What are "chat channels"?
Unless you're a totally lone wolf type, talk will be central to your TC experience. Talk, though, comes in different flavors. Here's the lowdown:
Ask. Use the Ask channel to -- you probably would never have guessed this without being told -- ask questions of other players, administrators, deities, and in some limited cases, mobiles. Along with several other channels, Ask is independent of any known laws of physics: when you Ask someone a question, it doesn't matter where they are, how much distance separates you, what the intervening geography is, what the weather conditions are, or anything else physical and mundane. Ask and, if they're listening, they'll hear. This may change in the future, but it's this way now. Note that only the named person will hear your question. Of course there's nothing technical stopping you from asking questions on the other channels, but it's considered extremely rude to do so.
Auction. Players can auction items whenever they like. The Auction channel is the medium through which you listen to or participate in ongoing auctions.
Chat. Messages posted via the Chat channel are immediately seen by everyone listening, kind of like an ESP party line.
Congrat. Like Chat and Shout, messages posted to the Congrat channel are immediately seen by all listening players. Use this channel to help someone celebrate an accomplishment, such as gaining a level. Don't use Chat or etc. for this purpose. The Congrat channel is provided specifically so that grumpy players can tune them out if they don't want to see them.
Level. When a character gains a level, Triad will automatically generate a congratulation notice sent to all players who want to receive it. You can't send a message via this channel, you can only receive them. Use the congrat channel to help the leveler celebrate the accomplishment.
Page. When you Page someone, you cause a pop-up dialog to appear on their browser screen telling them you want their attention. This is useful for contacting administrators, who may be busy doing something else.
Say. When you Say something, you speak it out loud. To hear you, listeners must be in the same room with you. So, you can use the Say channel to build something similar to "private chats" on various public chat systems. Just get together in the same room with all those interested in some topic and have at it.
Shout is mystical like Chat and Auction: when you Shout you're heard by everyone listening to the Shout channel, regardless of location in the game world. This may change eventually. Meanwhile, Shout is like Chat, but LOUD: you should only Shout when it's appropriate. (When you're being eaten by vampires, for instance.)
Tell means send a private message to a named listener; e.g., "tell Poobah you rock dude!" This sends the message "you rock dude!" to Poobah and nobody else. Of course, Poobah must be listening to receive the message; and must be interested in you to reply to it; neither of which are likely in Poobah's case.
Whispter means send a private message to a named listener; e.g. in the current room with you, "whisper Poobah Loan me a fiver?" This sends the message "Loan me a fiver?" to Poobah and nobody else. Unlike Tell, Whisper requires Poobah to be in the Room with you.
You can toggle each of these channels on or off any time you like, via the "Channel Settings" menu near the top of the Chat window. The default for each is on. When you toggle one off, you make yourself deaf to that channel: people can Shout till they turn purple but you won't hear them. (If you've toggled off Ask, Page or Tell, would-be conversationalists are told you're not listening; this way they don't keep trying to no purpose.)
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