The Case For Megaphones

April 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 8 Comments
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In MMOs the item known as a megaphone is a consumable item that allows you to broadcast your text to everyone on a server, no matter where they are. They are hated by many but after playing Runes of Magic I’ve come to consider them a mixed blessing.

That being said, rumour has it (though what good this rumour is when the game is still in testing is hard to see) the megaphone has been taken out of Guild Wars 2.

I’m sure people will say it would have been exploited or abused or annoying, and they are absolutely right. In RoM they were exploited, abused, and annoying. And a heck of a lot of fun.

I went back to my old posts from RoM and found one post where I described (and gave nicknames to) the people who most regularly abused megaphones. It’s shoddy writing at best, but an early post in the history of this blog. The post details several different personality types and is an interesting reminder of some of the people I encountered in that game.

As I read the post I realized that maybe the negative aspects of the megaphone aren’t clear cut.

You’d think I’d want these people gone from my server, irritant relieved. Goodbye. Not so my friends, they are what me and my guildies bond over. I am far from the only one to be privately harassed by alzheimers in my guild. Everyone in my guild complains about 13/f/texas. We all gathered at the last WarsALot guild war to watch and hang out. Every community needs their villains.

And even after all this time I still agree with those final sentiments. The megaphone is a painful and irritating device but my god the fun you can have marveling at the drama of others. Thinking back to some of the things said and behaviour displayed, I laugh.

It gave me good stories to tell, camaraderie with my friends, a laugh now and then, and frankly yes I got to know the people on my server through it. For all the good and bad that resulted in.

It did make celebrities out of some people, the same way Jersey Shore makes celebrities out of some people. And I view it the same way, I don’t like Jersey Shore so I don’t watch Jersey Shore. I’m sure there would have been some way to turn it off.

The price itself would have made for quite a deterrent. In Runes of Magic megaphones were cheap, 25 for a few dollars. The pricing in Guild Wars 2 had been a few dollars for just one megaphone. A pricey way for wannabe reality stars to fund the game.

All of the above and I haven’t yet touched upon the genuinely funny, helpful, sincere and generous people who also used megaphones. They gave away things, created player sponsored activities, alerted people to events or information or humourous goings-on.

So do I think it was a mistake to take megaphones out? I don’t know. They are very inflammatory, both in game and out. I do wonder what might have been however.



  1. Personally I am VERY glad this won’t be a purchaseable in GW2; I have a hard time preserving my immersion in MMOs as it is these days and fun as it might be in isolated events, megaphones are….well, megaphones 😉
    but then I am an oldschool, grumpy MMORPGer hehe!

    Great blog by the way. I shall keep an eye on you in the future, methinks!

    • I’ve personally never been one who was much interested in immersion in an MMO, playing with real people immediately takes me out of that. So megaphones don’t bother me in the slightest with that in mind. But I do see your point.

  2. Daish! You don’t need no megaphone, trust me.

    • I have my own experiences with megaphones to go by.

      • Yes, sorry I didn’t mean to sound like I was dismissing your comments. Diash is a famous commander on our wow server in pvp. Hes a little excitable and rude. He wins matches though. You’ll always hear from him in a match and outside a match he’s always got his followers some love him most hate him. All this with no megaphone. So I see ur fun with it but I just wanted to say that there’s stuff that sounds like what you described above going on and it didn’t need megaphones. Having said that I still hope there’s something being announced in game by the game like in gw1 with who used to have favor and who’s completed something awesome. I favour the ability to control what’s announced to you, funny how giving a choice is often the best answer.

  3. As long as I can ignore the megaphone blast then Anet can put them in the game for all I care. I tend to only have guild chat open in any game I ever play. Everything else just annoys me.

    • Being able to just check a box that ignores megaphones would be more than enough reason to include them, and people would still buy them in droves.

  4. […] Hunter’s Insight: The case for megaphones. Hunter sees the positive aspects of the oft-criticized cash shop megaphones visible in some leaked beta images. […]

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