Trade Chat has deteriorated over the last several months.
At peak hour it’s so full of six-liner PuG advertisements that it’s near impossible to read guild chat: the green text flies past so fast. And the more crowded the channel gets, the more players repeat their own macros over and over again just to try and get some exposure and screen time.
Of all the chat channels, [Trade] is the only one that is broadcast to all the major cities. If you’re standing in Dalaran, and decide to put together a 10 man group for Icecrown Citadel, what’s the best way to advertise and find additional group members?
The answer is not the Raid Finder. It’s Trade chat.
[General] Will only broadcast to other players in Dalaran. The raid members you’re looking for might be visiting the Auction House in Ironforge or Stormwind. Or they might be on bank alts, or other characters in those other cities.
[LookingForGroup] Is a strange one. Theoretically this is where you should advertise your open PuG raid spots. It’s also the channel that players should join when they’re looking for a PuG to join. In the past you would join the Looking For Group tool and automatically gain access to this chat channel. Now, almost nobody does – and I don’t know anyone who uses the Raid Finder. You’re also not going to reach potential players who are logged onto their alts.
[Trade] Will broadcast across all of your faction’s major cities. Surely this channel was designed to allow sellers and buyers to find each other and exchange goods. This is the channel that you could use to find a Mage to teleport you (you could also use General), or where you could find a Tailor, Scribe, Enchanter etc.
[Guild Recruitment] There is actually an additional channel that exists solely for guild leaders and players to find each other. Unfortunately, the only time most players see this channel is when they are not part of a guild at all (the game puts you in there automatically). The reality is that most players don’t leave their guild until they have secured a position in a new guild.
It’s really no surprise that [Trade] is actually used for:
- PuG leaders seeking additional raid members
- Guild recruitment
- Legitimate trade opportunities (professions, want-to-trade, want-to-buy)
If [General] were changed so that (if you are standing in a major city) it broadcasts to all major cities I think half of the messages currently posted in [Trade] would instead find their way into [General].
But in the meantime we need to deal with [Trade] chat. And the spam. Oh… the spam! Here are some ideas:
1. Turn it off
Consider, for each of your characters, whether you really need to see Trade chat. Are you totally happy in your current guild? When was the last time you joined a PuG raid? Do you respond to players who are seeking someone with your crafting professions? Do you really read the WTT or WTB messages? Or do you ignore them?
Why don’t you turn it off and see if you miss it.
To hide Trade chat right click on your Settings tab above your Chat panel, navigate into your Global Chat Channels and uncheck Trade.
2. Tone it down
For Cassandri, I really don’t need to see anything posted in Trade chat. Curiosity leads me to watch the trade related messages: I like to see what the going rate is for Frostweave Cloth and which players are trying to buy up the same items that I’m trying to buy up – Snowfall Ink, Eternal Life, herbs etc.
You can trick your eyes into treating Trade chat with less attention. Change the colour to something difficult to read, or difficult to see. I like to go with a mid, dull grey and this tends to turn Trade chat into something that blends somewhat with the tiles in Dalaran and Stormwind. The great thing about this method is that linked [achievements] and [items] will still colour up properly and jump out at you but the rest of it will fade away. Less reading and more meaningful information ftw!
3. Don’t yell at me
One of the things that I’ve noticed standing around Dalaran (particularly the crafting section near the Horde bank) is that the Horde on Barthilas also use /yell to spam their macros. I have no idea what they’re advertising, but it’s seeing the same three red lines of Orcish nonsense gets really annoying really fast.
So I switched off the setting which displays Yells in my chat window. Finally! Peace and quiet. You can do the same: right click on the General tab, go to settings, and uncheck the Yell box.
4. Police it
Ok, now we’re getting into more serious coping methods. These are the ones that really will only ever work if many many players on the server take the same route.
Everytime you see a gold seller, right click their name and Report Spam. Do it many times if you like. Encourage other players in your guild to report them. Gold selling and buying is the reason why players are still getting their accounts hacked, so do your bit to make their life difficult! And never, ever, ever buy gold.
If a player decides that they just need a little bit of attention and posts the same stupid sentence more than 3 times in a row, Report Spam.
If a player has a LFW or LF macro and repeats it multiple times – even when they are the last person to have posted in Trade chat! – Report Spam.
5. Get Personal
Unfortunately, not matter how many times you Report Spam, Blizzard are slow to catch up and ban the worst spam offenders. The next thing to do is to identify the players who contribute to Trade chat that personally offend or annoy you.
Part of Trade chat is pure chat. Conversational, it probably has absolutely nothing to do with the game at all. There are at least 2 players on Barthilas Alliance who routinely spam the same stupid joke once every few minutes. How they have nothing better to do than stand in a city seeking attention, I don’t know.
Put these individuals on Ignore! Now!
Anyone who posts offensive, sexists or racist remarks quickly joins my Ignore list.
It makes Trade chat much more bearable.
6. Don’t Let Them Win
Now you should be left with a Trade chat that doesn’t make you angry, but still one that is full of 6 line guild recruitment and PuG messages – often typed up in UPPERCASE of course.
You can use the Report Spam for the worst offenders:
- the PuG Raid Leaders who repeat their advertisement too often
- the PuG Raid Leaders and Guild Recruiters who consume additional lines or repeat characters to border their message
- the PuG Raid Leaders and Guild Recruiters who have messages 5 or 6 lines long
- the PuG Raid Leaders who post their message all in CAPS (uppercase).
If you’re not interested in PuGs at all, add the most annoying Raid Leaders to your Ignore List and be spared their terrible advertisements for ever after.
And if you do PuG, you can simply refuse to join PuGs who spam Trade chat. Why don’t you apply a bit of social pressure and whisper the Raid Leaders spamming Trade chat in order to tell them why you didn’t respond to their ad? Perhaps once they realise that they receive a greater response when they post concise and meaningful advertisements they’ll change their ways.
We must stay vigilant.
Report Spam whenever you have a free moment or are scanning the Auction House.
Don’t join PuGs that spam or abuse Trade chat.
/Ignore the players that fill Trade chat with useless, meaningless comments and questions day after day.
Enjoy your new, meaningful, Trade chat.