Audio Trigger Basics
The Audio Triggers window was described in the EverQuest
update message for October 27, 2005.
It lets you tell the game to play various sounds whenever certain events
appear in the chat window. You can open the Triggers Window using the EQ
button, under Actions. You can also assign a keystroke to open/close the
Triggers Window, using the Options window under Keys / UI. (I have mine
set up to use shift-A.)
Within the Audio Triggers window you can set up any number of triggers.
For each trigger you specify a piece of text and a sound, and click
Create to add the trigger to your list. Modifying triggers is
straightforward as well; just remember to click either "Apply" (to
modify an existing trigger) or "Create" (to create a new trigger based
on an existing one) or else your changes won't be reflected in your list.
The way the triggers work is, for every line that appears in any of your
chat windows, the line is checked against each trigger to see if the
trigger text appears anywhere in the line. The text has to be an exact
match, except that capitalisation does not matter. (Punctuation and
spacing does matter. You may find it useful to turn on logging
(/log on) and refer to your log files to see what the chat line really
looks like.) If the text appears, the associated sound is played. If more
than one trigger would apply to the same chat line, only the first
corresponding sound is played (starting at the top of the list). Thus, for
example, you can have one sound for someone telling the group it's time to
Evac, and a different sound for other tells to the group.
At present, the trigger text cannot include "wildcards", so you can't
make a trigger that fires off when a line "starts with ABC and ends with
XYZ". In many cases, though, lines that have unpredictable middle parts
can be uniquely distinguished by just the front or back parts.
Adding More Sounds to Choose From
The triggers window has a menu that lets you choose which set of sounds
to make available. The game comes with several sounds in the "default"
category, and unless you want to get really fancy that's the only one
you'll need. If you want additional sounds to choose from, add audio files
(in .wav format) to the folder EverQuest\AudioTriggers\shared and they will
be included in all categories, including "default".
(Note: You may
have to explicitly reselect the "default" category after adding shared
audio files, to get the game to rescan the folder and notice the new
sounds.) The sounds will be listed along with the game's built-in sounds in
the triggers window Sound menu. You should not store your new files
in AudioTriggers\default, because that folder is part of the game files and
is subject to being overwritten by the patcher. So store your extra audio
files in AudioTriggers\shared.
The triggers for your characters are not stored in the AudioTriggers
folder, but are found in the EverQuest\userdata folder in files named
AT_TriggerSetName_CharacterName_ServerName.ini. The TriggerSetName
will always be "default" unless you start setting up completely separate
sets of triggers for different situations. Editing the files directly is
possible but tricky, depending on just what you're trying to change.
If you do want to have separate sets of triggers for different
situations, then you need to create new folders in your AudioTriggers
folder. For instance, suppose you want to use different triggers when
shrouded. You would create a folder AudioTriggers\shroud, maybe store some
audio files in it, and then select "shroud" in the Triggers Window menu.
(You might also have to restart the game to get it to notice the new shroud
folder.) Any audio files you copy into that folder will be available for
the new triggers, as well as any audio files in the "shared" folder.
But frankly, I find a lot of my triggers apply in all situations (things
like "tells the group" or "You become visible"), so I just use "default"
for everything and use the default audio files plus what I've added in
the shared folder, and let all the triggers apply all the time.
Recording New Sound Files
Creating new audio files can be quite easy, especially if you're willing to
hear your own voice, and you have a microphone connected to your computer
(possibly as part of a headset). In Windows, look under Accessories /
Entertainment for the Sound Recorder tool; you can use that to record
yourself saying words to use as trigger sounds. (Be sure to trim the
recording at either end to eliminate delays when the sound gets played.
Also remember to adjust the recording volume so the playback is at a
comfortable level relative to other game sounds.) You can even mix your
words with an existing file from the AudioTriggers\default folder to add
emphasis to important triggers. Just remember to reposition the sound
recorder tool window to the start of the spoken element before doing the
mix, or you'll get a file that consists of your spoken part followed by the
I found that using my own voice let me fine-tune the intonation, but if
you don't want to use your own voice, you might check out the free voice
which can produce recordings in a variety of voices.
You might think it would slow down the game to have it checking every
line against a long list of triggers, but I have from 50 to 80 triggers on
my characters and haven't noticed any problem even during raids. Of
course, most of the text that flies by does not trigger any sound.
Speaking of which, although each line can set off at most one trigger,
it's possible to have another line set off a second trigger before the
first finishes playing. When that happens, both sounds will play at
the same time. The game can play up to 4 sounds at once, basically the
most recent 4 sounds that got triggered, so if you have too many triggers
that go off a lot, some might get cut off by a flood of others. So it
pays to stick to triggers that don't go off all the time, and when they
do you probably wanted to notice them.