Vote: Diablo III’s Chat Channels

The DiabloWikiDiablo III chat channels interface debuted several patches ago, to general disdain and concern. Most commenters opined that the chat window was way too small, the design was ugly, the chat features were lacking, and the whole feature was generally worthy of disdain and contempt. Complaints that Bashiok promptly exacerbated by stating that no big changes to the chat interface were planned pre-release.

Check out the video if you need a refresher on what we’re talking about, or if you just want to enjoy two minutes of Elly’s golden tones.

The feature’s inauspicious debut was back in February though. Now that you guys have had six weeks to think it over and experiment with the system (if you’re in the beta), what do you think now? Still hate it? Grown to like it? Don’t care since typing to other people would just slow you down? Pick an option that reflects your opinion and we’ll see where the majority’s opinion lies.

What do you think of D3's Chat Channel Interface?

  • 3) Don't like it. Big changes needed. (25%, 1,318 Votes)
  • 4) Awful. Ugly. Overhaul required. (20%, 1,048 Votes)
  • 2) It's good, but could be better. (20%, 1,027 Votes)
  • 5) Irrelevant. I won't use any chat channel system. (15%, 770 Votes)
  • 6) No opinion/not sure yet. (15%, 767 Votes)
  • 1) Great system. Functional and attractive. (6%, 326 Votes)

Total Voters: 5,257

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Last Vote Results

Our last vote measured the community’s reaction to the fact that no form of DiabloWikiPvP will be present in Diablo III at launch. Surprisingly, to me at least, most of you guys didn’t want to PvP anyway, or don’t care that it’s being delayed for unknown months, or both.

How upset are you at no PvP in D3 at launch?

  • 3) Mild approval. I don’t really care about PvP. (45%, 4,091 Votes)
  • 4) Great news. PvP sucks and would have distracted from PvE balancing. (18%, 1,682 Votes)
  • 5) I reject your reframing effort. A SOON release date is all that matters. Cut all the features! (17%, 1,603 Votes)
  • 2) Angry. Was really looking forward to PvP. (17%, 1,587 Votes)
  • 1) Outraged. Won’t buy until PvP is patched in. (3%, 212 Votes)

Total Voters: 9,176

It’s not clear how much of that acceptance of no PvP is due to the fact that Blizzard could add “and your left kidney” to the game’s price, without complaint from most fans, if the alternative was yet another six months delay to the release date.

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64 thoughts on “Vote: Diablo III’s Chat Channels

  1. Voted for irrelevant. I won’t be using the system. After all, why spend all your time hanging outside of the game just to chat if you can use that precious time to MF. Any “conversation” I need, I’ll go to the forums.

    • I agree.

      Let the talkative ones complain about it then they can buy our items later. Then blizzard will pretty up the UI and we’ll all get what we want.

    • As time goes, people will lose the hype when they have done almost everything in the game. THEN you might want to Stay a While and Listen in the chat. plus, if u want a group of your preferences, the chat is a good way to start searching. It’s not irrelevant at all!

      • As a veteran of numerous MMOs and online games, no amount of boredom could force me to suffer through the horror of general chat, otheriwse knows as “a place where intelligent thought goes to die”.

        Besides, why would I, or anyone else for that matter be bored with the game post release? I mean sure boredom will set in after years and years and years of playing D3, but I have so many activities and content played right not, that I highly doubt I’ll be anywhere near bored for at least first 4 to 6 months. Right around then is when PvP should be patched into the game, which will give me even more incentive to play.

        • who is talking about post release chat? people wont chose to stay and chat while they can play freakin diablo 3! no one will use it. i am talking about weeks or months after the release. once things settle down. look at the big picture, not just a few days after release. 

          some like chatting, some dont. (but who wouldnt like to chat in diablo 3? its diablo 3 for crying out loud!) but the important thing is that blizzard gave us that option. and you have every right NOT to use it.

