With the introduction of NGS, area chat is no longer limited by range. If you are in the same zone, you will hear the messages no matter where they originate. This means that it is impossible to communicate with someone(s) near you without also talking to the entire zone. Yes, there are some work arounds. However, a local chat requires far less set-up and is generally more simple.
In practice, this has led to three things.
The first, which I think anyone reading this could relate to, is that cash shop spammers have an easier time annoying the masses. In the original game, the limited range meant that you would only really get spammed around the block transfer elevators. Not only is their range now the entirety of Central City, but clever spammers have recognized that, if they spam from hard to reach places, fewer people will try and track them down to target click and report/block them. While you don't NEED to target someone to do these things, it requires more steps which means more people will just roll their eyes and ignore it. If the moderators begin to closely monitor Central City activity to limit bot activity, I worry that the bots will move to places like Mt. Magnus to spam. A more limited audience, yes, but these people will push their spamming anywhere they can.
The second is a general increase in text congestion. This one is pretty self explanatory. It means that you are really only going to be able to have one conversation at a time without moving into more private chats. More of an annoyance than anything.
The third is it has discouraged roleplayers. I know there are likely plenty of people that might roll their eyes at the concept of roleplayers, but hear me out. Everyone plays MMO's for different reasons, and roleplaying is just one aspect of the genera. A healthy roleplay community is just another group of people to bolster the game's general population which is rarely a bad thing. Without a more localized chat, it increases the chances of griefers. And if you aren't a fan of roleplayers, it has also meant that they cannot speak locally without also intruding on your space.
What's the solution? The most obvious solution would be to re-implement the range limitation as found in PSO2, but that ignores the more open world nature of NGS. A chat with area chat's current range is much more necessary than it was before. If you ask me, the best solution would be to add a local chat with a more limited chat range. That would solve most of the issues I mentioned and allow you to filter that chat out if you don't want to see it.