Blessings of Kings talks about WAR chat

Blessings of Kings has an interesting post today about WAR’s chat box and ways it might be improved.

Some really good points there, and I very much agree (in fact, I touched on some of this a couple days ago).

The chat box is functional but that’s about it.  This is one area where WOW has a definite advantage (and there are addons like Prat for WOW that can further personalize and improve the chat interface).

Does this contribute to low amount of player chatter in WAR?  I think it doesn’t help.  The lack of conveniences like right-click shortcut menus makes using chat harder for neophytes.  The inability to link items limits chat’s convenience for some conversations.  And, as Blessings of Kings pointed out, the large number of system-generated messages in the same chat window makes it harder to follow player conversations.

But I also think that the underlying mechanics and general pace of WAR is such that it reduces a lot of idle chat.   Things like Open Grouping and Public Quests makes means players are much less likely to hang around a capital city spamming chat for a group.  Crafting still seems to basic to generate much chat traffic trying to sell wares.  And the general pace of the game — where you can jump into scenarios from anywhere, where there is no down-time during zone-to-zone travel, where more fighting is always just around the corner — means less standing around bored and chatting (in fact, the pace of the game is why I still haven’t read much of my Tome of Knowledge — I’m just too busy in-game). Right now I’m still just moving into Tier II; it’ll be interesting to see if general chat increases in later tiers as players focus more and more on RvR activities like keep sieges.

Side note: Interestingly enough, my experience  has been that Opening Grouping is one of the most non-verbal parts of the game.  People often pop in and out of open groups without a word.  In WOW, where you have to be invited into a group, there always seems to be at least some social conversation — a “hi” from the invitee, “welcome aboards” from the rest of the group, and usually “thanks for the group” from everyone at the end ofthe activity. In WAR, where you can invite yourself and stay as long as you want, there seems to be a lot less interest in any “social bonding.”

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