Destiny Needs More Chat Options

Destiny Needs More Chat Options

We've probably all been there at least once before. You're innocently going about your business, shooting around corners and throwing grenades to cover your teammates when a high-pitched voice on the other end lashes out: "What the [email protected]#, man! You're such a [email protected]#$!" In-game socializing doesn't have the greatest reputation, but that doesn't mean it's a lost cause or that it isn't still incredibly useful.

It was with that risk in mind though, that Bungie decided to limit voice chat options in Destiny to Fireteams — which are groups of three guardians/players — only. You are grouped into a Fireteam either by invite or, in the case of the instance-like Strikes, matchmaking. If you want to play missions, patrols, or bounties with other players, you'll have to track down your Fireteam yourself. The only other form of communication you have with players you meet out in the game is to approach them and click through a series of prompts to invite them into your Fireteam and initiate said voice chat. While this does minimize how much vitriol and shouting you're likely taking in on a daily basis, not having the option to activate a wider proximity-based chat actually hinders what the core of Destiny is all about.

We're only a few days into Destiny and I've already demolished the entire campaign (Kirk will have your review next week), including almost 100% of the patrols and strikes as well as a bunch of bounties. I have taken on the same boss battles multiple times over, with different agendas and — in the case of Strikes where matchmaking comes into play — different teammates. But I spent a lot of my mission time alone, and I wasn't the only one. There are threads of tons of people lamenting their lonely experiences in this multiplayer game. There's even a petition that started last night and has since grown to over 3,000 supporters as of this writing.

It wasn't for lack of trying, either. I set my Fireteam settings to public, in the hopes that someone might randomly jump in and help me take on a few story missions. But without better organisation or prioritizing, that's about all the agency I have in the matter. I've danced with a lot of other Destiny players but I've never asked them about their last run. I've never asked if someone was about to go on the same mission as me and maybe wanted to team up and do it together.

Anyone who is familiar with MMOs will remember seeing something like "lfg" pop up in general chat. The Looking For Group players represent the most obvious need for some kind of more readily-accessible communication in Destiny. Though you can "interact" with players to send them an invite to your Fireteam, by the time you've approached them, clicked in on the right stick, and then hit options and then the invite button, they're probably long gone, already forgetting about the dance you two once shared together under the Traveller upon first meeting. (Incidentally, I'd also suggest more matchmaking options to help players get grouped together on missions. This would likely come in even more handy once six-player raids open up next week.)

In-game social interactions are tricky. Sometimes they're just noise — people shouting to be heard, or leaving their music on too loud for the mic to pick up the audio — but sometimes they're useful. Sometimes we like to share ideas or stories. Maybe we want to ask about each other's gear or if someone can extend a hand in this mission you can't seem to beat on your own. Or maybe you're just engaging in a round of volleyball or soccer back in the Tower and you want to cheer your newfound friend on. Or yell at them for missing that last lobby.

At its heart, Destiny is about taking on instance after instance, defeating tougher and tougher enemies while improving your gear and mastering the fight. There's a story in there — if you care, but I frankly couldn't bring myself to — and some really pretty scenery, but that's not what kept me up for 24 straight hours playing through the game. It was beating a Strike boss, going into town to equip my new gear, and going back in to demolish that Strike boss more efficiently than the last time. But it's not quite the same without a few teammates, and I've found myself playing through many missions mostly by my lonesome.

I want to share my world, but Destiny's shared-world shooter is very specific about how I can go about that. Giving players the option to open up communication as they see fit could make a world of a difference.


Comments

    Where is this 3 man only thing coming from? The first pvp event you can access is clearly 6 man and raids have long been known to be 6

      raids arent out yet and as per my post below i think chat has been disabled in pug pvp

      She's referring to the fireteams, which are 3 players max. eg the group you form to do the Strike missions.

    yeah ive been playing for about 2 days straight ive done everything there is to do so far... bit disappointing in that to be honest.

    Is voice chat disabled in the battlegrounds as well ? i am saying hi to my team saying gg talking about strat and i feel like im talking at a wall... bloody pvp has been boring as bat shit without chat so far.

      I think voice chat is disabled in PvP (I've only played in PUG so far), Was my first round and I asked if anyone new the map and would like to organize us a bit...no answer...after that I asked a few more questions....no answer......, tried to organize some strategy......no answer....... and when we came back from no where to win the round I congratulated everyone (GG)...but still no answer !!

      Do you mean PvP? I think you're right, I don't think it is enabled at this stage. It'd be great to chat to people on Multiplayer too I agree.

      Control is incredibly boring for some reason. Run, capture. Rinse and repeat. I loved hardpoint in Titanfall, so not sure what the difference is here.

        i have found control to be my fav so far. i feel like the maps are way to huge for 6v6 deathmatch because i always tend to just be wandering around on my own. control at least you know where to expect combat and you can be a lot more strategic about how you take people out... i cant remember the name of the map but the control one on (I think Mars or perhaps Moon) where they have the giant tank like vehicles is awesome.

          The tanks and the speeders with guns are pretty cool, I'll give you that. The titan's super is pretty OP though!

        I'd be less bored of Control if I didn't play the same Earth map 3 out of 5 games I played...

      You mean in only a matter of 3 days, you finished the story, got enough gear to complete both your weekly heroic and nightfall strike, you capped vanguard/crucible marks, got reputation max for all factions, purchased all mote of light gear, got legendary quality items in all slots, levelled both your class' subclasses to max, levelled other class' and their subclasses, etc?

