Typing is a recipe for disaster. In World of Warcraft, the chat channel require alot of typing if you want to interact with other people. Initially, I simply avoided social contact. I was intimidated by the general and chat channels, didn’t below to a guild so no guild chat, didn’t group with anybody or know anybody else other than Chris who played and so there were no whispers. I had a couple of /s macro’s to decline group invites politely with an acceptable justification and kept to myself.
The longer I played, the more comfortable I became with other people. I grouped up regularly with Chris and he often invited other players to join. I grouped with someone else for the first time at level 15 in Redridge Mountains where the multiple humanoid mobs made it difficult for a novice to solo. It was easier than I thought. I made a few more macro’s to cover the basics, such /p r to indicate that I was ready. Most players didn’t mind that I wasn’t talkative. I stayed in my comfort zone, grouping on alts for quests I had already solo’ed in the past and avidly avoided instances as unfamiliar players + unfamiliar territory = disaster.
The idea to use Dragon NaturallySpeaking in-game was an inspired one. It changed the social dinamics of the game significantly. Suddenly, I could talk in sentences. I would answer questions whilst running and fighting. Dragon was still a little slow, but it was infinitely faster than my typing. Not that my typing is slow, but typing tend to dislocate fingers and after that, typing is very slow if not impossible. I have added my Warcraft lingo into Dragon and am still adding. It automatically abbreviates terms, uses lowercase and uppercase as specified and even un-abbreviate abbreviations if necessary.
Initially, I turned Dragon off when watching TV or listening to music whilst I played, but now that I have a hotkey mapped for push-to-talk, that’s no longer necessary. I’m even becoming adept at running both vent and Dragon simultaneously. It’s just a matter of remembering when I push-to-talk which application I am trying access.
I played with the idea of using a speech recognition program to cast spells, but talking is just that much slower. Also, I tend to watch TV or listen to music when soloing and with frequency of verbal spellcasting would require a very quiet room. Thirdly, the thought of juggling vent, Dragon for chat, and verbal spell casting when playing with others makes my head spin. Dragon fills the gap for me. I’m happy using a gamepad for casting. I’m happy using a joystick for moving and getting happier using it for clicking. I’m pretty satisfied with Dragon as a speech-to-text fill-in for Wacraft. Surprisingly, it’s starting to develop higher accuracy around my warcraft vocabulary than any other dictations. I think it may be a sign that I play too much Warcraft, or maybe that I talk too much about playing Warcraft.