Posted by: Sean | October 18, 2008

Do we need to rethink IC/OOC in 3.02?

A quick post today, and an excuse to use the new polls.

In the old game, there was a very simple way to explain which channels were in character, and which weren’t: If it produces a speech bubble, then it was in character. This felt nicely intuitive, and it made sense: /say and /yell were for in character, while /party allowed for in-game strategy to be hashed out of character. (Granted, /whisper was also sometimes in character,sometimes not, and let’s not even get into the mess tat is /guildchat.) But, in 3.02, /party now produces a speech bubble.

So something has to give. Do we now assume /party to be in character? Certainly, I know Jess would have a few reasons to approve of this idea. (That is, she could stop worrying about my undead warrior crying ‘Tally ho!’ and running off at a moment’s notice.) But I’d have to argue that no, we should continue to argue for /say and /yell as the only two default in-character channels. (And as such, I’d argue for turning off the speech bubbles in /party as a default.)

First, if they’re not in your party, you can’t see the speech bubbles. So I can be yelling “Tally ho!” all I want in the middle of Tirisfal Glades, but if you’re not in my party nobody can see it at all. This is, needless to say, difficult at best.

Second, we gotta have somewhere to chat about strategy, surely. /party is the obvious choice.

I think this is a bad change. /party should not have speech bubbles, and it should remain an out-of-character zone.

But what do you think? Poll below, or comment!



  1. Keep in mind, as I pointed out in my recent post on policy, official Blizzard policy is that Party is IC on a roleplay server.

  2. Yays for being the voice of reason — and for looking up the page that I couldn’t remember stumbling across long ago! Official Blizzardly-type rules have always consider /s, /y, and /p to be IC, regardless of what the community has adopted. Fortunately on Feathermoon US, most roleplayers assume that anything out of global channels or specifically created OOC channels is IC.

    I don’t use chat bubbles anyways since, well, I feel like… well… it ruins my… immersion? It’s the most embarrassing excuse people can come up with, but I have bubbles off and chatboxes on with /s, /y, /p, and /w set up which I use when I want to tune out the rest of the world.

  3. I wasn’t aware that /party chat now created speech bubbles, but I plan on turning it off now that I know. In my way of things, /party and /raid chat should never be IC – those functions exist for the benefit of coordination and playing the game in it’s PVE format. I still stand by that the only true IC methods of communication that make sense are /say, /yell, /whisper, and /emote. I understand the use of certain player-created channels (almost -every- RP server has an “RP” channel) and guild chat fundamentally, but I have a problem with actually using it myself.

    TL;DR = My vote is no, party chat should be considered out of character.

  4. The heck? Sorry for not-so-constructive comment, but I’ve been using party chat bubbles since I started playing, in 2.3. It’s been around at least since then, if not more.

  5. Really? Huh. I only noticed them when this particular patch came out. Perhaps they were turned on as default in that patch.

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