Friday, August 11, 2006

Horde and Alliance Mis-Communications

I found an interesting article covering the language barrier between horde and alliance. Apparently the alphabet between the two factions goes through a hash function with a high collision rate. For those of you who don't speak geekinese this means that a lot words have the same nonsense translation. So while alliance can type "kek kek" to say "lol lol" to the horde, anything more complex runs the risk of being translated into more then one word.

For example the words kill, move, and fire for the horde all translate to the alliance as "Uruk". Blizzard purposely created the hash function to make communication almost impossible between the factions except for a few short chat phrases. This lets just enough communication to declare intent but not enough to coordinate anything. Thus you might see a horde and alliance grinding nearby but you aren't going to have spies giving out player locations in a battleground.

Usually I am not a fan of exclusion tactics in MMORPGS but the lack of communication between the Horde and Alliance really works for the game. After a few months of playing on either faction you really do despise the other side. There always seems to be a sense of animosity between the two because communication is impossible but ass kicking is not. Add in the basic ability to insult and taunt and you got a real grudge match going on. The only issue interfering with the system is the population imbalance between the sides.

Now picture if the Horde and Alliance could talk to one another. The insults would get much more nasty as the language would allow advance words and phrases. People can get pretty creative with insults after being camped for 45 minutes and most likely the Terms of Service would be broken many times over. Spying might become an issue in any type of large pvp event. Also players on both sides would be constantly bothered by those they defeated. Would there be any fighting at all if defeated players could just spam insults and accusations to the other side. Shudder... if you thought Ironforge of Orgrimmar chat was bad now.


Anonymous said...

It's nice to see someone who grasps the way that "translation" works in WoW. A lot of people have a lot of wrong ideas...

Like you say, the high collision rate does limit translation. While it's impossible to say anything you like fluently, it is possible to concoct gimmicky phrases. In fact there's an online tool for this very purpose.

HordeGold said...

Sorry but something is wrong with what you are saying.

I had an ally talk to me and yes his name was red. and yes i could read it. i have been all over talking about this and i said it so meny times it is pissing me off. I only want to know how he did it.

I will come back to see what you say.

Anonymous said...

probably with mind control. I seems high level peeps can mind control other side's chars and then talk to them.

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