        Grinding for rep and gear by doing the same old thing doesn't count as something new or different to do. It's doing the same old thing you've already done. Over and over and over.

          Literally pointing out the only 2 repetitious tasks I outlined. Levelling other characters, for example, gives new flavour to the game. People are finishing the story and hitting *20* and saying there is nothing to do when that is when the real game starts.

            Nothing you mentioned other than the raid is doing something new, it's simply different badges for doing something old, over and over again. Rep with faction? Grind. Purchase mote of light gear? Grind. Legendary items? Grind. Level subclasses? Grind. Levelled alts? EXACTLY THE SAME THING AS YOU'VE ALREADY DONE. BECAUSE YOU'VE DONE IT. Those things you mention are just different rewards for doing the same thing over and over again.

            Levelling an alt through exactly the same story is the definition of doing something you've already done. Just trying to fool yourself that it's different.

            Last edited 22/09/14 1:56 am

        lol i wish i had the time for that. Destiny is just gonna be casual for me i think a strike here or there and some pvp. other than that most of my grind time is already dedicated to wow lol.

    Yup, absolutely agree. Once I did manage to get into a fire team (random) the other 2 players weren't using a mic anyway. it was my fist strike mission run and man it was a clusterf**k of confusion ! lots of dancing, pointing and saluting which was fun and hilarious at times...but no organization and we got wiped alot.

    If anyone with a mic is keen to play tonight hit me up. Steed1080 on PS4 I'm about level 10 atm finishing of the moon missions, i'll be on probably around 6pm tonight (Sa time).

      FR sent. I'm about level 16, but I'd not object to some moon co-op. :D

      yeah i have done all the strikes so far and no one has had a mic... makes the bosses hard as balls without a proper strat. (they are hard as balls with a strat too)

    The whole social/chat system is workable...BUT.....you make a strong argument for some kind of overhaul here.

    Last edited 12/09/14 10:41 am

    This was one of my concerns from the beta.
    Games like Final Fantasy XI, Counter-Strike and DOTA allow communication via pre-set command lists. Default settings in most games means that voice chat is routed to headset only, maning that someone without a headset can't even listen to commands (say from a Raid Leader calling out things like adds or special attacks). Something like a radial menu with 4-8 options like "cover me!", "reloading!", "incoming enemies!", etc. would already go a long way to improved communication. Furthermore it lessesn the barrier of language, people can play together and support each other even if they can't have a detailed conversation. I used Final Fantasy XI as an example specifically because it basically did all this 12 years ago.

    I also lamented the "difficulty" in inviting someone to join your group. It really needs to be a 1-2 button process.

      That is a great Idea. and yeah took me a while to figure out grps lol had to google it.

        This is why i am here as a matter of fact. I am a 49 year old level 11 Hunter, Exo, doing ok not the best at these games but i love to play them. I have been invited to play with several others and have only accidentally hit the OK button a couple of times. LOL,, They could and or should make it easier to join or band together. When I went to the right and joined with 2 other players a couple of times it looks for players around the same level. we again did not say one word nor did we have time to figure out if there was a way too. Would have been nice but we did get the job done and they got real good at reviving me LOL and i learned HOW to revive other players so it was a win win for us all.

    I work long hours during the week and might play a game for an hour or two at most but generally my games aren't completed in two outings save for a weekend if I have nothing planned. Unless you don't work or don't have any other hobbies other than gaming I wouldn't necessarily complain about the length of most games.

    Agree. Only bad thing so far is lack of ways to communicate. Having the open up the psn interface just to invite someone is ridiculous.

    Is this a case of MMOs on consoles not having that extra option of text chat that a lot of MMO players would be used to? Regarding restricting the chat that's something I'm a fan of tbh. It makes me feel closer in-game to my fireteam. I can see the frustration though of people not in fireteams who want the social interaction and it not being instinctive to find new people to play with.

    It is a bit harsh to judge a game based on the first few days play though. Whoopee doo, you completed the game in 2 days and found that people weren't socialising during that time. Maybe because they were focusing on the game as well or not used to the social side of it if they're console gamers only. Maybe as people join a clan they like and get more confident they start to use chat more and join public fireteams. It's daunting enough joining people in the Kotaku group that you don't know well, let alone a complete stranger

      how do you join the kotaku Clan ? i am completely mystified by the Clan system lol.

        http://www.bungie.net/en/Clan/Detail/100780

        You'll need to set as PS or Xbox clan I think after you join

        Here's a link to the KotakuAU group: http://www.bungie.net/en/Clan/Detail/100780

        I'm not entirely sure how it works, but I think you can be a member of many groups. You can then select a group to be your "clan". Essentially, your most active group or whatever. I guess you can swap between clans if you have different groups of people that you play with?

    What kind of genuine MMO can be completed in such a short time....

    I'd be feeling ripped off if I'd bought destiny and ploughed through it - it shouldn't even be possible to do.

    10-year plan eh?
    well they better get on with it.

    I've found it pretty fine, personally. I don't mind doing story missions solo, and the match-making system has thus far not led me wrong for strikes. Also, the wonderful folks in the KAU group have been gracious enough to invite me along a few times on patrol and strikes, which have been fun. I'd hate to be playing this completely alone, however, as the story alone doesn't seem seem to have the impetus that made Halo's campaign so compelling.

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