WiiU

New Splatoon Details Include New Online Mode, Maps, No Voice Chat

by Donald Theriault - March 23, 2015, 5:50 pm PDT
Total comments: 19 Source: Nintendo, GameTrailers

The new online mode Splat Zones will require you to “git gud”.

Details have emerged from a press event last week for Splatoon, including a new game mode that will require skill from the entire playerbase, as well as the unfortunate omission of voice chat.

The new mode “Splat Zones” is a zone control mode focused on teams occupying particular portions of the map area in a King Of The Hill fashion. The mode unlocks as players gain experience, as a certain number of players have to reach level 10 in the main “Turf War” mode before Splat Zones will unlock. The game will also include rank battles, which work on a letter grade system and give more experience for higher grades.

New maps and details about the clothing system were also confirmed. The maps are called Blackbelly Skatepark, Saltspray Rig, and Walleye Warehouse, while the clothing system will give your Squidling additional perks such as faster swimming or faster reloading of the ink canisters.

In impressions at GameTrailers, Dan Bloodworth confirmed what was originally feared in February, that Splatoon would not contain voice chat in any mode. No reason was given for the omission, but a screenshot from Eurogamer points to pre-determined text commands bound to the D-Pad.

Splatoon is on track to release in May.

Talkback

AdrockMarch 23, 2015

I rarely play online and use voice chat even more infrequently than that, but yeah, Splatoon should include voice chat. It's essentially a squad based shooter. Come on, man.

Spak-SpangMarch 23, 2015

This is Nintendo being Nintendo.  It is better to protect the experience from immature players than to provide a benefit to the game.


That being said, I don't really care about it that much...after all in a real paintball battle it is pretty hard to communicate unless you are next to each other. 


I wish Nintendo would just make it friends based only chat, or figure another means to include...I would even consider additional DLC purchase so parents can say No to it...or buy it. 



removes the staff hat for a moment

There's two ways to look at this: They can't implement voice without sacrificing a few FPS (there's 60 FPS video out there and it's blazing), or they're so determined to outsource everything about the online that they gave voice chat to Skype/Dolby/cell phones.

ShyGuyMarch 23, 2015

THE TRADITION OF BEING A STEP BEHIND

SorenMarch 23, 2015

And now an excerpt of "How Nintendo sent Splatoon to Fail", a novel by Soren.
-----------------------

"Geez, no voice chat in Splatoon is criminal. But I guess I can call up a friend and we can both play an online session together in the couch and communicate that way."

"Oh wait, only one person can play online per console. I guess I'll go stab myself a couple of times with a fork."

/Scene.

Evan_BMarch 23, 2015

On the flip side, here's an excerpt from "I couldn't care less about voice chat".

The last thing I want to hear are young kids screaming and older players over-inflating their importance by co-ordinating attacks. It's a turf-based shooter so all you need to do is look at the map to understand what needs to happen.

I guess I'm not really a "traditional" online player but I don't understand the appeal and I never have. It's no necessary. It does not make the game accessible or healthy for a large group of people.

marvel_moviefan_2012March 23, 2015

Evan is right on here, this isn't a tactical game where you have to coordinate your bullets its friggin paintball your side is blue, enemy is pink, you shoot blue paint at the pink shit end of story.

KDR_11kMarch 23, 2015

You say "no voicechat" as if people ever use voicechat to coordinate instead of swearing at each other. I honestly haven't ever experienced voice being used for coordination outside of a single friends-only L4D game a loooooooong time ago. Usually it's just background noise picked up by an abandoned microphone.

EnnerMarch 23, 2015

Preface: The lack of a in-game VOIP for Splatoon sucks.

Did Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 for Wii U have voice chat? Doesn't Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate have it? I thought one of them has it, otherwise why would Turtle Beach make a headset for the Wii U.

On the assumption that one of the games above has voice chat and that they run on Nintendo Network servers, there isn't any hardware or Nintendo Network limitation on there being voice chat. For Splatoon, it appears that the developer didn't care enough to have the feature in their game.

I... can't say that I entirely disagree with that assumed lack of care. Most multiplayer shooters these days have players live and die on their skill to read a mini-map, especially in games with short time-to-kills that Splatoon appears to be. Combined with the low 4v4 player count, I don't predict you'll run in to many situations where voice chat would have saved your squid from being splattered. For a player providing covering sniper fire in the game's ranked King-of-the-hill mode, the low player count mitigates the lack of voice chat as there are less targets for the sniper to worry about and less chances of a team's front liners being outnumbered.

To be fair, I can imagine various situations where voice chat would've been a boon. Coordinated flanking maneuvers that push cleverly and safely in to the oppositions territory. Crucial firing angle placements or death call outs that could stop a dominating enemy squid's kill streak. While a mini-map shows a lot information with skilled reading and the low player count means a smaller amount of information to parse, voice chat can provide information and tactical orders that mini-map reading and pre-set messages cannot.

Also, you can't talk trash with your friends, which is something I know first-hand can make an online multiplayer game stick around longer for a person.

While I, personally, am not too disappointed by the lack of in-game voice chat in Splatoon and think it's absence isn't as damaging as others think, it's a shame it's not in there.

Here's to hoping it's in the sequel!

famicomplicatedJames Charlton, Associate Editor (Japan)March 24, 2015

I think every WiiU game should have voice and video chat in lobbies before and after every match at minimum.
If no video, then just voice would be fine.

In game chat would be a bonus on top of that.


Splatoon has none of the above, putting it below Smash and MK8.


Why did they put a mic and video camera in the GamePad?
It's the only current gen console where in which every owner of the system has the ability to do voice/video, but ironically the only one that doesn't actually let you do it! No, WiiU chat doesn't count, it takes 5 mins to connect.

