At hg.gaming we have used Teamspeak since the very beginning of time and space. Teamspeak 3 improved voice quality allot over Teamspeak 2. Teamspeak 3 is now unchanged since its launch in 2011. Besides the voice quality improvement it still feels and looks like Teamspeak 2, a program of the early years of this millennium. What I am trying to say is that Teamspeak 3 has great voice quality but feels overall completely outdated for the year 2017.
Then there is Discord, a Teamspeak alternative. The program boomed since its launch in 2015. It got 3 million users by January 2016, 11 by July 2016 and 25 million by December 2016. This increase in popularity has changed the market of VoIP completely. Clans used to have Teamspeak or Mumble but now these programs have lost their touch with the gaming crowd. I see it every day: discord is fully present. People give each other a quick direct link (click and you are on the channel) instead of an IP address of a TS server. Then the user needs to configure a bookmark for it. Unnecessary extra steps.
As Discord is used by most people who are not in a clan, getting them on TS is an extra barrier for recruitment. They will need to download the program and hassle through the not so user-friendly interface. Creating a bookmark is one thing but getting a pop up message saying "welcome to the server" which you need to click away, before you can select the voice channel you actually wants is so annoying.
This also means that the further we go in time, the more new people join the clan. The more the habit of discord is bigger. So the pressure on having discord will never go away. The question will come back regularly.
I launch Discord together with my pc. I see my friends online, can enter conversations in the text chat (which can be customised to different levels of access.), see the games my friends are playing on whatever platform (steam, uplay or origin) and do a one click to enter a voice channel. It covers the full needs of a gaming program. It's today's version of Xfire in the early 2000 (except that the voice chat on xfire was garbage). You can launch Teamspeak together with the PC but you only get a white screen. Connecting to the server needs to be done manually.
Talking on voice quality. Discord has evolved since its release. It has now a stable connection. you can't hear the difference with TS, which is logic as they both use the same high quality codec: Opus.
Another great advantage is: the price. Discord is free to use. Teamspeak costs money. So if you want TS to be your main communication tool, then you need to donate to the clan which can then buy a TS server.
It doesn’t take long to get used to the interface of Discord. Setting up a server and the user management is super easy. Everything is there: kick, ban, volume control, user roles: all can be changed of a user by a right click on his name, even private messaging.
We all like our avatars. We show them on the forum, on uplay and so on. On Teamspeak, you only see them when you click on a user. On Discord on the other hand, you see them everywhere next to your name in voice and in the text chat.
One of the biggest flaws of Teamspeak is the file sharing. It is completely useless and painful to use. On Discord this works like a modern communication tool. Click on the plus icon, the windows file browser pops up. Discord then asks if you want to add a comment and that’s it. Everybody in the channel will see it.
If you ever get a feeling of nostalgy towards ICQ back in the 90ties, then search no more further: use Teamspeak text chat. It’s so not worth using. If you want modern text chat with smileys and links with a preview image: then use Discord.
Also great is that the text chat is linked to user rights and not a gaming channel. We got a Members-only text channel and a channel where we can communicate with all people on the server, like recruits.
Discord is a one stop solution. Either you are on the pc for voice communication or using the text chat in the background. You can even use it from your mobile phone without additional cost. The Teamspeak app costs 5,5 EUR(!) and the text chat is awful. You can fully control your server from within the app. Even kick people from the voice chat. You can edit or delete messages after sending, which you cannot on Teamspeak or WhatsApp.
Talking of a full suite, with Discord no need to use WhatsApp anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of WhatsApp and use it daily. But for gaming, it is so much easier to have one place for all communications. No need to ask phone numbers and learn the real life names of every person in the chat group. Which can take a while for new people entering the group. Also a lot easier to communicate with the recruits as they are not eager to give their phone number straight away.
Small benefit but still worth mentioning. Ever came online to Teamspeak saying “Hi” and not getting a reply? Sure because the person was AFK and didn’t move himself to the AFK channel. Discord manages that for you. Based on the setting, you get moved after 5 or 15min inactivity.
Teamspeak got a nice Teamspeak viewer to integrate on the website. So what, Discord got that to. It even has the API code to customize it to the clans needs.
Ever had “Connection failure” message on Teamspeak? Ah yes, server maintenance… and then your IP suddenly changed. Terrible. Discord is always up and running so far. And the server? Well it isn’t based on an IP you connect to, but the servers are stored on your user profile.