I was playing Champions Online today and for about the billionth time, I encountered the single thing I hate most about that game - all conversations are restricted to a zone.
In CO, they have a zone chat that lets all players in that zone talk to each other. As soon as you leave that common zone area, either to go to another zone, or to go into a mission, you don't "hear" that zone chat anymore. CO has the ability for players to make their own channels, but in the many years of that game's existence, no such channel was created that is commonly used. Players create one that is popular for a few months, then abandoned. Even when a player-created channel IS popular, it doesn't automatically push out to every new player.
In my opinion, that restricts the ability for the players in that game to REALLY bond as a community. I recognize that there is a community there, but I am arguing it would encompass a broader percentage of its players if they could chat in a common forum more easily.
In City of Heroes, for example, there IS a better system. I play semi-actively in both Homecoming and Rebirth. Homecoming has a channel I think is called "General" and Rebirth has one called "Rebirth." Both do exactly what I like. If people are just talking about cool movies or music or funny TV shows or spamming puns, I still get to tune in and participate in all of that, even if I am in a different part of the City or Heroes, or even in a mission. Whenever I see that such a channel does NOT exist in Champions Online, it occurs to me that the people who designed that game never assumed such a channel would be important.
I wanted to put in my two cents that I, personally, do feel like such a channel would be important. It is a HUGE part of why the original CoX game, as well as the currently run CoX games feel like a tighter community than that of Champions Online. I don't want this kind of communication to be taken for granted. Please make sure that a common chat channel, for use across the areas of the game, whether in or out of missions, is part of the automatically pushed-out channels for all players.