Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

World of Warcraft: Remote Guild Chat - The Good & the Bad

SBFordSBFord Former Associate EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 33,129

In today's Guild's Eye View, MMORPG.com columnist Sean Stalzer takes a look at remote guild chat in World of Warcraft. Sean's contention is that community is the lifeblood of any MMO and chat is an integral part of ensuring that a community feels connected. Check out Sean's thoughts about remote guild chat in WoW and then weigh in with your own thoughts.

I will likely reassert this premise many times more in the future but... Successful communities are the lifeblood of a successful MMORPG. Game developers that invest in the right tools and development of a culture that fosters successful communities will have the successful MMORPGs of the future. One of the areas that more focus needs to be paid to is the "always on" aspect of gaming. By that I mean things such as being able to communicate with your guild or friends, at any time, from anywhere, whether you are in the game or not.

Read more of Sean Stalzer's Guild's Eye View: Remote Guild Chat - The Good & the Bad.



¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


«1

Comments

  • CeridithCeridith Member UncommonPosts: 2,980

    From the perspective of a consumer, Blizzard offering this as yet another 'extra' pay feature, comes off as yet another money grab.

    The overhead of running such a system would be next to nil, so providing it to all players with an active subscription would incur little noticeable increase in operating costs compared to only offering to 'the select few' who choose to pay the extra monthly fee. Additionally as mentioned, chances are that baking it into the standard sub would likely keep people subbing longer, rather than only a few people choosing to opt into the extra feature ontop of the monthly subscription.

    I'm getting very weary of the monthly subscription plus several other 'micro' fees model that Blizzard has adopted.

  • jakinjakin Member UncommonPosts: 243

    For a brand new feature to the gaming space (such as this) I think charging might in fact be a crafty move, if only to limit the numbers of players that adopt the new tech.

     

    For Blizzard especially, with their millions of subscribers worldwide, introducing a new feature or service has a host of unknowns they may or may not have a handle on.  Introducing the feature as a microtransaction automatically limits the adoption rate to something more managable, and limits the impact if something hiccups during the break-in phase.

     

    If over time the buy-in is high regardless of the price, then Blizzard may as well keep the charge.  On the other hand, if the buy-in is low or the community (as you're doing here) indicates that it might be more profitable to roll the cost in - Blizzard can look like a kind, caring, responsive company by including a previously paid-for extra in the monthly sub charge.  Win-win for them.

  • baltanbaltan Member Posts: 11

    I have the remote auction house app on my droid phone and love it, but i choose not to pay the monthly fee to be able to actually do anything with it. As is though it lets me see how my auctions and bids are doing while im logged off.

    If these apps would either offer free versions or even an upfront one time fee I wouldn't mind at all at picking it up but ill be damned if im going to increase my monthly subscription to have these I think i pay enough. And yes I payed for the $6 authenticator which at least came with a pet and again was a one time fee and now you can also have that for free(sans pet) long as you have some form of smartphone with the authenticator app.

  • daelnordaelnor Member UncommonPosts: 1,556

    Two things I've long wanted to see in MMO's....remote guild chat and guild tools to manage the guild while not in the game.  EQ2 had some guild tools I believe that the guild leaders could use while not in game.

     

    The reason for the guild tools....many successfull guild leaders have a day job too, and many of them have computer access at work, or a laptop from the couch while hanging out with the family that they use when not able to play.   When I was running guilds, or being a guild officer, I often found that I spent more time managing the guild than playing the game!

    Guild management is a whole meta game on its own, and is much more complicated than many people think.  I worked harder at running guilds than I ever did at my day job.  Having tools to adminster guild functions, and be able to communicate with in game guild members would be a huge step forward.

    I don't believe it should be paid for though, except maybe a one time fee for the App.  I also think it should be limited to guild chat and tells, otherwise your phone would probably explode from using it.  Also the apps need to be available on computers also, not just smart phones.

    Other than my two cents, I agree with the article.

    image

  • daelnordaelnor Member UncommonPosts: 1,556

    Originally posted by baltan

    I have the remote auction house app on my droid phone and love it, but i choose not to pay the monthly fee to be able to actually do anything with it. As is though it lets me see how my auctions and bids are doing while im logged off.

