waiting for health and mana to regenerate) when you were bored and looking for other distractions. Current games are faster paced so you are often too busy to type in chat.
    • In both Everquest (and LoTRO), players who are off topic are told to go to the "out of character" channel as many players did not want their world immersion spoiled by off topic conversations.
  • KrayzjoelKrayzjoel Member Posts: 906
    Originally posted by Torak


    IMHO, there are several things at work here

    Voice chat. A very large number of MMO players use this over type text.
    Individual style play (solo) A lot of games have swung from group centric toward solo play in the last 5 years. Thats really nothing new anymore at this point
    Less complexity - now IMHO this is one of the biggest reasons. Whats there to talk about in most MMO's these days? Classes are predifined, quest basically have built in walk throughs with waypoint markers, crafting in most cases is no different, simple. Very few choices need to be made, you just follow the NPC's instructions. Everything is easily marked and layed out. It basically removes any need to discuse anything. The "mystery" of things has been removed in favor of accessibility. 



     

    I would agree and add to this:

    There alot of  gamers that are turned off by some other player's childish chat antics such as talking about sex (the really gross stuff I wont mention here), religion, political , and downright verbal abusiveness that goes unchecked. I dont know how many times in WOW i had to turn off most of the chat channels except the guild one due to this. Not blaming WOW but due due to the higher population of players it was far more prevelant than any other mmo's Ive played.

     

    Played : WOW, LOTRO, COH/COV, EQ2, SWG, and WAR.
    Playing EVE Online and AOC.
    Wtg for SW:TOR and WOD

  • KrayzjoelKrayzjoel Member Posts: 906

    Forgot to mention.... Its mosly I believe due to other players past chat behavior that have lead other ppl not to chat than soloing. Players see this behavior and are turned away form wanting to chat.

     

    Played : WOW, LOTRO, COH/COV, EQ2, SWG, and WAR.
    Playing EVE Online and AOC.
    Wtg for SW:TOR and WOD

  • LocklainLocklain Member Posts: 2,154
    Originally posted by Krayzjoel

    Originally posted by Torak


    IMHO, there are several things at work here

    Voice chat. A very large number of MMO players use this over type text.
    Individual style play (solo) A lot of games have swung from group centric toward solo play in the last 5 years. Thats really nothing new anymore at this point
    Less complexity - now IMHO this is one of the biggest reasons. Whats there to talk about in most MMO's these days? Classes are predifined, quest basically have built in walk throughs with waypoint markers, crafting in most cases is no different, simple. Very few choices need to be made, you just follow the NPC's instructions. Everything is easily marked and layed out. It basically removes any need to discuse anything. The "mystery" of things has been removed in favor of accessibility. 



     

    I would agree and add to this:

    There alot of  gamers that are turned off by some other player's childish chat antics such as talking about sex (the really gross stuff I wont mention here), religion, political , and downright verbal abusiveness that goes unchecked. I dont know how many times in WOW i had to turn off most of the chat channels except the guild one due to this. Not blaming WOW but due due to the higher population of players it was far more prevelant than any other mmo's Ive played.

     

    I can hardly wait until all mmos use internal voice chat.  If it wasn't already hard enough to ignore the morons.

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  • banthisbanthis Member Posts: 1,891

    I chat less and less in region chats now it just gets annoying to ask a simple question like is anyone doing Open RvR tonight or doing X PQ and get a X number of retarsd replying with supposed 'jokes' and debates instead of just a simple yes or no or lets group up etc.  When there is a healthy discussion going on it tends to just go in circles and become pointless after five mins or you get people in your group that are like woot my DPS was awsome instead of going damn we lost what could we of done better.  If people can't piss someone off or praise themselves publically they tend to just be quiet...I'd rather talk with the quiet ones then the self praisers and the sarcastic debaters or worse the Barrens chat people.

  • spinach8puffspinach8puff Member CommonPosts: 864
    Originally posted by Sovrath 
    I don't play online games to meet people, I play them to play along side with people.

    This is exactly why I hardly talk while I am in an MMO. If I wanted a chat room I'd go to Yahoo or a F2P mmo.

  • IhmoteppIhmotepp Member Posts: 14,495

    Downtime + need for cooperation = chatting

     

    Solo play with no down time = no chatting

     

    Often times even though you were in a group in CoH, there wasn't much chatting, except, heal, go left, next mission, etc.

