Alright, I know I'm going down in flames for this one, but here me out, then bring out the big guns.
I believe that the world feels very empty right now. For those of us 'Fanbois' this is ok because we have faith that things will pick up and all will be good. However, for noobs entering the game, the world will feel very empty, and they don't necessarily have that sense of everything is gonna be ok. So what does this have to do with chat.
If you open up global chat for a while, until the game gets going and more ppl start playing, the place won't feel as empty and new players will have others to talk to, get help from, and in general improve their gaming experience. Otherwise my fear is that a new player will come in, not hear anyone talking, and say well, that was fun, next game. Or they join a tribe, but like many tribes, there are a lot of ppl not logging in right now because they are await this or that patch, and they still feel the world is empty.
Give em global chat so that it at least feels a bit more crowded. Turn it back off once the world is going. IMO..
I'd certainly say something to help the situation would be welcome. I talked to a new player yesterday who'd been in-game and moving around for hours on two separate evenings and had only talked to one other person...they were under the assumption that the game world was way bigger and that tribes weren't allowed to settle anywhere near starting areas (because it was so empty).
For me, a normal evening consists of open communication with one, possibly two other people...other than that, it's silent.
Maybe if it was moderated and had some rules. Honestly the worst part of global was the trash talk between people and the tribe ads. Pandemic was the worst for sure in that regard. . not being negative about it. Stargod said he might as well do it while global was still around and I am betting it would start up again. Even if Pandemic didn't do it someone else would.
At least for the love of (insert diety here) let us turn it off if we want.
I completely get your argument though. . we went from people asking to turn local down to one zone to having 2-3 people in local chat in a 9 zone area.
Maybe the real solution is a Newbie channel, only a new account can broadcast and be heard by anyone with the channel "on" and then they can be answered in /whisper by a listening player anywhere on the map. Once they homestead, or join a tribe, they loose access (with the appropriate warning about loosing newbie status)
I've seen some games have a channel for new players. They automatically start there, and some veteran players who like the idea of helping out hang out in there.
Global chat would work for that since it would give new players the best chance of being heard and interacted with.
Wonder if there is a switch we can use to determine the range of the chat we hear already coded in.
Would be cool to have the option. Not saying I would be against it without the option, can see where the OP is coming from... but then I also don't have beta experience of what it was like when global was on.
edit: just about as Hooke just said as I was slowly typing