    If these apps would either offer free versions or even an upfront one time fee I wouldn't mind at all at picking it up but ill be damned if im going to increase my monthly subscription to have these I think i pay enough. And yes I payed for the $6 authenticator which at least came with a pet and again was a one time fee and now you can also have that for free(sans pet) long as you have some form of smartphone with the authenticator app.

    On the subject of remote auction houses...I'm against auction houses to begin with.  I think they are one of the ways devs catered to players request that they should not have done.  They are easy, convenient, and destroy immersion.  Yes, it took longer in the days when you had to physically go to the players house and their merchant to purchase items, but it kept you in the game.  I detest auction houses, even though they free up a lot of time to do other things.  I say do away with auction houses and bring back player housing, even if it is in areas like DAOC did it.

    image

  • CaskioCaskio Member UncommonPosts: 339

    Champions Online and STO have a remote chat functionality for free using pidgin.  I really enjoy it, but I don't always stay connected.

    "If you're going to act like a noob, I'll treat you like one." -Caskio

    Adventurers wear fancy pants!!!

  • erictlewiserictlewis Member UncommonPosts: 3,022

    Well for starters I think it is a great idea to be able to chat with your guild outside the game, as a built in tool.  That way things like xfire, raptor, would go away and die. Yes xfire already gave us that, I hated xfire as I felt it was a resource hog.  

    Now lets talk about this feature he is talking about guess what.  We already have it in eq2.  It is being used already, and no it does not cost us 2.95.  Just part of your eq2 account. A lot of folks does not know this exist.  However the only draw back to it is you have to have an active Internet connection to use it. 

    Now I want to touch on android, iPhone and the like.  Ahem I am sick of these type of apps.  I have an old samsung that's been around since the dawn of time.  I am a dinosaur.  I use my phone for calling, not testing, not apps, no music, no photos. I guess I'm one of the last folks to get rid of my old phone, lol the folks at Verizon look at me when i come in from time to time like a throw back.  I prefer my 60 buck a month bill to have 3 lines.  Some folks don't want these type of phones and others cant afford them.  I could If I wanted to, and have a couple of hundred bucks a month phone bill, no thanks.

    Oh and if I want to really talk to my friends and guild mates,  have you ever heard of yahoo, messenger, and skype.   Enough said.   I got all the tools I need right now.  One more will not change things.

    I will disagree with this post by saying this.  True friends will find a way to communicate with the folks they want to be around. I don't think one more tool will change that.

     

  • SaarosenSaarosen Member Posts: 18

    There are some good points to an ability to call up Guildmates from anywhere, at anytime, and yes, if an employer were to allow employees to access this feature at the workplace when there's nothing else to do, it's fine.

    However, it's bad enough to have employees texting and calling friends at work during work hours in busy, or even dangerous working areas and conditions. Now people can let their inattention wander further by having access to their Guilds in an online game, as well? Great job, Blizz! Now those who are injured or fired from their jobs using your apps will be able to play more often! Win/Win, ain't it?

    Now there will be an even better excuse for poor work habits, lackluster performance, and even an increase in work-related cellphone accidents that could result in injuries, and even death, in some of the more hazardous workplaces. I've seen at least a few near misses at my job due to cellphones, and have found reports of incidents resulting in employies being snagged into machines, injured by forklifts, tripping over things, and many other hazards that resulted in some very serious, even deadly consequences. All because of their attention rivetted to their cell phones.

    That's another bad thing to add to this article, isn't it? Too bad no one believes it will happen to them.....

    image

  • TUX426TUX426 Member Posts: 1,907

    I love the idea of remote guild chat and I can see it being a very useful (fun) tool for myself and many others...

    But...this is where gaming crosses that boundary to me. How much is too much? These are GAMES and people need to separate themselves from their avatars a bit. It's fine to immerse yourself in your game world, but you need to surface once in awhile.

    Gaming is big money and great entertainment and I don't see this being too different from twitter or facebook, as it only feeds on the social aspect of players. I just worry that the real and virtual lines will blur for some.

  • erictlewiserictlewis Member UncommonPosts: 3,022

    Originally posted by Saarosen

    There are some good points to an ability to call up Guildmates from anywhere, at anytime, and yes, if an employer were to allow employees to access this feature at the workplace when there's nothing else to do, it's fine.

