EverQuest II Voice Chat!

Discussion in 'Developer Roundtable' started by ARCHIVED-Autenil, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. ARCHIVED-Autenil Guest

    There has been some buzz building for a while that we've teamed up with Vivox to bring you in-game voice chat. That time is nearly upon us. With Game Update 47, voice chat will be available throughout EverQuest II!

    However, we really want this to be a high-quality system that you love to use! That's why, just days after Game Update 46 has gone live, we're bringing in-game voice chat to the Test server! We want your feedback!

    Here's a little preview of how EverQuest II's voice chat feature will work.

    The game automatically creates voice channels for Guilds, Guild Officers, Groups and Raids. You can also create your own custom password-protected user channels similar to how the in-game text chat currently works. These channels are available through a drop-down box in the new Voice Chat window. The Voice Chat window also shows the participants currently in the channel and an icon color indicates who is speaking.

    [IMG] [IMG]

    The Voice Chat window can also be positioned, faded and configured to only show current speakers (while it can be faded out completely, the image below shows some transparency for effect).


    In addition to the Voice Chat window, there is also a new Voice Bar that provides status updates, channel selection and a talk indicator to show when you are talking. The Voice Bar can be freely placed or attached to your chat window.


    Sometimes it's easier to just invite someone to join your Raid or Guild channel rather than create a new custom channel and have everyone join it. Therefore, we've added the ability for leaders to invite players, even on other EverQuest II servers, to join any of the game-controlled voice channels. A handy link is displayed on the invitee's chat window and a quick click puts them in voice communication with you and everyone else in the channel.


    We've made it easy to get voice chat working from the start. While voice chat is turned on by default, we don't automatically put you in any channels to start with. However, if you'd like to, we've also added the ability to automatically join Group, Raid and Guild channels when they are available. Plus, we've addressed a problem that people tend to have when using a voice chat application. With your permission, the EverQuest II client tries to fix settings in Windows that may be preventing your microphone from working. Perhaps your microphone is muted in the volume control panel, or it's not selected as the Windows input device. We've provided a handy "Fix" button to take care of some of these issues, as well as some troubleshooting options so that you can get chatting without ever leaving the game!


    We've also put speaking indicators into the Group and Raid windows, as well as the display for Logitech G15 Keyboards.

    So, come try out our in-game Voice Chat for EverQuest II on the Test server (soon!) and let us know what you think!
  2. ARCHIVED-Amana Guest

    I deffinately have alot of questions concerning the voice chat system.
    1. What is the overall goal of the voice chat system? Are you wanting to compete with Ventrilo and Teamspeak servers?
    2. Is the Speak system a seperate entity to EQ2 wherebye it goes to another server or is it tied directly into specific EQ2 servers? One thing I worry about is 2k+ players all chatting at the same time possibly creating lag.
    3. Will people be able to silence others in their group or other players they feel are too talkative? Also have you thought about tieing it into the ignore system?
    4. What tools will you give raid and group leaders to control chatter? Will leaders have the ability to quickly silence everyone but themselves to give out orders and directions?
    5. In terms of latency will see a seperate latency window for the voice chat to monitor our lag or will it be in the same window as the game latency window?
    6. For the guild portion will we see a rank system with voice chat permission and a possible tie in to custom voice channels?
    I'll have to thank up some more questions, but those are my most pressing ones at the moment.
  3. ARCHIVED-Purr Guest

    One question to add:
    Will there be possibilities to alter your voice according to the char you play? If not I seriously doubt I will ever use it. For me systems like Ventrilo or Teamspeak conflict with immersion into the game, sorry I just cringe if the big Ogre Warrior Guy speaks like a lil girl or the beautiful High Elfen Lady flirts with everybody in the group in a strong Bariton voice...
  4. ARCHIVED-TwistedFaith Guest

    Purrfect wrote:
    I heard that is part of the Vivox system, you can even change the sex of your voice so if your a women playing a male ogre your voice will sound like that.

