For those that wish to run group content voice chat greatly improves the chances of a successful run (whether that be instances, skraids, raids, or even big battles). This becomes even more important for PUGs and those that are not familiar with the run. Yes, there are some that can be run blindfolded and communication is not necessary, but that is not what this thread is about.
Some excuses I hear for not having Voice Chat (especially third party clients):
1) I don’t have a microphone.While it is preferred that you be able to talk to the leader (and group), the most important aspect of the voice chat is to be able to hear directions from the leader. You do not need a microphone for this. You can always type your responses.
2) I am embarrassed of my voice or I do not want people to hear me.
3) I am afraid to download third party software.
The major chat clients; Ventrilo, Mumble, and Team Speak have all been around for a long time. They are stable and will not adversely affect your computer.
4) I am not computer literate and I don’t know how to install it.
5) It will cause lag.
Not likely. The bandwidth used for these programs is minimal.
6) I use the in game voice chat.
This is better than no voice chat at all, however, the quality is awful. I strongly urge you to install a third party client.
Ok, you talked me in to installing voice chat. Which one should I use?
This is a great question, and one that is hotly debated. Ventrilo is very basic and simple to use. Team Speak and Mumble have better sound quality, more features, and more customization than Ventrilo. All three are used throughout the LOTRO community, so the decision may come down to who you are grouping with. Personally, I have all three.
Voice Chat Tips & Courtesies
When you want to talk
Waiting your turn
Nothing more annoying than everyone talking over top of each other. Be patient, wait your turn.
Interrupting the Leader
Ventrilo – How To
You can download Ventrilo for free here: http://www.ventrilo.com/download.php
Once you have downloaded and installed Ventrilo you will need to configure a few settings.
Open up Ventrilo, it should look like this:
Click on the -> (arrow) to the right of the User Name box:
Click on the NEW button. Enter the name you want people to see you as (Mine is Dadi). Click OK. Click OK again. This will bring you back to the first screen.
Now click on the -> (arrrow) beside the Server box.
Now click on the NEW button. Fill in the following info:
Server Name: Anything you want
Hostname/IP: You will need to ask the leader of the group for this
Port number: You will need to ask the leader of the group for this
Password: You will need to ask the leader of the group for this
Now click on the Setup icon (looks like gears) OR use the SETUP button on the right (if the gear icon is not there):
A new screen opens:
The main things you need to do on this screen;
– Where it says Hotkey there is a big empty box. Click in the box and then push the key that you want to use to talk. This will now be your hotkey. It is advised to choose a different key than the one that you use for the In Game Lotro System or else you will get a nasty echo if using both IG and Ventrilo at the same time.
– Check that Output Device is set to your speakers.
– Check that Input Device is set to your microphone.
– Amplifiers (you can leave this for now, but if people say you are too quiet, come here to boost your volume a bit).
Now click on the Connect Icon (green plug) or the Connect button:
You should now be connected and in the main lobby. To enter a different room, simply double-click on it. To talk, push your Hotkey (that you set in the above steps).
Here is a way to ‘normalize’ or compress voices in Ventrilo. This does 2 things: it will make soft voices more understandable, and it will make very loud voices less likely to blow the cones out of your speakers or headphones. These settings are in Vent themselves, and here’s how to adjust them:
Sign on to Vent, just like you normally would.
Go to Setup
Enable Direct Sound (this only works if Direct Sound is supported by your sound card/chip, but most of them are now-days)
Select the SFX Button
Select Compressor and click Add.
Under Compressor Properties use the following settings:
Gain = Adjust for how loud you want people to be. (I use 15)
Attack = 0.01
Release = Around 500
Threshold = Around -30
Ratio = 100 (I use about 75 normally to avoid hearing Derp’s dog snoring….)
Pre delay = 4.0
Team Speak 3
To begin let’s delve in to the settings; Click the Settings tab. You can choose Setup Wizard and it will walk you through the basics, but I prefer to tailor the settings a bit more. Click on Identities.
You can create multiple identities (perhaps one for each character you will be playing). To start, let’s configure one default identity. Where it says Nickname, input what you would like to display for everyone to see. I have chosen Dadi (my character name). In the Phonetic Nickname enter your nickname how it sounds (this is for the computer to correctly pronounce your name). When you are done you can click OK, or you can create as many identities as you want by clicking the Add button and repeating the above steps.
When finished with Identities you will be back to the main screen. Choose Settings and then Options. When the Options screen comes up, click on Playback.
You can leave everything here as default, or customize things.
Playback Device – Default should be your speakers via your soundcard. If you want, you can choose from the dropdown.
Voice Volume Adjustment – This is the volume of the people that will be talking to you (incoming). Use the slider to adjust.
Sound Pack Volume – This is the volume for the computer generated sounds (i.e. “Dadi has entered the channel”). Press the Play Test Sound button Use the slider to adjust.
Mono Sound Expansion – You can change this to center or surround if you like. Test it out to see what sounds best.
Click Apply and then OK.
You will be back to the main screen again. Select Settings and then Options. From the Options screen choose Capture.
In most cases, the default settings are just fine.
Capture Device – You can select your microphone from the dropdown.
There are 3 options for how to capture your voice; Push-to-Talk, Continuous Transmission, and Voice Activation Detection.
Push-to-Talk – If you do not have a good quality microphone this is the best option. It is also the best option to ensure that you are only heard when you want to be. The only way for other to hear you is for you to push (and hold down) a key. If you select this option you need to set a hotkey (the button you will press to talk). Click in the big box (in the example above it says LEFT WINDOWS) and then press the key (or mouse button) that you want to use. If you want to set multiple hotkeys, click the link and you can add more.
Continuous Transmission – For gaming this is not recommended unless you are making a tutorial video or are streaming.
Voice Activation Detection – This is essentially hands free operation. However, if you do not have a good microphone (or there are a lot of background noises) this is not a good option.
Once you have made your selection, press the Begin Test button. Speak in to the microphone normally. Ideally you would like to see your voice in the green range. If your voice is too low you will need to adjust your microphone (windows settings).
I like to use Echo Cancellation; this helps reduce/eliminate reverberation resulting in your speakers playing through your microphone.
In the Advanced Options you may want to check the Voice Activation Detection while using Push-to-Talk. Essentially this will allow you to use both.
When you are done, click Apply and then OK.
You will be back to the main screen again. Select Settings and then Options. From the Options screen choose Notifications.
Notifications are the sounds/voices that get played when events happen (connect/disconnect to server, join/leave channels, private messages, etc.). These are computer generated. From the Sound Pack section you can select Male, Female, Text to Speech or Sounds Deactivated. This is really a personal preference. From here you can further customize what gets played, if at all, by double-clicking the items (i.e. Action, Channel, Server, etc.).
Click Apply and then OK.
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