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Wild Star Chat Interface

Discussion in 'WildStar General' started by Ars Valde, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. Ars Valde

    Ars Valde New Cupcake

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    Hello everyone, my name is Ars Valde and I wanted to discuss the Wild Star chat interface. Specifically I wanted to discuss chat abilities, restrictions, UI elements, and suggestions/hopes.

    Now, these ideas may have already been discussed, or they may even be something implemented into the game in their own unique ways, and I'll admit it's possible that my searchfu has failed me when perusing the internet for information regarding Wild Star, so please be gentle with the torches and pitchforks should I have failed you.

    My first MMO, and subsequently the one that had the most influence on UI preferences, was City of Heroes/City of Villains. I played this game from the beta until the day it closed and part of what I believe made the game have such a powerful and tight-knit community was the very robust chat interface.

    Not only was it customizable and flexible, it allowed a few unique features I haven't seen in any MMO since (Granted I might not have played them, if there exists other MMO's with these features then I grant them all the kudos.)

    Global Chat Channels

    One of the best features of CoH's chat system were the global channels players could create. These were player created and moderated (with minor moderation abilities) channels that had custom names and could be searched for. What made them so useful was that they spanned across Server/Character/Zone limitations and allowed people to interact on a large scale while they were off Questing/Missioning/RPing/Doing whatever. Further they were cross faction, Villains AND Heroes could talk in them via a global name.

    Not only that, they featured the ability to make them public (So anyone could join and lurk/chat) or private (For closed groups or invite-only status) and could be created and maintained. Someone causing trouble in the chat and it's impossible to get a GM to respond? You could silence them, or even remove them from the channel were they causing issues. This actively encouraged people to behave in large chat channels, as well as helped players to generally talk more.

    Why is this so important? Because through these channels, that often times on busier servers capped out at 2500 in a single channel, you could easily recruit people for TFs (The equivalent of instanced dungeons) or a variety of group content, as well as have a general chat channel for a variety of community building topics, such as RP or Raid Discussion.

    I made -many- of my friends through such channels, friends that have carried through into other games. It helped to foster a large community in a small game that felt more inclusive than any MMO I've played subsequently.

    Individual Name Colors

    This is a feature that I didn't know I needed until I had it. For keeping track of text, especially in crowded chat boxes, it was a godsend. The ability to easily at a glance distinguish who was talking from people that perhaps I didn't need to pay attention to, or even NPCs, helped to make my chatbox much easier to use and a pleasure to talk in.

    Compared to many current MMOs where names directly blend in color to the text color, it can make it near impossible to discend when the blob of text is broken by another name.

    Again, citing City of Heroes here, there was a unique mechanic where you had an unchangeable color assigned to your name based on the letters in it. It let you at a glance identify people who were speaking in a general vicinity because it was very unlikely another person would have the same color as yourself, or anyone else. Similar names on occasion did run into that, but overall it was such a wonderful little touch that made talking in large groups much easier to handle and follow.

    I want to conclude this by asking: What do you think of these features? As someone who played with them for nearly a decade I understand I can be biased, but I think they can be very powerful community tools for anyone in any sort of social game, and I especially feel that open communication is the best for the players in an MMO.

    What other features would you like to see in the Wild Star chat system? Perhaps there's a glaring detail I've overlooked, or better suggestions on ease of use and ability to communicate well with each other.
    SiegaPlays, Apostate and Fishsticks like this.
  2. Darkfaith

    Darkfaith New Cupcake

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    City of Heroes was also my first MMO, and I have to say that I greatly miss the global chat system, and I'd like to mention the fact that it was not only cross-zone, but cross-server.

    And, I don't just miss the global chat channels, but the global chat handles as well, and the global friends system that came with them. It made making friends, and keeping in touch with them as we all went off to go different things on different servers with different groups of friends -so- much easier. Want to know what so-and-so is doing? Open up your global friends list, and it'll not only tell you what zone or instance they're on, but also the character that they're on, and the server

    The tells (or whispers, depending on your MMO experience) using global chat handles were also cross-server, and as a whole it tended to bring the whole community closer. It let us play where we wanted, without worrying that we were missing something neat on another server, and without having to keep a third-party chat or voice program going. Sometimes you just want to play quietly by yourself for a bit, but you really don't want to miss if a certain group does something you want to do.

