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MUD Co-Creator Bartle On Voice Chat in MMOGs

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the who-are-you-talking-to-dear dept.

Role Playing (Games) 154

Fusty writes "In 1979, Richard Bartle co-created a MUD, the first system for players to share adventures online. Aside from veteran game coding skills, Bartle has strong opinions about game design. He recently examined the idea of voice chat in massively-multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). His opinion? Not Yet You Fools! - on Game Girl Advance."

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Fun facts about SPEWS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653699)

FUN FACT NUMBER ONE: Usenet advocates of SPEWS write anti-spam erotic fanfiction. You thought nothing could top those Pretender/Stargate SG-1 slash crossovers you've read, well time to reconsider. Keep in mind that every single one of them combines sadism with a healthy dose of self insertion. Here's a sample from "Dalliance Hosting" by
Sara rang the doorbell nervously. She couldn't believe that just yesterday she had been sending out bulk e-mails promoting her webcam. Now that she had seen the truth she wanted nothing more than to show her gratitude to Peterp however he demanded.
"Kneel before Fenris," said the leather clad man who answered the door.

She obeyed him and he attached a leash to her neck.

"Now you shall service my mighty staff," he sat in a Stanheyser ergonomic leather executive chair, his legs spread, and he unbuckled the clasp on his codpiece.

She was in awe of the sheer size, she had never seen a doohickey so big and as her lips parted to touch his thingy she could hear the cronjobs clicking softly away in the background. They were a hypnotic lull.

"Yes Sara," murmured Fenris/Peterp, "soon you will be mine entirely."

His thing was really, really big. Like at least twenty inches.

I don't know about you but if I had a gasket you could consider it fully blown. I don't think I even have to tell you how much steam is emerging from my starched collar as I pull it away from my neck with my index finger!

FACT NUMBER TWO: SPEWS.ORG was founded and financed by seven men in Southern Russia who formed a sort of commune near the Caucuses. All of them were wealthy American expatriates who fled the country for child molestation in the early nineties. From their bizarre cult-like home they founded two newsgroups and their supposedly anti-spam system in an effort to slowly erode e-mail traffic on the internet until only their own private server remained unblocked. Once every other server on the internet is shut down the seven men plan to begin spamming all e-mail addresses around the world with advertisements for their "Preteen Russian Brides" service. Desperate to receive any e-mail whatsoever, nerds will finally embrace the cause of child molestation completely and the seven will return to America as conquering heroes.

FACT NUMBER THREE: Network admins who use the SPEWS.ORG blocklist are seven times more likely to die unloved and alone than those who either use no blocklist or one of many less draconian SPEWS alternatives.

FACT NUMBER FOUR: Network admins who use the SPEWS.ORG blocklist are thirty eight times more likely to attempt to hot glue a realistic latex vagina to a skateboard and call it by their mother's first name while having intercourse with it than those who either use no blocklist or one of many less draconian SPEWS alternatives.

FACT NUMBER FIVE: One in three people who have permanently blacklisted someone for complaining that SPEWS is unfair have also been arrested for attempting to coerce sex from zoo animals. Nine out of ten of these people have also been imprisoned for failure to pay child support to sea turtles.

FACT NUMBER SIX: The anti-spam people on the SPEWS related newsgroups don't just post social security numbers and credit card numbers of suspected spammers, they also post photos of suspected spammers going to the bathroom. That doesn't seem that bad until you realize that they could not have possibly had a camera there, bringing me to the next fact.

FACT NUMBER SEVEN: Proponents of SPEWS to a man worship dark powers and perform occult rituals in the privacy of the basement apartments they are renting from their parents. SPEWS supporters have also participated in no less than 800 leprechaun abductions over the past decade and it is suspected that they can astral project.

FACT NUMBER EIGHT: If you run a network with any significant number of people using the SPEWS blocklist will cause them to be murdered one after another by a mysterious black cloaked vigilante called The Night Shadow. No matter how hard you attempt to track him down he will always be one step ahead and will taunt you by posting photos of the victim on hot-or-not and then e-mailing you through anonymous proxy.

FACT NUMBER NINE: One thousand monkeys on one thousand typewriters are significantly better at differentiating spam from legitimate e-mail than SPEWS is. In fact SPEWS is so horrible that tests run at our Loc Cruces facility indicated Wil Wheaton's severed hand, while completely motionless, is still better at picking legitimate e-mails out of blocked spam.

FACT NUMER TEN: SPEWS supporters are intensely interested in Dungeons & Dragons but they make really shitty players because they always power game barbarians and roleplay their characters by screaming whenever the dungeon master is describing a monster. They also keep up constant pressure to have adventures revolve around rescuing unconscious female elves and demand first pick on all treasure. Hey, don't look at me like that, I'm just telling you what I found out.

Spam MUST be stopped (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653765)

Shut-up. Reid "Frolixo" Paskiewicz and the SA crowd are a bunch of cockbiting whiners.

If they're on a subnet that sends spam, too bad. Just change the ISP to a one that has a zero tolerance towards spammers and they won't get blacklisted. As long as ISPs tolerate even a one spammer on their network, we can never stop spam.

what iz dis (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653789)

Aug 09 12:21:22.907223 rule 4/0(match): block in on tun0: > xxx.1130: S 2299035430:2299035430(0) ack 3683783406 win 8192 <mss 1452>
Aug 09 12:21:23.888047 rule 4/0(match): block in on tun0: > xxx.1130: S 2299035430:2299035430(0) ack 3683783406 win 8192 <mss 1452>
Aug 09 12:21:24.885702 rule 4/0(match): block in on tun0: > xxx.1130: S 2299035430:2299035430(0) ack 3683783406 win 8192 <mss 1452>
Aug 09 12:21:28.876820 rule 4/0(match): block in on tun0: > xxx.1130: S 2299035430:2299035430(0) ack 3683783406 win 8192 <mss 1452>

Re:what iz dis (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6654182)

We in the SPEWS are proactive when it comes to fighting spam. You have open ports, we'll pre-emptively blacklist you as a potential spam relay.

