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Removing text chat in favor of voice chat in MMOs?

AnnwynAnnwyn Member UncommonPosts: 2,854
I recently decided to re-watch the .Hack// series and it brought the question to mind. Would any of you play an MMO that removed the text chat entirely (with some exceptions like sending private messages/emails), and instead require player to interact with voice chat? Using voice chat would force players to be in a relatively close vicinity in order to be able to talk to each other. As with everything else in life, there are pros and cons to this system, but is this something that could potentially interest you as an MMO player?


I feel that MMOs today are very anti-social and the ability to talk to anyone anywhere cuts the need to actually get together and interact. I recently transferred in FFXIV from Gilgamesh, a highly populated server, to Balmung, another highly populated server but also the unofficial RP server. On Gilgamesh I always saw the cities and taverns fairly empty. Sure there are players in the cities, but they're only there because there's no where else to go. On Balmung however, the cities and taverns are buzzing with players, especially RPers because their playstyle is very social-oriented, and I am quite jealous of that. It'd be impossible to ask non-RPers to suddenly become RPers however (and RP has never interested me anyway), but I feel that MMOs definitely need an incentive for players to get together, even if it means forcing it a little by removing some convenient feature (like world-wide chat).
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Comments

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 32,193
    No. Voice chat ruins the game for me. I understand using it for raids and pvp and the like but if that was the only method of communication I would not play that game.
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  • goboygogoboygo Member RarePosts: 2,141
    No
  • simsalabim77simsalabim77 Member RarePosts: 1,607
    I don't think removing world chat or text chat and adding proximity voice chat would make an MMORPG community more social. If anything, I think it would be more likely to discourage the majority of players. Also, it'd be really annoying to be walking through town and hear snippets of dick jokes and other various vulgarities. 

    If you want a social community, you have to create a game that promotes socialization through gameplay. You need a game where you are required to work with/against others to progress, and some way to bring back the sense of server specific community i.e. no LFG or other features to promote server cohesiveness. In FFXI, having a large pool of reliable friends was as important, if not more important, as having good gear. Reliance on others fosters a strong community, IMO. 

    However, I would never play an MMORPG that forced me to rely on others as heavily as games like FFXI did. I simply do not have the time or energy to do that again, and frankly, I don't care about being social in MMORPGs anymore outside of the group of friends I already have. 
  • SquireXSquireX Member UncommonPosts: 82
    edited September 2016
    Imho,voice chat kills the immersion for me (especially if you are talking about an MmoRPG).  I rather keep the illusion that I'm grouping with hot, human chicks than hear some prepubescent kid or some 30+ year old dude :)

    Edit:  PS- I think Mmo's have gotten so anti social because the mechanics of the games today all favor solo play and do not really require any interaction (whether text chat or not).  And I'm not just speaking about leveling; even trade.  For example, I fondly remember logging into Everquest every Sunday just to trade in the East Commonlands tunnel.  Even if you were not buying/selling, it was very social.
  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member LegendaryPosts: 10,642
    No thanks and this is coming from someone who is very dyslexic. The role player in me would cry. This idea is right up there with Apple and no headphone jack. 
  • TeccaTecca Member UncommonPosts: 45
    I only use voice if I need to coordinate something, like as part of a raid. I would stay away from a game that only allowed voice chat, especially the kind that works only when you're near people. Voice chat generally annoys me and breaks immersion, I'd rather sit with the music/sound effects playing as loud as I'd like without worrying about what someone's trying to say.
  • SBFordSBFord Former Associate EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 33,129
    Sovrath said:
    No. Voice chat ruins the game for me. I understand using it for raids and pvp and the like but if that was the only method of communication I would not play that game.
    This. 100% no on voice only. If I want to speak to people, I want to choose who and when.


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


  • mmoguy43mmoguy43 Member UncommonPosts: 2,770
    Voice Chat
    Pros
    Good for fast and easy communication in the heat of an intense battle.
    Doesn't require typing while doing other things.
    Can hear and better relate to a person instead of an avatar.

    Con
    To many voices disrupts all communication. Proximity doesn't solve it. Result: needing multiple voice channels than can be turned on/off.
    Most people are going to disable it.
    Something is said once, if you don't hear it, it's gone. Abuse/Harassment/Other offenses can't be monitored so everyone has to deal with it or turn it off.
    Most players aren't going to be role playing so all chat will break immersion even more than text would.


