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This is not meant as documentation for the Zone Chat program, rather, this is meant as an explanation for what it is, and why it is being implemented.


Zone Chat (zchat) is a program for zone-wide chat. Its purpose is to allow OOC chat and other socialization within an establishment while freeing you to participate in roleplays in other rooms.

Zone chat can be turned on/off by users for themselves, and on/off by the admins of public zones.


Zone Chat's deployment is to be considered experimental. If it fails in it's goals it may be changed dramatically, removed or replaced with something else.

The Problem

To chat, everyone must go to the same room in a zone. This overcrowds single rooms. See Fox Plaza compared to the rest of the Muck core, or the way that only a single room in any given establishment will draw a large crowd. This makes using the rooms for their intended purpose (See Policy Mission Statement) hard or impossible in many situations:

  • Using the room for roleplay is difficult due to how spammy it gets
  • People are unwilling to explore other rooms because empty rooms are lonely
  • People are unwilling to start a scene in the middle of other people's conversation

ZoneChat as a Solution

ZoneChat is designed to separate chatter from roleplay. Instead of being forced to a central room, people can participate in, watch, or wait for scenes in different rooms without missing out on socialization. If the chatter becomes disruptive to a scene, it can be turned off.

ZoneChat is also designed so that:

  • Zone owners can disable zchat if they think it's not right for their area.
  • People still need to get out of their homes to chat.
  • All zones can have an OOC/chatter area without disrupting the Muck's mission.


  • People still need to get out of their homes to chat.

Other Considered Solutions

Other solutions we looked at.

IRC/Shout like system

This allows people to chatter with out ever leaving their homes, thus failing to encourage people to be out in public on the Muck. It is thus not an optimal solution.

OOC Room off the Plaza

At least it gets people out, but it creates an area on the Muck which can't be used for the core mission of the muck. This just seems to concentrate the problem rather than solve it.

OOC Areas in Zones

Same as above, just more broken up into interest areas. Seems like a poor implementation of IRC.

Subscription based IRC

Force users to go out to public places to subscribe to channels they wish to listen to each time they connect to force them to interact with the rest of the muck and still giving channel-based chatter. Considered so contrived that people would just resent the system. (It IS that contrived.)


Lots of other things were considered too which I forget at this time. :)

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