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Chat Bubbles: We need an option to enable them for say, yell and emote chat!

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion > Suggestion Box
Chat Bubbles: We need an option to enable them for say, yell and emote chat!
First BioWare Post First BioWare Post

astrobearz's Avatar

11.17.2012 , 06:22 PM | #991

this is 2012 man, bring the chat bubbles back please?

Ganden's Avatar

11.17.2012 , 06:34 PM | #992
Quote: Originally Posted by ZirusZero View Post
This could perfect if holographic.
That would be great!
Ganden Venorsi
Ataru shall set me free...

hunterthesloth's Avatar

11.17.2012 , 06:55 PM | #993
I would like this, only though if we have an option to turn them off in the fleet.
Imperial Entanglements
The Blackwalker Legacy
"...Your only hope for survival is complete and utter loyalty"
Its Star Wars not Ground Wars

SawneyRath's Avatar

11.18.2012 , 06:39 PM | #994
I still agree with Chat Bubbles. Please give us some news soon!
Selique Lasra [Jung Ma RPvP]
Guildmaster of <Esoteric Order/Knights of Atonement>
~Star Wars Galaxies Vet (Scylla/Starsider)~

Thargrim's Avatar

11.18.2012 , 07:41 PM | #995
Please bring us chat bubbles with a toggle!

Craile's Avatar

11.18.2012 , 11:14 PM | #996
Chat bubbles are awesome! PLZ add! Thanks!

AdamChattaway's Avatar

11.19.2012 , 04:31 AM | #997
Quote: Originally Posted by Glzmo View Post
Click here to read the first Unread reply to this topic
Chat Bubbles: Please add a toggle option to enable speech bubbles for say, yell and emote chat!
Updated October 9, 2012

Dear developers and other employees of Bioware, Lucas Arts 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, a large part of the player base, and an even larger part of the potential player base 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.

Even simple chat bubbles for /say chat would go a long way. However, the following are some ideas the community has come up with on how to design and implement chat bubbles really well:

Here are bullet points of what's been suggested/proposed by the players:
  • Add chat bubbles for /say, /yell and /emote chat that display whatever is said in these chat channels in it's entirety in addition to the chat window over the head of the player character that is saying it (both over your own as well as characters around yours).
    Preferably have them enabled by default.
  • Add a client-side option to toggle chat bubbles on/off for any text players type in /say, /yell and /emote chat to Preferences->Chat.
    This allows every player to decide for themselves whether they would like to see chat bubbles or not for whatever reason. Possibly give us an option to turn chat bubbles on/off for each chat channel individually and expand the choices to /party and /ops chat.
  • Add talking animations that triggers when typing into /say and /yell to visualize that the character is currently talking or shouting.
    Existing character animations may be reused for this, like the one used by the /talk emote.
  • Lower the range of /say to 25 meters (currently 40 meters) and keep the range of /yell at 50 meters.
    This has proven a good range for spatial chat in other MMOs to prevent clutter.
  • Add a slider to allow people to freely and individually adjust the range at which chat bubbles disappear from maximum range for each chat channel (25 meters for /say, 50 meters for /yell, 50 meters for /emote) down to a minimum value of couple of meters (10 meters?).
    This will allow players to find a good compromise between the amount of chat bubbles, clutter and performance for their individual taste and computer.
  • Add a slider to adjust the duration of how long chat bubbles remain on the screen in seconds with a gracious maximum value.
    This will allow players of all ages to freely adjust the duration of chat bubbles remaining on their screen according to their own preferences and reading speed.
  • Give us the option to freely adjust the font size in chat bubbles and whether the size scales with distance or not.
  • Chat Bubbles should remain visible while the chat window is toggled off in order to allow people to choose to rely solely on chat bubbles and not on the chat window if they decide to do so.
  • Chat bubbles for each chat channel/type should have a different appearance style
    Take a look what other MMORPGs like Star Wars Galaxies (still one of the best implementations of chat bubbles in MMORPGs to date) and/or comics typically use for what people say (bubble with rounded edges and tail that points to the character that says it), yell/shout/scream (jagged bubble with longer tail) and "emotes" (square bubble, maybe even without a tail) to distinguish between the various chat channels.
    Chat bubbles could also be sporting the same hue/color (be it border or background, depends on the style you choose) each chat channel is assigned to on your client.
  • Change the /emote and /yell chat channels to be visible to the opposing faction, just like the /say chat channel is now.
    There is no reason to block /emote and /yell (or even /tell and /whisper for that matter), as opposing factions can communicate via /say already anyway (and there is an /ignore feature for bad things, after all). Blocking those just limits cross-faction socializing between player and cross faction roleplay.