    Similar chat systems can be found in Champions Online, Star Trek Online, and I'm guessing Neverwinter Online (they're all made by the same studio, so though I haven't played NWO, I'm going to make an educated guess and say they probably included it). I don't quite like the implementation in those games, but that's more due to the fact that they made character names unique to the account, and use global handles to tell people with the same name apart. I'm not fond of the way that looks.

    That said, when I moved on to other MMOs (Aion, SWTOR for a bit, GW2), I found myself missing the global system, especially with some of my friends scattered across different servers in their guild of choice. I would really love to see Carbine have something similar for Wildstar.

    Also, I did like the colored names feature. It made keeping track of people in a fast-paced channel so much easier. I also liked that there was a slash command to copy all the text in a given chat tab to the clipboard. I roleplay, and that made saving some roleplays that I really enjoyed much easier. Also, the ability to clear a chat tab of text was extremely useful!
  3. Ars Valde

    Ars Valde New Cupcake

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    Being able to copy and paste chat easily into the box and from it was a very powerful feature that I still miss greatly when playing other games.

    GW2 is nice in that you can speak Cross-Server via handles, because of the overflow mechanic of that game, as well as implementing the 'Global Friends' as well, since everyone is more or less globally friended.

    I find it important to discuss the Chat UI mainly because it's the main way we interact with most people, and having a robust In-Game chat system instead of relying on Third Party systems greatly improves the involvement of the playerbase. The less work the playerbase has to do, the more likely they will be involved.
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  4. Ars Valde

    Ars Valde New Cupcake

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    I was hoping for a better discussion for this. Is no one else as concerned about how we're going to be interacting with each other?
  5. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

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    Well we do, but this is really something we need to see for ourselves.
    I think this is one of those subjects that will either work or not, but even so it will get ALOT of feedback in the beta's and once the game is out.

    Even in leaked info i haven't heard any1 ever complain/talk about this, so from that i personally think it's something that they have done CORRECT! Mayby it's so good that people don't notice because it feels like it's ''normal''.

    Carbine is a bunch of awesome Dev's from a whide array of other MMO's, i think they have some idea of what works/worked and what not.

    Also don't forget: They already got circles, which has seperate channels + guild channel + Warparty channel + zone channels + mayby even some other channels.

    So i think the amount of channels is something that will be oke. As for the possibilities.....we can only speculate, but i think they'll have that covered aswell.
  6. Ars Valde

    Ars Valde New Cupcake

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    Thank you for pointing out the Circles! I hadn't found information regarding chat in the game yet (I blame my recent dedication to following Wild Star news). This actually makes me happy to hear, and the other concerns about Cross-Faction chat are a good point (Someone brought that up in the article I found discussing Circles)

    I still think it'd be nice and perhaps productive to discuss other chat features we've had in games aside from Wild Star that we could hope to see in it!

    After all, it's our main form of interacting with one another, it deserves love and attention! (Like a puppy.)
  7. AcidBaron

    AcidBaron "That" Cupcake

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    Info screens seen in Funcom games.

    It essentially is a macro that opens up an information box, much like you would see for an item. Creators are able to create links inside that "box" so it was a good tool for recruitment or even selling multiple items without having to create a large text blob.
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  8. azmundai

    azmundai Well-Known Cupcake

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    i really dont like global chat .. it's just a meme fest filled with kids who don't get enough attention. I honestly can't remember the last time I read anything in a global channel that wasn't rubbish, outside of LFG stuff.
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  9. Ars Valde

    Ars Valde New Cupcake

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    While I understand the issues with things like that, the appeal of custom global channels will hopefully be that you can moderate them, and that you can Create/Join them of your own initiative, rather than it be a catch all like Zone/Map chat is. The ability to squelch people who are trolling or causing a disruption without having to wait for a GM to respond to the situation is very powerful for guiding behavior away from things like that.
  10. azmundai

    azmundai Well-Known Cupcake

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    i have no problem with the idea of private channels. it would be nice (personally speaking) to go back to the stone age where there wasn't as much global chat and wowhead type stuff .. but I know that is never going to happen. from a "brave new world" perspective I used to like that you could read what people that were in range typed ... but again .. im over it :)

    Really think games could do without zone chat though .. but I guess I can just continue leaving zone chat.
  11. MrDreadful

    MrDreadful Creepy Cupcake

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    I think anyone who experienced "Barrens Chat" knows the horrors of zone chat firsthand. At the same time, it could be really fun and useful in the right circumstances. I think it's better to err on the side of being too inclusive than exclusive in matters like these.

