[MUD-Dev] Is difficult communication the barrier to community in MMORPGs? (fwd)

Brian Hook brianhook at pyrogon.com
Thu Jun 13 21:44:21 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


At 07:54 PM 6/13/2002 -0700, Koster, Raph wrote:
> From: "Drew Torrens" <drew.torrens at sympatico.ca>

>> Does anyone have any thoughts on how to create a MMORPG with
>> efficient conversation between player characters?

> Add voice.

Okay, I just gotta chime in here.

  Voice sucks for group communication.  In most cases I've
  witnessed, when you have 3+ people attempting to engage in
  real-time chat with variable latencies and input devices, you
  suffer from:

    - constant interruptions

    - clipping/distortion

    - lagged responses

    - "Breaking the fiction" (13 year old boy sounding like
    barbarian warrior...um, no)

    - no scroll back buffer

    - no logging for harassment claims (wannabe pedophile solicits
    the 13 year old barbarian warrior, but there's now no evidence
    of this)

With a text medium, you don't get sentence fragments
unintentionally.  Quiet people don't have to shout over the more
aggressive, attention demanding individuals -- ignoring all caps,
everyone's "shout" is just as loud in text.  People can scroll back
and see pieces of conversation they missed.  Naturally shy
individuals that wouldn't necessarily talk much find their voice
better with text.  People that want to role play can try to pull it
off a little better without their own voice or bad accents
interfering.

Text communications biggest problem is that it requires you to type
and it requires a reasonably competent typist.  But personally I
think voice communications are far, far worse.

-Brian

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