Steam on the other hand regularly tries to convince me that I am in fact not logged into the store despite being logged into the app (how do you even do that?).
Discord consumes a lot of memory. Steam makes my computer lag while not using as much memory.
Overall, I'd say Discord is a tiny bit better in the department of "not sucking" than Steam.
(And I still haven't forgiven Valve for killing WON, even if I know they had what they felt was a good reason for it)
Discord basically started out as "Slack for gamers", and very quickly (IMO) surpassed both Slack and Skype in terms of functionality. I don't have to have a different account for every server I'm in unlike Slack, and their video and audio calling has always been much more stable than anything I've gotten on Skype.
With that in mind, I would've thought that their next plan would be to improve on what they do best, and try to market to the professional markets and take Skype and Slack head on. Instead they seem to be veering off and doubling down on the gamers. Judging by the number of people I see who have it, I imagine the profit from Nitro may be enough to keep the company going, and the Slack crowd won't be as lucrative as the opportunities from taking some of Steam's marketshare.
I smell a game vendor war a-brewing. The results could be messy...
They must have looked at Discord when they were evaluating Curse, given that they suggested the purpose of Curse was to help build community (though curse was originally a distribution mechanism for mods and add-ons that added community as afterthought, in my subjective opinion). I imagine someone at Amazon is kicking his or herself for the choice today..
Microsoft has often been suggested as a suitor, but between having Skype and Teams and the Windows/Xbox Store already, I just don't see Discord meshing well with what they already have.
They got away with that in the early days because the state on online computer games was so dismal. Their chief competition was services like Limewire and Bittorrent. But we don't live in that world and if they don't get their house in order someone's going to drink their milkshake.
Personally I am not a big fan of the new steam chat UX, looks ugly
Turnabout is fair play.
An old anecdote...
Back in the day, in SOCOM 2 for the PS2 (5v5 slow paced shooter), there were "alive" and "dead" chats for the players on each team. The dead players could look at alive players in the 3rd person, but pan the camera to always watch their back instead of what they were typically watching.
Dead Players found that they might spot something that alive players didn't notice behind them, so one of the dead men would go into the menu and vote to kick the alive player. The alive player then saw this notification, and knew to check their back.
So future games made sure dead people's POV cameras === alive players, ideally. Then dead people can talk and there's no trouble with messaging or skyping outside the game or anything.
There's nothing in discord that Valve hasn't had built-in to steam or other applications have been doing for years.
Coordination isn't cheating.
Not allowing external voice chat is a horrible idea.
Of course, it's interesting they chose a business model that nobody has ever succeeded at: Competing with Steam. You need exclusives to draw people to your game platform, and with that on PC comes "why can't I just get this on Steam?" Without something like a "Games Anywhere" offering sync, you'd also have to have people buy games anew on your platform.
You have game developers like Blizzard, EA, and Epic who all have their own Steam-like platforms on PC where they distribute their titles. Arguably these platforms are more popular than Steam, if only because of the popularity of the titles they own.
You have popular games that distribute outside of these platforms, like League of Legends and Guild Wars.
And you have other studio-unassociated storefronts, like Humble Bundle, Twitch, GoG. Yes, I'm aware GoG is owned by CD Projekt Red, but it's a generic storefront not just for their games, and they distribute their games elsewhere, so it resembles Steam more than it does Battle.net.
The PC gaming space is ridiculously diverse and there is room for competition. There's also a lot of value I can see arising here in the indie space; if Nitro becomes a "Netflix for Indie Games" type subscription, that's something relatively unique (Humble is close, but has a curation problem). Combine that with the huge curation and discovery problem Steam has, and possibly some strategic partnerships with Humble or CD Projekt Red, and it'd be a huge win for small developers and gamers alike.
No, you just need to draw people to your game platform. And Discord already has people on their game platform. Discord has the active attention of millions of gamers throughout the day. It's just not selling games yet.
This is a horizontal integration play and a very smart one IMO. Before this move, Steam had game sales and weak social; Discord dominated social and no game sales. Now, Discord dominates social and will sell games, at least to some of their millions of customers.
Social features are much more of a defensible "moat" because they depend on network effects and are difficult to "manufacture" relative to other features. In this sense, Discord has a massive head start on Steam. Discord only needs to catch Steam in terms of game sales, whereas Steam needs to catch Discord in terms of social.
I'm curious to see how the social stickiness of Discord will affect their foray into a games/app store. I believe that, for multiplayer games at least, people first fire up the way they want to talk with their friends and then set about playing a game. From there, you grow the product into managing and buying your games.
