Emotes in MMOs

How important are emotes in MMOs? Should they mostly be specific animated/voiced emotes or the freeform kind (/em bows to the Lord Protector)? As a roleplayer and a keen advocate of running dungeons “for fun” rather than for loot, I’m well used to making good use of both kinds when playing with friends in group content.

Playing SWTOR as free to play I’m often annoyed by the emote restrictions. It just seems downright miserable of Bioware to limit ‘/cheer’ for instance. Why can’t we celebrate another player dinging a level in the time-honoured manner?

Neverwinter has a different issue. Emotes aren’t restricted by the cash shop, but there’s a weird complication to using them. All seem to be locked behind the ‘/em’ command. So a cheer is ‘/em Cheer’. That wouldn’t be so bad but the game parses your emotes as you type them. If you type ‘/em cheer’ it corrects it to a capital ‘C’ with the first press of the enter key, before then executing the emote with a second. That’s a few too many keypresses for such a standard action, when /cheer would be so much easier!

When I compare these games with older games, like EQ2 or LOTRO I can’t help but think the emote systems in more modern MMOs are somewhat lacking…

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4 Responses to Emotes in MMOs

  1. yanniesaurus says:

    A few games I have played (gw2, ff13, wow) have utilized emotes quite a lot. I personally get sad when I can’t slap npcs.

    • Telwyn says:

      Guild Wars 2 is better, I seem to remember Guild Wars 1 was the first MMO I played after WoW that really lacked some basic emotes – I’m glad they improved things for the sequel.

  2. Jeromai says:

    Google up “socials” in MUDs some time and look at the bountiful list that comes up. I miss those in MMOs all the time. I don’t even think all of them require animation of one’s character model, just text that appears in the chat window will do. It just gives more players the option to be social without having to type volumes or challenge their imaginations overmuch using the freeform /emote whatever.

    • Telwyn says:

      I’ll have to have a look – I pretty much missed out on MUDs in the pre-MMO era. I agree that they don’t always have to be animated, just supported as a nice shortcut. Having a good social ‘toolbox’ encourages players to communicate.

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