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Posts with tag ventrilo

The Queue: I love London


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

One of our questions today comes from a reader who's moving to London for a couple of months, and I just wanted to take a moment to say that I've always wanted to go there. Consider yourself very, very lucky! London has all kinds of great things I've always wanted to see, like Big Ben, Stonehenge, the Eiffel Tower, the Parthenon, and Papah?naumoku?kea. One day, hopefully, I'll get to go myself!

Let's get started, hm?

SithVicious asked a pair of questions...


"Will Blizzard ever allow cross server chat?"

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Humor, The Queue

The Queue: Shoo fly, don't bother me


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

To kick things off today, I actually wanted to add something to one of Adam's responses yesterday. Spiraea was looking for a title that would fit their Priest. Adam suggested The Immortal, but me? I'm all about the Hallowed. You can't get it until October, which makes getting your hands on it tough... but it'll be worth the wait! It's my favorite title on my Priest. When I get a new raid title I switch to that for awhile, but always go back to Hallowed.

realt asked...

I have a question regarding in-game voice chat (or Ventrilo). Our guild has never used voice-chat when raiding. So far we have done pretty well with clearing all 10man content, including Sartharion+1D, without it. Now we are progressing into 25man. At which point do we really need starting using voice chat you think or isn't required at all? I haven't been in many other raiding guilds besides this one so I am curious how others are handling their communication.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, The Queue

Setting up your audio just right

Kestrel's has an interesting post up about how he deals with audio while playing -- he listens to game audio (or music, apparently) through his computer's speakers, and pipes Vent audio in through his headset. The headset is hooked up via USB (so the sound signal can be different from the speaker signal), and of course the speakers are hooked up to the regular sound card. I'd have thought the way most of us do it (though we do know that some players don't listen to game audio at all, instead choosing music or even a movie over any of the sounds from the game), but apparently Kestrel had some people ask him about it, so maybe it's not that widespread.

Personally, I play with a laptop next to me, so I run Vent on that, and let the WoW sounds play on my desktop computer. But there are probably lots of people out there who use just one computer, so must alt-tab out to run Vent, and thus have their game sound and Vent sound coming through the same speakers. And there may even be a better way to do it -- maybe it would help things to have Vent coming out of a different speaker instead of through the headset, like from the surround sound speakers behind you.

In fact, it's too bad the in-game voice chat (remember that?) isn't a little more imaginative in how it plays the sound out -- it would be interesting to have players' voices positioned in 3D space around you, much like the game sounds already are. Vent is more or less necessary for raiding in big groups, but it's too bad that extra audio can sometimes break the illusion of the game.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Hardware

Breakfast Topic: Are you an insomniac WoW player?


World of Warcraft lends itself to the night owl. The game is detailed enough where if you want to be effective at it you need to concentrate a little bit, and that usually means not having distractions around you like kids, a significant other, or your pets. The best time I find that I can get distraction free is in the late evening and early morning hours.

I'm a night owl, if you will. In fact I'm sitting here typing this up at 2:15 a.m. CST. Quite late for most of my WoW friends even (however at least a few WoW Insider writers are still up and working on things).

This leads me to ask for today's breakfast topic, what kind of player are you? Take a stab at the poll too and let us know.

Are you a night owl WoW player?
Yes6414 (54.9%)
No1209 (10.3%)
Sometimes4066 (34.8%)


One of the best parts about playing late at night is a certain attitude that I find hits around three in the morning. It's the phenomenon when everyone is tired, nearly falling over on their keyboard, and suddenly somebody says over vent "Let's just do one more heroic."

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

15 Minutes of Fame: Anthropologist digs into WoW

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

While we've written before about academics who are researching WoW from within, we're not sure that we've seen anyone whose primary fieldwork is the PvE raiding experience. Meet Alex Golub, Ph.D., an anthropology professor at the University of Hawaii. Golub plays a Resto Shaman in a Wrath-era raiding guild who's researching what he calls the culture of raiding -- "why people do something as crazy as run 25-mans four days a week."

"There is a lot of research on WoW, actually, but most of is based either on crunching Armory data to produce statistical analysis of game play, or it is more 'cultural studies' where people play the game a little and then write something beautiful about it," he explains to 15 Minutes of Fame. "My unique angle is that I am doing anthropological fieldwork in WoW, living and playing with a raiding guild and putting in 20+ hours a week keeping them healed and decursed."

