Opinion: The Case for EVE Voice

EVE Voice is the built-in voice communications system in EVE. It is by no means anywhere near as glorious as other 3rd party voice communications systems, but I still favor it whenever possible.

Here is why I favor EVE Voice:

  • All EVE players have instant access to EVE Voice. By contrast, it is an inconvenience for some players to go out of their way to set up, learn, and use 3rd party software on top of EVE.
  • For most purposes, EVE Voice is “good enough”.
    • EVE Voice doesn’t pretend to be full featured like third party comms, but it does get the job done quickly and easily.
    • Sure, 3rd party comms have all these bells and whistles, but you’d be hard pressed to argue that any of them elevate the game to an entirely new level.
    • While EVE Voice might not sound as pristine as the opera house quality of 3rd party comms, it doesn’t have to: in both real life and in virtual reality, the battlefield is always noisy. What matters that clarity is obtained at the conversational level. High fidelity is not needed for that.
    • From my experience helping others set up and use EVE Voice, I’ve found that all issues regarding to its use or quality are due to human error or general issues not specific to EVE or EVE Voice. These are issues that could have just as easily arisen in other VOIP software.
  • Zero administration is required. Most importantly, players automatically receive access to corp and alliance EVE Voice channels when they join and automatically lose them as they leave; by contrast, administrators of 3rd party voice comm systems would need to constantly add, modify, and remove players as they join, change rank, and leave our alliance, among other things.

Here is why EVE Voice gets shunned in favor of 3rd party Voice Comms:

  • EVE Voice is strictly inferior to 3rd party voice comms. This is unquestionable, but it is also irrelevant. EVE Voice gets the job done quickly and easily – that is all that matters.
  • EVE Voice used to have issues back when it was first released (like all other software, go figure!), and alienated players are not willing to give it a second chance now that it has been polished. That’s unfortunate for them that they are missing out on the bug-free EVE Voice experience!
  • EVE Voice has a small learning curve and may require a few tweaks on top of the default configuration, but the same could be said for any other software
  • Many players don’t even know EVE has built-in voice comms
  • Because you cannot manually adjust bandwidth in EVE Voice, there is a theoretical possibility that EVE Voice won’t scale with large numbers of users, but this is unlikely to be a problem in practice due to the quality of voice compression algorithms.
  • Many players don’t realize that EVE Voice can be used in a tiered, segmented fashion in fleets, thereby providing priority to squad, wing, and the fleet leaders and segmenting chatter relevant only to other squads or wings. Also, the fleet commander can ignore everyone except wing commanders, and wing commanders can ignore everyone except the fleet commander and their squad commanders.

So where’s the compromise? Here’s my take:

  • Use EVE Voice when you can, use 3rd party comms when you must
  • Casual and small/medium-sized corps/alliances may prefer the lack of administration required by EVE Voice, while hardcore or extremely large alliances may embrace the reality that such administration would be required anyway to manage voice communications regardless of the system used.

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