It’s always fun being called a dickheaded scrublord in online games.
To keep that from happening, some games limit your interaction with strangers to a number of preset emotes. A few quick words, some short sentences, should be plenty to do all the communication you need, right? In some games, yes. But even where they’re enough to allow for all the gameplay-necessary chit-chat, there will always be popping up situations in which “Sorry about that” doesn’t cut it.
Example: I was playing a game of Hearthstone today, when all of a sudden the larger part of the visual data stopped. I could see my opponent aiming, but the minions on the board didn’t budge, and it never became my turn. “My apologies” was all I could say thanks to the emote system. After what must have been three turns, it still hadn’t fixed itself, so I had to concede. Bummer, I had played a good starting hand, and probably left someone unsatisfied with their match.
It’s not an issue with the emote system (Blizzard should just fix their game), but the situation was made a bit worse by it. I’d say in normal play, emotes are great. There’s enough for the basic politeness, they don’t stop simple and painless bad manners, and give the characters you play with a bit more personality.
Nothing beats a “Well met.” after the opponent summoned a Lightwell.