Well, we got rid of global chat, but with the state of /s chat, it's almost just as bad. Even if some sort of "yell" command were introduced, I still don't think it should reach as far as regular chat does now.
The current chat pretty much forces most chatting to be done via tribe or PMs; if it's anything RP or PVP related.
I definitely think local should literally be local only. Think they could introduce a (optional) trade channel that spans a couple zone radius or maybe each zone could have a message board/totem. Players could leave messages like 'new eden is looking for sand, will trade obsidian. Zone whatever'
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.
I believe it is fine the way it is. General should remain local zones. However, I think they need to add the ability to filter channels and add a /t Talk channel, for local within say 15 meters and a /y Yell channel for within 50 meters.
Here is the fact. People want to use chat for different things. There is no reason they shouldn't be able to. I really like the current chat, its small enough to keep track of but large enough there are plenty of people to talk to. But I've had people gripe at me for "using the local chat like a chat room."
I'm sorry, but yes thats exactly what I use it like because in my opinion that is what local chat is for. Chatting with people in your local area about anything and everything.
Other people, especially people in large tribes, are not interested in chatting like this and prefer local chat merely for trade or advise. That is perfectly legitimate but I pay for this game too, and I'm going to use local chat how I want to use it. I'm not going to be all hush, hush because someone wants to use local chat for trade, and my chatter is filling up their window while they try to read tribe chat.
So the point is I think a lot of people who hated global, who now hate the size of local chat hate it because of how much chatter there is, and they merely want to see a particular part of that chat like trade or advise. Thats why there needs to be a general chat for people who just want to talk. An advice chat, for people looking for information about the game, and a trade chat for trade related chat. I'll personally run all three, but it gives people the option to turn off what they don't want to hear. Sure people abuse channels sometimes. But I respect them, and so do a lot of other people, so it will at least cut down on it.
If it ends up being though, that we are restricted to zone, and I don't have anyone to talk too. I probably will drop sub. I play MMO's to socialize, not build a little fort and never talk to anyone. I would buy Minecraft if that is what I wanted to do.