Curse vs Discord or David vs Goliath?

Last week I had a look at how subscribing might or might not work for my Twitch and Youtube channels. This week, I appear to still be in a gaming/streaming mood, since I wanted to share with you my experiences of the two new ‘Teamspeak’ replacements, Discord and Curse. I need to make it very clear right at the beginning of this blog that I am not partnered with either and I would very much doubt whether I would ever be invited to be, so this is a purely personal view of things from a small streamer’s perspective.

Join me on Curse or Discord – your choice 🙂

  • First come first served! – Discord suddenly appeared on the Twitch scene, with links becoming available from a range of streamers with people ‘encouraging’ followers to join their channels. It was definitely seen as the first step which joined all the usual voice servers together combining them into one free and efficient system. I could imagine that Mumble,TeamSpeak and even Skype were having a few sleepless nights as people started to use the Discord system. Twitchers – can I call them/us that – immediately started to apply for partnership status with the main streamers instantly being able to add this to their already extensive partnership panels, while less popular streamers were rejected but encouraged to buy a hoodie (does that sound bitter?). Everything seemed to be moving in favour of Discord, but little did I know that something else was lurking in the background!

  • First the worse, second the best? – I like to be pioneering with things, try new things and test them when they are still being developed. The only problem with this, is that often people see what I have done or are doing and then take that, improve it and then make it miles better than my attempt. It was only last week that I tuned in to watch a World of Warcraft stream (Sco) and there was a new kid on the block! Streamers, especially WoW streamers, were promoting a new integrated chat channel – Curse! This seemed to have taken what Discord had created, repackaged it, and delivered it to ‘their’ streamers and the promotion had started. When Discord first came out, there were comparison charts showing how Discord compared favrourably with the other voice systems, now, with Curse, Discord itself appeared on the comparison tables, with Curse coming out on top. Not wanting to be left behind … I quickly signed up for Curse as well and joined the battle, but without really knowing which side I was on.

  • Looking good rather than feeling fine! – I need to like what I see. I know this might be slightly shallow, but its true. If I don’t like the ‘look’ of a game then it will take me a lot more to actually play it. I quite like the ‘cartoon’ feeling of games and not that keen on ‘realism’. If I wanted that I would venture to the local shopping centre to face very similar dangers as entering a high level raid! Some people really treat trolleys as the latest weapon! Comparing the two systems, Discord appears to be plain but functional – its not that eye catching but it does the job. My eyesight is not that good so sometimes I find the contrast between the channel names and the background annoyingly similar – although you might be able to change this. Curse is brighter and more…well .. cartoon like. From a personal point of view, I prefer the interface of Curse, although the icon for Discord is great – who ever created it was good.

  • It needs to be easy – I don’t have time for hard – I’m not one for tutorials. I recently tried (and I do mean tried) to play OverWatch and didn’t do the tutorials at all, wanting to get straight into the action. Maybe I should have done the tutorials, but then I have limited amount of time to play and I want to spend this playing not learning. Both Discord and Curse are intuitive to use, although there is something about Curse that I found slightly annoying. I wanted to set up two channels – one for when I wasn’t streaming and one for when I was- this was easy to do and, changing the profile images, made them easy to identify. When I started to stream I suddenly realised that both channels were announcing that I was streaming so I left my personal one – sharp intake of breath from some of you if you know how Curse works. Finishing my stream, I returned later that evening to play some Diablo 3 off stream – so, yes I know, I left my streaming channel and joined my personal one! Hang on a minute! Someone else has admin rights on my personal channel!!! Quickly I joined my streaming channel and no!!! I was no longer admin there either. Now, I’m a small time streamer and didn’t know how, as Curse informed me, gaming channels work. Apparently, if you leave a channel – ever – the next longest serving person in the channel will automatically gain the admin rights over that channel. The only way to get it back – and I’ve had to do this – is to ask everyone to leave so you are the only one left in the channel, so getting the admin rights and then boom! you are then the owner. When you leave a channel you do get a warning saying that if you leave the channel you might not be able to rejoin it, but I think something more specific to admins would be benficial. I must say that Curse, via Twitter, were very responsive in helping me sort the problem. Moral of the story…NEVER LEAVE A CHANNEL YOU ARE ADMIN FOR……EVER!!!!

  • Don’t worry, this is the last section. Both systems are still being developed and they probably have a long way to go before they are fully up and running. Within this last section, I just wanted to say a few random things that I like or don’t like all of which might be sorted in the future.

  • Overlays – When playing games, both systems provide an overlay which appears on your screen. Discord provides this for most games, including the ones I play, Curse is focused more on what I class as ‘their’ games, e.g. Blizzard’s games. Hopefully both will eventually shake hands and provide an overlay for ALL games – let’s be inclusive here guys – looking forward to SWTOR having an overlay Curse.

  • Text to Speech – Discord gets my vote for this! When it is running in the background and someone types in the channel, it is ‘said out loud’ to me and the stream. This is great and I really like this – I only have two monitors so with the game on one and then OBS and Anhkbot on the other I don’t really have another screen to keep an eye on the Curse chat so using text to speech is great here – also ensures that I am not ignoring anyone. Well done Discord!