Hrmm (5, Funny)

acehole (174372) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653700)

I guess the world isnt ready to hear:

"n0 way I k1ll3d u d00d! u c4mp1ng f4g!"

not for MMORPG, but it's perfect for co-op FPS (1)

halr9000 (465474) | more than 11 years ago | (#6654379)

...and all the smack talk and fake haxxor "I 0wn3d yer ass!" talk. Because the co-operative FPS sub-genre, to a great extent anyway, strives for realism. If you have an entire team who can talk to each other, they can actually plan strategy while moving to position. You can't type while doing that.

And to bring the feature even more realism, the game developers could make the voice chat team-only. And when you open a channel, anyone--including the enemy, would hear the click of static being squelched, possibly giving away your position if you were behind enemy lines. Of course the serious clans would enforce radio silence during certain ops where stealth is of the utmost importance.

This would mean the Engineer (or Hacker :) role in the role-based FPS games would get the ability to spy on the other team's frequency, or at least jam. And the opposing force's CO can have his squad change to a different broadcast code that the engineer cannot immediately decipher. The possibilities!

(I thought of posting this comment on the article's website, but I did not want my friends to know that I read Game Girl Advance. :)

Could he write some Slashcode??? (4, Funny)

jkrise (535370) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653702)

From the article:
.strong opinions... the idea of voice chat in massively-multiplayer online role-playing games..

Okay, here's the scenario:
Strong opinions: All Slashdotters have them
Voice vhat : Vow! That'd be cool over here...
Massively-multiplayer : The very definition of Slashdot.
Online role-playing: Yeah, we have the MS shills, the Apple astro-turfers, the GNU devotees, the FSF freaks, the trolls, the GNAA folks...

Let's get this chap to write Slashcode I say!


Re:Could he write some Slashcode??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653947)

Please, kiss my ass. And I don't mean it in the "peck on the cheek" way, I mean it in the "I didn't wipe very well, how's it tatse?" way.

problems (5, Insightful)

Tirel (692085) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653710)

Not only would voice destroy the ROLE PLAYING element (as he nicely puts it: "Hey, this elf babe is from England!". Hello reality."), but they present a number of technical problems. Just how would you log these chats for abuse? What about bandwidth and processing power? Even MUD servers never seem to have enough bandwidth, in graphical MMO's lag is always a huge problem, but instead of fixing those problems they go and intruduce a whole new dimension based on the presumption that it's going to "attract newbies". Well guess what? It's going to turn away long.time players.

Re:problems (3, Insightful)

xyvimur (268026) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653733)

I agree that it would destroy the role playing element. However I think the process is inevitable. In the past the graphics was the innovation, now it's quite natural I think. The bandwitdth and processing power - there will be a huge group of people willing to pay for possibility of having voice chat and the business will do the rest... Personally I prefer no graphics and sound. Only monitor and keyboard (and some mp3 in the background...)

Re:problems (4, Funny)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653753)

Why would it destroy the role playing element?

I have a decent she-elf accent!

Re:problems (1)

xyvimur (268026) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653811)

Surely - few beers and I speak with `any-accent-you-want' - dwarvish, elvish, russian...

Re:problems (1)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653832)

Surely - few beers and I speak with `any-accent-you-want' - dwarvish, elvish, russian...

Here's $100. Buy me some.

Re:problems (1)

NeoBunch (616854) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653825)

I haven't ever played one of those graphical MMWHATHAVEYOUORGS but if they're anything like muds, I can already imagine the mayhem from getting out of your computer speakers someone ooc'ing something, an auction playing out, someone flirting with you, an imm announcing a new quest, the group telling you it's time to regen and someone sounding off at the clan channel ALL at the same time. Now imagine you also have attention deficit disorder...

Re:problems (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653762)

What I would give to meet an elf babe from England... damn that accent... Yummm

Re:problems (1)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653768)


Re:problems (4, Insightful)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653772)

Not only would voice destroy the ROLE PLAYING element

What role playing element? In all successful MMORPGs so far, role playing dies for most players around level 5 or so, except as an occasional thing.

Take a look at group chat in a game like EQ or DAoC during an idle moment between fights. If the players are chatting about game stuff, they most likely will be chatting as human game players, not as citizens of Norrath or Camelot. If not chatting about game-specific stuff, they'll be talking about movies, TV, sports, politics, and everything else people talk about on, say, AOL or MSN.

Re:problems (1)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653787)

If not chatting about game-specific stuff, they'll be talking about movies, TV, sports, politics, and everything else people talk about on, say, AOL or MSN.

...or Slashdot?

Oh wait, people. Gotcha ;)

Re:problems (1)

KDan (90353) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653847)

You're thinking that people want to play the role of an elf or a troll or whatever. That's not the role we're talking about. They want to project themselves as someone they're not in real life. For instance, PFY with a voice pitch problem might want to use his brains and appear as a cool, relaxed and self-confident high-level character even though he's still in high school and getting beaten up half the time.

With text, he can easily do that. Let the voice through, and the minute it changes pitch in the middle of a word he's recognised as who he is rather than who he wants to project.


Re:problems (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 11 years ago | (#6654089)

In all successful MMORPGs so far, role playing dies for most players around level 5 or so, except as an occasional thing.

Roleplaying in Ultima Online is alive and well (and I dare say the game is still succesfull despite its age). Not every player is into RP, but there are many who like it, and some of them are RP'ing full time.

Thank god UO has no chat window... 'spoken' text appears over the avatars' heads instead, which greatly helps immersion and makes it quite easy to ignore non-roleplayers around you.

I can see Bartle's point. Even in EQ and DAoC I find it very hard to roleplay due to the way communication is handled: chat windows. Spoken text will be far more intrusive... I can well imagine that it will kill off roleplaying in MMORPGs

Re:problems (1, Insightful)

grug0 (696014) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653783)

Not only would voice destroy the ROLE PLAYING element
Voice chat wouldn't necessarily "destroy the role playing" element, as people could just talk funny or something. What *would* destroy the role playing element, however, would be stuff like hearing Britney Spears being played in the background.