    In lieu of having to jump and turn off zone chat, though, maybe a feature that remembers where you do and don't feel like having chat on that just closes the channel for you. Like an ignore feature for regions in stead of individuals.
  12. Infamouz

    Infamouz Well-Known Cupcake

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    I personally used to love STV chats, leveling alt piss drunk, having weeeeird talks with people randomly in STV and good laughs.

    Always wondered don't the people who yell in chats "Stop spamming!" when people have normal talk in general chat, know that you can actually leave the channels? :)

    Should try the same here; STOP WRITING IN THE FORUMS!
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  13. azmundai

    azmundai Well-Known Cupcake

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    tera after 10pm makes 04 barrens chat seem like a nunnery. its gotten so much worse over the years. corporal punishment is obviously a bad thing .. but sometimes I wonder.
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  14. Ars Valde

    Ars Valde New Cupcake

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    I've seen some of the worst Map/Zone chat has to offer, but part of my enjoyment was the ability to recruit people easily for things. When you had a pool of 2000 people who might want to run a dungeon for you, it was much easier to get a community feel and put a dungeon group together and still have it be personal. Friendships were made that way, and it was an exciting way to PuG dungeons rather than through a LFG interface.
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  15. Trigger

    Trigger Cupcake

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    This is definitely a feature I have been concerned about. GW2 has a terrible chat system and is the defining reason why I may leave it for Wild star. I do love GW2 but I play MMOs for the social aspects. If the developers neglect social features then it is a major turn off for me. GW2 has no custom chat channels which is part of the reason the game feels so lonely. A memo should not even launch without custom channels because it cripples the social dynamic. People want to be able to discuss things in small or medium sized groups without being confined to guilds and parties.

    There is also a manner of font. I would appreciate it if MMOs could use an easy to read font with adjustable sizes and colors. Not allowing me to customize my chat box really makes the social feature of MMOs a real struggle.

    Lastly I would like the option to converse with the opposite faction for RP reasons. Being able to RP with the opposite faction in TOR was such a relief. Even when factions are supposed to hate each other, no faction communication makes conflict storylines between the two factions near impossible.
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  16. celestria

    celestria Cupcake

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    For me the defining feature of the chat interface is to be able to divide chat into multiple windows + tabbed whisper window IM style.

    GW2 and Neverwinter chat systems was a complete game breaker because although I could create personal tabs - it was not possible to display more then one at a time.

    For me a lot of a MMO is guild and trade. I generally always keep 4 chat windows (2 on each side of my UI)
    • Party/Raid/Say/Yell/NPC/Bossannounce
    • Guild chat, an additional window for officer chat if applicable
    • Trade/Global Chat
    • Whispers/Auxiliary chat channels
    And another game breaking feature: Any font size (or global UI scale)! Running a 30" screen with tiny fonts hurts my eyes.
    Of cause Trade chat should be global, optionally limited to having a top-level character to avoid gold spammer bots.
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  17. Rumze

    Rumze "That" Cupcake

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    I agree with your points except this one. Id like trade chat to be limited to cities( maybe hubs) simply because it will mean folks have another reason to visit them.
  18. Ars Valde

    Ars Valde New Cupcake

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    I think limiting things is always detrimental compared to the option to simple filter these sort of things. More choice > Less, and especially since there are more effective ways to shut down gold spammers that doesn't cause issue for players.

    I never like the heavy handed tactics for controlling Gold Farmers, because it tends to cause severe inconvenience for the people playing the game. See GW2 Email restrictions.
  19. Crimmen

    Crimmen New Cupcake

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    Horrors?!?!! Barrens chat is MMO legend.

    The good with the bad, that is what builds server community.
  20. Vyver

    Vyver "That" Cupcake

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    I think every mmo could use more City of Heroes
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