(Private) Chat Channels Remain Planned for Diablo 3

Long time readers will recall that Starcraft 2 launched without chat channels, and that Blizzard initially had no plans to include them. Only after a huge outcry from fans did they accept that their automated matchmaking system wasn’t enough, and that players wanted to communicate to set up matches, as well as just shoot the manure while chilling on Battle.net.

There are no DiabloWikichat channels in the Diablo III beta, but after the Starcraft 2 no-chat debacle, it was no surprise when Bashiok said that we’d see them in Diablo 3. That was long ago though, (back in October 2010) and after no mention for some time, some fans began to suspect they might not make it into D3 after all. Just this weekend, Horst from inDiablo wrote an article (in German) about why we might not seen them in Diablo 3, and started poking Bashiok for a confirmation, one way or the other.

Late Sunday he got it, via Bashiok’s twitter feed.

so chat channels are still part of the game? –kultbot
They’re in there right now. Unless people are expecting general open channels? We’ve consistently said we won’t have those. —Bashiok

As there are no chat channels of any kind in the D3 beta, I’m not entirely sure what Bashiok means by a “general open channel.” So there will only be privately-created channels run by guilds or clans, or ones that you can create yourself and invite your friends to come visit? Just wondering, but why don’t they want general open channels? Seriously; what’s the downside? If players want to spend their B.net time chatting, rather than playing, why is Blizzard stopping them?

Thankfully, there are other options for live Diablo 3 chat, such as our IRC channel. Also note that the DiabloWikiFriends List provides fairly robust messaging options, including cross-game, but that’s only for people you already know; meeting someone new to chat with will be the hard part on D3’s B.net.

Update: A fan echoed a lot of the criticism you guys have stated in comments to this post, and Bashiok popped up to do his job by defending the lack of public chat channels in Diablo 3. Thanks to Sidious for the tip.

It seems there’s been some confusion taken from the above statement I made back in September. The chat in Diablo III is exactly as I described, you do all of it in a single window. StarCraft II has a system where each chat is broken out into a separate window, chat program-style, but Diablo III keeps it all in one. The same single window that’s used for chat when you eventually jump into a game, too.

As far as having open public channels, there’s far more negative to them than positive and we maintain a stance that creating an open chat environment without a social structure behind it is an invitation for moderation and support disasters. Most people that want chat channels though are referring to guild channels, or otherwise channels they themselves can operate and choose to invite others to, and we see those as completely valid forms of chat (there’s a social structure backing the channel). As I said, back in September, it’s unlikely to be anything we attain for ship, but the social group-type chat features are still very much a desire for the future.

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79 thoughts on “(Private) Chat Channels Remain Planned for Diablo 3

  1. Oh man, don’t give them more excuse for delays. I bet adding one might take them another year to polish.

  2. Really Blizz, if you don’t want newbs to get scared because of all the inanity just make the general chat be off by default…

  3. Not sure if want.  The prior need was to A) group or B) find/trade/purchase items.  The prior abuse was C) 3rd party website spam.
    A) You can group per-quest now… no need to solicit mephisto runs in general chat B) AH and RMAH – no need to discuss C) dear Lord I hope spam isn’t as bad in D3.

    • A) That’s true, but don’t forget that us non-newb gamers who want to form elite parties can advertise and gear-check before running Inferno.

      *IF they give us open channels.

  4. I like the open chat channels of D2 and SC1. I kinda think they dont want open channels so that people dont mass spam items they have for sale.

  5. General chat was a cesspool anyway it will not be missed.   Being able to make channels and have them exist is fine.   For instance there are several clan channels and custom map channels that are persistent in SC2 that I use regularly to get games.    I can see one for incgamers etc that exist as well as many others that can be made by users.

    • No one is asking for general chat.  Please go take a look at Diablo 1, or 2 or SC1.  Back when they came out they had open chat channels that had decent communities.

      Examples include Bounty Hunter (is that what it was called)  Class specific chat, like Rogues gallery, Diablo II Gallery etc.

      These channels were no cesspool, and it would be great if they could come back.

      PS:  Are there any members of Rogues/Diablo 2 Gallery out there that still come here?

  6. lol have they learnt nothing? It’ll be SC2 all over again…

    What’s the point of even assure us they will have chat channels when it’s not the chat channel we want, and they know this! Do they do everything the opposite just to spite lately? They mad at us? 😐

  7. I dont get it whats in the game already? I can send a private message to a friend??

    I dont understand why Blizzard is against normal chat channels along the lines of D2. There were times when hanging out in chat was pretty cool. Especially when I needed help and could easily meet someone of a high level who could help me out with a tricky part of the game or had a shitload of gear he didnt really need and could unload on a newbie….oh….wait…..I see what you did there Blizzard….NAUGHTY!! 👿

  8. It’s because Blizzard has turned into massive control freaks when it comes to bnet. Look at the battletag naming conventions. You can’t “mix languages”. So there’s that guy in the blizzard feed on the side of the site who couldn’t have the name “ruckus” in an English region which is just absurd and stupid beyond belief.

