Get the Cheese Ready, Here Comes a Whine

I really enjoy playing LotRO, but there is one issue that I run into again and again: the integrated voice chat is less than stellar.

Now, you may be saying “It comes with the game, and you pay nothing extra for it – what more do you want?”  What I want is a voice chat that offers a decent volume control and a microphone gain control that works.

My complaint about the volume control is nothing new; do a search of different blogs, articles, and forums, and you will see the same thing here and there.  There are two issues that I personally have with the voice chat volume controls in LotRO: first, they don’t go up high enough, second, you can’t adjust individual players.  I understand that the second may be a bit too much to expect from a primitive version of a voice chat package, so I suppose I could overlook it.  However, I have all of my other sounds turned down to less than 10% just to make the voice chat come in at a reasonable level.  This, of course, means that I have to crank the volume on my speakers so that I can hear anything at all.  Which means that when I play any music or sound effect outside of the game, I have to be sure to turn down the volume or I’ll blow the windows out of my house.  Get the idea?

As for the in-game microphone gain, I’ll tell you outright that it just doesn’t work.  At present, doing a microphone test in Windows will nearly deafen you, but in voice chat it barely comes across as a whisper.  That’s with the gain controls maxxed.

So, how do I know that the culprit is the LotRO voice chat and not my hardware or Windows settings?  Because, amusingly enough, the microphone and playback work just fine in Ventrilo or Teamspeak.  It’s not a serious problem, of course, but it is something that I encounter several times a week, and so I had to voice my frustration.

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