Re:problems (1)

Illserve (56215) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653798)


Those technical issues are going to drive technology in voice compression technology as well as bandwidth.

There will be some inevitable failures of course, but those are just stepping stones.

Re:problems (1)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653819)

But this is Slashdot. I thought we were completely against all forms of technological innovation?!?

Re:problems (2, Insightful)

wfberg (24378) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653928)

What about bandwidth and processing power?

When you use an IM program like MSN messenger, do voice streams run through the server? No, they're client-to-client. There will be other problems, like people behind NAT, people on dialup who won't be able to listen to more than 2 people shouting to each other, but so what? People with the most impressive hardware/pipe will get the best experience. Same as it always was.

You might also want to note that there already are non-MMORPG games that use voice. They seem to have solved these problems, no?

Re:problems (1) troll (593289) | more than 11 years ago | (#6654074)

Only one person should be talking at once, and it currently works great in halflife now. Even dialup users can talk on mic without lagging any more than normal.

Re:problems (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653962)

Last night I stretched your mother's cunt lips over my head, sort of like a winter hat. Just thought you might want to know that.

Re:problems (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 11 years ago | (#6654221)

I agree entirly.

When we play LAROS it is totally ruined.

Even before that, playing pen and paper games, when I had to talk to the people it made it absolutly no fun at all. I was thrilled when MMORGs came out, because when I had to type everything it really added a whole new dimmension to my role playing.

CPU argument stands though

I don't see the problem (2, Insightful)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653715)

Voice chat is especially useful on consoles, because most do not have a keyboard to type with.

I don't see anything wrong with it. You can set aside some game servers for voice, and some for non-voice, depending on demand.

To each his own!

Re:I don't see the problem (1)

ktorn (586456) | more than 11 years ago | (#6654070)


I can see non-voice servers being a minority, for the very few hardcore roleplayers out there. In EQ terms, you'll probably have less non-voice serves than PK ones.

role playing... (3, Insightful)

FryGuy1013 (664126) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653716)

Perhaps I'm the only one, but when I'm playing a MMORPG, I don't want to role play. Sure, it's in the name, but I'm _playing a game_. Why should I have to pretend to be an stupid ogre? I just want to get my levels/money/items/etc and have fun doing it. Many people already use external programs like Roger Wilco, Battlecom, or Ventrillo to voice chat within guilds, so why shouldn't the newbies be able to also?

Re:role playing... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653736)

"Why should I have to pretend to be an stupid ogre?" Because it ruins it for everyone else when some dude trots up with his leet speak. Personally, I think people who don't roleplay in roleplay games should be k-lined. "I just want to get my levels/money/items/etc " Translation: I want to be selfish

Re:role playing... (1)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653826)

"I just want to get my levels/money/items/etc" Translation: I want to be selfish

But, maybe they are roleplaying a selfish character?

Props to realism!

Re:role playing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653738)

Then why are you playing a Role Playing Game?

Re:role playing... (1)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653794)

Because its hard to chit chat in quake.

Re:role playing... (2, Insightful)

Yokaze (70883) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653785)

> Perhaps I'm the only one [...]

No, sadly you aren't. You're in the majority. I say that as a person, who likes role-playing games, and not item gathering/leveling games.

> Why should I have to pretend to be an stupid ogre?

Because that is the whole idea of a role-playing game? When you want to l/m/i/etc, play Diablo, but not a role-playing game. Because it destroys the fucking athmosphere, wandering through, say Middle-Earth, and see a knight in shiny armor called "+R011Ki114".
Well, actually that's the part, one could ignore, but going in the city and seeing a group of people showing of their various spells to one another and talking about

+R011Ki114: "Dude, did you already killed Sauron?"
ph34rm3: "I've killed him already twice, he dropped some awesome L00t"

Well, this is of course a little bit extreme and the result of dissapointment of trying some MMORPGs, as you might've already infered from my statements.

Of course, one should not deny you playing the game of your choice. But it is the task of the game designers to create the games of our choices for both of us.

He is a game designer and talks about the negative effects voice chat will have on MMORPGs.
Not about the positive effects it will have on MMO"item-gathering"G. To my regret, they are currently the same.

Re:role playing... (1)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653806)

They have hardcore RPG servers for people like you. And paperback editions.

What the public wants, it will get. Go found your own exclusive club! You cannot expect people "in the wild" to create the exact atmosphere you desire.

Re:role playing... (1)

Yokaze (70883) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653931)

Well, the author in question seems to be interested in creating the atmosphere I desire.

Of course, this is an assumption, but I think there are other people like me, who feel that level-and-gather people are destroying the atmosphere. As I said, I believe the people like me are in the minority of the active players. I don't want to deny them to play the game the way the like.

But I think it is a sizeable minority, which is able and willing to pay for a game, which would more carter for their needs. So, I think this would qualify as target-group, market-wise.
Even more so, I think that there is even a large group people (probably including the large group of non-hunter-gatherer, e.g the fairer side of sex) which are interested in games creating an atmosphere and makes you part of story and don't feel appealed by the current state of MMORPGs.

The point is, they are trying to cover both groups with MMORPG, which I think is a Bad Idea (tm).
Bartle seems think along the same lines. Except that he considers non-role-players as newbies.

> And paperback editions
You don't really want to suggest that paper RPGs are equivalent in terms of possiblity to MMORPGs, are you?
They are complementary, like movies and books.

> They have hardcore RPG servers for people like you
Where? Besides classical MUDs? Something a little bit more graphical?

I'm not writing in old-english, not even playing very sophisticated roles (mostly a slighlty different me), an have not been creating a history for my character. So, quite frankly, such hardcore RPGs server scare me.

I've just been trying to keep RL out and act a little bit as I'd be situated in the world and give a little bit thought about my appearance and name.
Do you think, this would qualify me already as a hardcore role-player?
What is then a softcore role-player?

>What the public wants, it will get. [...] You cannot expect people "in the wild" to create the exact atmosphere you desire.

Well, I'm not expecting them to create the exact athmosphere, I'm expecting them to create a athmosphere (unless you call my dialogue as athmospheric).
I'm expecting them to do so, because I think there is a target group currently not sufficiently covered. (Hint: Market-opportunity).