    There was no downtime, and even travel required a lot of button mashing, so it didn't leave the keyboard free for chat.

    Voice chat is only fun if you know the people you're chatting with. It's not good for pick up groups and so forth, because people are shy about talking, they dont' want you to know they are 12 years old, or a female, or have a strong accent etc, and you probably wouldn't want to listen to a lot of people anyways, so you need the keyboard free for chatting sometimes.

    image

  • BelterBelter Member Posts: 2

    I would love to see an MMO that is able to somehow able to ensure that a player's level determines how strong they are but that they have no reputation unless they are active and friendly. What i mean to say is.. being a high level or rich must not be the focus of the game. The game must be BASED around the interaction and other features such as combat built around this.

    The only idea off the top of my head for this would be to have a world where everyone is just living their life and you can level up skills such as fishing, crafting etc. There would be a little bit of interaction but for alot of it, there would be time to chat. Then there could be a combat zone where people can go and battle one another or possibly NPC enemies. I think if it was only PVP it would deter people from sitting there all day and grinding. And finally, a player's level should not be based soley on combat because then grinding will soon follow.

     

    In summary.. i think what most players are craving these days is social interaction. Therefore developers need to start from scratch and start designing their games around the interaction between players rather than making a player vs npc combat system then adding chat, quests etc. Afterall, the main reason i ever keep going back to a game is to play with friends.. and if no one is chatting, how can i make any?

    Belter^

  • heremypetheremypet Member, Newbie CommonPosts: 528
    Originally posted by Locklain



    I can hardly wait until all mmos use internal voice chat.  If it wasn't already hard enough to ignore the morons.



     

    Oh man I dont like vent-type chat very much, I guess because I'd rather imagine how their character would sound, also it really is disturbing when a female starts talking in a mans voice haha.

    Voice chat is a nice boon for raids and all that but, its a fantasy for me, not a job with real world people.  I like to actually imagine that I'm talking to a dwarf or something, but I think I'm one of few in that area.

    "Good? Bad? I'm the guy with the gun."

  • MindTriggerMindTrigger Member Posts: 2,596

    The simple fact is, the game developers have removed almost all the social features from modern mmos.  Things like the auction house system and lack of *useful* social hubs have completely removed the need for anyone to communicate except for the occasional group. Hell, I barely even talk to my own guildies.

    This is an ongoing discussion theme here.  So many people are wondering why the hell their gaming experience in mmos feels so dull and lifeless, and I a submit that a large reason for that is the lack of social features and missing or boring non-combat systems.

    The other, of course, is stagnant innovation in the genre.  We are going through a period of time where all the game developers think they are going to make the next wow-killer by copying every burned out concept they can from Blizzard.  This is why all the games are fundamentally similar, and dry. 

    * crafting / trade sucks - The Auction House concept has made it so you no longer need to build relationships with other players in the game.  No one cares who even makes stuff anymore, because it's all bought on the AH.  In past games I have made very close contacts with great crafters, and I would even do contract hunting for them to make some money.  All of that is pretty much dead now. Crafting itself is so boring and 1 dimensional that most people don't even bother with it.

    * instanced player housing sucks - No one really cares about it.  It's outside the game world in it's own zone, so you don't really get visitors.  Most people I know are just using their instanced home for the extra storage space.  Decorating them is a joke, and there aren't many items you can drop in your home.  Most games don't let you craft or sell from your own home anymore.  Any social benefit of player housing is dead due to these shortcomings.

    * social hubs suck - they serve no useful purpose.  You can't go there to get entertainer buffs, there is no player made entertainment (like swg had), these games have weak diseases/poisons, so you don't go there for heals.

    * soloer as king syndrome - no one really needs to group much anymore, so they don't.  As a result, these games feel like little more than offline single player games with a boring chat room built in.

     

    There are plenty of other reasons, but I believe it's the lack of RICH non-combat / social systems that makes the games boring, and has all but ended player interaction.

    A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  • erandurerandur Member Posts: 727

     No talking in Guild Wars? Seriously?! RA/temple of balth always have idiot conversations, always! If not, it's easy to start one. :D 

    As for anywhere else, even Guild Chat doesn't get used anymore, why type, while you can speak on your guild's vent server? Every guild needs one to do PvP anyway, better make good use of it then. ;)

    You know it, the best way to realize your dreams is waking up and start moving, never lose hope and always keep up.

