Archmage Callinon wrote:
Talking to people through text while fighting is not a requirement for a sense of community. Talking to random strangers at all is actually not necessarily required. Sometimes you just want to get in, do a dungeon or whatever, and get out. Sometimes I don't feel like talking to my party members. Does that mean they may as well not be there? No, because if they weren't there, we couldn't do the content.
Isn't this the same as just playing on offline game with AI controlled extra party members? I've played those games. They aren't mmo's. The unfortunate truth is that far too many gamers have that philosophy, and it absolutely DOES effect the community negatively. FFXI had one of the best gaming communities I've ever been a part of, because it was expected. Since there was
downtime in battles, you were
able to talk to people, and many players did. In turn, it encouraged players to say hello when entering a party, and for others to welcome them. It was nice.
Other games, like WoW, you can't really talk at all during combat. I don't know if that is a reason why most random dungeon runs were dead silent, but a lot of them certainly were. I leveled a paladin 10-80 doing mostly random dungeons and probably 80% of the runs would be absolute silence. I'll admit, some of that was my fault as once I got used to a dungeon I would just speed run it as fast as possible, but I definitely think the pace of combat contributed to that lack of community.
That said, I do agree that voice chat has become very important at this point in mmo gaming. I don't love voice chat, mainly because my fiance thinks its really weird, but I understand it's importance in gaming in terms of coordination and timing, something that is hard to achieve in the same way with text based commands. What I will say though, is that FFXI had some pretty difficult battles that required lots of coordination and timing, tank swapping, kiting... all the same stuff from other mmo's, yet could still effectively be beaten without voice chat. So it is possible, I just don't know how it stays interesting in today's fast-paced gaming environment. Edited, May 1st 2013 9:16am by BartelX