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View Full Version : Per-area chat channels are senseless



Angelus_dead
09-24-2009, 07:07 PM
Recent updates have increased the use of chat channels that are automatically joined according to the public world zone you're in, which includes all dungeons linked to that zone.

This has proven to be ineffective, as being in the same world area is a really poor predictor of if a DDO player might be interested in someone's chat. Factors which exacerbate this are that compared to other MMORPGs, a DDO player is more likely to have many characters, and a DDO character can run to any public zone in just a couple of minutes.

For example, the Korthos population is dominated by extreme newbies who have a lot of questions but are ill-equipped to answer any. It's a general pattern that someone who has played a few more levels than you will probably have better advice on problems you're now facing, but they're not plugged into the same advice chat. There are always dozens of experienced players standing around waiting for raids at any particular time, but they're not called on to share their knowledge.

Or look at trade chat: there's no reason why a person in Meridia wouldn't be interested in what someone is offering in Amrath. I also notice that the trade channels are more important because f2p users are limited to one auction per 24 hours... the harbor/market trade is filled with offers of items for plat, which could be totally handled by the AH.

Only very rarely is a chat topic actually going to be usefully limited to characters who are notionally nearby.

Suggestion
Not going to go into detail, but the idea is obvious: don't limit channels by world area. If the devs feel a need to limit it, then at least use character level range or arbitrary tagged subdivisions. Or even better, create a new pane in the Social window where chat channels can be listed publicly (along with the population number) for players to connect with a UI.

srwood
09-24-2009, 07:28 PM
I think general chat not being limited would be a nightmare (at lease for a few more months). A question needing to be aswered is swept away before any of us looking to help see them half the time as it is. While having trade open world wide makes A LOT of sence, trade is also being somewhat over used with non-usefull items right now as well (some people are still learning that it's just as good to just sell to a broker & empty your packs when all you have is +1 or masterwork), again this will hopefully calm down in a few months.

I wouldn't be against having a "world chat" option though. That way you could have it open next to your general or what have you if you were standing around & up to help anyone needing it, but it wouldn't have to be a 30 post per second barrage if you wanted to just see local conversations.

Kemoc
09-27-2009, 11:15 AM
I always monitor the advice channel good information and discussion there, I usually don't follow the general chat especially recently. Last night about half a dozen low level players invaded the advice channel and flooded it with useless and insulting chatter. I suggested they move it to general and was of course ignored. So i used squelch add to not see them but was annoyed when they didn't go away. Advice channel seems immune to filtering. If that is true advice should be restricted to limited character output for non vip perhaps. Or allow filtering of offensive players.

vainangel
09-27-2009, 11:17 AM
It is fine the way it is.
I even disable the chats channels when running a quest.

Uska
09-27-2009, 11:18 AM
The many new players arent using party chat and continuing to use general chat while in quests or failing that they use the advice channel and drone on and on about what they are doing, like helping people but its getting old that only 1% chat is something that I can help people with and the rest is dross.

Angelus_dead
09-27-2009, 11:28 AM
It is fine the way it is.
No. Currently it is working a little better than it will in the longer run, because the preponderance of f2p newbies are concentrated in Korthos and Harbor. In time they'll spread out, and the problems of the chat division will be more painful. A level 5 guy in House Kundarak is no more or less likely to want to talk with people in Kundarak or Deneith or Market.


I even disable the chats channels when running a quest.
So then you're apparently not really interested in using the chat channels, so this topic doesn't concern you.

Khafar
09-27-2009, 02:18 PM
If the devs feel a need to limit it, then at least use character level range or arbitrary tagged subdivisions.They have to limit it somehow, simply because chat is an N-squared type of feature... double the number of people talking in a channel, and they have to send 4X as much traffic. Increase it by ten-fold, and that's 100X as much traffic.

Example: 100 people in a channel each send "hello". The server receives 100 messages, and sends 100 * 99 = 9900 messages. Now repeat that with 1000 people, and you get the server receiving 1000 messages and sending 1000 * 999 = 999,000. Ouch.

The question is... what's the best way to limit it? The current method of using area isn't all that bad, because areas tend to be decent proxies for level ranges. Level ranges themselves (as you suggest) might be better because that would allow people broader chat visibility to other players of their own level. That could be a bit of a problem on a new server (lowbie channel gets overloaded), but should work pretty well on more mature ones. Even though there will be a bunch of people at the cap, there will also be lots of people leveling up alts.

Khafar

Angelus_dead
09-27-2009, 04:10 PM
They have to limit it somehow, simply because chat is an N-squared type of feature... double the number of people talking in a channel, and they have to send 4X as much traffic. Increase it by ten-fold, and that's 100X as much traffic.
The reason to limit it is all about usability and not at all about traffic. Even if every player on the server was sent a copy of every chat message, that wouldn't be enough to cause a real problem- except for the users trying to read any of it.

cf Coney Island load balancing.

vainangel
09-27-2009, 05:03 PM
No. Currently it is working a little better than it will in the longer run, because the preponderance of f2p newbies are concentrated in Korthos and Harbor. In time they'll spread out, and the problems of the chat division will be more painful. A level 5 guy in House Kundarak is no more or less likely to want to talk with people in Kundarak or Deneith or Market.


So then you're apparently not really interested in using the chat channels, so this topic doesn't concern you.

It does. Sorry to upset you.
I like that whoever is crying about whatever in the Market is not going to be heard in House P. Since last time I was int he market there were 5 of them... I can only imagine the spam.

I disable them in quests so when people try to use general chat to talk to the party and send a tell of why I am not paying attention to directions I fill them in.

It is way easy to make your own channel to chat with people if you do not like the default channels. Great thing about this game, lots of stuff to custom your interface and communication.

Khafar
09-27-2009, 05:04 PM
The reason to limit it is all about usability and not at all about traffic.Actually, it's both. Back during the LOTRO alpha, someone asked why kinship sizes were limited to 999, and one of the reasons given was that putting too many players into the same chat channel concurrently could cause them to exceed specs for the chat server. I'm guessing that means the bandwidth they want to devote to it, but I suppose it's possible it's the server itself. If 2500 people are on the same world, putting them into 100 different channels of 25 players each (100 * 25 * 24 = 60000 messages sent if everyone says "hi") is vastly lower traffic than 1 channel with 2500 players (over 6 million messages sent if everyone says "hi").

But you're right, huge chat channels are a usability issue too.

Khafar

bjlinden
09-27-2009, 05:15 PM
I really like the "level range" chat channel idea. That's all.

Arculea
09-27-2009, 05:30 PM
IMHO Level range would be a good idea. If we look at the general chat, already at this time we have the situation, that chat often flows so fast, that you have problems reading and/or answering chat messages in time in the general chat, at least if you want to do other things as well, besides chatting, for example moving around or doing quests.
With a global chat we would probably have the situation that the chat messages flow so fast, with thousands of different topics necxt to each other, that even people who concentrate on chatting have problems with following the chat.
Therefore I think a true global chat across all levels wouldn´t work (or at least make most players unhappy). With a division into at least 4 different global chats (for example Level 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20) this would be less of a problem.

I also think that more private channels would be nice. For example private channels for certain buildings you enter, like taverns and the like. So that you get the feeling of being really in some kind of separate building (and are able to freely chat with people in this building, without getting disturbed by the general chat)

Letrii
09-27-2009, 07:44 PM
User created channels would help too.