The fun part about the Internet is, for every niche there are communities, which might appeal you. And in contrast to reality, they don't eliminate each other, they coexist without interference.

You consider yourself a nerd, because you installed an OS yourself at least once, I know a community for you.
You are interested in sports, know just so much about computer that you can turn it on at click your way through the internet, I know a community for you (Well, I don't, but you get the point)

But in contrast to, say an American High School (from hear-say, cannot tell from personal experience), the former community is not pushed in the background by the latter or the other way around. They all can thrive independently.

And in the same way as those sites co-exists, I think, can role-playing MMORPGs, and hack-and-slay MMORPGS co-exist, by playing in ignorance of each other :).

Re:role playing... (4, Insightful)

Gorelab (689501) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653885)

Personally, I think the problem goes both ways, the hardcore roleplayers often want too much from the people who are playing and just want to have some fun, and those people often just go too far out in having really idiotic names, and running about with leetspeak and everything. Personally I think it's best when you have a compromise. Make them have decent names, and not blantently go about with OOC stuff in more public places, but don't penatlize them for not having a 6 page essay on their charecters motivations and such and let them have their fun killing the denizens and getting loot. In the end it'd probally make both side much happier.

Re:role playing... (1)

Yokaze (70883) | more than 11 years ago | (#6654235)

I've yet to see a hardcore-roleplayer, which shun people because they have not written 6 page essays on their characters.

As I wrote in another post, I'm not a hard-core roleplayer. In my experience, every attempt at role-play was appreciated by role-players, and non-roleplay was tolerated.

The only thing I heard of, what you could call "punishmemt" of a non-role-player was the following:
A NRP wanted to buy something at a market place from a RP from the opposing faction, the RP denied, because the NRP was from the opposing faction. The NRP tried it by some other RP (RP2) right next to the other. The RP2 denied it for the same reason. As he made clear that he desperately needed the item, the RP2 demanded an exorbitant sum, the NRP went back to RP.
Both RPs made a little bit fun of letting the NRP running between them as they lowered the price bit by bit, until he finally bought it for quite some price.

So, one could even go as far as saying, that real role-players can have fun with non-role-players.
But the point, is there is a group, like me, which probably lack the imagination or creativity to cope with such situations. A real role-player would probably even be able to hear a deep male voice with heavy texan accent impersonating a lithe elf girl. But I'm not. Call me unimagitive.

> Personally I think it's best when you have a compromise. [...]

Sometimes I'm not a democrat:
Compromises only lead to mediocrity. This might be fine and dandy for a nation, but not for entertainment.
I don't want a mediocre game as like I don't want bloody mediocre music.
I think both are the result of attempting to please to many people. Only in the second case, it has become more obvious. When did you last hear to the compromise called "MTV" or the compromise "radio"? I certainly didn't for the past several years.

You don't have to make compromises: AFAIK, there are some 60 MMOG in work. It would suffice than 4 of become decent. Two for each group. One SciFi, one Fantasy. Then you could call me a happy unimagitive person.

Re:role playing... (1)

xyvimur (268026) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653818)

Well... If it will be a feature internal to the game - you will be forced to use it. Probably if one would not like to use the feature he would be feeling as an alien and would stop playing the game.

prevent your girlfiend from playing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653726)

/callvote flood 1

Yeah well (2, Funny)

grug0 (696014) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653727)

I think slashdot should have voice chat. Imagine hearing people yell fr1st p0st.

heh, yeah. (5, Funny)

DashEvil (645963) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653728)

I can just see it now, "I'm humping you, see my character going back and forth, oh yeah, finger yourself babe, I want to hear you moan, oh yeah, oh YEAAAAAAAH, OH SWEET JESUS THANK MICROSOFT FOR GIVING ME THE CHANCE TO GET LAID!"

I disagree (3, Interesting)

Bruha (412869) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653732)

He's not realizing the fact that many people that would use voice chat in MMO's would only do so between friends and established guild members people can stand to talk to. I've played Asheron's Call with voice chat in the early days with 3 or 4 players and I can tell you we worked like a well oiled machine while in combat. You hurting just scream MEDIC! hehe..

But seriously I can also understand the other side who thinks it's a problem. If they allowed everyone to hear everyone in the bazzar that may be cool only in a perfect world where little johnny has his gag in place. Otherwise you'll have some of the most annoying things going on. I would give such a system 10 minutes before someone started playing the soundtrack to a pr0n or worse. And the bad part there is in that type of situation how do you find out who's doing it?

Private chat channels YES.

General chat NO!

Re:I disagree (1)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653838)

Some servers could have voice on, and some off. Let everyone play the way they want.

Re:I disagree (0, Flamebait)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653973)

You already posted this [] comment fucktard. Stop posting so much - your work is boring, insipid, and uninspired.

Re:I disagree (1)

IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) | more than 11 years ago | (#6654219)

I've played multiplayer rpgs (like baldur's gate and neverwinter nights) with voice chat - it is quite fun.

Probably the best game ever was playing System Shock 2 with my friend using voice chat. The game became almost real - we played through it in only two sittings. With the voice chat and the lights out, the game became *very* immersive.

Chat may not be ready for MMORPGs, but it's more than ready for regular multiplayer games.

assume role while playing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653739)


Why do people play the same game for hour after hour, night after night, for week after week, month after month? It's not because they like the game; it's because they like who they are

really ? That's news to me. Sure, I agree on the
immersion concept that really makes the
difference between good games and mediocre ones,
but voice communication will only improve that

anyway, how many games has this guy designed since 1979?

Re: assume role while playing (2, Informative)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653781)

anyway, how many games has this guy designed since 1979?

Other than MUD2? Try his website []

Re: assume role while playing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6654231)

The SCO, The?

Wow. Is this a mistake? (1, Offtopic)

JollyFinn (267972) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653743)

They have one article in which they besides actual content they admit they have trouble paying their bandwith. Hmmm. I'm not sure but putting on of their articles in front of slashdot may mean Doom to those Advanced Gaming Girls. [unless they put link for paypal donations in article for helping them to keep up their site.]