  • ElikalElikal Member UncommonPosts: 7,912

    Forbid Teamspeak and Vent.

    Make quests hard!

    Make death painful.

    Remove 80% of helpful hints.

    Voila, community restored, problem solved. ;)

    People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert

  • BrianshoBriansho Member UncommonPosts: 3,586

    Barrens Chat LOL

    Don't be terrorized! You're more likely to die of a car accident, drowning, fire, or murder! More people die every year from prescription drugs than terrorism LOL!

  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 19,332
    Originally posted by Waterlily

    Originally posted by Swiftblade13


    because MMO's have become single player games with a monthly fee

     

    Nod, maybe so. I want big guilds and lots of players and places people hang out with to talk and have 1 general chat.

    Area's to meet in. Guilds should be social communities, not just entities to get loot.

    Now it's just retarted, everyone plays either by themselves or is in a very small guild.

    I agree with you except on guild size.I find large guilds ,nobody knows half the players anyhow.Certain players still tend to hangout with certain other players,usually in there level range.If you have a good nucleus of players in your guild,ones that chat and show up everyday,you don't need 50+ of casual hermits.

    The other thing is as the one poster eluded to,players are too worried about levels.There not even playing a game anymore they are just logging in to see how many levels they can get,it is ridiculous.The gaming should be about community/events and chatting getting along with other players and doing things together.Instead they want to level as fast and as high as they can then get the best possible gear to kill other players,pretty much everything a MMORPG is NOT about.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • VistaakahVistaakah Member Posts: 176
    Originally posted by Torak


    IMHO, there are several things at work here

    Voice chat. A very large number of MMO players use this over type text.
    Individual style play (solo) A lot of games have swung from group centric toward solo play in the last 5 years. Thats really nothing new anymore at this point
    Less complexity - now IMHO this is one of the biggest reasons. Whats there to talk about in most MMO's these days? Classes are predifined, quest basically have built in walk throughs with waypoint markers, crafting in most cases is no different, simple. Very few choices need to be made, you just follow the NPC's instructions. Everything is easily marked and layed out. It basically removes any need to discuse anything. The "mystery" of things has been removed in favor of accessibility. 

     

    Probably less then 10% of playerbase uses programs like Ventrillo and generally speaking thats more guildish way of communication not for the average player.

    I started MMOing before DAOC with games like Fighter Ace, World War 2 Online, 10-Six and well i've played them all and i've seen the games as well as the society within MMO's change.

    In DAOC before it was dumbed down for WoWbies waaaaay back it was very beneficial to group in fact groups were given a superior group bonus while xping even if that group was size of 2 players. Many of the high instance XP area's were not really soloable but easily done as a skilled duo. So many times we hung at the entrance of a dungeon and a complete stranger would ask you.. Want to group with me and the relationship began. Many times a group of 2 started and it was full in a short time because it was highly benificial to group.

    I soloed a Priest/Healer and Hunter in WOW VERY FAST and i didn't need nobody. I got uber gear only after reaching the highest level obtainable. I didn't need help in fact grouping slowed down my exp rate. REPEAT... Grouping not only slowed down but half my chain kill rate exp. Killing purple mobs as a reference grouped paid no more exp then me killign a yellow mob every 10 sec non stop.

    Blame it on WOW for giving every class in creation , even healers the chance to rapidly solo without help to max level in a short period of time. When i tried DAOC a while back what used to take 4-6 months to get ot max level took me 3 days and i'm pretty hard core of a player. I could probably grind a WOW toon to max level in a week or so if i wanted but there is no point in doing so.

    I'm sick of levels and numbers. I want community, advancement based on effort and something totally different then anything on the gaming market. I would like to say and nobody can question this that WAR is the most antisocial game ever created.

  • DeeweDeewe Member UncommonPosts: 1,980

    MMO aren't social games anymore since WoW.

    I still remember at launch how only a few players chatted then it faded out.

    I saw this happen in SWG, slowly but surely CU then NGE destroyed the need of cooperation, cluttered the players inside their level range and removed the need to regroup.

    Now MMO are mostly grind for a higher level or a better item.

    You play more with a web browser at your side , for help, than a real person.

    You can check my blog here at MMORPG.com, you would be surprized how many people are looking for socialization.


