Monday, August 26, 2013

General Chat

I got into a bit of an argument on FFXIV yesterday. There were a couple of people having a random conversation in general chat (or shout, which is FFXIV's zone channel). Then a third person, Octavia, got upset with those two, and told them that general chat was for people to find groups and sell stuff. Octavia said that the other two were "making general chat like that of WoW".

I felt that was incorrect. I don't want to see general chat to be a list of "LFG, LFG, LFG, WTS". I like seeing random conversations.

But then again, random conversations often make LFG messages disappear if people are talking a lot. That can be frustrating to someone who is looking for a group. Also, conversations that touch on hot topics such as politics and religion are annoying. Seeing variations of "Trudeau/Harper is a meanie"[1] makes me want to turn off general chat.

That's not even to mention getting into barrens chat and the Chuck Norris or even less savory spam.

I don't know. Trying to restrict conversation, to move the conversational norms to just WTS and LFG seems excessive to me. At the same time, I see the attraction of it.

[1] In some alternate universe where Canadian politics is debated in MMO chat.


  1. This reminds me of an ongoing controversy back on my old WoW server.

    There was a guy who was very into RPing as a very specific character, and very rarely broke out of it every time he was chatting in town chat. And somehow this managed to rile everyone's goat, even though he never actually seemed to do anything offensive or negative. He was simply a person who came to a non RP server to RP, and never asked for others to join him. And for this, he was constantly ridiculed and threatened.

    But basically, I disagree with this third person's assertion. Shout is for any kind of zone chat. If people want to have actual conversations with other players openly, that's what these kinds of open chats are for. Until S-E actually names the channel "LFG" or "Trade", then it's not meant for anything other then people to talk.

  2. I think, being general and off-switchable, anything goes in General. Anything which is not against TOS. It is a necessary evil which keeps about 50% players in the game.

  3. That's truly weird.

    Every MMO I've been in has had all sorts of conversations in Gen Chat, from the impromptu Star Wars Trivia Deathmatches on Tatooine in TOR to a discussion on Robert E. Howard on Age of Conan.

  4. General might be better labeled Miscellaneous. There are other channels for dedicated, necessary functions such as grouping or defense. Why ruin general with whining over people talking about general topics?

  5. General chat is open season. While it would be nice to see the LFG and WTS type banter always in their own channels it is called GENERAL for a reason. Anything goes, accept it.

    If you don't like general then leave it. You should never be able to control it.