One of the features I love about DDO is the UserChat system, and how much easier it makes it to collect your rag-tag bunch of friends from various guilds into one place to plan out quests, brag about accomplishments, or just plain chew the fat and make fart jokes.
Because let’s all be honest, you’ve told at least one fart joke during your DDO Tenure. It’s okay, you don’t have to admit it. We all know.
But for those that may be somewhat new to the game, the UserChat system can be something of a mystery, much like a “sub-guild” that you aren’t a part of. This couldn’t be any further from the truth, however, and it’s easy as pie to start your own channel, if that’s your thing.
Actually, pie crust can be somewhat complicated, so that’s a bad example. Easy as eating pie, that’s a bit more accurate. Anyhow….
There are a few commands that you’ll need to know, but they’re simple, as is the syntax to use them:
/joinchannel [channel name]
This command allows you to join an already-existing chat channel, or, if the name you typed in doesn’t exist, it will create a new one and plop you in it. UserChat channels are ordered in – big surprise, here – the order in which you join them; in other words, the first one you join is UserChat1, the second is UserChat2, etc. This allows you to pick which chat channels appear in which text windows (more on that, later). Of special note is that any form of Reincarnation (Lesser, Heroic, Epic, or Iconic) will remove you from all of your channels, so you’ll have to re-join them once you land back on Korthos (or the Bridge Between, or the Forge, or the Ball & Chain Tavern).
/leavechannel [channel name]
If you find the context or purpose of a channel not to your liking, or feel like having a bout of histrionics and leaving in a huff, this is how you do it. There’s no notification to the users of the channel, however, so it’s a bit anticlimactic if you’re looking to storm out.
Now when it comes to communicating with your buddies in the UserChat channels, there’s a few ways to go about it. My personal favorite is to create a separate tab for them, simply called User. Or Spoon. Whatever you want to name it, it’s really quite easy to do. Simply right-click on one of your current text window tabs and select “Create Window.” From there, right-click and rename it to whatever you want.
At this point, you may wish to customize what Incoming and Outgoing text types come in. Personally, I have the UserChat channels come in to every window save Combat; this way, I can see what’s going on whether I’m in Party Chat or General Chat as the default. But the dedicated tab is for when the conversations get hilarious (which they often do) and I don’t want any interruptions, you know, silly things like notifications that a party member died. Pfft. Who cares about that, anyway? *grin* In any case, to toggle incoming text types on or off, it’s a simple matter of right clicking the new tab’s name, mousing over Incoming Text Types, and unchecking (or checking) the option that you want. I only leave the UserChats and Tells on for my User tab.
When you’re not in a dedicated tab, communicating with your group is simple. Just don’t use the full, official method, which is /UserChat1 [message] to send a message to whatever channel you have as UserChat1. That’s quite bulky. The much faster way is:
/1 [message] for UserChat1
/2 [message] for UserChat2
..and so on and so forth.
In short, the UserChat channels are a great tool to use to stay in touch with friends, especially friends that may be in other guilds, or are off your current level range. Or for planning raids, goofing off.. the possibilities are limitless. And you don’t need to be afraid of UserChat any longer to start using them, or creating your own channel for your peeps. It’s a heck of a lot more efficient than sending a dozen tells.
In any case, I hope this was informative (and if you already knew about them, then, thanks for reading, anyway!) and helps a few folks out. Happy slaying!