TwitchCon 2017 Keynote: My Reaction

Have a Medium post. Pastebin entries are for silly people. Not seen the TwitchCon 2017 Keynote? Have a blog post: https://blog.twitch.tv/twitchcon-2017-keynote-what-you-need-to-know-601a82995e7e

Stream Summary

Cool. More statistics are always a good thing. I like presenting all the available information to the user, which should explain a bit of FrankerFaceZ. It’s nice to see Twitch sharing more of the huge volume of information they collect.

Though, what’s with the OBS Classic here, Twitch?


Premieres

Video Uploading, Events, and Vodcasts unite to become… a bit less pointless than they were before! Especially Vodcasts. Being able to schedule a vodcast to reveal new content seems like a fairly nice idea.

I am a bit concerned about how it will be displayed to users though. Will there be an indicator that a Vodcast is a new broadcast rather than stale content? By popular request, I’ll be adding a feature to hide Vodcasts to FrankerFaceZ once the new version is finished so I worry that there’s no way to let people hide old content they’ve already seen without making them miss Premieres too.


Raids

Remember the fun times when raids were actually against Twitch’s Terms of Service and could get you temp banned if the raided channel reported you? Fun times.

As for this feature, the video clip doesn’t really show off the viewer experience besides clicking a “Join” button and that leaves me fairly undecided about whether or not this is a good change. What they’ve shown paints it as barely more than hosting with a different notification in the chat of the target channel.

I presume that, upon clicking join, you’ll be whisked away to the new user’s chat? As far as FrankerFaceZ goes, I can’t say more till I see the implementation but I’ll probably do nothing beyond making sure FFZ doesn’t break it.


Rituals

So, initially I had a pretty dim view of this. There was a blog post that leaked before the keynote that made it seem as though new people in chat would be called out just for being there. Chat bots doing that are bad enough, we don’t need Twitch natively doing that too.

What we’re actually getting seems fairly innocuous. Though, it also seems pretty awkward to me. Announcing yourself with a big sub-like banner and an emote? I hope it’s something that the broadcaster can control.

I’ll definitely be adding an option to FrankerFaceZ to convert those lines into standard chat messages without the “Hey! Pay attention to this person!” nonsense above it.


Achivements

Twitch 100% Speedruns when?

This is great though. Clear up vague requirements and set goals for people. Achievements are kind of silly, but it’s an acceptable way to track progress and it’s very gaming oriented.


Subscription Gifting

Hell, it’s about time. (And what about subbing with bits…?)


Group Chat 2: Electric Boogaloo

Well, have fun with this one, moderators. No, really, good luck. Moderating chat with Twitch’s built-in utilities is a poor experience at the best of times. Now you have to deal with having multiple rooms to moderate simultaneously without being able to see them both simultaneously without opening another window.

This isn’t better than existing group chat. Not entirely. With this, the rooms are tied to a specific channel. From what they showed, you’ll only be able to access those rooms when viewing that channel.

With group chat, you could access a room from anywhere on Twitch to keep talking to your friends no matter what you might be watching.

Additionally, access control. For these, you can make them available for anyone, to subscribers only, or to moderators only. It’d be nice if there was a way to add and remove specific users.

With group chat, you could invite anyone. (Of course, you couldn’t kick them once they were in. Additionally, group chat has never had working moderation, so only the room creator could ban people from posting.)

It seems like only the broadcaster can create these rooms as well, so if you as a viewer want a private chat with a few of your friends, you’re out of luck.

On the plus side, this looks like it’s actually discover-able enough to be used by more than a handful of people, so there’s that. Group Chat never caught on. Most people don’t realize it exists, I’d expect.

As far as FrankerFaceZ support goes, I can’t really say how I’ll be handling these until they land in the API. I expect, however, that FrankerFaceZ will be treating these as it treats group chat now. An extra channel that can have its own, unique set of emoticons. Though, probably with a new option to inherit the emoticons of the main channel. More on that when I get around to the website and API rewrite, though.

The Advanced Chat Display system in the FrankerFaceZ rewrite will definitely have support for displaying multiple of these rooms at once, however it ends up working.


Bonus: Chat Documentation Changes

What’s this? Twitch updated the chat documentation? Twitch included clearly stated and reasonable rate limits?

See: https://dev.twitch.tv/docs/irc

This is pretty amazing, actually. Things should be easier for major chat bots now. Not perfect as this doesn’t say anything about JOIN limits or getting disconnected if you can’t read your pending message queue quickly enough, but definitely an improvement.

But, most importantly… bot accounts. Heck, this is so awesome…

Bot Accounts

Bot accounts get relaxed rate limits. Bot accounts get badges. Bot accounts aren’t subject to chat modes like slow, r9k, sub-only, etc. They can send duplicate messages. They don’t get their whispers marked as spam.

It remains to be seen what Twitch’s official bot badge will look like. FrankerFaceZ will, however, include a setting to replace that badge with the trusty, old FrankerFaceZ Bot Badge. Assuming it doesn’t replace the moderator badge, FrankerFaceZ will also merge the bot badge into the mod badge as you’d expect by now.

We’ll also be discontinuing our own bot badges, once the Twitch badges are working. There’s no point in having two sources of bot badges.


The Bad Part

Extensions still exist and there’s still no way to disable them as a viewer. I’ll be adding that with FrankerFaceZ at some point. The overlay for the game thing that delayed the keynote by half an hour was obnoxious and kept reappearing. Just… no.

Worse than things on top of the video player… micro-transactions. Extensions will be getting them in November.

Hope you’re all looking forward to paying $1.99 from the comfort of Twitch’s video player to have an obnoxious donation comment read by an awful TTS service.

I’m not saying this is guaranteed to be bad. This could even be good, depending on who gets the money and how much of a cut Twitch takes. I’ve wanted a native solution to tipping a streamer for years. (And no, bits don’t count. Every time anyone even considers the idea of bits being similar to currency, five ninja-trained Twitch staff warriors jump out at you to say that bits aren’t a currency.)

Given how much overhead there are on bits though, I’m leaning towards bad from the start. And given how many stupid extensions there are, I’m expecting there to be lots of stupid things asking you for money.

And as far as bits go, I can’t find a tweet about it but I remember hearing something about being able to use bits in extensions as well, so… even more micro-y micro-transactions. Oh boy.


Summary

Mostly happy with the announcements. I wasn’t surprised by anything. Nothing was announced that’s going to make some unholy amount of work for me with FrankerFaceZ. Not beyond the Twitch Beta, which is already a mess forcing a complete rewrite upon me.

Everything from the main keynote seems good. Good job, Twitch.

Just knock it off with the micro-transactions and let us turn off iframes full of third-party JavaScript, would you?

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