    • Well it was because he had “ku” in there which may be because of you know… ‘ku klux klan.’

    • Agreed. That was really retarded. The problem being in the string “ku”. Having a smattering of knowledge about certain eastern-european languages, I actually know why they did that.

      Its still stupid though. Like Ruckus, there are a lot of cool words that have Ku in it. Like erm….Kung Fu! Ok the word is not that cool, but baning a wordstring like ‘ku’ is retarded beyond all belief.

      • Lol I too did see this shit. the best about it is answer of  battlenet fag(moderator).

        Sorry we dont know whats causing it, we dont know how to fix it, we hope to fix it, but we dont know when, in the meantime pick another name. have a nice day

  9. Is this going to be another 200+ post pointless nerd rage thread?

    Seriously, general chat is gone, it won´t be missed. How would it even work in D3 where there are no servers that host 10k to 50k people, instead there are small 1 to 4 player games. So, how would “general chat” even work. If it is chat between all people in a single game, that is already implemented. If it is chat beween you and everybody on your friends list/real ID list, that is also already in. 

    Otherwise, chat between everybody on the server, as in EU server, NA server, etc, is impssible. In WoW there are 10 to 50k people per sever, and that is further broken down to Horde/Alliance, and that is further broken down to people who are inside the capital city, which is even further broken down into general chat channel and trade chat channel. So, when you enter capital city of your faction on your sever and join one of the chat channels, you are only speaking to people who are: 1) on you server; 2)in your faction 3)in the capital city and 4)in the chat channel you are currently using.

    So, in the general chat in WoW, there is maybe few thousand people in peak hours on high population servers. And even then, it is increadibly crowded, messages fly by, and there is increadible amount of spam and just plain cr a p in it, that one cannot but be amazed at human stupidity. And, since D3 doesn´t have servers, it has one server per region, the only way there could be “general chat”, is if they allow everybody in the region chat with each other. That would potentially millions of people chatting at the same time, asides from hardware issues, it would also be pointless. Text would pass faster then one could read and amount of intelligent conversation would be nill.

    • You are trying to compare apples to oranges.

      Go back and take a look at Diablo 1  , Diablo 2 and Starcraft 1 chat channels.  There were a number of open channels that were popular, and actually had good (generally self moderated) communities.

      People are not asking for general chat as you depict it (WoW Sytle).  

      Please go educate yourself before you post 500 word essay on the wrong topic.  It will be beneficial to you, and the rest of us here.

      • Funny, I thought I saw multitudes of people complaining about the lack of general chat channel.

        I am all for type of chat channels you described, community centered well moderated chats. What I am against, and why I wrote my “500 word essey”, are general chat channels. Un-moderated massive chat channels of hell with thousands of idiots competing for the title of biggest moron.

    • in D2 the default chat channels were for example ger1, ger2, ger10… every channel is restricted to a maximum of 20 (?) players. in D3 it could be ger1264, ger1265, ger1266,.., ger14203…
      i liked these channels. you could ask people what an item is worth or if they rush you and so on..
      i think it also would be great to find competent allies for a 4-player-game or a “clan” or a well composed PvP team

  10. How would it even work in D3 where there are no servers that host 10k to 50k people, instead there are small 1 to 4 player games. So, how would “general chat” even work.

    …Wow. Or maybe WoW.

    • Even in WOW general chat is for a city or region outside a city.   It never contains the entire population of a server by any means.   If you are not familiar with how channels work in SC2 I suggest looking into it.   You can create persistent channels in SC2 and call them whatever you like and have people autojoin when they log on.   For instance we could make a diablo incgamers channel and have everyone from this site type /join diablo incgamers , similar to IRC, and they will auto join when they log on.    

      My remembrance of  general chat in d2 was a huge bot fest with tweens trying to say penis 50k times.   I can honestly say I never used it for anything of importance so it will not be missed.

      • That was a long time after the game was out, and there was no reason for you to fear your account being nixed. When D2 first came out, for at least a year or so, the channels were pretty good, including all of the private channels you’d end up being in.

        As for functionality, there’s a ton of games (grab Guild Wars as an example) that have a “broken-up” chat system that works just fine for an entire region. Dude just sounded like all he knew about was WoW, is all. Which was funny.

