World of Warcraft to add text to speech accessibility in upcoming patch

Ben Bayliss2 minute read

World of Warcraft will be getting text to speech accessibility support in an upcoming patch and will allow users to toggle specifically what is read out and how.

This news comes from Wowhead, reporting that text-to-speech will be available to players who wish to enable it. World of Warcraft: Shadowlands launched last year and players can expect a 9.1 patch to the Public Test Realm to become available at some point in the near future that also includes accessibility improvements.

Wowhead seems to have early access to the patch and notes that currently, the feature isn’t fully functional as of yet, but the range of options is shown. Players can expect to enable sound cues for different chat window actions, and a list of what messages are read out are toggleable. For example, players will be able to choose to have messages such as Whispers, Party, System, and Guild messages read.

Image courtesy of Wowhead

There are also some options for players to sample a range of voices as well as adjusting the rate of speech and its volume. However, accessing these options —at the moment— is said to be cumbersome and requires visually seeing the menus as Wowhead details: “The options are buried within the interface -> accessibility tabs of the game menu which require visually seeing the menu and manipulating the game cursor.”

It’s great to see new accessibility features being added to World of Warcraft and the upcoming 9.1 patch will see text-to-speech joining the previously added colourblind support in 6.1, gamepad support, and the addition of camera adjustments and shake reduction for combating motion sickness.

As previously stated, it’s not clear when the 9.1 patch will be available for World of Warcraft players, but it is on the way. The game is available for PC and Mac with Shadowlands being the latest expansion.

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Ben
BaylissEditor-in-ChiefHe/Him

Ben is the one in charge of keeping the content cogs at Can I Play That? turning. Deafness means that he has a focus on discussing captions, but with experience in consultancy and advocacy, he covers what bases he can. Having written about accessibility in video games at DualShockers, GamesRadar+, GamesIndustry.biz, Wireframe, and more he continues his advocacy at CIPT. He was actually awarded a Good Games Writing award for an article he wrote here! He enjoys a range of games, but anything that’s open-world and with a photo mode will probably be his cup of tea. You can get in touch with him at: ben@caniplaythat.com

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