So I have been around this game for some time now and even though every facet of this game has been given some kind of facelift and many a new ships have made it to our ports since its original iteration, the chat interface has largely remained the same. To break it down:
Simple and to the point. Even a newbie can get the hang of it.
Clan chat, that took place while you were offline, is displayed when you login.
Basic multi functionality that allows you to add/blacklist/check profile are present.
Simple interface but programmed for slow reaction for some reason. When you click on it, it takes a few milliseconds to materialize the window. Now some might go, "Wtf? That's nothing!" and I'd agree as well. Honestly, the delay isn't the issue but the impression that one gets due to that delay. A lot of folks think they misclicked given how tiny the chat taskbar is which leads to needless multi clicking just to make sure. Some channels(public ones) only open with two clicks so this is another cause for confusion.
Chat is devoid of reference functionality. That means even though the chat does retain the discussion that took place for a while, it completely shreds it if you make the mistake of closing the chat. If you don't close the chat but instead minimize it, you lose it still albeit slowly. If you decide to keep the chat maximized, you lose it at the slowest pace but the result will remain the same even if you haven't logged out. All of this would be fine unless you were having an important chat, in which case your only real option is to take down notes in order to come back to them at a later point which leads to the next issue.
The chat has no backup functionality. That means your only options are to either take a picture or copy and paste down the chat to keep the information accessible. Now this would be easy with a simple Ctrl+A and Ctrl+C, but nothing doing like that here sadly. You are limited to copying one line at a time which becomes a big headache if the sentences typed are small and numerous. If the chat was long, you are forced to pick selectively or simply memorize, neither of which are an ideal solution.
That "X" button to close the chat sits way too close to the name of the person who you are communicating with while the chat is minimized. When you get a message, generally the chat name is partially displayed to avoid cluttering issues and to create more space. However, the name gets displayed in full when you hover on it. If you make the mistake of clicking anywhere on the name while distracted, there is a good chance you might also end up hitting that X button and losing whatever message that was sent to you. Reopening doesn't restore the unseen messages, trust me I've tried.
The public channels are easily missed and that's a travesty. The whole concept is to help people out, be it to answer queries or to look for divisions for operations. And yet, a good chunk of playerbase gives it a skip. Not because they dislike it but because it simply is a headache to deal with. Asking for help in there is equivalent to shooting in the dark and you need to get lucky to get good players to respond to you. A lot of time all you see is mindless trolling or nonsensical verbal spat which turns most players off that beneficial feature.
The History tab gives the impression that you might be able to look at your old chats but that presumption would be wrong. It serves no purpose except for letting you know who you talked to months and months back but with a blank chat. There is no way to remember what the last subject was or why you talked to the person in the first place.
If you are alt tabbed and receive a message, the game makes no effort to intimate you of it. The closest thing that you can get is a very soft message ping IF you have you game's sound enabled even if it's minimized. Otherwise nothing. There is a pulsating icon feature present in the game that makes your game icon flash when you're alt tabbed but in a battle that is about to start, but for some reason devs didn't add that functionality to chat itself.
Now, please, I do not claim to have solutions to these problems. Nor do I have any intention to push the topic as a priority issue that need immediate attention. What I'm trying to aim for is a feedback discussion. The game has been alive for near 7 years now and the new car smell is all but gone. The chat functionality might not by the most important feature of WoWs but given how hard WG has been pushing Clan/Division based benefits and encouraging group game play, it sure has become one of the more necessary aspects of it over the last few years and thus requires, at least, a collective opinion exchage.
So, what do you folks think? Anyone else feels the present chat system needs a bit of an overhaul to get rid of that clunky feeling? Or is it something that is fine as is and doesn't really need fixing cause it ain't broken. Or is it something that doesn't particularly affect you at all and don't really care about? I'm just curious of what the player base thoughts are about it.
Thank you for your time.