  • What are you playing? – Whenever I log onto the system, I like to see what my three friends in the channel are playing. With Discord, you get to see this in the panel which shows that they are in the channel. With Curse, they can see what I am playing, but I can’t see what they are doing. This is slightly annoying since I actually have to ask what people are doing. In a similar vein, Curse shows that I am playing SWTOR when the launcher is being used, but once the main game starts then Curse reports that I am not playing anything – what do you have against SWTOR Curse? 🙁

  • Currently I am favouring Curse, just because of the look and the colours – not the best things to formulate a decision on but to me its important. I have kept them both running and I know that Discord might become the small streamer’s or the minority games choice in the end if it continues to be more inclusive than Curse. If I had the perfect situation, then I think I would prefer to stay with Discord, since I almost consider it the smaller guild battling their way to complete the latest raid with Curse being similar to the high end guilds of Paragon and Method – what can I say – I am always one for the underdogs!

    You can keep up to date with my content by following me on Twitch, Twitter and Facebook. If you are interested in joining or playing Minecraft, then you can join the server and website here. Of course any subscribers to my YouTube channel are always appreciated.

    2 comments for “Let Me In! – Simon’s Cat – YouTube

    1. February 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Would be cool to play an one off, one of the dungeon crawls you made! Maybe the 8 level one!!!

    2. March 21, 2017 at 12:05 am

      I miss those early days so much. The current state of rpg’s , the rpg xubculture if you like, doesn’t feel like it did back then. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

      I was introduced to Advanced D&D 1st Edition, by my sisters boyfriend (the BEST boyfriend of the many she had IMHO..), who showed me S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks module after discovering I enjoyed computer based adventure games, I was hooked immediately and it wasn’t too long before I was hanging around the local game shop, Games Gallery, from which I was invited to join in a game run by the assistant manager, who was to become my long and good friend Steve, who was coincidentally, the reason I got to work at the local branch of Games Workshop for a time. Working there, in those days, before it became a Warhammer only shop, was amazing. It was the proverbial kid in the sweet shop!. Staff discount made it even sweeter – 50% off GW’s own products, and 25% off everything else. We also ran a great rpg club, with about 60-80 members at its peak.
      I was always the GM for my main group as no one else had the time it took to prepare a game properly, though after a few changes to the group, and people from the club popping up, I eventually got to play. Games by a company called Fantasy Games Unlimited (FGU) were very popular in all of my groups. FGU sold games such as Bushido, Aftermath,Space Opera, Chivalry & Sorcery, Freedom Fighters, and Bunnies & Burrows, but there were many many more games, by many different companies, covering all sorts of genres – and I still have them all. Many were, as was the style back then, table and chart and rule HEAVY. We loved that. Comparing themto the current crop of “rules lite” systems, I would certainly go back to the old games instead. We played these games sometimes 5 days a week, as for a time we were all unemployed. It was all we did.
      I often spent days creating scenarios, making maps, creating player characters as well as npc’s. I found it quite therapeutic, as is miniature painting – thousands of the little buggers packed away testify to the time I spent doing it. My “toy soldiers” as my brother in law calls them…
      I used to get quite attached to my favourite characters, and whilst one or two died over the decades, most did not.
      For almost all of my characters I would go overboard by most people’s standards. I like to have an image for my characters, whether a photo or artwork. Sometimes I will see an image and that is the base for the whole character, built around the image.
      I always believed as a player, that giving the GM a detailed background, list of goals, motivations, friends, contacts and enemies, will help the GM bring my character into the game more, by using some of what I have given him in the game. As a GM I like to see what players come up with for their characters, and will often use it in the game. It involves the player more, makes the game more personal if part of the game is suddenly about them, and it can help the players become more invested in their characters.
      For myself, I would often map out the characters home, create a family tree, siblings, etc.
      For our Star Trek RPG (by FASA Corp), I created the whole crew of a 500+ personnel star ship… All as detailed player characters. Unnecessary and a bit OTT I know, but it helped bring every department on the ship alive, every member of the landing party was a person not simply a red shirt.

      I am often bemused whilst watching streams when I see the gm of a streamed game pull some “new” idea out of his box of tricks, and the players are like “wow!”, “that’s original”, “I would never have thought of doing it that way!”, knowing we did it 30-40 years ago.

      The games my most recent group and I played/ran, were very detailed games with a lot of depth. Quite dark games too, mature themed, and often very emotional and intense. Having played with the same people for nigh on 20 years, you create a bond, a closeness and familiarity that allows you to communicate in a way you couldn’t, with people you don’t know very well.
      I have been brought to tears several times in recent years during the last (decade long) game we played ,as some scenes were simply too emotional or powerful, overwhelming (GM was a bastard – but an EXCELLENT GM).

      Sadly the group folded, but the GM offered to keep the game going for just me, which he did for a few years, which to be honest I really needed, as it helped me through a bad depression at that time).
      Over the years I have experienced a lot of things because of rpg’s, and made some great friends, too. I have a lot to be grateful for, regarding rpg’s. I was discussing with my brother in law, my collection of rpg’s and miniatures. When he realised how much they are worth, (some regularly sell for £100’s!) he always tells me to sell sell sell. He doesn’t grasp what they mean to me .
      Yet I won’t. Part of me hopes and prays that I will get a local group together (even some of the old group!) and start using them again. But aside from that, as my memory fails, little by little each year, these boxes and books and miniatures on the shelves are my constant reminders of happy and sad and exciting moments, and great fun, and more importantly, great friends.

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