Re:Wow. Is this a mistake? (1)

another misanthrope (688068) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653914)

there is a button on the left titled "Thank You for Donating!" - too subtle?

Motto da! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653744)

Moh hikikaesenain da yo! Subete o kirisaiteyaru. Chi yo, yami yo, ware no moto ni.

Re:Motto da! (1)

Hiddenface (635059) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653800)

Where's the 'confusing' moderate option when you need it?

Re:Motto da! (1)

usotsuki (530037) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653873)

I know, I can't even make sense of it.

(This may be parsed incorrectly)

This is the best I can parse: again:take-return-not-is! all::[...]::. Blood! Darkness! Begins with me


Choice (3, Insightful)

gradji (188612) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653761)

The main problem I have with the article is that it ignores the basic principle of choice . As in some first person shooters, I imagine MMORPGs would come with the option to disable voice ... so you can choose not to broadcast/receive real-time voice communication.

This option would keep most parties happy: the newbies who are drawn to the promise of trash-talking, the tight-knit group of friends who like to chat while they explore and conquer, and the veterans who would rather not have voice interfere with their virtual world immersion.

While Marx (maybe Lennin? I get the modern Socialists mixed up) complained about the tyranny of choices, I think most contemporary people find choices to be a good thing.

Re:Choice (1)

another misanthrope (688068) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653919)

RTFA: Even if voice becomes the norm in virtual worlds, text as a means communication will still exist: not all players will be able to use voice. My wife can watch TV while I visit virtual worlds, but she wouldn't be able to if I were talking the whole time in the next room - it would be way too annoying. So I'd have to type; so would plenty of other people.

think hes forgotten about a certain games origins. (5, Insightful)

Tennguin (553870) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653770)

I think Richard Bartle has lost touch with what role playing's origins. If we apply his logic to pen and paper games we see how flawed his argument really is. Afterall how many of us sat around the table throwing dice passing written notes back and forth explaining what our chacters were doing/saying? I think "voice communication" was as acceptable then as it remains now. I think people are becomming a little TOO immersed in the digital world and forgeting that there are analog analogies to some of these problems. Think people. I doubt that most people in these games are concernied about character development anyway... its all about the amount of "stuff" you can gather. Those geeks that are into playing out their bvirtual cahracters arent going to be disuaded by the fact that voice has been introduced into the game. I wasn't when I role played my Theif in 1988...

The guy doesn't get it.... (5, Interesting)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653774)

He, and everyone else who is against voicechat in games, just don't get what voice really means. Their argument always goes: 'it will break your suspension of disbelief'.

It won't, and I have proof: everyone who has ever played a tabletop roleplaying game knows what I'm talking about. If a voice is enough to destroy your suspension of disbelief, it wasn't very strong to begin with.

Not only that, but voice filters can (and will) make you sound like a troll ( :) ).

The only halfway valid argument he makes is the 'difficulty' of having to deal with two streams of communication, text and voice. And the only people who can't cope with that aren't too bright; we've all had school here where you read and write down what the teacher has written on the blackboard /while you're listening to his lecture/!

Fact is that voice is just the best/fastest comm system available. The only problem it does have, which mister whiskers didn't even address, is that sometimes people don't speak the common carrier language well which case they might have to type, thereby communicating slower than others.
Which means they'll either learn better english (or mandarin, whatever) or go adventuring with people who speak the same language.

And as for abuse; even a basic personal kick/ban system will take care of that.

In short: the guy might know his MUD's, but I think he should have stayed there.

Re:The guy doesn't get it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653784)

In short: the guy might know his MUD's, but I think he should have stayed there.

Which is why we are reading articles written by him and slashdot comments posted by you.

Re:The guy doesn't get it.... (1)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653791)

What a helpfull comment. Care to comment on the actual content of my comment instead of who posted it?

Re:The guy doesn't get it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653830)

Well I will... you said 'comment' one to many times. Try a pronoun, such as 'it'.

Re:The guy doesn't get it.... (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653808)

we've all had school here where you read and write down what the teacher has written on the blackboard /while you're listening to his lecture!

erm, no. The MOST I ever did was listen to the lecture and doodle over the printouts, most of the time I slept or read a book, and printed the notes out later...

However I learnt to sleep with my eyes open, does that count?

Re:The guy doesn't get it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653852)

In short: the guy might know his MUD's, but I think he should have stayed there.

What makes you think the essense of MUDs is different from MMORPGs? The only real difference is the way in which the game data is presented. Voice may be the best/fastes comm system available, but there are some serious detractors:

It adds a significant feature (with all related issues and requirements) to a type of product which is still in its infancy.

At least 50% of those playing MMORPGs -aren't- too bright in one way or another. They don't have a decent education, or will have other issues speaking "one common language" (there's a big world outside). Granted, they will probably speak their own language (even if it is hick), but you'd end up having to solve serious communication issues.

Voice filters won't work very well. Sure, you can sound like a troll, but if you speak unclearly to begin with (and receive speech at what.. 11Hz), you'd be happy if you could figure out what the heck your fellow player is saying. It adds a lot more frustration than value in the end.

Speech will have to be logged, for the simple reason that the company hosting the MMORPG has a legal requirement to keep everything logged to prove responsibility in any court case.

I'm sure that MMORPGs will switch to live voice chat when bandwidth becomes readily available, and voice technology is of such a quality that voice filters will enable people to be whomever they want, and servers can log the chat without problems. Until then, I'd say it's more important to spend development resources on maturing the genre, and leave the voice chat to games like Planetside.

