Georg Zoeller Clarifies Cross-Faction Communication

Georg “Observer” Zoeller, Principal Lead Combat Designer for SWTOR pops into the forums to clarify some things about cross-faction communication. There has been a lot of talk and debate over the issue and as with all things that get over-talked online, there was some confusion. Zoeller says:

“Guys, Let’s back up for a minute and clarify what’s going on here. Nothing has changed since San Diego Comic Con. As discussed at SDCC, the decision was made to separate the general chat channels by faction. However, this decision ONLY affects the planet-wide chat channels such as “General Chat.” If you’re standing next to another player (local chat), you can talk to them regardless of what faction you’re part of. The only thing we removed, as already mentioned at Comic-Con, was the ability to communicate with the opposing faction across the entirety of a planet to avoid the issues (like griefing, abuse, and other factors which led to a very unpleasant experience) which we saw way too often in testing. We discussed the option of hiding the global chat and defaulting it off, but ultimately the ratio of negative incidents was too high to justify that. The reasoning here is simple: We really didn’t want to create a game option that essentially says “[x] Give me an 80% chance of having an infuriating and annoying chat experience,” and putting the onus on the user (“you can just /ignore them”) is not our idea of a quality game experience. Removing planet-wide cross-faction chat radically reduces the amount of reach a misbehaving player has before account action can be taken. We’ll likely add the ability to filter local cross faction chat as well. Hopefully that clears it up a bit.”

So what do you think? Does that clear it up for you? Do you agree? Disagree? How about the original poll in that thread? How do you feel about cross-faction chat in an MMORPG?