    In the games that do have voice, there is no evidence that they make the game more social. It's really just another form of communication for people that want fast communication in an organized group setting.
  • AlbatroesAlbatroes Member LegendaryPosts: 7,671
    Guys want voice chat so they can harass girls. Part of the reason anyway.
  • KilraneKilrane Member UncommonPosts: 322
    Sovrath said:
    No. Voice chat ruins the game for me. I understand using it for raids and pvp and the like but if that was the only method of communication I would not play that game.
    I could not have said it better my self.

  • MuktukMuktuk Member UncommonPosts: 84
    No thanks
  • JaimlJaiml Member UncommonPosts: 130
    Sovrath said:
    No. Voice chat ruins the game for me. I understand using it for raids and pvp and the like but if that was the only method of communication I would not play that game.
    This

    I find myself turning voice chat off on the games that have it.  I really don't care what you did last night, how many drugs you do or why you are mad at the world.

    I find more griefers and flamers in voice channels.
  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 11,004
    Can't think of a single game that benefitted from having voice chat outside of raids etc. sometimes not even then.
    Games, or at least, MMO's have to have text based chat, because that is what most players are comfortable with, and it works. :o
  • AnnwynAnnwyn Member UncommonPosts: 2,854
    edited September 2016
    I'm bummed out by the overwhelming "No" responses, haha.

    I hear the people who say they would rather turn to older MMOs to look for solutions on creating more social interactions. The problem I see with that however is that going back to the old features (no LFG, etc) would require developers to completely brainwash MMO players who joined MMOs in the WoW/post-WoW era. The amount of people who can appreciate and handle the old genre has diminished too much over the years to bring a sufficient amount of players to create a thriving game. Lots of people still play EQ, EQ2 and FFXI since these games are all still alive, but the community supporting those games are just too small for most new player to be able to enjoy the experience and social aspect of those games.

    As far as voice chat benefiting only raids (and similar encounters), I've been in a few guilds or clans that had a permanent TeamSpeak or now Discord channels up for all of its members. They'd usually have sub-channels players would join for raids, but the bulk of the interactions would happen in the main channel and I found it rather enjoyable to hear people interacting in this way, so I've tried imagining at times an MMO where all interactions happened verbally instead of using a keyboard. 

    With the slowly increasing presence of VR on the market, eventually an MMO will undeniably appear and it will have to find a solution for players to be able to interact with each others, and using a keyboard in this circumstance would prove far more difficult. I'd imagine a voice chat would be the better means of communication as players would have their hands full with the controller(s) already and would otherwise need to remove their headset every time they needed to type something.
  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 11,004
    For a VRMMO perhaps voice chat could work, but, how many years before thats even a thing, assuming it ever is, is questionable.
    For the time being, text chat is the most 'evolved' form of in game communication for MMO's, a few games have dabbled with voice chat, but i've yet to see one where it actually became a thing, sure some guilds have their own teamspeak or discord etc. but its often used for multi game communication, and not related to the game they are playing at all, its a social tool entirely seperate to the games themselves.
  • MendelMendel Member LegendaryPosts: 5,609
    mmoguy43 said:
    Voice Chat
    Pros
    Good for fast and easy communication in the heat of an intense battle.
    Doesn't require typing while doing other things.
    Can hear and better relate to a person instead of an avatar.

    Con
    To many voices disrupts all communication. Proximity doesn't solve it. Result: needing multiple voice channels than can be turned on/off.
    Most people are going to disable it.
    Something is said once, if you don't hear it, it's gone. Abuse/Harassment/Other offenses can't be monitored so everyone has to deal with it or turn it off.
    Most players aren't going to be role playing so all chat will break immersion even more than text would.


    In the games that do have voice, there is no evidence that they make the game more social. It's really just another form of communication for people that want fast communication in an organized group setting.
    I may be closer to okay on VoIP than most, as long as it is offered in game and doesn't require an external application (Team Speak, etc.).

