Eloquence is a WoW addon that allows a player to manipulate their character’s speech and transform it into the correct dialect depending on race. Simply put, it helps a Troll talk like a Troll, a Dwarf talk like a Dwarf, and so forth. While it is not a perfect addon (it’s still in beta!), it does the job well enough that it is perhaps one of the best RP addons I’ve ever had the fun of using, which is why I include it as my third ‘core group’ RP mod.
Eloquence is very easy to use. Once installed into your World of Warcraft > Interface > Addons folder, all it takes is to make sure the addon is in use, log into your character, and begin talking. If your character is a Dwarf, the words and sentences you type will come out sounding very much like experienced fantasy genre players have come to expect Dwarves to sound. Likewise for Trolls, Orcs, Draenei, and every other race in game, with the possible exception of Humans.
Some time way back, someone decided that Dwarves would / should sound best with a heavy Scottish accent. That’s exactly what Eloquence does for their speech style in game – it warps what a player types into the chat channels and makes it come out to match the language appropriate to the race speaking. For Trolls, Eloquence transforms the character’s words by using a solid Jamaican accent. Not only does it use real world accents to spice up racial speech, it also mixes in words and phrases that Blizzard has developed into the races themselves. For instance, it will toss in things like ‘zug zug’ and ‘dabu’, both you may recognize as common Orc sayings. Have you paid close attention to how the Draenei speak and sound? Very direct, haughty, and without using contractions. Eloquence will do the same thing for your Draenei characters.
I’m not going into a whole lot of how to set it up, because there’s simply not much to set up, and both the description on the download site and the numerous in game tooltips handle that task very well. However, feel free to catch me in game for help if needed, of course. The learning curve involved here means little more than opening up Eloquence (/elo in game), selecting which channels you want to talk IC on, and then just start talking. It’ll probably take some time to get used to reading your own speech once it gets translated in an effort to make sure you and all others can understand what you are saying. But, with just a bit of patience and practice, you’ll learn what to type so that it’s better understood by your audience once Eloquence works its magic.
I do have a couple of tips to share for working with Eloquence, however. For one, the addon has a nifty little trick that allows you to see how your words will be translated before you hit Enter and send them out into the world. Once you have typed in your speech, using the hotkey SHIFT + ENTER will do an instant translation so you can see how the world will view what you plan to say. This is excellent in avoiding embarrassing situations by insuring your “All your bases belong to us” doesn’t come out as “All your base are belong to us”.
Another tip comes when using Eloquence in conjunction with the Roleplaying Helper addon. Roleplaying Helper comes standard with many words and phrases already within, including some already written with racial accents. Once these racial terms go through the Eloquence filters to be translated yet again into a specific racial tone, I found that what actually came out was very often mere gibberish. So, I went into the race specific .lua files for Roleplaying Helper and deleted any and all text that was written with an accent, and simply rewrote it in a normal manner. Eloquence was then better able to understand and translate that text into a more understandable speech.
Another reminder that the addon is still in the beta phase is warranted. When I first started using Eloquence, I would type in my text in the manner of my own personal speech, as I hear myself in my mind. The translations that Eloquence applied caused me (and everyone else who tried to read it, I’m sure) to often ask myself, “What did I just say?” I believe the problem was caused by typing speech as I speak it, instead of typing speech as a Troll/Dwarf/Gnome, etc.., would speak it. To get Eloquence to shine, it is best if you think Troll/Dwarf/Gnome, etc.., before you say what you want, and type your words in as close to that manner as possible. What comes out in game will then be viewed by others as looking and sounding very authentic and believable. If you need help with that, You Can Talk To Me!
There is another addon that I’ve heard of often which I’m told is very similar to Eloquence: Dwarvenizer / Trollizer. I’ve not used this one, so I do not know what the pros and cons are when compared to Eloquence. Perhaps a fellow RP’er may know and would be willing to leave a Comment regarding such? I’m also interested in learning about any other similar addons or tricks of the RP trade others may be employing for their character’s speech!