Why hold a poll unless you’re going to get a results post out of it?
At some point after I posted this poll I made the mental decision to let it run for a month, then go back and look at the results. Then at the exact one month point I was away on vacation, so I let it slide a few extra days.
Anyway, the results to the question:
What is the PRIMARY voice application you use with gaming?
Total responses – 46
1. Vetrilo – 21
The number one response, and the one that actually generated a couple of comments, is the one on the list I have actually used the least. My guilds, clans, and whatnot have always gone with TeamSpeak. I have actually only used Ventrilo once for any length of time, during a six hour drag through Nektropos Castle back when I was in the guild “The Elite” for about a week. (Gaff’s fault, go ask him.) Sound quality was fine, but I tend to associate it with that night, and that was a bad night.
2. TeamSpeak – 11
This is what I used to use all the time, and an old reliable package it is. Comments about Ventrilo say that its sound quality exceeds TeamSpeak. Having run a TeamSpeak server, I tend to believe any quality difference people my notice is due to configuration. TeamSpeak defaults to some very low quality codecs, and unless you know to change them, your voice chats can sound pretty bad. My major problem with TeamSpeak has been trying to get it to work with a USB headset.
3. Skype – 6
This is what I tend to use these days. Decent sound quality and the price is right. I actually cancelled our second telephone line at home and use Skype for a lot of my work calls now. It is not practical for larger groups, as the cap on the size of conferences is pretty low, but for the small group experience, it works great. All of our World or Warcraft instance runs were done communicating over Skype. The odd coincidence: WoW groups and Skype conferences are both limited to 5 people.
4. I never use voice – 6
No comments about why people do not use voice.
5. Game Integrated – 2
This is new, having just shown up in DDO, LOTRO, and EVE Online in the last year, so maybe people are just not used to it yet.
6. Roger Wilco – 0
I am not surprised that this got no votes. A group of us actually used this for a while back when the original Delta Force came out. Ancient history in gaming terms. It worked for the most part back then. I was surprised to see that it is still around.
7. Other – 0
I am a bit surprised that I seem to have captured all possible alternatives, even for the very small, self-selecting sample that my readership represents. I expected somebody to say, “EVE Voice all the way, baby!”
So there are the results. Now that more and more games are adding in voice as part of their standard features, I wonder if the results would be different in a year. I did not think voice in DDO or even LOTRO would tip the scale this time around, but having it available in WoW, EVE, and some of the upcoming titles may very well change what application people choose for voice chat in-game in the future.
Of course, I imagine there will always be a place for the likes of these external applications. They usually stay up if the game you are playing crashes. I usually run Skype on my laptop while I play so if my machine goes down I still have communication.
These also allow you to have a general chat area, so your guild can keep in communication without having to all be grouped together. Of course, if you have ever had a senior guild/clan office kibitzing on your channel while you’re in a tight situation, you might welcome a lack of communication beyond your group!