  • AnofalyeAnofalye Member, Newbie CommonPosts: 7,433

    Sooo many elitists opinions my head is hurting.

     

    It is very easy to explain.  The games are more accessible, they are more casuals, they are more friendly, they reach a broader audience which doesn't care as much.  As a result, the new players may find writting tedious.

     

    Half the adults I know would find it hard to even write the answer I just did, not everyone is chatty in a written form.  Most adults which will find it okay to write such an answer, would just not see the point to do it, why would they care?  See, not everyone is as friendly and open minded.  Finally, most peoples are selfishs and they would hardly do anything which doesn't benefit them in a way or another.

     

    Could add that most peoples which pass all these criterias wouldn't be here, on an online website about MMOs while not playing.  The peoples are here, in this very thread, are all a rare thing in the Internet world...and in the MMOs world.

     

    That's is part of the reason why the devs caters to some players here...and spoil them badly enought to even ruin their own game...which lead to my angry comment about all the elitists answers I read here.  Ahhh...I need a hug!  :P

    - "If I understand you well, you are telling me until next time. " - Ren

  • BrianMMOBrianMMO Member Posts: 45

    I just read this thread and I thought: OMG, thank god I am not alone.

    I always thought I am the only one who has the feeling of being alone altough being online. Kinda paradox.

    I left over 100 guilds ( in GW alone, lol ) because of the chat problem. There is ALWAYS trouble because I don't use Voice Chat. I get discriminated because of that. Very often guilds don't take me at all.

    After so many years of online gaming, I have my own kind of solution: Play only games which allow you to do both, soloing and grouping. Whenever you find someone willing to party with you, do it! If not, solo as long as u find another group.

    Example: In Guild Wars (Addons included) you have henchmen/NPC who heal/buff/support you so u can solo. Don't use them if possible. Go to popular places where people meet to find a group ( e.g. eye of the North)

    There is no real solution. If you want to  find talkative persons, then use platform like MMORPG.com ^^

    We all should form a club or something like that. Players who like to chat.

    In general, I have the feeling that problem of anti-social behaviour will deteriorate. The problems of VoiceChat and silence made me register here. Kinda ironic id say.

    So....if anyone plays GW or Warhammer Online mail me. I wanna party with u. I would even start a new char just to chat with ya, hehe

  • dave6660dave6660 Member UncommonPosts: 2,699
    Originally posted by MindTrigger


    The simple fact is, the game developers have removed almost all the social features from modern mmos.  Things like the auction house system and lack of *useful* social hubs have completely removed the need for anyone to communicate except for the occasional group. Hell, I barely even talk to my own guildies.
    This is an ongoing discussion theme here.  So many people are wondering why the hell their gaming experience in mmos feels so dull and lifeless, and I a submit that a large reason for that is the lack of social features and missing or boring non-combat systems.
    The other, of course, is stagnant innovation in the genre.  We are going through a period of time where all the game developers think they are going to make the next wow-killer by copying every burned out concept they can from Blizzard.  This is why all the games are fundamentally similar, and dry. 
    * crafting / trade sucks - The Auction House concept has made it so you no longer need to build relationships with other players in the game.  No one cares who even makes stuff anymore, because it's all bought on the AH.  In past games I have made very close contacts with great crafters, and I would even do contract hunting for them to make some money.  All of that is pretty much dead now. Crafting itself is so boring and 1 dimensional that most people don't even bother with it.
    * instanced player housing sucks - No one really cares about it.  It's outside the game world in it's own zone, so you don't really get visitors.  Most people I know are just using their instanced home for the extra storage space.  Decorating them is a joke, and there aren't many items you can drop in your home.  Most games don't let you craft or sell from your own home anymore.  Any social benefit of player housing is dead due to these shortcomings.
    * social hubs suck - they serve no useful purpose.  You can't go there to get entertainer buffs, there is no player made entertainment (like swg had), these games have weak diseases/poisons, so you don't go there for heals.
    * soloer as king syndrome - no one really needs to group much anymore, so they don't.  As a result, these games feel like little more than offline single player games with a boring chat room built in.
     
    There are plenty of other reasons, but I believe it's the lack of RICH non-combat / social systems that makes the games boring, and has all but ended player interaction.

    The auction house is both a blessing and a curse.  Yes it does remove the need for player interaction or real trade instead of just buying items for currency.  On the other hand I don't want the chat channels to turn into rapid fire spam like "WTS uber item X pst".  Giran chat in Lineage 2 is a prime example, having a conversation in that channel is an exercise in futility.

