Riot are understandably wary of introducing real, human voices to their MOBA. They’ve put a lot of work into washing the toxic sludge from their community, via tribunals and chat bans and such, and they’re hardly about to throw that away by thoughtlessly implementing unrestricted voip.
They do think about it, though.
The developers addressed the subject in a Reddit discussion, prompted by the below video. Tiresome fear of ‘white knighting’ aside, it presents a pretty plausible nightmare vision of a mic-ed up MOBA:
“Voice chat regularly comes up in our planning meetings,” admitted senior producer Jesse 'GTez' Houston. “While it's not off the table, it's not something we are currently working on. But this video was not far off how we believe the experience would be if we just dropped straight voice chat.
“Ideas like muting and tribunal need to be taken into account too when we do go and implement it.”
We’ve been playing a lot of Hearthstone at PCGamesN lately, and Tim and I concurred that the absence of chat of any sort worked in the TCG’s favour. Faced only with blank emotes, it’s hard to read negativity into the behaviour of your distant opponents. Evidently there’s a greater need for communication in a team-based eSport - but Heroes of Newerth’s developers are removing allchat entirely from their new MOBA, Strife.
Which direction would you shunt LoL in, were you present in Riot’s meetings?