    However, it's bad enough to have employees texting and calling friends at work during work hours in busy, or even dangerous working areas and conditions. Now people can let their inattention wander further by having access to their Guilds in an online game, as well? Great job, Blizz! Now those who are injured or fired from their jobs using your apps will be able to play more often! Win/Win, ain't it?

    Now there will be an even better excuse for poor work habits, lackluster performance, and even an increase in work-related cellphone accidents that could result in injuries, and even death, in some of the more hazardous workplaces. I've seen at least a few near misses at my job due to cellphones, and have found reports of incidents resulting in employies being snagged into machines, injured by forklifts, tripping over things, and many other hazards that resulted in some very serious, even deadly consequences. All because of their attention rivetted to their cell phones.

    That's another bad thing to add to this article, isn't it? Too bad no one believes it will happen to them.....

     Most places I have worked at makes you sign an Internet agreement. I actually know folks who have been fired because their boss game by and they had a chat window up, or a forums window up.   I don't know t many employers who will let you do this.

    And yes texting and cell phones are dangerous.  I saw a wreck yesterday where this teenage tboned a car running a red light while texting.  While I got away with no damaged,  the car to the left of  me was just about totaled,  4 vehicles were involved and 2 folks sent to the hospital.  All because the girl beside  me was texting and not watching where she was going.  I hope our state passes the law it would be a 500 dollar fine.  Right now they just right it up as a wreck. Oh yes and I talked to the trouper who took the report, and told him yes she ws driving with her elbows and had the phone up in her face.  Yes texting and driving is bad I would say the same at work where you might be in areas where it would be easy to get hurt.

  • delta9delta9 Member UncommonPosts: 358

    Being able to login to game chat servers using out of game means is a good thing, and should be totally free (included in subscription)

    charging to use it will stop some using it yet the more using it the more people will login to join their friends/guild for activites they may of otherwise missed (it will also help keep people subbed for longer)- it makes much more sense (to me) to give it away free and get as much of a % of subscribers using it - rather than using it as another way to add more income ontop of a monthly sub

    in Blizards current implementation, many will think, should i pay to use it or should i just use my guild forums / voice server to stay in touch for free

    One slight correction, Blizzard are not the first major MMO company to put this into practise

     

    It has existed for some time for games like Anarchy Online, STO, Champions Online

    Even Fallen Earth has a paid system for out of game chat too

     

    What would be really cool but unlikely to happen is a cross game out of game chat system in place across all the MMO titles


  • MechanismMechanism Member UncommonPosts: 143

    It's funny I was actually considering hopping back into WoW but the ridiculous amount of greed blizzard revels in has been keeping me away. Then I found out about this and now blizzard is going to be out an extra 15/month plus whatever cataclysm costs.

  • eye_meye_m Member UncommonPosts: 3,317

    I don't like the idea of guild chats/tells being sent to my phone. I don't even like the idea of it being an option because without a doubt it would end up being a requirement for joining some guilds.  It's entertainment, not a job and I am already disgusted when I am told that I have to be on for a specific raid schedule or I'll have to be finding a different guild. Too much is devoted to being the first to reach an acheivement, or accomplish something in particular, so it ends up having guilds that enforce too stringent of policies.  I can appreciate the fact that some people want it, and if I want to share my cell info with some friends then I will, but I don't want the game to help dictate that option.

    All of my posts are either intelligent, thought provoking, funny, satirical, sarcastic or intentionally disrespectful. Take your pick.

    I get banned in the forums for games I love, so lets see if I do better in the forums for games I hate.

    I enjoy the serenity of not caring what your opinion is.

    I don't hate much, but I hate Apple© with a passion. If Steve Jobs was alive, I would punch him in the face.

  • holifeetholifeet Member Posts: 532

    I'm sorry but whilst these tools are probably good things I don't believe they improve gaming communities. These people you will chat to outside of the game are already your small community. You already know them so how are you improving the community of the game?

     

    As for these tools keeping players subscribing, well I really don't follow. If you think that players will pay a subscription to enable them to use a games communication tools while they sit and watch TV for a month, then think again. If I'm bored of a game but want to chat to friends that are playing then I'll use the methods I've used in the past, E-mail, IMs etc. Why would anyone want to keep subscribing to a game they don't want to play just to chat?

