Ventrilo is one of the most often used tools of the trade in WoW. Vent, as most people call it, is a voice chat program that allows users to set up a server for other to connect to so they can speak to each other. It’s commonly used by guilds and occasionally by friends who just want to be able to speak to each other without all that annoying typing. It goes a long long way when raiding to be able to communicate with other without having to stop what you’re doing on your char.
However, there can be drawbacks to this wondrous tool. As is often the case, when you get 25 different personalities together, eventually someone will make themselves out to be somewhat of an ass. I’ve already spoken of Raidiquettein the past so I won’t give you some silly portmanteau involving Vent and etiquette. Ok, Ventiquette, happy now? But I will speak of the different personalities you might run across while in Vent, and in that interest, I will start with the most common of Vent animals…
The Lurker is the person who mainly just listens and hardly ever talks while sitting in the vent channel. Sometimes they’re wholly quiet, not even showing up in raid chat unless necessary. Other times they’ll be quite talkative in raid chat, blah blahing all over the place with nary a peep in Vent itself. You can always tell if someone’s a Lurker because when they do finally say something on Vent, it’s almost immediately followed by, “Who is this?” Don’t be fooled by their quiet charm, however, unlike Silent Bob, just because they’re quiet doesn’t mean when they actually speak they have something important to say.
The Chatty Cathy
On the opposite end of the spectrum, these are the people who just will not shut up while sitting in Vent. Subject matter ranging from what they’re watching on TV to how their latest colonoscopy went is fair game for the Chatty Cathy. These people will pontificate at great length on almost any subject and you will listen because you have no choice. If silence ever finally settles on the raid for a significant length of time, these people will always jump on any chance to start talking again. You can identify them by simply pressing your talk button and not saying anything which will most likely end with the Chatty Cathie desperately asking if you wanted to say something.
The Lonely Guild Officer
This is the person who after a wipe starts trying to figure out what went wrong and where. His question of “Ok, who was standing in the fire of doom then ran through the raid spreading AoE debuffs?” has the power to turn even the most talkative Chatty Cathie into a Lurker. These people are most often identified by their raging indignation at stupidity and are usually accompanied by a chorus of crickets. They also usually have a slew of add ons and meters so they will eventually find out who did it, which can lead to them becoming…
The Angriest Raider
Though not always a guild officer, these people usually are. These are the people who can and will call you out and make you look like a fool in front of everybody. They have no problem yelling at people who are responsible for wipes and making sure that the guild is aware of your questionable lineage which obviously lead to your current brain damage. Easily identified by the constant stream of “what the FUCK?!?!’s” and the sounds of them furiously clicking back through combat logs after wipes, these people feel they are truly responsible for keeping the raid focused. Though somewhat helpful (you don’t want to coddle stupid raiders), they also won’t be making very many friends in the guild.
The Vent Newb
These are the people who’ve just started raiding and are made to log into Vent for the first time. Like a foal trying it’s hardest to stand, it’s so cute when they type questions like “how do I get into the channel you guys are in?” or “what button do I push so you guys can hear me?” Adorable. Like any other newb though, it can quickly grow tiresome if they’re not quick learners. Oh, and do me a favor, find the volume button first as this will result in less murder for you.
The Jolly Rodger
I don’t know how prevalent this particular Vent personality is, but we have one in my guild and quite frankly I love it. This is the person who laughs uproariously at almost everything, no matter how funny it actually is. Easily identified by the fact that almost all of his sentences will end with at least a chuckle or two, this guy makes me feel all warm and fuzzy when his guffaws come over Vent. I suppose if he had an annoying laugh, maybe not so much, but as it stands now, a good thing.
The Sad Sack
Possibly the most annoying of Vent personalities, these guys will go on and on at great length about the most depressing things. Look, I’m a nice guy and I don’t wish you ill will, but I don’t want to hear about the fact that your girlfriend just broke up with you (probably because you play too many video games). I’m not on WoW to comfort you in a time of crisis and, quite frankly, just because we raid together doesn’t mean I’m your friend. That type of subject matter should stay in whispers with people who are your friends (Hint: check your friends list). It’s rude to force your troubles on others not interested in listening to them.
These are people who aren’t actually in your raid group but are on Vent anyways just to chat. This doesn’t usually happen, but when they show up it can become extremely annoying extremely quickly. Nobody wants to describe to someone outside the raid what the raid is doing. We don’t have some urge to let everyone know what dropped and no, we’re not interested in helping you figure out your trade skills while we’re fighting a boss. You can identify these people by the fact that they usually try to talk at inappropriate times, usually by asking why everyone’s so quiet during a boss fight.
Vent is such a great tool and is pretty much necessary for any guild serious about raiding. These people can disrupt it, but generally for the most part, the infractions are minor and far between. As long as people for the most part stay focused and quiet when it’s necessary there shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Except for the Non-Raider, kick his ass from the channel if you can.
PS: If you haven’t read A Confederacy of Dunces, I highly recommend it as it’s made of pure awesome.
PPS: I know that picture kind of sucks, but I’m at work and put it together in about 20 minutes, so hush.