Re:The guy doesn't get it.... (1)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 11 years ago | (#6654263)

Lessee; your first point isn't neccessarily true: there are numerous ways of incorporating voice, some of them available for free, some which will have to be paid for. True, the company will probably write it themselves, but they don't need to. Not only that, but it's something which has been done before and is documented if you go to the correct sites.
Your second point however is true...but nearly everyone who plays computer games has had at least some secondary school education. Not only that, but you can near enough devide game players into a couple of groups: those who speak english, those who speak mandarin, those who speak korean and those who speak japanese. Not only that, but the last three also speak a bit of english (seeing as that's considered 'cool' over there [don't ask me why, but it is]).
Third point; well from personal experience I'd say that someone who doesn't speak clearly will be asked to turn off his filter (which btw does work pretty good in realtime....voicemasks not working right is just another piece of FUD by the writer). If he/she/it still can't be heard, well, he'll have to type! A bad voice is just as bad as someone who can't spell or types way too slow...with about the same rate of occurence, I'd wager.
As for fourth, I had no idea that all MMORPG's had to log everything their clients typed! Somehow I don't really believe that, but I will do some's like saying telephone companies have to doe that, or ISP's. I rather think that game companies will be treated like common carriers (like ISP's and telco's are) in regards to that kind of thing; I really don't think they'd have to log all speach.

Anyway, personally I think voice is something which will mature the market; not oly does it make strategy more interesting (no-one types in the commands to flank another party on the left and tells the healer to go with them in the middle of combat...but they can tell them that!), but it makes roleplaying much mor3e interesting as well!

So, Voice destroys roleplaying.. ? (2, Interesting)

Molt (116343) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653779)

I do wonder if he's ever played a tabletop, or freeform, roleplaying game? If he did, did he and the other players sit there passing notes instead of speaking so they didn't have to suspend any disbelief for voices?

Roleplaying has a history far longer than MMORPGs, and it's mainly a vocal one. I consider it much easier to manage to get into a character if you speak what they say, and the fact you're typing on a keyboard isn't there to get in the way. I'd say that was a far greater intrusion of reality than someone sounding 'wrong', I don't normally communicate face-to-face with people by typing.

Some players do change their voice, put on accents and so forth, but most just use their normal voices, and it still works if the player can roleplay. If they can't roleplay then it doesn't matter if they're speaking or typing- what's said will still not feel right.

I have played some MMORPGs, admittedly though not to any great extent each. I generally found the worlds to be repetative and also many people just didn't act in the world at all, much metagaming. I remember trying Ultima Online for a bit, spending a few hours digging and lugging stuff so I could make a few low-quality daggers, then going off to the bank to deposit the new-found fortune I'd made.

The bank was absolutely packed, the machine slowed to a crawl. It looked like everyone in the town had come to the bank, and bought their horses, pet dragons, etc. with them.

Whilst some were idly wandering against the tide of lag, many were standing there shouting prescripted offers of items and so forth.

I'd say it takes less suspension of disbelief to imagine the gruff Scots voice coming out of the headphones to be the Elven swordswoman than it does to imagine r0X0r the Ranger going "So, what shall I do today to help serve the Good? I know, I'll take my horse ScreamingDeff and my enchanted rust turtle ScreamingDeffII and go and shout '****Enchanted Axxes to SELL!***** Offers?' in the bank for a few hours.

I know many of the games have come a way since then, but I still think MMORPGs have a loooong way to go before they could consider voices to be a major problem.

Re:So, Voice destroys roleplaying.. ? (2, Insightful)

Azghoul (25786) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653926)

So let's see, you think it would be a good idea if all those who had packed the bank were screaming at the top of their lungs over their microphones instead of just pumping text on screen?

That seems like a huge problem to me.

Many people here are bitching that "RPGs were based on voice, this guy doesn't know what he's talking about!" How wrong can you be? The "MMO" part of "MMORPG" precludes using voice. I don't want to hear hundreds of voices around me all the time. I also don't want people to hear me trying to act out a cheesy voice, unless I'm in a nice tight group of good friends.

No, the large number of players destroy the voice concept. Not to mention the fact that it's much easier to type something, realize the verbiage is not quite correct, then change it before sending it out to the group.

Re:So, Voice destroys roleplaying.. ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653969)

Don't be a moron. The parent poster was suggesting that voice communication would DO AWAY with those people who stand around shouting stupid phrases in text. It's called sarcasm, you nit.

Re:So, Voice destroys roleplaying.. ? (1)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 11 years ago | (#6654290)

First off, if voice does get implemented it will happen by someone who has thought about it...there'll be a circle arouind your character beyond which you won't be able to hear anything (common sense against overcrowding and it mimics RL a bit too; anything beyond that could well be typing only (or in a futuristic setting 1-1 voicecomms over a telephonelike device).

Not only that, but I type things wrong much, much more often than I say things wrong...I hardly ever do the latter unless I'm drunk! And furthermore, voice allows for strategic planning in a battle, which typing doesn't.

simple solution! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653812)

Morph the voices.. English kid turns into female elf, tough barbarian etc. depending on who he's playing the game as.

Re:simple solution! (1)

ronaldb64 (633924) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653950)

That's the technology he's talking about. RTFA.

what's better? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653824)

Playing a MUD or sex with a mare? []

CARROLLTON -- A Chesterfield man was charged Wednesday with sexually abusing a mare in Macoupin County, even as prosecutors in Greene County filed new charges against him of aggravated cruelty to animals. Horse owners from the two counties attended Wednesday's preliminary hearing in Greene County Circuit Court for Kevin Eugene McAfee, whose 43rd birthday also was Wednesday. A number of horse owners say they believe McAfee has been sexually abusing their mares oversome 20 years. Macoupin County State's Attorney Vince Moreth charged McAfee with one count of sexual conduct with an animal, as well as criminal trespass to property and criminal damage to property.

He's completely RIGHT! (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653837)

And now I know why I hated players using voice communication while playing Counter-Strike. It blows me away from the game back to the real world. And I get tired of it :)

Counter-Strike is a bad example (2, Insightful)

ktorn (586456) | more than 11 years ago | (#6654051)

Voice comms in a game like CS is almost an absolute must.
Team-work is essential, and it's so fast paced that communicating via the keyboard is not an option. The only type of non-voice communication I used was moving the mouse to produce quick visual gestures to tell my team-mate things like "you go first", "duck, so I can climb over there", and stuff like that.
No way are you going to type those. Getting your hand off the mouse for any length of time is not a good idea (unless you're a camper).
Counter-Strike is not a role-playing game.

