HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

Taking Control of Trade Chat

There's so much wrong with Trade Chat it's hard to know where to start.

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:

  1. PuG leaders seeking additional raid members
  2. Guild recruitment
  3. Legitimate trade opportunities (professions, want-to-trade, want-to-buy)
  4. Conversation

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.

Report Spam.

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.

trade chat - gold sellers (report spam!)

Gold Sellers in Trade chat? Report them.

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.

Repeat one line offenders? Report them.

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.

trade chat - trolls

Racist, sexist or downright ignorant trolls in Trade chat? Ignore them.

Put these individuals on Ignore! Now!

Anyone who posts offensive, sexists or racist remarks quickly joins my Ignore list.

trade chat - hedral ignore

One player constantly wasting space in Trade chat? Ignore them.

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:

  1. the PuG Raid Leaders who repeat their advertisement too often
  2. the PuG Raid Leaders and Guild Recruiters who consume additional lines or repeat characters to border their message
  3. the PuG Raid Leaders and Guild Recruiters who have messages 5 or 6 lines long
  4. the PuG Raid Leaders who post their message all in CAPS (uppercase).
trade chat - wasted lines report

PuG Raid Leaders wasting lines and space? Report them.

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.

41 Responses to “Taking Control of Trade Chat”

  1. VidyalaNo Gravatar says

    I usually go the “Turn Trade off” route, and then when I need something (crafted, or to advertise a spot for our pug raid) I’ll join only then. These are some great ideas, though, especially about changing the channel colour. Great stuff, Cass! It sounds like you’re the ultimate trade patroller, in a good way. :-)
    Vidyala’s last post: Allegiance- Conclusion

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      That’s how I treat [General] chat. Unfortunately [General] chat is totally ruined if you spend time in raiding zones. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve had to keep it turned off since Naxx.

      Love [General] when leveling, though.

    • SarlalianNo Gravatar says

      There is an addon, called BadBoy Anti-Spam … well… BadBoy something anyway. It can be configured to autoreport repeated posts of the same crap, and to remove guild adverts, gold spam, and many many other things. I highly recommend it. It doesn’t fix trade, but it does help.

  2. LathereNo Gravatar says

    I’m still laughing at the screenshot where you ignore Hedral considering that’s who got me banned from the forums when I did my Forum Troll post!

  3. AshNo Gravatar says

    Trade chat has definitely been a key difference for me between Barthilas and my prior realm, Moon Guard. To quote a certain Night Elf I was not prepared.

    I tend towards having Trade in a separate tab or chat window. I currently have a second chat window that contains public channels as well as other information such as loot.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I’ve toyed with multiple chat windows (I did have a separate window for whispers when we were wiping on BQL) but usually switch back to just 1 window in order to save screen space.

    • DomniNo Gravatar says

      I add a tab to my chat window and stick trade there. It’s there when I need it, but I don’t see it unless I want to.
      Domni’s last post: Why is Divine Fury still not gone

  4. fungNo Gravatar says

    damnit, i double-posted ash’s separate tab suggestion, and a lot more verbose =s

    glad y’all are still posting, i always enjoy reading. btw, i think the tab order between the name email website and textfield is a little wonky.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      Yeah, there’s something a bit wrong/conflicting with the widgets (search and comments form). Perhaps I’ll have a second – third – look into it…

      • fungNo Gravatar says

        if screenspace is your complaint, just stick with a new tab on your current chat window. i find you need to be currently in a city to configure it correctly, but simply rightclick the current tab and create the new tab, choose settings, and choose to display trade; go back to your primary window and disable trade the same way. there’s finetuning to be had, but that’s most of the battle won.

        there’s plenty of subtle things i find handy about doing it that way, such as actually having a history of gchat that goes back further than 2 minutes.

  5. VokNo Gravatar says

    I turn trade chat on when I’m looking for a weekly raid and have missed the guild ones. Other than that, it’s off at all times.

    What bothers me is the yells. I can see no reason for it to be done that way other than to annoy players of the opposite faction – why else would you do it. It makes me an even Angrier Shaman in World PvP.

    But I agree – report spam. Every time. It WILL have an effect if everyone keeps doing it.
    Vok’s last post: Shaman Community – Finally!

  6. JenNo Gravatar says

    I love trade chat :D The only time I turn(ed) it off was when I was camping a book in Dalaran and working on the other computer, and seeing it distracted me from work. Otherwise, bring it on! It amuses me to no end, and I enjoy reporting gold sellers and idiots. It’s like virtual people watching… and there are occasional interesting conversations too!
    Jen’s last post: My take on the RealID Blizzard fail

  7. RedbeardNo Gravatar says

    I gave up on Trade chat on A-52 when I was unable to report the racist jokers quickly enough. There was also one evening when some people were spamming it so badly that it was actually impacting my framerate; the chat window was a complete blur.

    However, when I still see gold sellers yell out stuff, I immediately report spam. Anyone who’s had their account hacked –like I have– ought to take a vendetta against the gold sellers personally.

