For those who haven't had time to check it out yet, chat channels are basically going to be "Party Chat" type IM boxes just slightly larger. Although this in theory works similarly, it seems rather cheap, and seems like an afterthought and does not really promote the idea of a "place to hang out" which is the primary reason chat channels are being requested.
Current PTR chat rooms
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Vs. a more classic style portrayed in MSpaint
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Even such a simple concept like this is far and beyond the functionality and more user friendly than the proposed chat so far in the PTR. Bnet 2.0 has done a fantastic job as far as improving the friends list and personal IM chat options. But chat rooms should not be a small extension of this, as it makes even chat rooms seem unfriendly and isolated. Rather than a main area or hangout type design that was present in previous games.
Would like to keep the current setup as an option to move or view chat rooms in a PM style box to allow chatting while doing other things. But would also like a standard chat UI area with full chat and mod functionality, which I think has more of a community feel to it and less isolated than PM box style chat.
I don't want to jump into a "omg activision is forcing them to push cheap crap out" flame war. But the quality of some things has fallen below the bar of expectation lately in my opinion. I know in the big picture this is a relatively small issue, but it did cause a raised eyebrow from me, and I'm curious to see how others are feeling about this. So please /discuss
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Edited to allow for discussion to focus on the topic freely without being caught up in so far, non-relevant issues. Also reworded to come across as more of a discussion and less of a criticism.