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The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

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Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Cross-Faction Communication

Posted by MikeB Wednesday February 23 2011 at 9:37AM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "Cross-Faction Communication in MMOs" by nolf. Nolf uses his thread to brign up the cross-faction communication debate, some like the idea, some loathe it. How does nolf and the recent of the MMORPG.com feel about it? Find out below!

An interesting debate cropped up on a game's forums recently that I was curious to hear people's thoughts on.

On an upcomming release the issue of whether cross-faction communication should be implemented arose.  Personally, I am for it (for reasons I will probably get into during the disussion of this thread).  Very valid points were raised on both sides of the debate, and I was curious to find what the folks here in the MMORPG community had to say about it.

Why are you for or against cross-faction communication in your MMOs?

What features (if it is included) make it livable or unlivable for you?

Ichmen feels it depends on the game and the way factions are setup:

depends on what you mean by cross-faction. 

if you are talking something like red vs blue, ya cross chat is good yet bad. 

its good to ego boost on bashing your enemies hard for X item/location. but its also bad do to the "spying" (though this is doable without cross chats) as well as people just being pricks over it and bashing everyone not of their faction.

now if you allow cross faction teaming ya its required. 

ultimately id say it would depend on the game/context its used in. im for it yet against it. simply because it can and will be abused

Dnomsed gets right to the point:

Chat restrictions are an outdated game restriction and should not exist.  Even in faction based pvp games, irc, vent, teamspeak bypass in-game communications.  All chat restrictions do is cut your potential community by up to 50%.

Luv_bug is staunchly against cross-faction communication:

No cross faction communication is great, its what allows people to have an emotional investment in fighting, because all you share is combat and a desire to avenge what the other has done to you. In knight online daily wars never got old cuz you wanted to crush those human scumbags ;) Wouldn't be quite the same if you were chattin it up all the time. Everybody always wanting to break every restriction to chattin with your friends. Use a phone if you wanna talk to your friends, or make some in game ones. Man/woman up!

I'm kind of undecided on the issue. I've played in games where you could speak to other factions and in games where you could not and I found not being able to being a bit unnatural but not game breaking for me. It certainly cut back on the shit talking a b it, but in Warhammer Online you totally knew the guy was talking smack after he killed you if he said anything right after, garbled or not, you know it was smack talk. I played Star Wars Galaxies and City of Heroes for years and in both cases you could talk to the enemy faction (Villains in the PvP Zones). Both time it resulted in tons of smack talk and at times people wouldn't even fight, instead they'd just argue with each other over chat.

Jury is still out for me. What do the rest of you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

etharn writes:

Personally I think opposite faction communication is fine. I played SWG (Star Wars Galaxies) and the cross communication was fun. With SWG intruducing instances the cross communication was great. Many rebels and imperials work better together then if they were working with their same faction. 

Sure there was smack talking, but I met a lot of cool players on the opposite side. Helped each other with many quest/instance/profession help. Even in pvp some of the comments/tells I recieved from the opposite side weren't smack talk but complements. 

Overall I believe cross communication is great because I had good experience with it. I think there should me more of it in more MMOs speically with ones that have low population in it that have quest both sides can do. 

Wed Feb 23 2011 10:20AM Report
Yauchy writes:

Why not?  Allow the player to customize their own filters.  If you don't want cross-faction chat, turn it off.  I believe it treads similar lines of the debates of whether chat should be game-wide vs. zone-wide and the end (to me at least) the decision is obvious:

Allow the player to decide for themselves - Don't limit arbitrarily, give options.

Wed Feb 23 2011 12:16PM Report
Ikeda writes:

I personally believe the ONLY time cross faction communication should be  limited is in objective based PvP scenarios.   Even then though with all the multiboxing going on, it wouldn't prevent cheating.

Wed Feb 23 2011 12:38PM Report
ZoeMcCloskey writes:

I am 100% in favor of no cross faction chat and no ability to even make characters of another faction on the same server.  I liked DaoC way back when, obviously :P

But realistically nowadays it seems more people want to act like immature asses.  Like the one person up there said the "good" is getting to rub it in, yeah I fail to see what is good about that.  To me that seems more like classless insecure grandstanding.  Act like you've won something before and like you may win something again, eh.

Likely the days of having people play more true to the "spirit" of a game are gone anyways.

Wed Feb 23 2011 12:46PM Report
Misroi writes:

I'm in favor of cross-faction chat.  The only game I play that currently has factions is DCUO, and it seems weird that the villains can't communicate with the heroes and vice versa.  I suspect this was done to copy WoW, but I don't think it makes a great deal of sense here.  It'd be great to be able to demand that the villain "Unhand that citizen!", or for the villain to gloat over the defeated hero.  Sadly, that doesn't happen right now, which is rather sad, since that's the sort of things that make comic books awesome.  I'd love to see that ported into the game.

Wed Feb 23 2011 1:29PM Report
Swoogie writes:

I think cross faction chat is a pointless restriction. I why can our leaders(NPCs) chat and we cant? Its weird seeing Thall and Wrynn talk to each other when I cant PM  a hordie

Wed Feb 23 2011 2:36PM Report
Slapshot1188 writes:

When done properly, limiting cross faction communication can certainly help foster an atmosphere of conflict.  An example of this was DAoC at launch.  It was one faction per server and no cross faction communication.   Sure, there was the odd guy who would login his second account and try to curse you out after you killed his main, but that was easilly addressed.   In DAoC the otehr realms were THE ENEMY and it truly felt as such.  I have been searching for a similar feeling since then and just haven't found it.

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