The main themes of Golub's research (ahem): "American cultures of self-control, efficiency, masculinity and success amongst players of WoW." We asked him to boil that down for us. "I study how guys behave badly in Vent, and how/why people become emo and/or talk about why other people are emo," he explains. "I'm interested in how you get a group of 25 people to keep calm and collected as they try to do something really emotionally important to them, which requires relying on other people when its difficult to see them face to face."

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Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Barrens Chat: Encore


I don't get to play World of Warcraft very often anymore. Real life comes up and gets in the way all the time, and then you have to sit back and listen to your friends talk about how much fun they've had in the past few weeks you've been away. So you sit, and you wait, and eventually you get time to log on again, run around, and have a jolly old time. Especially when you get to hang out with good people.

I've never had Ventrilo or any other sort of microphone attachment that would broadcast my voice across the Internet. For one point, I'd have to break down and buy a headset of some sort. Knowing me I'd likely break it within a week, so I'd actually need to buy two, but that's alright. The other reason is, I'm not entirely sure I want the ability to hear other absent minded people like me babbling to themselves, forgetting the rest of the world can hear them.

Gallery: Barrens Chat

Spoiled RottenBubbles bubbles everywhereAlways a catchDead RingerRevolution evolutionAll hands on deck

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Trolls, Blood Elves, Comics, Barrens Chat

WoW Rookie: Communication Part 2


WoW Rookie is brought to our readers to help our newest players get acclimated to the game. Make sure you send a note to WoW Insider if you have suggestions for what new players need to know.

I have to compliment Blizzard on paying attention to the tools the players are using. They've made many changes to the User Interface to integrate those tools into the World of Warcraft. Unfortunately, like the voice chat interface, many of those changes have had bugs and have not been widely accepted by players. As you progress through the levels you will find that you will likely have to download third party programs to facilitate your play.

Ventrilo and Teamspeak are some of the most widely used third party applications used in WoW. These tools facilitate voice chat which is necessary when quickly coordinating activities. In most cases you will find yourself excused from a raid or premade battleground if you do not have the proper tools.

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Filed under: Tips, PvP, Raiding, Guides, WoW Rookie

Blizzard posts a Voice Chat FAQ

European CM Salthem has posted a Frequently Asked Questions about the new voice chat feature coming in the next patch (which has got to be just around the corner, right?).

There's not much new here, but there is a lot of Blizzard confirming what players have already discovered about the voice chat system. People will be one-click mute-able, and voice chat will be able to be disabled by Parental Controls. Blizzard also makes a few interesting points about bandwidth-- while they say voice chat won't have a big effect on those with high bandwidth connections, they say people who currently experience high latency will likely have bigger problems.

And perhaps most disappointingly, they almost sound apologetic about the quality of the sound. They recommend multi-thread processors (as if that's something someone can really upgrade to without getting a whole new computer), and they acknowledge that third party applications will likely have much better quality.

Not that their voice chat system is bad-- as I've said before (and as we found out in the voice chat survey), lots of players will definitely use it. But third party applications aren't going away anytime soon either.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard

Guildwatch: Happy birthday, GW!


Yeah, I can't believe it either, but as of August 8th (which was actually a few weeks ago), Guildwatch, just like some realms, has been going down every Tuesday for a year. Well, not quite every Tuesday-- most guilds took a little break from raiding when Burning Crusade dropped, and we took a little break from reporting it. Started up again in February, and have been rolling ever since then.

But I have to say, when I thought up this little slice of guild drama, downed news, and recruiting from around the realms, I had no idea anyone would share my appreciation for news like this. Big thanks to everyone who sent their tips in (to wowguildwatch@gmail.com-- and you can send tips right now for next week's column), and an even bigger thanks to everyone out there who got really angry about something happening in their guild, and decided to do something irrational about it. You're the oil that greases our wheels! Thanks!

Click the link below to see this week's GW.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Insider Business, Guilds, Humor, Raiding, Guildwatch

WoW Insider's PTR voice chat hands on

Voice chat is now available on the 2.2 PTR, so I downloaded the test realms, rolled up a gnome Warlock, and put on my Logitech headset to try it out. What I found was a pretty intuitive voice chat system that does most everything Blizzard promised to do, and will likely replace Teamspeak or Ventrilo for a lot of smaller guilds.

Unfortunately, it's complicated enough that it probably won't be extremely widespread-- players who haven't found the need to join up on voice chat yet probably still won't feel a need to do so. But for guilds who don't want to pay for a separate server and friends who group together often, the ingame voice chat should work just fine.

