Hearthstone’s Lack of a Chat System is its Best Feature

By on August 23, 2013 11:58 AM

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In a world where being social is shoved down our throats at almost every turn, Blizzard took an entirely different approach with Hearthstone by not implementing a chat system at all. Instead, the game features simple chat bubbles that play predetermined dialogue from your hero when you right click on your hero’s portrait. With every online game focusing on being social these days, some would consider this move to be a gamble from Blizzard, but the complete lack of a robust chat system is Hearthstone‘s best feature.

Let’s face it: online games these days are built off their community of players. Not just as a source of revenue, but games are more enjoyable when played with friends. Playing with friends often means being able to chat with friends; but at the same time, certain games are ruined by their community of players. Let’s take the MOBA genre for example. Games like DOTA2 and League of Legends are a lot of fun to play. At the same time however, certain MOBA titles have communities that some have labeled as “toxic.” Extreme? Sure. Relevant? Yes.

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No need to type GG in Hearthstone, have your hero simply say “Well played.”

If you’ve ever played a match of DOTA2, you’d understand that a chat system is necessary in that game since teamwork is required to succeed. The unfortunate part of that game is that the chat system is often used to either belittle your opponents, or yell at your teammates. Coordination is often done through map pinging because it’s just quicker than typing. And for those that have suffered through rants of angry players in a MOBA, you’d know how it instantly ruins your gaming experience. Suddenly as much fun as that game was, you don’t want to play it anymore because you’re annoyed at the last person that just yelled at you.

And that’s why Hearthstone‘s lack of a chat system is one of the most refreshing things you’ll experience in an online game in today’s world. No more smack talking, or players spamming a chat window with “lol can’t u add?” Make a mistake and simply have your hero say “Oops.” You’ll be surprised by the amount of players that respond with “Sorry.” While most players will simply observe that Hearthstone‘s lack of a chat system is befuddling, they’ll be indirectly blessed with the fact that it’s one major thing that can no longer cause them to be annoyed at the game.

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Don’t worry about being spammed dialogue in a match. Chat options are greyed out for a short period of time after each execution.

I imagine it wasn’t an easy decision for Blizzard to make, not including a chat system in Hearthstone – it is worth mentioning that you are able to chat with people on your Friends List during a match. But taunting your opponent? The most extreme thing you can do is the “Threaten” option, which is still done in typical Warcraft fashion – as in, light and friendly. Finish a game and lost or won? Commend your opponent with a “Well Played.” Instead of typing “GL HF” at the start of a match, toss them a “Greetings.” The system is so simple, yet so functional. But the key thing is, it allows you to focus on the core thing that Hearthstone is all about: having fun.

Most gamers that invest time into playing online games want it to be an enjoyable experience. By removing the possibility that your opponent could ruin your gameplay experience through chat spam, taunts, or just straight annoying talk, Hearthstone is enjoyable even when you’re losing match after match. It also helps ensure that Hearthstone‘s community upholds a reputation of being friendly and something you look forward to logging into each day.

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Though chat options are the same for every hero, the audio dialogue differs to reflect your hero’s personality.

So next time you’re playing Hearthstone and five hours have passed you by, remind yourself that you didn’t quit three hours ago because someone on the other end of the table was mocking you in chat. Give Blizzard credit for taking the bold move of removing the ability to chat with your competitor from the game entirely, in order to ensure that the Hearthstone experience is pure fun. Hopefully it remains that way from beta to live, since Hearthstone‘s lack of a major feature found in every online game today, is in fact, its best feature.

Categories: Mobile Gaming News, News, PC / Mac News
  • http://www.twitter.com/MegashLoL Megash

    Hm,

    I’d like to have channels and an easy way to chat! But that’s probably just me because i was an old starcraft player. Friendship etc comes from that. And if this game goes competitive like i want it to be chat and channels etc is beneficial

  • Triptych

    I used to really enjoy online gaming of all kinds but over the years I’ve seen the communities of them all just seem to break down to the point where it’s not only MOBA’s that have toxic communities, every single online game has become a complete toxic wasteland. For awhile I kept trying to play online games, tried different ones, some are worse than others but in the end the experience is the same. I just completely ignore all online games now, and have for awhile, as I don’t enjoy being forced to interact with toxic players.

    I would have never even given Hearthstone a second look if they had chat in a 1v1 card game for people to spam stuff like “lol kill yourself uninstall”. Someone was clearly smart enough to realize this, and I’m glad they did. Now I will be giving Hearthstone a chance, and in fact, I hope more games follow this trend of allowing online play with other people free from the now normal toxicity.

    • default username

      Taking away the ability to interact with opponents altogether because some people can’t handle a few trolls? Seriously?
      If your opponent insults you, and your little heart just can’t handle it anymore, you mute them, you don’t take away everybody’s ability to communicate. That’s like shutting down the internet because somone read something one time that they didn’t like.
      Emotes do not suffice for language and interaction. Your article bothers me. You shouldn’t write articles anymore. Or maybe only write articles using Hearthstone emotes. gg noob.

      • Rodid

        It would be one thing if it were a few trolls. It’s literally every other person I run into. It’s almost as if the game is free to play and is therefore overrun with children who just learned that there are few if no consequences for their actions on the internet.

  • FloatingJoe

    Excellent! I stopped playing League of Legends because of all the negativity. Been looking forward to Hearthstone and this news has just bumped it up another notch.

  • Rodid

    I don’t think it goes far enough. They need to remove the canned chat, too, because players, winning or losing, will use it to gloat or spam the other player.

    Go ahead and remove it. It’s not necessary. If you’re playing with friends, you can chat using friends chat, or voice chat outside the game. At the very least, make it so that a player can only use a canned chat action once on their turn, and once on their opponents turn. Too often I run into players who will just spam chat over and over with the same thing, or who will gloat when they’re winning by spamming ‘Sorry’ or ‘Threaten’ over and over.