Friday, May 17, 2013

M4 - Freedom of chat in game

I was thinking of a great topic. The freedoms of chat in game. I have 3 examples to start with and then a little discussion on the VALUE of chat.

1)Policed chat.
2)Lightly monitored chat
3)Free Speech

As I start with each one of these I will also touch on the forums of a game site.

1)Policed Chat. Normally this seems Ideal. Fully monitored and filtered chat. You must keep it game, clean, and ...dry. There are built in chat filters to block everything...Block or Bl***.. because the "OCK" in "block" could be a hidden "cock". That kind of police work. We start with heavy filtered chat and then move on to GM intervention. Where you see a response to almost any chat line by a GM. I have seen this in relaunches of games and current games. One game is remnant knights. You are promised a 24/7 GM presence in game (how heavy they audit you is another thing).
There was a re-launch of a 2D dungeon crawler, sort of like a cheap diablo rip off (I am forgeting the name sorry), that had a Nazi like GM presence. There was a GM in the main village gathering fold to group up around him as question in game flew out all over: "How to jump?" - "What does ENTER do?"...then you get a few guys testing the boundries: "Hey GM, give me gold.."..."Hey GM, your sexy"...ok I said sexy, he didn't punish me, can I use "sexy" again in another context? The fact of GM presence and his semi robotic replies is a little cool because we feel secure. No bad mouth noob will flood these channels...
I must now think of the hypocrisy. So why build black lists as a feature? This is kind of social as well like, if citizens had guns does that mean police are out of the job? Or do you prefer a nicely suited cop walking your hood?
I once read our behavior changes, subliminally if you will, when we know there is someone over our shoulder. It is like if you had a pen and paper and wanted to draw. Thinking you are free you might just start drawing abstract images, maybe a penis...maybe a boob...maybe a pentagram...who knows, your doodling freely. Now put some one over your shoulder. A teacher, a monitor of any subject, a random person... With this, in the back of our minds, we refrain from creating lines radical and we have more of a "shit, someone is there, maybe hell like THIS!" sort of approach and we draw trees, and cats and dogs...The problem is, we would have drawn trees cats and dogs AND added a boob somewhere alone... or not..we had the choice. With some one over the shoulder the free choice selection is limited. Now let's say : "I don't care, I draw what I want and people who like it will watch it". Ok, but in this sense, if you had a buddy over your shoulder, you almost feel OBLIGED to draw that boob. You can't see like a wussy and just draw cats and trees, then the FORCED boob drawing comes in to play....So allot comes from the relations we have with the environment around us and who is looking over our shoulder.
In the heavily controlled mmorpg environment you have these almost strict role players. The rules are so strong in general chat and in the game that they even cross into guild chat. And sometimes it is reserved for free speech in VOIP programs, because we know in guild chat, C*** is blocked and no fun. But, you can arguably say: "Oh but in HEllo Kitty Online it is mostly 10 year old. I am split on this... If I left my 10 year old online to game with the public..or just be on a computer learning GAMING for hours...hell...give him or her a dick and boob or two. What waste of time, at least he or she can get a kick out of it. Or get repulsed by it and leave. Seriously. I think I WOULD play Hello Kitty online if I can be the bad ass kitty running around saying "Ima fuckin kill ya all!" LOLS! Instead, we get this "walk this way, look this way, you are that". If you are that worried, check your own conscious and use the chat filters. If still bothered shut chat panel. If still bothered, stop playing mmorpgs. Human interaction though text is a bitch.