    All hail the Pixel, for it is glorious Orange!
    .
  • erictlewiserictlewis Member UncommonPosts: 3,022

    Originally posted by holifeet

    I'm sorry but whilst these tools are probably good things I don't believe they improve gaming communities. These people you will chat to outside of the game are already your small community. You already know them so how are you improving the community of the game?

     

    As for these tools keeping players subscribing, well I really don't follow. If you think that players will pay a subscription to enable them to use a games communication tools while they sit and watch TV for a month, then think again. If I'm bored of a game but want to chat to friends that are playing then I'll use the methods I've used in the past, E-mail, IMs etc. Why would anyone want to keep subscribing to a game they don't want to play just to chat?

     Yes I wonder the same thing, espcially when you got im programs, email and the sort.

  • EvilGeekEvilGeek Member UncommonPosts: 1,258

    My initial problem with this, same as my problem with peoples over reliance and use of mobile phones, is that it creates another way for people to stay insular and not relate to the people and the world around them. Whats wrong with the community out there? When you live in a big city it's easy to get bogged down in the suspicion of the stranger.

    I come from the north of england where strangers talk to you to pass the time of day while waiting in line or waiting for a bus, here in London you do that and people think your mad, a sad state of the mentality that people create for themselves, mobile devices make it worse. How many times have I been queuing for something while the person in front of me thinks that text message or phone call is far more important than the people behind and in front of them, too often for my liking. It's a nail in the coffin of respect for those around you as manners go out the window because hey this bit of gossip, irrelevant text is far more important than the real human being in front of you.

    Games should stay as a hobby we keep to ourselves and our friends that enjoy them, I don't want to see it inflicted in a negative way on the community around me. I won't be investing in or encouraging this kind of technology. Then theres the problem of cliques forming between those who use it and those who don't, I've seen that happen already with VOIP software when guilds, who otherwise say they are democratic, make decisions based on chats through VOIP leaving the non users with no say and no voice.

    No thanks.

    image
  • Hopscotch73Hopscotch73 Member UncommonPosts: 971

    Originally posted by jakin

    For a brand new feature to the gaming space (such as this) I think charging might in fact be a crafty move, if only to limit the numbers of players that adopt the new tech.

     

    For Blizzard especially, with their millions of subscribers worldwide, introducing a new feature or service has a host of unknowns they may or may not have a handle on.  Introducing the feature as a microtransaction automatically limits the adoption rate to something more managable, and limits the impact if something hiccups during the break-in phase.

     

    If over time the buy-in is high regardless of the price, then Blizzard may as well keep the charge.  On the other hand, if the buy-in is low or the community (as you're doing here) indicates that it might be more profitable to roll the cost in - Blizzard can look like a kind, caring, responsive company by including a previously paid-for extra in the monthly sub charge.  Win-win for them.

    Not "a brand-new feature to the gaming space", the premium version of the Fallen Earth companion app allows players to access help, clan and global chat remotely, plus craft, send mail and buy from the AH. Afaik the auction house access alone offered by Blizzard carries a monthly fee, so this probably would as well. The FE app has two costs, initial outlay on the bog-standard app (which includes chat) and is pretty cheap ($1.99 or thereabouts) and then the premium version which unlocks crafting-on-the-go and other things, it was $10 when I bought it ages ago, and there's no recurring charge.

    One app that does it all with no monthly fees (besides subscription to the game). Blizzard could learn a lesson from the folks at Icarus, and when we're talking Blizzard it's not like they need the money. 

  • ThomasN7ThomasN7 87.18.7.148Member CommonPosts: 6,690

    Just another way to nickel and dime their fanbase. I see no need for this at all. Sure it seems cool but mmos aren't supposed to be something that is in my head 24x7 7 days a week just to sell my virtual items. MMOs aren't a way of life.

    30
  • octomanceroctomancer Member UncommonPosts: 6

    Originally posted by eyelolled



    It's entertainment, not a job and I am already disgusted when I am told that I have to be on for a specific raid schedule or I'll have to be finding a different guild.

