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I'm still kinda new to the game (still haven't even got my first 80), but I've played for the past couple months and noticed they have the new voice feature. But I've never heard anyone speaking.

I know people do use Ventrilo, and eventually TeamSpeak, but what about the in-game voice chat? How does it work? Does it work? Why people don't use it? I'd love being able to chat on Random Dungeons or even hear everyone screaming in Battle Grounds, like you can already do in Counter Strike for a long time already.

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I would imagine that a large portion of the "hardcore" crowd does not use it because Ventrillo / Teamspeak existed long before in-game voice, and there was no real incentive to switch when it was finally released. –  Raven Dreamer Aug 6 '10 at 18:00
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5 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

My wife and I do tank/heal while leveling our alts, and I have a macro that says people are welcome to join us in there. I've only had one person do it, but it's still an option. Beats typing it every time.

If you don't tell them they are there, they won't know you're there! :-)

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Oh hey, now that's something new... So we need to both have it activated first, or else you'd be talking alone, right? But picture this: if I have it activated, and you have it activated we still need to do something more to be able to hear each other?! –  Cawas Aug 12 '10 at 17:21
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@Cawas, nope, it should just work 'out of the box' - if not, there's something wrong and a ticket to a GM is in order. –  Chris Browne Feb 9 '12 at 9:35
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It does work, but as you've made mention, most people that work in organized teams (guilds, Arena teams, pick up groups/raids) end up using a Ventrillo or Teamspeak server that someone has access to.

Functionality-wise, it's no different than using a voicechat server. You'll set up a push-to-talk key and utilize that for whenever you want to voice something. I'm not sure if there's an "always on" option, or a voice detection option to auto-broadcast when a decibel threshold is hit, but I don't believe so. Edit It does have auto-detection/always-on as well, thank you for the correction.

Generally speaking, the in game voice chat is very low quality compared to what you'd get on a Vent/TS server. Additionally, it's exactly the reasons you mentioned above that people tend to not use it. You can prevent certain group situations from coming through via voicechat (e.g. specify that you only want to hear it in groups, not in battlegrounds or raids), but it's still subject to the same abuse that an admin-less voicechat server would face, which causes people to inherently distrust it.

edit: And as Raven Dreamer has mentioned in his comment to your initial post, the majority of guilds are already set in their ways of using 3rd party software to do the same thing. There was little need / desire to change, especially at the relatively low cost per month of having a much higher quality and customizable option for your guild/friends.

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So sad, I was really hoping for someone to actually tell me otherwise. - I actually have it active on "always on", or so I think, and definitely with voice detection. But, as I said, never heard a word. As good as any 3rd party can go, it can never beat in game voice because not everyone will be in the same server able to hear you. –  Cawas Aug 6 '10 at 18:11
    
@Cawas This is from my experience, and your mileage may vary of course. I'm sure that there are groups of people out there who exclusively use the in-game voice chat. It certainly has it's advantages: it's free, it's guaranteed that everyone is using the same 'client', you wont get random people joining your 'channel' while in a group, etc. Just from experience, I've never been one to use it, nor have I ever heard someone ask to. –  TheQ Aug 6 '10 at 18:20
    
I still gotta make it work. Never could hear anyone on it. –  Cawas Sep 3 '10 at 20:50
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Aside from Ventrilo and TeamSpeak, a lot of people are also switching to Skype.

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Alot of guilds are changing to mumble now as its low latency and alot clearer than Vent and TS –  Cem22lp Feb 9 '12 at 9:53
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It does work, assuming you haven't unchecked the "Enable voice chat" box in the audio settings. In my experience, most people do not use it, for I suspect the following reasons:

  • The voice quality is low
  • People already use some thing else (Ventrilo, Mumble, TeamSpeak) with their actual friends and guildies
  • People don't generally like talking to strangers when using the dungeon finder
  • People don't even text chat much of the time when using the dungeon finder

If you have a group of friends you want to play with and you don't have an alternate solution, the WoW chat can work for you. But I suspect you will eventually want to upgrade due to the quality.

The one feature the WoW chat has that generally beats other solutions is that it will automatically lower the rest of the WoW sound effects and volume when someone is talking. Pretty handy!

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It actually NEVER worked with me. And I got a friend to keep trying till giving up. –  Cawas Sep 3 '10 at 20:49
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Ventrilo without a doubt. Most raiding guilds and large raid groups use this. WoW Voice chat is too slow as it uses bandwidth coming from Blizzard and has to make a round trip across the planet. By the time you say "look out for the pat..!".. your raid party is dead..

Ventrilo runs in the background while you're playing WoW and the keystrokes to chat and so forth don't interrupt game play. Voice chat in WoW has to work in conjunction with all your WoW internet traffic. It's a little complicated, but simply put Ventrilo is an independent voice chat system that runs in parallel and you'll get near "real-time" chat from it vs WoW Voice chat.

There is a gotchya though. As Ventrilo is a separate program running on your PC, it will take some CPU power to run.

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I may have got your answer wrong, but I think you didn't get my question. I was talking exclusively about in game voice chat. I just cited the others as reference I knew about them. I'd like to make the ingame voice chat works. –  Cawas Sep 3 '10 at 20:49
    
ahh.. ok.. You can activate it under your settings for sound/video. I am on a different PC at the moment and cant confirm the exact options. But you can "turn it on". Yes it does work. you can block out ambient noise to, like kids screaming/tv/dogs barking/police cars..LOL. You can get a cheap headset with a microphone and that works well to. Just don't use builtin mic's as that is hard to block out ambient noise. In the end though, I tried it and although the sound quality was good, but it was too slow. If you have more specific technical questions about it, I can help. –  giulio Sep 3 '10 at 22:49
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