AdrockMarch 24, 2015

I haven't even tried Wii U chat. I forgot it was a thing. I'm in favor of in-game chat though I'd admittedly argue harder in its favor if I actually used it.

marvel_moviefan_2012March 24, 2015

This is why read the comments, we are Nintendo gamers not typical console gamers. Everyone one says the same thing they don't typically play online and if they do voice chat is a nuisance to them not something special. Nintendo is not Sony or MS so stop comparing them, sure do it when it is lame like this but when talking about graphics or something suddenly Nintendo is doing their own thing.

Whatever Nintendo does not have the same market the other guys do, this is NOT a Call of Duty game that would appeal to that crowd, if it were most of us would shrug it off as not worth playing. We collectively as a Nintendo audience tend to dislike those games and the ones who do like those games buy the other console anyways. Nintendo is not the only one with voice built in, PS4 comes bundled with a mini headset.


Unlike Smash and Mario Kart where there is already a precedent and an established mindset going in this a brand new territory for Nintendo they have to tread lightly because they would hate for a kid-friendly game like this to taint their image because Johnny was listening to two teenagers talk about the slut they banged last night (each others mother is how it usually goes if I recall) and Johnny is asking questions mommy and daddy were not ready for at such a tender age.

Saying let voice chat exist among friends only is still asking for trouble, many of us DO add friends we meet here or elsewhere that actually are underage and they might want to enter a match with one of us and who knows one of the other guys has a potty mouth they can't turn off again this is Nintendo being overly cautious. Mario Kart DS their first online venture didn't have voice anything it took them years od badgering and sequels to start to make progress and that was because they followed the audience close. This is uncharted territory for them, its a shooter game the other two are fairly harmless in comparison. Hell the fact its paintball as their first real online multiplayer shooter tells you how much they are protective of their family friendly image.

SorenMarch 24, 2015

"People are idiots on the internet" is not a valid excuse to not include a feature that is pretty much standard in all team-based online shooters. I agree with James here and I'm going to quote him just because it needs to be reiterated.

Quote from: famicomplicated

Why did they put a mic and video camera in the GamePad?
It's the only current gen console where in which every owner of the system has the ability to do voice/video, but ironically the only one that doesn't actually let you do it!

Ian SaneMarch 24, 2015

When Nintendo does this typical Nintendo kind of thing I can only think of two possibilities:

1. Nintendo is so isolated that they don't realize that this is like standard stuff in this sort of game.  They're not familiar with other products so they end up screwing up really routine stuff because they put themselves in a situation where they have to discover everything on their own.

2. Nintendo is ridiculously arrogant to the point that they intentionally do things goofy when it isn't their original idea so as to not suggest that other companies have good ideas too.  Notice that when they're the innovator Nintendo usually does a great job.  It's conventional stuff they usually flub - the ideas someone else came up with first.  Voice chat is someone else's idea so Nintendo has to either not do it or do it in a distinct way so it becomes their idea (remember Wii Speak?)

Any online game in 2015 should have voice chat.  To me it is a requirement and if people don't want to use it they can turn it off.

Splatoon seems designed to be the exact opposite of what a fan of the genre wants.  The sort of players that say rude things over voice chat aren't going to touch this "kiddy" game with a ten foot pole.  If the rationale is to protect kids I don't think it will be necessary.

SorenMarch 24, 2015

If indeed the young devs working on Splatoon play COD and Battlefield as they said they did(no reason to not believe them), then the voice chat decision was something that someone up top overruled them.

KDR_11kMarch 24, 2015

Quote from: famicomplicated

I think every WiiU game should have voice and video chat in lobbies before and after every match at minimum.
If no video, then just voice would be fine.

Video is an absolute no-go, people who played Uno on the 360 with video chat talked a lot about seeing exposed genitalia and such.

I don't see a value in voice post-game, all you'd get are the usual worries about children meeting strangers (odd how nobody complains about PvZ:GW in that regard...) and people using that time to blame each other for losing. In-match makes the most sense for coordination but again, people don't do that anyway.

Triforce HermitMarch 24, 2015

Quote from: KDR_11k

I don't see a value in voice post-game, all you'd get are the usual worries about children meeting strangers (odd how nobody complains about PvZ:GW in that regard...) and people using that time to blame each other for losing. In-match makes the most sense for coordination but again, people don't do that anyway.

A) Children shouldn't be using mics. Or be playing online with strangers (unpopular opinion I know). If parents are that worried, restrict the child's access then.

B) People will talk shit about each other. Another part of playing online. Its expected.

C) I wouldn't say so much coordination is important. More like If you want to chat with friends while enjoying the game. That is more enjoyable then playing without a mic.

Mop it upMarch 24, 2015

I never use voice chat, but I know it's a feature people like so it should be there. What I do care about is support for the Wiimote and local multiplayer, if those things aren't in then I will be disappointed.

SeacorMarch 24, 2015

Quote from: Enner

Did Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 for Wii U have voice chat? Doesn't Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate have it? I thought one of them has it, otherwise why would Turtle Beach make a headset for the Wii U.

The following games support Voice Chat (may be others, but I am not aware of them)

Trine 2
Mass Effect 3
Ninja Gaiden III
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Assassins Creed III
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
Mario Kart 8 (Lobby w/friends only)
Smash Bros (Lobby w/friends only)


This is disappointing news about Splatoon.  It really should be a standard feature set to include voice chat compatibility in all online multi-player Wii U games.  It should be up to the consumer to choose whether to enable or disable such functionality.  If all games were voice chat compatible then concerned parents could administer the usage of such features with the built-in Wii U Parental Controls.  Parental Controls exist for a reason and apparently Nintendo doesn't even know they exist.  Nintendo needs to realize that children are not the only consumer of their products and when they continue to play parent, they continue to impact the adults.

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