The rest of my impressions, including a complete walkthrough on how the chat system works, are after the jump.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Features, Guides

How to normalize your Ventrilo settings

Every guild's Ventrilo has the one person who talks way too loud (usually a young and/or drunk person) and the one person who talks way too quietly (usually the raid leader, main healer, main tank, or someone else totally vital to the raid.) But luckily for us, Thrux of Darkspear has come up with a handy guide to normalize everyone's voice on Vent:

  • Go to Setup
  • Enable Direct Sound
  • Select the SFX Button
  • Select Compressor and click Add.
  • Under Compressor Properties use the following settings:
    Gain = Adjust for how loud you want people to be. (I use 15)
    Attack = 0.01
    Release = Around 500
    Threshold = Around -30
    Ratio = 100
    Pre delay = 4.0
  • Done!

Thrux explains exactly what each of the settings does in his post, but I've found that his recommendations work pretty well. I've been using them myself, and Vent is altogether a more pleasant and quiet place. Now if there were only settings to get rid of the "I'm so high" dude ...

Filed under: Guilds, Raiding

Voice chat coming soon to the PTRs

We missed it on Friday afternoon, but apparently voice chat is coming in 2.2. Previously, we'd heard that Zul'Aman and guild banks weren't showing up until 2.3, but there wasn't official word on when voice chat was arriving. PTR players have reported seeing a voicechat interface, but of course it hasn't been hooked up to any code yet.

But Hortus now says we'll be seeing voice chat ingame sooner than we thought-- it will be coming soon to a PTR near you, and pending testing, should go live with 2.2. Wow. Blizzard must have done a lot of work on that behind the scenes, assuming that it is what they promise: a fully featured builtin voice chat client. Think it's coincidence that there have been a few sound bugs on the test realms lately?

Which means that at some point we'll have to ask this question: What will happen to Teamspeak and Ventrilo? There's a nice bit of industry there-- players pay for servers all over the place, and while each server is pretty cheap, altogether they add up to a nice chunk of change, I'm sure. My guess is that TS and Vent aren't going anywhere (because players are so used to them, and not just in WoW), but until we see what kind of interface Blizzard has created, we won't know if they're worth leaving or not. Seeing as it's the PTRs, we should get a chance to play with it soon.

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, News items, Features

Hearing voices in the World of Warcraft

Clive Thompson (who I've enjoyed reading for a while now) posted a piece on Wired the other day about how voice changed the way he saw fellow players in World of Warcraft. It's a really interesting read, not least of all because of the two academic studies mentioned: one study found that women were "treated differently" when using voice chat, and another found that gamers made more solid and trusting relationships with friends they knew by voice rather than those that knew by text.

I don't know if Thompson has heard yet that voice is going to be builtin to WoW very soon now, but it's true: voice is about to play a much bigger part in our game. And it's also true that voice changes things a lot-- in my regular guild, I will often jump on our Teamspeak server just to chat with my fellow guildies and friends, even if I'm not in a group. In It came from the Blog (the official WoW Insider guild in which I occasionally can be seen saying crazy things), we haven't set up a Vent server (although it's coming, guys), and so I had the strange experience the other day of running an instance with only text chat to keep me company. Don't get me wrong, I like all the guys in IcftB, but I don't know if the reason I don't know them better is just because I haven't been with the guild as long, or if I just haven't actually heard their voices.

In the end, Thompson marks it down to a generational thing-- some people are willing to share their voices and hear others, he says, and some just aren't. I'm not sure if that's true necessarily (I am pretty conservative on, say, my Myspace page, and pretty free with my Ventrilo joining), but either way, the use of voice chat in videogames has only just started to make itself known.

Voice chat coming in 2.2.0

Coming in 2.2.0: Integrated voice chat.

Tigerclaw, who I've never heard of either-- is he a dev? He says he's "in a whole other building than the CMs"-- has bad news for all of those Teamspeak and Ventrilo hosts. Apparently come 2.2.0, you won't need to run any extra programs, as players will be able to speak to each other via the normal client. Tigerclaw also says a PTR for the patch is upcoming, but he definitely does work for Blizzard: he doesn't give any clues at all as to when this might happen.

So let the rampant speculation begin! Lately I've been playing a lot of the Halo 3 Beta (traitorous, I know), and I love the way voice works in that game: you can push a button to talk over a radio to your whole team, or just speak into the mic without pushing anything, and only players near you ingame will hear what you're saying. I doubt WoW will be that complicated (not to mention that a lot of players don't like that "feature"), but it's a cool effect, and here's hoping Blizzard comes up with some interesting ways to use voicechat onward. What if Hakkar's whispers were heard only in your own personal voice channel?

Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, Instances, NPCs

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