Accessibility Ideas for Deaf Players

I’m color blind and really, really appreciate the accommodation for that for sure.

When I was in university I was a resident advisor in a mixed deaf/hearing dorm and ended up learning a little sign language and lip reading along the way but also was exposed to a lot of things. For instance the fire alarms in the building also had strobe lights and alarm clocks would make the bed shake and so forth.

I also play WoW with no sound and have become used to the visual ques in the game (there is almost always a visual que for everything). It occurs to me though, that like the color blindness system a haptic/tactile device support would be really interesting (even for hearing people!)

An example of some PC haptic systems:

https://www2.razer.com/au-en/concepts/project-hypersense

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There’s sounds that alert you to things?

News to me, since I am also deaf.

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Yes! Apparently rogues make a sound when they enter stealth. I read about that years and years ago back in, like, WotLK.

It’s… frustrating… when you realize how many things deaf players don’t even know about in the game due to a lack of (so far!) accessibility.

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also makes a sound when they get too close which my deaf friend also didnt know

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I actually play WoW with the sound off after the first few months of an expansion (I have very sensitive hearing and wear earplugs all the time apart from when I shower), so although I’m not deaf, I do understand the annoyance of not having audio cues, as they’re used in a shocking amount of things in this game. I have to turn on the sound when I PvP for example, for the reason above, you can hear a rogue/druid/hunter stealthing near you. It only lasts a second, but it gives you an indicator you need to be prepared.

I don’t know why, but I always thought there was an accessibility option for that. More accessibility is always a good thing.

Another thing to note is you can hear when a druid shapeshifts into one of their forms around you that isn’t in your sight. They make a noise, that’s distinctive to each form. That’s another thing that would probably be helpful to have a UI element, even just a text pop up that says “Cat Form” or such.

Also to note, nothing would be stopping people who can hear from turning on those visual cues, so for the people who might scream it’ll give deaf/hard of hearing people an advantage - it wouldn’t, you’d just have double the advantage they do because you have the option to also have the audio cues.

I won’t say anything else just cause I don’t feel this is really my place to comment, just wanted to say that accessibility options are important, and bring up the shapeshift thing too.

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Please don’t let this stop you from commenting.

This applies to all the folks reading this.

Please don’t think you “don’t have a place” in this discussion. You all bring unique perspectives and ideas that I won’t ever think of!

Not to mention, you guys know what sounds the game has, and I DON’T know what I’m missing! Because I don’t know what I don’t know, I won’t know to mention it, let alone ask for it. So please jump in!

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Ive always thought raid markers recently placed should have an option for being put on the minimap or even a HUD arrow to show which way they placed

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That’s the same idea as my waypoint marker, if I’m understanding this right.

I’m also not opposed to the minimap idea. The only downside to that one is that the minimap is tucked away in the corner, far from the center of action on the screen. But I do like the idea!

Nothing says that we can’t have both, after all. :grin:

Yeah and you can always move and increase the size of the minimap with addons which I think have really saved alot of people who hate default UI

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Yes, you can. But I’m more interested in accessibility ideas for the default UI, because addons can be a burden for some players…

On this topic, there’s a chest in Zereth Mortis:

It requires being able to hear in order to complete without looking up a guide or taking forever.

Clicking on the shield around the chest plays a tune. Around the room are 4 objects that play a single note of that tune. You have to play them in the order of the tune.

However, if you fail, you have to start over, and it stuns you temporarily.

So in the worst case scenario, there’s 24 possible outcomes. (Though the wowhead comments say others needed 5 tunes to complete it, this increases it exponentially to 120 different combinations.

It doesn’t help the chest is bugged for most people right now and won’t open regardless.

Yes, you can look up how to do it, but that’s not really promoting accessibility.

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Not saying its not an issue, but I didn’t even use the shield to play the tune. I didn’t see a way to check the tune of the objects aside from clicking on them, so whether you use the sound or not its trial and error - unless I missed something.

I certainly did it by trial and error.

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I did too cause I didn’t want to turn on my sound lol.

But it took a lot longer than it should have.

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I found that chest on the first (and only) night I’ve been able to play in ZM.

Naturally, the very first thing I did after unlocking Haven was go explore the map. Explored most of the caves I found, and I found this.

I noticed the four little altars and clicked on them. Got knocked down with three of them, and didn’t get knocked down with the fourth.

At this point I realized it was a sound-based puzzle. I deliberated for a moment whether to take my time and unlock the chest by trial and error — mind you, I’m assuming that the sequence does NOT reset or change after I make a mistake — before I ultimately decided to hold off onto that for another night.

And, truthfully? As long as the pattern does NOT change whenever I make a mistake — if it remains the same — then I don’t mind figuring it out by trial and error.

The funny thing is, while I’m sure that some (if not many) deaf players would be annoyed by this chest… it actually doesn’t bother me! But that’s because I watched the announcement for this patch, where the devs said a big feature was this musical language they developed. So I already knew that music and sounds were gonna be important in this patch. So I’m actually relieved there’s only one sound-based puzzle with a relatively simple sequence.

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Gonna drag this thread back up, because I’ve got a new suggestion:

Deaf players often rely on /say to communicate in emergency situations in raids. In fact, for Undaunted’s raid team, it’s mandatory for all of our raiders to have speech bubbles enabled.

The problem is this: We have three Shadow Priests and they occasionally have to type something in /say, only to have it be Void gibberish that nobody can read.

It’s a cool little flavor addition, but it’s frustrating when you’re trying to communicate. Some type of item allowing players to understand Void speak or a Glyph for Priests to disable their own Void speak would be greatly appreciated.

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This is a great callout. After discussing with the team, we’d like to look into changing this in a future patch. Our current thought is that priests in Voidform would no longer speak in Shath’Yar by default, but we’d also add a glyph so that players who like the flavor can still opt in to it.

Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback!

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Can we have something similar for Curse of Tongues landing on a player? For mind control raid mechanics.

This pretty much means I’m going to have to beg shadow priests to not take that glyph, and if they don’t want to, I’m out of luck anyway.

Please just let us anchor UI elements to players, without having nameplates enabled, this will solve so many issues.

I easily get visual information overload, so I want to be able to finely tune what I see on my screen. In the current scenario with things like 3…2…1 above players for mechanics, I need to enable bubbles. However, this also means I constantly get spammed with things I don’t want to see, such as “[player-realm] interrupted [spell]”.

I’m constantly fighting information overload and it would be so much better if I could control what I see, rather than others controlling what I see.

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Interestingly, one of the most common addons for announcing interrupts, Raeli’s Spell Announcer, was created specifically because one of the addon author’s friends is deaf and was having trouble following cooldown usage.

There are definitely more elegant ways to handle things that these days, such as WeakAuras that show the remaining cooldown on party member’s interrupts, although Undaunted does still find RSA’s announcements useful in certain scenarios.

The upcoming UI overhaul in Dragonflight provides a good opportunity to bake some of that functionality into the base UI by allowing us to track specific cooldowns by our teammates, which would make announcement addons redundant.

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These days you can use addons like OmniCD to track people’s cooldowns, so it shouldn’t be a necessity anymore. I understand why it exists, but in this case one person’s accessibility is causing issues for someone else, and it’s a recurring theme here. Accessibility shouldn’t have to rely on the goodwill of others.

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