      • My remembrance of  general chat in d2 was a huge bot fest with tweens trying to say penis 50k times.   I can honestly say I never used it for anything of importance so it will not be missed.
        I couldn’t agree more – I wouldn’t wish a general chat (in any current or past game) on my worst enemy.  That said, this is a softball for those that complain 24/7 – I expect people to defend general chat to the death in this thread even though every one that I have ever seen is a cesspool. I concede defeat on this matter – if there is a general chat, I’ll never join in the “discussion”.

        • You forget, the people making it a cesspool presumably enjoy using it…
          Plus, it’s always a nice reminder of how much humanity sucks while you wait for a game…

          • Both of you are over-reacting only the main general chat channel and the trade channels were spammed. The hundreds of other channels based on countries, regions, clans and whatever were very well moderated and were a pleasent place to hang out.

          • @InBlack
            You mean to say that wasn’t enough?
            But really, they should just make the general one off by default, and let the people who want to brave it be able to…

    • Taking out a small part of my post out of context as a way to prove my point wrong? I am disappointed, Risingred. If you had read my post further, you would have noticed that I said that servers can, and will host millions of players, however there won´t be more then 4 players in a single game. WoW has many severs each hosting 10k to 50k people, Diablo has one sever which hosts games each of which can have maximum of 4 people. 

      Also, you haven´t answered, how would general chat work in a game like Diablo 3?

      • The same way it worked in Diablo2?? You know that game from ten years ago that had ten times the features of this current ADD friendly iteration?

        Oh wait, you never mentioned your age. Or maybe youve never played Diablo2?

        • You mean the bot-festival and “SELLING PG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” spam area? Yeah most definitely needed nowadays…

          • You clearly have never played Diablo 1, or 2 in their primes either.  Before Blizzard “LET” the bots take over, such channels were well moderated, and were fun communities to be involved with.

            Its really funny how there are all these people that are just coming here and posting on topics they have absolutely no idea about, and have taken no time to understand for themselves. 

            Just assuming that WoW, chat or Spam chat is all that is possible is ignorant.  Blizzard can, and should offer more.  We are actually losing functionality from previous games at this point.  I don’t want a Diablo 2 clone, but chat channels were one of the best features about those games, and they have been stripped w/ no real explanation.

  11. The in-game chat channels are still one of the biggest gripes amongst the SC2 community.  With very low user caps and limited number of user created channels per person it’s very frustrating for many players that are active in the communities.  Just try joining Day[9]’s, Husky’s or one of the other big SC2 personalities channels…  You’ll never get in to join the chats.

    • That was my major question that I could never find the answer to is whether there are caps on channels and what those caps were.   I am in several big channels , like team liquid, but never tried any of the casters channels and I get in every time.   I searched the faq but couldn’t find an easy answer.   Do you know the actual number neinball?

      • When it originally launched in patch 1.2 there was a limit of 100 users per channel.  No idea if they ever upped the limit on it, but TeamLiquid needed 3 channels at one point due to this.  I gave up trying to join Day[9]’s channel months ago.
        For comparison, in the old B.net it would normally start creating new channels and funneling users into those after a certain amount of users (no idea what that number was) but they had no hard limits and you could always manually join a ‘full’ channel if you wanted to.

        • If they increased the chat size by a factor of 10 I think we would be ok.   If it remains at 100 than it will be an abysmal failure.    I guess 3rd party sites, IRC, and Vent/Mumbles will still be the way to go come release.

  12. many times there where new friends made or intelligent conversations held and issues debated. in open chat channels. because you didnt5 find  the need for them then or now. doesnt mean others would not like the option. very nice to lol in open channel between games

    • I like how you try to defend the existance of intelligent conversation in general chat and then admit to writing pointless spam like 100% of general chat users.

  13. Oh… did Blizzard really remove something from Diablo 3? They need to give us some old wallpapers now!


  14. I’m confused. There is a general chat channel in SC2 along with all the different themed channels and they are pretty downplayed by the ui still, but they are there. Are they saying that D3 won’t even have a generic channel with no theme that you default to? That’s just stupid…

  15. Will we be able to do normal trade in diablo 3? Ex naming our servers to different names so ppl can sort out by name and see that I wanna trade ex windforce for a warmonger?! Will we be able to create chat channels(normal channels like in SC2) with a name ex WTT windforce for warmonger

    • You’re asking two different questions. Yes, you will be able to trade with people in D3 if you’re already in a game with them.

      No, you will not be able to host a game with a name like “Wf 4 Gf” or “Tradenowww”, you can only group with friends or random players by the specific quest you choose.

