From Tapestries MUCK
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.
First and most importantly: this system is experimental. If it fails in it's goals the wizards set out for, it may be changed dramatically or removed entirely.
Chatter. There is a lot of chatter, mostly OOC, that goes on in most zones.
- To chat everyone must go to the same room in a zone. This overcrowds single rooms. See Fox Plaza.
- Said overcrowded room becomes almost useless for non-chatter related purposes because of how spammy it gets.
- This makes using the rooms for their intended purpose (see Policy Mission) hard if not impossible in many situations.
- Some people really are here just to chatter, or are here to chatter when somewhere not allowing them the time to really play.
Zone chat creates a chatter chat channel that is zone wide with out being muck wide. It can be turned on/off either entirely by each user, as well as zone by zone for zones you just don't want to listen to when your in them. It allows for user-defined output formats to aid in highlighting and blocking. It can also be disabled in part or whole by zone admins that feel it detracts from their area.
- Allows the solution of having an OOC area within a zone for all zones.
- People can stay in parts of the zone that they wish to, rather than being forced into a central room.
- Helps separate general chatter (light-IC and OOC) from scening and roleplay.
- Opt-out allows people RPing to focus on play. Or just ignore chatter if they wish.
- Zone by Zone enabling/disabling allows zone owners to decide if it's right for their area or not.
- Still makes people get out of their homes to chat.
- Makes people 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. :)