I detest the ‘Party Chatting’ system in Xbox Live with a fervor! I could never understand why we really need party chat to begin with, life was fine before it. I guess I could see it if it were being used for watching the same movie via Netflix streaming with your friends. What it has turned out to be though, is the best way for you and your friends to cheat. Why do I say this is primarily used for cheating? Let me give you an example: You and your friends are playing ‘Call of Duty: World At War’ you have dead silence and camouflage on, you sneak up and knife somebody on the opposing team. All of a sudden 10 seconds later a grenade comes bouncing in at your feet, it goes off and your dead. Now you didn’t give away your position nor did your opponent notify his teammates where he was before he died. What happened was that the entire opposing team is in party chat and the guy you just killed told his teammates exactly where you are from his grave. Now how fair is that and there is no way to prevent that from happening.
Now here is another example of why this sucks so much, your team has eliminated everyone on the other team except one or two players. Again you are using camouflage and dead silence, so you can’t be seen on radar nor heard. You find one of your opponents and you sneak up on him then all of a sudden he does a 180 and starts firing before the turn is even finished and your laying dead on the floor. How did he know you were behind him? Because one of his dead teammates is watching his back in essence giving him eyes in the back of his head. This is so rampant that players now jump into the lobby of a game and ask if anyone is in private chat. If no one answers guess what you back out.
Here is another annoying scenario, you and a couple of buddies jump on to play together but you don’t have enough to form a full squad. No problem you get teamed up with another couple of players randomly here is where it really sucks. They are in private chat with themselves. So you can’t talk to them, warn them or discuss any strategy. They are in their own little world and could care less about anything except themselves.
Why can’t Microsoft just disable ‘Party Chat’ for any online matchmaking games i.e. Call of Duty, Halo or any other FPS? These games have built in systems for team communications and nothing else is needed. So why do they let this run rampant? All it does is ruin the experience for those that would like to play and have a good time with their friends. Come on Microsoft get with the program you can’t be that dense or can you?
*Photo by: Matt Brett