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Glzmo's Avatar

12.17.2011 , 09:40 AM | #1
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Chat Bubbles: Please add speech bubbles and a toggle option to enable them for /say, /yell and /emote chat!
Originally posted December 17, 2011.
Last Updated October 24, 2016. <- Over 58 months - that's right, well over 4 and a half years - with hundreds of pages and thousands of posts/views in support and still going strong and mostly floating on top or near the top of the Suggestion Box forum with more and more players supporting the cause every day make this the longest running active thread on the forums - Thank you!

Dear developers and other employees of Bioware, Lucas Arts, Disney and Electronic Arts!

A large part of the player base can't enjoy the game properly because of the lack of chat bubbles (aka speech bubbles). Therefore, on behalf of the affected players, we are hereby suggesting and formally requesting an option to toggle chat bubbles for spatial chat (/say, /yell, /emote).
This thread has started in beta shortly after chat bubbles were removed from the game for "optimization", reposted after the forum wipe and has now run an incredibly long amount of time while still remaining constructive and has garnered a lot of support ever since.

Fact is, chat bubbles make a big difference in the perception of human presence around the player in the game. With chat bubbles the chat text is strongly associated with the likeness of the player's character that you're talking to, leading to a much richer (and more natural) form of social environment. The game world simply feels too sterile and lonely without them.
One could say that chat bubbles are for the roleplaying and social aspects of the game what the group finder is for the PVE aspect and the warzone queing and the galactic starfigther hangar interfaces are for the PVP aspect. These three have been implemented a long time ago, yet players of the social and roleplaying aspects have never received their equivalent - speech/chat bubbles.

A large part of the player base, and an even larger part of the potential player base (and the player base that left the game because the feature has been missing so long and wish to return once it's implemented) needs an option to toggle on chat bubbles. Indeed, chat bubbles are a "must-have" feature to be able to enjoy the game and their playstyle for many of the socializers, roleplayers, casual players as well as players suffering from certain medical conditions out there. People are leaving the game every day due to this feature missing. On the bright side, many have voiced interest to return once the feature is implemented...but the longer it takes, the easier it will be to loose them permanently.

Even simple chat bubbles or overhead text for /say, /yell and /emote chat would go a long way:

Bare Minimum Implementation
The following is the Bare Minimum Implementation that a large part of the player base feels to be a must-have and most would feel comfortable with:

  • Add chat bubbles (or, at the very, very least overhead chat text) with all the typed text in /say, /yell and /emote chat channels to appear above the head of the player characters that are saying it (above the head of other player characters as well as your own), in addition to the same text being displayed in the chat window.
  • Add a client-side option to toggle chat bubbles on/off on each computer individually so people can choose whether they wish to see chat bubbles above player characters' heads or not.

Additional Community Suggestions
The following are additional suggestions by players in this thread which would improve the experience even more and could be added after the bare minimum implementation detailed above has made it into the game. They are some of the ideas the community has come up with on how to design and implement chat bubbles really well (click on the button labeled SHOW below to view).

Reasons: Why Chat bubbles?
The following is a short summary of the reasons why chat bubbles should be implemented.

Related Links
The following are hyperlinks related to the topic of chat bubbles (click on the button labeled SHOW below to view).

Media Articles about the lack of Chat bubbles
The following are articles from various media on the topic of missing chat bubbles in Star Wars: The Old Republic (click on the button labeled SHOW below to view).

Timeline of Official statements by Bioware on the topic of Chat Bubbles
Would you like to know what exactly the developers and other Bioware representatives said about chat bubbles? This is the place (click on the button labeled SHOW below to view)!
The following is a timeline with quotes from various official non-beta statements of TOR developers and other Bioware representatives on the topic of chat bubbles including links to the statements where available (click on the button labeled SHOW below to view).

Original Post from the Beta Forums
A quote of the old, prose version of the original post that started it all and was first posted in the TOR Beta Forums back in Summer 2011 for those that like to read it (click on the button labeled SHOW below to view).

PS.: The development team will receive cupcakes once chat bubbles are in the game. The longer they wait, the older the cupcakes get. So hurry up, it's for your own good!