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!

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