  16. It’s almost like they learned nothing from the outrage caused by the lack of chat channels in SC2.

    WTF, Blizz? This game already feels lonely enough since no one really chats in games, just GO GO GO KILL KILL KILL LOOT LOOT LOOT TP TP TP SELL SELL SELL LOGOUT. What the hell is the downside to having general chat channels where people can hang out, talk about strategies/builds, and set up trades? Oh, wait, you don’t want us trading outside the RMAH, is that it? Fuckitall.


  17. I understand that there were issues with open chat with spamming, but would that have been hard to fix? I really don’t know, but if it was too hard then I can live with this chat feature. I wish Blizzard could take ideas like this and stick with them, make them the best they can, and move on. IF they could we might have a game soon.

  18. General chat channels would allow players to communicate and organize trading outside of RMAH, that’s what Blizzard really does not want.

  19. They took out chat channels because they were filled with spam in D2.  They STILL would be.  “BUY MY AWESOME CHEST PIECE!  ONLY 4.99!!”

    It looks bad, and is impossible to moderate.  The current system does what they want it to do.  Allows you to play with and talk to new people, and chat with friends.

    • item selling spam is unlikely in D3, since the AH is anonymous and all worked through the system itself. You can’t actually point people to your auctions, or any particular item you’re selling; they’d only find it by searching on the keywords and other variables.

      • Not directly related to topic at hand, but will diablo.incgamers have its “official” chat channel when the game is released? I´m guessing yes.

        • Yes. We have it now actually. Linked to in the post, though we’ll be doing more with it as we near release and then afterwards. At least partially for the reasons we see in these comments; that people want a way to talk to other diablo players and Blizzard isn’t going to provide it.


      • The AH exists in WoW too.. people still spam general chat.  (at least they did a couple years ago last I played)

    • 1.  Has Blizzard posted why they took out chat channels?  Diablo 2 style.

      2.  Not impossible to moderate.  There are several titles on the market right now that have done an excellent job of moderation and keeping spam to a minimum.   Your point is fictional.

      3.  I don’t know how much you actually played Diablo 1/2, but the newer style chat channels  like SC2 feel much more isolated than their previous systems.  They actually make it more difficult to meet and chat with new people, and make friends.  Previous titles had game lobbies,  names, and open chat to meet, friend, and game.  These features are now gone.

  20. i was one of the many who raged when they left out chat channels from SC2
    you need chat channels in a RTS so you can form custom games with people from your country when you are too tired to play ladder or want to ask someone to test a strategy
    in an ARPG a chat channel is just… a channel where you chat
    would be nice but i’m not gonna rage because of it
    Blizzard want you to farm items for the RMAh not sitting in a channel chatting:)

  21. It’s disturbing how no matter what Blizzard cuts from the game (even after promising it would be there), there are brainwashed fanboys who will defend Blizzard for removing it, or claim they didn’t want the feature so screw anyone who did.

    For wanting to expand this game to as a wide of an audience as possible, Blizzard sure is stripping out a ton of ways people previously enjoyed their games. Maybe it’s me, but it seems telling a portion of their player base that they were enjoying the game incorrectly and should now enjoy it in a way that encourages the use of the RMAH is not the greatest way to expand the audience.

    • And again with the generalisations, anybody who may actually like something in D3, thus disagreeing with you, must be a fanboy, because why else would anyone actually like something in D3. People like you is why this site is going downhill. 

      I am not saying I am for or against the feature, but either choice does not make me, or anybody else for that matter fanboy.

  22. General/trade/regional etc chats makes Bnet feel ‘alive’ to me, I don’t know a better word to describe it. Sure there’s alot of spam, especially these days, in some channels but I don’t mind that so much. It’s definitely noticeable when playing SC2, Bnet 0.2 doesn’t give me that community feeling that the old Bnet does. I don’t think I’ve ever heard their reasoning for the terrible chatsystem in SC2.
    I hope they’ve taken the feedback from SC2 players seriously and do it better for D3.

    • 100% agree with you. The open chat channels did make bnet feel more “alive”.

      It was a gaming social network before social networks….. and it worked!

      I will miss the good old days before facebook came and shat on everything including my favorite blizzard games 👿

  23. Does this mean region chats will not be active by default?

    I still remember one of best times in D2 on channels when we were helping each other, ppl from same country. I come from Slovenia where there was max of like 40ppl playing and we all knew each other, it was easy to find ppl for help or ask stuff about the game… Still remember we went to Croatian chat channel to say hello to our Abroad neighbours and fool around about politics and other topics… Good old days…

    They better not remove this chats… one of best features I allways wished more online game had it… to easy meat ppl from your country…

    But New Blizzard is cutting on all sides, guess they are just too much full of themselfs and belive they know best for all…

    oh well.