    I'd like to counter some of @mmoguy43's list of cons.
    • Too many voices.  Agreed mostly, but I view this as an opportunity for a developer to produce a superior channel facility, rather than a definite problem.  If the player could actively define channels and easily switch between them, for private, small groups and large groups, it could be managed rather easily.  Add in a voice transcription facility to each client and you could have a dynamic environment.  There's a lot of RP validity for having small conversation areas with lots of voices  -- taverns, political rallies, even temples.  A proximity range based on volume (whisper / talk / shout) would allow the interesting possibility of overhearing a whispered conversation in a public channel.
    • Disabled chat.  A problem, but players get around this situation already (person doesn't respond) in normal chat.  Not really a reason not to include it.  And if it is the only way a person can communicate with another in-game, people will use the feature, even if only to talk to RL friends.
    • Non-persistence.  A definite problem.  Another opportunity for a developer to build a superior transcription facility to capture text to the client in a chat window.  A text stream would allow someone who was briefly distracted from the audio to 'catch' up by reading.
    • Harassment / Abuse / Offensive Behavior.  Another issue where solutions are possible.  Since the audio will be distributed to proximity, it will have to route through the server, where the provider could easily intercept and transcribe all conservation, enabling them to trace issues in any channel.
    • Role-playing.  I believe that a role-playing facility will encourage people to engage, rather than discourage them from role-playing.  Sure, there will be fewer cross-gender players, but is that such a bad thing?  Develop a male / female / ogre voice.  My voice might end up sounding a lot like Don Adams, though.
    • Immersion.  Can't really do much about that.  But you can't really keep that out of text chat, either.  It's a convention that we follow when we play, much like in-character and ooc speech, or talking in church.  Peer pressure works to keep people in line with the social conventions.  If it the simple sound of a voice that breaks immersion, that goes on the pile with background music and voice acting.
    Some other things a developer would probably want to consider.
    • Audio association.  If I'm in a pick-up group, there's a good chance that I won't recognize the person speaking.  There would be no way to associate the speaker to a character.  The proximity filter will connect the input source (character's name) and send that information as part of the channel overhead.  This would also be necessary for any transcript functions.
    • Blocking.  Current text chat includes some kind of /ignore filter.  This would be a highly desirable feature.  Conceivably, a player could set volume levels from off to max for each person speaking.
    • Audio Integration.  To enable the various features to function, it may be necessary to push all the open audio links to the client, and let the client deal with integrating the multiple sources into a single auditory stream.  This would allow the players preferences to function and deal with multiple characters in multiple channels.  (Joe is in my group, in the area, and in the raid -- if he speaks, his voice won't appear 3 times on my end).
    • Automatic channels.  Go into a building, automatically change the 'auditory area', much like a zone.
    I don't think that Voice over IP is a bad idea.  It hasn't been done before, and the typical MMORPG simply uses the text chat channels.  There hasn't been any advancement in the basic text chat technology, and the interfaces.  There will need to be some new technology to fully support integrated VoIP into games.  Right now, that is seen as an extra development cost, which may be the reason that there isn't a more substantial push for features like this.

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • mgilbrtsnmgilbrtsn Member EpicPosts: 3,430
    Absolutely not.  If it's a group I choose to enable voice, great.  However, when ppl come in talking all crazy, kids in the background, tv loud.  nope.  Blessed Silence and chat windows/bubbles.

    I self identify as a monkey.

  • Joseph_KerrJoseph_Kerr Member RarePosts: 1,113
    I have a better idea, we should remove text and voice communication from mmo's completely and only be able to communicate via in-game emotes... that are only purchasable using the in-game cash shop. 
  • JaimlJaiml Member UncommonPosts: 130
    I have a better idea, we should remove text and voice communication from mmo's completely and only be able to communicate via in-game emotes... that are only purchasable using the in-game cash shop. 

    *sigh*

    You know some developer is going to read this....
  • DeivosDeivos Member EpicPosts: 3,692
    Voice chat is handy to have, but shouldn't be a forced or sole means of communication.

    "The knowledge of the theory of logic has no tendency whatever to make men good reasoners." - Thomas B. Macaulay

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  • k61977k61977 Member EpicPosts: 1,507
    No thanks, I already turn off text chat half the time.  Unless I am doing something that requires fast coordination no need to listen to others talk.  Raiding was about the only thing other than competitive PVP where I feel voice chat is needed at all.  If it was the only option I most likely would pass on the game.
  • GenetikCodeGenetikCode Member UncommonPosts: 48
    isn't this what world of tanks is doing? getting rid of txt chat?
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 43,677
    edited September 2016
    Deivos said:
    Voice chat is handy to have, but shouldn't be a forced or sole means of communication.
    Also, don't you just hate when guilds try to force you to be on voice chat at all times, not for any good reason but just to "socialize?"

    You want to speak with me, type it in the fcking chat channel dammit! :p

    (and stay off my lawn) 

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  • FlyByKnightFlyByKnight Member EpicPosts: 3,967
    There should be an option for voice chat for guilds and parties. I don't want to hear random people running around trolling. Planetside 2 has already failed miserably with this. PASS.
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  • monochrome19monochrome19 Member UncommonPosts: 723
    No.
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