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Voice Software Poll – Five Years Later June 26, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, polls.
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About five years ago I put up what may have been my first poll related to gaming.  It was my second poll, the first being a simple test of some odd, external polling plug-in I was trying out.  This was before WordPress.com integrated with Poll Daddy for build-in polling.

The topic of this poll was voice software, and the poll was taken at a time of transition.

For me, the instance group was well and truly under way and we had settled on Skype for our group coms, which was a change for me.  At the time I was much more used to having TeamSpeak or Ventrilo speech servers available for guilds and gaming clans to which I belonged.  Just a few months before I had let our last guild voice server lapse.

But there was also change going on in the MMO space.  Voice communication was starting to be integrated directly into our games.  We were starting to hear about companies like Vivoxx.  The separate server/client voice software seemed to be getting some competition.

And so I wanted to know, what were people using.  I wanted to see if the integrated voice software was catching on.  The results (not scientifically valid) seemed to indicate that integrated voice was not catching fire..

That is a small sample, but it was heavily weighted in favor of the two most common guild voice servers, TeamSpeak and Ventrilo. (Nice typo in the poll, me of five years ago! Some things never change!)

Skype and “never” were each more popular than game integrated, while nobody chose “other” or Roger Wilco.  The latter I added for historical/sentimental reasons.  That was the voice software we were using in 1998, back when we did a lot of gaming at the office in part because we could use the phone system for conference call coms.

So here we are, five years later.  Voice software has moved ahead.  There are new players in the voice server sphere, while the old standards are still around.  Integrated voice coms in MMOs is now a standard and has had five years to work out glitches.

So I thought it might be time to ask the question again.  This time though, I am going to ask the question twice.  The first time will be the same question, what is your primary voice software, if any.  Same question, different year, a couple of new options.

Now for the part two.  The same list of options, but this time it is multiple choice.  Check all of the boxes that apply.

Right now, for me, the answer for the first question is probably Skype still, five years later, though Mumble, which is the CFC coms standard, is pretty close.

But five years after integrated voice started showing up in MMOs, I still have never used it regularly in any game.  I think the instance group experimented with it in LOTRO one night, but we went back to Skype pretty quickly.

Comments»

1. bhagpuss - June 26, 2012

I never use voice. Never have.

But not “never will”. I fully intend to use SOEmote, for which I have several “amusing” ideas and some practical applications in mind.

My objection has always been that the voice I hear won’t fit the character I see and my overall enjoyment of the gaming experience will be reduced, since character play is a very large part of what I do.

The voice masks thing removes that obstacle.

2. pkudude99 - June 26, 2012

Integrated voice is quite good in EQ2 — enough so that the guilds I was in actually closed up their Vent and Teamspeak servers in favor of using the integrated one.

DDO’s integrated is merely ok, but it seemed like in most PUG’s I was in that someone would still suggest a vent channel out of game. The only time I’ve ever used Skype was in DDO when I was playing with your little guild a year or so ago.

EVE’s integrated is okay for small groups, but more than that and you want an external client for sure. I was in the CFC when it switched over from Teamspeak to Mumble. Worked better since my corp used TS3 while my alliance used TS2, so when the Goons said “everyone switch to Mumble” it made coordination of which program to use a lot easier.

My current guild in SWTOR uses Mumble also. Prior 2 guilds both used Vent, though.

3. Dril - June 26, 2012

Teamspeak 3 all the way. Going back to Vent or into Mumble just makes me ache for TS3; Skype is still in use on occasion, but not often.

4. Darraxus - June 26, 2012

I still use Vent, but have considered Mumble since I think that it is cheaper

5. carson63000 - June 26, 2012

I used Ventrilo back in the day when my WoW raid guild was active. But since that stopped, I haven’t used any voice. Don’t intend to unless I am once again in the situation of raiding with a large group of friends. The idea of talking to strangers on the internets makes my skin crawl.

6. Shadow - June 26, 2012

Historically, I’ve always used vent across multiple games (EQ2 before integrated comms, WAR, EVE). Currently, I use mostly Mumble for EVE.

EQ2s integrated comms were pretty good, and DotA 2’s comms I use almost exclusively as I usually play with PUGs.

7. magnoz - June 27, 2012

“I stll never use voice” — typo much?
;)

8. Eric Schoneveld (@ericscho) - June 28, 2012

Whatever happened to Roger Wilco ? :).

9. SlothBear - June 30, 2012

Vent or Steam’s Voice Chat are both good.

10. Wilhelm Arcturus - July 2, 2012

@Eric – Heh, I put it on the first poll out of nostalgia, as it was the first voice software I used for gaming. It got bought by GameSpy and integrated into their stuff. It has effectively disappeared.

@magnoz – I typo constantly. In fact, if that was the only typo you spotted, you fail at nitpicking.

11. Lumi - July 10, 2012

For many years I used Ventrilo exclusively because that’s what most of the guilds I played with used. I liked the simplicity and became very familiar with the features. I became so afraid of change that somewhere along the line I began actively avoiding applying to guilds that used other VoIPs. It didn’t help that my early attempts to use TS/TS2 met with connection and sound quality issues.

In the past 6 months I’ve done a complete 180. Although I still hop on Vent to chat with old friends from time to time, the majority of my gaming comms is now done over TS3. My decision to give TS3 a chance coincided with my friend successfully convincing me to try EVE, to which I subsequently subbed.

Between Vent and TS3, I honestly don’t prefer one over the other. They both get the job done, and haven’t failed me yet.

I haven’t really tried using the integrated voice features in the games I’ve played. I haven’t seen the need to, plain and simple. If I’m using voice chat with someone chances are there’s a Vent/TS server available for us to talk on instead. The only time that might not be possible is if I’m playing with strangers (in a PuG, for example) – in which case, I wouldn’t want to use voice chat with them anyways.


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