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On January 9th, we released a New Year update regarding the chat system after a range of issues since its deployment with the March 2018 release.

Since that blog, we’ve seen several major backend deployments that have been targeted directly at problems that the community have reported with chat. These issues have ranged from connectivity to the chat cluster, to incorrect population counts in local and incorrect pilot data in the local member list.

Two of the largest of these deployments were on Tuesday, January 8th and Wednesday, January 16th, which focused on bringing stability to the chat cluster and improving its performance.

The first deployment on January 8th focused on how the system deals with pilots switching channels moving from system to system. The second on the 16th was focused on an overhaul of how initial presence is delivered when pilots join a large chat channel such as local in Jita.

Since the deployment on the 16th, we’ve seen a period of stability where reports regarding issues with the chat system have dissipated, and the number of bug reports and support tickets relating to issues with chat has dropped to an all-time low since the new system was deployed in March 2018.

Ongoing Work

The chat system and the issues that have occurred over the course of the last 10 months have been the subject of a lot of inward facing questions here at CCP.

There’s been a substantial amount of internal discussion, looking at everything from how the system was developed, how it was deployed, how it was communicated and how we responded to the issues that were raised by the community both in terms of development and communication.

The result is; we understand and accept the fact that we failed on both fronts. We also understand the gravity of the effects it had on the day to day activity of many of our pilots.

The work carried out in January was targeted specifically to address community concerns in key areas where the chat system was not performing as expected and we’re happy to see that while there are some small issues we still need to iron out, stability and performance has been improved drastically.

What happens now?

When we gave the last update on January 9th, we mentioned that we’d be deciding whether to continue to operate the XMPP service or revert back to the old system at the start of February, based on performance of chat after several large-scale fixes and improvements of the course of January.

Taking the performance of the new XMPP system into consideration after the changes in January, the decision has been made not to revert to the older LSC system and to continue to develop and tweak the new system going forward.

As we’ve previously explained, overhauling the chat system is a vital part of the future-proofing work that’s going into EVE, which also includes the retirement of old systems such as player owned structures and the introduction of a 64-bit client, the latter of which will be upon us soon.

This work is occurring so that we can continue to keep New Eden up to date, improving the health of EVE and reducing legacy technical overhead as we head toward celebrating EVE’s 20th anniversary and the start of the third decade. Operating an XMPP chat system opens up all manner of possibilities for more tools and access to EVE’s chat system in the future.

We want to continue to work with the community to iron out any issues that people may still have with the XMPP system and make sure that we continue to improve performance going forward.

The team working on the development of the chat system will be watching the feedback thread for this blog closely, and if any of our pilots have been experiencing issues from the start of February onwards, we’d like to hear about them so as we can look at clearing up any outstanding problems.

In the update we gave on January 9th, we also mentioned distribution of compensation for the issues that have occurred.

We’re happy to announce that in the coming weeks, the highest skillpoint character on every account that held Omega clone status as of the start of daily downtime on March 20th, 2018 (the day the chat system was deployed) will receive a gift of 500,000 skillpoints in their unallocated skillpoint pool.

Keep your eyes peeled for news on the distribution of this compensation in the coming weeks.

We’d like to apologize again for the substantial disruption that the chat issues have caused over the course of 2018. We fully understand that the severity of issues with the system was not fully realized early enough. This was clearly identified when we looked back over the events of 2018 and has been addressed.

As always, we’d love feedback on this blog and we’d love to hear if any of our pilots are still experiencing issues as of the start of February.

Be sure to leave any feedback and comments you might have in the comments thread for this blog. Pilots should also be sure to file a bug report if they’re still seeing issues with the system at this stage.

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