I would like to take this opportunity to suggest that the developers put together and implement a more robust chat system than we currently have in-game. Based upon my experiences in other games, I believe that such a thing would help to foster a stronger sense of community.
The features that I would like to see in such a system are as follows:
- It should be a cross-faction system so that, if I am on an Imperial alt and a friend is on a Republic alt and we want to team together, we can A) actually know that the other person is online and B) arrange for one of us to switch alts so that we can team.
- Considering how alt-friendly this game is, it is entirely possible that people will fill up all their character slots on one server and have to create an alt on another server if a really good concept comes to them. Therefore, to facilitate teaming, the redesigned system should be truly global, allowing us to communicate with each other no matter what server we may be on.
- The new system should allow for the creation of fully-functional custom chat channels and for a person to be able to join as many of these as they choose. (I'll describe in detail what kind of functions I think such a channel should have further down in the post.) This would allow not just guilds, but any groups of people with similar interests to more easily keep in touch and build a community. One example might be a channel for people on a certain server for people with a strong interest in accomplishing achievements. In such a channel, someone might say "Hey, I need to beat down X mob type on Y planet. Anyone want to join me?" And someone else might respond "Sure, let me switch alts and I'll be right there."
- It should allow for the use of unique chat handles. I'll go into that in detail below, too.
When it comes to custom chat channels, I would like to see the following as settings and options.
- Private Channels with Invitation-Only access.
- Public Channels that anyone can join.
- No Restrictions. New members can just jump on in.
- New members are temporarily silenced upon joining a channel and will be unsilenced by whichever channel mod happens to be online. With this option, a whisper will be auto-generated to each mod whenever someone joins the channel so that they know someone needs to be unsilenced.
- Each channel will have one Owner, the person who created it. However, that person may appoint as many moderators as they choose.
- Mods will have the power to invite people, silence them or kick them based on the behavior and actions of the member in question. They will not, however, be able to unseat the Owner.
- If the Owner of the channel decides to step down or leave the game entirely, they can transfer ownership to one of the current mods. This will turn the former owner into a regular mod.
Unique Chat Handles can, I believe, be put into place in the following manner:
- When the system goes live, each player will be assigned a temporary Chat Handle which will be the name of the character that they just logged in with.
- They will then be given, via a pop-up box like the ones used to tell us all our skill points have been refunded, the opportunity to change the handle to whatever they choose.
- After that, if they want to change their handle again, they will be given one token each year that they remain a member that they can use to do so.
- There will, naturally, be profanity filters put in place to prevent certain words/phrases/names from being used as handles.
In order to make any of this even possible in the first place, of course, we would need an overhaul of the Friends/Ignore system. I believe the following to be a sensible plan:
- When adding friends, a person will be given the option to choose between server-only friends and Global friends.
- Selecting the Global option would send a request to the person you want to add. If they say "Yes," then you now appear on each other's Friends list whenever you log on no matter what faction or server you may currently be playing on.
- When you Ignore someone, it will automatically ignore every character on that person's entire account.
The TL/DR version: I would really, really like to see a better chat system in this game than the one we currently have. I think such a system should be cross-faction, cross-server, allow for custom channels and unique handles and come with improvements to both the friends & ignore lists.