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Cross Planet trade channel and LFG channels, oh and blow up fleet.


Woetoo

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One of weaknesses in the game right now is the instanced chat channels.

Fleet chat is instanced, Trade chat too I believe.

700 people on fleet? Too bad, you can only speak to a maximum of 250 at once.

 

Which makes person to person trading more awkward and organising operations groups, especially if you need just 1 person pretty limiting too.

Add to that, the lag involved in so many players stood in one place plus the way other planets/areas feel a little underutilised, and I wonder if a single central hub is the best solution. I might wish for a technical solution to reduce the lag, but maybe there's an alternative.

 

I was running through a couple of variations on themes in my head and decided what I really most like would be a couple of discrete locations linked by shared chat channels. Especially if those locations "made sense" (at least to me).

 

So, I was thinking....

 

Have an event. Maybe a Dread Master assault on both fleets. Maybe something more subtle, with the the Dread Masters opening up both fleets to opposite faction attack. Throw in some PvP for those who stay on fleet (I hate PvP, but I can see the appeal/logic). Have the initial level 9/10 quests bypass the fleets and head straight for the capital worlds, and have an exodus of non-combatants (ie anyone who doesn't want to PvP back to "other" locations - primarily the core worlds, but also other places... listed below).

 

So all the vendors, quest givers and other NPCs move enmass back to the core world, but in a time of change... other central hubs pop up. Nar Shaddaa strikes me as another great hub for trade. So add everything that was on fleet at a spot on Nar Shaddaa too, in addition to fleet. I'm obviously not familiar with what will happen with Makeb, but the Hutts are running the GTN... wouldn't it make sense that Makeb (or somewhere similar) might be another hub for trade, alongside Nar Shaddaa, Coruscant and Korriban?

 

Maybe you could even have the Fleets defended in time, and come back as lessor, damaged versions of themselves.

 

So now you've got people spread out around the universe, but they've still got to be able to reach each other. So have a trade network (chat channel), available everywhere on Fleet AND the trade districts of all the places I've suggested. People will still bunch up in those locations, but each will be equally viable as another.

 

General Chat would still be local, but I'm hoping with people more spread out could mean the end to instanced general chat and trade chat.

 

One extra thing I feel would be needed though, would be a global LookingForGroup chat channel linking all these places. Though maybe it could be a slightly wider scope than just the trade districts. But not so wide that you could be stood just about anywhere, since there still has to be something that draws people together.

 

Maybe even go one stage further and have the trade chat channels work in any cantina? (that console in the corner is a trade hub - how else would you order goods an a backwater planet?). Maybe the global LFG channel could work when onboard your ship (Hey, I have comms on my ship, couldn't I use them to organise raiding partys?).

 

You could do it without blowing up fleet of course (and all the added development time to rewriting all those quest points that send people to fleet) - but a guy can hope can't he?

 

I'm not suggesting that we have truly global channels, available everywhere. But the idea that there's only ONE place to do this stuff just seems counter intuitive.

 

Plus my hope would be that some emergent activity might happen, with a Korriban community arising. A Tattoine Cantina traders association. Stuff like that. Plus it works around some of the more quirky technical solutions (Instances fleet/trade chats? seriously?)... then even better.

 

Plus it might incentivise people to use the right channels for the correct purposes. If general chat doesn't reach everyone, then maybe people will think twice about spamming WTB/WTS messages. Right now, there is little choice but to do /1 LFG/LFM... but if a viable, sensible alternative were added that had direct advantages to using the correct channels... then perhaps things might improve in that area.

 

Someone might need to rework the spaceports and docking facilities to be a bit more "large number of travellers" friendly. Especially reconnect the taxi services on Korriban to allow travel from the spaceport to the trade district. But that's all good too.

 

Want to gamble and trade? Go to Nar Shaddaa. (assuming mini-games might be situated there eventually)

Want to talk politics and trade. Go to your capital world.

Want to be able to trade, but are looking for something a bit more small scale with a few familiar faces. Head to the cantina on Tatooine.

Don't like change, but still want to trade? Stay on fleet.

Want to save the galaxy from the Terror from Beyond, talk in general chat without listening to "Goat" chat on the core worlds and fleet - and cba switching general chat on and off whenever you change zones. Stay on your ship, or simply don't go to fleet and/or your capital worlds... but still be involved.

 

Clearly I don't know the technical issues that might limit a set of cross-world chat channels, but since custom channels already work and until recently, fleet and trade chats weren't instanced - I can hope.

 

Though given this is something that one developer couldn't complete in a single day, maybe it's pointless to ask.

 

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Edited by Woetoo
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The thing is, you can create user made chat channels already. Create one, and spread the word about it in game and in the server section of the forums.

 

If Bioware just makes it as a feature, you'd still have to get people to actually understand they have to turn it on in the chat window settings. So you'd still have to spread the word.

 

TBH, I would close all global chat channels if their default was on.

Edited by monkgryphon
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Custom channels are great for guild alliances and small groups of friends. They don't work at a game level though. Since you've already mentioned that getting people to switch on/off channels in the chat settings is hard... getting enough people to do /cjoin's is beyond credence.

 

And one of the reasons I was mulling it over is that I switched trade chat off back during early access. And try as I might, convincing people that trade chat is better for trading is impossible. For it to work, it has to be something that is both a better solution and appeals to people's self interest.

 

I'd switch general chat off too on fleet if I could. But I still want a way to organise and/or join PuG groups for operations.

 

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Edited by Woetoo
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What's with the blank black line? :p

 

I feel the group Queue system works fine for randomness, but I would rather see something like the LFM Grouping window from DDO. You post that you are looking to do something with your own text entry of what and where. People request to join, you can review their class/advanced class, and then accept or decline their request. We don't need gear check on it, but at least see their level. It would be used mainly for levelling, but can be used for endgame too.

Edited by monkgryphon
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