    Region open chat channels FTW!

    • I never did understand why people cared about their country when playing a game. I am playing the game to enjoy the game, not find every citizen of my country that is online at that time. What does it matter if the person you are playing with is from your country, or from half the world away? Does that really make any sort of difference?

      • I would say it is important. Especially to those in the minority such as Slovenia for example. Obviously he speaks good English but I’m sure many others would want to be able to play with people who speak their native language and understand each others cultural references etc.

  24. Chat channels? Boring.

    Some solid, new information about game systems and/or release date would be highly appreciated instead.

  25. “the social group-type chat features are still very much a desire for the future”

    They’re still not in SC2 despite alot of complaints from the players so I very much doubt they are desirable from Blizzards pov, who knows though they seem to have trouble getting anything done these days.

    Haha Bashioks statements are laughable, I don’t blame him however since he has to pay his bills. So we’ll have the same chat system as SC2 at launch but without a popup window for the chat, that sucks.

  26. Well I got me a nice little 3day ban for that topic so next time I’ll try to just keep my mouth shut.

  27. Who would even want to use a General Chat?  In D2, most of the general chats were filled with bots and stupid teenagers.  I don’t want to read that shit. Good riddance.  

    I’d like to see them implement custom channels for a Guild system, and I’m sure they will.  Ever see Stormwind/Org General Chat in WoW? Why would you want that cesspool in Diablo?

  28. It almost seems as if Blizzard are over analyzing and doing everything from a meta point of view. I totally agree with those that found the old style battle.net to feel more alive. The old system might have had its issues, but leaving it out completely isn’t a very good solution either. It added something thats missing in SC2 today.

  29. I would just like to point out that Blizzard has been taking nothing but steps backwards ever since the original battle.net. Diablo 1 b.net was good, StarCraft improved on it. Diablo 2 b.net was better, it improved even more on the existing features and added even more. WarCraft 3 b.net took everything they learned from StarCraft and improved on everything else. Now we have StarCraft 2 b.net… Which is downright terrible and nothing like what I’m pretty sure none of us expected. Finally we have the new Diablo 3 b.net, which will surely be even worse than the StarCraft 2 variation… Am I right to say that the last good b.net was the WC3 version? Everything else has been nothing but down hill ever since. They should have improved on the Diablo 2 and WC3 system for SC2 and D3. Instead however, they took everything and threw it away and started from scratch only to do most everything wrong.

  30. If you can’t handle public chat, you were always welcome to not use it.  You don’t have one single excuse for wanting to take it away from the people who DO want the feature. Why does everything need to be moderated, anyway? People like you disgust me.

    Blizzard needs its balls back.  Desperately.

  31. Can you reword the title?

    They never said private channels are in for release. In fact they are saying the opposite. You will not be able to join a channel of any kind. Your forced to chat with the 4 people you join a match making game with and any real ID friends. There is no interaction between your friends and your friends friends unless they add you to Real ID.

  32. cancelling my preorder if they don’t put chat back before release . fuck blizzard bunch of shitheads and fuck bashiok that clown.


  33. D2 chat lobby was great for when you wanted to just take a break and chill for a bit and I met most of my friends on D2 in the public chat lobby. Yes bots in the later years of my playing got anoying but this is due to the way the squelch system was in D2. (not perm)

    How the hell are we to meet players in D3 in the PUB games? This is such a load of shit I cant take it! Bashiok comes in and says that there are far more drawbacks to a public chat lobby than there are pro’s but fails to even list a few of said con/pro.

    This is an outrite system to keep the RMAH at the forfront of the trading system in D3 I understand that Blizzard want to make money but when they force or take away systems that the player base want/demand just to make sure we list our items on the RMAH instead of finding a trade in a chat lobby its gone to far.

    I am going to buy D3 and play it but I have no dout it will not live up to the D2 lifespan! This cant be good for the overall look of Blizzard as a game company. Once word of mouth gets out about the dissapointment of Blizzard fans over this game I think it will cost them more than they think in the long run.

    OH and I forgot to mention that in D2 you didnt even have to join public lobby if you didnt want to so this is really a non issue if you are for not having public chat then doing join!

  34. Did anyone actually read Bashiok’s post?

    They want private chat channels in the game but that they won’t make release. Would you all rather the game be delayed even longer so that they can add chat channels before they release it, or would you rather get the game and have them add private channels later? Easy choice as far as I’m concerned.

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