2)Lightly monitored chat is a joke. This is where we see certain things fly and other things not so much. You can talk about "What character do you think is sexiest"...but you are chat banned if you talk about "noobs"... I was playing WoW at Vanilla, and the GM's wanted to carve an image of "interactivity (not found today in that game)" between players and the GMs. So they would respond and get active. Hell if your guild had a problem, they could monitor the chat, and ban a player that may have stolen a guilds assets and split. I have seen it happen. I remember one time at Vanilla launch, when we all followed players in Stormwind right clinging and inspecting to drool over the armor...and sometimes we just follow, open, and say "hahah your armor sucks, lets duel"...Whatever floats your boat...EXCEPT you risked a light moderation. I clearly remember before opening your mouth it was a RISK, if you said something to erk someone he or she COULD go to GM and COULD get you a chat ban for a week or a month. Some guys just played along and all was in good sport. My personal example: Me in a whisper: "Your pally is weak". Response "LOL, whatever human, lets run X dungeon together, if we survive I win, if I die, you win"..and we do a dungeon together...challenging ourselves and the game under fun sport. Or we PvP. Then one day, some one started criticizing my armor build. He used the "OK" words of : "you do not know your class and hugely under built. Get a clue"...I responded: "STFU noob. I build how I want". He responds: "Reported". and blocks me. Ok, I shrugged him off continued on my way. INTERESTINGLY, WoW did follow up on his report. I got e-mailed a warning with a screen shot of our conversation history. Of, course, just what I said, and not what he said to start the whole thing. I remember being so intimidated. It was my first mmorpg and the first game I engaged my Credit Card too. And to be WARNED! OH WOW! I shaped up. I was mad! But I shaped up. My guild wanted to know what guild the other guy was on to "declare war". LOL! Oh the old days. But I look back, and I do not like the pick and chose light moderation. Because you will always see some guys get away with it and others punished. I always felt this was just a tactic to please the game image. In fact, even though I said "STFU noob"...which may be seen as "bullying", the fact is, the original INSTIGATOR had Corporate back up, and that is UNFAIR one sided bullying in my opinion.

3)Freedooommmmm! Hell yes! I love this option for these reasons: A)You have chat filters, USE THEM.
B)Trolls are trolls, do not feed them and they shut up. I know. I try to troll. I log in, I start a troll thread...No response, I give up and play the damn game. THAT EASY. DON'T FEED IT!
C)Entertaining! I love free chat! TERA is the best example! The random things that pop up and that lead to the greatest debates of all! One other example, in Star Trek Online, some one started a global chat: "Add GORN to every pop title: "Beauty and the Gorn" - "SuperGorn" - etc etc. IT got out of control funny I was in tears crying! NORMALLY! that game is a selective moderated game. Some one once said in general chat "I love ICecream!" I replied "It tastes like poop." "Why would you say that? Reported troll" - me: "Because this is a game of aliens, and my character is not human, to my alien species, ice cream renders us sick and has a taste of fecal matter"...I was role playing. I was correct. I got a warning by CRYPTIC in my in game mail box the day after. Pretty sad in my opinion. We can say all kinds of gorn jokes in good humor, but the moment you role play your alien you are banned. Hypocrites.
Back to TERA! During F2P launch there was a 2 hour wait, and once in 20 channels all maxed on all servers. The chat was scrolling by so fast, everyone was trolling! But it was so funny! Not everything, but there were moments I stopped playing to just chat. Now, after the F2P crowed left, it is back to business... "WTS" - "WTT" - etc etc.. meh. Boring.

Now I have read allot of feedback from players. You have the free spirited that say whatever. I am one of those guys. Please note, I will help you though. I have helped allot of players in their noob times. I also send whispers to personally aid people find things or whatever it may be. I also tell people to press ALT+F4... I also run dungeons pretty damn good...I have read in player feedback: "CONTROL THE CHAT! It is all trolls and noobs. They do not belong in this game". Sometimes people respond to my chat, "You are an idiot, that is not how the song goes" and block me... That is too bad because I usually say in global (when I am not trolling) "Available for X dungeon". And I run the dungeon fine. Just because I run my mouth bad doesn't mean I run the dungeons bad. People need to learn this. So many cookie cutter kids, or sheep, enter these games WITH ONE OUT LOOK in their head: "The chat must be for vending items or help only. With a few appropriate jokes". Fuck YOU! The internet is wild, free, and a imagination based. The stale word of vend chat is JUST AS BAD AS GOLD SPAMMING. Why would you want such a bleak world filled with lame chat. The only excuse is that you are a disgruntled player or Religious. If you think Jesus doesn't approve, use the filters. Funny, Catholics won't use condoms and apparently won't use in game filters (joke..har har..).
Any ways. You see these babies go cry about a 2 page rant of how "It is such an aweful community" "*rolls eyes* the community" " I would play the game but that horrible community"...Oh please. Get off your leather bound game chair and go play tiddely Winks. It is a small chat box that usually cna be folded out so you can enjoy the game. Chat is less than 2% of the game. Hardly anyone uses the items being sold in chat, especially if there is an Auction house...they usually are scammers in chat. If you are not using auction house...why are you using chat to sell things? Is your item really that more important and why? Do you need the gold THAT bad? Especially in games where gold is easy to get. I smell a scam.
So let Freedo reign! I love it! Sadly TERA has put a block recently. A little to late. But yeah, "YOu have used a word that is not appropriate" and the message does not go out. MEH. YOUR ENERGY AND ENEMY SHOULD BE GOLD SPAMMERS and BOTS! Let the players live! Best example is AION. The publisher spends energy and banning powers on regular chit chatters, meanwhile gold spammers are EASY TO SPOT! They hang out in the front gate of the lvl 1 area and the main town. That is it! There are there! But not a single GM plays the game to notice or do anything about it. And it is only like 5 total! Same guy since launch! LOL Worse, they are even in GUILDS!

