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Communication

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RolandGrey
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Communication

I've added to a couple conversations on Facebook lately that have focused on the communities of different MMOs since the passing of CoH.

The main point seems to contend that no communities have been as good as the CoH community, but there doesn't seem to be much discussion as to why. One conversation did try to figure it out recently, but most of it has been revolving around "Yeah, you're right!" and "No way, I don't think so."

My own experience is that I have not found a game that had a communication system as robust as City of Heroes. Not even games that were designed after City of Heroes. Sometimes, it seemed like the chat system was added as an afterthought (especially after the hoops one had to jump through to edit the one on TSW).

Now, I don't know what goes into the making of a communication system, but we definitely need something that isn't just all of our combat, rewards and chats being regurgitated at us in all the same color. Even games with a major studio behind them were doing that. City of Heroes at least let us divide stuff up by different tabs at first, and later we were able to change the colors of our different channels. We wound up with a visual shorthand so we could glance and see where conversation was coming from and do a quick note on whether it was something we really wanted to pay attention to. That's really helpful when you're in the middle of a fight.

So, I guess my question is, what kind of communication system are we looking at?

Cobalt Azurean
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RolandGrey wrote:
RolandGrey wrote:

So, I guess my question is, what kind of communication system are we looking at?

Additionally, what kind of friend/global friend system? Sometimes I would go incognito so I could just sit down and play without interruption, and I would like to have similar (if not exact) options in CoT.

Doctor Tyche
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The core of our communication

The core of our communication system is the Advanced Social System. This is an off the shelf social interaction system, used in several games including Secret World Legends and Conan Exiles. On top of this core we're working to add various Association lists, such as friends, raid partners, supergroups, etc. You can see this core in action in this video:

Technical Director

Read enough Facebook and you have to make Sanity Checks. I guess FB is the Great Old One of the interent these days... - Beamrider

RolandGrey
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Saying it's the same one used

Saying it's the same one used by The Secret World is not filling me with confidence. Especially since while it allowed alterations by the users in a distressingly convoluted fashion, said alterations would have to be completely set up all over again whenever you went to a different map. I hope this can be improved upon.

Doctor Tyche
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The core is used by them. The

The core is used by them. The front end, the part which has to be redone in SWL, is all their design, nothing to do with the core of the system.

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Read enough Facebook and you have to make Sanity Checks. I guess FB is the Great Old One of the interent these days... - Beamrider

RolandGrey
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Well, that leaves me hopeful,

Well, that leaves me hopeful, then.

Doctor Tyche
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The plan is to get a basic

The plan is to get a basic setup in place first for the test builds. Then we use player feedback to iterate build up the features most in use/demanded.

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Read enough Facebook and you have to make Sanity Checks. I guess FB is the Great Old One of the interent these days... - Beamrider

Fireheart
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That sounds like a smart

That sounds like a smart approach. Local, Local-area Broadcast/Shout, Shard-level Broadcast, World/Game-level Broadcast, All Friends, Group/Team, Supergroup/team, and Tell/Whisper are the obvious channels that I used all the time. Then there are the Global Chat channels. A caveat about so many channels is that sometimes Players will hijack a channel for other purposes, like advertising LFGs and such, but if you keep the purpose of each channel clear, that should be minimized.

It will also be important to have the option to squelch channels that one does not need to hear from at a time.

Be Well!
Fireheart

Kiyori Anoyui
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The ability to mute all

The ability to mute all communication from a player would be good as well. This would come in handy when you have the dozens of spammers. The ability to report and mute would go a long way for times like that.

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Project_Hero
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There should be an "ignore"

There should be an "ignore" and an "ignore and report" button. The latter of which would probably give you some form of form to fill out as to why you are reporting the person. Hopefully complex enough to deter false reporting but not so complex as to make reporting a hassle for actual issues.

Which is probably a tough line to walk.

Redlynne
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TIM StatusThe Invisible

TIM Status
The Invisible Message

Whatever communication system gets used, it NEEDS to have a staff controlled "layer" of the communications which checks to determine if the PC's communications are to be seen by anyone other than the sender and MWM Staff. That way, if an offender gets muted by a GM, the offender won't find out that they've been muted without using a cross-check via another PC. The offender's communications still "happen" and therefore they still get logged (also known as giving someone enough rope to hang themselves with), and all their outgoing messages still show up in the sender's chat window ... it's just that no one else receives them (and thus, no one else is bothered by them).

Gold Spammer Bots are programmed to recognize chat window messages informing the "Player" that they have been muted in whatever channel they're using. Remove that "cue" and a muted Spambot will just keep spamming WHILE MUTED ... wasting the spammer's time and effort (and best of all, unwanted advertising). Indeed, it may take the controller of the spambot "a while" to figure out that their bot has been muted by staff.

By default, this "interception layer" in the communication system will be set to permit communications, unless a PC commits an offense that deserves sanctions according to MWM policies. Set things up such that muting of PCs via TIM Status can be tailored via either specific communication channels (Yelling is TIMmed but Local is not, for example) or as a global sanctioning of all channels.

Oh, and just for reference ...


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Project_Hero wrote:
Project_Hero wrote:

There should be an "ignore" and an "ignore and report" button. The latter of which would probably give you some form of form to fill out as to why you are reporting the person. Hopefully complex enough to deter false reporting but not so complex as to make reporting a hassle for actual issues.

Which is probably a tough line to walk.

These are good ideas and I would also ask for a version of "global ignore" as well. Storytime!

CoH did indeed have a fantastic community with beliefs and styles that ranged far and wide. But sometimes folks did rub each other the wrong way just by existing. A few times at Pride global channel (LGBTQ) events there would be some... detractors, on broadcast continually telling the zone they did not approve. (Yes I'm being gentle here.) I would observe several others ask them to stop and be refused. Then I would act and politely ask them to stop as well. When they refused I would ask on Pride "Can somebody in [zone] broadcast "How do I ignore someone?". Usually 2 or 3 folks would ask as I was typing "Just type something like '/gi detractor '". As the detractor sputtered I would watch as someone explained that most of the ZONE had ignored their entire account. And that their options for teaming and any other player interaction on the server had just dramatically reduced. Then they just went silent.

It was an effective and player based nuclear option. I only had to do it a few times thankfully, but I'm glad it was there to be used.

Project_Hero
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Allegedly the enchanter known

Allegedly the enchanter known as Tim was supposed to have a much longer and much grander name, but the actor forgot it and just said Tim. They rolled with it and decided to keep it.

Cobalt Azurean
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Doctor Tyche wrote:
Doctor Tyche wrote:

The core is used by them. The front end, the part which has to be redone in SWL, is all their design, nothing to do with the core of the system.

Well that's a relief. You literally need to manually rejoin channels in SWL every time unless you setup a script. It's a bad, bad system.

Lin Chiao Feng
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Project_Hero wrote:
Project_Hero wrote:

Allegedly the enchanter known as Tim was supposed to have a much longer and much grander name, but the actor forgot it and just said Tim. They rolled with it and decided to keep it.

Back in college, a friend from Indonesia would identify himself as “Tim” at those restaurants which needed a name on the order.

Has anyone seen my mind? It was right here...