Forming Good Chat Manners
A large part of playing City of Heroes is interacting with other players, whether it's a bit of small talk under Atlas or a broadcasted message looking for a team. No matter what you are chatting about, there are ways to use chat to make friends, be helpful, and affect everyone you meet in a positive manner rather than a negative one. The following article consists of tips that can help you smooth communications between teammates, supergroup members, and strangers alike.
Be polite and upbeat when chatting. Crack a few jokes, compliment people sincerely, say please in requests and thank people for helping you out, refrain from insults/bragging if at all possible, and don't type in sTiCkY cApS or ALL CAPS (both are very annoying for most players to try to read). Chatting so carefully over the Internet may seem like a waste of time, but it can boost the effectiveness of your communication and your quality of interaction with another person. If you chat in a positive and polite way, people may play alongside you longer, invite you to friends' lists, remember you for teams or gifts in the future, and other nice things. It is a blessing to run across a player who is polite and positive, because it makes your playtime with that person a lot more enjoyable than trying to play alongside a selfish and rude individual.
Use the correct channels when conversing. Don't assume that just because you typed something in the Chatbox and hit Enter, the intended audience heard you. Check to make sure you're using the channel that the other person will see. If you're trying to talk to a group of people standing around your character, Local chat will probably be sufficient. However, if you're trying to talk just to your team or supergroup, you will need to make sure you are typing in Team or Supergroup chat. (If all else fails, type a Tell to the person you wish to contact, making sure to spell their toon's name correctly--this will get to them no matter what chat they are using. Don't know what a Tell is or how to use one? Check out the Emails and Tells article.)
Answer Broadcasts and Request messages with Tells to the person's toon name. If someone posts a Broadcast with a team request, question, etc., it is good chat manners to respond only to that person rather than clogging up everybody's Chatbox with a Broadcasted response or two. This way, no one else in your zone has to be bothered with a private conversation between the two of you.
When you answer a question that someone else has, do it as kindly as possible. Sometimes there can be irritating players who will post the same question over and over again in the same rude language. But answering even these players patiently and politely may stop their barrage faster than cursing right back at them, which might only fuel them. Remember, questions that might be simple to you might be a source of great confusion for another player!
PLEASE don't use Broadcast for every single message you might have. It is very, very annoying to come into Atlas Park and see a conversation being Broadcasted that really shouldn't be. (Broadcasted arguments or frantic player searches are very awkward to come across in your Chatbox window; Broadcasted flirting is even worse...and yes, I've seen examples of all of these.) Using the Broadcast channel may all but ensure that your intended audience sees your message, but it also ensures that everyone in your current zone knows all your business! (It's kind of like hollering across the street or across a store to someone else--kind of weird for passersby to come across, and can make everyone else in the zone feel awkward.)
Don't just ignore or refuse to respond to someone who has messaged you for the first time. Respond as politely as possible, whether you are answering a question or answering a request for a team or something similar. If you have already answered this person (such as politely denying a team request), and he or she continues to message you beyond the first question rudely and insistently, you should use your judgment as to what the situation calls for. Some people refuse to stop messaging others, while other people simply have a lot of questions and need a helping hand. Gently pointing them toward another CoH resource, such as Paragon Wiki *cough cough* or Skies over Atlas *cough cough* gives them the help they need without making them feel brushed off or dismissed.