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I have noticed a trend in mmo's over the last decade is for an ever increasing "global" chat box, and to be honest I do not like it.
Back in UO we actually had to get out of the game and use IM's..AOL instance messenger... to get most guild information across easily, obviously that was not the best design, but it was because conversation was only possible if the other party was standing right on your screen. In recent games however I have seen global chats literally be global in nature, I believe DF:UW has a gigantic chat range on its global...it is very unpleasant and is generally used to stroke the epeen and nothing else...I have not seen one useful conversation come across from that chat.
Eve has non distance restricted chat, and many many different possible chat windows, which makes more sense in a sci-fi game.
What do you consider to be the best chat set up, and what would you like to see in a sandbox like game...which EQN is billing itself to be?