A little word on FORUM chat!
Same principle, let freedom of speech reign. I have seen so much wasted time and effort trying to edit the forums. My personal experiences:
1) LEague of Legends: When it first launched and people abusing the ban button for no reason (you can ban people even in AI maps for training). Me in the forums: "Dear Riot, I have noticed I received a warning due to other players spamming hte ban button for fun. Do you have plans to change this feature in game in the future?" - The Response was my FORUM account banned for 30 days. THE SAME DAY they released a T-Shirt promotion. They did not want a "Bad image" of their company and did not want people to start speaking of this abuse. Shut it up, keep the game going, let bad behavior RULE. They knew they could not fix the code. To this day, they cannot fix the button. They did the ultimate Troll Science. They have a drop down box of "reasons to report" some one. The reasons are so vague.."Inexperience" -"Not co-operating"...WTF? How do you judge experience? What if it is my first match and I had questions as I play? (please note this ban feature still exists in the AU tutorial, because you fight computer with 2 other players and they can report you after). This is clearly a feature encoded so deep they need to re haul the game to fix it, and that is a NO NO cash wise (selling shirts is better idea). So they just allow it, and to cover the problem MORE they do a publicity stunt where they "Ban popular professional team members for 'bad conduct'"...yeah do that. I have played on all the languages and regions and they cannot control it. There are thousands of players using languages all over, no one bans the Russians when they cuss because no one understands LOL PROPAGANDA! LET FREEDOM REIGN!
2) Gpotaot EU ALLODS French server. There is a GM who OVER responds to all questions. He bans anything not FOR the game and hides bugs and problems. He comments so much he even whined one time: "Stop asking me questions, I am here part time on the weekends, I can't get to all the questions. SHEESHH!" - WOAH! Guy is out of control power abuser. He is in game trolling as well. I tried to bring it up, got banned by him of course. It is really bad. The chat is so controlled in forums and in kills the fun. I was having a good time leveling up in Allods but had to quit on that. I was seriously afraid if I had a problem I would get banned and silenced. INTERESTINGLY, the same subjects he banned people on, such as bug reports, are ENTERTAINED in the US gpotato ALLods. I saw the same subject in US side, and the GM was joking about it and even said, "it is a development thing, we are only publishing and limited, until then we just have to report on it and cook some smores"...GOOD feedback! HEre is proof, look to the RIGHT HAND SIDE of the forums at the last person to comment on a thread, it is NOTHING but the GM reposnding EVERY damn time. Feed back is good by GM, but MONITORING and LACK OF FREEDOM is NOT! Look here: [CM]Rhiorm [02 mai] that is the GM:

Scary huh? He is EVERYWHERE! It is the same dude 2 years back LOL this guy has no life. Just a power tripper.

3) AION EU. Oh this is BADDDD! The Community started a petition signed by HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of their players to change EU to be like US (EU is super restricted by P2W features). The thread was removed and an official thread is stickied: "Patch 3.0 changes - We will not be offering a fast trak server or other F2P items in the game because we do not think it reflects the interest of the gamers in EU..." They continue to explain how EU is special in a way that they sub more so it is more VIP club oriented....Yeah no. They lost populations big time and the just the elite few stay keeping it alive. Then, recently, years AFTER US did it, they FINALLY installed the Fast Trak server...oh what is that??? did EU suddenly change their ideals? CRIMINALS! They still block trade and chat and auction house use until you pay. YUP.

Surprisingly PWE has some ok Forums, I have been able to express myself pretty freely. The sad thing is, it is the truth. They know it, and they don't care. They are making bank by addicts with cash so talk shit all you want or point out how bugs from 1995 are still in Perfect World. That won't stop the paying crowds from paying.

Also factor in the value. Sites allow chat if you PAY to be a club member (AION etc.) Is it really worth it?

It is your turn. What do you think?

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