Voice chat is a handy tool in coordinating team-based game activities. It has the benefit of allowing players to alert their teammates to situations without having to type things out. And, for some players, it can feel like you’re getting to know each other on a more personal level than you would just typing away in a text chat.
But, there can be a lot of downsides to the voice chat system. I remember that when I first started out playing MMOs and joined my first EVE Corporation, our Corp leader didn’t allow voice chat due to the fact that she was deaf and didn’t want to miss anything that was going on. To this day, I still tend to stick to text chat. But that’s not the only reason.
In fact, the biggest reason for most players to avoid voice chat is fear of harassment, especially if they’re part of a minority group and their voice makes it obvious. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that members of the Heroes of the Storm community are voicing concern for the addition of voice chat to the game’s client.
One community member voicing concern with the voice chat system is Heroes streamer FerociuslySteph. As noted by Nathan Grayson on Kotaku, this steamer has concerns that voice chat will force minorities to reveal themselves to other players, opening them up for potential harassment. Of course, there is the option of just not joining voice chat with your pick-up group, or muting the people harassing you, but that causes a variety of other issues such as preventing you from receiving important information that affects how you play.
As Kotaku notes, some players hope the community will just naturally police itself into niceness. But players who have experienced extreme toxicity in games before have their doubts. Either way, Blizzard seems set on adding the feature. It’s currently live on the game’s PTR. Perhaps by the time the feature hits the live servers a solution will have been found that works for all players.