The Horrors of Free Chat

On the free DDO announcement post, a commenter asks, “what exactly does ‘limited chat’ even mean?” Another commenter responds, “Unlimited chat for free in an MMO = GOLDSPAMGOLDSPAMGOLDSPAMGOLDSPAM”

What worries me more is the chat itself, and this is not DDO-specific. I have been toying around with a FTP RMT (free to play, real money transaction) game, and the newbie chat… omg lol u girl? This must be what you WoW players call “Barrens chat” or some such. Every stereotype of online and juvenile idiocy: there it is.

Look, kid, it doesn’t matter if anyone else in the channel is a girl. If someone claims to be, he could be lying. If she really is, she is not going to e-mail pictures of her girl parts to random people in-game. Or maybe she will, but in that case, she probably has already them posted somewhere, so go Google them up.

Look, kid, we get that you like Runescape. Yes, great, best game ever, much better than this one. Shut up. There are lots of good evolutionary psychology reasons why humans shout about how great the tribe is, even when it is completely inappropriate. Convince your simian lower brain functions that this is one of those inappropriate time.

At least the constant guild recruiting spam blocks out most of the pain, and the Chuck Norris jokes cover a bit of the rest.

: Zubon

7 thoughts on “The Horrors of Free Chat”

  1. Woo! I’m “a commenter”! :P

    Yes, sometimes chat kills your braincells. My favorite “barrens chat” was logging on to people arguing whose mom was “gayer”. I wish I were only making that up.

    But, for all the flaws, chat is an important element in MMOs. These games are defined by their communities, and chat is part of what facilitates that. The reason why I was alarmed by “limited chat” is because if it’s a pain in the ass to chat and find groups in a game like DDO, it’s going to reflect poorly on the game, and for some people on the business model. “Saving” the game by going with a microtransaction model but killing the community is going to still end up with a dead game.

    As for gold spammers in games, LotRO has a subscription and still has gold spammers. There’s a nifty mechanism for reporting them and them being added to your ignore list automatically. Limiting chat for free accounts when there’s a mechanism to handle it in another game definitely strikes me as throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    We’ll see. Maybe it’s not all gloom and doom, but where’s the fun in that possibility? ;)

  2. Brian, you know we love you. I’ve been working on a post on how wonderful you are; I will finish it this week so you can feel more special.

  3. Lotro has limited chat for trial accounts which prevent gold spammers from spamming out /tells about their services. The absolutely only place there is gold spam is periodically the public chat channels of one major lowbie town (Bree-town). It’s constrained to there (where the nifty report/ignore feature must be used) because of the mechanical restrictions in place on chat for free accounts.

    Legit Lotro trial players can connect with real people very easily with this system too, just not in unlimited fashion.

    So… just sayin, I guess. There certainly are lots of ways Turbine could do it horribly wrong if they be so inclined. ;-}

  4. I like global chat. It gives me something to read and chuckle along to when I’m solo grinding. It’s also an easy way to find groups. I actually like EQ2’s system of having level channels like 1-9 and 10-19 etc and would love to see it in WoW.

    The trick is just for the game to have a good spam filter. I think it was Tabula Rasa that I played it was just *absolutely* full of spam from gold sellers.

    Bottom line, the thing about global chat is that if you don’t like it, you can turn it off :) Better to have the option to see it than not at all.

  5. I’ve played Wizard101 for a while. The basic game is free and fun. But you can only chat through a cumbersome list of limited lines. “Hi” “Yes” “No” “Want to group?” “Want to group!” etc…
    I … did not like it, and felt really alone among all the people. I’m like We Fly Spitfire, here: chat silliness give me something to chuckle about, because it’s not just Chuck Norris jokes and A/s/l demands… At least on most games with chat I played on.
    Anyway, I think I’ll try DDO F2P when it’s out of beta.
    If worse comes to worst, I know some friends who will try, and we have Skype and other VoIP programs :).

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