    And the yellers. Oh, the yellers. They drive me nuts.

    Everytime you see a gold seller, right click their name and Report Spam. Do it many times if you like.

    Don’t limit yourself to Trade Chat!

    True story: I was in Ratchet about two months ago while I was finishing up some old Goblin quests for Loremaster when I stopped by the mail slot. I’d noticed a toon nearby with one of those bank alt type names –the ones that make no sense– and I suddenly get a whisper.

    “Hey,” the toon said. “Are you here to pick up a shipment?”

    “No,” I replied.

    “Okay. Just checking if you were waiting for your gold.”

    I was almost 100% certain the dude was working for a gold farming outfit, but since he wasn’t any more explicit than just inquiring if I was waiting, I decided not to report spam on him.

    I still regret that decision.
    Redbeard’s last post: So youre minding your own

    • BriNo Gravatar says

      I’m firmly in the “turn Trade chat off” camp myself, but here’s some tips I use to keep chat box sanity:
      - Create a duplicate of the General tab and call it “City”. Turn /yell off. I don’t turn if off of the General tab as sometimes NPC’s use /yell in questing, instances, etc.
      - Create a “Tells” tab with only tells on it. It will flash when someone sends you a /tell.
      - Create a GuildChat tab with only guild chat. Easy to click to when gchat is being lost in other chat spam. Also good for BG’s when you want to talk in gchat and ignore the armchair generals. Also when you come back from /afk in Dalaran and want to catch up without scrolling back through lines and lines of /yells about “mammofs”.

      As a guild leader I’ve joined the GuildRecruitment tab on my main(s), I’ve recruited some quality players through that channel.
      Bri’s last post: Small Victories

  8. FooNo Gravatar says

    The addon ignoremore allows you to ignore more than the wow’s internal ignore list. Your client still recieves the chat, but your ui filters their messages.

    Every shutdown I ignore a few more names.

  9. ChrisNo Gravatar says

    I think the funniest thing is that the guy making the joke about the XBox360 is wrong anyway, if someone does a 360 when they see an Xbox360 they would still be looking at it. I think he has confused a 360 with a 180.

    • LathereNo Gravatar says

      Cass didn’t actually include the entire joke (if you can call it that) in her screeny. Basically after posting the 360 comment some poor innocent bystander who has trade turned on will respond in a similar fashion that you did:

      “Um, that’s not a 360, that’s a 180″

      The “cool” trade chat spammer will then respond along the lines of:

      “Duh! I am skateboarder and I know what a 360 is!”

      And then will go on to tell the poor bystander that they’re a noob, idiot, etc etc you get the drift.

      Yes we have intelligent, welcoming people on Barthilas :)

  10. Dyre42No Gravatar says

    On my server during a busy night a raid leader can often get more responses from LFG than trade chat. Because the people that have trade chat turned off usually still have that channel turned on. Works extremely well for VoA groups.

  11. TamNo Gravatar says

    I tried to follow this excellent advice and ended up ignoring/reporting about 60% of trade chat. It has a bit of a Sisyphus feeling to it, to be honest, like the time you spend trying to take control of it could also be just as fruitfully spent running the hell away. But I did like the notion thta you could impose some personal order on the chaos.
    Tam’s last post: Hopes and Fears- DPSing in Cataclysm

    • XeppeNo Gravatar says

      Great advice on toning down the yells, and I love Moreignore.

      But Trade Chat is still there, whether you turn it off, or down, or run away from it. And that’s fine for annoying gold sellers and raid leader trawling and spam profession selling.

      It’s not fine for racism, misogyny or (the current Saurfang favourite) anti-Semitism. Me not seeing the wrongness that is this part of the game doesn’t make it less wrong.

      I don’t really get why nobody cares. But I accept that this is how it is.
      Xeppe’s last post: For the Sexy Gnome – Haste and Spellpower

      • CassandriNo Gravatar says

        I’m of the opinion that if you can’t single handedly change the world (or single handedly stop players from spouting racist/sexist/anti-Semitism crap in Trade Chat) you should at least try and protect yourself from it.

        Reading that kind of thing tends to make me angry and upset, so reporting and /ignore-ing players does make me feel like I am doing something for myself (ignore) and for everyone else (report spam).

        Every little bit helps.

      • RoszNo Gravatar says

        I really wish we had a “report hate speech” option along with report spam. Not just for trade chat. I spent the weekend in the Call to Arms BG and I desperately needed one. My ignore list grows ever longer.

  12. altairantaresNo Gravatar says

    I use spammenot, and it’s revolutionized how chat is for me. It blocks and reports every single gold seller message, blocks trade when people start doing stupid nonsense (and reports them if they start continuing it). I’ve seen remarkably few mistakes from the addon.

    I do use trade frequently as a tailor, buying and selling the various goods. Genereally my policy for hitting the macro is to send it out to trade every 30-45 seconds if I’m actively paying attention. Still sometimes I’m not sure if I should be hitting it more often or less often.

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