[MUD-Dev] Is difficult communication the barrier to community in MMORPGs? (fwd)
damion at ninjaneering.com
Fri Jun 14 18:29:13 New Zealand Standard Time 2002
>From Brian Hook
> At 07:54 PM 6/13/2002 -0700, Koster, Raph wrote:
>> Add voice.
> Okay, I just gotta chime in here.
> Voice sucks for group communication.
Amen. It's day may come but it certainly isn't the be-all and
end-all that's going to make it all go away.
> 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)
- Bandwidth costs
- Inability to cut and paste conversations to web sites.
- Lack of a profanity filter.
- Lack of an easy way to tie a voice to an avatar.
- Security costs from potentially exposing an IP.
- No easy way to search anything you DO manage to log.
- Having to listen to someone's kids/flatulence/Judas Priest albums
in the background.
- Volume/background noise mismatches between players.
- Mixing problems (try to hold a teleconference where all four people
have background music or kids sometime).
- Inability to play while your girlfriend is asleep in the same room.
- Crowd communication
> Naturally shy individuals that wouldn't necessarily talk much find
> their voice better with text.
This is a very sharp observation that I hadn't thought about before,
and I've thought about this issue a lot. Remember, a lot of people
play online games BECAUSE they are sick of being the quiet guy in
real life who can't get a word in edgewise.
Voice is, in my opinion, good for one kind of gamer right now: the
tactical gamer. Voice does okay in small groups of 4-6, where the
need to talk is relatively rare and everyone you are talking with is
likely to be a handpicked friend. As such, it's been quite
successful in EQ parties as well as in squad- based games like Roger
Wilco. But it's a long way from being the primary communication
channel in an online world.
Now, I'm not saying that voice should never be done. But has a long
way to go, and it's nowhere near the holy grail that some seem to
think it is.
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