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Why the Strong Preference for Discord in Remote Games?

Ulfgeir

Adventurer
Some good stuff with Discord... Persistent, and you can have multiple channels, for different games etc, and can create separate vopice-channels if the GM need to talk in private with a player. You can access it on many different devices, both phones and computers. You can upload images, have bots for dicerolling. Also rather good voice. video was not so good when we tried it though, but if it is your regular group then that might not be so important..
 

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Campbell

Legend
Most of the online gaming I do (even if it is with local folks here in Colorado) is part of one of several gaming communities I'm part of. I also do recruitment for games over Discord it's just much easier to hop in someone's server. You just pop into a voice/video channel.

Occasionally we will use Google Meets if there are hang ups with Discord because you can just post a link in Discord.
 

Bilharzia

Fish Priest
Roll20 and Zoom for us. Roll20 has all the game-specific features and character sheets and buttons to press, while Zoom is the go-to video meeting tool. I didn't know Discord could even do video?
I am flabbergasted that Enworld does not have a Discord server, or at the very least, flabbered.
 



Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I am flabbergasted that Enworld does not have a Discord server, or at the very least, flabbered.
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Bilharzia

Fish Priest
The direct connection to the forum is clever, but at the same time incredibly annoying and off-putting. Joined and left in a couple of minutes. Definitely an example of old-tech/community meeting new-tech/community and not getting along well.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I use both and do not prefer Discord.

Zoom has much better "several people start to talk" than Discord, and that's really a big deal for me.

But for the most part, we use Zoom along with something else, like Roll20 or a Google Draw. It is not complete by itself, but paired with a free tool it's fine.

Discord has the advantage of dice bots for a bunch of games.

It also has persistent chat and images. I'm playing a pulpy Call of Cthulhu on Discord, and the DM has a staggering amount of clues he posts up for us to sandbox investigate. Zoom doesn't have anything like that, but again since we pair it with a visual one that would it's not a great loss.
 

Bilharzia

Fish Priest
Discord + Roll20 is a common pairing. Roll20 is good for handouts, maps, images, character sheets and rolls-from-character sheets which is more fiddly without. I use an importer to get NPCs and Creatures into Roll20. Discord works well for voice and an additional chat channel. If people use the Roll20 text chat it's for in-character stuff, Discord for everything else. We also use Roll20 for posting session write-ups in the game forum.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
We use Zoom and nothing else (two cameras - one pointed to the battlemat/minis). I have considered complementing it with a Slack channel, but Slack feels like work to me (just in the sense I only use it for work), while since I quit teaching before the pandemic, Zoom does not have that association for me.

It would be nice to be able to keep the chat log, but mostly we just have a group text message if saving something is absolutely important.
 

Discord works for me because, running Theater of the Mind, I don't really need the bells and whistles of a Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds. Being able to have an A/V channel and a text channel running at the same time does all I need with the addition of the Avrae bot. Also, being able to share GIFs during an adventure is just fun and adds a whole new element.
 

uzirath

Adventurer
We ran Roll20 with Zoom after COVID until January. Then we switched to Discord for the persistent chat, images, ability to pin messages, a GURPS dice bot (Pseudobot), and built-in AV. The AV features have been noticeably weaker than Zoom (especially frozen images), but it works well enough that we're sticking with it. The chat and dice bot are pretty sweet. And it's fun being able to login between games to post ideas, game-related memes, etc.

We've also found that unless we're playing a combat-focused session, we barely use Roll20 (to the point of sometimes not even launching it), so we wanted a video solution that included a bit more gaming functionality.
 

pogre

Legend
We use Zoom and nothing else (two cameras - one pointed to the battlemat/minis). I have considered complementing it with a Slack channel, but Slack feels like work to me (just in the sense I only use it for work), while since I quit teaching before the pandemic, Zoom does not have that association for me.

It would be nice to be able to keep the chat log, but mostly we just have a group text message if saving something is absolutely important.
That's how we play too. I cannot quite give up my miniatures and terrain, even in a remote game.
 

Donald Schepis

Developer @ PEG
The only reason my group swapped to discord from hangouts is because of RythmBot, which lets me play synced background music for all of my players. That said, discord's desire to futz with my Windows audio settings and override hardware audio settings is frustrating. We don't use it for video because that's not super important for us.

We were using Roll20 for our dev playtest of Rise of the Runelords (both VTT features and video/chat), but I think they're in the process of doing some updates to that system because we've had more and more trouble getting six sets of video/audio to work for an entire playtest.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
In the game I play in we use Discord for voice, mostly because half of us couldn't get roll20's audio to work; and use roll20 for dice, maps, handouts, etc.. We neither use nor want video feeds, just audio.

Unlike some others here, we find Discord is terrible if more than one person tries to talk at once: each cuts the other off resulting in neither being heard. And as @Donald Schepis notes just above, I too find Discord likes to play hell with various Windows audio settings and have to argue with it every time I load it to - sometimes - get it working the way I want.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Unlike some others here, we find Discord is terrible if more than one person tries to talk at once: each cuts the other off resulting in neither being heard. And as @Donald Schepis notes just above, I too find Discord likes to play hell with various Windows audio settings and have to argue with it every time I load it to - sometimes - get it working the way I want.

Specifically, I find Discord and Roll20 don't play well together. Roll20 doesn't actually play well with any other A/V program, if you aren't careful.

In general, they compete for which one of them grabs input devices, which becomes a real bear.
 

Bilharzia

Fish Priest
I've been using Roll20 and Discord since 2016 with zero problems. It's a matter of a single setting in a Roll20 game to disable the video/audio input, I've never had a problem with Roll20/Discord conflicts.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Specifically, I find Discord and Roll20 don't play well together. Roll20 doesn't actually play well with any other A/V program, if you aren't careful.

In general, they compete for which one of them grabs input devices, which becomes a real bear.
We kinda solve this by just shutting off all of roll20's audio and video feeds (we just use it for maps, dice rolls, and handouts); but now you've got me wondering if it's still interfering even after doing this.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
We kinda solve this by just shutting off all of roll20's audio and video feeds (we just use it for maps, dice rolls, and handouts); but now you've got me wondering if it's still interfering even after doing this.

I am not sure. I usually wind up running them on entirely separate machines, which avoids the issue entirely. Last night, having them both on one laptop didn't seem to cause any issue, but that's hardly conclusive.
 

Bilharzia

Fish Priest
I am not sure. I usually wind up running them on entirely separate machines, which avoids the issue entirely. Last night, having them both on one laptop didn't seem to cause any issue, but that's hardly conclusive.
All the GM has to do is turn off audio and video in the Roll20 options tab, in that game. After that is done, Roll20 will not try to access your camera or microphone, because the audio and video inputs are disabled in Roll20. If the GM does not do that, then there may well be problems.

noaudio.gif
 
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