          •  Anytime past the point of release is called post.  Whether it be 6 hours or 6 years. 
            I say it’s irrelevant for me cause what people I will talk to will be on my friends list or I will be on vent/skype.  I have no desire to sit in a chat room with all the rabble. 
            As the poll already shows some people want a chat channel, and they have one, all be it not a very robust one.  Given time it will get better.  Just look at how they are improving it for SC2.  Till then play the game with friends, if you don’t have friends, make some via co-op.  
            Besides, I think there is a Diablo website that has a lot of game info and a strong community, unfortunately the name escapes me. 😛 

          • Why wouldnt you just skype with the ppl you wanted to talk with??? Thats what i plan on doing… call me crazy.

          • fudge. i confused post-release with pre-release! thats what you get when u work during nights 🙁

    • Me too.  I loved the idea of chat channels in D2, but the bots/spammers of course ruined them.
      It is sad how many things in life are ruined by a few who think only about themselves.

  2. There is not much difference between option 3) and 4). I went for 4) in the end, rly this is a stepback from D2.
    Im even more bothered about the ingame chat window, cause thats where Ill do the majority of talking.

  3. Definitely needs some big changes.

    I was on the beta just earlier today, wanting to find a group of people who’d be willing to do a four-man run from lvl 1.  

    It made me realise that I would really value being able to see the names of people in the chat room and who’s there and who’s afk.  The chat room would have to be bigger, though.  

    Would also be nice if the chat window was larger to accommodate a sidebar with that kind of information.    

  4. Flux, why are you always so sour? 😀 After reading a few sentences from the articles, I can already tell if it is you. It is always about “potential missteps”, “potential issues”, “might be problems”, “not the best ways” – why so serious? : D
    The PVP vote comment is a cherry on top of that: why do you feel the need to distort and/or disregard the majority’s views on this matter?

    • because there’s something bothering him when he sits down to type all that shit up :), simple really.

      my vote: screw chat altogether. why on earth would I wanna chat with anyone when I got D3 fired up?

      previous vote: screw PvP, there are plenty of games that have no MP and do just great, like Mass Effect 1/2. Blizzard just add coop/PvP to shut the whiners up “ZOMFGYNOCOOPPVPORLANSUPPORT”

      stuff the lot of them if you ask me

    • he is very critical

      i think he should remind us more often that he loves this game

      i like flux

    • Almost by definition, we run votes on controversial issues, and “controversial” usually means “some people don’t like how Blizzard is handling X.” Thus in such cases there is almost always going to be some wording about why X is a bad thing.  Such votes and debates are more fun anyway; when we do a vote on a nontroversial topic or something that almost everyone likes, and they tend to be kind of boring, both to write up and vote about. Examples:


      • You just come off petty when you have the position you have and use it the way you do. It’d be nice if this great site didn’t seem to be run by what amounts to your run of the mill forum troll. 

    • Why does it bother you he has a passion for this game? I for one am in agreement with Flux 90% of the time on most issues.
      He didn’t distort any of the pvp data, if you look almost as many people are pissed or have mild disapproval that PvP isn’t going to be shipped at launch as are those that don’t really care. all you are seeing is that fact that more people voted for i don’t really care just give me the damn game then any of the others. your not looking at the total number of voters divided between each potential answer.
      I don’t post here much i simply visit this site for its interesting take on various subjects, i Find Flux, Elly and the rest of the gang to be refreshing.

      • Well if you agree with him you probably don’t notice that the old PvP poll lacks enough options for those who don’t quite agree.

        • Some day I’ll set up a vote so all the people who think we should have more nuanced, precise questions can battle to the death against all the people who want fewer options and simplified yes/no votes.

          Needless to say, both sides will hate the options in that vote.

          • One of the polls, might even have been the PvP one I asked for suggestions and no one came up with any.

  5. One thing is for certain: 3% of the people are going to get their hineys kicked when PvP gets patched in and only then do they buy the game. Either that, or they are just blowing smoke.

  6. I’m actually even more concerned about the in-game chat interface. The chat text is extremely small (no way to resize it), and there are no individual windows so NPC spam clutters up the chat.

