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Debate: Cross-Factional Chat

By Frank Mignone on February 25, 2006 | Editorials | Comments

Debate: Cross-Factional Chat

Editorial Debate: Cross-Faction (PvP) Chat, Good or Bad?

Frank Mignone: I remember the first time I entered a contested area in World of Warcraft. It wasn't long before I got spanked by a nerd heard of Horde, who then spewed some profanity at me...er, wait, that’s not profanity (unless you're playing Q-Bert) it’s gibberish! It was my first experience with a game that restricts cross-factional chat. I am still trying to get the taste out of my mouth.

I've heard lots of fake reasons for imposing this restriction. Smack talk for one. I get that some people do not like getting killed by some little idiot, only to have to listen to him say 'Dood, I pwn joo.' Yea, punk lets have a spelling contest and see who wins! It most certainly can get annoying, that's why someone invented the /ignore list (wish they had those in real life). People get way to worked-up over pixels sometimes, so we end up with a splintered community.


Garrett Fuller: The biggest thing about people chatting cross realms is the trash talk that would go on during and after fights. Many people get angry enough while PvPing against other realms; I can only imagine what would happen if people could spam ‘tells’ while doing it.

I also think people would spam so much junk there would be no way to control it. As it is right now in World of Warcraft there is a ton of junk spams all throughout the major cities. Sadly when 5 million people play a game you tend to get a few jerks signing up. I've had words with people in the Horde who were supposed to be on my side. It is just a reality of putting so many people into a game world.

I do think that keeping the languages separate definitely cuts down on the unwanted trash talk that could go on between realms. Plus many players who don't use Teamspeak or Ventrilo often spam tactics while in a fight. The chat log would just become a jumbled mess.


Frank Mignone: Trash talk gets insane, I would never dispute that fact. But we do have the /ignore list and chat filters for a reason. The former prevents me from having to put up with that crap. The latter can be customized to only allow the information I am interested in reading into my chat box. So if I only want to see chat from my group while in a group hunt, all that other stuff goes right past me.

In SWG, I was a rebel bounty hunter who actually hunted Sith (note the distinction). I didn't deathblow, but in return I expected if I did knock you down, that you would pay me the bounty, then I drop the mark and let you go. If I lost, I dropped the mark and you keep your cash. Now, if I weren’t allowed to talk to imperials, these intentions would have been impossible to communicate. Any Sith that I've hunted will tell you how grateful they are that I can talk to them.

So why give us tools to block out negative elements, only after you've taken away half of a server’s community from me? I get just as much trash talk from people in my faction (sometimes I think it's more because they know I cannot kill them for their insolence). All because of trash talk? What's next, one too many jerks sexually harass female players leading to no cross-gender chat?


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Garrett Fuller: I do believe that developers set up different factions in games and certain types of players are drawn to those factions. As a player I am drawn to a certain type of game and environment. Other people may be too, but if my environment is closed off to the rest of the game then those people with me are the ones I want to talk to and experience the game with. The others are simply enemies. I play an Orc Shaman in Warcraft. I love the idea of the Horde as a break away from the standard RPG races that people always play. As an Orc shaman, the last thing I want to hear is the Alliance chatting away. The idea that different races can not speak to each other makes perfect sense in a game world.

The same held true for DAOC. I played a Norse Berserker and really enjoyed the fellowship that existed in Midgard. I know other realms had it as well. Plus you are constantly fighting against these other groups. The trash talk will definitely get out of control. I know even with emotes in Warcraft people are constantly spitting on corpses, which I have to be honest is the one element in the game that I think is just plain crummy. Why not give players the chance to dance on your bones or something, spitting just seems too degrading.

Anyway, the bottom line is, keep players from separate factions apart. I for one don't want to hear the 15-year old Alliance players talking about their schoolwork. Now, if a player really wants to learn another language and converse with the entire game, then I do believe the developers have an obligation to add that feature. It is certainly not something I would go and quest for.


Frank Mignone: The length people go to communicate across factions in WoW is an indication people want to talk to each other, irregardless of faction. Symbols and emotes, whatever to get a message across. Not everyone is a trash-talking git. I’ve had lots of friends in games that were not in my faction. If we were never allowed to chat then I’d never have met em.

Ok readers, how many of you find being told whom you can or cannot chat with absurd in an MMORPG? I mean, I know how to type /ignore if it gets as bad as that, thank you very much.

Do you agree with Garrett, that chat between factions should be prevented, to curb trash talk and promote factional unity? Head over the forums and have your say!


You can have your voice heard in our debate thread.

Frank Mignone / Currently Art Director with an Orlando Simulation Company using Cryengine 2. Graduated Valedictorian from Full Sail with a Degree in Computer Animation. Already did College for Aerospace Engineering...it''s more fun in video games..no one really gets hurt. Freelance writer on the side. Designed some ships for ''Pirates of the Burning Sea'' ...argh!