If Discord provides some differentiated social benefits to the games bought through their store, then I could see this doing quite well.
Sure, people can use Discord for chat while playing Steam games, but Discord really doesn't benefit from that. They need to convert chat users into game buyers, and I think you'd need something like Games Anywhere (or more simply, like GOG Connect), to bridge in what people already bought to start the process along. Bonus if you can find a way to bring over people's achievements and other progress.
You don't have to, there are always people just starting their library. The Discord client is already significantly better than Steam's (which is why its so popular for chat).
I think people are pretty meh on Steam achievements since hacks to unlock them are pretty widespread, but Discord would need to provide other platform norms like cloud saves and DRM.
I also think Microsoft should swoop in and buy Discord before it's too late. The Xbox brand and UWP need a shot in the arm, and a Discord purchase could finally get PC gamers using Xbox services.
Frankly, while programmers have benefited enough from new Microsoft that people are starting to give them a chance, gamers have not at this point a MS owned Discord would do more harm to Discord than good to MS. Users already see the Microsoft store as a flytrap to avoid, and any future Discord services would be tarred with the same brush.
I believe it's the other way around. At the very least, it's the other way around for me and my friends.
We decide we want to play something. Then we check whatever works for voice chat. Used to be Skype, then TeamSpeak 3, then Mumble, then Discord. When Discord had failed we've just brought back old TS3 server (and while I was doing it, we used in-game VoIP stuff, hardcore-mode).
They are the best chat client around right now IMHO, beating out all the enterprise apps (slack, hipchat, etc) particularly if you want a fantastic client on all 3 OS.
They may not be able to build a better game store platform than Steam, but they might fit into building a better curated store.
How do you figure? Steam has about a zillion curation, discovery and promotion mechanisms.
Meanwhile I've noticed that Battlenet and Steam have rolled out even more Discord style features very recently.
This is just one more account to keep in mind, though it looks like it's more of a rental model than a purchase model.
It seems to run into issues at about the same rate as all the Mumble/Vent servers I've ever dealt with, except you can simply switch the region on a channel and immediately solve it.
Quick edit: Discord could improve by adding a better interface for testing your input/output, that is lacking.
- The overlay still doesn't work on Linux
- There is still no voice ducking
- The text chat channels are persistent and decoupled from the voice chat channels (encouraging spam)
- There is still no way to self-host it
- The team keeps wasting their effort on stuff like this rather than fixing their broken core "service" (if it can be called that)
Mumble had all of this down to a T back in 2013.
- Nobody cares about Linux. They could drop Linux support today and it wouldn't matter in the slightest. I say as a 100% full time Linux user -- we get what we get.
- Users want persistent chat more than they don't. Spam isn't an issue for most people who are are running servers for their friends and coupling them with voice wouldn't really help anyway. Users want to be in a different chat than their voice coms
- Users don't even know what voice ducking is and would probably be surprised by it.
- Nobody cares about self hosting. Gamers clamour for dedicated servers to reduce lag more than than for P2P.
- Users want these features and their core service is best in class. There's a reason it basically killed their competition overnight. I haven't even seen a Mumble/Vent server in ages.
Looking at my old WoW guild's channel now, it's 95% spam that was only relevant to the 4 or so people who were on voice comms at the time any given thing was posted. It'd be fine to have text-only channels, but each voice channel should also have an associated unlogged text channel. For bonus points: prevent people from sending messages to text-only channels without (temporarily) leaving the voice channel.
> - Users don't even know what voice ducking is and would probably be surprised by it.
Tell that to.. anyone trying to listen to music in the background?
> - Nobody cares about self hosting. Gamers clamour for dedicated servers to reduce lag more than than for P2P.
Yup, it's lovely when Discord crashes mid-raid, and there is nothing to do aside from twiddling your thumbs.
How does decoupling voice and text channels encourage spam? Why would you want it to not be persistent? Many communities now use discord instead of slack/irc/etc, barely touching the voice features if at all. Everyone already has discord and they have great community management features for groups of people.
I know several subreddits, gaming communities, youtubers, etc. have moved their "live chat" to discord. You don't even have to install discord to use it.
Edit: Mumble isn't bad and it sounds like you aren't the target demographic of discord. If you want a self-hosted, voice chat first program then mumble is definitely what you're looking for.
I can't find it on the Linux client, at least.
> I don't think their infrastructure is made to self host, it's not a self contained binary is a set of databases, different servers for voice vs text etc.
