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In Development - Guild Banks and Voice Chat


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#21 Galatea

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 06:10 PM

Running either of those codecs at high bitrates would likely tax servers more than Blizzard is comfortable with.


I highly doubt any of the voice chat will run on existing servers. They will probably just handle the negotiation through their text chat backend, and every client open a new connection to a voice chat server. Whether blizzard is installing new servers (or allocating unused servers) in their existing clusters, creating voice only clusters, or outsourcing I can't say. But I am fairly certain no voice data will end up on any server that is running game scripts.

I tend to assume Blizzard's implementation will look more like a carrier grade VoIP reseller type solution (hardware based encoder/decoders on their side) rather than the various Ventrilo licensees who use pure software platform. At Blizzard's scale it makes more sense to use highend vertical hardware than tons of commodity servers*. But I may just be hoping for too much ;-)

*Strictly speaking it may make sense at the scale of some of the larger Vent OEMs, but Vent does not offer them such an option. Blizz can probably find carrier grade hardware that supports any codec commonly used for SIP or IAX2.

#22 springwheat

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 06:15 PM

I'm not saying that this is an unecessary feature. Vocal communication is extremely vital in the deep end of WoW. My point is that I personally prefer the voice quality that you can achieve in Ventrilo and I feel that the implemented VOIP will sound significantly worse for obvious reasons.


You make it sound like its impossible to integrate an existing solution. Vent runs on Mac and Windows, just like WoW. Its been extensively (albeit unofficially) tested by the existing player base so compatibility on the client side is reasonably certain.

Its not without precedent. The company I work for was contracted by Sony years and years ago to develop the voice communication engine for Planetside (I think that was it).

#23 Snowcrasher

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 06:16 PM

The only rationale that makes sense to me is PuG cooperation, especially if they make it usable in your PuG Arathi Basin group. Everything else is already done perfectly well through Ventrilo, or better done.

It sounds like a lot of effort for not much gain, unless I'm missing something major. There has been a murmur for guild banks for years, but I can't recall the playerbase requesting this addition.


That's a huge motivation for them to do this though. If the bulk of the playerbase is engaged in small guild or PUG 5-mans than this is a great addition. I think this feature just seems bizarre from the perspective of hardcore raiders who have been using a guild supplied vent/TS server for 2+ years.

- Free
- In-game support to see who is talking
- In-game support for party vent while in a raid
- Instantly setup voice communication for PUGs and/or out of guild invites without the need to compromise Guild Vent/TS logins

#24 Cireena

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 06:28 PM

I actualy like this idea. I can have the Blizz VOIP running for runs, and still run my server in the background for me and my friends to BS on, and set my second vent window to the other server I frequent. I mean since I'm already running dual Vnets a third VOIP is not a bad thing, I just need to sort my key bindings a bit better then.

Plus, my anus is painfree and still virginal! :dance:

Honestly, if you're any good, then you know about the changes as soon as they happen and you adjust. If you're not any good, Blacksen's already benched you by now, and so who cares.


#25 Lord BEEF

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 06:35 PM

Guild banks being able to automatically fund repairs is a very nice feature that I didn't think they'd implement.

I'm sure there will be some fun issues that arise when it's actually implemented though
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#26 sovelis41

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 06:37 PM

With the prospect of Heart of Darknesses (what is the proper plural there?).

Hearts of Darkness!

#27 Kalman

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 06:42 PM

Guild banks being able to automatically fund repairs is a very nice feature that I didn't think they'd implement.

I'm sure there will be some fun issues that arise when it's actually implemented though


I hope it's traceable, or there'll be some fun drama coming.

"Hey, who the fuck used up the entire guild bank?"
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#28 Merrack

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 06:45 PM

I hope it's traceable, or there'll be some fun drama coming.

"Hey, who the fuck used up the entire guild bank?"


It doesn't specifically mention using the gold, but the "all transactions" part of

Blizzard's website will track all transactions, so should any guild leaders try to scam guildies (by taking a bunch of stuff and transferring, for example), you've got a written record - at which point Blizzard's customer service would take over.

makes me think that it'll be recorded.

This will certainly be interesting to play with on a PTR, but I'm not sure if it'll be enough to move away from normal bank alts yet. I hope so!

#29 Glayde

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 06:47 PM

Hmm. If guild banks are free, im making my own guild to get a huge extra bank storage area.

