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The following tips are for the Phoenix Firestorm viewer.

Whispering, Talking and Shouting:

In some roleplay situations, it can be useful to shout when some characters in a scene are out of chat range (20m to 100m) or to whisper when you want to exclude those outside of whisper range (10m). Usually, you whisper with Shift-Enter (or start your post with /whisper) and shout with Ctrl-Enter (or start with /shout). To differentiate actual shouting from extending the chat range, put your post in ALL CAPS.

You can also make all your posts whisper, talk or shout with the type button after the chat bar. Activate it at Preferences > Chat > Add a chat bar in the Nearby Chat window > Show chat type / send chat button in the chat bar. While there, check all three options under “Use Keyboard Shortcuts.” Don’t forget to change the chat type back to 'Say' once the situation changes.

You can see when you’re entering or leaving chat distance by activating your Radar under Preferences > Chat > Radar. Although it’s not as precise, you can also watch the ‘whisper,’ ‘speak,’ and ‘shout’ circles in your mini-map (Ctrl-Shift-M), using right-click on the map and selecting ‘Chat distance rings.’

Another way to roleplay in Local Chat with avatars outside of chat range is to use a wearable chat extender HUD, which can be set to reach up to an entire SIM. Alternatively, you can open a group IM with all those participating in a far-flung scene.

OOC text:

To signal an OOC comment, the convention is to put it in double brackets ((like this)). The easiest way to do this is to hold down the Alt key when you press Enter. If you manually type the double brackets for only part of a post, don’t use the Alt key, or you will end up with double-double brackets, like this: “Thank you ((BRB)),” will come out “((Thank you ((BRB)))).”

If you often include OOC comments at the end of IC posts like that, you can save keystrokes by activating the ‘Auto-close ((OOC)) parentheses’ option in Preferences – Chat – Typing. That way, you only have to type the double brackets to open the OOC comment, and the brackets will automatically close for you at the end of the post.

Typing indicators:

Players sometimes cross-post (posting out of order) because they think you’re not writing. To avoid that, turn on the ‘typing indicator’ by going to Preferences > Chat > Visuals and enabling the checkbox ‘Show Typing Indicator in bubbles above avatars.’ This will show three flashing dots or the word ‘typing’ in your tag. If you want, you can also activate ‘Hear typing sound when people type in nearby chat’ under Preferences > Chat > Typing. Some also turn on ‘Play typing animation when chatting,’ but this interferes with other animations, and you don’t want to be waving your hands around while you’re hugging someone.

Some players check the option “’:’ as a synonym for ‘/me’” in Preferences > Chat > Typing to save keystrokes by using a colon instead of writing ‘/me’ every time. However, be aware that when you start a post with ‘/me’ or ‘:’, the program does not put the typing indicator in your tag. So, if your post is long or you’re a slow typist, some players may assume you’re not typing anything because they won’t see the three dots, and they may post something else to fill the vacuum. In this case, omit the ‘/me’ or ‘:’ so that they will see the typing indicator in your tag and wait for you to finish. That’s why many roleplayers prefer to start their emotes with an asterisk (*) or dash (-) instead of ‘/me,’ like this: *waves* or -waves-.

Another trick to overcome this with long posts is to start writing without the ‘/me’ or ‘:’. Then, when you have finished writing, go back and insert the ‘/me’ or ‘:’ at the beginning of the post before pressing ‘Enter.’ That way, others will see your typing indicator while you’re writing, but the post comes out correctly in the end.

Repeating a missed post:

You can easily repeat your last post by simply pressing ‘Ctrl-Up Arrow’ to find the one you want, followed by ‘Enter.’

Chat replacers:

To make an NPC (non-player character) speak and emote, use a ‘chat replacer’ or ‘name replacer’ HUD. You just wear it, type ‘Name=≪NPC’s NAME≫,’ and whatever you write is posted under that name. Some can even impersonate NPCs in IMs.


If you speak a foreign language, whether for OOC or IC reasons, excellent translator HUDs are available that use AI to produce quite a decent output. Some translators will also change regular speech to a different style, such as Baby Babble, Bork Bork, Cockney, Elmer Fudd, Jive, L33t Sp34k, Nerd, Pirate, Redneck, Robotic, Wizard, and more.


What did you think? Do you disagree with anything or have something to add? An example from your own experience, maybe? Please leave a comment below to make this a conversation. Thanks!

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