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"Hello, is there anybody out there?"

Might be something you hear more often when you play online games. With games like DDO starting to offer in game chat hosted themselves, for everyone that plays. You can bet people will take advantage of it. Though there are many who do not want to see this added so easily available.

In the past, to talk in game to other players, you would have to first download software, such as Teamspeak or Ventrilo. Both of these require a server as well, which you could either rent from someone who already had the software installed, or you could set it up yourself. Either way, it's usually not completely free, wether it cost money, or bandwidth.

Now, DDO will be hosting the servers on their own, and allow players to tap into them with their groups and raids. The players won't have to worry about IP addresses, passwords, or having to download any software to run it. People who play online games with the XBOX are familiar to this type of speaking.

In the past, these types of communication have usually been used for large scale raids, friends, and guilds to use to talk with each other. You normally wouldn't get a pick up group to all jump on your voice server to talk. And because it was limited to those groups, you could control who you were talking to.

There are those who don't want to see this system of communication in place. From worries that it will ruin the role play aspect of the game being able to hear the person behind the mic. No more men roleplaying women. To others who are older, and not used to the way younger generation chats, and might even be offended by some of the words that are deemed acceptable these days.

Those do seem to be valid points in a game where pick up groups will become the norm. But don't forget, that is what the small servers are supposed to help with. So you get to know your fellow players better, and can stay away from any that you found not to be of your taste.

Voice chat in online games is here to stay. We all need to learn to adapt to the changes it will bring and learn to use it to its full potential. Just think about heading through the sewers and instantly being able to know when the rogue has spotted a trap. "STOP! Trap!", can be heard through a headset much faster than typed through a keyboard, even with macros!.

I for one use voice chat when I play online games quite frequently. I've had to set up, run, and admin a chat server for our guild, which we use when we play. It's a great deal more fun being able to chat with your friends, and being able to say commands to everyone, is a boon as well. The only problems I've had with it, were issues with the software itself, or my server going down. So, having someone else deal with those issues is awesome.

So, what do you think? You can leave a comment, Here!

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June 5, 2008