I am an active member of the Mos Eisley Radio community and spend a lot of time on ventrilo talking to MERC (guild) members and others in the community. Recently fans of Star Wars: The Old Republic have been voicing concern over their desire to communicate on a voice server (such as Ventrilo or Teamspeak) and that desire interfering with dialogue in TOR.
Currently there are features in other software which allows a volume change during voice conversations. For example in Windows’ sound settings under communications you can select “Reduce the volume of other sounds by” 80%, 50% or “mute all other sounds”.
As titles increase the amount of dialogue, especially in online gaming there will be an increased need for such a solution. Players are using voice servers to communicate more often than ever and text chat is becoming increasingly less common among gamers and is being replaced with built-in voice features in games.
What I propose is that Bioware considers releasing a limited API. It doesn’t have to be released to the public and could simply be released to Ventrilo, Teamspeak and Mumble for example. It would be beneficial to these companies as using the API and implementing this feature would really influence gamers to use their software.
Other MMOs have released APIs in the past. For example: World of Warcraft and Eve Online.
Most players that I have spoken to about this issue feel that they don’t want to have to change channels on their voice server each time they need a quiet moment. The easiest solution I can imagine right now is to setup a hot key to mute the voice server.
It would simply be much nicer for your friends’ conversations to be lowered by x% so that you can still “hear” them and won’t necessarily miss anything if you catch something that interests you in the conversation.
It’s something to think about.