  7. The chat channels are so out of the way that I imagine they will rarely be used. It takes 5 clicks every time you log in to get into a channel and show channel members. And then even more clicks to get information about their characters.
    The tragic thing is the fact we nearly have a good system. Almost all the functionality is there. It’s just so poorly realised. If Blizzard had planned it right from the start, they wouldn’t need additional development time to address the chat channels! All they had to do was look at games like Heroes of Newerth (imo the holy grail of chat channels) and Warcraft 3.
    … So now when D3 is released, they’ll be looking at the chat channels and saying, “so few people are using these, guess they weren’t necessary after all!”

    • I think this is spot on, sadly. That players must make an effort to enter the chat, and that it’s entirely optional, rather than being the default lifeblood of communication and interaction that it was in D2 and War3 is a terrible change. Like someone else said sarcastically, why would you want strong tools for interaction an in online game?

      I actually voted for 2 on this one, as I’ve cone around from my initial chat channel disdain to a mildly-approving view, but the fairly robust functions of the chat are worthless since it’s so visually unappealing and crippled by non-intuitive controls.

      I’m not a fan of apple software, (I hate itunes) but Steve Jobs would have fired everyone involved in the creation of 2.0, given his legendarily maniacal focus on details and user friendly controls. Which might explain why apple is the most profitable tech company on earth with a stock in teh $600+ range, while ATVI has languished around $10-12 for 5 years. 

      Okay, that’s probably a stretch, but if Bliz put 1/10th the effort into the interface that they do into their game interfaces, we’d have a radically different chat system and far better options for joining and creating games, etc. (An argument that would have been much easier to make before the last skill/rune overhaul and the coming of the barely-tolerable “Elective Mode”.)

    • I completely agree with everything you said. It’s just a bit too laborious to get to it and use it’s features. Plus, you have to close it whenever you look at another players stats, BLECH. There’s a lot of tweaking to be done, but it certainly isn’t a screen wide chat or tiny avatars to make it more “functional”.

      I’m glad you’ve made these more astute and refreshing observations.

    • That’s not how Flux works. lol It’s varying levels of discord, then a I don’t care option.

  8. Let me share some of my thoughts about social interaction in D2 related to D3:
    1- Chatting with regional strangers upon login was fun.
    2- Racing to 99 and having that instant feedback when you accidently crossed with your friend in the chatroom and you’re like: “hah! i’m 1 lvl ahead!” was fun.
    3- The social part of rendering player’s equipment in the D2 enabled players to be compared.
    4- In the end, you play a game or use a service rather than any other due to the “all my friends are there” effect, at least let you see your friend’s character rendered somewhere.
    5 – In a game where you can only play with 3 of your friends at a time, i guess that town feeling in a chatroom can make you feel that you’re playing with more than just those 3.
    5.1 – Chatting ingame breaks action, unless you’re in town. If you’re in town, what’s the point of only allowing 4 players per game? Might aswell to disconnect and go to a chatroom with 14 of your mates together.
    6 – Bring back the /f m option. It was painful sometimes.. but i guess facebook proves that people gather in groups, and possibly your group of friends is 90% the same as one of your mates. So you’re just pissing off 10% of your f list:P

  9. I’m really disappointed that the Blizzard developers didn’t put more effort into the chat UI. While others might be buying this game for the mundane reasons such as killing demons and taking their loot, I, along with many others, are purchasing this game mostly as an upgrade from our IRC clients.

  10. They should do things properly, or leave it out. This includes the chat functionality. Seems they are such perfectionists, otherwise, so it’s surprising. 

  11. Honestly I hate how this system throws out way too much information.  Why does anyone in the chat channel need to know what other characters you have, how much gold you’ve earned, etc?

    I’m not sure what to vote on this.  The social features so far of D3 and are miserably lacking. 

    • That’s basically what I was driving at in my Steve Jobs reference above. The D3 chat has really powerful features; too much so, in many cases. (Does anyone really want other people to be able to see all their chars, skills, time played, etc?) But the interface to access these features is so poorly-designed and the overall aesthetic presentation is just awful, to the point that I’m sure vast numbers of D3 players will never even know such options exist.

      I just hope it’s not like Azzure worried in the editorial linked from the top of this post; and we get another SC2 scenario, where in 12 or 18 months hardly anyone’s playing D3 anymore, just since the social experience is so lacking.


