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Posts with tag voicechat

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

Dude, can you get on Teamspeak?

I can't remember the first time I was invited on Teamspeak (some people use Ventrilo as well-- I've got both free programs installed on my PC, just in case) for an instance-- for some reason, I'm thinking it wasn't until I got invited to a raid at level 60, but considering the way that things are now, I'm really surprised it wasn't earlier. Maybe it's just because almost every instance I run is with guildies, but TS is basically a requirement for grouping-- a requirement that most of us are happy to comply with, but a requirement nonetheless.

Yakov isn't so compliant-- he says Vent is a crutch, and the fact that every group he enters asks him to "jump on Vent" is rubbing him the wrong way. He says a simple 5 man run doesn't call for using Vent, and that he'd rather listen to his music then his guildies chatting it up on Teamspeak.

I disagree-- not only is it more fun to chat with people on Vent (I tend to know the guildies I've talked to on TS better than the others), but it's just plain helpful, whether the instance is hard or not. If you're disappointed that your guild isn't asking you to come on more instance runs with them, and you haven't downloaded Vent or TS yet, that's probably why.

Of course, like all things, Vent can go horribly wrong. You can be annoyed by your guildies' voices (I'll just say that some people's accents are a little offputting and leave it at that), or like Yakov, you can rather listen to music then random guild gossip. But especially if you're a player just getting to the endgame where there's a lot to learn, jumping on Vent is one of the best things you can do to make sure you know what's going on when. It's not a difficulty thing, although coordinating a pull on TS is much easier than typing strat in the chat channel. It's more of a communication thing-- the more and the faster comm there is, the better you'll all be.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Guilds, Odds and ends, Instances

Voice chat and the virtual identity

Terranova has a great little piece up about what they say is "the inevitability of voice" in online gaming. Blizzard has talked (ha! I just made that up!) about implementing a voice chat system into the default client, but at this point, they don't really have to-- I don't think I can remember a higher level instance run that I've done in a long time that hasn't been accompanied by a Vent or Teamspeak server with my friends on it.

But the interesting thing about what Nate writes about online voice is that it's more than just being able to react quickly with strategy in a game-- with voice, we're moving ever closer to a deeper connection between our virtual and real identities. Part of the appeal of online gaming, way back in the beginning, was that players were able to keep their virtual identities separate from their real ones-- if you were an accountant during the day, you could hack and slash away at orcs all night, and no one from either world might ever know about the other.

But now, with voice chat, the people you play with get to know more than they ever have about the real you-- first and foremost, your gender, which is why some women still don't bother speaking on Teamspeak. But beyond that, I know much more about my guildies-- their age, their professions, their locations, their situation in life-- than I think I ever would have if I spoke to them only in text. More than ever, as voice chat is commonly and conveniently found in more and more games, it's not just how you play the game-- it's going to be how you sound as you do it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Guilds

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