Here is a short summary of the reasons why chat bubbles should be implemented:
  • Chat bubbles encourage face to face interactions with other players.
  • They encourage multiplay instead of solo-play - most desirable in a MMOG.
  • Chat bubbles improve communication and group/Ops group coordination between players.
  • They are an essential tool for building and strengthening the community, which is the main reason that keeps people playing and stay loyal to a MMO(RP)G for many years and even decades, even when the PVE and PVP content may have run it's course.
  • Without chat bubbles, many players "feel all alone" in the game (the chat window feels very detached from the game).
  • They allow people to focus on the world in front of them, and not a tiny chat window in a corner or anywhere else but near the center of the screen.
  • The fast scrolling chat window is impossible to follow conversations while in an area with a large amount of people.
  • Chat bubbles greatly improve immersion into the game world (click here to read a post explaining how if you don't understand).
  • The game world seems to be a lot less sterile and more alive when you can actually see player characters talking.
  • Making new chat channels is not a useful alternative.
  • People with various visual impairments/disabilities rely on chat bubbles in MMORPGs to even be able to effectively communicate and play with other players at all.
    The same is true for many older gamers.
  • Without chat bubbles, roleplay and socializing is nearly impossible especially in crowded areas, it's tedious and simply is not fun - especially in areas where there are many people or during questing and other parts of the game.
  • Chat bubbles help to pinpoint and find people that are talking in spatial chat in large and crowded areas.
  • Chat bubbles aren't only for Roleplayers - they provide benefits for a great many players with all kinds of playstyles - be it socializers, roleplayers, Group/Flashpoint/Operations PVE players and PVP combatants (that don't rely on voice chat), community builders among others.
  • A large amount of the player base want chat bubbles as an option. Bioware said they are implementing player's wishes - this is a top priority wish/issue for a large part of the player base.
  • Chat bubbles have been a standard feature in almost every mainstream, premium priced MMO released during the past decade that a whole lot of players are used to. There also hasn't been anything invented that's remotely capable of fully replacing chat bubbles for communication between players in MMO(RP)Gs yet (text to speech technology combined with positional audio is still far off from sounding natural).
  • People have started to cancel their subscriptions due to the lack of chat bubbles and missing official assurance by Bioware that they are being implemented soon.
  • /say and /yell chat channels are practically useless without chat bubbles. They are like /general with lower range.
  • Having a client side option to freely turn chat bubbles on or off to each player's liking will allow every player to enjoy the game, whether they need chat bubbles or not.
    Everyone has fun, everyone is happy, everyone wins!

Related Links:
  • Sprechblasen!!
    German discussion of this thread / Deutsche Diskussion dieses Threads

  • Roleplaying Suggestions [Chat Bubbles, Char Creator, Clothing, and more!]
    Suggestions of features roleplayers want to have added in this game. Includes chat bubbles and many other items.

  • UI Feature Feedback Request
    Bioware asks to post UI Feedback and suggestions in this thread. Head over to the official UI Feature Feedback Request thread and request chat bubbles to be implemented as the next UI feature!

  • Official The Old Republic Twitter
    If you're on Twitter, go to Bioware's Official TOR Twitter account and regularly tweet questions about chat bubbles and an ETA on them! Include the hashtags #swtorchatbubbles and #swtor in your tweets and tweet them often about it until we finally get some concrete information and ETA on chat bubbles! Feel free to use these hashtags together in tweets to your friends as well!

  • Star Wars: The Old Republic Facebook
    If you're on Facebook, go to Bioware's Official TOR Facebook page and ask them questions about chat bubbles and an ETA on them!

Articles about Chat bubbles:

Timeline of statements about chat bubbles by Bioware representatives and developers:
  • November 2011: Fan Site Summit: Day 1 -- Q&A with James Ohlen, Fan Site Summit 2 Q&A Wrap-Up
    Articles about the Fansite Summits from November 2011, where Bioware's Studio creative director James Ohlen promised chat bubbles to be a "high priority in BioWare's list of things to do". On a side note, Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller confirmed this on the beta forums as well by posting "chat bubbles are a high-priority feature for launch or shortly thereafter" around the same timeframe.

  • January 20th, 2012: Re: Sprechblasen!!
    The Old Republic's German Community Manager Ursula Brand wrote the following in reply to a German thread about chat bubbles.
    English Translation: "We have definitely forwarded your wish. But you can certainly understand that it isn't of high priority at the moment. Hence I sadly can't tell you anything about it at this time, whether chat bubbles are coming or not (much less when they are coming). I myself have colored my chat channels in different (partially very bright) colors. This helps me keep the overview. But yes it's really hard at large RP-events when the chat is speeding to no end..."
    Original German text:"Wir haben euren Wunsch auf alle Fälle weitergegeben. Aber ihr könnt sicher verstehen, dass das im Moment keine hohe Priorität hat. Insofern kann ich euch leider zu diesem Zeitpunkt nichts dazu sagen, ob Sprechblasen kommen werden (geschweige denn wann). Ich persönlich habe alle meine Chat-Channels in verschiedenen (teilweise ziemlich grellen Farben) eingefärbt. Das hilft mir sehr, die Übersicht zu bewahren. Aber ja, bei großen RP-Events, wenn der Chat rast ohne Ende, dann wird es wirklich schwer ..."