I see the point of the article when it comes to role-playing games. Even then, when playing EQ I rarely met people actually roleplaying. When camping for long periods, everyone in the parties would chat about real life stuff. People would exchange email addresses and stuff like that.

Yeah, destroying the roleplaying element... (2, Funny)

halivar (535827) | more than 11 years ago | (#6654225)

As everyone knows, the roleplaying element is the most important part of CS. Voice just reminds me that I'm getting mopped up by 14 year old kids, not the "l33t krew" they purport themselves to be!

Nice article but: (3, Funny)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653850)

I find it very hard to take anything seriously published on gga after reading this []

Re:Nice article but: (1)

TRACK-YOUR-POSITION (553878) | more than 11 years ago | (#6654012)

Man, after I read that a month or so ago, I have not been able to play Rez (the American no-accessory version). It just somehow feels different.

Voicechatting does NOT work in games. (2, Insightful)

Eudial (590661) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653854)

Here are some reasons why:

1. People will speak all kinds of languages.
2. People will scream.
3. There will not be any 1337speak (that way we can't decide who's a newbie or not)

This reminds me of... (4, Interesting)

thelandp (632129) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653861)

...another pessimist to a new technology from the past.

"Who the HELL wants to hear actors talk?" H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927

Is this article just the online equivalent?

Re:This reminds me of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653888)

Umm, how many actors of that era became popular once sound was introduced? This is the same as the 640k is enough for anyone quote. Sure it sounds really stupid, but you're basically taking it out of context.

aRgh (4, Interesting)

Aeonsfx (675982) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653870)

Well, I hate to say it, but I agree with the man. I never cared much for voice chat in games, much less voices in games. Anyone like the voices in FFX? I know I don't. Because it ruins the imagination. The experience. Well, lets extend this concept to voice recognition in games. Same thing. Ruins the entire virtual aspect of MMORPG. I think I'll eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich now...

I can't wait... (4, Funny)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653895)

...for someone to turn on their stereo while playing his favorite MMORPG, only to find the RIAA busting the entire player population of Everquest for listening to pirated music.

FP! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653908)

There are no posts before me.

Great. (4, Interesting)

BHearsum (325814) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653916)

The last thing I needed is some lamer in Everquest shouting 'OMFG YOU KILL STEALER'. These games have poor role playing environments as it is, don't make them worse.

Re:Great. (1)

Mac Degger (576336) | more than 11 years ago | (#6654304)

Then again, maybe the fact that you can be heard (and can hear others) will enable a more courteous environment, and more roleplaying in that environment.

Gaming Zine for Girls... Necessary? (3, Insightful)

rinkjustice (24156) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653920)

I'm just wondering what brought some women to the point where they felt they needed their own voice in video gaming. Was it because of sexism in ads? (I can remember an ad which had a bikini-clad babe lathered in soap draped over a sports car... to sell a videogame!) Is it the violent nature of some game genres? The lack of strong female representation as a whole? Does addressing sexual content like trance vibrator's fulfill this gaping intellectual chasm?

Girls, to my limited knowledge gleaned from being the father of three daughters (2 of whom game on the PS2 and PC), enjoy games that test problem solving spatial skills like Tetris, Pac Man and The Sims among many others. These are the same games guys play. Sex has nothing to do with it.

Re:Gaming Zine for Girls... Necessary? (1)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 11 years ago | (#6654132)

Well, the answer is simple: No. In fact, I think that who site is actually more of a disgrace and an insult to women and gamers alike and it simply proves that sex sells [] . Hey, it's perfect marketing, can't say it didn't work. Anyways, as for serious female gamers that I know of (That excludes the "OMG i play cs because that cute boi from halfway across teh world plays it 2!!1" types) mostly enjoy the same games as guys. Some enjoy BF1942, some of em enjoy The Sims, some others enjoy online turn based strategy games like Planetarion.

Re:Gaming Zine for Girls... Necessary? (2, Interesting)

kongjie (639414) | more than 11 years ago | (#6654538)

I think much of the impetus for girl-oriented gaming zines and sites does come from the violent, mail-oriented nature of a large percentage of the games out there.

Your own experience with your daughters largely supports this idea. The point is NOT that boys also enjoy Tetris etc., it's that these games are different from most of the offerings and girls can enjoy them.

But anecdotal support is going to be largely irrelevant here--lots of people probably know girls/women who love blasting their way through some FPS. On the whole, though, I think it's clear that most gaming is produced by boys for boys. Notice the use of the word "most."

Yeah, he's missing the point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653941)

The point of such games isn't to be a damn ogre or to be a elf or a troll. Multiplayer gaming is all about interaction.

People don't role play in MMORPGs now. They just don't. They interact with other people. PEOPLE, not characters.

Think of the team element. Anyone who's really into these games is all about the team aspect. People form guilds or what not, and after the first few months of playing, if you're not in a team, you're probably not playing it anymore. In order to beat the harder characters, complete the harder quests, you need multiple people working together. This means communication. And communication during battle or whatever has always been hampered by the difficulties of communication. Adding voice makes that sort of thing *worlds* easier.

Now, I admit that it's one thing to yell "kill that freakin' dragon already, I'm out of spells here!" to teammates during a battle, and it's another thing to hear some chatting preteens in the marketplace or wherever the general chat thing is, but that's what the concept of separate communication channels is for.

Frankly, I don't this guy has ever actually played a team based game. He's into the role playing aspect, and that's fine and dandy, but face facts: not that many people actually role play. Not that many people ever *did* role play, even when it was dice and paper. It has always been, and always will be, a minority of people that enjoy RPGs for the "RP" part of it.

For the rest of the world, it's about the same thing everything else is. People. Making friends. Working with others. Communicating. Voice is important to that sort of thing. Fuck the RP nonsense, the only reason that is in there at all is that you have to have a pretext for playing the damn game in the first place.

Role playing, as role playing, should be beneath any normal adult. We technogeeks don't qualify as "normal", and that's why you get asshats like this guy complaining about losing what he likes about the game. Sorry guy, but you're in the minority on this one.