    I completely agree with the player housing.  It's nice for storage but the novelty of decorating it wears off quickly.  It has always felt disconnected from the rest of the game.  Guild halls are another story though.  They do help quite a bit with the social aspect of the game.

    The social hubs don't work for a few reasons.  The main reason, I think, is because they make too many of them.  They put cities and towns in every area which spreads the population all over hells half acre.  Nobody wants to have to travel anymore to get to a trainer / store / quest giver.  Most people will say travel is a useless time sink, I say its another example of how mmorpg's are being made easier.  As for player made entertainment, the last time i seen that was the costume contests in CoH (I never played SWG).

    Everything being solo friendly is another reason.  But not because being in a group means everybody is going to talk it up by default.  The content has to be challenging enough that the group must communicate to survive.  Today tank and spank is the assumed strategy so there's no need to talk even then.  WAR is the perfect example of this, I was in plenty of groups for PQ's and scenarios but they were just mindless kills and zergs so you were able to hear a pin drop in the group channel.

    “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
    -- Herman Melville

  • MindTriggerMindTrigger Member Posts: 2,596


    The auction house is both a blessing and a curse.  Yes it does remove the need for player interaction or real trade instead of just buying items for currency.  On the other hand I don't want the chat channels to turn into rapid fire spam like "WTS uber item X pst".  Giran chat in Lineage 2 is a prime example, having a conversation in that channel is an exercise in futility.
    I completely agree with the player housing.  It's nice for storage but the novelty of decorating it wears off quickly.  It has always felt disconnected from the rest of the game.  Guild halls are another story though.  They do help quite a bit with the social aspect of the game.
    The social hubs don't work for a few reasons.  The main reason, I think, is because they make too many of them.  They put cities and towns in every area which spreads the population all over hells half acre.  Nobody wants to have to travel anymore to get to a trainer / store / quest giver.  Most people will say travel is a useless time sink, I say its another example of how mmorpg's are being made easier.  As for player made entertainment, the last time i seen that was the costume contests in CoH (I never played SWG).
    Everything being solo friendly is another reason.  But not because being in a group means everybody is going to talk it up by default.  The content has to be challenging enough that the group must communicate to survive.  Today tank and spank is the assumed strategy so there's no need to talk even then.  WAR is the perfect example of this, I was in plenty of groups for PQ's and scenarios but they were just mindless kills and zergs so you were able to hear a pin drop in the group channel.

     

    Thanks for the reply.  The trade channel does not have to be the only means for people to sell things.  In SWG you would get people barking in public areas, but it wasn't too bad (on Bria anyway).   People's vendors could be seen on the overlay map, and they could be searched on the Bazzaar, sort of like an AH, but you still had to travel to pick items up, or to buy items from private vendors.  This effectively quieted the chat channels for trade.  Even if you don't like those options, there is plenty of room to brainstorm new ideas for trade.  The auction house is just an easy cop-out solution, in my opinion.

    The solo / grouping thing to me is just another one of those areas where the potential to make new friends is lost.  I agree about the tank and spank garbage.  I hate to keep bringing SWG into all my posts (actually, no I don't) but since SOE didn't rely on the standard classes pre-CU, groups had to play smart on the tough planets like Dathomir.  The witches would own just about any type of player, so group effort was really important.  There was no class recipe for the right group, just good smart/skilled players.

    The reason people used social hubs in SWG was because there was a central purpose behind them.  Entertainers were key to poison/disease healing and wound healing which were *hardcore*.  If you got a disease or you died, a big chunk of your health bar were blacked out until you went and sat with entertainers to heal for a bit.  As a result, conversations happened and friendships were made. What we have today is the death penalty system where you are *sorta* weaker for 10 mins or so.  yawn.  I prefer the social idea SWG had.

    The NGE version is even useful because instead of heals, you can get different kinds of buffs from entertainers.  Entertainers were somewhat key to the game, and so the main cantinas were busy, and fun.  Also, if you wanted to craft and you had a crafting droid, you could go sit in the cantinas and grind stuff out while talking with people.

    The modern version of social hubs are completely passive and people are expected to just hang out for no reason.  Problem is, they get bored after a few minutes because there is nothing to do or work on there so no one hangs around.

    A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

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