    I am very curious how this is going to play out, like most guilds we use Ventrillo for raids and general chating. However if there's not many people online then vent is quiet. I kind of like the idea of doing pickup groups where even if people dont have MIC's we can listen to maybe the tank running the show etc.

    I am curious how this is all going to work with chat channels though, are these to become all voice based so lvl 70-79 is going to have 40+ people in it all talking at the same time. On the same note will the likes of Qeynos Harbor have this feature also so people close to each other can hear each other speak.

    I imagine this is going to be amazing for the roleplay servers. Overall I am very excited by this whole feature it has the possbility of really changing the game for a lot of people.
  5. ARCHIVED-Autenil Guest

    Amana wrote:
    1. We'd LOVE for you to use the in-game chat over the other ones. That's why we're soliciting feedback long before it goes live. We're also doing usability focus tests on campus here at SOE to make this a GREAT feature.

    2. Yes. All voice communication goes through Vivox's systems and NOT through the game servers. They're completely separate servers in a completely separate datacenter.

    3. The system allows you to set volume and mute on a per-player basis. This allows you to adjust people you can't quite hear (or are too loud) or mute someone who is being a bit too talkative.

    4. Yes, we're implementing moderator controls, although they're in development now (and will be available for launch). Moderators will be able to kick, ban and mute individual or all other players. Currently Raid leaders are moderators in the Raid channel, Group leaders are moderators in their Group channels, Guild Leaders are moderators in the Guild Officers' channel and Guild Officers are moderators in the Guild channel.

    5. Since all communication goes through Vivox system, we (as EQII developers) don't have visibility into the network traffic, so no latency information is available.

    6. Currently there are just Guild and Guild Officer channels with moderation abilities as answered in #4. In order to participate in the Guild Officer channel, you must have permission to see and speak in the Guild Officer text channel.
  6. ARCHIVED-Autenil Guest

    TwistedFaith wrote:
    The Voice Font feature (that changes the way your voice sounds to everyone else) is a planned feature, but it's further down the road and won't be available at launch.

    You should definitely be able to listen into chat if you don't have a microphone.

    The only channels that the game creates for you are the Guild, Guild Officer, Group, and Raid channels, when applicable. There won't be any (game-created) level range or class channels. However, user-created channels can exist and support lots of players.

    The proximity chat feature is one that we really wanted to launch with, but we decided to push it out until some things changed in Vivox's server system.
  7. ARCHIVED-Barq Bandit Guest

    This is very exciting! :D /dance
  8. ARCHIVED-LouisMarkham Guest

    We let new officers see OS Chat. Will they be able to hear, but not talk?

    How are permissions going to work? Will there be options to add additional people to mod voice guild chat? or only certain specific ranks? We use Officer Alt as a rank and it would be nice if they can be assigned the mod permissions as well.
  9. ARCHIVED-GrunEQ Guest

    Fantastic! This game is really developing by leaps and bounds....I'm impressed with changes that have taken place this past year. Keep up the good work, can't wait!
  10. ARCHIVED-DCarnage2 Guest

    All I have to say is wow! You guys are doing an excellent job, keep up the good work! :)

    Can't wait to test it.
  11. ARCHIVED-Pitt Hammerfist Guest

    Sounds good, might have to drop ventrillo
    I take offence at the silencing of talkative people statement though :p
  12. ARCHIVED-Sorano Guest

  13. ARCHIVED-Syndic Guest

    I would be very interested to see how this works. Can you listen into multiple channels at the same time. Currently using vent going into a group channel means I miss out on the general guild channel. Also how easy is it going to be to switch channels. If I could listen to multiple channels, would love to see key assignments allowing me to speak in multiple channels without the need to change (eg press t to speak in group, y to speak in guild etc etc).

    Another question, I'm guessing you can only be in the guild channel for your current character? I play on my alts a fair bit which are not in my mains guild, but currently still listen/speak on Vent to guildies. So would love the option to be able to go to the guild channel for another character
    on my account.
  14. ARCHIVED-Xalmat Guest

    One concern.

