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Question for a common reported R2 problem (with poll!)

Discussion in 'Release 2 Feedback' started by Lum the Mad, Jan 24, 2014.

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Should "barks" (things NPCs say unprompted as you pass) appear in the chat log?

Poll closed Feb 7, 2014.
  1. Yes, as they do now

    26 vote(s)
    27.4%
  2. No, I like the idea of them only appearing over the head of NPCs

    50 vote(s)
    52.6%
  3. My opinion doesn't fit in the above two options and I'm posting it in more detail in this thread!

    19 vote(s)
    20.0%
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  1. Lum the Mad

    Lum the Mad Developer Emeritus

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    A lot of people are reporting issues with being spammed by minor NPC chatter. We pushed through a change early that increased the minimum amount of time NPCs will "bark" (say things unprompted) to 10 seconds, but it still seems to be a problem. The fact that NPC chatter can be seen through walls (and there are some here who think that that should remain, if NPCs are talking amongst themselves) makes it worse.

    The solution above is pretty easy to implement on our end, is it something you think should be done?
     
  2. Sir Seir

    Sir Seir Avatar

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    Lum, if we could have TABs in the chat log, we could direct these barks elsewhere...a busy town is going to be a tough place to try and talk with anyone (real or NPC).
     
  3. NirAntae

    NirAntae Avatar

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    If they ever give 'clues' and the like, I definitely don't want to miss them, and honestly I can rarely read the above-the-head text, but they definitely need to slow down. By a good bit. I know it's unrealistic conversationally, but we know they are NPCs, they don't really 'need' to have lifelike conversations amongst themselves.

    If it's just "make the world alive" noise, then I wouldn't mind not being able to read every word.

    Overall though, I prefer Seir's suggestion - customizable chat tabs. I am a huge huge fan of chat tabs.
     
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  4. Mishri

    Mishri Avatar

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    I like the idea that those barks have to be overheard (seen). So I think it makes sense that it isn't captured in your chat log if you aren't paying attention. I think it would lead to a good amount of fun situations where you can't just leave your character idle somewhere and wait for people to talk and check your logs later. you need to pay attention if you want to catch this uninitiated conversation.
     
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  5. mike11

    mike11 Avatar

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    I'm all for it, but probably most people would want a some option to filter what they are seeing.

    I think it's great and gives the NPC a bit more life as opposed to being more static.

    edit: I would also agree the Chatbox in general is still too 1-dimensional to really be able to handle multiple conversations.

    One example could be to have your 'actual' conversation somehow 'stickied' or shown in a slightly different manner while the npc-chatter would somehow 'trickle down'.
     
  6. Kuno Brauer

    Kuno Brauer Avatar

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    I selected the third choice because I think either the "barks" shouldn't show up in the chatbox (an effect that is perhaps toggled on and off when the player targets a specific NPC for conversation), or there should be some kind of tab and/or colored text system that makes important speech easy to pick out (and filters away unimportant speech, or at least "obscures" it somehow).

    After all, people can naturally pick out a single voice while having a conversation with somebody in a very crowded room (i.e., "The Cocktail Party Effect"). Our brains are able to draw the important information to our attention and push everything else to the background. See: "Selective Hearing" for a better explanation of what I mean: "An average person can walk into a noisy room and have a private conversation with relative ease — as if all the other voices in the room were muted."

    Whatever in-game system best simulates the almost effortless skill of selective hearing (in the most "unobtrusive" way possible) is what I support.
     
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  7. smack

    smack Avatar

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    This is really a chat box usability issue. I suggested in a previous post that there needs to be some differentiation between directed (targeted) conversations and general background chatter. The fact that NPCs are too chatty isn't the root cause so addressing that is only masking the real issue: chat box usability.

    If the barks are no longer in the chat box (and thus chat log), you could be missing out on some interesting things that you can go back to later. Especially when we want players to hear these things to increase social interaction. Plus, the barks are not a very usable interface. They're small, only like two lines and depending on some people scroll too fast or too long. They are only useful as hints to to see who's talking, not necessarily what they're saying. Running through a crowded street, I can't even see what the NPCs are barking about due to the camera and whatnot. I have to rely on the chat log.

