Well I said I would make a thread on how to get Ventrilo voice chat on your computer so I'm going to take a whack at it. I'm not overly good at explaining things but I'll try my best to make sense.
First of all I guess I can explain the overall premise of Ventrilo. Ventrilo is a voice chat program that runs in the background while you play games. It is very much like the Sidewinder program we used at the LAN only it can support more people. As a matter of fact I am pretty sure we can have as many as we want as long as the server can support it.
Users can all be in the same chat channel or there can be multiple channels. This could be handy for squad based combat in Desert Combator any other game we might chose to play.
Chat can be set to automatic, as in it automatically broadcast when you speak, or to button press so that you only broadcast while holding a button. Personally I think automatic is best because if keeps your hands free but many clans use button press to eliminated listening to people breathe or something. With the proper tweaking this can be eliminated though.
Ventrilo is divded into two different parts. The first part is the Server which you won't have to worry about unless you chose to host the chat yourself. The server doesn't have a GUI and it can get kinda hairy if you've never done it before. With the key is it fairly easy to learn though. I think Aranyic is going to have a Ventrilo server running on his server that we can all connect to so no one should have to set up their own. The second part of Ventrilo is the Client part. This is what you will all need to download and install in order to connect to the server and chat. This part has a GUI with a myriad of configuration options. Don't let this scare you though because for the most part you'll only need to configure a few basic things to get rolling.
So anyhoo lets get started. Ventrilo is completely <b>FREE</b> so all you have to do is go to the website and download it. To do this go to the <a href="http://www.ventrilo.com/download.php"
; target="_blank">Ventrilo Downloads Page</a> and chose the <b>Windows i386 - 32bit</b> download underneath the blue <font color="Blue">Clients</font> header. After that there is your typical install wizard to get the client on your computer and you'll be ready to move onto configuring your client.
The first thing you should see when starting Ventrilo is an interface with boxes for a User Name, Server, and Bindings.
Hit the arrow to the left of the <b>User Name</b> box to bring up the user setup interface. All you really need to do here is select the new button, type in whatever name you would like, and then click ok. In the phonetic section you can type your name phonetically so that whenever you enter a channel a computer voice will announce your arrival. The description is also optional and I wouldn't worry about the "Work Dir" field. After this is done you now have a user profile that you can use in any Ventrilo server. You can have multiple profiles if you like as well. Just follow the same steps to make another. Profiles can be switched via a dropdown box on the client's main menu.
For now we will skip the server box as it is not needed right now and move onto configuration. From my experiences with Ventrilo configuration consist mainly of fine tuning your microphone sensitivity. It is kind of a hit or miss operation that you just need to stick with until you are satisfied.
For configuration select the <b>Setup</b> button from the client's main interface. The first tab that will be open is the <b>Voice</b> tab. This is the main tab you need to worry about. First of all make sure that the "Enable outgoing voice communications" check box is ticked. Without it you'll just be sitting there talking to yourself. Leave the "Use Push-To-Talk Hotkey" check box unticked since, as I said before, the easiest thing to do is just let it start broadcasting when you start talking. Your output device and input device can be changed to whatever you like. You can set it to use whatever sound card you have or there is a "Default wave mapper" option that seems to work as well. I left everything else default except for the sensitivity.
<b>Sensitivity</b> is the thing you are going to be playing around with the most. Currently I have my sensitivity set to about 200. On my microphone this is sensitive enough to pick up the sound of my voice when I start talking but insensitive to most outside noises. You can always just turn your sensitivity way up so that it always picks up your voice but that isn't very good voice chat etiquette. Those chatting with you will be able to hear your breathing and any other outside sounds and that can be really annoying. There is a test option at the bottom that will allow you to talk into your microphone and recieve playback of your own voice so that you can test various sensitivity settings. This will give you a general idea of how well it will work but I've learned that you need to tweak a little more once you actually start chatting.
Other than the voice sensitivity settings there really isn't anything else you need to mess with in the settings. To keep things simple I've always just stuck with the default settings. You are more than welcome to delve deeper into the controls but I'm just trying to get people online with as little trouble as possible.
The last thing to worry about is connecting to a server. From the client's main interface click the arrow to the right of the <b>Server</b> box to enter the server setup interface. Adding a new server profile is much like creating a new user profile. The first step is selecting the new button and typing in the servers name. Take note that the name you input for the server can be anything you like. This does not have to be the actual name of the server. It is just a reference for yourself. The <b>Hostname or IP</b> field is what determines the server you are going to connect to. If the server has a domain name you can simply type that in (Ex. tehpwn.com) or go with the tried and true method of directly entering the server's IP address. The <b>Port Number</b> field should already be filled in for you. If it isn't, the typical port for Ventrilo is 3784. Some servers may requre a password to join. Needless to say you can enter the server's password into the corresponding field and Ventrilo will remember it for you for future connections.
Back at the client's main interface the only box left should be "Bindings". I wouldn't really worry about this field. I've never entered anything into it and I've used Ventilo plenty of times without any problems.
And that is all there is to setting up your Ventrilo Client. As you can see there really isn't much to it. The worst part is tweaking you mics sensitivity and really all that takes is a little patience. Hopefully I was able to explain everything so that it could be understood but if there are still any questions feel free to ask and I'll see what I can do. Once we get some people setup with Ventrilo hopefully we can get some games arranged and let the good times roll!