    At least with the Ventrilo client and Ventrilo servers, you're able to see who is in other channels on any given server, and even who is speaking in those channels. Will the EQ2 voice chat be able to do the same? IE if I'm in a group using the group channel, will I be able to see who is chatting in the guild channel?

    Something else my guild does with its Ventrilo chat, we use designated channels for grouping, but we don't necessarily limit it to non-group members. If I'm in a group of six, will I be able to invite people outside the group into the chat?

    What about for a raid? It's conceivable (and happens quite often) that more than 24 people are online for raids, even though only 24 people can join the raid itself. Will people outside the raid be able to join the raid channels?

    Will private channels persist even if no one is actually in the channel? Who gets moderator controls for private channels when no one is online? For private channels can any number of people be assigned ownership? Will private channels require an invite to join?

    Will there be a "Push to Talk" option?
  15. ARCHIVED-Eye4ni Guest

    Sweet! Kudos all around.
  16. ARCHIVED-Moltove Guest

    What's the max a channel can hold? Or was that said already, with the 24 people in a raid thing?
  17. ARCHIVED-Autenil Guest

    Elizabette@Antonia Bayle wrote:
    Currently there are not separate permissions for guild voice chat. This could be something that we might address.

    Syndic wrote:
    There were some issues with supporting multiple listening channels at launch, but this is a feature that we are very keen on getting into the game. Once we support multiple channels, we would definitely look into having assignable keys for speaking in different channels.

    While you only get auto-registered in the guild channel for your current character, you can be invited to other guilds' voice chat channels (or even other groups or raids). This is a great point to bring up. Thanks!
  18. ARCHIVED-Autenil Guest

    Xalmat wrote:
    Currently you are not able to see who is chatting in other channels that you have access to without joining that channel. When we support listening to multiple channels, this will likely change (at least due to you being able to see everyone in all the channels you are listening to).

    As far as your non-group members in group channels: YES! This was a major feature that even EQII devs requested. The leader of your channel can do /voice invite [server.]<name> to any game-controlled (and even custom password-protected) channels! People outside your group, raid, guild and even officer channel will be able to be invited into the channel.

    Private channels currently work like text chat channels. They are temporary channels that cycle on a daily basis (according to the Vivox folks) and the moderator will be the one who creates the channel. That being said, we're still working on private channels. They don't require an invite to join. If you know the password for a channel, you'll be able to join it. Likewise, players can invite other players into custom channels without passing around the password.

    Due to there being no way in Vivox currently to adjust the threshold of voice-activated chat, all voice chat is push-to-talk. The push-to-talk system differentiates between Left and Right CTRL, ALT and SHIFT buttons and also allows extra mouse buttons present on some mice. You can configure up to two push-to-talk buttons and you can also click on the talk indicator on the voice bar to activate voice chat.

    Moltove wrote
    Currently, Guild channels are limited to 400 players and other channels cap at 100 players. So theoretically, you could have 100 players in a Raid voice channel.
  19. ARCHIVED-ke'la Guest

    Autenil wrote:
    How about special (moderated) channels for specific events such as the possablity of having a Voice Dev Chat, such as those hosted by 'zam or Stratigics?
  20. ARCHIVED-Xalmat Guest

    Thanks for answering my questions. Here's a few more.

    Oftentimes you can get booted to character select simply by zoning (happens quite frequently going into Shard of Hate, for example). With that in mind, will you be able to stay in voice chat even at character select?

    What about while you're zoning, will you be able to continue voice chatting while zoning? I know some UIs let you continue text chatting while zoning (ProfitUI for one), so this doesn't seem all that unreasonable.

    What about if you're switching characters, will you be able to stay in channels while switching characters without having to re-join? (Granted if you have two different characters in two different guilds, cross-guild chatter might not be all that welcome).

    How bout an out-of-game client? I could see something like this being very useful built-in to the Station Launcher.

    I don't know if other SOE games will have Vivox chat built-in like EQ2 will, but if that happens, will non-EQ2 players be able to join EQ2 channels (and the reverse as well)?

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