  13. I think the old d2 chat rooms are more important for the diablo gamefeel than people realize. It was just so good to see others player lined up when you enter the room and their gear and levels. THe new system is just horrible, nobody wants to click through player names and check their profiles. Also its really fucked up that people see everything about your character, like all the characters on the account and playing time etc. that should be just private information. Dont get me wrong I love D3, but this chat system is definitely the worst part of D3 🙁

  14. “It’s not clear how much of that acceptance of no PvP is due to the fact that Blizzard could add “and your left kidney” to the game’s price, without complaint from most fans, if the alternative was yet another six months delay to the release date.”

    Uh actually it is pretty damn clear. 63% Don’t give a fuck about PvP or dont want it at all. 17% are against PvP if it means delay and 20% are  for it.
    Pretty damn obvious.

  15. Personaly, chat system in Diablo III is just horrible, it feels like some demo alpha state of development.

    People keep forgeting about the smaller part of a community. I for once had a blast on chat channel in Diablo 2 back in the days. Everyone on our channel (SVN1) spoke my main language, I for once was fascinated when I got into the game for the 1st time. There was so much information to be had there, where to farm, where to get those runes, how to beat mephisto the easyest way, how to build your char and all that info I got was from the game itself by ppl in my own language. PPL were offering rushes/help and gear. I live in a small country with total of 2mil population and chat channel for us is inportant/fun. I do get that german/uk/poland have WAY more ppl and chat channels are spamed with bots, but that is not chats fault, its blizzards for not cleaning it/preventing from spaming etc. CHAT CHANNELS LIKE IN D2 FTW.

    Seeing what gear I use and how much I played game and more info is just not needed, thats my thing not yours to see how much I played and which gear I use… They included functions that should be hidden and forgot about stuff that rly was good.

    More of a problem I see it’s no custom games, how will i challenge some1 on forum or anywhere else for duel or 3vs3 pvp? Will I have to invite them as a friend? I DONT WANT 1000 ppl on my friend list, just need those that mater. 

    Diablo 2 for me is still the best game ever made that got ruined by hacks :S . Played D3 beta and I was honestly not impressed . All I did was start new game lvled wizz to 13 on public games where noone ever talked a damn thing it was like I played with bots. After lvl13 cba to lvl another class to 13 just tryed them how they feel and quited game. If there were proper chat channels with avatars like in D2, where you saw a barbarian standing with yellow sword, every one was like OMG is that GF, how much ED??? omg where you got 1… and chat would flow, ppl would talk tons of thing, but as it is now, it feels like:

    ENTER GAME: play x hours

    No interaction no nothing… so dull

    I for one am disappointed about how this game turned out in whole :S still buying it tho and saved 14days of payed vacation at work 🙂 

    sry for wall of text and bad english. 

  16. A nod to the creator of 2.0!<3
    Been playing the beta and I have to say Diablo 3 is the most social game I have ever played. Its Great! Keep up the good work!

    The genius on the team is outstanding. When I saw the 1"x1" Chat button I was hooked. Being able to inspect characters in only 4 steps is also a plus. I hated in Diablo 2 how I was forced to see characters if I didnt want to. This made me feel inferior to others and made me very sad.

    The best(relatively speaking, since there are so many) feature though is the removal of /ignore. Before I could simply ignore people that annoyed me and carry on my day but now I have actually formed friendships with people who I thought were annoying at first but after shifting through the spam I noticed they shared similar interests as me.

    I also love the small 4"x6" Chat window without colored names so all text matches. I love working out my biceps but now I get to work out my eyes as well. Here is hoping I get 20/20 with the hours put into the eye work outs 🙂
    I also love not being able to pick what channel I want (ie Trade 1/2/3/4) when retail goes live, I will form many friendships with random people all over the world!

    Also, I cant wait to let my friends know who I like the most. When I want to form a private chat I simply select my 4 fav friends and the other friends know they have to work harder to be my buddy or they cant talk with my special group of cool friends 🙂 I didnt know the joys of having a Private chat limit of 4, It's awesome!