    Some people do want to play the game as if it's a job. Right or wrong, they want to do it and they do. It sounds like the guild is a bad fit for you, why do you want to stay? And was it always like this or did the guild progress from casual to hardcore over a period of time?

  • octomanceroctomancer Member UncommonPosts: 6

    This article describes me to a tee. There are many people from my old guild (Knights of Ni on Quel'Thalas - hi if any of you are reading this, still have huge nostalgia, but I'll never go back to Azeroth :-P And you Darren, you sorry f****r, why aren't you on Facebook any more? :-P) that I would have loved to have kept in touch with. I had a real emotional connection not only to some of my guildmates but also the guild itself. Unfortunately I deleted my toons and the guild website we used cancelled my account once the armoury updated. I would consider paying the £8.99 a month sub just to stay in touch. I would even consider keeping just a chat sub active for a few notes a month.

    Really surprised to see that the reaction here is generally negative, I expected that by posting this I would be among a sea of "me too"s. I'm genuinely surprised, something the internet generally fails to do to me any more :-P

    Octo

  • skeaserskeaser Member RarePosts: 4,184

    Meh, you can use vent on Android. Good enough for me and free to boot.

    Sig so that badges don't eat my posts.


  • erictlewiserictlewis Member UncommonPosts: 3,022

    Originally posted by octomancer

    This article describes me to a tee. There are many people from my old guild (Knights of Ni on Quel'Thalas - hi if any of you are reading this, still have huge nostalgia, but I'll never go back to Azeroth :-P And you Darren, you sorry f****r, why aren't you on Facebook any more? :-P) that I would have loved to have kept in touch with. I had a real emotional connection not only to some of my guildmates but also the guild itself. Unfortunately I deleted my toons and the guild website we used cancelled my account once the armoury updated. I would consider paying the £8.99 a month sub just to stay in touch. I would even consider keeping just a chat sub active for a few notes a month.

    Really surprised to see that the reaction here is generally negative, I expected that by posting this I would be among a sea of "me too"s. I'm genuinely surprised, something the internet generally fails to do to me any more :-P

    Octo

    I have an honest question for you.   You say you had an emotional attachment.  I do with my guild mates as well.  I am just wondering this.  Did you not have their personal email, an im messenger of some sort,  phone numbers.   I mean with all the communication options we have now days there should have been a way to keep in touch.  I'm just wondering why it only had to be though your guild portal web page, and even then I don't think guild portal removes you from that site, it takes a click for me to move somebody off my guild portal site.

    I know I  have personal emails, phones, and im for all the guild mates who I consider friends.  I am just wondering why folks need just another tool.

    Also in your case you did what I did when i left wow 5 years ago. I deleted all my toons and left.  this tool would require you still having a toon in the guild in wow.   And I can tell you that back then and now I know 30 days of inactivity is usually enough to get folks gone.  So that raises question two how would you pay 8 pounds to talk to folks in a guild after you deleted your toons. 

    Just saying im got questions about your post.  Looking forward to hearing your answers.

  • lethyslethys Member UncommonPosts: 585

    Kinda stupid to charge for it, idea is pretty good but I would definitely not use it because WoW shouldn't have the ability to interfere with non-MMO time.  Also I despise WoW.

  • i00x00ii00x00i Member Posts: 243

    Another feature WoW's subscribers have to pay extra money for. Selling mounts like cash shop items and disabling features unless customers fork over the extra cash.

    I'm sorry but this game used to be strictly sub based but now their headed in a sub/cash shop direction (to those who may disagree: call those mounts a "gift system" all you want but it's the same principle as a cash shop). Don't get me wrong I don't dislike a cash shop based game but stick to one or the other not both. I've always said you were a greedy coorporation Blizz but now your just pissen people off.

    More features unavailable to your $15 a month subscribers unless they fork more cash your way. Nice one.

    p.s. If any WoW sub fanboy comes at me for playing F2P games I'm going to punch him in the face for not paying attention.

    Most people go through life pretending to be a boss. I go through life pretending I'm not.

  • jeremyjodesjeremyjodes Member, Newbie CommonPosts: 679

    Pure greed move. blizzard needs to stick some of those billions they make each year to hire better devs. The old girl must be loosing subs.

    image

Sign In or Register to comment.