Sounds like their infrastructure is broken then? Even if it's not something you supply to users you'd still want to be able to run a local testing server during development.
> How does decoupling voice and text channels encourage spam? Why would you want it to not be persistent? Many communities now use discord instead of slack/irc/etc, barely touching the voice features if at all. Everyone already has discord and they have great community management features for groups of people.
I've primarily been forced to use this abomination for various WoW guilds. The chat tends to be used for three things: 1) announcements, 2) discussions, and 3) context (links and images, primarily) for the discussions going on in voice.
Since Discord doesn't couple the chat channels to the voice channels people end up spamming #3 in the general channels, causing very annoying constant notifications, and clogging up the history. The persistent history is also an anti-feature here, since the history ends up being nearly useless without the accompanying voice conversations.
Since #3 invariably annoys everyone into turning off notifications it becomes an arms race to get people to actually pay attention to #1.
#2 tends to get sidetracked when people spam #3 all over the place, but even without that it's nearly impossible to keep track of multiple discussions at once. Trying to find and/or make sense of old discussions gets even messier. This case is always much better served by a real forum.
On Windows, voice chats are very much separate from Text chats, it looks like https://i.imgur.com/HBXMPY0.png
And no one in the target audience cares about self hosting instances. It adds 0 value for their core user base. People who want a privacy minded voice chat system can use one of those, it isn't worth Discord's engineering time to support a stand alone release to attract some small extra # of users.
That was exactly the thing I was complaining about?
It made it a little easier to tell if it was me or the other end at fault.
It's been pretty sufficient for me, all things given. Is the app detecting it? I can see levels, everything else happens at the system level no? Otherwise I definitely agree, Discord's voice has been a massive improvement for me. Plus, the overlay is a great feature baked in-Mumble, TeamSpeak and others require a third party download and often they're just....awful, obtrusive, resource intensive and otherwise in the damn way. Discord's overlay does what it can to stay out of the way. I like that.
Merely curious, not attempting to refute you here-but what would you like to see improved there?
Mumble has had a built-in overlay for years, and contrary to Discord's it actually works!
As a comparison point, I think it is Skype that friends you to a test bot who replies things to you. This would have saved me some awkwardness when joining the group.
That said, I really wouldn't be surprised if Discord gets to the point where they start supporting calling phone numbers directly. It's replaced a lot of voice communication channels with a segment of my friends since we all have it on our mobile phones.
One of their latest updates added a really frustrating regression where emoji autocompletes are spellchecked on ios, correcting it nonsensical words. It took some digging to find their bug tracker and I noticed it's set to their lowest priority. Why was this allowed to be released in the first place?
They need to focus this curation in a big way. There's been a lot of flack directed at steam for allowing it to be essentially polluted by all sorts of low quality "games" recently, and discord could really hurt them by actually caring about their community. Valve's hands off nature has not been easy on gamers
They have a very sticky app for gamers with best in class UX. People love using it and many have it open 24/7. A lot of companies have tried going "store first" and it hasn't put much of a dent on Steam, but this approach might eventually. Assuming their library gets big enough. Still incredibly difficult though given how much players have invested in their Steam libraries.
Valve need to up their game though. Their approach of 'anything goes' when it comes to allowing games on Steam is backfiring. They need to increase the fee to list from $100 to $2000. For legitimate devs that extra $1900 charge will more than pay for itself with the attention you will get launching a game into a de-cluttered store.
For instance, I released recently (in my mind) a pretty nice and functional app for Android. Not getting much traction, but that's fine, I wasn't totally expecting that. Where my problem lies is that, a large part of the mobile market, those on iOS, don't get to have the app. As their storefront costs $100 yearly to publish to. On top of requiring a Mac to develop on (easily in the thousands of dollars).
I feel that the barriers of entry for developing (and publishing) applications and games should be lower, and rather instead of introducing these fees that won't do anything to people that have money and just want to release their broken asset store mashup onto a storefront. In my mind, the best solution would be better moderation and curation.
I like Discord a lot, and to be fair, their people have publicly claimed here and elsewhere that they have no intention to sell the information. Unfortunately, those statements have no teeth.
See "OUR DISCLOSURE OF YOUR INFORMATION" here:
If they just wanted protection against an accidental slippage of data then that privacy page could be changed substantially. Instead, they pave the road for the explicit sale of data at a later time.
But this weakens their position in an eventual acquisition by some company who finds monetary value in that data.
As it stands right now, in an eventual acquisition or even just some internal shifts of philosophy in the organization, all historical data is up for grabs for any potential use.
In what way would any of this be distracting to you?