  • January 26th, 2012: Interview: BioWare’s Cory Butler and the Future of Star Wars: The Old Republic
    An interview with Bioware's Cory Butler from January 2012 which has the first official mention of chat bubbles since James Ohlen talking about them at the Fansite Summit and Georg Zöller confirming it on the beta forums in November 2011.
    When asked about chat bubbles in the interview, Butler awkwardly avoids the topic by simply saying "I can’t really go into the specifics about chat bubbles just yet.".

  • February 17th, 2012: Community Q&A: Feb 17th 2012
    in the February 17th 2012 Community Q&A post, Bioware's Damion Schubert confirmed that chat bubbles will be implemented: "They're definitely on the list. We’ve got many active roleplayers in the dev team and chat bubbles have always been important to us. We actually had chat bubbles in beta, but there was unfortunately some serious performance issues that our implementation caused that, for example, made things really suck in warzones and the fleet. They’ll be coming soon, but in priority, the GUI team is focused first on GUI customization. I'll have a better idea of timing once we get past that. And yes, for people who hate them, whenever we do them, they'll be toggleable."

  • March 5th 2012: STAR WARS: The Old Republic - Guild Summit 2012 Roleplaying Panel
    Bioware's new Lead Designer Daniel Erickson confirmed on the topic "The future of roleplaying" that chat bubbles are indeed coming and issues with chat bubbles having a negative effect on performance have been resolved: "Chat bubbles...yeah, chat bubbles. *bows his head in shame while applause roars through the room* So...this is...this is one of those *sigh* ... there are things that you can always tell from our faces when we talk about it. There are things that are just kind of embarassing. Like we had chat bubbles in the game and for whatever reason there was a really strange technical... thing... with the chat bubbles that they totally dragged the performance of the game down. [takes a deep breath] We were like "chat bubbles...really? That's what's doing it?!" And you know, a tech came over and turned off the chat bubbles and framerate went way up and we were like "Oh god, okay." So...uh. We think we've got that worked out though. So chat bubbles: YES!"

  • June 29th, 2012: Community Q&A: June 29th 2012
    When answering a question about how much of the development is based on the developers' ideas and how much is based on Community input, Bioware's Lead Designer Daniel Erickson acknowledged chat bubbles as one of the most requested community features although they didn't see them as a "big must-have feature" and confirmed that they will be added to the game in the near future (although he didn't give any details on when that will be): "As we come to the end of our big must-have features (like Group Finder), updates are driven more and more by the community. Expect to see far more of the smaller quality of life requested features (color matching for companions, chat bubbles, etc.) start to get real traction under them in the near future."

  • July 24th, 2012: SWTOR-RP interviews Daniel Erickson: The ramblings of RP
    Lead Designer Daniel Erickson mentioned chat bubbles in an interview conducted by the fine people over at "Chat bubbles are on the short list, stuck behind must-have features like group finder and I expect you’ll see them arrive relatively soon."

A quote of the old, prose version of this post that was first posted in the TOR Beta Forums back in Summer 2011 for those that like to read it:
Im sure its a good post but no offense that's way to long to be arsed to read in the morning lol, but the fact they said like 7 months ago they were adding them and never did shows me bioware doe snot care for this.
Electronic Arts, Inc...Nowhere else in the galaxy will you find such a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

MastaKorgy's Avatar

11.19.2012 , 05:00 AM | #998
I also want chat bubbles, basic thing I really want.

Cave's Avatar

11.19.2012 , 08:46 AM | #999
Bioware, please give us speech bubbles in our next patch! The game is almost unplayable from a social perspective without them!
I've cancelled my subscription due to the lack of Chat Bubbles.
I will never give EA or Bioware another cent or play any of their games or use any of their software again until speech bubbles that fully display /say, /yell and /emote chat are implemented in Star Wars: The Old Republic and the needs of socializers and roleplayers are finally taken seriously.

Stubacca's Avatar

11.20.2012 , 03:20 AM | #1000
Does anybody know the plans for Game Update 1.6? Will we finally get our well-deserved chat bubbles that we've been waiting for so long? Pretty please, Bioware, I beg you, add them to the game in Game Upsate 1.6!
Add Wookiees as playable species (solution to voice over problem: MT-D Miniaturized Translator Droid!
SUBSCRIPTION WON'T BE RENEWED due to the lasting lack of CHAT BUBBLES and how long-term subcribers are treated by EA/Bioware.