    Finally, Being able to see my character is such a treat. I love seeing my character take up 3/4 of my screen. This lets me know how epic I truly am!

    Keep up the good work bro 🙂

    • I’ll admit I read the first few lines of your post ManOluck not knowing it was satirical, and I almost skipped reading the rest of it until I read the “This makes me feel inferior to others and made me very sad”.  Not being able to move trade chats?  Really?  Thats just unheard of.

  17. How can so many people be voting for the “It’s good.  Could be better” option?

    This chat is an abomination.  Such a letdown from D2, or any bnet 1.0 game for that matter. 

  18. I thought the chat was great to be honest. I mean for beta it’s hardly used from what I’ve seen but i’m sure when launch hits we’ll see plenty of chuck norris jokes in it. on a side note; from what I’ve been used to in D2 it’s similar in size. when you factor the size of the text in D2 and the chat pane in D2 it’s about the same scale size in D3 with a smaller text and chat pane. 

  19. I don’t dislike the interface per se, but I definitely do not like it either.  Regardless of that, I definitely feel it could use a large overall to be my functionally and stylistically like D2/War3 while adding the features that D3 has.

  20. Honestly it needs to be more like D2.

    Actually, B.Net 2.0 needs to be more like its predecessor.  They didn’t need to reinvent the wheel; they should have just improved it. 

  21. Flux, why don’t you love everything about Blizzard and It’s properties derpity derpity do. Derp.

    • I’m like you, didn’t really use it that much and I’m not sure if the d3 version came with bells on I’d be any more likely to use it.  I think for those who do like to have a chat interface, a lobby, it’s a poor offering however.

      There is no doubt Blizzard are capable of much much better than that (they are the masters of interfaces) so it’s a conscious decision to keep it limited in size and functionality.  I just can’t settle on what the reason behind that could be though.

      I voted don’t like and needs big changes even though in essence I care not a jot from a personal pov.


      • Less time in the chat rooms = moar time collecting items for the RMAH = moar profit = mooowahaha

  22. to be fair, while I don’t care about chat rooms, I am/was a hardcore “give us HC from the start” type player, so I can empathize with the chatters; Blizz should make a system which make them happy because I recognize a significant portion of the player population wants this even if I don’t care. in short: Blizz, make a chat system which surpasses America Online circa 1996.

  23. I’m sure its been said a few times, but really, just make the chat like WOW and we are sorted

  24. Huh.  You were shocked people didn’t care about axing PvP from the initial release?

    Honestly Diablo has always been first and foremost a PvE game.  I could care less about PvP and really it just feels like a silly filler thing to do on the side.  I’m honestly really worried about all the effort they are even putting into it.  One thing that’s happened to WoW is you’ll see cool things not put into the game since “PvE stuff might upset PvP balance and vice versa”  This happened when they started adding cool weapon procs to raiding weapons.  A lot of people loved them and wanted to see them go farther…but Blizzard was hamstrung on just what they could add since anything that had potential burst damage could upset PvP balance.

    This is the kind of stuff I absolutely do not want to see in D3.  I do not want PvP balance to prevent fun and cool ideas from entering the PvE side of the game where a delicate class balance takes a back seat to fun.

  25. Once again no actual middle of the road option… at least i could pretend “Mild Approval” is a Meh.
     My vote would go to a “Functional enough, but could be much better!” option… 

  26. The overwhelming majority believe that, at the VERY least, the chat channels need some work.  It’s not surprising, these afterthought-channels didn’t work in SC2 and they won’t work in Diablo 3.  My immediate reaction to BNet 2.0 when SC2 went live was:  How are we supposed to be a community with this?

    For an online RPG, even a non-MMO one, community is everything.  Take notes from Bnet 1.0, Blizz. 

  27. I dislike how chats lack functionality, graphical design, featurs always come first. The whole menu, while it is pretty, all buttons, borders, (got forbid) avatars, icons, all that leaves so little space for actual content. Same goes for auction house, displaying very limited amount of items per page.
    Full screen “irc style” chats would be ideal, no avatars, just as much space for text as possible. Given what they did to sc2, I don’t have high expectations.

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