    Those barks need to be in some sort of chat log. Whether or not they're in the same chat box or on a different tab or a different font or color is what we need to solve.
     
  8. PrimeRib

    PrimeRib Avatar

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    Does what they say matter? Am I going to miss that Timmy is stuck in a well? My feeling is that you can use this to help people a bit find the NPCs that matter...i.e. they show up in your chat log if they have something important for you.
     
  9. smack

    smack Avatar

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    You make a good point about temporal nature of background chatter. But I don't think it should be disregarded immediately or never saved. Perhaps the chat log for barks is not as large and only saves some x minutes worth or x barks for example. It's not that big of a problem though even if it's as big as your directed chat log. If someone's willing to reread all of that chatter, it still served the primary goal: increase player interaction with NPCs. Plus, these barks are repeated anyways. The NPC AI / scheduling isn't in place yet to have truly temporal conversations where NPCs meet and chat only at certain times and only talk about certain info. Please let there be NPC social graphs / knowledge graphs / etc...
     
  10. Dame Lori

    Dame Lori Avatar

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    Perhaps the things in the chat log should only be things that are directed to you, even if you aren't in the middle of a conversation with them yet. So you could be talking to the guard and if someone walks by and calls you a dirty outlander or someone goes "psst, I have something you might want", that would be in your chat box but the nearby merchant chit chatting to a customer should not be there.
     
  11. LadyM

    LadyM Avatar

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    Yes, I like that you have to see the NPC say it overhead, not scroll back in the chat log to read it after the fact.
     
  12. Margard

    Margard Avatar

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    My issue was that the barks came in a too rapidly ... and one fellow talking about fair prices felt like spamming ... not sure if it's multiple NPC's saying that or one guy roaming around saying that every 2-3 seconds .. it seemed unrealistic

    I agree with Smack and Kuno Brauer on their assessments ... for me, if direct conversation could be in one color with a larger text

    and background conversation in another ... with smaller text ... this may help
     
  13. redfish

    redfish Avatar

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    I just find scrolling the chatbox is pretty awkward, especially when the scrollbar thumb becomes very small due to a backlog of conversation. I'd like the devs to consider ways to improve this experience overall.
     
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  14. Umbrae

    Umbrae Avatar

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    Agree with the statement about tabs or channels in the chat window and the ability to set filters on what shows in each one. Many other RPGs/MMOs have features like this, and I customize the crap out of them. Even being able to set channels for NPCs and PCs would be incredibly useful. This stuff is especially useful for dyslexia people that will get information overload with all the text traffic in one box.
     
  15. Annah_Sennah

    Annah_Sennah Avatar

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    I don't really have a problem with it because when you rp in a tavern full of people in UO you have to filter everything yourself and back log the journal sometimes.
     
  16. W1rcu2

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    +1
     
  17. Pico

    Pico Avatar

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    I don't mind them showing up both in chat and in bubbles, but think there should be a shorter distance associated with them showing up. I was upstairs in a building near the market and I could still "hear" what was going on outside. The irksome part was I could see the text bubbles through the walls.
     
  18. Miracle Dragon

    Miracle Dragon Legend of the Hearth

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    I agree that we need more control over the chat box. the barks don't bother me in there as long as the chat box doesn't refresh while i'm trying to freeze it to read a conversation, (or copy it into the forums).

    1. I need to be able to toggle the chatbox frozen/unfrozen, so the text doesn't move while i'm reading.

    2. I need to be able to toggle the visibility of the chat box so it doesn't auto disappear while i'm reading.

    3. both of these toggles should be on the box so i don't have to go to a settings menu every time i want to read a conversation.

    *These could of course be incorporated into one toggle button, since they serve the same purpose.. to read a conversation.
     
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  19. Annah_Sennah

    Annah_Sennah Avatar

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    I do agree with Pico about distance determining what comes up in chat, being inside a building I shouldn't have dialog from merchants outside.
     
  20. Annah_Sennah

    Annah_Sennah Avatar

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    [​IMG]

    Sorry for a second post, it wasn't letting me edit my previous one.
     
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