I agree. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6654064)

When I play games like EQ/UO/EaB and run into someone else, I say "hi." If they respond with "Hail", my first reaction is an internal groan "it's one of THEM."
The hardcore RP aspect is just not for me. I play to either build my chars or interact and make friends with real people. I think the vast majority of people do the same.

Nice idea ... (3, Funny)

evslin (612024) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653943)

Voice chat for an mmog is a decent idea, provided that: A) Everyone you're going to be grouping/associating with has access to it B) You're not playing in a roleplaying environment. (Hey, that elf chick is really an old dude from Alabama!)

What determines "games" vs. "slashdot?" (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6653953)

We have stories that appear on and occasisonally they dual on both games as well as What is the criteria for the chosen crossover stories? As near as I can tell a story must meet one of the following condistions to be featured on both sites:

- It must be boring.
- It must suck ass.
- It must be stupid.
- It has no point.
- It is about homosexuality.
- It is about shitty open source bullshit hippie soffware.

Re:What determines "games" vs. "slashdot?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6654169)

Flamebait? Talk about censorship. Parent brings up a good point and does not deserve negative moderation.

Mod up the parent!
Mod down the moderator!

You'll probably only be able to talk to your party (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 11 years ago | (#6653978)

That'll solve the lag issues for the most part (if Unreal doesn't lag under the strain I doubt these games will).

I'm not convinced this'll have that big an impact on Role Playing. I used voice in Role Playing all the time playing D & D in a room with friends, how's this any different? Besides, Newbies will gladly give up the some role playing to avoid typing (every watch someone who can't touch type playing one of these games, it's painful...). Moreover, I think a lot of people (especially casual gamers) use these games as overblown chat rooms, and the role playing aspect just doesn't matter as much to them as staying in touch with online friends in an easy manner.

Too Late... (0)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 11 years ago | (#6654122)

The EqTn project team debated that long ago (if you figure out what EqTn means, email - without the 1) Voice can be incorporated easily if planned for correctly. Things such as low player density (less noise), an expectation for high end systems, voice dictation, TTS, been there done that. IBM and a few other companies have some really nice systems, sure it isn't truely human, but then again, alot of characters in the game aren't either. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect your players to have full duplex sounds. Games should be geared towards the hardcore, but usuable by the casual. And I think voice will eliminate more problems than it causes, l337 rejection, and chat-room bartering/plotting is eliminated. Finally a world were you can easily control communication... I won't get too much further, but I will drop a big hint. By the time EqTn is done, IPV6 will be partially rolled out (seriously, it's gonna be awhile before it's "done"). But standard gaming systems will be even more ridiculus than they are now, and us slashdotters will have replaced our puters at least once. So power isn't something I'm worried about. But has the author ever considered actually altering text? I mean breaking (or attempting to improve) someone's english based on their intelligence. Player: "No you idiot!!! Press the green button!" (game logic performs an intellegence check, since there are a 1000 buttons, and the character has no idea what the thing by 4...add a stutter and some random colors to the mix!) Avatar: " the" How do you like them apples? Or how about *player* languages? Easy to implement with a speech processor. Two english speaking people, can't understand a word of each other cuz one's an elf and the other is an imp. Yet another character can make a living as a translator... The technology will only improve, and with libraries that can convert between real languages accompanied by fast internet, those people across the pond can play too--in the same game. Sent back from the future to save us all - Project EqTn. (I really get off on that acronym.)

Just the right touch (1)

wynterwynd (265580) | more than 11 years ago | (#6654241)

I think voice in MMORPGs could work IF it's done properly.

It shouldn't be mandatory of course, the most likely way to implement it would be a voluntary chatgroup or group option. In PlanetSide (I know it's a FPS, but it has similar elements) the voice chat actually enhances the immersion, you feel more like you're actually in a squad. However voice is much more necessary and useful in a FPS as you can't always take time to type.

In console MMORPGs it could be a great way to avoid having to buy a keyboard add-on, but would detract from the RPG element severely. However it might work well since headset accessories are already prevalent for online console games.

In a computer MMORPG there would need to be more reason to use it. A series of voice filters would be very cool - I'd use voice chat if a filter made me really sound like a guttural troll or a high-pitched halfling. You could even make it part of character creation and attune it to your voice (in a perfect world). Unfortunately I don't think there's enough demand for it yet, the cons currently outweigh the pros in most cases.

Till then I'll just keep muttering back to myself as I type =D

Hearing Voices (2, Interesting)

ihummel (154369) | more than 11 years ago | (#6654406)

I think that the "not-the-heck-yet" response is the correct one. Now, I only play text-based muds, and those only occasionally, and am confident that those will never, ever have voice. Yes, you could write an extended Telnet that included voice (sort of like what was done with Pueblo), but I think it would only prove to ruin the experience.

Graphical MMORPGs on the other hand could benefit from voice. When you are interacting in a graphical world, actually speaking to each other just makes sense, more sense than chatting through text. I do not think the bandwidth is here yet for thousands upon thousands of people to be talking away in games, but it will be someday, probably soon.

I do not think that voices will ruin the roleplaying experience, for the simple reasons that a) they can develop voice filters to make you sound like a troll, or a dwarf, or whatever, b) that you can speak in an altered voice all by yourself (the best solution, IMHO) and c) hearing people's natural voices in table-top RPGs never ruined it for anyone before, as at least one other person has mentioned.

Logging voice to prevent abuse could be a problem, but perhaps not in a couple of years. It may be that they will then have enough computer power and HD space to record all voice exchange. Hell, logging all voice conversations on the client side shouldn't be a problem now if you have a good enough system.

No voice chat in Roma Victor then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6654530)

Dr Bartle is currently working with RedBedlam on Roma Victor [] at the moment so I guess this means we won't be getting voice chat in RV. Just as well - RV is a historically authentic MMORPG (set in ancient Roman times) and you just know that with voice chat, the atmosphere would inevitably be ruined.

So even if some games want it, other games won't. Horses for courses.

I could see voice chat working in something like [] but not Roma Victor []
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