Chat interfaces in online RPGs have come a long way since the days of Ultima Online. Gone are the days of running mIRC while exploring the virtual worlds of old. Even games that have been around for a long time have adopted feature-rich chat interfaces to help players coordinate their activities. Unfortunately, this sword is double-edged.
We’ve all experienced how quickly a chat channel can descend into an irritation. Off-topic comments, yelling, cross-chat, and other useless information all rapidly reduce the usefulness of the channel to near zero. Countless players have had their gaming experience negatively affected by this problem, many to such an extent that they quit the game. This post is for those of you in World of Warcraft that are close to this point. There is hope.
Drop that Channel!
The World of Warcraft chat interface comes with perhaps the most useful feature imaginable: /leave. By default, all newly created characters are automatically joined to a number of chat channels that often fall prey to clutter. Trade, Local Defense, General, and LookingForGroup are all very useful when you need them but only make it harder to read comments made by those in your party, guild, or private conversations.
Since each is numbered, you can simply use the /leave [channel #] command to drop from it. Once you’ve left these channels, you’ll only be receiving party, guild, /say, system, and private messages. With only what you need when you need it, your enjoyment of the game on the whole should improve.