#30 Docjowles

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 06:54 PM

Hmm. If guild banks are free, im making my own guild to get a huge extra bank storage area.


I could see them having some mechanism for growing/shrinking bank space along with guild membership. So a newly founded 10-man guild would get 10 slots, and gain 1-2 more with each new member up to some fixed cap. They'd also probably want to base it on the number of unique accounts in the guild, rather than straight number of members, so you couldn't inflate the bank by rolling 50 alts.

Edit: And if guild membership falls below some threshold (say 10), the bank gets deleted and all the items are mailed to the guild master. It's still "exploitable" with enough work, but probably enough to deter most people from getting "lol free bags".

#31 Snowy

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 07:06 PM

The "repair from guild bank funds" is a very nice option. I can see this being used on progress nights for some guilds.

As for VOIP, obviously this doesn't matter to most of us, since we are in raiding guilds with Vent/TS servers already. However, it's still going to be very nice for the casuals who primarily run 5 mans, or very small guilds who can't/won't get a vent server.

#32 Natural

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 07:07 PM

I could see them having some mechanism for growing/shrinking bank space along with guild membership. So a newly founded 10-man guild would get 10 slots, and gain 1-2 more with each new member up to some fixed cap. They'd also probably want to base it on the number of unique accounts in the guild, rather than straight number of members, so you couldn't inflate the bank by rolling 50 alts.

Edit: And if guild membership falls below some threshold (say 10), the bank gets deleted and all the items are mailed to the guild master. It's still "exploitable" with enough work, but probably enough to deter most people from getting "lol free bags".



I don't think they care. They admitted that they are paying for the database storage for items on alts anyway.

Anything that is BOP is going to be stuck on a character's individual bank. Everything else can be mail banked, so I don't know why Blizzard would implement any restrictions like you have mentioned.

#33 Thanaomira

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 07:09 PM

Hmm. If guild banks are free, im making my own guild to get a huge extra bank storage area.


This could be easily handled via pricing of tabs and bag slots.

If (wild presumption here) that each bank tab is a normal bank (i.e., what you already get) and each tab adds an entire set, then you can have a lot of pushback on players creating 1-person guilds by charging 1250g per tab. For a 25-person raiding guild, that's a mere 50g that each person has to raise per tab, but is otherwise largely prohibitive to a solo player.

Likewise, bag slot prices could go up by a factor of 10.

So the tradeoff becomes having a guild bank instantly accessible across your characters, or having a guild chat populated by your friends.

#34 Furio

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 07:09 PM

I wonder how exactly the "Deposit" feature will work. Will it only apply to gold or also to items? Specifically, I'm thinking this could make general raid consumable/gear donations much easier. Currently, I've been using alts to store our donated supplies of Green/Blue of X Protection gear, fish oil, gems, etc.

#35 Kazanir

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 07:11 PM

I hope it's traceable, or there'll be some fun drama coming.

"Hey, who the fuck used up the entire guild bank?"


They noted that everything is logged somewhere in the article. The best way, though, is to drop a bot, have the GL/officer turn the "players can repair via the bank stash" flag on, and then turn it off once you are all done with the bot.
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#36 Samelina

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 07:21 PM

If only they would add in a fixed interest rate on these banks so guilds could make more money than only relying on guild member deposits.

#37 Maledict

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 07:22 PM

In-game VOIP has been an utter disaster in EVE, and I see no reason why it's going to be better here. There simply aren't the levels of granularity that people want - there's no way to create private binds to specific subchannels, the "rooms" that you're separated into feel clunky and are annoying to join and leave as the UI support is bad.


But it's a huge success in DnD and LotRO on the other hand. Really does just depend upon how well they implement it.

#38 XI-

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 07:29 PM

I might be playing devil's advocate here, but I'm going to be honest. I'm looking forward to VOIP so that I can tell people all the things I think of them during battlegrounds that have treated me to numerous interactions with the Blizzard staff in the past.

#39 Aszhalinde

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 07:33 PM

If only they would add in a fixed interest rate on these banks so guilds could make more money than only relying on guild member deposits.


I'm sure your friendly <black bamboo pavillion> gold farmer guilds would scamper about in glee if that happened.

#40 Phro

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 07:39 PM

"..you've got a written record -- at which point Blizzard's customer service would take over."

heh... Does that scare anyone else?




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